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Create a Photoshop Sunburst
Tutorials Photoshop Tips 33592 Views November 21st, 2011

I recently needed a sunburst for one of my tutorials. I had to choose from using one of the free sunburst brushes or creating one myself. Wanting to learn something new all the time, I chose of course to create a sunburst from scratch.

It is not hard to make a sunburst in Photoshop but you really need to know some little tricks to get it right. Remember that this is not a vector sunburst, I will explain how to create a sunburst shape in one of my future lessons.


Canvas Size

First you need to open a new PSD file and set the canvas sizes. The width has to be equal with the height to obtain a perfect sunburst. I will choose 600x600 px.

Photoshop Gradient

Pick the Gradient Tool and choose a black/white gradient with the default Linear Gradient.

Of course you can choose another two colors for the gradient. But you have to make sure that you obtain a vertical gradient. And to do that you have to use the Gradient Tool by dragging a line from the top to the bottom of the canvas. Or to use the same tool by dragging a line from the bottom to the top of the canvas. The idea is clear, to obtain a vertical gradient.

Wave Filter

The next step is to use the Wave Filter. You can find it in the Filter, Distort menu. There are a lot of settings to be made in this form so I will have to explain it. First choose the Type Square for the waves. That way we'll obtain perfect vertical lines that have the same width from top to bottom. For the Number Generators let the default setting 5.

The most impotant setting is the Wavelength. If the Wavelength min and max are equal you will obtain vertical lines that have the same width. Otherwise you will obtain random lines with sizes between the min and max.

What about the wavelenght size? What size should we choose? Well, if you remember we chosen 600 px width for the canvas size. To obtain an integer number of vertical lines we have to choose a number that divides the number 600. These numbers are 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 20, 30, 60 and so on. To obain a beautiful sunburst I will choose the number 30 (we obtain 600/30=20 lines).

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4 comment(s) for "Create a Photoshop Sunburst"

7:15 AM Thursday, December 01, 2011
good tips.thanku reply
7:15 AM Thursday, December 01, 2011
thanks, glad you like it! reply
2:21 PM Sunday, January 08, 2012
nice and well explained....tu reply
6:32 AM Tuesday, June 04, 2013
very cool... a lot can be done using this simple effect.. reply

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