How to Create a Prism in Photoshop

by Brian Richards

Photoshop is Adobe's photo manipulation and graphics design computer software. It allows artists and photographers to create and edit images for use in a variety of digital and print media. While many digital effects can be obtained through Photoshop's many filters and blending tools, creating a prism is something that should be done by hand to achieve the best results. The prism will make use of Photoshop's geometry tools to render a design that can be used for logos, photo enhancements or stand-alone images.

1

Create a new image in Photoshop by opening the "File" menu and selecting "New." Pick whatever dimensions are appropriate for the size of the graphic you would like to make. Set black as the background color.

2

Choose the "Polygonal Lasso Tool" from the toolbox on the left. This will allow you to create a triangle with straight edges.

3

Select white as your foreground color by clicking on the top color box and picking white from the menu.

4

Draw a triangle in your image by clicking once at the first vertex of the triangle. Move your mouse to a second vertex and click again. Move your mouse to the third vertex and click. Finally, return your mouse to the first vertex and click again to complete the triangle and make a triangular selection.

5

Pick the "Paint Bucket Tool" from the toolbox and click within the triangular selection. This will fill your triangle with white.

6

Change the opacity of the layer to 30 percent by dragging the "Opacity" slider in the "Layers" pane. This will make the triangle translucent and appear like a piece of glass.

7

Select the "Rectangular Marquee Tool" from the toolbox, and trace a thin, rectangular selection from the left side of your image to the left side of the triangle.

8

Fill this selection with white and leave the opacity of the layer at 100 percent. This will represent a white light beam coming into one side of your prism.

9

Create another rectangular selection coming straight out of the right side of your triangle and terminating at the right side of your image. Fill this selection with a bright green color.

10

Draw another rectangular selection at the right side of your triangle, right click on it and select "Transform selection." Move your cursor outside of the selection box, click your mouse button and move your cursor upward to rotate the selection to angle upward.

11

Fill this selection with a bright red color.

12

Drag another rectangular selection at the right side of your triangle and rotate it to angle downward.

13

Fill this selection with a bright blue color. This will complete the effect of a white light coming into your prism and splitting into three colored beams, as would happen with an actual glass prism.

About the Author

Brian Richards is an attorney whose work has appeared in law and philosophy journals and online in legal blogs and article repositories. He has been a writer since 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from University of California, San Diego and a Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark School of Law.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images