Simple Lightning in Photoshop

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In this instructable I'll show how to make lightning.

Step 1: Gradient

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

Step 2: Difference Clouds

Go to Filters> Render> Difference clouds.

Step 3: Invert!

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

Step 4: Levels

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!

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!

Your done your lightning. Play safe and don't electrocute anyone! :D

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34 Discussions

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FlorenciaZ1

2 years ago

Oh and if you change the layer blending mode to Screen it'll allow the photo to show through underneath

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robots199

9 years ago on Introduction

For the invert colors in photoshop cs4 for Mac, use command + I

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CrazyAce

11 years ago on Step 6

Actually this isn't very convincing lighting. You can use a PS plug-in for this and it looks much better.

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max_payne16

10 years ago on Introduction

when I apply difference clouds noting happens at all, Any help?

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Shifrin

11 years ago on Introduction

Wow, This is an Awesome instructable! that would be a great desktop backround! ~Shifrin

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jare-bear

11 years ago on Introduction

y dont u try making an animation of this. that would be pretty cool. ill try it myself

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Mr. Bean117

11 years ago on Introduction

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

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fusse

11 years ago on Step 2

Remember to set color to black/#OOOOOO during this step.. else you will have a lightning with some fun colors :P