II could go into all the different ways of creating blaster effects, as I did with the lightsabers, but for this tutorial I'm just going to do my favorite.

 

    Materials Needed

        -Adobe Photoshop

        -Some sort of gun (I used an old Stormtrooper rendering of mine)

 

    Step 1:  Open your image in Photoshop and create a new screened layer.  Make sure to check the fill with neutral color box.

    Step 2:  Draw a pure white line onto your new layer.  If you want to make it look especially nice, try making a more oval line.

    Step 3:  Now duplicate your blaster layer twice.  Go to your second copy layer (should be on top) and apply a Gaussian blur that is about 1/3 your line width.  Then apply a Gaussian blur to your first copy layer (middle one) that is equal your line width.  NOTE:  When using an oval shape or when you don't know the exact width of your line, just use your best judgment.  The first blur should be a tight glow and the second the falloff.

    Step 4:  Merge your three line layers and go to Image-Adjust-Color Balance.  The color you make your blast is entirely up to you, so experiment here until you get what you want.  I make most of my blast the traditional orange-red color.  To do this crank the red value up to 100% and the yellow to 50% in the midtones, 75% red and 50% yellow in the highlights and 50% for both red and yellow for the shadows.

    Step 5:  Apply a Gaussian blur to the blast layer, just enough to soften the white core so it's not a hard line.

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