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Turning on lights in Photoshop tutorial


In this Photoshop tutorial, I’m going to show you how to turn on the lights in a photo. I made this car composite where I shot both the car and the background during the day, cut out the car and dropped it into this scene.  I changed the mood to nighttime as well as a raining evening. The big problem with this composite is that the car’s lights are off and we need them on. That’s what we are going to learn in this tut.

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 Step 1

Create a new layer and change it to color Dodge blending mode

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 Step 2

Choose a soft white brush and change the size to roughly the same size at the light.

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 Step 3

Click with the brush to add a glowing effect on the light. Sometimes you may need to apply it more than once, depending on the result.

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 Step 4

So the same for all the lights in the scene (all on the same layer)

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 Step 5

We now need a glow around the lights, as real lights spread.

Create a new layer and change it to Screen mode.

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 Step 6

Change the brush opacity to 40% (you could just change the layers opacity later you prefer)

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 Step 7

Choose a larger brush this time and make sure the foreground color is set to white.

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Dab the brush on the lights to create the glowing effect. In this case, I applied the brush 2x on each light.

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 Step 8

Now for some beams.

Create a new layer and set it to Screen mode

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 Step 9

Paint some lines beneath the lights, make the brush size the same as the lights.

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 Step 10

Choose Filter>Blur>Radial Blur.

Select zoom and set it to about 44

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 Step 11

Here you can see the lights smoothened out to beams (Sometimes I also apply a gaussian blur at this point, I didn’t on this image, but it might have looked better).

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 Step 12

Adjust the opacity to suit your tastes.

 

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And the result.

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 Extra Credit

Here I applied the lighting effects to different parts of the photograph where there are lights.

I also painted over the top of some bright areas and blurred them to look like streaks and lens flares that you might see on a wet evening, the way that rain makes light distort into the lens of a camera.

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Here is an example of a different shaped light and a beam art an angle using exactly the same steps.

car

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I hope you enjoyed this little tutorials. Check out our other tutorials here at PhotoshopCAFE and don’t forget to join our list for lots of Photoshop goodies.

 

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