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4.5 Lighting Effects

Once all the elements are in place, it’s time to address the lighting of the scene. In this lesson we create the sunrise effect, add shadows to the scene, and bathe the scene in the soft, warm glow of the sunrise.

4.5 Lighting Effects

Hello everybody, and welcome back to Advanced Photoshop Techniques. We are working our way steadily through this fourth chapter of the course. We find ourselves now almost at 4.5 where we add some lighting effects to our scene. So here's where we last left off after adding some textures last lesson, and our scene is coming together rather nicely now. But in order to make this look like a really interesting scene, we need to add some additional lighting effects to it. In fact, when we first did our sketch of the scene, we considered that. We added a sun spot over here, and we also started to indicate some of the shadow areas. And that's what I want to address in this lesson. How to start forming, and shaping, and almost illustrating those lighting effects within our scene here. Not only will it give a nice balance of colors, because we'll have some warm orange tones on one side to even out all these cool blue tones that we see throughout the image. It also adds a little bit more contrast and just a lot more visual interest to the piece. We'll start by actually adding something resembling the sun over here on the left upper portion of the image. And we'll start with a new layer, and this is just gonna be for the sun. Then we will create a elliptical marquee selection. Hold down the Shift key to make sure we get a perfectly round selection, and I'm just gonna fill that with white. And then I'm going to add a layer style to it, and that's going to be an outer glow style set to screen, capacity cranked up to 95%, a very pale yellow as the color, the size is at 24 pixels. And the next couple steps are going to involve mostly just some empty layers with some gradients on it and then some masking. The first one I want to create is one directly underneath that sun layer. I'm gonna use a nice bright orange. The gradient tool, set to reflected gradient, about where the sun is, and dragging it down, holding Shift to make it a straight line to give a nice narrow sort of span of this gradient bar here. And then I'm gonna fade that out with a layer mask, but this time it's going to be a linear gradient going from that left edge in to just past halfway. Then I'm gonna set the blending mode to Overlay. And even though that makes the color really, really bright there, if I move it down some just by holding down the Shift key and using my down arrow key for that nudge tool, you can start to see some of it being added to the horizon area. And from there I added two more gradient layers. One was a radial gradient coming from this top left, right here behind the sun. And I simply added a very sharp layer mask to that to constrain that effect above the horizon, and then a more solid radial glow coming out directly from the sun. Now that first one was set to normal, but the opacity was pulled down to about 58%. And then that sun glow one is set to soft light with the opacity at about 30%. These are not magic numbers or settings. You just have to find what works for you within your own image. These are great suggestions, but you don't have to use these exact settings. So I'm gonna group all those together, and this is gonna be the sun group. So now that we have a light source, we need to start paying attention to shadows. So I'm gonna add yet another layer up here and this is gonna be the painted shadows layer. Now I'm gonna use that same grayscale technique that we've used several times already. Go to Edit, Fill, use the 50% gray, set it to Overlay, and then use the dodge and burn tools to actually burn in some shadow areas and dodge in some highlight areas. Don't forget to make use of these other custom brushes that we created before too, because crafting shadows using the grunge brush is really an effective technique. And look at the difference that that makes. Just by crafting some shadows with that burn tool on a grayscale layer we already have a lot more contrast within the image. Now I wanted to make sure that there was shadows beneath his chin and shadows being cast by his head, and also on the right hand side of the buildings within the city area. Because that left side is where the light would be shining, and it will be illuminating it, and they'll be self-shadowed on the opposite side there. Before we move on with this next step, there's a couple of preparatory steps that we're going to need to go through first. I'm going to the Channels panel, and I'm actually going to hold down the Control or the Command key and click on the RGB Composite Channel, now this makes a selection of the highlight areas. This is the luminous values within the image. I'm going to then save this as a new channel. It comes up as Alpha2, but we'll just call it Luminous. Be sure to go back to that RGB channel and deselect before continuing. We'll just need that later. Now I wanna use the filter to render a lighting effect directly within the scene. The best way to do that is to actually use a merged layer. So I'm gonna hold down the Alt key and go to Layer, Merge Visible, creates a new merged layer here. And the lighting effects filter is a smart filter so we can right-click and create a smart object from this first. Then we go Filter, Render, Lighting Effects. And the lighting effect that I've chosen is a single point light right where that sun is, and I've got it set to a nice bright yellowish orange color. Intensity's at 27 and these other settings don't seem to make that much of a difference with the exception of ambience. The ambience needs to be up high enough that it doesn't look like a burnt umber, blackened fiery red area, so somewhere around 30 tends to be a pretty decent ambient setting for this. Now that certainly casts a very distinctive yellowish hue across the entire scene. Let's hit OK, and it's going to apply that. Now we didn't want to just colorize this scene. We wanted it to be an actual lighting effect. So the idea is that this is a lighting effect, so it should only really be affecting the areas that look like they're lit. So we don't want this yellow cast to really be apparent in the shadow areas, and we also want it to be strongest over here closest to where the sun is. So that's why we created this Luminous channel before, so let's load that by control clicking right on that, go back to the Layers here, and then we're gonna use this as a mask on this merged layer. That does a good job of starting to constrain that lighting effect, but it still needs some touch-ups. So I'm just gonna use my brush tools again, and just go in and start brushing it up by hand as to the areas that I think that this lighting affect should and should not directly impact. So that's actually a pretty substantive work with the brush tool to really constrict those areas in the shadows and even the part of the sky, so that you've got a nice gradient between that orange and going to the blue. So that yellowish orange light is just gonna be kissing on the top of the turtle's head and some of these other cloud formations. It's not gonna be very noticeable there until a little bit later on. And then I added a Curves adjustment layer when I pulled down on some of the highlighted areas and I pulled in on some of the shadow areas, you can see the effect that has, and used a hand-painted mask there, too. Now clearly I used a lot of large soft-edged brushwork up here, and then that grunge brush to further create more visual interest in the application of that effect. The last little lighting effect I want to add is actually somewhat kind of silly, it's kind of a candy type of effect, but I like to add it, especially when it's a scene like this that's very dreamscape-like and extremely surreal. And that's to actually add a lens flare. And here's the best way to really do that. Add a blank layer for the flare and fill it with black, convert this to a Smart Object and turn the blending mode to Screen. And then, the Lens Flare is in Filter, Render, Lens Flare. And the flare I am using is the 50 to 300 mm Zoom, the brightness of 98%, and the center of the flare adjusted up towards that top left of the canvas. And I've made it so that you could just see it here, and I'm gonna turn on the rest of the layers now so you can see how that effect works. The good thing about using it on a blank, black layer is you can actually move this around some as long as the effect doesn't really bump into those hard edge sides. Which it does a little bit here, so you don't have too much of a leeway to move it around when it comes to the layer. But you can always readjust it through the Lens Flare Smart Filter options, and I think it comes in a little bit strong, so I'm just pulling the opacity down to about 80%. So guys, we are almost done with this. We've got one more lesson left in finishing up this project, and that's the next one, Lesson 4.6, where we just add the final touches.

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