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Cool Psychedelic Ribbons
Create interesting artistic images using Photoshop's Cloud filter.
By Ryan Foss

This tutorial explores using clouds, coupled with different colored difference clouds to generate some interesting effects.

The image on the right, which I've called Psychedelic Ribbons, is an example of some of the cool images that can be achieved quickly using Photoshop filters.

Psycho ribbons
Click for full resolution version

Start out with a new RGB image 512 by 512 pixels. Using foreground/background black and white (Shift-D), apply the Clouds filter (Filter > Render > Clouds).

photoshop black/white color selection +
Filter > Render > Clouds
= basic render clouds

Were going to go funky by using the primary colors. So lets start with red 256 and use the Difference Clouds filter a few times on top of the black/white cloud texture.

basic photoshop render clouds + photoshop red/white color selection +
Filter > Render > Difference Clouds
(applied twice)
= photoshop difference clouds with red/white color used

Repeat using Green 256, then again using Blue 255.

photoshop difference clouds with red/white color used + +
Filter > Render > Difference Clouds
(applied twice)
= photoshop difference clouds with green/white color used

photoshop difference clouds with green/white color used + +
Filter > Render > Difference Clouds
(applied twice)
= photoshop difference clouds with blue/white color used

Now we make the ribbons, which is really easy. Its the Glowing Edged filter. So, select Filter > Stylize > Glowing Edges... and use the following settings.

photoshop glowing edges, width 2, brightness 20, smoothness 15 = ribbons

Well, it looks pretty cool, though it could be brightened a bit. I did this by using the Auto Contrast option (Alt + Shift + Ctrl + L), or located in the menu by Image > Adjust > Auto Contrast.

Autocontrasted ribbons

Be sure to check the The Versatility of Photoshop's Render Clouds tutorial to see how this image can be made seamless because the Glowing Edges filter breaks down at the image border.

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