As some of you might know, I’ve been working on my bachelor project recently, which involves creating a graphical profile as well as a website for a local store that sells car stereo and home cinema equipment. Today I fooled around in Photoshop and created a starburst effect, something that I have seen quite often over the years, and always wondered how to make. The solution really, if you know it, is dirt simple. No dragging around with the polygonal lasso tool. No downloading custom Shapes. Keep on reading…

First you create a new document, and start making some vertical lines. They don’t have to be the same width. If you want it exact, as I did, use the Grid to aid you.

Then comes the magic. Go to Filter -> Distort -> Polar Coordinates. Make sure “Rectangular to Polar” is checked. You’re done, kinda!

Looks good doesn’t it? If you want the fade/gradient, then here’s how: select the gradient tool, choose “Radial Gradient”, select the color you want to fade to (black in my case) and choose to fade it to transparent. Then tick the “Reverse” checkbox. Now drag the gradient from the center of your starburst, and out.

That’s it. You just made a starburst like the pro’s, and it should’ve taken you less than five minutes.


5 Responses to “How-to: create a starburst effect in Photoshop”  

  1. 1 Eivind

    I’ve been wanting to learn a simple way to do that for at least a year! Thanks!

    But I wish there was an easy way to do it vectorized too..

  2. 2 Marios Tziortzis

    Very nice article. I used exactly the same technique on some clients’ websites. Easy, simple and does the job right!

  3. 3 Andreas

    Thanks Marios, I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  4. 4 Teddy

    Nice tip! I remember finding about this in a Pixel Perfect episode: http://revision3.com/pixelperfect/lightning

  5. 5 Andreas

    Thanks Teddy, and thanks for the tip about Pixel Perfect. I’ve been meaning to subscribe to it for some time, and finally I did. I also found another great resource today when I was working on a project: http://www.pslover.com/


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