Make a Exploding "Hero"

In this tutorial I will show you how to make Peter Petrelli from ‘Heroes’ explode from inside radiation. This is a cool effect that you can use on many different objects.

First lets pick some cityscapes and of course our favorite hero. Here are my images.

Next we are going to blend the two background images to create a bright fast moving city. Lay the blurred moving road on top of the blank city. Then change your blending mode to Hard Light. Also turn the opacity down to let it shine though more.

Now go to Filter > Liquify, on your empty city layer. Select the Bloat tool and set the brush size to about 500 and the pressure to 50. Click a few times in the center to warp the picture.

Select Peter out of the picture using the Polygon Lasso tool. And place him in the center of your warped city.

Now duplicate the Peter layer and go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and turn the lightness to 0. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur at 4px.

Turn the blending mode to Soft Light. And rearrange the shadow by using the Free Transform tool (Ctrl+T) to make it look like its laying on the ground. Make sure you put this layer under the Peter layer.

Next create a new layer between the city layer and Peter. Draw a circular path using the Ellipse tool. Next use the Transform tool and rotate the path at 45 degrees. Adjust the path with the Direct Selection tool like I did in the picture.

Select the new layer we just made and go to Filter > Render > Clouds. Use the Liquify filter like we use before but this time use the twirl tool and change the pressure to 100 percent.

Find the Path tab in your Layers window and select the selection we made earlier. Hold Ctrl+Left click to make the path a selection. Now go back to the Layers tab and select your swirled clouds and set the selection with a Layer Mask. Next use a large soft brush and paint the bottom of the circle in the layer mask. This will blend the cloud circle with the picture.

Now change the blending mode to Soft Light. Repeat the last two steps on a new layer to give it a brighter effect. Now change this Blending mode to Color Dodge and turn down the opacity so its not too bright.

Create a new layer and select the path from the Path tab again. Fill in the selection with a light blue. Create a layer mask on this layer and use the same soft brush but paint the inside to leave a crisp edge on the bubble. Also set your blending mode to Color Dodge.

To make Peter glow, Duplicate his layer and got to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur. Set the amount to 100 and the method to Zoom. Change the Blending mode to Color Dodge.

Now duplicate that layer and put in underneath the main Peter image. Use the transform tool to stretch it out. Also go to the Blending options and add a yellow Outer Glow.

Lets add some burst of light by making a new layer and using the pen tool to draw multiple rays coming from the center. Mostly draw them coming from the neck and the hands to make it look like it’s coming from within. Fill the selection with white.

Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur set at 4px. Now use the Eraser tool with a soft brush to fade the tips of the rays.

I added some more burst to the background and put a strong radial blur. I also change the Blending mode to Overlay.

Lets finish this up by recreating the Heroes logo. First start out with all caps 72pt font.

Duplicate the text layer and put it behind the original text, then rasterize it. Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and set the angle to 90 degrees and the distance to 80px.

Use the soft Eraser tool to delete some off the top and bottom. Next go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and give it a nice orange red tint. Make sure you select the Colorize box.

Now just cut out the picture of the eclipse and place it over the “O”. And now your picture is complete! Click on the image below to view the Full size image.

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