Deke’s Techniques 050: Inventing Custom Starbursts

050 Inventing custom starbursts

In today’s technique, I show you how to create starbursts. Not those boring starbursts that contain text messages like “New!” or “Improved!” or “Pow!” But custom stars that are literally bursting at the seams, much like flares, blasts, and explosions in the real world. All with no more than a star-shaped path outline, a few effects, and Adobe Illustator.

Here’s the official description from

You don’t have to settle for the ordinary, even when it comes to creating a starburst in Illustrator. In fact, this week Deke shows you two techniques for giving your stellar compositions a customized effect in this single movie. In the first example, you’ll start with a simple star-shaped path, and then use such unintuitively named features as Roughen and Pucker, in order to create a celestial body to contend with. And even better, these are dynamic effects that you can assess and adjust to your own taste:

Technique #1: Roughen + Pucker

In the second example, Deke shows a less adjustable but no less effective means of customizing the star shape he used in last week’s technique. By using a much more intuitively named feature, the Crystallize tool, you can make iterations of your original path, adjust the opacity, and blend between them to achieve this effect:

Technique #1: The Crystallize Tool

Along the way, you’ll end up with a couple of techniques in your bag of star-based tricks that’ll allow you to take your celestial creations to new heights.

Every week, there’s a new free technique from Deke. And members can see the entire collection of Deke’s Techniques (along with some exclusive members-only videos) here. Meanwhile, Deke will be back next week with a new Photoshop technique that’s out of this world in a completely different way.

Specifically, I’ll show you how to use Photoshop for its unintended purpose, to mislead the world into believing in things that don’t exist. See you next week!

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 051: Making a Fictional Creature in Photoshop

Previous entry:Advanced Sharpening Techniques (or “Close to the Edge”), Part Deux


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