Grayed out lighting effects

Written by elizabeth mott
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Grayed out lighting effects
(Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 includes many tools and filters for manipulating and enhancing digital images. The lighting effects filter produces the illusion that a scene is lit by one or more light sources, including spotlights, sunlight or directional lighting. Its customisable settings adjust the directionality, brightness, colour, diffuseness, gloss and reflectiveness of the light source, enabling users to craft realistic or stylised effects. Three conditions can cause the lighting effects filter to be inactive and therefore greyed out in the Adobe Photoshop "Filter" Menu. Two of these situations require you to alter your file in order to process it with the lighting effects filter, while the third occurs only when Adobe Photoshop CS5 runs on Macintosh computers in specific circumstances.

Colour Mode

The Adobe Photoshop CS5 lighting effects filter only works on RGB files. To use the lighting effects filter on a file that is in CMYK, Lab colour, grayscale, monotone, duotone, tritone, bitmap, indexed colour or multichannel mode, convert a copy of the document to RGB mode first. The lighting effects filter will operate on the RGB-mode copy. If the file must be used in one of the other colour modes, convert it back to that mode when you have finished creating your lighting effect.

Alpha Channels, Layer Masks and "Quick Mask" Mode

Alpha channels and layer masks make it possible to reveal or hide areas of an image, making it partially transparent. "Quick Mask" Mode creates a temporary alpha channel based on a selection. All three of these masks and features use the 8-bit mode found in a grayscale file. Accordingly, the lighting effects filter will not work on any of these types of masks. Consider applying the lighting effects filter to a Photoshop layer, copying the content of the layer to the clipboard and pasting it into your alpha channel or mask.

Macintosh 64-Bit Operating System

Mac OS X 10.6, also known as Snow Leopard, ushers in the era of 64-bit computing on the Macintosh platform. When Adobe Photoshop CS5 runs in 64-bit mode under Snow Leopard, the lighting effects filter is inactive and therefore greyed out in the "Filter" Menu. To use the filter, launch Adobe Photoshop CS5 in 32-bit mode. In the Finder, choose "Get Info" from the "File" Menu. When the Get Info window opens up on screen, click the "Open in 32-Bit Mode" checkbox and close the window. Launch Adobe Photoshop CS5 again to enter 32-bit mode. The lighting effects filter now becomes accessible.

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