I was browsing Dribbble when I noticed a few shots using an effect which appears to look like a magical beam of light, or a "magical smoke" and I could not find out how to create such an effect. If these effects are created in a software which is different than Photoshop, please let me know. Including a PSD file would also be very nice.

Here are a few examples. Notice the blue/white smoke surrounding the contact card:

enter image description here

And again:

enter image description here

Thanks ahead.

  • 1
    I can find multiple tutorials for that on google. Can you be more specific what exactly you have trouble with?
    – KMSTR
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 13:15
  • E.g. smashingmagazine.com/2008/04/03/…
    – KMSTR
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 13:15
  • I want to create the effect of light coming out of something (box, hat, coffee cup, etc). And if possible, to learn how to create that smoke effect from the 1st example.
    – Itamar
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 14:24
  • In the link I posted there is a tutorial for light coming out of a coffee cup. I don't understand what the problem is there.
    – KMSTR
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


This is usualy done with custom brushes. Set a smoke brush to white and paint away. Layer masks can crop the brushed layer to only the visible areas of the image I.E. inside the hat. Then blue is painted under that layer to lighten up the picture giving you the impression that light is coming from the hat.

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.