I would like to create a similar effect to this image in Photoshop. The aim is that the background and the effect colours can be changed as needed.

I only need the projection part of it, I don't need the cirlce at the bottom.

I mostly use vector programs and I'm not really good at Photoshop. I've tried to use the mesh fill tool in Corel draw X7 and the trace tools, but the result looks a little artificial.

enter image description here

  • FYI, that's not a spotlight. That's a laser. The aspect of this particular effect is the lines you see radiating from the point to emulate the laser tracing the pattern.
    – DA01
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 18:17

3 Answers 3


You can do this fairly easily with two gradients and some masks.

  1. Black background
  2. New Layer
  3. Add white (reflected) gradient (Or whatever color you want)
  4. Use Edit Free Transform to "pinch" one end to a point (Hold down Command/Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift while you drag a top corner handle.)
  5. Duplicate the gradient layer
  6. Add a layer Mask to the duplicate
  7. On the mask choose Filter > Render > Fibers (use whatever settings you want. more dark areas make the "lasers" seem spaced out more.)
  8. Free Transform the masked layer the same way
  9. Reduce the opacity of the "fibers" layer until you are happy
  10. Add both gradients to a new Layer Group
  11. Add a mask to the group
  12. Add a gradient on the group mask to hide the bottom portion.

enter image description here

You could refine further by motion blurring the fiber mask vertically, or using Levels/Curves to increase/reduce contrast of the mask, or applying separate masks to the gradient layers to control how much is hidden at the bottom.


I had to create a similar spotlight effect in Photoshop many years ago, and started with the colours I needed - in your case it would be blobs of mid-blue, light-blue and near white over a separate midnight-blue background. Create a much larger canvas and use a radial zoom blur. I found that draft or good, rather than best, gave a grittier smokier effect, whereas best would be too smooth. Then you mask off a cone area that you require, and perhaps lighten and enhance the edge of that.


I found a collection of Photoshop brushes from a guy named Ron Deviny a few years back. He's got a set of bokah light brushes that may create the exact effect you are looking for: http://www.devineydesigns.com/Professional/Digital-Art/

May require some tweaking, but I've got a preview on my screen right now that look very similar.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.