Rays of Light in Photoshop

    ●   Take a picture and make a spooky background for your project.

Learn About:

Threshold Brush Opacity

  •   This tutorial is part of the Monster Mesh Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Open PhotoShop ~

To start off, find an image that has some gap or spaces where light normally passes through, such as a window, clouds, or hallway or clouds or sunsets and open it in PhotoShop (you'll be moving to Illustrator later).


Step #2: Duplicate the Layer ~

Duplicate the original layer. Right-Click it land select "Duplicate Layer"

clouds layers

Step #3: Threshold ~

Select the duplicate layer and go to: Image > Adjustments > Threshold

… and adjust the Thresold to half black and 1/2 white.

Step #4: Radial Blur image ~

Now go to: Filter » Blur » Radial Blur

… set to: Zoom, Quality: Best, adjust the Amount and change the Blur Center.

Remember: You can adjust the "Blur Center" by dragging its center point around -

thats's the most important part …

Step #5: Blending Mode ~

Scroll through the Blending Modes and find one you like …







Try Multiply, Screen or Overlay or whatever you like best …


If you see other blending modes you like as you're scrolling down, don't be afraid to experiment.


Blending Modes are awesome!

Hint: You can scroll through the different Blending Modes by hitting Alt (⌥)+Shift+Plus:

Step #6: Erase ~

Then get the Eraser Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (E) …

eraser tool

… and select a soft brush …

… and erase out part of the layer where obviously light is not passing through.

Step #13: Save as .ai ~

Then go to: File > Save as ... and save the document as an .psd file.

Step #14: Open your Current Project ~


… if it's the Comic Book Project, open your interior in Illustrator

Click to view the project database

Click to view the project database


… if you're working on the Movie Poster Project, open that …



… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be applied to YOUR PROJECT) …



Step #15: Place your Vase ~

Now go to: File > Place … and place the .ai vase you saved.

… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

Last Step: Save and Attach ~


Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects like this:


  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

Other Resources: