Abstract Lightning Tutorial

Required software:  Adobe Photoshop

This tutorial will teach you how to make abstract lightning. This tutorial is only for experienced Photo Shop users.

1. Start off with your abstract image. Mine is a portion of an old cinema 4d render. Create a new layer and call it “1”. With your airbrush (5px wide) create smooth lines like the one’s I made on my example below. Make them random, but also make it look good, that’s what matters! Make them all meet in the “core”.


2. Click on layer “1” and go to layer styles. Give it an outer glow like on mine with whatever color you like. I used a very light blue color.


3. Now to make them disappear into the dark, erase the edges of the lines. Make it smooth and random, yet nice!


4. Now we want to make it look more like lightning or whatever. With your airbrush, use a 3px wide brush with opacity something like 30 % and drag them from your main lines out into the dark like below. Play around; use some 2px brushes with 50% and some 1px with 100% for instance.


5. Create a new layer and call it “2”. Where all the lines meet, create 3 or 4 big, white “dashes”. Just click once. Make 1 small “dash”. Now we are starting to see that all these lines actually comes from somewhere, but now it looks wierd because some of the lines do not stop in the core. We will come back to that in step 7.


6. Use your smudge tool to drag some of the white mass from layer “2” inwards and outwards to get an exploding effect. Play around!


7. Now we are removing those ugly lines that do not end up in the core. With your eraser, in layer “1”, erase the place where there is an arrow in the image below.


8. Now smudge layer “2” even more and play around. You can also add some random lines.


9. Here’s what I got. Remember that this is not a finished piece. It’s actually rather unfinished. Good luck on your abstract!


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