Star Swirls!

Hi guys,

Does anyone have advice on the best way to create this kind of swirl in the attached chocolate ad? I intend to use it for general static digital artwork.

I’d imagine I could just use the marquee tool to create hoops around an object, then stroke it and add various glows, right?

But do you think that’s how the artwork in the attached example was created? How are the ‘stars/speckles’ attached to the stroke?

To expand on this, does anyone know if there’s a way to export a similar swirl created using Trapcode Particular in After Effects? Just to export a static transparent PNG of it. I just think you can control things like perspective etc with that kind of asset as the swirl is basically made for you. I just don’t know how to export it at a high enough resolution from AE.

Apologies - a lot to unpack here. Any advice is very welcome!


There can be a brush attached to a path.

You could use a speckled brush to paint on lines in photoshop.

Usually, there are many different ways to get the same result.

I dont know if in after effects you could pair particle systems to a path and add in a keyframe to move it.

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Indeed - many different ways

I thought of using illustrator and you can use Object>Blend to make the stars twist and gain perspective etc. by adjusting the objects.

Screenshot 2020-12-10 at 08.08.14

If it’s digital online only - Photoshop might be a better option to create it. But I’d want to create it using Vectors so I can output to many different sizes or purposes afterwards - like print/posters/banners/pull ups/ web etc.

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Of course a very rudimentary proof of concept.

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Thanks for the tip Billyjeanplxiv! I figured there must be a way of attaching a brush to a path alright. I just thought I might have problems keeping the 3d idea of the swirl plausible and realistic.

In AE, you can attach a light to a path in 3d space, then assign a Particular effect to the light which is a handy way to keep it exact. However, exporting it from AE in a very high resolution isn’t really working out for me unfortunately.

Yes!! Thanks Smurf2! Like you, I’d prefer to create it using vectors, for those same reasons. Again, I’d just wonder about how realistic the “3d” idea of the swirl would be. But that’s probably more my own limitations as an illustrator than it is anything to do with a quick fix in Photoshop or Illustrator.

Thank you for taking the time to illustrate this too by the way!

Even if there’s no easy fix in the old days you would have to layer every element so you could always do it that way haha.

You could even place stars around a circle. Use the (rotate tool, copy, cntrl d) move the stars around an element and adjust that element in perspective

No problem.

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