Photoshop Tutorial: Make Objects Glow with Filters and Blend Modes

Adding a glow effect to an object can elevate your image and make it stand out. Photoshop offers various tools and techniques to achieve this effect, including filters, blend modes, and layer styles.

Creating a Glow Effect with Filters and Blend Modes

  1. Open the Image: Launch Photoshop and open the image you want to add a glow effect to.
  2. Select Object: Identify the object you want to add the glow effect to. Use the Lasso Tool or any other selection tool to make a precise selection of the object.
  3. Copy and Paste: Copy the selected object onto a new layer by pressing Ctrl+C (Windows) or Cmd+C (Mac) and then pasting it into a new layer by pressing Ctrl+V (Windows) or Cmd+V (Mac).
  4. Add Filter: Apply a filter to create the initial glow effect. Try filters like “Inner Glow,” “Outer Glow,” or “Bevel and Emboss.” Adjust the filter settings to control the intensity, size, and color of the glow.
  5. Adjust Blend Mode: Experiment with different blending modes to blend the glowing layer with the background. Try modes like “Overlay,” “Soft Light,” or “Screen.” Each mode will produce a slightly different effect.
  6. Fine-tune Opacity: Adjust the opacity of the glowing layer to control the intensity of the glow. A higher opacity will produce a more pronounced glow, while a lower opacity will create a subtler effect.
  7. Refine Mask: If needed, refine the selection mask to ensure that the glow is applied only to the intended object. Use tools like the Eraser Tool or the Magic Wand Tool to remove any unwanted glow around the edges.

Tips for Enhancing Glow Effects

  • Use Soft Selections: Use a soft-edged brush when making the initial selection to ensure a smooth and natural-looking glow.
  • Experiment with Blend Modes: Try different blending modes to achieve the desired effect. Experiment with multiple modes to find the one that creates the most visually appealing glow.
  • Adjust Opacity Gradually: Make adjustments to the opacity gradually to avoid overdoing it. You can always increase the opacity later if needed.
  • Refine Edges Carefully: If the glow extends beyond the edges of the object, use the Eraser Tool or the Magic Wand Tool to carefully refine the mask and eliminate any unwanted glow.

By mastering the techniques of adding a glow effect using filters, blend modes, and layer styles, you can effectively enhance the visual appeal of your images, adding a touch of magic and making your subjects stand out from the background.