Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Many of you may remember the Lighting Effects Filter, which took a kind of vacation in Photoshop CS5. In CS4 and earlier, it allowed you to shine lights on to a 2-D image. You could even create emboss surfaces. Now Lighting effects is back and it's better than ever. We have much better controls than we used to have. It's also a larger environment that provides more accurate preview. Lighting effects is compatible with smart objects. So I'm going to select this Image layer and go to Layers panel fly-out menu and choose Convert to Smart Object.
Then I'll go up to the Filter menu and choose the Render command and choose Lighting Effects. And that brings up this big window, very much like the one we saw for the blur gallery. Now by default you have one spotlight. You can try out other presets, so Five Lights Down can be pretty interesting. And each one of them will throw some different lights on a scene. I'm going to switch back to default, however, so I have a single spotlight and I'm going to go ahead and edit that spot, starting by dragging this top handle up and over like so. Let's go ahead and zoom out a tiny bit more so I can see more of my image at a time.
Now you can also scale the size of the spot in a variety of different ways by dragging these round handles. And if you drag inside the light, then you're going to move it to a different location. This little item here allows you to define the intensity. So you can make light brighter or dimmer, and I recommend you keep your lights dim, when in doubt because the last thing you want to do is create blown highlights inside your image, generally speaking anyway. All right, I'm going to drag this guy down just a little bit. You can control the size of the hotspot, which is this inner ellipse, using this Hotspot slider over here in the Properties panel.
To create a new light, you go up here to this Options bar. So you can add a new spotlight that acts very much like a spotlight or a flashlight. That is to say you can change its position and you can change its direction. A Point Light is like a bare light bulb. You can change its position, but you can't point it in any direction, so you can't change its angle. And then finally, an Infinite Light is like the sunlight. You can't change its position because its infinitely far away, but you can change its direction. The Spotlight generally gives you the best control.
So I'm going to add another one by clicking on that Spotlight button, and then I'm going to increase its size like so. It's way too bright, of course, so let's go ahead and dim it down. And it's directed to the part of the image that's already being lit, so that makes it looks even brighter. Go ahead and drag that control upward, drag the light down a little bit as well, and I'm trying to avoid having any kind of light crease on any of the models heads. So I'll just keep moving these controls around until I get it right. And this is looking pretty good. I just don't want that shine on her forehead getting too bright.
So I might go ahead and take the Intensity value down, here inside the Properties panel. All right right about here it looks pretty good. Now, the top controls here, Color, Intensity, and Hotspot, as well as this pop-up menu, they all affect the active light. However, these other options toward the bottom, they affect the material and the material is the image itself. So for example, if you wanted to add some light to the scene, you could crank up the Ambience value. If you wanted to take little bit of light out of the scene, then you would reduce the Ambience value.
I'm going to take it down to -15. Now what's interesting about Ambience is it can have color associated with it. So I'll go ahead and click on the Color Swatch. Now because I'm working with a negative ambient value, I want to dial-in the opposite color. So if I want to warm up the scene, I would dial-in a cool color such as a Hue value of 210 degrees, Saturation value of 100%, and a Brightness value 100%. You can see that that's actually leaching blue out of the scene, again because of the negative ambience value, which creates a perception of adding warmth.
All right, now I'll click OK in order to except that change. I might increase the brightness now of this light just a tiny bit, because it needs to get some more light over here on the right hand side. All right. You can also experiment with the Gloss and Metallic values. So I'm going to go ahead and reduce the Gloss value actually to -70. Looks pretty good. And then I'm going to take this Exposure value down to -10 as well because I'm still trying to get some hotspots out of there. And this looks pretty good. So now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept the effect.
Now I was telling you not only can you light a 2-D image, but you can also add surface texture, and here is how that works. Let's say I want to take this credit card-like text and I want to emboss it into the scene. Here is how you pull that off. First of all, create your text, of course, and then Ctrl+Click on the Text layer, that would be a Command+Click on the Mac, in order to load it as a selection outline. Now I'm going to turn the Text layer off for a moment and I'm going to switch over to the Channels panel and then I'm going to drop-down to this icon here, that says Save Selection as Channel and I'll click on it and that goes ahead and creates an Alpha Channel based on this selection outline.
All right, now I'll press Ctrl+D, Command+ D on a Mac, in order to deselect the image. Let's switch to this Alpha Channel. I will go ahead and call it text, and I also want to add a little bit of a blur to it so our edges aren't too harsh. So I'll go to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Gaussian Blur. And I'll set the radius value to 4 pixels and click OK. All right, so now anything that's white will be raised and anything that's black will be sunken. All right, I'll switch back to the RGB image. Go ahead and switch back over to the Layers panel as well.
And because we assign Lighting effects as a smart filter, I can edit the settings just by double-clicking on the words Lighting Effects. And I'll scroll down my list all the way to the bottom and I'm going to change the texture from None to Text, which is that alpha channel I just created a moment ago. And now let's go ahead and add some height to this letters like so. So I'll take the Height value up to about 4 pixels. Looks pretty darn good, and you can see that Photoshop automatically embosses that text into the scene and lights those letters as well as.
As if they're raising up from the image. All right, now I'll click OK in order except that modification, and finally I'm going to turn the Text layer back on. Go ahead and click on it to select it. I'll press the 5 key to take the Opacity value down to 50% and then I'll change the Blend mode from Normal to Overlay. And that is at least one way to use the new and improved Lighting Effects Filter here inside Photoshop CS6.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
120 Video lessons · 58049 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 67433 Viewers
84 Video lessons · 16773 Viewers
125 Video lessons · 29647 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.