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In this exercise, we're going to make the dragonfly glow by applying a filter called Lens Flare. It's a real old-school filter. It doesn't provide much in the way of a preview, which is why it's so useful to apply it as a Smart Filter, because that way you can see the effect after you apply it and you can change your mind. So let me show you what that looks like. I've gone ahead and saved my changes as Blur filters.psd, and I have my top dragonfly layer selected as you can see. Now I'm going to go up to the Filter menu, and I'm going to choose Render, and I'm going to choose Lens Flare.
Notice that the Lens Flare Filter does not provide a preview out here on the larger image window the way Gaussian Blur and Motion Blur did. Instead, we just get this little dinky preview right here, which is very difficult to gauge. But anyway, notice that you set the center of the Lens Flare effect. By the way, Lens Flare is supposed to simulate the effect of a light shining into the camera's lens element, and then reflecting around the lenses. It's something that you try to avoid like crazy when you're capturing a photograph.
Hey, but you can apply it in post in Photoshop. Anyway, you click inside this preview to specify the center of the effect, which is the light source itself, and this would be great if I wanted to simulate a different light source that was casting light into the lens and onto the insect and so on, but I instead want the insect itself to be casting the light. So, I'm going to click for now on its tail, because I really don't know what I want at this point. I'm going to set the Brightness to 150%. You can play around with that, make it brighter or less bright, whatever you want there.
And finally, you can select a variety of lens, and you will see a little preview of the effect if you switch from one to another. But for now, I'm just going to stick with the default setting which is 50 to 300, and I'm going to click OK, and then I see my effect and I go, gosh! That's dreadful. That's not what I want at all because it's way too bright and we have too many of these ringlets. Of course, I'm lightening up the entire image. As a result, I can see where the dragonfly image drops off, where that layer ends, and I don't want that.
So, I want to change things up a little bit, and in the old days, you would have had to press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac, and by the old days I mean back before there were Smart Filters, you would have to just undo the effect and then reapply it and see how it worked and then undo that and try again. Nowadays what you can do is just double- click on Lens Flare in order to open the Filter back up, because each one of these Smart Filters is editable. So, double-click on Lens Flare. That brings up the Lens Flare dialog box. As soon as you start making any changes, like I'll switch to 105 millimeter Prime Lens, there is a good chance that you'll see the preview disappear inside the Image window.
Right now, I'm still seeing the old preview, not the new preview, mind you, so you're not really previewing the effect. Oh! There it went. It was just hanging out for a while I guess. Now you can see, as soon as that screen changes, you're losing the preview. Don't think it's updating on you, you're just losing it. All right! Now I'm going to click right here, I think, next to the bug's shoulder, like so, and I'm going to take that Brightness value down to 120%. So, those are my settings for now. Click near to the head, 120% for Brightness, 105 millimeter Prime for the Lens Type, click OK.
Now we'll see what that looks like. Actually, that looks pretty darn good. The problems are that we've got too much in the way of ringlets, hanging out here, and I don't want that. To me, that's just a little bit too cute, and I also want this tail to drop off, and finally, I want to really punch on the Brightness of this animal here. We'll be doing all of those things in the next and final exercise.
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