Have a guide or tutorial? Post it up!
By Cole Funstuff
#19448
First off, let me state that to get a movie accurate beam, you need to practice and practice some more. I did my first beam back in 2002 in Microsoft Paint and it looked like silly string. Photoshop takes some getting used to so don't expect to achieve movie quality effects the first time. That being said, let's get this show on the road...

Start off in Photoshop with the picture you are wanting to manipulate. In this tutorial, I chose to use a screen shot from the movie itself.
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First, make a new layer and draw a straight line originating at the tip of the wand as so...
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Next, press Crtl-T to rotate the beam to face the direction the wand is facing.
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Now, go to Image - Adjustments - Hue/Saturation. From there, select Colorize, and move the sliders around until you are able to change the color of the beam. You can also go to Layer - Layer Styles - Color Overlay and select the color that way...
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From here, we need to duplicate the layer and apply a Gaussian Blur to each. The layer underneath has two noticeable differences: it is a slightly darker orange and has a larger blur radius...
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You now need to add the glow around the beam. To do this, select the lower layer, go to Layer - Layer Styles - Outer Glow. Change the color to a dark orange, and change the blending option to Normal. Also move the spread and size sliders to make the glow larger like the one shown...
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Now is where it gets a little harder. There are two parts to the lightning. There are the bolts that circle closely to the beam itself, and then the bolts that shoot out farther away. To make the closer ones, take a white brush on a new layer and start to make jagged lines around the beam. Once that's done, apply a blur to it and you should get something like this...
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Apply a outer glow to that layer to make them stand out more. Next we have to do the larger bolts. Again, you will have to draw these on a new layer by free hand. Once drawn, you should apply a glow to this layer...
Image

Almost done!

We now need to add the lens flare to the picture. For this, make a layer on top of all the other ones, select a white color with a yellow tint to it. Make the brush size a large one and just plop down one click. Apply and blur yet again. You should now have this...
Image

The very last step is a critical one. This is how you make the picture seem believable. Select your original picture layer and go to Filter - Render - Lighting Effects. Select Omni as the light type and change the color to that of your lens flare. Make the light strong enough to have an effect. YOU'RE DONE! You should now have something that looks like this...
Image

Again, this tutorial was made to give you a start towards making your own beams. You will need to tweak it to meet your own pictures needs. I will hopefully have the .psd file up soon so you can download it and view it for yourself. For now, enjoy!

EDIT: For those of you who want to add more bend to it, here is how to do it. The reason there isn't much in this example is because Ray doesn't move his wand much in this scene...

First make sure your beam is pointing in the right direction as stated before. Next, you'll want to go to Filter - Distort - Wave... You should have a window like this pop up:
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Play around with the options (mainly amplitude and wavelength) until your beam gets the desired amount of bend to it...
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Hope this helps out!

Cole,
Last edited by Cole Funstuff on February 12th, 2007, 12:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By phantom50
#19910
Very cool, Cole. Any chance you could add just one more addition to this tutorial? I think some people will ask about adding waves to the first layer beam. And it's not hard to manipulate that line via nodes.

Only other thing would be animation for film, but that's a whole other bag of worms. Good work!

Brock
phantom50
By Cole Funstuff
#19925
Alright, I updated the post to include adding a wave to the bottom. Also, plan on a tutorial coming out to make the animation in Adobe After Effects and also a GB2 beam addition. Good luck guys. Hope to see your results!

Cole,
User avatar
By Kingpin
#20233
Cole, that's quite impressive... the central beam is a lot better then the one I featured in my own tutorial, will you be displaying a pic of the finished beam using the wave filter?

My only criticismm is that I think the flare at the gun tip was actually white instead of yellow, or could be a flare with a central white colour and an outside yellow tinge.

But that's just a thought on my account, some brilliant work. :)
By Cole Funstuff
#20238
Yea, I'm going to have to agree with you about the flare. It was a last minute thing I added before I finished the project.

I wanted to post up the new pic with the wave and make the file available for everyone to download but my laptop crashed the other day and I probably won't be able to get anything off of it. Once I get back up and running, I'll make a new one and get it on here for you guys.

Cole,
By DaveFrehley
#38424
Awesome tutorial!!! I just stumbled across it while looking for something to help me create the stream effects on a couple of photos of my little brother in his ghostbusters costume. We're going to be ghostbusters this halloween, and I ordered his costume early since he's been on a ghostbusters kick lately. I found a 2-pack of the DVD's in walmart for 10 bucks, and I told him he had to watch them since he hadn't seen them... and now he's obsessed! LOL He watched the dvd's all the time, and he said he wanted to be a GB for halloween.

His costume arrived last week, and he's been wearing it pretty often. I decided to take some pics to edit in photoshop, and that's when I realized I wasn't sure how I should go about creating the effect. That's when i found your extremely helpful post!

Here are my results. keep in mind this is my first attempt & nowhere near as good as yours... but it's not TOO bad, i think.

Before:
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After:
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Last edited by DaveFrehley on June 3rd, 2009, 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Cole Funstuff
#42386
Very cool. It's always awesome to hear about kids watching Ghostbusters for the first time!

I noticed that the background in your picture is a little over-exposed. I wonder if you applied the lens flare effect on the base image. If you want just the flare, might I suggest you make a whole new layer, fill it with black, change the blending option to "Screen", then apply a lens flare. This way you won't alter the background and the effect will stand out more. Mess around with things a little bit too. The more you experiment with it, the better and better you'll get.

Again, great first attempt!

Cole,
By ghostnerd
#78007
okay. i like the results with Photoshop. I dont have that program. all i have is Paint, HP Photosmart Premier, and Lexmark Imaging Series. is there anyway I can make the stream with any of these programs, or would I have to get Photoshop?

and if I do, is there anywhere I can download it for free, or would I have to buy it?
By Cole Funstuff
#78404
If you want a good beam you'll need some sort of photo-manipulation software to do it. I think there is an open source equivalent for Photoshop but I don't know its name or much about it. A quick Google search may help you there. The steps should be almost the same, you just won't find the tools in the same places probably.
By StephenNess
#78464
Protonguy06 wrote:If you want a good beam you'll need some sort of photo-manipulation software to do it. I think there is an open source equivalent for Photoshop but I don't know its name or much about it. A quick Google search may help you there. The steps should be almost the same, you just won't find the tools in the same places probably.
It's called GIMP free to download and use.
By ghostnerd
#78524
okie dokie. I've got the GIMP downloaded, now how can I make the stream? would it be similar to the tutorial for Photoshop?
By graboskyc
#78843
Yea the Gimp does a decent job so you should be able to follow the PS tutorial except that all the menus are different in the Gimp. You can download a plugin called "GimpShop" that will redo all the Gimp menus and turn them into the same menus as PhotoShop.

Also if this is all your are doing, you can download a 30 day free trial of PhotoShop CS4 from adobe.com
By what0080
#90486
Based on your tutorial and what I could gleam from screenshots and other materials, I made my best approximation of the Ghostbusters Game beams:

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Am I doing anything wrong?
By Cole Funstuff
#90671
Really nice work man! The only thing I notice is that the lightning has a little too much "purple" in it, but I only say that after looking that picture over meticulously. Congrats!

...now if I can only finish up that After Effects tutorial... ;)
By henkbanaan
#102524
Protonguy06 wrote: ...now if I can only finish up that After Effects tutorial... ;)
Very nice tutorial, man! Has been very helpful. But Im also realy interested in your After Effects tutorial. Hows the status on that one ;) ?! I'm a real noob with After Effects so I could use a good tutorial. The few I found on the web weren't that useful so I'm looking forward at yours!

Ltr!
By Cole Funstuff
#102632
I never really started working on it to be honest. School started to get in full swing and engineering isn't as easy as I thought it would be. ;)

If I find the time I can try and make one up. All it really consists of is making a layer, adding a beam, anchoring the beam to the tip of the wand, then applying a glow and wave filter to it. If you mess around long enough you can figure it out (it's almost the same as the Photoshop tutorial).

Glad I could help you out!
By henkbanaan
#102660
Allright, no probs. I'll mess around a bit and see if I can get some results.
Just another question regarding this photoshop tutorial. When I add the omni light type, parts of my images always get over-exposed. Is there away to prevent this? Also where do you put the light, directly on the flarepoint of the gun or behind it on the person who is holding the gun?

Cheers!
By DaveFrehley
#124833
That's awesome! Are those lightning brushes readily available online?

I did one more of my little bro some time ago...... I like this one more than my first attempt, but the lightning always gives me trouble. I can never seem to draw it to look like lightning so I wind up stealing the lightning from the OP's beam tutorial & I use the transform tool to fit it to my beam.

Before:
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After:
Image

An interesting note: If you look at the photos of my brother in the BEFORE pics above (i'll repost the first one below) there is actually a little "orb" that some people associate with spirit/ghost activity. Can't say i believe the same thing, but I thought it was interesting that they appeared while he was wearing his Ghostbusters costume. :whatever:

Image


Edit: Thank you for the tip on the lens flare, Protonguy! I missed your response before. :blush: I only caught it by reading back.
By DoctorBlindsy
#137414
Holy moley!

I hope I'm not necroposting but this is absolutely fantastic!! Thank you so much for sharing this ... Its stunningly accurate and just wins in all accounts. It'll also make my life a bit easier when trying to do the beams.

Thanks again!
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