Do you want to learn how to get a rainbow distortion effect on pictures? Today, I will show you a simple way to create a Photoshop zoom blur effect with glitchy colorful edges. This effect is inspired by DanceXL Radio/Playlist from Apple Music.
If you want to find the easiest way to add a zoom burst effect in Photoshop, take a look at this beautiful action, which will convert your images into amazing artwork with almost no effort. All the layers and colors of the final result are fully editable, so you will be able to change the colors and all the elements of the effect.
If you prefer to learn via video, watch how to get the rainbow distortion effect on pictures on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube Channel:
What You Will Learn in This Rainbow Distortion Photoshop Tutorial
- How to prepare the document for the zoom blur Photoshop effect
- How to create a rainbow distortion Photoshop effect
- How to add light leaks to a rainbow distortion Photoshop effect
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:
1. How to Prepare the Document for a Blur Edges Photoshop Effect
Before creating our Photoshop zoom blur effect, let's prepare all the elements of the composition. Create a new document with a size of 2000 x 2000 px and Background Contents set to Black.
Let's go to File > Place and put your image in the document.
Select your photo in the Layers panel, and then go to Select > Subject.
Refine the selection using the Lasso Tool (L). Hold Shift to expand the selection or Alt to decrease it.
Press Control-J to cut the image, and then delete the Photo layer.
Select the image and press Shift-Control-Alt-B (or go to Image > Adjustments > Black and White) and hit OK to apply the Black and White filter.
Let's go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and set Brightness to 80 and Contrast to 35.
Create two duplicates by pressing Control-J and rename the layers to Red, Green, and Blue.
Double-Click on the Red layer, and then Uncheck all the Channels except the Red.
Leave only the Green Channel visible on the Green layer and only the Blue Channel visible on the Blue layer.
Create any text you want to use, and then Right-Click > Rasterize Type in the Layers panel.
Create two duplicates of the layer, and rename them to Red, Green, and Blue. After that, Uncheck the Channels as we did before.
2. How to Create a Rainbow Distortion Photoshop Effect
Now, we need to take Smudge Tool with Soft Round Tip and Size set to about 400 px and Strength to 50%.
Select first the Red layer and start using the Smudge Tool to create a blur edges Photoshop effect.
This is how your image should look:
Once you've finished with the red layer, use the same technique for the Green and Blue layers.
Select all the photo layers and Right-Click > Convert to Smart Object.
Let's go to Filter > Blur Gallery > Tilt Shift and set the Blur to 15.
Now we need to drag the lines of the Tilt Shift filter frame, as you can see below:
Add one more blur edges Photoshop effect with a Tilt Shift filter. Set the Blur to 15, as we did before, and then Rotate the filter to 90°.
Select the Smart Filters Mask and paint the areas where you want to decrease the blur effect with a soft black brush.
After that, you need to smudge the text layers, just as we did with the picture. But take a smaller brush tip and try to add less effect to the center of the text and more to the edges.
After that, convert the text layer to a Smart Object and add a Tilt Shift with the Blur set to 10, and set the blur frame as below:
3. How to Add Light Leaks to a Rainbow Distortion Photoshop Effect
Now, let's create some cool rainbow light leaks! Open the Color Picker Tool in the Tools panel, and then set the Color Code to
#8818e5. After that, press Add to Swatches.
Add the following color codes the same way:
Select the background layer and the first Smart Object layer, and then Right-Click > Convert to a Smart Object.
Double-Click on the Smart Object to open it, and then create a new layer by pressing Shift-Control-Alt-N.
Take a Soft Round Brush and create a stroke with the colors from our swatches, just like in the picture below:
Create another stroke the same way.
Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and set the Angle to 30 and Distance to 1400 px.
Put the light leaks layer below your image and create a few copies by pressing Control-J.
Close and Save the Smart Object, and then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and set the Amount to 8% and Distribution to Gaussian.
Add a Noise Filter to the text layer with the same setting, and this is how our image should look now:
Let's apply a black folded paper texture overlay to our artwork! Place Paper Texture 25 above all the layers, and then change its Blending Mode to Screen and the Opacity to about 50%.
Awesome Work, You're Now Done!
Today you've learned how to get a rainbow distortion effect on pictures in Photoshop with only standard tools. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and if you are wondering where I got this amazing vinyl mockup, check out Placeit! Here you will find hundreds of mockups, templates, logos, and anything else you may need for your next design project.
Beautiful Actions and Presets From Envato Elements
Now I would like to recommend some beautiful actions and presets available on Envato Elements.
Want to add a zoom burst effect in Photoshop in a few simple clicks? Check out this amazing action, which will create professional-looking visual effects. Try to use it for creating wallpaper, backgrounds, artworks, and much more!
Want to add color glitches to your photos? This effect is inspired by rave and techno parties and cyberpunk vibes. It can be really useful for creating posters, flyers, and social media content! It includes a high-quality, well-layered, and fully editable PSD file with detailed instructions.
Another handy effect! This one will help you to add a lens distortion effect to any of your photos or even text. This PSD template has clearly organized and fully customizable layers. You will also find a help guide with all the information you need for a quick start.
Want something more glitchy and colorful? Try this psychedelic Photoshop effect! Create vintage or futuristic projects: web design elements, banners, posters, or social media posts! In the main archive, you will find a hi-res (4500x3000 px) template, overlay texture, and help file.
Modern Glitch Instagram Stories Template (PSD, PDF)
If you need some glitchy effects for your Instagram stories, check out this great template with ten unique presets and ten overlay VHS textures. It's extremely easy to use, and all effects are non-destructive and fully adjustable.
Now that you know how to create a rainbow distortion Photoshop effect, you probably want to learn more cool effects. Check out these great tutorials:
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- Adobe PhotoshopHow to Make a Melting Glitch Text Effect in PhotoshopIvan Gromov
- Photo EffectsHow to Make an Aesthetic Edit in Photoshop (Glitch Effect)Abbey Esparza
- Adobe PhotoshopHow to Create the New Matrix Movie Poster Effect in PhotoshopMarko Kožokar
- Typography90s Graphic Design Trends: From Aesthetic Fonts to Grunge Patterns and Rave FlyersLaura Keung