How to create a halo glow effect

Written by eirik ott
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How to create a halo glow effect
Give someone a halo with photo-editing software. (Christ image by Vely from Fotolia.com)

Image-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop---and its free online doppelgänger, Pixlr.com---makes adding special effects to your favourite snapshots easy to do on your home computer. Each contains numerous built-in filters and adjustments that can fix errors in focus, tweak colours and crop images. With a little know-how, you can also add comical adjustments to your photos for use as icons on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open Photoshop by double-clicking on its icon on your computer's hard drive.

  2. 2

    Drag down the "File" menu, then select "Open." Find the image file to which you would like to add the halo effect using the window that pops up, then hit "Open."

  3. 3

    Click on the "lasso" tool in the Toolbox, which will change the cursor into a little lasso icon.

  4. 4

    Move the tip of the lasso cursor to the edge of the head of the person in the photo to whom you would like to add the halo effect. Click the mouse button and carefully drag the lasso cursor around the entire circumference of the head until you reach your start point. Release the mouse button and note that the entire head will be selected.

  5. 5

    Drag down the "Edit" menu, then choose "Cut." Note that the head of the person you've selected will disappear, signalling that the image has been saved to your computer's clipboard.

  6. 6

    Drag down the "Layer" menu, then choose "New," then select "Layer" to create a new layer just above the main photo. Do this one more time to create another layer above that.

  7. 7

    Drag down the "Edit" menu, then choose "Paste" to place the head you had selected into the topmost blank layer.

  8. 8

    Hold down the "Command" button (Mac) or "Ctrl" button (PC) while clicking your mouse down on the head you have just pasted, then drag the mouse to position the head exactly over the hole in the original photo so that it looks like a complete photo once again.

  9. 9

    Click on the middle layer in the "Layer" window to select the blank layer between the head and the main photo.

  10. 10

    Click and hold on the "Rectangular Marquee Tool" in the Toolbox until a pop-up menu appears, then choose the "Elliptical Marquee Tool." Position the cursor slightly above and to the left side of the head in the top layer, then click and drag the cursor to a position slightly below the right ear. Release the mouse, and note that an oval shape has been selected in the middle layer.

  11. 11

    Click on the "Set Foreground Color" tool in the toolbox, then set the following values in the "Color Picker" window to choose a bright yellow colour: C=0%; M=0%; Y=100%; K=0%.

  12. 12

    Click on the "Paint Bucket" tool in the Toolbox, then position the cursor into the centre of the highlighted area in the middle layer and click the mouse button to fill the highlighted area with yellow.

  13. 13

    Click on the "Elliptical Marquee Tool" in the Toolbox, then click anywhere on the graphic window to deselect the circular area you just coloured yellow. Drag down the "Filter" menu, then choose "Blur," then select "Gaussian Blur." Set the "Radius" to "10 Pixels." Click "OK."

  14. 14

    Drag down the "Layer" menu, then choose "Flatten Image." Drag down the "File" menu, choose "Save As," then save the image with a new name to your computer's hard drive.

  1. 1

    Open your web browser and surf to Pixlr.com, then click on "Open Image Editor."

  2. 2

    Click "Open Image From Computer" in the pop-up window that appears to choose the photo on your computer you would like to edit, then click "Open."

  3. 3

    Click on the "lasso" tool in the Toolbox, which will change the cursor into a little lasso icon.

  4. 4

    Move the tip of the lasso cursor to the edge of the head of the person in the photo to whom you would like to add the halo effect. Click the mouse button and carefully drag the lasso cursor around the entire circumference of the head until you reach your start point. Release the mouse button and note that the entire head will be selected.

  5. 5

    Drag down the "Edit" menu, then choose "Cut." Note that the head of the person you've selected will disappear, signalling that the image has been saved to your computer's clipboard.

  6. 6

    Drag down the "Layer" menu, then choose "New," then select "Layer" to create a new layer just above the main photo. Do this one more time to create another layer above that.

  7. 7

    Drag down the "Edit" menu, then choose "Paste" to place the head you had selected into the topmost blank layer.

  8. 8

    Hold down the "Move" tool in the toolbox, then click the head graphic and drag the mouse to position the head exactly over the hole in the original photo so that it looks like a complete photo once again.

  9. 9

    Click on the middle layer in the "Layer" window to select the blank layer between the head and the main photo.

  10. 10

    Click and hold on the "Rectangular Marquee Tool" in the Toolbox until a pop-up menu appears, then choose the "Elliptical Marquee Tool." Position the cursor slightly above and to the left side of the head in the top layer, then click and drag the cursor to a position slightly below the right ear. Release the mouse, and note that an oval shape has been selected in the middle layer.

  11. 11

    Click on the "Set Foreground Color" tool in the toolbox, then set the following values in the "Color Picker" window to choose a bright yellow colour: R=254; G=255; B=0. Click "OK."

  12. 12

    Click on the "Paint Bucket" tool in the Toolbox, then position the cursor into the centre of the highlighted area in the middle layer and click the mouse button to fill the highlighted area with yellow.

  13. 13

    Click on the "Elliptical Marquee Tool" in the Toolbox, then click anywhere on the graphic window to deselect the circular area you just coloured yellow. Drag down the "Filter" menu, then choose "Blur," then select "Gaussian Blur." Set the slider knob to "100," then click "OK."

  14. 14

    Drag down the "Layer" menu, then choose "Flatten Image." Drag down the "File" menu, choose "Save." Enter a new file name for the editing photo in the "Name" field, then drag the "Quality" slider all the way to the left until the percentage shown is "100." Click "OK."

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