Preset: #Hoods - Instant Bubble
  • Add a new layer to a new square image - say 200 x 200. Don't fill this layer with color.
  • Open Plugin Galaxy and the preset #Hoods - Instant Bubble.
  • If you do change the size of your image, you will have to adjust the Size and Smooth controls on the Edge layer. These two sliders work together to produce the bubble. The left hand image at the bottom of the page shows a bubble that hasn't been touched up at all, against a white background layer.
Still inside Plugin Galaxy, you can now make further adjustments if you want to.
  • With the Rainbow layer selected, use Shift + Reset to restore the default settings for the effect you choose (Twirl, Curl, whatever) - these settings will generally give you the best colors, or a better starting point. Tweak them to your own taste.
  • For a plain, single-color bubble, turn Off the Rainbow>Curl layer and turn On the top Rainbow>Linear layer, which is Off by default. Use the Angle and color sliders to change colors. If you like, turn both Rainbow layers On, and try different blend modes on the upper layer.
  • Increase or decrease the overall transparency of the bubble by adjusting the blue General Blend slider a little. (You can also do this afterwards on the Layer palette in your application, which is my preference.)

After applying the preset, you can choose how much you want to touch the bubble up.

  • You can add highlight(s) to the bubble. You can either use a highlight as created for the Sphere, or a small rotated white ellipse as seen in the header example. The ellipse in the example was feathered 2 px, so no blurring was necessary, but you can blur more or less, as you choose.
  • You can use both styles of highlight together. You can also add color to the highlights etc. etc. - lots of options! Whatever you choose to do, always create any highlights on their own new layer. This makes it very simple to create different bubbles on the Bubble layer with instant highlight(s) ready for use above it.
  • You can modify the bubble's inner transparency by erasing with a brush or cutting out with a feathered selection, as per the Sphere tutorial.
  • You might prefer to cut away the blurred edge created by the preset with an inverse circle selection, as per the Sphere tutorial. However, when you scale down the bubbles these edges will smooth themselves out, as seen below.

The bubble below left is exactly as instantly produced by the preset on a 200 x 200 square - the only adjustment was to its size. The line on the white background layer shows the default transparency produced by the unchanged preset. The image on the right is the result of the "4 Bubble" preset applied to a 800 x 800 image then scaled down. The centers were erased, but no other adjustments were made. As you can see, scaling the bubbles down has removed any unevenness in the default plugin smoothing of the outer circles.