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Create Beams Of Light From Nothing In Photoshop

May 28

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Creating Beams of Light

Here is some great insight on creating beams of light in photoshop. Check it out.

Working With Layers

The key to getting a beam of light to look realistic is using multiple layers while creating it. A beam of light will be most intense in the center of the beam, so by making three different curves layers that get smaller and smaller it gives the light a sense of depth. It’s also important to apply a gaussian blur to the layer masks so the light doesn’t look unreasonably hard edged.

Adding Fog

The second part to making the beam of light believable is adding fog to the image. The only way a beam of light can really be visible is if there are many small particles in the air for it to reflect off of. By using a combination of adjustment layers and Filter > Clouds, we can create a texture around the light that gives the illusion of a foggy day.

Photo by Vincent Tullo

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  • Lawrence Smith

    excellent as usual, but how would you go about applying this effect on an image shot in the daylight?

  • Christophe B

    Great episode. Could you do an episode on how to do a lens flare ?

  • Alessio

    Very nice guide, one question, how come you have not taken the stand for the flash?

  • Steve

    A little off topic, but…

    No matter how shitty my day was, every time I head to phlearn and watch Aaron do his magic, it just makes my day and I’m smiling all over again.

    Great episode, just as usual!

  • Phlearn. com

    We would take it our for our final image, but this episode was just about creating the beam of light. We can’t do it all every time :)

  • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/tsph0tos Trevor Soety

    Used this for a pic was totally helpful

  • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/tsph0tos Trevor Soety
  • Thameemul Ansari

    This is nice tips

    I have one question, instead of gaussian blur why we cant use feather for curves masks?

    (in that we have more control and we can change values in any time)

    I am sorry, if it is wrong question

    you people are best in PS

    Thanks

  • http://www.colorexpertsbd.com/ Jenifer Jeny

    Awesome !!!! Dude you create plenty stunning theme, much appreciate to see this. Plenty creative and attractive.

  • willgoring

    Totally brilliant as usual. I learn more from this site than anywhere else on the web. Thanks.

  • Roman

    This episode inspired me to try something similar:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45876709@N03/8973224523/

  • Pablo Z

    The light stand is still there lol

    Awesome Tut!

  • Snakeloa

    Since i have been in France i wanted to combine these two techniques. Now i found some time. Here is Ravendream
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/snakeloa/9177704835/

  • YannisDr

    How do you turn the little box on the right from white to black? (I don’t mean the ‘x’ shortcut for switching brush black to white and vice versa, but in the layer’s box)

  • Cody

    Just something I got inspired to do after seeing this. Nothing amazing but had to try it as soon as I watched the tutorial :)

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Random Tips

You can change the size and hardness of any brushes by holding ctrl+option on mac and move the mouse with left click in Photoshop. On windows it’s option+right click.