Photoshop - Sparking Wires - 2

Almost ready to jump into ImageReady, but first we need to create two stages of "spark".

1. First we need to duplicate the layer with the wires and the lightning on it. Immediately rename this new layer Small Spark and go to FILTER...Render...Lens Flare. Position the cross-hair for the flare in the middle of the lightning bolt (to see how, go here). In the Brightness box, enter 80% (although this will depend entirely on the size of your image and may need adjusting).

2. Now duplicate the layer with the wires and lightning on it (not the new layer you've just created) and rename this layer Big Spark. Is your layer stack like that to the right? Go back to the Lens Flare box and this time make the Brightness 120%. It doesn't particularly matter which order of layers is above the background layer, just that you've got FOUR layers in all.

The brightness of the lens flare(s) may have made the edge of the Lightning "patch" obvious. Take some time and care here using the Dodge and Burn tools to tidy it up. Into Image Ready!

3. If you're not sure about how to do this, go here. This will also give you a good introduction to ImageReady.

So, with the Layers, 4-Up and Animation palettes visible, we need just three frames, which you can achieve by turning the visibility of the layers off and on:

Each of the three layers must the Background layer visiblity turned on!

Here, we've made the first frame with just the "Lightning" layer visible.

For the second frame, we turned the visibility of the Lightning layer off and turned the visibility of Small spark on.

Finally, for the third frame we turned off Small Spark and turned on Big Spark.

Now we need to give the animation some timing. Click on the small drop-down arrow next to 0sec on frame one and select 0.5 sec. Repeat this with frames 2 and 3 but make these 0.1 sec. Press the "Play" button at the bottom of the animation palette to see the results.

Make sure the 4-Up tab is selected at the top of the Preview palette, click on the one out of the four that is the best quality/file size etc., make sure you save as a GIF and go to FILE...Save optimized As.

So, all in all quite a complex and advanced tutorial but with a pleasing result.



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