Amazing Photoshop light effect in 10 Steps

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Last year I had written a tutorial showing how to create some lighting effects in Photoshop, it was called Magic Lighting Effects. A lot of people liked it, but some people still have some questions on how to achieve that effect.

When I added a “buy me a coffee” featured on my blog I decided to use an image I had done when I was showing my cousin how to do the Magic effect. Instead of using a hat I used a coffee cup and the process is basically the same, however this time I will explain it in more details.

Step 1

Create a new document, apply a Layer Style on the background layer. Add a Gradient Overlay and a Pattern Overlay.

Coffee tutorial

Step 2

Here I've used an icon I found on a cool site, but you can use whatever you want.

Coffee tutorial

Step 3

Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and create a shape like I did. After that apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) with radius of 30px.

Coffee tutorial

Step 4

Create a new Folder name it “Light Effects”. Change its blend mode to Color Dodge, and move the ellipse you created to this folder.

Coffee tutorial

Step 5

In order to create the sparks we will use the amazing brush engine. Add a new layer, inside the “Light Effects” layer, set white for the color and follow the images below.

Coffee tutorial

Step 6

Using the Layer Styles add a Outer Glow to the sparks

Coffee tutorial

Step 7

Lets add some smoke. Create a new Layer, call it “Smoke”. Change its blend mode to Color Dodge and select the Lasso Tool. Set 40px for Feather and create a selection like I did below. After that make sure that the foreground is white and the background is black and apply a Filter>Render>Clouds. Tip: Continue applying the filter until you get the best clouds.

Coffee tutorial

Step 8

Add some text and using the Layer Styles again lets create a nice effect.

Coffee tutorial

Step 9

Place your logo and you can even add more effects like I did on the Magic Lighting Effect, but then you will have to follow that tutorial ;).

Coffee tutorial

Conclusion

I have to say, 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 a some settings and you get a totally different effect.

Coffee tutorial

The PSD file used in this tutorial can be downloaded here.

Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.

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