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How To Create Night Vision Goggles Effect

to a night vision navy battle scene complete with embellishments like explosions, muzzle flashes and missile smoke trails!

Part A : Adding the night vision goggles effect

  1. Open the image:

  1. Duplicate a copy of background lay

    r as “warships” (Ctrl+j). Remove those celebratory ornaments on the warships with the clone stamp tool.

  1. Duplicate “warships” as “night” and tune down the brightness. Image > Adjustments > Curves. Drag the po

    nts similar to example below:

  1. Invert “night” (Ctrl+I).

  1. Set it

    blend mode to “Difference” and opacity to 75%.

  1. Create 2 new layers (Shift+Ctrl+n) and fill it with green (#005b00).

  1. Ensure foreground co

    or is green (#005b00) and background color is black before proceeding.

  2. For the first layer of green, rename it as “noise”. Go to Filter

    > Filter Gallery > Grain
    nd apply settings as shown:

  1. Change blend mode to “Colo


  1. For the other one, rename it as “scan-lines”. Go to Filter

    Filter Gallery > Texturizer and apply settings as shown:

  1. Change blend mode to “Color Dodge” and opacity to 25%.

  1. Arrange the layers so that  “scan-lines” are on top of  “noise” layer.

  1. Add in an adjustment la

    er on at the top. Layer > New adjust
    ent layer > Photo filter. Select a similar shade of green and apply the settings as shown:

Part B : Muzzle flash of a
tillery guns.

  1. Create a new layer as “flash”. Drag a squa

    e box using the rectangular marquee tool.

  1. Filter > Render > Clouds.

  1. C

    ange its contrast by altering its levels (Ctrl+L).

  1. Choose a patch of clouds that resembles a muzzle flash and roughly erase its surrounding.

  1. Set its b

    end mode to “Screen”.

  1. Re-position “flash”.

  1. Move the “flash” layer below “noise” to convert its color to green, and re-size

    t to bigger (Ctrl+T).

  1. Cha

    ge its contrast to increase the intensity of the flas
    . Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.

Part C : Create a Missile.

  1. Duplicate “flash”

    nd rename it as “missile”.

  1. Elon

    ate the object so tha
    it resembles a rocket by transforming it.

  1. Zoom in to the tip of “missile”.

  1. Erase the tip to a rounde

    shape similar to below:

  1. Using a small white brush, draw a line with 50% opacity. This will be our mis


Part D : Smoke trail of the Missile.

  1. Create a new layer on top of “

    issile” as “trails”. Drag a rectangular box.

  1. Filter > Render > Clouds


  1. Then, apply Filter > Render > D

    fference clouds.

  1. Re-apply this filter (Ctrl+F) a f

    w times.

  1. Transform its shape so that end of the smoke looks loose.

  1. Select a soft

    rase and erase the sharp edges.

  1. Increase intensity of the trail by adjusting the levels.

  1. Lower the opacity to


  1. Merge “missile” and “

    rails” together. Set its blend mode to “Screen”

  1. T15-SS-028
    e-size it.

  1. Apply Filter > Distort > Shear.

    Dragging a box around the object aids in applying the Shea

  1. We will get something like this:

  1. Dup

    icate, transform, and arrange those missiles in whichever
    way you like.

  1. Copy anothe

    instance of “flash” and re-size it.

  1. Erase the bottom part and make s

    re it the bo
    tom is flat, in-sync with the ship’s silo deck.

  1. Use the smudge tool to drag a trail further up, alm

    st touching the missile that we c
    eated just now. We are now done with missiles.

Part E : Recreating flames.

  1. C

    eate a new layer under missiles layer. Drag a rec
    angular box, and render clouds.

  1. When done, apply Difference clouds a few times (perhaps in th

    region of 10 times).

  1. Next, render clouds again. This time, apply Edit > Fade and fade it at 50%. We will have a nice blend of Diffe

    ence clouds and clouds that forms our smoke.

  1. Use a soft eraser to erase the sharp edges.

  1. Using same method, c

    eate more smoke and this time transform it to form bigger patch of smoke.

  1. Set this

    igger patch to 50% opacity.

  1. Create a third patch of smoke and set its blend mode to “Color Dodge” and opacity at 50%. This creates an intense fire on the s


  1. Erase areas that are deem too excessive

    I would focus on areas like the conning tower or the deck.

Part F : Overall look.

  1. We shall cre

    te some lighting here. Go to “night” l
    yer. Create a Curves Adjustment (rename it as “lighting”) layer and clip it to “night”. Slowly drag the curves to a similar output a

  1. With the “lighting” layer selected, click on the masking icon. For areas that we want to be

    brightened, brush it with soft black brush.

  1. I focused on areas which are supposedly well lit from muzzle flashes, flames, flare, etc. Result:

  1. We are going to alter the overall contrast and hue for this image. So,

    reate 2 new adjustment layers (Curves, Hue/Saturation) and bring them both to the top. Apply settings as shown below:

  1. And we’re done!

    ’ve added in some extras in my final image!

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