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Simple Glow Effect in Photoshop CS3




Start with a base image. Mine is icon-sized but you can do this with any size graphic. Color it to your choosing. This will work best if it's not too light.



Now for the light/glow effect. Make a new layer. Leave it on normal 100% opacity for now. Choose white (#ffffff)as your foreground color. Choose a soft round brush, smaller is better when working on an icon-sized canvas (I chose 9 pixels). Go over the parts you'd like to have a little glow.



Yeah, that's not so pretty. We need to blur it for some subtlety. Go to filter > blur > box blur. The higher you adjust the number of the radius the softer the effect will be (I chose 6 pixels). If your graphic program doesn't have box blur you can use gaussian blur instead.



Now you can simply set it to screen and adjust the opacity (I set it at 44%) for a simple subtle effect.


OR

You can go for a more dynamic effect and set it to softlight.



But that just punches it up a little bit. Duplicate that layer (with the white on it) and set it to screen. Then you want to adjust the opacity and/or fill (located just beneath the opacity slider) so that it's not that dynamic (I set the opacity at 50% and the fill at 45%).



You can achieve various degrees of glowiness simply by playing around with these settings. You can also use color instead of white. You can get some very interesting results by layering several different colored blur layers on different opacity and settings. And black in place of white creates a soft shadowed effect. Have fun and experiment.
soft color layers>  bright color layers>

Comments

123marinka456
May. 31st, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)
I'm curious too=)
I'm using PS3,but can't find any "box blur"!So is there any dfference?
barstr7
May. 31st, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
I personally just find box blur easier to use. But in technical terms (stolen from various books on CS3) the difference is this: With Gaussian Blur, each pixel is compared to the pixels around it in an even radius in all directions (left,right,top,bottom and diagonally) while Box Blur only compares the pixels in a "box" (left,right,top,bottom). So when you adjust the radius to a high setting in Box Blur you get boxier square edges instead of the total overall blur in every direction that Gaussian Blur will give you. It's only a minute difference as far as I can see when you're using such a low radius in Box Blur versus Gaussian. And since I used a soft brush with no hard edges the box effect really isn't noticeable. If you used it on an entire picture with several colors right next to each other with defined edges you would notice it. Example. I hope I didn't mangle that description too much and that it helps explain things a little bit.
123marinka456
May. 31st, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
No,your description isn't mangled at all=)I study PS by myself,without any help,so such explanation is very usefull.But I have my PS in Russian,so have some problems with names of filters=)

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