How to make things sparkle in CS4

Written by adrian grahams Google
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How to make things sparkle in CS4
Bling up your photos and graphics with an eye-catching sparkle effect. (Getty Thinkstock)

The sparkle effect in Adobe Photoshop CS4 graphics software adds a glint to part of your image to accentuate a shine. For example, you might want to add a sparkle to a wine glass, spotlight, magic wand, diamond ring or even someone's teeth to make the photo stand out in a brochure or on a promotional website. To make an image sparkle in Adobe Photoshop, create a star shape with the program's built-in brush tool and then add this to your photo.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Select "File" in the main menu, followed by "New" in the drop-down menu to create a new image file. This opens the New image dialog window with a selection of options for configuring the image.

  2. 2

    Set both the image width and height settings to "200" in the dialog window so that you can use the image as a sparkle brush preset. Choose "RGB" as the colour mode from the options list, and then click "OK" to open the image in a new window in the workspace area.

  3. 3

    Select a paint brush from the "Tools" pane in the sidebar. The sidebar may appear on the right, left or top of the workspace, depending on your program preferences.

  4. 4

    Click the "Brush Presets" button, and then choose a star-shaped brush from the expanded pane. Set the brush size to the correct dimensions and hardness-softness level for your sparkle.

  5. 5

    Click on the canvas in the open image to add one or more sparkles to the image. Go back and create different sized sparkles by changing the size of the star-shaped brush. This is particularly useful if you want multiple sparkles to give a magical look to a photo, rather than just accentuating the shine on an object with one or two sparkles.

  6. 6

    Save the sparkle image you've just created as a brush preset. Click "Edit" followed by "Define brush preset" and then give the brush a name, such as "Sparkle effect."

  7. 7

    Open the image that you want to bling up with the sparkle by selecting "File" in the main menu, followed by the "Open" option. You can also drag the file from an open computer directory and drop it onto the workspace to open it.

  8. 8

    Select the "Create new layer" button and name it "Sparkle" or something similar. Select "white" as the foreground colour, and then open your preset brush again.

  9. 9

    Choose the "Shape dynamics" option, and then select "Scattering" to give your sparkle a subtle and realistic look. Click on the image to add each sparkle, and then save the file when you're happy with the effect.

Tips and warnings

  • Add a blur filter to the sparkle from the "Filter" menu if you want to give the effect an outer glow.

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