Creating Colorful Disco Lines Effect

This simple tutorial will show how we can create professional-looking colored lines with the usage of Photoshop Brushes and Blend Modes. It’s an interesting find for me when I was doing random experiments with Photoshop.
Preview of Final Image
Create a document of 800×600 pixels. With Pencil tool of 1 pixel size, draw a vertical straight line. Using the Eraser tool of size 150px, erase the two ends of vertical line. Something like the one I have below.
Create a selection around the vertical line. Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Give the new brush a name of your preference.
Select the Brush tool and open up the Brush Palette. Check on Shape Dynamics and key in the following settings.
Check on Scattering and key in the following settings.
Fill the Background layer of the document with #000000. Select the Brush tool, set the foreground color to #FFFFFF and pick the brush you created earlier. Hold down your left mouse and move around the document. You will get the nice vertical lines like I’ve got here.
Create a Gradient Fill adjustment layer below the vertical lines layer. Set the gradient similar to the one shown in the screenshot.
Create a new layer and repeat the steps of brushing more vertical lines. Set the Blend Mode of these two layers of vertical lines to Overlay.
Create a new layer above the vertical lines. This time set the foreground color to #000000. Brush some black vertical lines around the document. Set the Blend Mode of this layer to Soft Light.
Create a new layer and make a thick black bar. Rename this layer to Faded Black Bar.
Click on to Quick Mask Mode. Select the Gradient tool and set the gradient from black to white. Pull the gradient from top to bottom. You will get a red highlight like the one shown below.
Exit Quick Mask Mode and hit Delete. There you have a nice faded black bar.
Repeat the earlier steps to make a few more faded black bars around the document.
Create a new layer and rename it as floor. Make a black horizontal bar. Using the Eraser tool of size around 150px, fade the left, right and bottom of the horizontal bar.
Type in your preferred word with a favorite font. I am using Helvetica below. Rasterize the text, go to Edit > Transform > Perspective. Adjust the text so that it is shorter on the left.
Right-click on the Text layer and select Blending Options. Check on Gradient and key in the settings shown below.
Duplicate the text layer. Move the lower copy 1 pixel to the right. Repeat this for 6 times and all the 6 layers together. Rename this new merged layer and Extrude.
Right-click on the Extrude layer and select Blending Options. Check on Outer Glow and Gradient. Key in the settings stated below.
Download one of the glow brushes here. Create a new layer below the texts and name it as Abstract Glow. Set the foreground color to #FFFFFF and paint some abstract glowing strokes. Set the Blend Mode of this layer to Overlay.
Duplicate and merge all the vertical lines and gradient. Rename this new merged layer as Reflection. Rearrange this new merged layer to be above the texts layer. Go to Edit > Transform > Perspective and adjust it to be shorter on the left.
Ctrl + left-click on the text layer to load a selection around it. Select the Reflection layer and click on Create a New Layer Mask.
Create a new layer and name it as Outlines. Ctrl + left-click on the text layer to load a selection around it. Go to Select > Modify > Contract. Set the contraction to 1 pixel and hit Delete. Go to Filter > Blur > Blur. Shift the outline away from its original position.
Repeat the steps for a few more outlines.
Create a Levels Adjustment Layer and set the values to 4, 0.83, 255. And we are done! Hope this tutorial is helpful to you. Cheers!

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71 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Dylan says:

    Wow that’s cool man !!! Thanks so much for this great tutorial ! I love it !

  2. Ali says:

    That looks great. Thanks for tutorial.

  3. rouzbeh says:


  4. Kenneth says:

    This tutorial is unfortunately missing a lot of steps, and some of them seems to be wrong. It looks to be good stuff though, but the steps could definately be better.

  5. Didi says:

    yea this looks like a cool thing to TRY to do…this tutorial is hard to follow..gotta admit. based on your instructions, the first gradient fill layer (which is different from a fill adjustment layer) does not work.. so you might want to clarify on that.

  6. Van Owen says:


    Great help to the newbies.

    Keep it up Johnson!

  7. luminosity says:

    that’s awesome..!

  8. Fotoandmore says:

    THIS IS COOL Thans πŸ™‚

  9. combi says:

    Excelente, just the best way to explain it.

  10. htetnaing says:

    Amazing tutorial…I really thank you..Johnson Koh …I wishing u can always create amazing design and share for us…..
    Thanks alot…bro

  11. Pratik says:

    Nice Effect,
    Start mail contact

  12. Astax says:

    I really appreciate your work. But as a beginner i had some trouble following different steps. I think you can improve this great tutorial with just a few additional sentences :).

    but nevertheless – great job!

    Thomas aka Astax

  13. sasha says:

    Thanks for the tutoarial, I just completed roughly and it still looks good.
    If you can explain better the part with the “outlines”, I load the selection of the text layer but it didn’t say which layer should be selected!
    Thanks once again,

  14. marithé says:

    please explain how to do the mask and gradient step :S

  15. miguel zalazar says:

    This tutorial it’s great… I did something with one of my baby’s picture…

  16. Johnson Koh says:

    Hi T-Bag, I’m sorry for any confusion. My lines is exactly like what I stated. They may look slightly thicker because some of them overlap each other.

  17. T-Bag says:

    Hmm… Hard tutorial to follow. Need to be more specific with layers and things. Tryed for 20 minutes to do this tutorial. For a start I couldn’t get the opacity/flow of the erase tool set properly so it erases the way you have in the screenshot… there was no tip to change to the preset you created befopre entering brush scattering and such. Then for some reason my lines could never come out as thick as you have there…

  18. AlbGraphic says:

    That’s very nice effect..

  19. Kwamz says:

    HI I really love this design you have and I am really getting into your website in a whole. But I am getting a little confused with the Quick Mask Mode and Gradient Tool part. When I delete it I get a fade from black to white. I do not get the blend you have there. I would be thankful if you could help.

  20. Ryan Soekarma says:

    Wow nice… thanks for the tutorials.. ^^

  21. supreme gfx says:

    i like this tutorials.. learned a few new things

  22. DanOhh says:


  23. ben says:

    very good thanks

  24. Johnson Koh says:

    Thank you friends πŸ˜€ Glad you all like this tutorial. It’s an useful find for me. I am using it for a few wallpaper designs now.

  25. Hamidgenius says:

    Its Very very goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!!

  26. SawHtoo says:

    nice tutorial. going to try it tonight. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  27. James Qu says:

    Awesome effect, the creation of the black horizontal bar is very interesting πŸ™‚

  28. Nardyello says:

    Very shinny effect. Grabs anyone’s attention =]

  29. Garry says:


  30. dGjess says:

    wow!it’s so awesome..i need to try this one..all fingers πŸ˜€

  31. Arie CS says:

    Cool man . . .


  32. Beautiful result, thanks a lot!

  33. raki says:

    Looking great thanks a lot !!!

  34. Dzinepress says:

    amazing, i must try with my blog logo too. thanks for idea

  35. Bariski says:

    Nicely done buddy. Keep up the goof work.

  36. Dylan says:

    Great idea and post.. πŸ˜‰

  37. Johnson Koh says:

    Thank you buddies. I was just experimenting around for an effect that I can do for a tutorial then found that this is pretty interesting to share πŸ˜€

  38. where you get all those ideas..:) simple – yet good looking tutorial!

  39. Corey says:

    This is sweet! One of my favorites on 10Steps! Thanks πŸ™‚

  40. Great post! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. That looks absolutely terrific. I don’t have time to try it out right now, but I’m gonna try sometime this week.

  41. craigDesignz says:

    THIS IS COOL! Similar to my current wallpaper. CONGRATZ!

  42. MonsterTruck08 says:

    that is a very creative way to make your background πŸ˜€ also the first time i see clear demonstration with quick mask mode

  43. Suzan says:

    Purely my IMHO – you can not make the choice. Good luck, think about it..

  44. mia says:

    on the first Gradient Fill layer,what is the blend mode of it? this tutorial is kindda hard to follow =(

  45. ricardofx says:

    very creative;

    congratz… πŸ˜‰

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