Today I’m going to teach you a simple tutorial on creating a simple light stripes effect in Photoshop. The tutorial is simple and I think it’s suitable for Photoshop beginners too. Before getting into the steps, please take a look at the final result below. This light stripes effect looks cool in both dark and bright, hot and cold background too, so I think it’s a really cool and useful effect.
Besides that, you can also learn how you can add magic to your graphic designs with Photoshop.
The final result
First open a new document at any size you like, but preferable more than 1000px wide and 1500px height or higher. Then fill up the background with Linear Gradient from top to bottom with light colors. In this example I use: #c6dfe5, #ffdfb3, #969391. Then, by using the Ellipse Shape Tool, draw out some ellipses in the same layer like picture below. Well it looks like a group of clouds.
Duplicate the Shape Layer that created just now and hide the original layer (for backup purposes). Then, by selecting the duplicated Shape Layer which containing the clouds, right click the layer in Layers Palette and select “Rasterize Layer” to rasterize it. Immediate after this, apply Gaussian Blur on it with about 10px Radius.
Now we are entering the core step in this tutorial. After rasterizing and applying Gaussian Blur, now select the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and draw a selection at the most left part of the cloud. Then, hit Ctrl+T to turn the selection into Transform mode. You can drag the selection longer (press alt while dragging to get equal dragging on both top and bottom part) and hit Enter to complete the step. Now, marquee select the next part of the cloud and repeat the step until the end like picture below.
The step above is to create multiple length of light stripes. For better result, you can marquee selects them with different sizes of width, for example, some fatter and some thinner. Besides dragging longer, you can also make them shorter too. You can also overlap the new selection with the previous one to create richer result. The picture below are the result of the select+drag step.
Well, the result does not look good at this moment. So, in the final step, select the layer and open up Motion Blur window (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur). In here you can smooth out the blurring effect even more, shown in the picture below. I’m using the maximum 250px Distance to achieve the smoother light stripes. Well this is the reason to use a bigger height of canvas so that the blurring effect won’t get cut by the canvas boundary.
Now the light stripes effect is done! 😀
Light Stripes in action examples
This light stripes effect are quite flexible to useful too as mentioned earlier. The first example below, you can also use it to create a color spectrum with dark background. While the second example showing the application of light stripes effect in web design. Looks cool isn’t it?