4-Point Star (Star Cross)

Requires Eye Candy plugin for Photoshop !!!  

This is a spectacular effect if done with patience and care - you may have noticed the "Tech" heading on my main page - where I added two stars to it.  The effect mimics the special lens effects that you can add to cameras.  You know, the one that they have in advertisements use when someone smiles and then you hear a “ding” sound and the star suddenly reflects off the corner of their white, shiny front tooth.  They are also used to make gold and silver appear to gleam.  Here is the best method I have found:  It requires the Eye Candy plugin.

  1. open image and create a new layer
  2. with new layer selected, go to Filters/Eye Candy/Star and use these settings:

  1. using the move tool – move your star to the correct position
  2. select the background layer, and goto Filter/Render/Lens Flare
  3. use the settings 50%, 105 mm prime
  4. click OK and look at the placement – of it is too far off - redo
  5. NOTE:  the lens flare tool does not allow you to zoom, and is often a bit misaligned with the star, this is why we place the star on a separate layer – to move it in the next step.  However, you may need to redo the flare a few times because it must be very close, since you don’t want to move the star too far from the original placement
  6. select the layer with the star, and move it to align with the lens flare
  7. DONE!!!


 Before                                                                                 After

NOTE:  depending on the image – you will probably need to adjust the settings of the Eye Candy filter.  To make the star wide, decrease the indentation.  To make it larger, increase the scale.  You can also play around with the orientation to rotate it.


How to make the Star fade In and Out for the “Gleaming Metal Effect”

The best application I have found for this star is to apply it to the upper edges of 3-D gold and silver images :

*      create 3 images – for fist is the normal GIF with the metal – use a transparent background

*      the second image – add a star to one of the metal edges

*      the third image add star to another metal edge

*      add the images to GIF construction set or Image Ready and save as an animated GIF

*      DONE !! see sample below:

The three Images

The Final GIF

I used Image Ready - with the following steps:

  1. opened the three GIF images

  2. clicked on image2 to select it

  3. click on the tiny arrow at the right of the animation Pallet (took 3 hours to find it)

  4. selected "Copy Frame"

  5. clicked on image1 to select it

  6. clicked on the tiny arrow at the right of the animation pallet

  7. selected "Paste Frame" and checked "after selection"

  8. repeated the process to paste the image 3 frame into image 1

  9. now image 1 has 3 frames in the animation

  10. selected all frames in the animation pallet

  11. right-clicked on any frame and selected "Restore to Background"

  12. right-clicked on the "delay" time, and select 0.2 seconds - it applies to all frames that way

  13. clicked File/Save Optimized as . . .  and save the animated GIF - DONE !!


NOTE:  you may want to use Photoshop to create 3 additional images that average images 1-2, 2-3, and 3-1.  Do NOT USE TWEENING – the results are aweful - for both GIF Animator and Image Ready – the algorithm they use is to make each image 50% opaque and then average them – so they come out very washed out looking.