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Creating Glow Effects in Your Designs With Photoshop Part 1

by | Nov 14, 2010 | Photoshop, Tutorials | 0 comments

Glow effects can really add drama to your designs and really make them stand out. Contrast is key here, so it is always a good idea to use a really dark, or even black background. You can add these types of effects to anything such as text, lines, shapes, etc.

To do this, open up a new document inside of Photoshop. For our purposes, I created a document that is 1024 x 768. I filled the background layer with black, and then I held down Shift + Command (Ctrl on the PC) and hit the letter N to create a new layer.

For glowing lines, take your pen tool, and create a path in the shape or contour that you want. I hid the black layer so that you could see the path easier. Go to the path panel and make sure that your path is selected. Then, without deselecting your path, go to your tools panel and select your brush tool. Go up to the brush options and choose a basic 10px brush and make sure that the hardness is set to 0 in order to have a soft brush. This will help with the glow effect. With the brush tool still selected, Make sure your foreground is set to white and go back to your paths panel and hit the second icon from the left at the bottom, called “Stroke path with brush.”

After doing this, you can manipulate the path using your direct selection tool and repeat the process until you have as many lines as you want. If you want a different glow color for each of your lines, then put each one on its own layer.

Then,simple double-click your line layer, and select Inner Glow and chose a nice color, and select Hard Light as the blending mode, making the color stand out more. Select Outer Glow and do the same thing. For the inner glow, I usually choose a lighter color, such as in the first one, I chose yellow for the inner glow. Then for the outer glow, I chose a darker one, such as orange. Also, I tend to bump up the outer glow to around 15-16. This gives you a neon-like glow. Then, simply repeat this for each line layer.

If you want to make the lines look like they are intertwined, then simply create a mask on that layer and where the lines intersect, mask that area out.

Paint with your brush on a mask layer here.

The finished result:

You can use this effect to put light streaks around a person to jazz up an action scene, or you could use this around an object to make it more exciting. Tomorrow, I am going to show some more effects and things you can do.

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