How do I achieve this 'rays of light' effect in Photoshop?
February 15, 2011 8:37 AM   Subscribe

In Photoshop, how do I achieve the 'rays of light' effect you see in places like Campaign Monitor's masthead?

It's something I've around the web, just not really sure how to recreate it.
posted by critzer to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's done by using a gradient effect, and drawing half a circle with it, and than adding some extra 'light' in the centre of the circle.
posted by ijsbrand at 8:52 AM on February 15, 2011

  • Radial gradient (white/light grey to transparent)
  • Smudge tool (to add the spiky streaks: click on the edge the gradient, hold shift, and then click on the center of the gradient. Change brush strokes and repeat until you've got enough.
  • New layer, fill light gray
  • Render noise on gray layer
  • CTRL-click gradient layer, add layer mask to noise layer
  • Change noise blending mode to multiply and drop the opacity waayyyyy down
  • Change gradient blending mode to soft light and fiddle with the opacity until it looks right
That's a pretty rough guide, but it should work. Experiment until you get it.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:55 AM on February 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

It might also be noise + radial blur.
posted by RobotHero at 10:02 AM on February 15, 2011

For the spiky streaks, use a gradient similar to Flare Rays and the angle gradient type of gradient. (For GIMP, use the conical (symmetric) shape of gradient.)
posted by anaelith at 10:10 AM on February 15, 2011

I just did a quick test with noise and radial blur, and that looks like the easiest way to do it:
1. white-to-black radial gradient
2. add noise
3. add radial blur at a pretty high setting
4. change the blending to Screen and put the layer over whatever base color you want. It'll probably look best if you choose a light complimentary color instead of white in your initial gradient.
posted by echo target at 10:56 AM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

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