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Paint starbursts on objects to make them really shine

Added on Thursday 2nd of February 2012 02:51 am EST

By Renée Dustman
Adobe Photoshop CS2/CS3/CS4/CS5
Operating Systems:
Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

The starbursts that the default Star brush tips create often leave something to be desired. Using our technique, which includes two different brush tips, you have complete control over the way your starbursts look.


To create custom starbursts, we’ll:

    Choose a brush tip for the foundation of this technique. Set the brush options to customize the starburst. Create a new layer and paint the starburst.

Adding a strategically placed starburst is a good way to draw attention to a shiny area, as shown in Figure A. In Photoshop, you can create starbursts in a few different ways. For example, you can simply use the Brush tool with a Star tip to create a basic starburst. This may be the easiest way, but it isn’t always the best solution. For more creative control, you can paint your own starbursts using two different brush tips. We’ll show you how!



Control your destiny
Our technique for creating starbursts allows you to create similar accents to those the Star tips create, but better. They’re better because you can size both components that make up a starburst (the rays and center) in any way you want, without distorting the starburst. This is possible because we use one brush tip for the rays and another tip for the center. To give our technique a try, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article and open the file fender.jpg in Photoshop. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Create a copy of this image (Image > Duplicate) in which to work.


Star light
In your duplicated document, you’ll first create the rays of the starburst. Let’s begin by choosing a brush tip.


To choose a brush tip:

  1. Select the Brush tool from the Tools panel and, on the tool options bar, click on the arrow next to the Brush thumbnail to open the Brush Preset picker.
  2. Click on the arrow located in the top-right corner to display the Brush pop-up menu and select Assorted Brushes.
  3. In the resulting dialog box, click Append to add the brushes to the Brush pop-up menu rather than replace the current selection.
  4. With this new group of presets added to your Brush pop-up menu, locate the tip named Crosshatch 4, as shown in Figure B. Double-click on it to select it and close the Brush Preset picker.



Set the tool options
Now that you ha...