PSDFan Extra

Replicate Justin Timberlake’s Lovestoned Music Video


I may not be a Justin Timberlake fan (although the I Think That She Knows interlude is pretty awesome), but I can appreciate the stunning graphics in his music video for LoveStoned. This tutorial will be teaching you how to replicate some of the amazing lighting effects using in the video using nothing but good old Photoshop.

You can view the original music video here:

Final Image

This is the final image that we will be creating:

Step 1

Create a new document (1024 X 768 px) and fill it with black.

Step 2

Paste in an image of a volume equalizer. I found this image from here ( I selected the black background of the image using the magic wand tool and deleted it (despite it matching our main background). Then I click in the area surrounding the equalizer image and invert my selection so that only the rectangular shapes making up the equalizer image are selected. Then I fill this selection with light blue (80D2FC). To save my using the paint bucket tool and filling each rectangle shape, I create a linear gradient ranging from 80D2FC to 80D2FC at 100% and then just drag from the top to the bottom of my selected equalizer to fill all the rectangles. Finally I duplicate this layer, and go to edit>transform>flip vertical, then move the flipped image so that it mirrors the original.

Step 3

I merge my original/flipped equalizer images and then rotate the new layer by 90 degrees. Then I copy and paste this image multiple times, fitting each together until I have a very long equalizer image. I merge all layers, and resize the final image so that I have something like the image below:

Step 4

Now I duplicate my equalizer image, and go to edit>transform>scale. I use the transform options bar to move my duplicate image 200px to the right of my original – this way I can be very precise instead of needing to use the grid of judging it by eye.

Step 5

Now I use the same technique to move my duplicate image 200px to the right. I then go back to my original equalizer image and move this 200px to the left, and then repeat this step again to move another duplicate a further 200px left. Then I merge all of my equalizer layers.

Step 6

Then I go to edit>transform>perspective and drag one of the top corners of my image towards the center until I’m happy with the result. Then go squash my image vertically, as the bars were looking a little too fat and I wanted them thinner. Finally I moved my image up so that the bottom of the bars weren’t touching the bottom of my document.

Step 7

I go to layer>add layer mask>reveal all, and then drag a black to transparent linear gradient upwards, to fade out the bottom of my equalizers.

Step 8

Now I grab a large, soft, white brush and make some markings on a new layer above my equalizer layer. Then I set the layer’s blend mode to overlay. The result is a nice subtle lighting effect over my equalizers.

Step 9

Now select your equalizer layer and apply the outer glow settings shown below. Then reduce your equalizer layer’s opacity to around 50%.

Step 10

Now duplicate your equalizer layer, and move the duplicate below the original. Apply a 50px gaussian blur, and then set the layer blend mode to ‘hard light’ and reduce it’s opacity to around 30%.

Step 11

Now select your layer mask on the original equalizer layer and fade out the top of your equalizer.

Step 12

Now create a new top layer called ‘clouds’. Select all and fill it with black. Then go to filter>render>clouds. Set the layer blend mode to ‘color dodge’.

Step 13

Duplicate your clouds layer and you should get a much more intense effect. Then select your equalizer layer and select around your equalizer shapes using the magic wand tool. Then invert your selection so that the equalizers are selected. Return to your second cloud layer and hit delete, then reduce the opacity of this duplicate cloud layer to 10%. You should have an eerie looking mist around the ends of your equalizers. It’s looking pretty good so far, but the clouds have created an effect similar to the outer glow. The problem with this is that where the equalizers fade out near the bottom of the images the clouds are too obvious, and create a strange outline. We want this outline near the tops of our equalizers, so simply select a large, soft eraser brush and brush away around the bottom of the equalizers on both of your cloud layers.

Step 14

Create a new layer. Now grab your paintbrush, and set it to a large size, 0% hardness and 100% opacity and paint in some large spots of light (color: 77D1FF). Then reduce this layer’s opacity to 30%.

Step 15

Now duplicate your original cloud layer and move it above your large paintbrush layer. The layer blending mode should still be color dodge. Then reduce your paintbrush layer’s opacity to 20% and your cloud layer’s opacity to 45%. To get rid of the circular outlines from your low opacity brush markings, go to filter>blur>motion blur and apply a motion blur of around 200.

Step 16

Now paste an image of a man standing up into the center of your image. I found my image here: Cut out the man using the magic wand tool or lasso tool. Then change the layer’s blending mode to ‘soft light’ and use a large, soft eraser brush to erase away his feet, letting him subtly merge into the equalizers.

Step 17

Now duplicate your man photo layer and change the layer blending mode back to normal. Then select around the light parts of the photo, in this case his face and shirt. Then with this area selected invert your selection and hit delete, deleting the rest of the image surrounding his face/shirt. Then finally select his tie and delete this. The parts that you have deleted will allow the dark ‘soft light’ layer to show through.

Step 18

Now with your light areas of the man photo layer selected go to image>adjustments>desaturate. Then apply the color balance settings shown below:

Step 19

Now go back to your original equalizer layer and select the middle bar using the lasso tool. Copy it onto a new top layer above your man photo layer and resize it so that it is about 30% of the height of your man. Then duplicate this layer multiple times, going to edit>transform>flip vertical, and positioning the images until they completely cover your man.

Step 20

Now merge all of your duplicated small equalizer layers together, and go to image>adjustments>brigthness/contrast and make your brightness -100 and contrast +100 to make your equalizer images black. We want a rough selection that follows some of the shape of these small equalizer images, but currently the image is too blurry to select around it well. To fix this I go to filter>sharpen more and then use the magic wand tool with 50 tolerance to select roughly around some of the shapes. Then I invert my selection and hide my small equalizer layer. The trick now is to delete this selected area from your man photo layer and light face/shirt layer. However, too much of each layer would be deleted if you simply hit delete – for instance you want to retain most of the face. Therefore use the eraser brush, set to around 20% opacity to erase some areas of this selection more than others. I erased the face very little, but erased the man’s shirt quite a lot. Then I selected the original man photo layer and erased some of the edges of his suit, leaving other parts untouched.

Step 21

Now create a new top layer and use your path tool to draw a winding path across your man. Making sure that your current brush is 1px in size, 100% hardness and B6FEFE color with your path tool selected right click on your path and click ‘stroke path’. Then I go to edit>transform>scale and reduce the height of my path a little to squash it down. Finally I duplicate this layer and move the new layer a few pixels beneath the original. I reduce the width of the duplicate path line layer so that the lines are slightly different and distinct.

Step 22

I merge my two line layers together and then apply the outer glow settings shown below. Then I grab a large, soft eraser brush and fade out the right edge of both lines. I reduce the layer’s opacity to 80%.

Step 23

I use the edit>transform>scale tool to squash my lines vertically a little more, and the move my line layer beneath my man photo layer. Then I delete the parts of the lines that are showing through my man’s legs, making it appear that they are now traveling behind him. Now I create a new layer above my pen lines layer and using my paintbrush paint some white brush strokes over certain parts of my lines. I reduce the opacity of my brush to fade out the edges of these white brush marks subtly. Then I set this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’, giving the lines a nice lighting effect.

And We’re Done

Click the finished image below to see the full-sized version.

Download Source File for this Tutorial

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. Absolutely great tutorial! You continue to put out some real quality stuff, keep up the great work!

    - John

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks John! I gotta say I love what you’re doing with Design Bump, I’ll continue to submit all of my work there.

  3. Lennart says:

    lol absolutly awesome… not a bad idea to use an image of a volume equalizer. Nice!

  4. Tom says:

    Thanks Lennart :) I guess I could have made the equalizer image from scratch but figured it was easier to use a stock image. I’m glad you liked the outcome anyway.

  5. nextbase says:

    this is cool…

    and actually, you’re better than psdtuts…


  6. Nice work with the lighting on the floor. That’s some good use of the Render Cloud Filter right there ;)

  7. Tom says:

    Nextbase: Thanks! And whoa, that’s quite a compliment.

    David: Cheers mate :) It was pretty fun to design, and I’ve not actually used the cloud filter much before.

  8. twopo says:

    Great work there

  9. You are really good, no wonder you are always in homepage ;)

  10. Fubiz says:

    Beautiful tuto!

  11. Tom says:

    Thanks guys! I’m glad that you all enjoyed this tut :)

  12. Carty says:

    Can you use any of this on moving video or do you have to do this to each frame or your video?

    I have an idea how I could use the wave form in something else I’m doing but I was wondering if you know how I could create this type of effect on multiple frames (viaMotion or After Effects?)

  13. Tom says:

    Hi Carty, thanks for commenting. For music videos different software would be used, but I believe that Photoshop CS3 (Extended) has motion picture capabilities, where you may be able to achieve similar effects. I personally wouldn’t take the time to do each individual frame as I’m sure some motion picture software could do the job easier for you.

  14. bintek says:

    a very nice tutorial. thanks for sharing. (^_^)

  15. beets says:

    yeah, I’d take it into After Effects as a still image and then use animated masks on it… especially since by doing it that way, you can sync the movement with sound. A great plugin for doing that is Trapcode’s Sound Keys plugin:

  16. beets says:

    I had never seen that music video before, but I’m really impressed with your recreation of it Tom. Supurb! :)

  17. Yuki says:

    owesome! beautiful bulue light. I love it!
    thanks nice tut….

  18. Tom says:

    Bintek: Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it :)

    Beets: Thanks for the kind words. It is a really cool music video. I would love to see someone work with the layered image using After Effects. Thanks for recommending that plugin btw, I’ll go check it out.

    Yuki: Glad you liked the lighting effects, I hope that you’ll subscribe and check out my upcoming tutorials.

  19. James says:

    wow very good!

  20. Tom says:

    Cheers James, I’m glad you liked it :)

  21. C says:

    Excellent tutorial.
    Here’s how mine ended up:

    ..So I don’t like sticking to exact instructions. Nothing wrong with that.

  22. Tom says:

    That looks absolutely amazing C! Really impressive outcome.

  23. Niels says:

    Nice result, but imo it’s not well explained..
    though you get the result, so, thanks in any way for sharing the tutorial !

  24. A very killer tutorial. Thank you for posting and helping to make it happen for me lol.

  25. MiKeL_zO! says:

    this is going to be my next project! thanks Master Tom! All hail Master Tom!! Rock on! \m/

  26. great gonna try to make one using paris up the good work

  27. Tom says:

    Niels: Thanks for the feedback, is there any part in particular that you found hard to follow?

    Affordable Web Design: Thanks! I’m really glad you enjoyed it.

    Mikel: Haha, appreciate the comment as always :)

    NaldzGraphics: Awesome, I hope that you’ll share your outcome here.

    To all: Sorry for the delayed responses to your comments, my internets been down for days (really annoyingly).

  28. RECEPC says:


  29. Antonwoods says:

    wow i really like this tutorial, and i think i may have just found my daily resource feed. Thanks for the tutorial Tom and ive subscribed. Keep these quality tutorials coming!

  30. Antonwoods says:

    Oh and I forgot to show, the outcome of me following your tutorial.


  31. Tom says:

    Thanks RECEPC!

    Antonwoods: Thanks for the kind words and for subscribing, I really appreciate the support. I checked out your final result and it’s awesome! I’m consistently impressed by the results that my visitors are getting. I hope that you’ll consider replicating some of my other tuts :) Oh and I should be introducing a Flickr group soon if you were willing to show off your work.

  32. RUGRLN says:

    Fantastic tut dude!

  33. Azzy says:

    this is by far the best tutorial i have ever seen. Completely Awesome!!

  34. Martijn says:

    Fantastic work! ive followed this tut today( took almost my whole sunday:P) but its fantastic! i gave it my own taste, used a own picture, its great! only you got a idea how i can save it on 1440×900 format? so i can use it as my wallpaper! 10/10!

  35. DL says:

    Great tutorial but i did get lost at step 12 & 13. Whatever it’s meant to look like didn’t happen on my screen.

  36. Tom says:

    Thanks for the kind words guys, I really appreciate it.

    Martijn: I would just crop it to that size (go to image>canvas size and adjust the size here). If you made it smaller I’m afraid you’ll only be able to resize it larger and then crop it.

    DL: Did you set your cloud layer to ‘color dodge’. This should make the clouds only appear over your floor pattern.

  37. [...] 46. Replicate Justin Timberlake’s LoveStoned Music Video [...]

  38. Lee says:

    I like it. Very cool.

  39. meltz says:

    this is so cool …

  40. Jonathan.- says:

    Man.. I search this for weeks! You are MY GOD!


    Greetings from Argentina! :D

  41. Aidan Nelson says:

    Realli Interested In This Tutorial,,
    Like The Concept Of It,
    But One Thing That Is Gettin Me Is The Merging Bit Of It..
    I New To This Stuff, Any Advice On How To Merge Becuase Obviously You Need To Merge To Make It Work, And I Wanna Do This One Badly ..
    Thanks Mate ..!!

  42. SuperHuman says:

    wow…im stuck on step 1…i cxant get the magic wand to select the different colors of the equalizer…its just not working for me

    • Tom says:

      Are you on the correct layer? Select the layer containing your equalizer image and then make sure you have enough tolerance on your magic wand tool to select all of it. Alternatively, a much easier way is to option+click on your equalizer image layer to select ALL data on this layer. Hope this helps :)

  43. Bseweje says:

    this is sooooooo coooooooool. thanks for taking the time to write the tut.

  44. Nodachi says:

    Hey man. I’m a producer and I was searching for some inspiration to make my next profile image for my websites. Good lord, thank you so much for all this, its an amazing tutorial. I’ll keep an eye for all of your stuff.

    Thanks a lot!


  45. lukester911 says:

    unfortunately I’m struggling on step 8, im making marks with a size 60 brush, white and have tried both soft light and normal versions of the brush.

    However when I change to layer blending option to overlay it looks nothing like your image and is really annoying me…

  46. lukester911 says:

    oh, and does the colour you’re using make a difference in this step as the equalisers are a yellow colour on my image

  47. Kemar says:

    This tutorial is hard to understand. Especially for beginners. Can someone help me understand this tutorial better?? If you can explain it better, please contact me @

  48. mohsen says:

    Thanx so much for perspective in PS
    nice tutorial
    GO ON

  49. Kosta says:

    I remember few years back, similar tutorials were paid. Nowadays, thanks to good folks such as Tom, they are all free. Great work Tom, I really liked it.


  50. Yarra says:

    Another great tutorial from Tom, thanks

  51. Jon says:

    Just fantastic Photoshop work, it looks unbelievable.


  52. kwann says:

    idk good tuturial

    but how do u squash the image and the image aint there no more

  53. crizelle says:

    i dont get it when you said to invert the colours to blue.. how do u invert it??

  54. saroj says:

    nice tutorial

  55. Srikant says:

    Firstly, amazing tutorial.. Gonna try this now and will tell u the results..

    Secondly, yeah, I luvv the video too.. its really amazing.. i have been planning to create a pic of mine in the same fashion and been browsing for some instructions as am a beginner in PS.. Glad somebody came up with the same idea and without just trying it out, they actually published the steps.. :) Cheers dude.. You rock..!!

  56. Marcelo says:

    :O totalmente bueno el tutorial :D me encanto es bkn sii pero yo veia cada pasos se ve difiicl no entiendo mucho osea se de photoshop pero en la forma de como lo explican al final no lo pude hacer :/ me encantaria aprender hacer ese tutorial con una foto mia pero lamentable no pude :’( xk no entiendo el tuto me encanto el tutorial esta muy bueno :D saludo desde chileeeeeeee ! (Y) *:*

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