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.
-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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