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Create a Magic Crystal Ball
Fabio on Jun 21st 2008 with 131 comments
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reddit this Last week I was working on a project where I needed to create a sort of lightning effect like that Tesla Coil. I spent a couple of hours in Photoshop playing around with some filters to create the effect. So In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a Magic Crystal Ball with some nice light effects and textures happening.

Final Image Preview
Before we get started, let¶s take a look at the image we¶ll be creating. As always, the layered Photoshop file is available via our Psdtuts+ Plus membership. Also, I¶ve got some tutorials I¶m working on that aren¶t about lighting effects that you¶ll see soon.

Step 1
Create a new document, I used 1900px by 1200px. Fill the background layer with black. Then with the Ellipse Tool (U) create a circle. You can fill it with a dark gray, but the color won¶t matter because we will apply a Layer Style to this object shortly.

Step 2
To add the Layer Style, go to Layer > Layer Style. First, select Inner Glow and use: white for the color, Color Dodge for the Blend Mode, and 70% for the opacity. The second Layer Style will be Gradient Overlay, use Linear for the Style, and keep Normal for the Blend Mode. Now the colors will be #12232c and #313444. The last Layer Style will be Stroke, which should be set: 2px for the Size, 60% for the Opacity, and for the color use #a395cf. Feel free to change the colors and test new variations.


This circle will be the top reflection on the ball. Then create a selection from the Path Palette. Adjust the shape the way you want. .Step 3 Create another circle using the Ellipse Tool (U). The best thing is to create a Path with the ellipse tool.


" Then select the Gradient Tool (G)." . create a selection from the circle layer. while the other will be 50%.Step 4 Create a new layer and rename it to "reflection top. Step 5 Lets create a reflection at the bottom of the sphere. Select Radial for the Style. For the Opacity use 70% Tip: Make sure that the 100% is the center of the gradient. Create a new layer. which is the first one we already created. and rename it to "Bottom reflection. Change the opacity though. one will be 100%. To do that. as in the image below. Then create a radial gradient. Use white for the color on both ends.

. Tip: You can resize this layer to make it slightly smaller so you can move it 1 pixel up. change the Layer¶s Opacity to 50%. Now create the gradient.Select the Gradient Tool (G). and use the same settings as in the previous step. This time lets set the Opacity to 100% and 0%. Also. Use the image below for reference.


." Make sure you have black and white for the background and foreground colors. Then go to Filter > Render > Clouds. and rename it to "lights 1. After. make it much smaller so the details will be smaller too. Then rescale the layer. Use 3 for the Detail and 10 for the smoothness.Step 6 Create a new layer. go to Filter > Sketch > Chrome.


Step 7 Create a marquee selection from the "ball layer. Use 100% for the Amount and Normal for the Mode. . Use a Stroke length of 17 and Spray Radius of 7." and go to Filter > Distort > Spherize. Then go to Filter > Brush Strokes > Sprayed Strokes.


so the orange will be the center of the gradient. After. and then go to the Violet. For the Gradient Style use Radial. and Orange preset for the colors. Then change the Fill Opacity to 60%. Green. With the "lights 1" layer selected.Step 8 Now lets add some color to the crystal ball. use the Violet. Align the radial to the ball. select the Gradient Overlay. . go to Layer > Layer Style.


Step 9 To create the lighting effects inside the ball we will use the Difference Clouds Filter. but they are black. Then go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. Also. and rename it to "rays. Next we rescale the layer to the same height as the ball. you can define the thickness of the lightning when you scale the layer. You may notice that with the difference clouds filter we have created the lightning." Then go to Filter > Render > Clouds. . So create a new layer.


So go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. go to Image > Adjustments > Invert. However. Then with the Eraser Tool (E). select a medium brush. Then erase some parts of edges 1-4. and 70. we create a Layer Mask. but with a hardness of 0% and 10% opacity. Use for the Input Levels 0. 1. so the lights will be only inside the ball." so they will be more visible. a regular one. to get the effect right you will have to change the levels as well. . There are 2 more things to do here.Step 10 To change the color of the lightning from black to white is simple. First. you can change the opacity of "Reflection Top" and "Reflection Bottom. Also.00. Then change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge.


Tip: Change the Opacity of the layers to give more depth to the effect.Step 11 To create more Rays. . you can either duplicate the layer or repeat steps Steps 9 and 10. you can apply the Spherize Filter. Also. I duplicated it. but the best thing to do is to repeat the previous steps.


. Use Multiply for the Blend Mode. 90% Opacity. We need to make the ball a bit darker. Change the Fill Opacity to 0% and select Gradient Overlay. and set it to Linear. For the colors use Black and a dark gray. Add a Layer Style.Step 12 Here. After. Tip: This layer will be beneath the other light layers. we will create a layer to adjust the colors. and create a marquee selection of the original ball. So just add a new layer. fill it with Black.

Create a new layer on top of the others.Step 13 Lets create a nice texture in the ball. the Wavelength use Min. and the rest keep the same. 10 Max 320." Rename it to "texture. go to Filter > Distort >Wave. Then resize the layer. Finally. Amplitude Min 5 Max 35. . but beneath the "Reflection Bottom and Top layers. and make it a bit bigger than the ball. For the Number of Generators use 5." Now go Filter > Render > Clouds.


Step 14 Go to Filter > Brush Strokes > Spatter. . Use a Spray Radius 15 and Smoothness 2. Next we create a marquee selection from the "ball" layer. and go to Filter > Distort > Spherize again. Use 100% for the amount.


This will create a layer in the shape of the foreground color. This layer will be the spot of light for the ball. go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. the opacity to 50%. even the "ball" layer. After. . just reduce the opacity. Step 16 Select the Ellipse Tool (U). and the fill opacity to 50% as well. Then use 90 pixels for the Radius. as in the image below. Then click on Shape Layers. Change the Blend Mode to Screen. Tip: This layer has to be beneath all the other layers. Now create an ellipse. If you don¶t want to show the texture that much.Step 15 Let¶s adjust the layer next.

Step 17 .

instead of creating a light spot. Notice that this layer will be on top of the others. This time let¶s use black. let¶s create a shadow. Again. but for the Gaussian Blur use Radius of 70 pixels.Now lets create another ellipse. Also. . repeat step 16. as we did in the previous step. Step 18 Next we add a glow light at the top of the ball.

For the colors use #223158 and #b8641c. Also. After. move the mouse while the Gradient Fill dialog box window is open. and set the angle 115º. For the style use Radial. change the Blend Mode to Overlay. go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient. Create a Gradient Fill layer.Step 19 Let¶s adjust the colors. To do that. . Tip: You can position the gradient by clicking and holding the mouse button.

use the image below as a reference. and go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. and rescale the layer. Use 60% Brightness and 50-300mm Zoom. Then fill it with black. and 210. Adjust the levels of this layer.Step 20 Create a new layer on top of the others. Now change the Blend Mode to Screen. . 1. Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. Then change the Input Levels to 7.


Photoshop Tutorials Disclaimer: None of the given Photoshop Tutorials are written by me. Have fun! Age Progression . You could use the Spherize filter. you can change the Gradient Overlay colors in one layer only. It¶s all about playing now. More are in the line. we learned a light effect that is created by using the clouds and difference clouds filter. thereby creating a totally new effect. and change the other colors separately. Also. You can add more layers to create different effects inside the ball.Conclusion In this tutorial. Hope you understand. like the Caustic effect I created on the final image. . They are all taken from various sources on the Internet and I compiled some of them for you. or duplicate some layers to create more reflections.

. I'll just focus on women for this tutorial. Preface I've been asked several times by different members to post a tutorial on how I age-progress a person. I¶ll be using the image of Katie Holmes that I did for a past W1K contest.Here¶s a little tutorial showing you how I basically go about aging a woman¶s face in Photoshop. as an example. I try to select a picture that is touched-up as little as possible. Step 1: Choosing an Appropriate Photo When deciding to age-progress a celebrity¶s face. here it is! Men and women age a little bit differently but since I've only aged female celebrities thus far. So.

e. slight bags under the eyes and faint wrinkles. The appearance of such details makes it all that much easier to visualize how your subject will age.I find that candid shots. or any shots that have not been taken in a studio. Visualizing what the end result will look like brings you one step closer to aging her face realistically. . work best because the resulting harsh lighting reveals more of the skin¶s details i.

Step 2: Collecting Reference Material Reference material is key in my method of aging. Katie is smiling with her face positioned at a 3/4 angle so I tried to gather as many pictures of old women who are smiling in the same manner or close to that. looking for faces of old women who either resemble Katie and/or share the same facial expression. fairly obvious lines under her eyes and lines bracketing her mouth. I scoured the Web. . Here. Keeping Katie¶s face in mind. we can see very faint horizontal lines on her forehead.In Katie¶s case. I then opened up the picture of Katie in Photoshop and pasted the found images around her face on a separate layer. spread out to provide easy visual access.

either because hair falls out and/or because it dries out as it greys. Step 3: Thinning Brows Now the fun begins! The first thing I like to do is to thin out the subject¶s eyebrows and eyelashes. I managed to find a couple of reference pictures of Katie¶s mother online and they really helped me to decide whether or not to give Katie a double chin. . is pictures of the subject¶s parents. I decided I would apply that to Katie too. the thinner their hair gets . The older people get. Since her mom has quite a bit of mass under her chin.Another kind of reference I like to use but is usually hard to find.

I tried to create sagging effects to the cheeks. . I tried to be subtle. I like to add the basic sags to the skin. For the eyes. jowls and the cliff just above the eyes by using the Push tool.So to achieve this. otherwise she may end up looking somewhat ghoulish. I like to use the Clone Stamp tool at 100% with a relatively small brush size depending on the size and resolution of the image. I sampled the surrounding skin to thin and reduce the number of hairs. I do this in the Liquify mode. Step 4: Mold the Face Next.

the end of a nose may appear larger as a person grows older. cartilage does continue to grow. Go too far and it may not look like Katie anymore. and in fact shrink. Step 5: The Aforementioned Double Chin . I used the Push tool to extend the length of the nose slightly. So while I was still in the Liquify mode. As a result. Then I used the Bloat tool to also enlarge it slightly. I know that while bones cease to grow. being careful not lose the essential quality or character of the nose.From what I¶ve learned about the aging process.

Step 6: Wrinkle Up the Eyes For me.Based on her mother¶s pictures. Done wrong and the picture may no longer be identifiable as one of Katie Holmes anymore. I then worked in the details with a finer brush size. the most important parts to get right are the eyes. keep in mind that I was also using the other reference photos of older women to guide me. Referencing the pictures of old women helped a lot with this step. sampling the colors that were already in the area of her neck. I then extended them in length and width accordingly. They can make or break the project. I sought out the fine lines around the eyes and I tried to imagine how they would progress into wrinkles. . Also. I then added a fairly massive double chin. I initially used the Airbrush tool with some fairly broad strokes.

I used a combination of the Stamp tool and Brush tool. I wish I could explain my technique at this point in a more clinical manner but mostly I relied on my artistic instincts. I emphasized the wrinkles around the eyes by widening and deepening the lines slightly and increasing the contrast by darkening the recesses and lightening the edges. Also, I extended wrinkles to the cheekbone areas. I then applied the same technique to the wrinkles around the mouth and to the forehead.

Step 6: Reducing the Lips
In this step, I work on the lips. As people grow older, the outline of the lips tends to recede. Using the Stamp tool, I sampled the skin surrounding the lips and thinned them out.

While I was at it, I also added a few vertical wrinkles above the lips to give her a bit of a "prune" effect. We just want a hint of that, so don¶t carve out deep lines; deep lines would only be necessary if she was puckering her lips.

Step 7: Planning Out More Wrinkles

Here, on a separate layer, I faintly outlined or sketched, with a relatively thin brush size, areas that I may or may not add more lines and wrinkles to. It¶s easy to get carried away with the addition of wrinkles. So, I stopped, took a step back and assessed where to take to image. For me, it's essential and a great test to see what best works.

Step 8: Touching Up the Wrinkles
Based on the previous step, I added wrinkles where I thought they were needed most.

Overall, I found that the wrinkles and lines seemed a little flat in comparison to the rest of Katie¶s features. They needed more definition so that they could pop out more. So, I highlighted the raised edges of the individual lines with the Brush tool and with a lighter skin tone.

Step 9: Hairy Lips
Facial hair becomes an issue with most women as they age. For some strange reason they lose it in the brow area and grow it back around the mouth area. I didn¶t want Katie to be the exception so with a very fine brush size and the Brush tool, I added hairs to her upper lip.

I tried to make it as subtle as possible. Hairs too thick or dark would draw the viewer¶s attention straight to her mustache and I didn¶t want that. I also added more wrinkles to the area below the corners of her mouth.

Step 10: Refining the Neck

I decided that the neck was too smooth for a woman of 75 years of age. So I added finer wrinkles to that area. Also, I added more mass and weight to her jowls with the airbrush by increasing the value of the tones in those areas thus creating more contrast between surface planes.

Step 11: Adding Age Spots
A key component to effective aging of a face is the addition of age spots.

at this point. I sampled one of the darker skin tones on her face. the amount varies from person to person. I decided that certain areas needed refining and added detail. I decided to be conservative with Katie. Step 12: More Refinements I took a little break from it and came back to it later to possibly get a better perspective on it. and on a separate layer that was set to Multiply and 30% opacity.So at this point. This is the beauty of working with a high-resolution file. I brushed them in and tried to create irregular shapes (there IS no perfect age spot). I can zoom in real close and deal with a wrinkle up-close and personal. You can add as many as you like. When I looked at it. .

so receding the gums here wasn¶t necessary. Her gums didn¶t show to begin with. I sampled a yellowish-brown color and on a new layer that was set to Multiply and 30% opacity and painted that color to the teeth with the Brush tool.Unless their teeth were subjected to regular whitening. I began by creating a mask defining the area of the hair. . Gums also recede. I used the brush for this and tried my best to define as many loose strands of hair that I could. showing less gum and more bone. And so with that in mind. Step 13: Preparing the Hair The finishing touch here is greying the hair. most people¶s teeth yellow with age.

I then selected the mask and scratched out the darker areas with a 5px brush size at 50% opacity so that they could show through from the original image.With this mask as a selection. I then created a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and reduced the saturation to ±63. As a result. Step 14: Hair Raising The next step was to raise the hairline and thin out the hair. . Hair loss is common with both sexes. I then created a new adjustment layer based on the same mask and adjusted the Brightness/Contrast to brightness +9 and contrast ±36. I found that the darker areas were too pale and caused a loss of depth and so to adjust that.

Patiently. slowly. refined a few wrinkles here and there ET VOILA! .I sampled the area at the top of the forehead and extended the skin area above the original hairline. stroke by stroke I added more and more hairs until I was happy with the amount of grey I had added. sparsely laid out. Step 15: Greying the Hair A lot of details of the hair were lost in the previous step so with a thin brush size at 80 percent opacity I drew in fine grey hairs. I took a step back. Step 16: Finishing Touches Finally.

It may not be the most technically detailed tutorial but it gives you a good idea of the process I go through to get the job done. Hopefully. Tutorials by kailoon . 2007 in Photo Edit. it will help you create your own trophy-winning images for future Fountain of Age contests! oloring Effects July 10th.I hope this tutorial was insightful.

let¶s start then. Ok. it is simple and easy to follow as usual. . This is the photo that I found in Google image. If you wish to use mine. I think you may see this in many music album CD cover and some artist poster or wallpaper. just download here. Step 1 Open the image in PS.Today we will have a photo edit tutorial and sure.

you may get this: Step 4 . Set the setting as below: Step 3 After that.Step 2 Go to the bottom of the layers palette and click on the Hue/Saturation option.

you⼌re done! It⼌s easy and now you can edit your photo yourself easily. Step 5 Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur > 90 pixels.Create a new layer and set it to Soft Light Blend mode. Step 6 Yup. You can choose the colors you like. Thanks! . Choose a 48px hard brush and paint the new layer as shown below.

Tips: y y The lower the saturation will decrease the color more. So. the lower the saturation will increase the visibility of the painted color. .

Want access to the full PSD files and downloadable copies of every tutorial. we¶ll manipulate a picture so it looks like a woman burning in flames. You can view the final image preview above or view a larger version here. only by using simple techniques and tools such as the Brush tool and Warp command. I would like to thank the author of this two great pictures. I hope you enjoy the tutorial and try it with your own stock imagery. image1.y y y In this tutorial. I used two nice images that suits for the manipulation. including this one? Join Psdtuts+ PLUS for just $9/month. image2. which is thiquinho and huibidos . y y y Step 1 For this project. The idea behind this manipulation was to create a nice looking illustration.

hu. In the Duplicate Image dialog box. Be sure to save.from sxc. And before we continue with the steps. name it "PassionFire" and hit OK. open and duplicate this image by using the Image > Duplicate command from the menu bar. I need to inform you that this tutorial is written using Photoshop CS3. we kept the original image. . y y y y Step 2 Let¶s start with image1. but to follow this tutorial reference. you can name it anything you like. By doing this.

Click the "background" layer again and fill it with the foreground color ~ which is set to black. Set the foreground and background color to black and white by pressing D on the keyboard. See the images below.y y y y Step 3 With the "PassionFire" image active. duplicate the "background" layer. .

. Your image should look like a film¶s negative now." then press Command + Shift + U to apply desaturate command. Now invert the color by pressing Command + I.y y y y Step 4 Reactivate "Layer 1.

your image now has contrast white line and a very dark background." then apply the find edges filter from Filter > Stylized > Find Edges.y y y y Step 5 Duplicate "Layer 1. Next. . invert the color by pressing Command + I and change the Blending Mode to Hard light. There.

y y y y Step 6 To give the white line more contrast. . duplicate the "Layer 1" copy then change the Blending Mode to Screen.

Drag image2 into "PassionFire" document image window using the Move tool. If the Paste profile mismatch dialog appears.y y y y Step 7 Now we move to the second image. just click OK to fix it. .

y y y y Step 8 The fire image from "image2" should be in "Layer 2" now. this will hide all the black colors in "Layer 2." If done right. Change its Blending Mode to screen. . your image should be similar to the one below.

same as the original "Layer 2." Next.y y y y Step 9 Duplicate "Layer 2" by pressing Command + J. then use the Free Transform command ( Edit > Free Transform) to rotate and resize the fire image like shown below. Don¶t forget to press Enter when you¶re done transforming. . make "Layer 2" become invisible by hiding it from the layers panel. Make sure you use the Screen Blending mode. y y y y Step 10 Click the "Layer 2 copy" to make it active.

y y y y Step 11 Still in the same layer. See the example below as a reference. y y . Press Enter when done. now use the warp command (Edit > Transform > Warp) to bend the fire image ± so it following the hair flow.

Once you get this composition (see image below). simply use the Liquify filter to fix it. hit Enter. Don¶t forget to reposition the fire image too. y y y y Step 13 Duplicate the "Layer 2" copy.y y Step 12 If you feel the result is not quite good enough. the Forward Warp tool and Twirl Clockwise tool is the only tool I used to get this result (see image below). then use the Free Transform command to resize and rotate the fire image in the current layer. I assume you already know how to use the liquify filter. .

If needed. notice how many layers are used. The end result of this process should look like the image below.y y y y Step 14 Repeat the previous process to get the hair covered with fire. Just duplicate and modify the layer until you get all the hair part covered. . use the Liquify Filter again.

Then Change the Blending Mode to Vivid Light. now activate "Layer 2" and make it visible again. .y y y y Step 15 Okay. This step will colorize only the white line in the layer below it.

y y .

Press Enter when you¶re done transforming. apply the Gaussian Blur filter from the Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur menu." To do so. . Fill the Radius around 10 to 15 pixels. then click OK when done. y y y y Step 17 We¶re gonna blur the fire image in "Layer 2.y y Step 16 Still in "Layer 2." apply the Free Transform command to resize and rotate the fire image like shown below. Blurring the fire image will cause its texture to blend smoother with the layer below it. The purpose is to cover up the girl¶s body and hair with the fire texture.

y y y y Step 18 Now add a layer mask to "Layer 2. then just mask until the fire outside becoming hidden. Set the brush size according to your need." Then use a soft round Brush tool with Opacity at 100%. See the process below. .


First.y y y Step 19 Sure we will remove the white line shown in the image (marked in red rectangle below). add a new blank layer below "Layer 2. ." Then simply paint it with black using the soft round brush tool.


y y y Step 20 Now go to the top most layer (mine is: "Layer 2 copy 6"). Careful not to change the layer adjustment order. or the color effect will be wrong. we unify all colors. Below you can see the setting I used to complete this step. also pay attention to the adjustment layer order. y . add two adjustment layers which is Hue/Saturation and Brightness/Contrast. The Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer brings more color contrast and makes sure the image color¶s looks like real fire. By adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

y .

Just make sure the brush spatter enough and vary the size. No special brush needed. y y . Below you can see all the settings I used within the Brush palette. I create it using the Brush tool with this simple setting.y y y Step 21 I¶m sure you notice the fire sparks effect. of course you can change the setting as you like. but if you have one that will be useful then feel free to use it.

imagining stuff is very helpful. resize the brush size if needed. just imagine where and how the fire sparks will flow if it was real fire. then you can start creating the fire sparks. I start using a big sized brush.y y Step 22 Now to use the modified brush. Choose 50% gray from the swatches palette. Remember not to be monotone. y y y . For me. create a new blank layer below the adjustment layers ( mine is named "Layer 4"). If you¶re not sure how to do this steps. then reduce it to smaller size (you can change brush size faster by pressing the bracket keys on the keyboard ).

and hair. create a new layer and change the Blending Mode to Screen.y y Step 23 To make it more interesting. Then use a normal soft round brush (not the one we modified earlier). y y y y Conclusion And that¶s all of it! Hope you learned something new and had fun. neck. Just click in the part of body. with an Opacity of 50%. . I¶m not sure how to explain this. You can view the final image below or view a larger version here. but you can see the difference between the above and below images.

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