An unusual effect, this Starburst effect can be used for emphasising another design or image – simply place on top of the starburst’s centre to highlight it.

Step 1

Create a new, transparent, image in Photoshop. Make it pretty big – at least 450 x 450.

Step 2

Click the Rectangular Marquee tool (it looks like a dotted rectangle).

Starburst Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Step 3

Make a stripe from the top to the bottom of the image. Then hold down the Shift key and continue them across your image, leaving the same size gap between each one, and making them the same width (use the grey and white squares to help you).

Starburst Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Step 4

Click the paint bucket, and floodfill the selection black. Now go to Select > Inverse, and floodfill the remaining stripes a different colour.

Starburst Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Step 5

Go to Select > Deselect. Now go to Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates. Make sure Rectangular to Polar is checked, click Ok, and you should end up with something like this (if you find that you don’t get enough bursts, make your image bigger):

Starburst Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Step 6

Now go to Layer > Duplicate Layer, and click Ok. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and set it to 5.0 and click Ok.

Step 7

Then go to Layer > Layer Style > Blending options, and change the opacity so it looks all soft like this:

Starburst Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Step 8

Now go to Layer > Flatten Image. Then go to Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap, and play with the settings until you get an effect you like. You can finish there if you like, but you could also click the Smudge icon (it looks like a hand), and drag the tendrils out on the black parts of your burst so they stretch right across your image. Here’s my finished result:

Starburst Effect Photoshop Tutorial