Light burst effect GIMP tutorial

GIMP Light Burst Video Tutorial

GIMP Light Burst Video Tutorial 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can give you text a colorful light burst effect using GIMP version 2.8. The focus of this lesson will be using motion blurs.

The following is a brief outline of the steps taken to achieve the result. Skip to the end of the post if you’d like to watch the tutorial, but don’t forget to download the galaxy image (below) referenced in the video.

Light Burst Effect

First, we’re going to create some white text and place it on a black background.

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White text on black background

Next, we’re going to add a motion blur using the zoom setting, at a length of 190, while making sure you have “blue outward” selected.

GIMP motion blue

Once that’s done, go ahead and grab the galaxy image below and add it to its own layer — above all of the other layers — in GIMP.

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Galaxy image

Click image for full size

Now we’re going to mask the galaxy image over the blurred text using the layer mask function…

Layer mask GIMP

Finally, we’re going to add another copy of the text layer and give that a motion blur as well, only to a lesser degree. We’ll also turn the visibility of the original text layer back on to help reinforce its visibility.

Motion blur text layer

At this point our design is pretty much done. However, I would suggest creating a new layer from visible and tweaking the colors a bit just to get that popping “wow” factor. For this we’ll be using the curves dialog from the colors drop down.

Finished light burst effect

And with that, we’re done!

Video Tutorial

For step-by-step instructions with voice narration, be sure to watch the video tutorial. The video lesson is demonstrated in such a way that even a first-time user of GIMP could follow along. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, leave them below, and as always, thanks for watching!

Logo Design Guide


Curious about the creative process that inspires me to come up with design ideas and how I go about executing them? Be sure to check out my logo design guide for a look behind the scenes at my systematic approach to coming up with design ideas.

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Nick Saporito

Nick Saporito is a Philadelphia-based graphic designer who specializes in branding-specific design.

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1 comment
  • Michael

    i WAS UNABLE TO ACCESS COLORIZATION AS SOON AS i APPLIED LAYER MASK. Gimp version 2.8 on Windows 7 64. 16 gig of ram thru 3.5 AMD

    I sure appreciate all of your guidance Nick.

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