The magic of light effects in photoshop

From the author: This lesson is proof that I like passion as I like colored light effects, and the more the better. I will show you how you can make strong lighting by applying, for example, layer styles. You will not need special brushes for this, we will do everything with the help of several images.

This lesson is not only for advanced, beginners can also try their hand, but you need to know how to use adjustment layers, how to create custom brushes and how to apply layer styles. Despite all this, I think that this is not a very difficult lesson.

I wanted to create something like a wizard who throws colored balls with energy. Therefore, I have selected several images and now I suggest that you begin this work.

That’s the master wizard of which this whole lesson.

Materials for the lesson:

Step 1. In Photoshop, open a photo that shows your future Master. You will not need to separate it from the background if you want to add only such effects as in the lesson. To begin, add a couple of adjustment layers for general image correction. The first will Gradient map (Gradient Map) with default gradient (purple orange), set its blending mode to Linear clarifier (Add) (Linear Dodge (Add) and opacity (Opacity) 10%. Second adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue \ Saturation). In the settings of this layer we will raise Saturation (Saturation) to 25.

Step 2. Let’s start with the light ball. Open image powerball.jpg, reduce its size and increase saturation. Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen), so you hide the black background. Now take a big, soft brush and on a new layer and draw two big points. The author used yellow and blue to match the colors of the ball, which is a layer below. Change the blending mode for the point layer to Overlap (Overlay).

Step 3. At the moment, our energy balance looks good, but you can do better by adding some details. Create a glow ball with a large soft orange brush. Change the blending mode for this layer to Spot light (Pin Light) and lower the opacity to 50%. This is very important, because without this layer it will be difficult to see External glow (Outer glow) of the small dots-sparks shown in the following screenshot.

Keep in mind that depending on the color of your image with the model, you may have to use different blending modes. Blend modes work differently depending on color and lighting.
Now you need to create a brush for sparks, with dispersion, just turn on the noise option in the brush settings. In layer styles add External glow (Outer glow) and set the blending mode in the glow settings to Lightening basics (Color Dodge).

Note translator: The settings for this brush are in this lesson in step 5.

As you can see, the sparks are very visible on the layer now, this is because we have previously created a layer with an orange glow below.
In order to better mark this ball, the author made some lines using the tool Pen (Pen Tool). Pre-set the hard brush to 2 pixels. and with the Pen tool active, select the option Outline the contour (Stroke Path). In the settings window, select Brush (Brush). Check the box Simulate pressure (Simulate Pressure option). You can create 5 or 6 curved lines. They can be duplicated and rotated as you like.

After the lines are ready, merge them all into one layer, if you made them on separate layers and apply External glow (Outer glow). Keep in mind that the size and colors of your image can affect the final result, and you may need to use different settings than those suggested in the lesson.

Step 5. After we have made the first energy ball, we will add some colors to the model’s body using brushes and a stock image. Open up color-waves.jpgand paste it into your document. Scale it if necessary and change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen). Create a layer mask and hide the top. See image below.

Using a big soft Brush (Brush), add more color shades and set the blending mode for this layer. Overlap (Overlay) or Lightening (Screen).

Step 6. Now I will show you how to make 3D squares and circles.
Take a square brush and activate the option in the brush settings window Scattering (Scattering), but do not add scattering too much. AT Form dynamics (Shape dinamics) need to be increased Angle swings (Angle Jitter). Just set the setting Size fluctuation (Size Jitter) to the maximum and if you are not working with a tablet, then Management (Control) enable setting Transition (Fade). Using this setting, the brush stroke at the end will be narrowed.
Brush from the left foot to the right hand. If there are too many squares, then add scattering.

Set the layer blending mode to squares to Overlap (Overlay) and add the following layer styles. Try different colors and blending modes to get an interesting result.

3D circles are made in the same way. Create several circles of different sizes and reduce Fill (Fill) up to 16%. Copy the layer styles from the square layer and, if you wish, change some blending modes and colors in the settings External glow (Outer Glow). You can hide these 3D circles in the following steps and prepare other effects.

Note translator: layer styles can be copied by holding the key Alt and simply drag the style icon to the desired layer.

Step 7. Open image color-lines.jpg and place it on your left foot. Set the blending mode to Lightening (Screen). Change the color if you want and increase the saturation of the image.

Create multiple contours with the tool Pen (Pen Tool), pre-set the hard brush to 2 pixels. and then, we outline the outline. Below in the screenshot are the layer styles that need to be applied to the created lines.

Add lighting on your left foot. To do this, take a soft Brush (Brush) and reduce it opacity (Opacity) up to 43%. Draw two spots using colors. c2839f and bac93c. Change the blending mode of this layer to Bright light (Vivid Light).

Step 8. Create two or three selections using the tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool). Holding the key Shift, you make it at a 45º angle. Then, use a large soft brush and swipe the edge of the selection. You should have something like the screenshot below. After all these steps, change the layer blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) or Soft light (Soft Light).

Step 9. Open image fractals.jpg and place it in your document and then go to the menu Filter – Design – Mosaic (Filter-Pixelate-Mosaic). The author used 30 pixels in the settings window as the cell size, since it works with a high resolution image, but you can use the size that fits your picture. After that we increase the saturation and change the blending mode to Lightening basics (Color Dodge). You can also try changing the color of the resulting mosaic to see which color combinations you like more.

Step 10. As you can see, the right part of our image looks like something empty, and we will change it. Use a square brush and draw a few random squares not far from each other, and also apply a filter to them. Motion blur 45 º (motion blur). To add colors to the drawn squares, use the layer styles. Screenshots below. To enhance this effect, duplicate this layer.

We also add a spark scattered with a brush to the layer with blurred squares, as in step 3 and thereby enhance the color and light effects. For these sparks, you also need to customize the layer styles External glow (Outer Glow) set the blending mode to glow Lightening basics (Color Dodge). As seen in the screenshot below, the blend mode for this layer Overlap (Overlay)

Use a large soft blue brush and add a flash of light to your right foot. Blend mode for this layer put Linear clarifier (add) (Linear Dodge (Add).

Step 11. The turn came to create the second energy ball and we will do it with the help of this image – supernova.jpg. Move it to your document, scale it, add saturation and place it on your hand. Blend mode for this layer Lightening (Screen). In order to add the effect of light emission, take a big soft brush with a reddish-orange tint and leave a print on the ball on a new layer. Blend mode for this layer Linear clarifier (add) (Linear Dodge (Add)).

Use the diffuse brush to add sparks to the ball, as you did a few steps back on your right hand. Add layer styles External glow (Outer Glow) with default color and blend mode set Lightening basics (Color Dodge).

Now we will create a train for this energy using an image – trail.jpg. Place it in your document and change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen).

For the volume of the ball use another image – shatters.jpg.

Conclusion: That’s all! Of course, you can add more images for effects, but do not overdo it. Keep in mind, when you select images, they can be applied to different blending modes, it depends on their color and contrast. Also remember that the author used high resolution images and if you use low resolution images, then you may have to change the settings suggested in the lesson.

The result of the lesson:

Note translator: do not forget to turn on the circle layer, if you turned it off, the author on the final image seems to forget about it).

Note translator: if you follow the link to the source of the lesson, you can download PSD file author. But, do not get too carried away by someone else’s work, and learn how to do such things yourself). Good luck in learning this lesson!

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