I have always wondered how is this being done and always wanted to learn to be able to do it myself. That orange effect looks so cool and fancy. Does anyone know what technique is used to achieve this effect? I've tried doing something similar myself, I've tried painting some orange circles and then applying a motion blur to it, but I'm not getting anywhere near to what is in the wallpaper, I believe there's some other technique used which I'm not aware of. Also I would like to know how to add those cool sparks. ;)

enter image description here

If anyone knows how to do this I'm excited to learn! ;)

  • 3
    On this website it is better to show what you already have so the recomendation is specific.
    – Rafael
    May 30, 2017 at 17:23

2 Answers 2


The sparks are called particle effects, and you will get decent samples and/or methods for making them if you look for that term. The simplest method to make a single particle is to use a small brush, then blur it. Do this in greyscale as a layer mask on a colored layer.

The other effect is called lens flare. Usually this is calculated from the source, but can also be achieved the same way as the particles.

The Battlefield image was, most likely, created using the game engine and camera system. The particle effects and lens flare are simply features of the game's rendering system.



  1. Draw a rounded line. I used a brush of about 7px here and a saturated orange.

  2. Put the spark in one layer. Use blending mode "Linear Add". I added a gaussian blur of 2px.

  3. Put the blured spark in another layer. Use blending mode Color.

My quick result:

P.S. Work in RGB mode.enter image description here

Of course, it is not exact because I need to experiment with the brush color, but looks fine.

You can prepare this sparks as brushes or search for some online images for brushes: https://www.google.com/search?q=spark+brush

(Probably it is not a spark but burning ashes)

And the flares

  1. New layer. Draw some simple strokes.

  2. Motion blur, using a biiiiig value. I used 400px.

  3. Use Screen blending mode.

  4. I needed to duplicate several times this layer because with the blur it became very transparent (In this example is 6x). Layer over layer you will see the effect increasing. You can try blurring this layers in different ways/values but keep the same motion blur direction... or not.

  5. You can do some variations on the initial brush strokes, so these elements will have different bright levels depending on how they combine.

  6. You can play with blending modes, probably one of this layers can be linear Add or something.

enter image description here

I am totally sure this is not the only way, you could use some color masks or something to make this more "editable". I am not even sure if these blending modes are the best options. The point is to play with them!

Do you want to play with fire?

Take a look at flame painter: http://www.escapemotions.com/experiments/flame/index.php

This program uses this kind of accumulative blending modes. Probably will not be specific for this project, but it is an interesting option for "Light Effect".

enter image description here

  • Hmm, very interesting. The sparks are relatively easy to recreate, this is what I've been able to do with inner & outer glow and some gaussian blur: i.imgur.com/shRmixu.png can you spot which is which ;) ? although it's not exact and as advanced as original. Now those flares are a real mystery, what you've done is really cool and pretty similar, but it doesn't look exact like original, still pretty neat. Would be cool to hear from other people/designers what's their take.
    – Giancarlo
    May 31, 2017 at 6:31
  • 1
    It is not the same, because tou need to invest some time, but the base is there. The original has aditional layers, for example some lens flares, and a very difussive outer glow. You can also experiment with aditional layers of yellow strokes, longer strokes, thinner ones, etc.
    – Rafael
    May 31, 2017 at 11:26

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