52 Cool Photoshop Illustrator Effects and Tutorials

It’s always fun to experiment different techniques and learn how to work with various aspects of Adobe Photoshop to spice up boring pictures and make them into works of arts and masterpieces.

So, if you’re interested in learning some new skills, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced user, these Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials are for you.

Below you will find an incredible amount of amazing colorful artwork to inspire any designer, also we’ve selected some of the best adobe tutorials hand picked to enhance or highlight whatever action is going on in the photo.

Neon and Glow Effects Tutorials

Create cool neon effects

Tony Ariawan shows you how to use warping, layer masks and simple colour tweaking for a high-tech look that’s out of this world.

Abstract woman illustration

Creating a Glowing Neon Effect in Illustrator

Create a glowing neon effect in your illustration that can grab an audience’s attention with its beauty and uniqueness.

Neon flamingo illustration

More Neon and Glow Effects

All things Beautiful

Abstract nature illustration with animals

Smoke Effects Tutorials

Creating a Stunning Digital Smoke Effect

How to easily create digital abstract smoke using both Illustrator and Photoshop. One of the best things about this technique is that it’s very customizable and you can do it pretty quickly.

Abstract waves

Smoke Effect

Abstract green smoke

Creating Smoke

How to create smoke in photoshop, from Abduzeedo.

Abstract blue smoke

More Smoke Effects



Jessica Rabbit

Abstract orange waves

Silver White Fractal

The great smoke-like wispy effect in this fractal is accentuated by the color and lighting effects.

Abstract drawing

Creating Swirls Tutorials

Swirl Mania in Illustrator & Photoshop

This tutorial will show 4 ways to create swirls, and by mixing them you will learn some very powerful techniques that will allow you to easily make tons of different styles of swirls and crazy sperm vectors.

Abstract shapes

How to draw swirls illustrations in Adobe Illustrator

Abstract blue pattern

Swirly curls in Adobe Illustrator

Abstract snow effect

Lighting Effects Tutorials

Create a Glowing Light Painting Effect

Fabio is showing us in this tutorial how in an easy, and very fast way, to create a light painting in Photoshop.

Neon crosswalk with people

Creating the Windows Vista Lighting Effect

How to create the eye catching graphics shown off on the box of windows vista, and in some of their wallpapers/screensavers.

Abstract image

More Lighting Effects

Rainy Day Rainbows

Abstract gradient effect with waves

Text Effects Tutorials

Apple Leopard text effects

A nice tutorial by Veerle on how to create Apple’s new system GUI in Leopard with the “inset effect” on the text.

Apple old school UI

Line Gradients

This tutorial will teach you how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to create cool looking “Vector Line Gradients” to give your text a vintage “old-school” feel.

Stylish "Dragonforce" text

Melting Ice Text Effect

"gerogfx" text with backlight

A Slick Supernatural Text Effect

Learn how to create a smokey night effect on text to give it an eerie supernatural sort of feel. It’s a good exercise in using the Wave distortion filter.

"Suppernatural" text with effects

50 Essential Photoshop Text Tutorials

Here are 50 of the best tutorials for working with text.

More Text Effect

Smoke + Type

Smoke with text

Vintage Effects Tutorials

Vintage collages in Photoshop

If you want to provide an instant flashback to a bygone era while letting your creativity shine through, few techniques are as versatile as a collage made up of vintage elements.

Photoshop vintage effect

Fantastic method of creating a vintage photo effect in Photoshop.

Before and after of a landscape photo

More Vintage Effects

Crooked Mushroom

Landscape with people applied vintage effect

Various Image Effects Tutorials

Creating a Vector Composite Effect from a Photo

This tutorial will demonstrate how to take an image, in this case a woman’s face, and give the appearance that it is entirely composed of vector shapes.

Composite effect

More Image Effects



Cosmo Girl

Cosmo girl

Water Color Effects Tutorials

Design Watercolor Effect Menu

How to design a watercolor effect menu in Photoshop.


How to Add a WaterColor Effect to Your Photos

How to create a hand-painted and water color effect.

Zoomed eye

Miscellaneous Tutorials and Effects

illustrator Pucker and Bloat Effect and more

How to use the Pucker & Bloat Effect

Text with pucker and bloat effect

Using the Blend tool and Distort Zig Zag Effect in Illustrator

How to create the blending wave lines using the Blend tool in illustrator.

Text with zig zag effect

Tropical Transparency Effect

Learn how to create a bouquet of Tropical Flowers.

Text with tropical transparency effect

Gigposter Design

An impressing tutorial on hot to make a gig poster.

Text with gigposter effect

Badass Bling Effect in Photoshop

How to create a “Bling Effect” using layer styles in Photoshop. Once you create the layer style, you can easily “blingify” any layer. There is also a video tutorial as well.

Text with badass bling effect

Complex Circular Design Techniques

Some neat tricks, tools, techniques, and settings that will have you pumping out perfect circular designs in no time using Illustrator.

Circular shapes

Abstract poster effects

Make your mark with strong but simple shapes and bold, read-my-lips colours: Danilo Rodrigues shows you how.

Abstract poster

Trendy circles

Learn how to draw “trendy circles” and simply apply a color to it.

Weird circles

The Dream In A Puddle

Artificial landscape

Lines Tutorial

How to create rainbow colored lines.

Colorful lines

Creating a film grain effect

How to create or simulate a natural film grain effect on photos in Photoshop CS3.

Woman portrait with film grain effect

How to Make the “Flare” Effect As Seen On WPCustomization.com

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to re-create this effect.

Wordpress logo with black background

Vector Polishing Techniques

This tutorial includes 9 Photoshop techniques that will show you how to add more depth, color, contrast, and texture into your vector art.

Concert illustration

Positive Hype

Big black plus

Portfolios for inspiration

Looking for some inspiration, search for talented and creative designers who mastered these techniques and learn from them. Below you will find amazing portfolios for artists who know how to just be creative.


Man photo with visual effects


Woman photo with visual effects


Thee distorted reflections


Text with distortion effects


Nike shoes


Abstract image


Photomanupulated landscape
This article is originally published on May 04, 2008, and updated on Mar 15, 2023.

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