Create a Ki energy ball

Create an amazing Ki energy ball with this photoshop tutorial.

In this tutorial we are going to work a lot with blending modes, Motion and radial blurs, some brushes and liquify to create a very cool effect.

Watching Dragon Ball Z (not the %^$ movie) I wanted to recreate the energy or KI Balls and the glowing in the characters.

This technique uses the liquify filter to create the ball, the result is great, so let’s get started!

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What we need

Main Image:






Final Image Preview

Before we get started, let’s take a look at the image we’ll be creating


Step 1  Extracting the Background

a)   Open the main character image as is and double-click on the “Background” layer to make it editable.

b)    To delete the background we will use two different techniques. – For the body use the PEN TOOL, to make a path. Convert it to a selection: In the path tab select make selection.

c)    For the hair we use the channels technique. This can be seen in detail in the following tutorial:

Remove the Background of a Complex Image

Step 2 Create the background

a)    Open the cloud file

b)   Apply motion blur: Filter > Blur > Motion Blur

c)    Set an angle of 37 and 999 pixels for the distance

d)   Create a new layer

e)    Open the gradient editor and create a new gradient. For this I’m using

f)     Paint the new layer with the gradient and set the blending mode to overlay.

Step 3 Motion Blur

a)    Duplicate the main character

b)   Move the copy below the main one

c)    Apply motion blur at 37 degrees and 516 pixels distance

d)   Set the blending mode to Screen

e)    Duplicate this layer to create a more intense effect

Step 4 Lighting the body

The body should reflect some lights from the energy ball

a)    Create a new layer name it blue lights

b)   With a soft edge brush paint with a blue color the body, especially the arms

c)    Set the blending mode to soft light


Step 5 Creating the energy Ball

a)    Create a new document and paint in white

b)   Set the back ground color to black

c)    Filter > Clouds > Difference Clouds

d)   Create a round mask and remove the outer part

e)    Go to Filter > Liquify

f)     Select the Bloat Tool and with a brush of the same size as the ball apply 3 or 4 bloats till you got a nice round shape

g)    With the mask tool refine the ball shape

h)   Drag and drop it to the main document

i)     Set the blending mode to Hard Light

j)     Duplicate the layer with the same blending mode

Step 6 Hands

The hand is behind the ball so we have to bring it forward

a)    Make a selection of the hand

b)   Copy it and paste it in front of the energy ball

Step 7 Energy and lights

Part 1 Central light

a)    Open the gradient editor and create a new gradient from white through blue finishing in a dark blue almost black

b)   Create a new layer (behind the front hand) a paint it with a radial gradient.

c)    Set the blending mode to linear dodge add

d)   Some of the blue color will appear behind the front hand, erase it.

Part 2 Finger Lights

e)    Create a new copy of the front hand

f)     Place it in front all the layer stack

g)    Apply Filter > Stylize > Glowing Edges

h)   Set as follow

i)     Set the blending mode to Screen

j)     Apply Radial Blur: Filter > Blur > Radial Blur

k)    Duplicate the layer but set the blending mode to Vivid Light at 42%

Part 3 Glowing Lights

l)     From the set of brushes select No. FL1 and paint just once with a white color. Add outer Glow with a yellow color

m)  Paint a second layer with brush FL3. Add outer glow with an orange color

Step 8 Glow

a)    Select the main character layer an apply an outer glow layer style

b)   Select an orange color and set the Blend Mode to Color Dodge

c)    For adding some sparkles create a new round brush with this settings:

d)   In a new layer paint some sparkles (not to much) at set the blending mode to overlay

e)    Now apply to the main character some Inner Glow. This time a yellow color with an overlay blend mode.

Step 9 Shadows

a)    Create a new layer

b)   Select a round mask with a 200 pixels feather and create a round mask

c)    Select Inverse and paint it with a black color

d)   Set the blending mode to overlay

Step 10 Color Correction

a)    Create a new adjustment layer for correcting the color. Create a Color Balance Adjustment Layer

b)   Set the Midtowns and the highlights increasing the reds as follows:



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Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 Tutorials

About The Author

Javier Cantero

I'm a graphic/web designer, entrepreneur and the founder of Designer Freelance. I hope we can share lots of information and ideas. You can follow me on Twitter @designerfree

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31 Comments to Create a Ki energy ball

  1. Cool one such a awesome effects .
    I love this creative l9ighting ball making on photoshop and i also thankful to you to share this nice tips of making this great effect.
    I like this blog.

  2. Corporate logo design on September 8th, 2010
  3. […] Direct Link […]

  4. Create an amazing Ki energy ball : Speckyboy Design Magazine on September 8th, 2010
  5. lovely and great article. Thanks

  6. Computer =) on September 8th, 2010
  7. nice and great idea of working

  8. skvidur on September 13th, 2010
  9. This is AWESOME…Very helpful, thank you

  10. TheMask on September 13th, 2010
  11. Really great tutorial. Thanks for posting :)

  12. Childmonster on September 14th, 2010
  13. u have a very amazing idea.
    i love this exercise a lot n i wanna translate it in arabic, to send it to my friends.
    thank u very very very much.

  14. abubakr on September 15th, 2010
  15. thank so much , it ‘s so cool . Thanks , hey look out … kekeke

  16. chicken on September 17th, 2010
  17. excellent job man……loved it….awesome

  18. Navneet on September 25th, 2010
  19. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  20. nursing schools on September 25th, 2010
  21. […] Create an amazing Ki energy ball […]

  22. 160+ Articles: The Best Roundup of Creativity on the Web September | nenuno creative on October 1st, 2010
  23. so beautiful bro,….

  24. tyo on October 6th, 2010
  25. Tyo

    Thanks, it is one of my favorites

  26. Javier Cantero on October 6th, 2010
  27. Wow, nice effects man. Godspeed.

  28. Edward Bean@induction lighting on October 11th, 2010
  29. dud this is absolutely amazing. I have been searching for something like this for a while . Lighting effects do some real magic and I could never figure out how to do it as as you are showing. Thanks a gain.

  30. induction lighting on October 12th, 2010
  31. Great you find it useful, I really love lighting effects

  32. Javier Cantero on October 12th, 2010
  33. Thanks Edward

  34. Javier Cantero on October 12th, 2010
  35. I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …

  36. Jason Ahyou on October 14th, 2010
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  41. amazing tutorial, took a pic of my brother holding the ki ball. I am submitting it this week in a compeition in my camera club, if i get a judge that dislikes photoshop i am screwed. Thank you very much.

  42. justin melia on October 29th, 2010
  43. Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…

  44. 3 Bowl Set on November 9th, 2010
  45. this effect is good .goon

  46. peter on November 11th, 2010
  47. This is a super. Loving it man!

  48. Lasonya Parlor on November 17th, 2010
  49. Hey mate, thank you for that awesome tutorial. I tried to make it same and result is here hhaaha take a look at mine ;) http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/214/dene.png

  50. Spawn on November 22nd, 2010
  51. Great tutorial. I really like each of the techniques you used. Keep up the awesome work.

  52. Rob on November 24th, 2010
  53. Wow Excellent tutorial! it’s very cool. keep it up. thanks for posting.

  54. Swopper on December 16th, 2010
  55. I am having trouble with step 5. I am having trouble with the liquify. Nothing is happen when I am using the bloat tool. please help.

  56. Michael on December 18th, 2010
  57. What a effect

  58. Ali on December 28th, 2010
  59. […] Create a Ki energy ball […]

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