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Photoshopping a ghostbusters "particle stream" effect

Posted on 2006-10-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am trying to find a tutorial on how to create a particle stream effect (ala ghostbusters) on an existing picture.  I have searched on google and haven't found anything remotely helpful.  

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks
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Question by:Underwhelmed
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by:BongSoo
ID: 17833657
I have no idea what a particle stream should look like. can you post a pic?
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by:Underwhelmed
ID: 17833884
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by:BongSoo
ID: 17834107
that should be relatively easy but I don't have the time. If someone else doesn't do it before the end of the day I may try.
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by:wildbrookmedia
ID: 17836357
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by:BongSoo
ID: 17843713
Here is a good idea of what you will need to know to create this sort of affect. You will do yourself a huge favor by playing with these and figuring out how to do it yourself rather than getting someone to tell you exactly how to do it. Still, if you try this and can't figure it out I will try to put something to gether.

1) Layers. Familiarize yourself with the layers control panel/palette. Play with opacity and multiply (overprint). Using groups is a good one too, but you probably don't need it for this.

2) Paths. Familiarize yourself with the paths control panel/palette, and how to draw them using the bezier curves pen tool(s).

3) Selections. Understand how to make selections including drawing them and converting paths. Play with Feathering your selection to get soft edges.

4) Fill. Fill your selections with color, including Feathered selections.

Good luck
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by:BongSoo
ID: 17868304
How is this progressing?
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by:Underwhelmed
ID: 17868646
I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.  I would actually prefer to have a step by step tutorial.
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by:wildbrookmedia
ID: 17868750
You've been provided with a few of them, did you have a look at the ones that have been provided?
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by:Underwhelmed
ID: 17868797
yes, but it doesn't have the right look to them and I don't know how to make it look right.
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by:BongSoo
ID: 17868812
That was my point. If you took a look at Wildbrookmedia's tutorials, and familiarized yourself with the topics I mentioned, you would either know exactly what you need to know OR be able to ask us more questions so we can help you learn how to do this. You have to help us help you...
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by:BongSoo
ID: 17868817
Sorry, cross post. OK, what is wrong with what you did  or how do you want to correct it?
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by:Underwhelmed
ID: 17868906
The 2 examples above really don't have the same look as the stream.  Here's ultimately what I'd like the stream to look like: http://www.bunnyears.net/gb/wizard/GBvsGrim.jpg

I've tried to contact the artist of this (Matt Wilson) and his email no longer works.
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wildbrookmedia earned 125 total points
ID: 17869081
you need to create a wire (Google wire - photoshop)
ore heres one:
http://www.infinite-fire.net/tutorials/photoshop/wires-effect
Add a glow to the wire...

And create lighting around it (Google lightning - photoshop)
http://www.photoshopcafe.com/tutorials/lightning/lightning.htm
If you follow this tut and duplicate/transform it around your wire it will look pretty similar.

I don't think step by step tutorials are the greatest as then you don't THINK about what you are doing, a person just follows the steps and ends up at a result but then couldn't duplicate how you get there.

A lot of what BongSoo posted above in what to learn about will help you in this.
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Assisted Solution

by:BongSoo
BongSoo earned 125 total points
ID: 17869327
First of all, you are going to have to understand that you are going to have to play with almost every step to get it to look the way you want, but ok, here goes nothing...

first, you have to look at each element separately. Lets start with the main 'yellow' stream...

In photoshop, make sure your Paths palette is open. In the pull down menu, select New Path and name it. How about 'yellow stream' just for the adolescent appeal... now using the pen tool, draw your path. Next, in the color palette at the bottom of the main too bar, choose the color you want this to be. Then, using the pull down menu on the paths palette, choose Stroke Path, and use Brush. You may need to undo this and change the size of your brush and the hardness to get the result you want. (click on brush, and it will show up in the options at the top). Once you are happy with that, create a new layer, name it 'outside of yellow stream' or Fred, or whatever makes sense to you, and choose the color you want for the outside of the yellow stream (I chose a pale greenish blue just to be different). Next, choose the Brush and increase the size about 100% or so (again, you may need to play with this). Then, again, using the pull down menu on the paths palette, choose Stroke Path, and use Brush. If you did it the same as I did, you will have this layer on top of the previous one. Thats ok, just go to the Layers palette, click on that layer, and drag it down the list so its under the other layer. If this looks good, proceed, if not, undo and change your color, brush size or whatever to get the look you want.

Next, to add the lightning affect (you will want to refine this), create another layer above the yellow stream, 'paint' the lightning in white. Duplicate the white layer, and select the background of the duplicate layer with the magic wand tool. Then, select inverse, then select > modify > expand a couple of pixels, and then feather that selection. fill with another color (they used blue in their photo, I used red). Then, with the 'red' layer selected, in the Layer palette I chose linear dodge.

Here is what mine looks like, quick, down and dirty. You will need to experiment to get what you want!
http://www.Ben-Nall.com/images/lightning.gif

I hope that helps? Honestly, you really do need to put some effort into it...
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Author Comment

by:Underwhelmed
ID: 17869397
But I'm so lazy!!!

Seriously, I'll take a look at these examples over the weekend as I am working right now.

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:Underwhelmed
ID: 17872357
I loved the tutorial on lightning, that worked perfectly.  The paths looked better than the wire.

Thanks for your help?
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Expert Comment

by:wildbrookmedia
ID: 17872372
glad you got what you wanted!
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