Introduction: Adobe Photoshop CS3: Aura Effect for Dummies

About: Just a wanna'be nerd.

In this Instructable I'm going to show you how to make a "Aura Effect" using Adobe Photoshop CS3. It is possible to do this in nearly any version of Adobe Photoshop, the process just might differ slightly.

First I will show you the tools that we're going to be using, which we will need the Gradient Tool, and the Pen Tool.

Step 1: Selecting and Using Your Gradient

Select your Gradient Tool and clicking on the Gradient Color Settings on the top menu, pick the colors you want the background to be. For what we're doing here, I usually stick with colors close to the same side of the color wheel, of different hues.

For this instructable I choose a deep purple blue fading to a blue teal.

Start from bottom to top with your Gradient, and as long as you HOLD SHIFT the Gradient will stay straight all the way up the page.

Step 2: Creating a Selection With the Pen Tool

Now to make a selection with the Pen Tool. Using the Pen Tool in Photoshop is more of an Art than anything, so don't get frusturated and give it, the tool certainly takes time to master.

With the Pen Tool, a single click will make a point, but if you click and drag the Pen Tool then creates curves on the points.

Step 3: Creating Your Aura Gradient

Now to create your Aura Gradient.

When ever in doubt of what you're doing, make a layer for it. It's alot easier to delete a layer and start where it left off, rather delete the whole picture because you didn't make layers.

For the Aura Gradient, I'm picking white which seems to turn out pretty well. You can pick any physcdelic color you want for your gradient, mix and match, have fun with it.

Step 4: Applying Your Aura Effect

Now to apply your Aura Effect you've created with the Gradient Tool.

Make Selection will be your friend while using the Pen Tool. If you have something sneaky you just can't seem to select, adjust the nodes that you put down from the Pen Tool, and get it 100% right before you Make Selection out of the path.

To make a selection out of a path, make sure the path is first selected, then right click ANYWHERE on your image and select "Make Selection."

To Inverse your selection you've made from your path, goto select, then inverse or Shift + Ctrl + I

Step 5: The Final Outcome

Tada! You should be done with something like what I have.

Now you have the skills to do a bit more with the techniques I've shown you. As you can tell, most of this technique lyes in the paths, so play around and make detailed curves to resemble symbols, words, pictures, and more!

Enjoy and thanks for checking me out!