Want to create a great background for a layout, but don’t have the patience for anything difficult? This simple tutorial will leave you with a striking lightning background.

Step 1

Open up a new image in Photoshop, any size you want. It may be worth making a bigger image than you need so you can pick a section of it you’d like to crop.

Step 2

Make sure the colours on your palette are black and white by pressing the letter D on your keyboard.

Step 3

Go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds, then press Ctrl (and hold down) and press F, or alternatively, go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds a second time.

Step 4

Then go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the input levels so they say something like, 0, 3.00, 255. Your image should look like this:

Lightning Effect Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Step 5

Optional: go back to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and it will have changed back to 0, 1.00, 255. If you change the middle value to 3.00 again, you can make other interesting effects! Just play around and see what you can come up with.

Step 6

If you colourise (see my colourising tutorial) at this stage, you will end up with something like this:

Lightning Effect Photoshop Tutorial

But if you want to create a full-on lightning look, carry on reading!

Step 7

To create the lightning effect, you need to invert the colours by going to Image > Adjust > Invert. Then you can colourise it to the shades you want (see my ‘Colourising’ tutorial). You should end up with something like this:

Lightning Effect Photoshop Tutorial