Plasma Ball - Photoshop Tutorial

A plasma-like effect enclosed in a ball - so I came up with the clever title "plasma ball."

The main techniques behind this effect are the Color Dodge blending mode and using 0% fill on layers. A little experimentation with these can produce some really cool glow effects.


  1. Create a new 375x375px document. Fill it with any color, then give it a Gradient Overlay layer style:

    And a Inner Glow:

    Which should give you this:
  2. Create a new layer, select the brush tool, and choose the Smoother Round Bristle brush from the Thick Heavy Brushes set. Increase the diameter to a large number like 1000-1500px:

    Draw some random splotches with the brush, using any color (I used white).
  3. Give the brush layer a Outer Glow layer style.

    For something roughly like this:

    Drop the fill of the brush layer to 0% - this will get rid of the fill color and leave just the glow effect. Since you used the Color Dodge blending mode in the last step, nothing will show up where the background is black.

  4. Duplicate your brush layer, then go to 'Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 degrees CW'

    Duplicate the new layer, and rotate this layer 90 degrees clockwise, just like the last one:
  5. On a new layer, create a circle around the plasma with the Ellipse Tool, and give it this Inner Glow layer style. Drop the fill of this layer to 0%, just like the brush layers. You might need to adjust the size of the glow a little.

    Which should give you this lovely plasma ball:
  6. If you have my luck, this will be the step where Photoshop crashes and you did not bother to save anything. So I followed my tutorial and made another. This is a higher quality jpeg, and I used different brush strokes this time around. It goes to show that the results will vary, so if you don't like the look of your plasma, try experimenting with the brush layer.


Comments

Took it a step farther

This is a fantastic tutorial. I took it a bit farther with sphereize and a few other steps to turn this from a plasma ball into a sun. Very cool!

First try

This was a perfect tutorial, seriously. Only adaptation I had to make was to erase some of the inside of the circle layer when I was done to make it look clearer.

I've got a blue plasma ball now. Almost think mine looks about 5% cooler than the tutorial. Thanks!

garoblog amat sih!

garoblog amat sih!

NICE

Nice tutorial!!!
all of you who cannot get the circle envolving the plasma right:

U are using the elliptical marquee tool,
just use the ellipse tool from the freeform menu,
if you have your colors reseted (D), when you draw the circle you draw a white one, not an invisible one just for selecting things.

hope i helped because the same thing happened to me the first time :):):):)

Nice effect

It looks really cool.

Circle

I cant get the circle to come out of the object, I keep trying but it wont work.

step 5 is really easy, all

step 5 is really easy, all you have to do is draw a circle with the elliptical tool and than right click and fill with foreground color and then set the fill to 0% and then do the inner glow like in the picture

plz

plz photoshop

What?

What?

To answer a couple of

To answer a couple of questions (from weeks ago):

When you draw the circle in step 5, make sure you have "Shape Layers" or "Fill Pixels" at the top of the screen just under the Menu. If "Paths" is selected, you will see just the outline of the shape and a new layer will not be created.

The brightness of the plasma comes from the pink/purple gradient underneath it. So it will be brightest at the center and then fade out the further you get from the center. The brush strokes you make will affect it, too.

As for all other questions, I have no idea.

nice

nice tutorial, thanks...

inner brightness?

excellent tutorial, thank you....one thing i don't get, how is the interior "plasma" of the ball so much brighter than the exterior? when i drop the fill to 0 on those layers, i get the same effect, but much more muted...

ellipse tool

Whenever I try to draw with my ellipse tool, it never works! It shows up in the history though. The temporary lines for drawing the ellipse just doesn't even show up. Help!

Wrong Layer

Wrong Layer

You have to chose the outer

You have to chose the outer colour of your circle through the foreground colour. The colour in the Inner Glow does not work. Make sure the circle that you have drawn is outside of the plasma and selected. Finally, just use the paint bucket tool to apply the colour. I hope this helps.

For those troubled with glowing circle

In step 5:

create a circle around the plasma with the Ellipse Tool,
then FILL IT WITJH ANY COLOR (later drop thiss fill to 0)
then give it this Inner Glow layer style.

should work

Great!

I actually learned something! Great technique... actually wanted to know how to make these kind of things. Might have to experiment a bit on it, but thanks for the tut!

Plasma ball?

Can't you get a tutorial to get some nice effects on the sides of the plasma ball, because it looks wierd as it is. I think it would be better if it looked more like a sphere. Other than that it looks great. Easy to do and nice result. 897 is a good size for most brushes!

Last step doesnt work

I have read everything u wrote, and i did read every1's comments too..
But no matter what i do, i just cant get the glowing outside of the ball..
doesnt understand whats wrong, bc ive done exactly as it says..

OK, sorry everyone, step 5

OK, sorry everyone, step 5 was obviously not very clear. It has been updated now. Here is what I left out: What you need to do is create a new layer, then draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool that is a little bigger than your plasma stuff (I usually use shape layers, so it creates a new layer automatically when you draw a circle, but I guess most people don't use shape layers). Also, drop the fill to 0% on the new circle, just like for the brush layers. Let me know if there is still a problem, or tell me your email address and I'll send you the PSD.

Plasma Ball

I've done all the steps correctly and got the same results as you did so far, until the last step involving the circle selection and inner glow. You aren't really clear on this last step. You don't say if this is a new layer or the same layer, and I have my fill down to 0% on all 3 brush layers. Again, as an earlier poster stated, what circle layer? And if it is another layer, you should have made that obvious. I guess you mean to turn down the fill to 0% on that "circle layer"?

The inner glow

I cant get it on the last step, The inner glow just looks wrong.. Any advice?

Excellent

Excellent

Im stuck

Ive rotated it 90 and duplicated and ratated it again, The thing is do i do the circle on the same thing or make a new layer? and ive tried them both but the glow isnt coming out of the circle ( in Or what ever ) its still like its selected with the moving lines.

Shut the Fuck you stupid

Shut the Fuck you stupid guest. Nice tutorial it's not bad. If I get my site up and running I'll send you the address.

Grr...

I don't have the Brushes. Where can I get them?

Those are the default

Those are the default Photoshop brushes, so I'd imagine that you can only get them from Adobe. Maybe there was a problem with your installation. As far as custom Photoshop brushes, I have some listed in the Resources section.

i cant do the circle around

i cant do the circle around the plasma can anyone help

You have to chose the outer

You have to chose the outer colour of your circle through the foreground colour. The colour in the Inner Glow does not work. Make sure the circle that you have drawn is outside of the plasma and selected. Finally, just use the paint bucket tool to apply the colour on the circle. I hope this helps.

You have to turn the fill on

You have to turn the fill on the circle layer down to 0%

what

what circle layer? all he mentions r brush layers, and the background layer
i have the same problem, and i have the fill of all 3 of the brush layeres at 0, and the inner glow doesnt circle doesnt work right...

never mind

never mind i figured out what was wrong, i was using the elliptical marquee tool instead of the ellipse tool

Eak

It didn't quite work for me but that probebly means I went wrong somewere.
The second one you did deffinetly looked better.

Let us know exactly what

Let us know exactly what step did not look right and we can point you in the right direction.

Last Poster

"Sweet it reminds me of those ball things you put your hand on and the beams touch your hand"
Yes those ball things things are called "Plasma Balls"
Getting the connection (twat)

Plasma ball...

Plasma ball...

Sweet it reminds me of those

Sweet it reminds me of those ball things you put your hand on and the beams touch your hand

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