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Easy Abstract Wallpaper

Hey All,
In this tutorial we’re going to use a few photoshop brushes and some layering effects to create a cool abstract wallpaper.. you know the style, we’ve all had them as our desktop wallpaper at some point or another.
For this tutorial you are going to need to download the following brush:
Tech Brush Set V5 by Z-Design
If you need instructions on how to install brushes, click here.
Step 1:
Start with the size wallpaper you want. I’m using 1024×768 @ 72dpi with a black background. Press D to get your default colours (black and white), create a new layer, then go to Filter > Render > Clouds
Easy Abstract Wallpaper - Step 1
Step 2:
Select Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint, make sure that the type is set to short strokes.
Step 3:
Select Filter > Blur > Radial Blur, change the settings to the following:
Then go to Filter > Radial Blur (up the top) or you can press Ctrl+F to repeat that filter. You should have something that looks a bit like this:
Step 4:
Next go Filter > Distort > Twirl, change your settings to:
You should now have something like this:
Step 5:
Duplicate the swirl layer (select the layer and press Ctrl+J) and flip the new layer horizontally (Ctrl +A to select all, Ctrl+T to transform, then right click and select Flip Horizontal).
Change the layer blending to “Lighten”
Now we want to merge those to layers, so press Ctrl+E, you should now just have the one layer with swirls on it. We’re going to twirl this layer a bit too, same settings as before. You should now have a layer that looks something like this:
Step 6:
Now grab the lasso tool and draw a rough oval around the drawing, roughly 1 quater of the way into the screen on all sides:
Feather the selection by going to Select > Modify > Feather (or using Shift+F6) and change the feather radius to 150pixels. Now select the inverse by going Select > Inverse (Ctrl+Shift+I).
We’re going to create an adjustment layer with this selection so go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, then change your curve to look something like this:
Once you are happy with your adjustment, merge the adjustment layer down (Ctrl+E) Your image should now look like this:
Step 7:
Now we’re going to add some colour to this design, start with an adjusment layer: Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation, change the settings to something like this:
Other colours that would work well include a bright orange, yellow or green.
Step 8:
I’m going move the centre of the swirl off centre using the Transform tool, make sure you have selected the Swirl Layer, then Select All (Ctrl+A), then Transform (Ctrl+T), enlarge the image so that you can move the centre, I’m going to move it towards the bottom right, you should end out with something similar to this:
I found that when I enlarged the swirl, it became a little soft and blurry, so ran the Unsharp Mask too (Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask) with the following settings:
Step 9:
Create a new layer on top of the other layers, this is going to be our technical brush layer. Make sure you have white as your paint colour, then select the technical brush of your choice. I’ve used the brush called Interface 3 (if you mouse over each brush, it will come up with the name), I resized the brush until it just fit on the page, for me that brush size was 1148. I put just 1 click of the mouse so that the brush was lined up with the bottom left of the screen.
Now all you have to do is add some text and you are finished
The result could look something like this:
You could experiment with different colours, twirls and multiple layers.. or even combine this tutorial with the Light Streaks tutorial to come up with your own backgrounds.