In this tutorial, we’re going to outline how to create a star diffusion effect using Photoshop. This effect is mostly used on outdoor images, and looks fantastic on nature and animal photographs. You may have seen this effect used on photos of wheat fields; it has a really striking effect on the texture of these images. If you’re lucky enough to live near a wheat field yourself, go out and shoot some photos and give this tutorial a try.

#1 As always, start by duplicating your image (the background layer) twice using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + J. Then select ‘copy’ and head to the top navigation bar choosing options Filter > Blur > Motion blur.

#2 Set the details as the following:

Angle – 45

Distance – 150 PX

#3 Next, select layer number one, and head to the navigation bar again. Choose Filter > Blur > Motion blur.

Set the details as the following:

Angle 45

Distance 150 PX

#4 Now click on the first layer, copy it and change the blending mode to ‘screen’.


#5 Next, we need to merge the two layers together. To do so, hit CTRL and click on both layers to select them. Then right click and select ‘Merge layers’.

#6 Once that’s done, right click on the image you just merged, and change the blending mode again to ‘screen’. The next step is to add a layer mask.

#7 Select the brush tools by hitting the B key and choose a brush with soft edges. Make sure you are clicked on to the mask layer and that your foreground colour is black. You can then proceed to use the brush on any person, animal or object in the image.

Once you’ve finished with the brush tool, your image is ready. If you get stuck with any of these steps, or you’d like to ask us a question, feel free to leave a comment here and we’ll do our best to help. 

If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share! We’d love to see the images that you create using this effect, so please do share your results with us.