Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Sparkles. Everyone loves Sparkles, they’re all, urm, sparkly, but to novice Photoshop users they can be a bit of a pain to try and create. To be honest, they’re actually quite simple to make, so here’s a quick guide on how to make Sparkles in Photoshop.

First of all, create a blank document, size is up to you, but i’m doing 450×450 pixels for the purpose of this tutorial. Fill it with the Paint Bucket tool (Hit G on your keyboard) with a dark grey colour. Not completely black, but close to it, i’m going to use the hexadecimal value of #181818.


Now grab the Paint Brush tool (Hit B on your Keyboard), pick a small, soft brush. I chose a soft round brush for mine with a radius of 13px, as I find this generally suits what I need to do.


Now hit F5 on your keyboard to get the Brush Settings panel open. Use the following settings, or experiment, it’s up to you:




The Opacity and Flow Jitter settings in the bottom picture there are good ones to change if you feel like experimenting a little.

Now that we’ve got our brush settings down, we can start to, well, brush! Make sure your brush colour is white, and make a new layer. Brush in very short “lines”. If that didn’t make sense, hopefully this picture below explains it a little bit better:


Of course, simply clicking and dragging works too, it depends on what result you’re after I suppose. Anyway, keep doing that until you get what you’re happy with, of course, Sparkles can be used in just about anything, wallpapers, maybe you could even use them as stars in some space artwork, whatever you can think of really!

Here’s what I came up with. I decided to add a lightsource in the top left of the image by simply using a big fuzzy brush:


If you want to make your sparkles glow, then I find that applying the following glow helps (Right-click the layer, blending options):


Experimenting with the size of the glow is important here. It completely depends on the image, so use what you think looks best. Here’s what I got by applying a glow to the sparkles in the image:


Try experimenting with Adjustment Layers to change the colour of your sparkles. Click here for my tutorial on using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop. Here’s what I got. When I used the Adjustment Layer I decided to remove the glow on the light source in the top corner because it didn’t quite look right:


And so there you have it! That’s how you make sparkles in Photoshop. It wasn’t so hard now, was it?