Sparkle Howto

Every few months, one effect becomes the flavor of the week, and right now (September 2002), the sparkle animation is the new thing. Never one to disappoint the fans, here's a quick tutorial on how to make them. I don't have PSP, so the only tutorial on this one will be for Fireworks. The concept is pretty generic, though.

This is an example of the sparkle effect. It also has some cool brush background, which you can learn about here. It has a static background on one layer, and six frames of animation overlaid on top, composed entirely of the stars.
The sparkles are simple 4-pointed stars, made with the polygon tool. For simple repetition, use the symbol library. I started with a yellow star, just for visibility. Sparkles are generally white. They should also be partially transparent - I prefer 70% or so.
To the left is the original sparkle, dragged to the image. Notice it's too darned big. So, a quick resize to 24 pixels wide and tall fixes that. I also made it white and 70% opaque.

And, the next frame, with the same symbol dropped in a different location.

After a sparkle or two per frame, the final result looks like this: