Lightning on a path

Lightning on a path
Difficulty: Easy
Description: A tutorial on making lightning that follows a path of your choice.
Author: Mike; Date Added: 2006-07-28; Views: 20790
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a lightning effect around objects and even text in a few simple steps!

Step 1:

Create a new document; I've made mine 400 in width by 400 in height with Background Contents set to Transparent.

Step 2:

Press 'D' to get the original colours (Black is the Foreground Colour and White is the Background Colour) and fill the layer with white by pressing Ctrl+Backspace.

Step 3:

Make a new Layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) and make or put a black shape in the layer; I'd use one that's fairly round, isn't too complex and is filled in the middle (isn't transparent in the middle of the image. I used the Custom Shape Tool to make my own but you could even use text. The shape should take up most of the space in the image. Right click on the layer and left click on Blending Options. Use these settings for the Outer Glow:

Stroke:
 
And if your shape isn't completely black, use a Color Overlay with these settings:

Click OK.

Step 4:

Make a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) and go to Image-> Apply Image. Now, how skinny you want your lightning to be will depend on the amount of times you use Difference Clouds. I used it only once. Then press Ctrl+I to invert the colours.

Step 5:

Go to Layer-> New Adjustment Layer-> Brightness/Contrast. Set the Brightness to -25 and Contrast to +20. Then go to Layer-> New Adjustment Layer-> Color Balance or Layer-> New Adjustment Layer-> Hue/Saturation. Use any settings you like, just make sure Preserve Luminosity isn't checked for Color Balance. Click OK and set the color layer to Overlay, and your finished!
Here are several results of this tutorial, some of them may have been edited:




I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
-Mike