Aurora Effect

In this tutorial, I’ll explain you how to make an aurora effect like this:


Step 1:

First of all, make a new document (600×500) and fill it with a gradient. Drag it from top to bottom with these colors: #3C580E and #A4D23B.


Now, you should have something like this:


Step 2:

Make a new layer and grab the Gradient Tool (G) again. This time use these settings:


You should have something like this:


Step 3:

Now it’s time to create the aurora. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw paths like this:


You can change the shape with the Convert Point tool if you’re not satisfied with the shape.

Step 4:

Make a selection out of the shape by right-clicking the image and click ‘Make Selection…’ leave the default settings and click OK. You should have a nice selection now.


Step 5:

Grab the Gradient tool (G) again and use these settings.


Make a new layer and using the gradient tool, drag from top left to bottom right. Like this:


There. You have your first aurora. Repeat step 3-5 to create some more. I came up with this:


Step 6:

Now that your aurora is done, we want to make things even nicer. Click the eye in the layers palette of the background layers, so that only your aurora layers are visible. Create a new layer and go to Image -> Apply image. Use these settings:


Make the background layers visible again.

Step 7:

Click the new layer where you applied the image on and go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian blur. Choose a radius of 7. Now drag the layer to the top left and change the opacity to whatever looks good. I used 65%. Duplicate this layer and drag it to the bottom right, so you have something like this:


It’s looking better now, right?

Step 8:

Now make a new layer and apply image again with the same settings as before.

Go to Image -> Sharpen -> Sharpen. Do it twice.

And you’re done! This is what it should look like:


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