PHASE TWO: How To Plan Out A Bursting/Explosion Effect
Step One: So now we get started on the bursting/explosion effect around the letters. The idea here is to radiate lines outward from the "X" in the center of "KA-BOOM!" to use as guidelines for those triangular shaped tendrils that make up the bursting effect. You naturally draw the radiating lines using a pencil and a ruler, but for the sake of clarity and simplicity, I've provided the radiating lines via Photoshop. You should have some idea in your head as to what your bursting effect should look like shape wise before you start this step:
Step Two: The next thing you want to do is rough in your bursting effect, using the radiating lines as guidelines. You do NOT have to follow the radiating lines absolutely here. You're going to have time to tidy everything up later on when you get to PHASE THREE of this tutorial. For now, just worry about roughing in the initial shape of the burst. You don't need it to be perfect. Not yet anyway.
You should keep in mind that a good burst effect needs to also have some chaos to it. Don't make all the points of your blast even width or height. Shake things up a bit. A good rule of thumb is to do a short triangular tendril next to a longer one, staggering things on occasion to mix things up. Variety is key here. If all the points are perfect and even, your burst effect will look very dull and mechanical, and will have little impact.
Step Three: Once you've loosely penciled out the bursting effect, you can now tighten it up a little with a brushpen, sharpie, or pen, etc. Remember, this is still the rough phase of things, so you not going for perfection, but you are tightening things up and making some executive decisions. Here's what I came up with:
More or less, the early "rough" part of things is now complete. PHASE THREE begins the wrap up....