Photo Effects

Digital Star Effect

Turn a regular photo into a high-tech digital artwork.

Digital Star Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Creating the Dots – Part One

First, we’ll transform a photo into a series of circles. This is done by combining several filters.

Step 1

Open an image to edit.

Image from

Step 2

Duplicate the layer (Layer> Duplicate Layer or Ctrl+J).

A layer duplicated in the Layers pallet.

Step 3

Select the new layer and apply a Mosaic filter (Filter> Pixelate> Mosaic) with a Cell Size of 8 square.

Applying a Mosaic filter.

Step 4

Apply a Find Edges filter (Filter> Stylize> Find Edges).

Result of the Find Edges filter.

Step 5

Apply a Median filter (Filter> Noise> Median) with a Radius of 2 pixels.

The Median Photoshop filter.

Step 6

To reduce the size of the dots, we’ll use the Maximum filter (Filter> Other> Maximum) to enlarge the white areas. Use a Radius of 1 pixel.

Using the Maximum Photoshop filter.

Step 7

Invert (Image> Adjustments> Invert or Ctrl+I).

The thumbnail in the layers pallet should turn from white to black.

Creating the Dots – Part Two

Now we’ll create the outline of the circles. This layer will also be reused to create the star effect in the next page.

Step 8

Duplicate the top layer (Layer> Duplicate Layer or Ctrl+J) and change the blending mode to Screen.

Layer duplicated and blending mode changed to Screen.

Step 9

Apply a Find Edges filter (Filter> Stylize> Find Edges).

The Find Edges filter create outlines from the edges.

Step 10

Invert (Image> Adjustments> Invert or Ctrl+I).

Layer inverted.

The Star Effect

In this section, we’ll add the star effect. This is done using the motion blur filter.

Step 11

Duplicate the top layer twice (Layer> Duplicate Layer or Ctrl+J).

You should now have a total of 5 layers.

Step 12

Activate the top layer and apply a Motion Blur filter (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur). Set the angle to 45º and the distance to 100 pixels.

Using the Motion Blur filter.

Step 13

Apply an Auto Levels (Image> Adjustments> Auto Levels or Shift+Ctrl+L).

After apply Auto Levels, the motion blur effect should be more visible.

Step 14

Now we’re going to do the same steps againusing a different Motion Blur angle on a different layer. Activate the layer below (Layer 1 copy 2) and apply a Motion Blur filter (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur). Simply type a "-" sign in front of the 45º and click OK.

Using the Motion Blur filter on the layer second from the top.

Step 15

Apply an Auto Levels (Image> Adjustments> Auto Levels or Shift+Ctrl+L).

The star effect is now complete.

Step 16

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Brightness/Contrast) and adjust the settings to get the results you want.

Increasing contrast using a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer.

Final Results

Digital Star Effect Photoshop Tutorial


(Click to view the 100% full size image) 

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