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I've saved my progress so far as Lens Flare glow.psd, and what we're going to do now is we're going to burn in this effect, that is, I want the bug to look like it's on fire, just absolutely sizzling. Then we're going to mitigate some of this Lens Flare action by changing the Opacity of the Filter as you'll see, and by adding a final layer mask to this layer. So, for starters here, I'm going to change the blend mode that's assigned to the dragonfly layer from Screen to Linear Dodge.
Basically, the idea is of all five of these lightening filters that are available here inside of Photoshop, the two best are Screen, that's the one you're going to use most often, and then if that's not enough, if you really want to up the ante, then you can go too down to Linear Dodge (Add). So, I'm going to go ahead and choose that blend mode, and you can see, the bug is just like on fire now. That's too much. We've gone too far, but it's not because of the bug. It's because of the Lens Flare effect now. So why don't we back off that Lens Flare? Because notice, if I change the Opacity of this layer, I'll take it down to 50%.
That doesn't do it. That's horrible. So, let's take that back to 100%. Instead, let's adjust the Opacity of the Filter itself, and you do that by going over to Lens Flare, and check out this icon right there, all the way on the right-hand side. It's supposed to be a pair of slider bars. It indicates that you can change the Blend settings for that Filter. You can also just right-click on the Filter, and choose Edit Smart Filter Blending Options if you like. So, either do that with a right- click or just double-click on that little Settings icon.
Either way, you'll bring up the Blending Options for Lens Flare. What's amazing about this is it does have a preview that updates here inside the Image window. So, if I take this Opacity value down to 50%, we'll see it in real time, represented here inside the Image window, even though the Lens Flare Filter itself does not preview. So, go figure. All of your Blending does preview, however, and you can change the Blend settings of any of your Smart Filters. All right! I'm going to go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification.
Now the thing that I still don't like is these ringlets. They just look silly and there is no reason that a bug would be casting this much light into the camera's lens element. So let's just get rid of that. Besides, this tail is a little bit too glowy for me anyway. So, I'm going to drop down to the bottom of the Layers panel to this Add Layer Mask icon and I'm going to click on it in order to add a layer mask. Right now, it's white, so we're seeing everything. We haven't masked anything away. I'm going to go ahead and select the Gradient tool, which you can get by pressing the G key, and the Gradient tool is a super useful, easy to apply layer masking function.
So, I'll go ahead and click on it. By default, it's going to draw a gradient from black to white, or from the foreground color to the background color. You can change that by clicking the down -pointing arrowhead, and then choosing if you like, Black, White here, which is probably a good idea just to make sure we're getting the exact same results. Then, I'll press the Enter key or the Return key in order to accept that modification and hide that little pop-up menu. Then make sure that your settings are as follows, that you have Linear Gradient selected, the Mode is set to Normal, Opacity a 100%, Reverse off, Dither and Transparency on.
Those are the default settings, but you want to make sure they're in place. Then I'm going to drag from the tip of the tail up to where the tail begins, I guess, like so, in order to mask away that section and get rid of most of these little circles. Now, to get rid of the rest, I'm going to switch over to the Brush tool, which you can get by pressing the B key. I've got a pretty big brush going. I think I'll actually take that down a little bit. I'll take it down to let's say 200 pixels, and Hardness of zero is fine.
I'll press the Enter key or the Return key in the Mac in order to hide that pop-up. Then I'll paint that other garbage away right there. I'll also paint over in this region just to make sure that the glowing dragonfly effect is not going over too far to the left, because the last thing I want to see is the edge of the rectangular image. I don't want that edge to start to appear. So I'm going to erase down near the bottom as well. That I think pretty much does it, maybe I should scroll over a little bit here to the upper-right and make sure that I'm getting this area painted away as well, masked away that is to say.
That's basically it, one more click, maybe that'll do it. That's good, I like it, I'm done. So I'm going to go ahead and zoom this image to something like 62% for our screen purposes here, and press Shift+F to get rid of the interface and switch to the big old Full Screen Mode here, and this is my final Na'vi, thanks to the insane 2D image editing power of Adobe Photoshop CS5.
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