Fireworks: Free Photoshop Tutorial

Welcome to this free photoshop tutorial from the Attitude studio! This basic tutorial will guide you step by step to drawing your own fireworks and help you get started with firework/explosive/sparkle effects. So here are our 11 steps to a firework display of your own!

Step 1

Begin with a new Photoshop document, We are using a landcape 1000x800 document and we have set the background colour to a deep inky blue sky.

Step 2

To start making the burst effects, we need to adjust the brush style to achieve the fading "falling star" effect. Start by selecting the brush tool and setting the size to 3 px and colour to white. In the brush panel, proceed to select Shape Dynamics and set the fade to about 250. The preview will give you an idea of how this will look. Once satisfied with the brush style, select the Pen tool by using the tool menu or hitting (P). We will use the Pen tool to draw the burst curves.

Step 3

Using the Pen tool, create and arch starting from the outside and finishing where you intend the centre of the firework to be. You can adjust the curve until it looks smooth before right clicking and selecting Stroke Path. This will give you the option to apply a stroke style to the path. Select Brush on the drop down menu and click OK.

Step 4

You can keep adjusting the effect by going back to the brush tool until you have it looking perfect. Continue to draw more bursts, always starting from the outside into the centre. as you do this, you can change the colour as we have and add other effects such as a feathered edge to the brush style. Make sure you use layers to separate your fireworks! this will make things much easier later when you want to adjust colours or add effects.

Step 5

Once You have drawn your bursts, right click on the layer to select Blending Options. In here you can add a subtle shadow and outer glow. We have used an overlay drop shadow of black at 20% with 10& spread and 15 px size. We then used a32 px Outer Glow of white at 60% opacity.

Step 6

Now we will create the central explosion! To do this, we make a new layer and use a very large white brush with 0% Hardness to create a spot of light in the centre of the firework. In the Layers panel, set this layer as Soft Light in the top drop down option. you may also want to lower the opacity. By keeping this layer subtle, we can then add a new layer and repeat the process with a slightly smaller brush. By using this process, you can achieve a more define light effect and the central point becomes more powerful. We added one more layer using a much smaller brush to create a bright light in the centre.

Step 7

Using the same process, add small white light spots on the end of each burst. Add a new layer and do the same with a slightly smaller brush using a bright colour. This will achieve a brilliant glowing effect.

Step 8

To create the sparkly trails we used a scattering effect on the brush. Select the brush tool and use the Brush panal to set the brush to about 3 px and the scatter to 1000%, use the minimum roundness slider to adjust the roundness of each spark. The preview will help you adjust to your liking.

Step 9

Use this new brush to make trails on each burst. Remember to do this on a new layer, this way you can select the eraser tool and erase the sparkles to shape the trains to fade out as shown.

Step 10

Adjust the scatter brush to various larger sizes to add some central sparkles. These look great with a low opacity and feathered edges.

Step 11

Finally, make a new top layer and use a very large brush with 0% hardness to ad darker edges to your image. this will enhance the glow in the dark effect. Set this layer to Multiply in the Layer panel and set the opacity back to about 50%

And there you have it, Once you have the basic ideas, you can try out different fireworks, colours and effects. Just keep using layers to build up the lighting effects and always use layers. Have fun and enjoy bonfire night!