Light rays


Here’s a cool web-to-print or dynamic imaging technique of light rays going through from behind a variable text frame. This is a simple trick that involves some Photoshop work and some creative use of CorelDRAW layers.

Web-to-print light rays

In a nutshell, we’re going to create two images in Photoshop and sandwich some variable text frames between them in CorelDRAW.

Before you start

Web-to-print before you start

  • Input the dummy text and turn it into a variable web-to-print field.
  • Duplicate the dummy text and scale the copy so that it is larger than the original one.

Inside Photoshop

We’re gonna use Photoshop to create the light rays needed for this web-to-print technique.

Photoshop center dot

Create a new Photoshop document with the same size as the page size of your CorelDRAW template document and use Photoshop Ellipse tool (U) to draw a small dot in the middle. Rasterize the dot layer after you’ve created it (Right click on layer/Rasterize Layer).


Photoshop wind filter

Duplicate the layer and go to Filter/Stylize/Wind… in the top menu. Use these settings as reference and apply the filter.
Photoshop light ray

Re-apply the filter to stretch out the ray as much as you want by pressing Ctrl+F on the keyboard a few times.
Photoshop ray rotation

Repeat this step to create lots of other rays. After you create a ray, activate the Free Transform editing option (Ctrl+T) to rotate it in other directions making sure all rays share the same source (starting point).

After you have as much rays as you want, select most of them and merge them into a single layer (Right click on the layer/Merge layers). Merge the smaller group of layers into a separate layer as well. The reason we need a few rays merged separately is because those will stay sharp while the other (larger) group of rays will have a blur filter assigned to them.

Photoshop blur filter

Select the layer that holds most of the rays and assign a Blur filter to it (Filter/Blur/Blur).

Next we need to add some gradient colors to the rays.

Open the layers Blending options (Right click on the layer/Blending options) and assign a Radial gradient fill to it.

Photoshop gradient overlay

Photoshop background gradient

We used these gradient settings.
Photoshop blurred light rays

The result should be similar to this.

Copy the layer style (Gradient fill) and paste it on the layer with fewer (sharper) light rays.

Web-to-print background

We are done with the background image. Save it in one of the common image formats (.JPG .JPEG, .PNG, .TIFF etc.).


Create a few more light rays using the method explained above. These are the rays that will go over the variable text. The difference between the foreground and background images is that the foreground image will be transparent (no background) and it will have just a few sharp rays with a slightly different gradient applied to them.

Photoshop foreground gradient

We used these gradient settings for the foreground light rays.
Web-to-print foreground

Disable the visibility of the background layer and save the image in a format that retains transparency (.PNG, .TIFF etc.)

Download the FREE Photoshop .PSD file we ended up with.

Inside CorelDRAW

Web-to-print light rays background

Import the Background image you just created in Photoshop to your CorelDRAW web-to-print template and place it under all other objects.

Select the dummy text frames and assign a small drop shadow to them. Use these settings as reference.

CorelDRAW drop shadow settings

Web-to-print drop shadow

The result should be similar to this.

Copy the background image and PowerClip it inside the larger copy of the dummy text.

Web-to-print light burst

Import the Foreground image and place it on top of all other objects. The result should be similar to this.
Web-to-print object manager

Your Object Manager (Window/Dockers/Object Manager) should look similar to this at the end.

All done!

Our web-to-print software can handle this effect easily! Upload the template into your catalog and test it.

Download the FREE CorelDRAW template file.

See also: