Stylish Light Effect in Photoshop
- Aug 24, 2009
One of the most popular tutorials I have writen is the Sparkling Hot Girl in Photoshop. It was a very straightforward technique on how to create some nice light effects mixed with a hot girl. Everything over a dark background. Since then I have received emails asking me how to create light effects over white or light backgrounds. So I decided to try some ideas and create an image mixing a photo of a girl with some light effects.
So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a very stylish image mixing light effects and a hot girl photo over a light background. We will play with Blend Modes and Adjustment Layers to achieve that.
Go to Image>Adjustemtns>Hue and Saturation. Reduce the Saturation to -65.
Now go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. Use Black and White for the colors and select Dither and Reverse. After that change the Blend Mode to Soft Light.
Duplicate the layer of the girl, this new layer will be on top of the original girl layer. Go to Filter>Other>High Pass. User 5 pixels for the Radius and press OK. After that change the Blend Mode to Hard Light.
Select the layer girl and go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. Use 90% for the Amount, 7 for the Radius and 0 for the Threshold.
Duplicate the girl layer again and put it on top of the other layers. Go to Filter>Stylize>Glowing Edges. Use 1 for the Edge Width, 2 for the Edge Brightness and 2 for the Smoothness.
With the glowing edges layer selected, go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate. You will have white lines now for the strokes, so just change the Blend Mode to Screen. Tip: You can make the lines stronger by going to Image>Adjustments>Levels and increasing the white input.
Create a layer on top of the others and with the Gradient Tool (G) use black and white for the colors and Radial for the Type to fill the layer with a gradient. Change the Blend Mode to Multiply and reduce the opacity until you get a very subtle gradient effect. Use the image below for reference.
To create the first light effect I will use a photo of a star, you can download it here. Copy just the part of the photo you want and paste it in the document. After that change the Blend Mode to Screen so what is black will be totally transparent. You will have a nice light effect over her shoulder.
Go to Image>Adjustments>Hue and Saturation. Select Colorize and then move the Hue until you get a nice pink color, I used 300 for the Hue and 50 for the Saturation.
Create a and with the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft round brush select a light blue for the color and paint a spot of blue light (1). Add another layer and again with the Brush Tool (B) and the same brush, just select a green for the color and paint another spot of light (2). Change the Blend Mode of these 2 layers to Screen.
I wanted to add some nice effects like particles coming off of her body. To do that I create an explosion in Cinema 4D, it's very simple but I won't get in details this time. You can download the image I used here.
Import the image in Photoshop and place it in your document. After that go to Image>Adjustments>Invert. That way you will get black particles instead of white. Then just change the Blend Mode to Multiply in order to make what is white become transparent. Move this first image to her back like the image below.
Use again the same image but resize it a little bit and rotate it. It's very important to place both images trying to make it match the black areas of the girls blouse.
With the Eraser Tool (E) use a very small brush and delete some areas to make the edges of the girl less uniform on those areas that there are the particles.
Now just place a nice texture on top of the other layers, I'm using a concrete texture courtesy of Shutterstock. You can donwload it here. Also you can add more elements like a milk splash I added on her leg.
You can finish the design with some fine tuning, like reducing the size of some elements and add more details. The effect is just a mix of some other techniques I have already explained how to do them. Light effects with light backgrounds are always tricky because we need dark areas to make them visible also textures always give a nice touch to any design. The idea of this tutorial was just to create a nice and stylish light effect like the Sparkling hot girl but with a light background.
This is a simpler version without the particles.