- April 3rd, 2008
- 133 Comments
Lighting effects in Adobe Photoshop are used to add flare and polish to images. They communicate feelings of creativity, technology, magic, and fantasy. Creating beams, glows, motion trails, rainbows, or an assortment of other lighting effects, give your images ambiance and depth.
Now it’s time for a sparkling dose of related Photoshop learning material. This article provides a resource of Adobe Photoshop Light Effects tutorials. These tutorials offer an assortment of techniques for making your work creatively glow.
Please consider them as an extension of our ultimate Adobe Photoshop series:
- Adobe Photoshop Tutorials – Best Of1 features some of the best Adobe Photoshop tutorials out there,
- Adobe Photoshop Video Tutorials – Best Of2 showcases 80 excellent Adobe Photoshop video tutorials which you can use as a starting point to improve your skills or observe how professionals do their job.
Photoshop Light Effects Tutorials
How to Make the “Flare” Effect As Seen On WPCustomization.com
In this tutorial, the Lens Flare filter is used on the background. Then the lighting is created with brushes and different blending modes.
Amazing Photoshop light effect in 10 Steps11
“If you know a bit of Layer Styles and the Brush engine in Photoshop you will be able to create amazing effects. It will depend exclusively on your imagination and playing with the tool. Sometimes just changing some settings and you get a totally different effect.” This tutorial applies lighting effects to a coffee cup icon.
Creating A Fantastic Fantasy Night Sky In Photoshop13
Create cartoon style clouds with rainbows, stars, and glowing effects. Based on a Nik Ainley14 design.
Electrifying Energy Beams18
In this tutorial you start with the pen tool by drawing a line. Then you transform that line into an energy beam with layer effects. This makes it glow white and purple around a microphone.
Extreme sports branding24
This tutorial first covers creating a logo then it gets into the main snowboard illustration. Vector shapes are applied with layer effects and brushes to make the illustration stand out. This is part one in a series.
This tutorial explains how to create an energetic design with lines. Utilize blurs, warps, and other effects. Add glowing and vibrating colors to give this image a dynamic feeling.
Creating light motion trails & glowing sparks36
This tutorial covers creating light motion trails by using the pen tool with layer styles. It also covers creating sparkling stars in Illustrator and then importing them into the Photoshop design.
Fantasy Art Photoshop tutorial40
Learn to create a fantasy image with glowing halos of lights and stars. Notice how you can apply glow directly to a cropped image. The tutorial creates the halos with the Elliptical Marquee tool. It applies a stroke and then a glow to the selection, on its own layer.
Photoshop: Light Beam42
This tutorial reviews the basic process of creating a light beam in Photoshop; however, it does refer to other tutorials for some effects. The techniques in this tutorial involve using different brushes to paint the light, and then they are smeared with the Smudge Tool. There are a few filters used as well.
Even fairies have to rest – glow and lightning tutorial44
First, the photograph is treated to make it a little darker so that the points of light in the design will stand out. Both a linear wrapping beam and points of radiating light are covered in this tutorial.
Seriously Cool Photoshop Explosion Effect52
Use layer masks and light effects to creatively break apart an image. Points of bright lights, swirly brushes, and warped lines help bring this design together.
Which techniques can be applied?
At the compositional level, these effects are often applied through shapes. So, you might start with the pen tool by drawing a curvy line. Or, grab a brush and draw some scattered stars. Or, open up Illustrator first to compose design elements that you then pull back into Photoshop. The tutorial Expressive lighting effects545 demonstrates how to use interesting design shapes first and then apply glowing effects to them.
Once you know how you’d like to use shapes, you can apply effects to them. Layer styles and Blending Modes are common effects used to create this look. With Layer Styles, you might apply Glow. Or, with Blending Modes, you might set the layer to Lighten, Overlay, or Color Dodge – get the element you’re working with to sparkle and shine.
There are more techniques often used; such as different types of blurs and gradients. You could play with Photoshop’s built in lighting effects, like Lens Flare, as well. Or get creative. Mix in rainbows. Paint glowing bursts of light. Manipulate the lines and shapes your working with.
Where can I get some inspiration?
Consider raising it to the next level, after you’ve mastered the basics of lighting and glow techniques. To raise the quality of your glowing work you’ll need inspiration and imagination.
Also, look at photographic effects; for example, look at how light appears to blur and travel in long exposure photography. See the Flickr Group Light Stream61 for samples of this kind of photography.
Keep your eyes and mind open. You’ll start to see these effects in the real world. Or look to fantasy art; the sparkling feel of these effects can be used to supersede reality, magically transforming your designs.
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