Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

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A few weeks ago I posted artwork I created for a poster inspired by the Man of Steel movie. I used Pixelmator for that project and got quite a few comments and requests about how to achieve the same effect in Photoshop. As Photoshop doesn't have the awesome Vintage filters that Pixelmator now has, I tried emulating the effect using brushes which I will share with you today.

So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a nice colorful background using Photoshop. The whole process is pretty simple and straightforward. One good requirement is to understand a little bit of Color Theory in order to create different color combinations.

Step 1

Open Photoshop and create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 pixels. After that fill the background layer with black.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Step 2

Create a new document and then with the Brush Tool (B) use a very soft brush and then paint some yellow brush spots.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Step 3

Add another layer and then still with the Brush Tool, paint now a blue spot next to the yellow.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Step 4

Add another layer and now paint a red spot. Use the image below for reference.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Step 5

Select the 3 layers and group them. After that convert the group to Smart Objects, Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Objects. Then go to Edit>Transform>Warp. Deform the mesh in order to make the colors transitions less uniform.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Step 6

Now resize the image a little bit, only in the height. Make sure the colors are blending well with the background, otherwise use the Eraser Tool (E) to smooth things out. Also go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Boost the Black and White Inputs to increase the contrast.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Step 7

Duplicate the layer with the colors and change its Blend Mode to Overlay.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Step 8

Change the background color to a dark blue like the image below.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Conclusion

Add your logo and the image is done. There are lots of ways to achieve this effect, this for me is the easiest one, but it's up to you to come up with your own workflow. Remember the most important thing is to have fun.

Super Easy Colorful Effects in Photoshop

Download Photoshop file

Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.

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