Tutorial: How to Make a Lightsaber in Photoshop


Photoshop Lightsaber Tutorial

Find out how to create your own Photoshop lightsaber with this easy step-by-step tutorial!

Last year my good friend (and self-confessed Sci-Fi fan) Jen went to the London Film Museum, and got a great snap of herself with a lightsaber.

However – the prop lightsaber was just a white stick – and I remembered a nice method in Photoshop to add a glowing lightsaber blade effect.

I’ve included a step by step tutorial on how to achieve the lightsaber effect in Photoshop below. If you’d like to lean Photoshop in depth, check out our Photoshop courses.


How to Make a Lightsaber in Photoshop CS5

So – we’re starting with the original image, which looks like this. You can use your own image, or click on the one below for a larger version which you can download (right click > save image as…)


1) Open the image in Photoshop

2) Next we need to make a new layer to add the effect to (so we’re not changing the original image) Select Layer > New > Layer.

3) Now we’re going to draw a white line over the blade. To select the line tool, choose the pen tool from the main toolbar . Then choose the line tool from the new menu at the top of the screen:

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Photoshop Quick Mask Tutorial

adobe photoshop training

Photoshop’s Quick Mask mode is a really easy way of creating selections to cut out part of an image.  You can basically paint the area you want to select, using the using any of the painting tools (Pencil, Paintbrush or Airbrush etc).

Here is our quick mask tutorial:

Everyone loves kittens don’t they? But this one looks a bit boring, just standing there on the grass. So how can we make him a bit more exciting? By using a Quick Mask to make a selection, cut him out and put him somewhere different that’s how!!

Don’t like kittens? Then we’ve got loads of other useful resources on this site including Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts.

1: Start by making a basic selection (using the Rectangular Marquee tool Photoshop Quick Mask Tutorial for example):

Photoshop Quick Mask Tutorial

2: Activate Quick Mask mode by clicking the Edit in Quick Mask Mode button Photoshop Quick Mask Tutorial at the bottom of the Tools Palette or pressing Q on your keyboard.

You will see that the unselected parts of the image are now covered by a red mask or ‘rubylith’.

Photoshop Quick Mask Tutorial

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