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How to create a light dancer in photoshop

How to create a light dancer in photoshop

In this photoshop tutorial you will see how to create a simple and colorful photo manipulation using only photoshop. You will learn techniques to colorize your brushes and create beautiful light effects. The difficulty of the tutorial is medium.

This is the final result


All brushes used in this tutorials and other resources you need to complete this tutorial are listed below.

Resources needed

The main stock image used on this tutorial is from shutterstock but I saw that it is also available on deviantart.

The brushes that will be used on this tutorial can all be founded on the Light Streak Brushes

Starlight fractal

Step 1

The first thing you have to do is to extract the dancer from the background image and paste it on a different layer but keep that background image because we need part of the floor. Make sure the dancer’s layer is on top of the layer containing the floor.

Create a layer under the dancer and the floor, this will be the background. Using a radial gradient, choose the Foreground Color #11111f, Background Color #000000 and draw a gradient from the center of the image.

Select the layer with the floor and create a layer mask (Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All). Use the Gradient Tool (G)  to create a radial mask and hide part of the dance floor.

Step 2

Make some color adjustments to the dancer using a Curves Adjustment Layer.

Step 3 – The abstract light shapes

It’s time to add the abstract stuff. Open the Starlight image and put it on a new layer between the dancer and the floor layers. Change its Blending Mode to Lighten.

Step 4

Download the Light streak brushes (or use your own if you want) and pick one that you like and paint with it on a new layer.


You have multiple options of coloring your brushes and it’s up to you and your own taste which one you choose.
For this tutorial, I chosen the color gradient technique because it allows you to create more variations in colour.

For this technique, create a Clipping Mask for the layer where you painted with the brush (SHIFT+CTRL+N -> Use Previous Layer to create Clipping Mask) and select the Gradient Tool (G). Use the Linear or Radial Gradient and on the Gradient Editor change Gradient Type to Noise. Click the Randomize button until you get something you like and draw the gradient. Apply a 50px Gaussian Blur to the gradient layer in order to get a smoother transitions of the colours and set Blending Mode to Pin Light.

To make it brighter, I also added to the light brush layer an Outer Glow of 191 pixels and 33% Range and set the Blending Mode of the glow to Color Dodge.
Add more brushes and use the same coloring technique.

Step 5 – More light

Create a new layer on top of all layers on the palette, select the Brush Tool (B) and a big soft edge brush. Paint 2 dots with a blue sky color on the dancer’s body and a  yellow one where the hand touches the ground. Set Blending Mode to Overlay.

Select the dancer layer and apply an Outer Glow of 65px, Range 79%  and Blending Mode – Color Dodge.
You can create the glowing dust rising up from the floor using a soft edge brush and apply Shape Dynamics and Scattering.

Step 6 – Color rain

Make a new layer above the background layer (the one with the gradient, that you made on Step 1), fill it with black and go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set Amount 260%, Uniform and Monochromatic. Apply a Motion Blur filter of 120 pixels and 45º angle.


Open the Levels by pressing CTRL+L and use this settings.

Set Blending Mode to Color Dodge, create a Clipping Mask layer on top of this noise layer and draw a colorful linear gradient. Use the same technique shown in Step 4.


I hope you liked this tutorial and that you learned something new. Of course you can add more things if you like.  Also if you have any questions or want to show your own design post a comment with a link to your image.

About Andrei Oprinca

Yep that's me :) I like Photoshop and Spotify 2 years ago I said to myself I will fill this with some useful info about me but I never had the chance to do it XDDD
  • maman

    amazing guys..!!! thanks for tutorial…!! :)

  • Princess

    WOW!!! amazing!!! thank you MASTER !!!!!!!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/hanggarps Hanggar PS

    huuumt keren banget deh

  • http://Duria mr.durian

    I was born on 5 October Libra My name is durian thailand

  • Asim (Lahore Pakistan)

    In this tutorial the man is not found at the stock

  • http://www.2nime.com Taha Alubaydi

    Thank u 4 this tutorial

  • mitch

    nice result but you do realize u have ripped by using the fractal , its not on DA as a stock image

  • http://www.google.com kaushik

    Hi I love your tutorials, I was wondering how did you create those awasome lite streak brushes were they done in PS or Illustrator?Thanks

  • Nawid Shirzai

    hi i9 live here in saskatoon canada and i was wonderring if i could use you pictuire for a contes we are doing here

  • MDTweb

    i downloaded the brushes but they don’t work. i have photoshop elements 8, think that got something to do with it?

    but i found out that they do work with gimp. hmm?

    anyways, the toturial was great, and you’re really good at this :D

    • MDTweb

      never mind, it figured it out ^^