Make a dreamy abstract background

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I will show you how to make a dreamy abstract background, which you could use for your web background, or technology related design. In this tutorial, I will combine many built-in filters and blending mode techniques to achieve the final result.

Step 01

Create a new document. I made a 8 inches x 8 inches with white background. Then, fill the background layer with black color. Create a new layer, then also fill it with the black.

Step 02

Go to the menu Filter -> Render -> Lens Fare. You drag the cross icon, to make the circle like below, then press OK.


Then, you have


Step 03

In this step, still on the top layer, you use Free Transform (press Ctrl + T), to reduce the height to 28.3%.


Step 04

Next, you duplicate the current layer, then rotate it for 90 degree.


Then, you choose the blending mode for this layer is Lighten.


Step 05

The purpose of these steps is to create a lighting-flower. So, I continue to duplicate the layer 1, drag it to the top, rotate it about 45 degree, and applied the Lighten mode for Blending Options also.



Then, you duplicate the layer 1 again, drag it to the top, rotate it about -45 degree, then applied the Lighten for Blending Option. You will have the result like below.



Step 06

Double click on the background layer (the bottom layer), then press Ok to unlock it.
Then, go to the menu Layer -> Merge Visible.
And then, press Ctrl + T to go in Free Transform mode, and increase both height and width to 225%


Step 07

Go to the menu Filter -> Distort -> Wave, and applied the settings below.


Step 08

Duplicate the layer and then go to the menu Filter -> Distort -> Twirl, and applied the settings below.


You also applied Screen mode for Blending Options on this new layer.

Step 09

Now, you continue to duplicate the layer and rotate it again, and again to create some abstract graphics. In my works, I duplicated it about 4 times, and rotate it in each different ways to have this result.


Step 10

Then press the round button (half black, half white) at the bottom of the Layer panel and select Levels to open the Levels dialogue, then you could use my numbers below. or you could play around with others.


Step 11

In this step, you try with Hue/Saturation.


The final result will be like this.


(You could try to use Gaussian Blur filter to make it more mysterious if you like)

  • Chelle

    I tried this tutorial but for step 7 it wont let me set my wavelenght to higher than 120 :( Help?


    Its realy amazing



  • andy

    dear chelle,

    before you change your minimum wavelength you have to change your maximum. same thing happened to me at first :)

  • Sepok

    For some weird reason I cant select lens flare.
    Any idea why??

  • MrBoT

    Set your maximum wavelength first


    Great Tutorial

  • cathy

    the wave and twirl are completly diffrent if i set the same settings as the ones shown above. how come?

  • sari,from dubai

    its really great tutorial,thanks and continue.

  • echo ng malabon

    this tutorial is soooooooo great! simply amazing

  • mary

    Wow, this is a really useful tutorial. The steps are simple but the end result is fantastic. Thanks!

  • yulia

    thank you. very nice

  • pieter

    I have the same probleme as cathy! I never come up with the same result, it’s always different …
    any sugestions? the final result is stunning! I really want to be able to make it myself. Help me please ;)

    nice tutotorial btw.

  • harish

    Its Really awesome and great……………………………………..

  • lucas

    wow nice its really like whoaaaaaa!

    *lucas got dizzy and fell of his chair*

  • ranjeet

    Very nice ! I like is !! thanks & continue.

  • Black-Rose

    awesome tut! but, step 4 dosen’t work for me, it won’t let me do that. when i do, both the layers come out the same…

  • Tamika

    thats tight :-)

  • http://No Rama

    It’s very nice to do. I like this very much. Thank u

  • ero

    hi man! yu are incredible it good idea
    Im fascinated

    sory for my english

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  • infocus digital photo retouching

    Really impressive result, in my opinion though I prefer the sepia version to the blue

  • Lawren

    Great tutorial. When I got to step 8 I added some of my own enhancements and it turned out awesome. Thank you.

  • samantha odegard

    idu. :/

  • http://www.nyawebsite nya livingston

    I once a web site to

  • / Milev

    Hey It s great tut tnx

  • rose

    can i put some pictures in the background?

  • dangtruong

    why not ? :)

  • Harris

    I have the same probleme as cathy! I never come up with the same result, it’s always different …
    any sugestions? the final result is stunning! I really want to be able to make it myself. Help me please ;)

    nice tutotorial btw.

    same there..

  • Johnny

    how come i get get lens flare at step 2!

  • CMYK

    Nice post! thanks!!

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  • Zenonas Pilalis

    Hi, i am a student at Rutlish school, i would like to use your backgrounds for my gcse Dida project Please get back to me through an E-Mail.

  • Photo Retoucher

    cool effect
    good tutorial

  • Myat Moe Aung

    How nice? thank

  • francis

    choose the blending mode (pls how do i do that) ?

  • sue

    Thanks very much,it’s pretty cool
    however, i totally fail at step 7 and 8. I typed in exactly the data in the picture, but the result is nothing like yours. what should i do?

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  • Mixiel

    That’s cool, looks like a galaxy. Btw, Flame Painter creates similar results.

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  • Danny

    Cool bro! Thx for the tutorial… :)
    I used that with a different effect…

  • avinash sharma

    very nice thanks

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