Instructables
Picture of Simple lightning in photoshop
In this instructable I'll show how to make lightning.
 
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Step 1: Gradient

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First off make a gradient going black to white. It doest matter which way its goes.

Step 2: Difference clouds

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Go to Filters> Render> Difference clouds.

Step 3: Invert!

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Easy enough, click control+i, or go to image> adjust> invert.

Step 4: Levels

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It's kinda looking like lightning already! Now, go to image> adjust> levels (or control+l). Move the middle slider to the right. The farther left it is, the less the clouds reflext. The farther right, the more they reflect.

Step 5: Color!

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D:\Rob\My Pictures\Instructables\lightning\7.jpg
Make a new layer above the lightning layer. Fill it in with a light blue (alt+backspace). Set the layer mode to overlay (in the layers pallette, right above the little thumbnails).

Step 6: Tada!

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Your done your lightning. Play safe and don't electrocute anyone! :D
alexw21503 years ago
It looks really realistic
robots1995 years ago
For the invert colors in photoshop cs4 for Mac, use command + I
CrazyAce7 years ago
Actually this isn't very convincing lighting. You can use a PS plug-in for this and it looks much better.
Good enough! Thanks for the instructable!
Where would one find this Plugin?
max_payne166 years ago
when I apply difference clouds noting happens at all, Any help?
You can even do this on photoshop elements!
Shifrin6 years ago
Wow, This is an Awesome instructable! that would be a great desktop backround! ~Shifrin
I agree.
I've seen pics of real lightning that look less realistic than this.
jare-bear6 years ago
y dont u try making an animation of this. that would be pretty cool. ill try it myself
Mr. Bean1176 years ago
a better way of coloring it is: image>(layers?)>hue and saturation click the colorize button and slide the hue and saturation sliders until you get the desired color, this way you can do any color you want without making any new layers
and a thinner grey area in the starting gradient makes a thinner lightning bolt
Keith-Kid7 years ago
Great Instructable! I love it! Thanks for sharing
fusse7 years ago
Remember to set color to black/#OOOOOO during this step.. else you will have a lightning with some fun colors :P
darkmuskrat7 years ago
Lol, i want to go to get a hamburger now...Mac Attack!
...wtf?
The guy before me was talking about mac's hence the joke............
oh... mcdonalds... I picked up on Mac = photoshop... but the burgers just threw me off...
Comprine7 years ago
Hmm. I've seen that effect before, still nice, though! And for this little effort, it's really a nice effect. Though, as with most other things in photoshop, it could get very much nicer with more effort ;)
Rizve7 years ago
Cool. thanks for the tips. wish more tips from u.
PenSpinner7 years ago
Cool effect ;D
ofeargall7 years ago
Hey, great instructable. Simple, easy to follow and looks cool. Might want to consider the option commands for the mac folk. Good work!
For macs, substitute alt with the function key (located next to the, um, alt key). Hot keys rule.
PyroguyX57 years ago
Well Keith -Kid, Not to be a smartass but check if you are in Rgb or grayscale. If not, what version are you using?
Keith-Kid7 years ago
I don't know much bout photoshop. I'm having trouble in step 5. All the colors are gray..can anyone help me I use photoshop 5 Limited Edition (LE)
hollasch7 years ago
Try color burn as well for a bit sharper line.
maruawe7 years ago
neat
Jezza Bear7 years ago
Very, good....I am off now to have a play :-)
crankyjew7 years ago
rather basic, but cool. this works in paint.NET and GIMP, too.
drake7 years ago
This is a very cool instructable, Thank you for sharing your knowledge!