Beams of light can highlight a product you’re advertising, draw attention to one portion of your website, or create an ethereal look on an otherwise plain image. With a little knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, you can add a beam of light to any image, create interest and draw the viewer’s eye.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Adobe Photoshop
- Digital image
Open your image in Photoshop and make a duplicate copy of the layer. The easiest way to do this is to press Crtl+J. For the light beam effect to be successful, choose an image that shows the object and has some room above it for the beam.
Choose the "Polygonal Lasso" and select a feathering ratio of 12 for low-resolution images. Increase the feathering ratio if your image has a higher resolution.
Select the area of light with the "Polygonal Lasso" that you would like the beam to illuminate. Start at the top of your image, above the border and draw downwards, including the portion of the object to be illuminated. Extend the line below the border and back up on the other side.
Invert your selection by pressing Ctrl+I. Darken the portion outside the beam first so you can later use that to judge your beam's brightness.
Open the "Layers" dialogue box with Ctrl+L. Slide the left pointer to the right and the selected portion of your image will darken. Click "OK" when it reaches the shade you like.
Reverse the selection with Ctrl+I. The selection surrounds the beam once again. Open the "Levels" dialogue box again, but this time use the right point on the slider and move it to the left. As soon as you have the light intensity you want, click "OK."
Add a layer mask to fine-tune your image. Click on the "Layer Mask" button at the bottom of the Layers Pallet.
Use a small soft black brush to paint on the layer mask underneath the areas of the object. Flatten your image and save or print.
Tips and warnings
- You can use this technique anytime you need to highlight an object with a beam of light.