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Winged Brilliance Release – You voted it!

Winged brilliance! Learn how to use advance Photoshop techniques in this tutorial to create a really sweet effect. You can use this effect and mix it with photos, landscapes, etc. The possibilities are endless!

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So we posted a poll and had a great response of people who wanted to see the “winged brilliance” tutorial.  We’ll be taking these polls before posting content because we want to keep quality control and give you tutorials you actually find interesting.  We don’t want to become one of those tutorial sites that teaches you how to just add a drop shadow to text…we want them to be awesome!  Also, get involved and leave comments when we post polls.  This way we know what to change before releasing a tutorial rather than getting a ton of “you should’ve” comments after.  Lets make this site great!  After all, it’s YOUR SITE!

First thing you will need to do is scroll to the bottom of this page and select the “Download .PSD” button.  It contains all the goodies needed for the tutorial. Only Royal members can download source files.  Go Royal Now! Learn More

Here is the effect we will be creating:

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First create a new document in photoshop with the following settings:

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Now, Reset the Color Picker (press D).
Fill ( Edit > Fill ) the background with Foreground Color (This color should be black).
Create two new layers. On the top layer, using the pen tool (making sure the “paths” box is selected in the top bar) , draw a blob with however many “arms” you want.  We used 4 “arms” to create our shape.

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Click on the “Paths” tab (next to Layers and Channels). You should see the shape you just created. Right click on the “Work Path” and click “Make Selection.” Then click OK.
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Go back to the Layers tab and make sure you are on the top layer. Take the gradient tool and make a gradient like the one below. Drag the gradient from around the center of the blob to one of the edges.  Make sure you have Radial gradient selected.

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Without deselecting, use the Chrome Filter ( Filter > Sketch > Chrome ) with the settings below.

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This part is a bit tricky. Make sure the Marquee Tool (M) is selected and Right-click the blob and choose “Free Transform.” Right click it again and go “Perspective.” Grab the lower right corner and drag it all the way to the left. The free transform lines should make an hourglass shape. Double-click inside the transform box to apply the transformation.

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With the move tool selected ( V)… Right click the blob again and choose “Free Transform.” Once again, right click and choose “Perspective.” This time take the upper right corner and pull it all the way down. Double-click inside the transform box to apply the transformation.
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Right-click on the layer with the blob on it and open up the Blending Options. Put a “Drop Shadow” on it with the settings below:
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In the “Layers” panel, click on the eye next to the black background layer to hide it. Click on the layer with the blob on it and Merge Visible ( Layer > Merge Visible ). Unhide the black background layer. That’s it for the base, now we’ll create the action!
First we need to create the action. An action is a set of procedures that can be automatically run. Right now you should have two layers, the background and the blob.
Make sure you are on the layer with the blob on it. Click on the “Actions” tab (by the “History” and “Tool Presets” tabs). Click on the “New Actions” button (it looks like a paper with its edge folded).
Name your new action “Abstract Twist” and assign any “Function Key” (make sure you remember your function key) and click OK.
The Action is now recording. This means it is recording ever step such as moving s omething or using a filter. Duplicate the Blob layer. On the new blob layer, Go Edit > Transform > Rotate and enter the settings below:

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Press enter to apply the transformation.  You should not touch the X and Y values. Press the Stop button on the Action tab to stop recording.

Now, click the duplicated blob layer right now. What we are going to do is use the action to rotate and resize the blob over and over until it is unnecessary.
Start pressing your Function Key (from step 1) over and over again (not too fast or Photoshop will not be able to keep up) until the blob gets so small that you cannot see it. Delete the black bg layer and this is what we have now!
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Now, we’re going to flatten the shape we just made and duplicate it.  So go to Layer > Merge visible. Now, all of the shapes are merged on one layer into one winged shape… awesome!  Start Duplicating the winged shape layer and rotating the shapes at different angles and different sizes.
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Here’s a way to create an even more interesting effect…select the main winged shape in the middle again duplicate it.  Don’t move this duplicated layer… instead select it and then select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 2.1 pixels:
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Now set this blurred layer to “Screen.”  This will add a cool glow effect.  Now randomly blur the other shape layers:
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Now just group all of these shapes into a folder by selecting them and clicking Layer > Group Layers. Now create a new layer and name it “Orange Gradient.”  Select the little black and white circle in the bottom of the layers palette and select “Gradient.”
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Input the following gradient settings:
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Set the layer blending mode of the gradient to Color
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Create a new layer and select the Brushes Tool (B).  And select a brush with a soft hardness and a color of 00ad4e

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Set the layer you just painted to a blending mode of Hue

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Create another layer above the green one you just used the brush tool on and paint more with the brush tool using the color 00fd7f. Set this layer’s blending mode to Screen

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Download this oil texture and place it in the document by going File > Place and selecting the oil file.  Push Enter.  Now make sure the oil picture is the top layer in the layer palette and set the blending more of this layer to Color Dodge.  This adds an awesome effect… or the “brilliance” as we say :)

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Now we’re going to add what’s called a “Vignette.”  Create a new layer above the oil painting layer and select it and select Edit > Fill and then instead of “foreground color” select just Color and then select white in the color picker and press enter.  Now, keeping the newly filled layer selected select  and type the following settings.

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Now set this layer to Color Burn.  This adds some extra “brilliance” to the edges of the photo.

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The last step now is to insert some background art.  You can download our brushes here that we used.  Create a layer underneath all of the other layers and start having fun! Paint using different brushes.  We also added a gradient overlay to the background images.  Hope you like it!  This technique can be used for completely different applications as well.  Thanks for checking it out.

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