Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Applying a texture channel with Lighting Effects, part of Photoshop for Designers: Textures.
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Here we're going to look at using a Lighting Effects to get some sort of texture into our image. I have to confess I'm a fig fan of the Lighting Effects filter, it's a rather old filter, and much of what it does can now be done more easily elsewhere maybe using the Gradient Overlay layer effect. That said, there is one particularly interesting thing about Lighting Effects and that is the ability to apply a texture channel to your image. Before we get going with this though I should also mention this and that is that if you're working on a Mac and you go to the Filter menu and come down to Render right there and you don't see Lighting Effects, that's because Lighting Effects does not work if you've been installed Photoshop in 64-bit mode, which means that you need to do this.
This is only relevant if you're working on a Mac. You need to come to the Finder and you need to find the Photoshop application and then go to the File menu and choose Get Info and then check this check box and then relaunch Photoshop and you'll get your Lighting Effects back. So what I've done with Lighting Effects is to use it on this rather dreary looking image just to make it a bit more austere and creepy looking. And if I turn off Lighting Effects it looks like that and it's doesn't look really that dreary or creepy looking without Lighting Effects, but when we apply them it certainly does.
And just to accentuate that I've also reduced the Saturation to make it a little bit more aged. So I'm going to switch now to the starting point which is this image and the first thing I want to do is convert the background layer for Smart filters. I've made myself a keyboard shortcut, Command+Option+Shift+F, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+F, we'll do that and then come to the Filter menu, Render>Lighting Effects. Now you can mess around with the Type of Light; Directional, Omni, Spotlight, various other options which I've never really had that much success with.
I also find this little thing right here to not be as easy as I'd like it to be to mess with, though we can change the size of the light right there. So I'm going to put that on the center point and then what I'm after is the ability to use a texture channel. I'm just going to use one of the channels that are already there but if I had another channel I could use that as an alternative, but I'm going to use one of these. Now red and blue are going to give me a more contrasty result than green, which is why I'm going to use Green, because I don't want to amp it up too much, and then I can just determine how much of an embossed look I get with this slider right here.
So I'm going to go for about that amount of 70, and then that's what it looks like. Now if that's just a little bit too cracked for you then we can tone it down by using this option. We could just go back to the Lighting Effects filter by double-clicking on its name in the list of Smart filters, but I could also double-click on this Levels icon right here to fade the amount of the lighting effect and also to change the Blend mode that it's applied with.
I'm going to change the Blend mode to Overlay, and or may be to Soft Light, no Overlay, and then just reduce the Opacity on that a little bit. So now our effect looks like that, so it's really is bringing out the texture on the wall and we're also getting this Vignetting effect that is a result of the light itself. Now on top of all of that I'm going to also add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and bring that down, so that we're making that Ice Cream sign here a bit less vivid, and the whole thing is now a bit more monochromatic.
So while Lighting Effects are interesting much of what we can do in Lighting Effects, we can do elsewhere, as I mentioned with gradient overlay, but also with the Texturizer Filter which is another place where you can apply a texture channel to your image and we'll be seeing that coming up very shortly.
- Using render filters
- Applying textures with the Texturizer filter
- Adding noise and film grain
- Matching grain when cloning
- Aging photos
- Blending textures with layer masks
- Applying texture to an uneven surface
- Creating texture brushes
- Building density with brush settings
- Applying texture to type
- Finding, downloading and installing actions