- Photoshop 7
- 30-60 Minutes
Detailed tutorial that teaches you how to create high-quality ready to be printed flowing harmonic fibers in Photoshop. This effect is suitable for creating backgrounds for all kinds of digital art.
This tutorial is very detailed, so do not be frightened by the number of steps — they are there so that even beginners can follow along. You should be able to finish it within 20 minutes if you know your ways around Photoshop.
Create a new print document. That is, set the DPI-value to something above 250 and make the document quite big. A landscape A4 will do just fine for this tutorial.
First we are going to create the dreamy background effect. So begin by resetting your foreground and background colors by hitting D on your keyboard. Then go ahead and render some clouds on a new layer (Double-click the Background layer, then use Filter > Render > Clouds).
Now apply a Motion Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur).
Repeat the last filter (Ctrl + F).
Duplicate Layer 0, then scale it up 200% (Ctrl + T).
Apply a Wave filter to Layer 0 copy (Filter > Distort > Wave).
Press the randomize button till you find something that you like.
Add a Levels Adjustment Layer to crank up the highlights.
Add another Adjustment Layer, this time Hue/Saturation.
Duplicate Layer 0, name it Waves and place it on top of all other layers.
Flip the Waves layer horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontally), then scale it up 150%.
Apply a Wave filter. Use the same settings as before, but set the number of generators to 2.
Set the Blending Mode of the Waves layer to Lighten.
With the Waves layer selected, press Ctrl + L to adjust the Levels for the layer.
Adjust the Hue/Saturation for the Waves layer (Ctrl + U).
Add a new Color Balance Adjustment Layer to selectively modify the colors for Shadows, Mid-tones and Highlights.
To give our waves a more defined look, go ahead and add a Curves Adjustment Layer.
Now press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E to stamp visible layers. This creates a new layer that has all the contents of the visible layers below.
Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, set the Radius to 50 pixels.
Click the Add Layer Mask icon in the Layers palette. Then use the Layer Mask icon (next to the Layer Icon) to activate it. To activate the layer, just press the Layer Icon, but for now we are going to work on the Layer Mask so go ahead and activate it.
Working with layer masks is actually very simple. Black pixels on the layer mask will hide pixels of the layer. White pixels on the layer mask will make the pixels of the layer visible. 50% gray pixels on the layer mask will render 50% opacity pixels on the layer.
We are going to use layer masking techniques to partially blur the edges of our image.
Press D on your keyboard to reset your swatches to Black/White. Grab the Gradient Tool (G), then — with the layer mask active — drag a gradient from an interesting point of your image, out extending towards the edge of your image.
With the top layer selected, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation. Check “Use previous layer as clipping mask” and press OK.
Set the Saturation to -100 and the Lightness to +25.
Now, to create endless amounts of color variations you can add a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer on top of all other layers. Set the Blending Mode of this layer to Color, then adjust the Hue and Saturation sliders.