Photoshop lighting effects

by Design Workshop Sydney

Lighting Effects are a great way to add dynamism to an image in Photoshop. We show you a range of professional secrets in our Photoshop coursesphotoshop-lighting-effects
This interior image is a render from a VectorWorks model, but any photograph will do. First we adjust the tonal levels of the image by creating a Levels adjustment layer – this is known as non-destructive editing. Move the black & white stops inwards a little, then adjust the grey midtone slider – click the small arrow on bottom left to close the panel. Go to your History panel and create a Snapshot (bottom of panel).
You could also create a Curves adjustment layer – note the Presets, for example Medium Contrast. Accentuate the suggested curve. The best curves are bell curves, inverted bell curves and S-shaped curves. Go into History again and create a second Snapshot – this will allow you to compare results & choose which you like best at the end. To tweak your adjustments further double-click on the layer thumbnail to open up the controls again – click on eyeball icon to toggle the effect on and off.
Next add some colour: Layers > New Layer > Blending mode: Color > add a dark blue to transparent Gradient from bottom to top > Opacity 20-50% > and create a Snapshot.
To add the Lighting effects: right-click on the Background layer > Convert to Smart Object (again for non-destructive editing). Then go to Filter > Rendering > Lighting Effects. Note that you have many Presets in this filter – select one then adjust the light direction, intensity, colour, etc. And create a Snapshot.
Because you converted this layer to a Smart Object, you’ll be able to make adjustments to the effect later on if necessary. If you hadn’t converted to Smart Object, this option would not be available.
If you’re using the 64-bit version of Photoshop on a Macintosh you may have trouble using the Lighting Effects. If so, open Photoshop in 32-bit mode and Lighting Effects should return. Just follow these instructions:
1. Close Photoshop if it is open
2. Find the Photoshop application file located in the Photoshop CC folder
3. Right-click or Control-click on the application and choose “Get Info”
4. Click the checkbox “Open in 32-bit mode”
5. Restart Photoshop – The missing filters should return.
Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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