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How to Create a Glitter Effect Photoshop Action

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

If you want to add glitter to photo, in this tutorial I'll show you how to make glitter in Photoshop and how to add it your photos. Once you create this glitter effect Photoshop action, you'll be able to add glitter to photos with a single click!

And if you want to save time, you can always try this glitter Photoshop action available on Envato Elements. Even if you don't know how to add glitter in Photoshop, this action will let you create a beautiful, realistic effect.

LensDust Photoshop Action

What You'll Learn in This How to Create a Glitter Effect Photoshop Action Tutorial

  • How to make a glitter background in Photoshop
  • How to add glitter in Photoshop
  • How to add glitter to pictures
  • How to create a glitter effect in Photoshop
  • How to add a glitter effect in Photoshop

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating an Action

Step 1

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Now, before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be 2000–4000 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.
checking image size and mode

Step 2

Now go to Window > Actions, and in the Actions panel click on the menu icon in the top right-hand corner, choose New Set to create a new set, and name it Glitter. Then, click on the same menu icon again, choose New Action to create a new action, and name it Glitter.

creating new action

2. How to Select the Subject

Step 1

Before I show you how to add glitter to pictures, first we need to prepare the subject. Choose the Quick Selection Tool (W) and select the background of the photo. Use the Shift-Alt buttons on your keyboard to add or subtract areas from the selection. After you've made a perfect selection, press Control-Shift-I on your keyboard to invert the selection.

making selection

Step 2

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 5 px. Next, go to Select > Modify > Contract and set Contract By to 2 px. Finally, go to Select > Modify > Feather and set the Feather Radius to 2 px.

modifying selection

Step 3

Press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection, and name this new layer Subject.

creating new layer using selection

3. How to Create the Background

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the background. Select the Background layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Background Color, and choose the color #e96688.

creating new solid color fill layer

Step 2

Now Right-click on this layer, choose Blending Options, check Gradient Overlay, and use the settings below:

adding layer style

4. How to Add Glitter Textures

Step 1

In this section we are going to add glitter to photo. Select the Subject layer, go to File > Place Embedded, select the texture from the first texture link, and click Place. Then, set the Width and Height of the texture to 400% and the Angle to -90°, and name this layer Base_Glitter_1.

how to add glitter in photoshop

Step 2

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Screen.

changing blending mode

Step 3

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a layer mask that reveals the whole layer. Then, set the foreground color to #000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush as shown below. Feel free to use different settings for the Opacity of the brush.

brushing onto layer mask

Step 4

Now press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer. Then, go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal to flip this layer horizontally. After that, using the Move Tool (V), click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to position the layer as shown below.

duplicating layer

Step 5

Name this layer Base_Glitter_2 and drag it just below the Base_Glitter_1 layer in the Layers panel.

naming layer

Step 6

Now select the Base_Glitter_1 layer, go to File > Place Embedded, select the texture from the second texture link, and click Place. Then, set the Width and Height of the texture to 200% as shown below, and name this layer Add_Glitter_1.

add glitter to photo

Step 7

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Lighten.

changing blending mode

Step 8

Now go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it A_G_1_Color, and choose the color #e96688.

creating new solid color fill layer

Step 9

Press Control-Alt-G on your keyboard to create a clipping mask. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Color.

creating clipping mask

Step 10

Now Control-click on the Add_Glitter_1 layer to select both layers at the same time. Then, press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate these layers.

duplicating layers

Step 11

Select the Add_Glitter_1_copy layer, and using the Move Tool (V), click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to position this layer as you like.

positioning layer

Step 12

Now press Control-T on your keyboard to transform this layer, and set the Angle to -30°.

transforming layer

Step 13

Control-click on the A_G_1_Color copy layer to select both layers at the same time. Then, drag these layers just below the Add_Glitter_1 layer in the Layers panel. After that, name these two layers according to their sequence number.

arranging layers

Step 14

Now repeat this process to create as many glitter layers as you want. Feel free to use different transform settings for each of the texture layers. Here is my result:

repeating process

5. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section we are going to make some final adjustments to the design. Select the Subject layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it. Then, drag this layer to the top of the layers in the Layers panel.

duplicating layer

Step 2

Now press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light and set the Opacity to 73%.

changing blending mode and opacity

Step 3

Name this layer Subject Details.

naming layer

Step 4

Now go to Layer > New > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer and name it Color Look.

creating new gradient map adjustment layer

Step 5

Double-click on this layer thumbnail, and then in the Properties panel, click on the gradient to open up the Gradient Editor panel and enter the settings below:

adjusting gradient map
The left color stop has color #8616ee, and the right color stop has color #ffae00.

Step 6

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light.

changing blending mode

Step 7

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches. Then, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer and name it Overall Contrast.

creating new gradient map adjustment layer

Step 8

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light and set the Opacity to 73%.

changing blending mode and opacity

Step 9

Select the Base_Glitter_1 layer and click on the link icon between the layer thumbnail and layer mask to unlink them. Then, select the layer thumbnail, and using the Move Tool (V), click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to drag the layer to the left as shown below:

positioning layer

Step 10

Now select the Base_Glitter_2 layer and click on the link icon between the layer thumbnail and layer mask to unlink them. Then, select the layer thumbnail, and using the Move Tool (V), click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to drag the layer to the right as shown below:

positioning layer

Step 11

Select the Overall Contrast layer, press Control-Alt-Shift-E on your keyboard to make a screenshot, and then press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer. Then, go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 2 px.

adding high pass filter

Step 12

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light and name it Overall Sharpening.

changing blending mode

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! You have learned how to create a glitter effect Photoshop action to create amazing effects for pictures. Here is our final result:

final result

Add Glitter to Pictures With These Photoshop Actions

If you want to add glitter effect in Photoshop quickly and professionally, you can also try these actions available on Envato Elements:

MagicDust Photoshop Action (ATN)

MagicDust Photoshop Action

Add glitter to a photo by selecting an area and playing this action—magic dust will appear in your picture! Choose from 33 color styles to create the effect you need.

Shimmer Photoshop Action (ATN)

Shimmer Photoshop Action

How do you make glitter in Photoshop? With this action, it's simple—just paint over the part that you want to turn into glitter, and play the action. It's like real magic!

Magic Dust Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN)

Magic Dust Photoshop Action

If you want to make your pictures more magical, this action will help you create a magic dust effect. It's quick and easy—just select and click!

Magic Bokeh - Animated Photoshop Action (ATN)

Magic Bokeh - Animated Photoshop Action

If you need an animated glitter effect, try this action—it's very powerful, and it gives you a lot of options to customize the effect. You can save the final result as a static image, a video, or a GIF animation. You don't really have to know how to make a glitter background in Photoshop—this action will do it for you!

Magic Dust 2 Photoshop Action (ATN, ABR)

Magic Dust 2 Photoshop Action

If you need something simpler, this action adds a more minimalistic glitter effect to your photos. Every time you play the action, you get a new, unique result!

Gold Photoshop Layer Styles (JPG, EPS, ASL, AI, PNG)

Gold Photoshop Layer Styles

This set contains 28 seamless golden layer styles and 38 gold textures, so if you need a glitter Photoshop texture, you're guaranteed to find something you like here! Add golden glitter to your images and text with a single click.

Glitterstorm Photoshop Action (ATN)

Glitterstorm Photoshop Action

This action turns the whole photo into glitter—it's an amazing effect that you can achieve by simply clicking "play" in the Actions panel.

Sparkling Layer Styles (ASL)

Sparkling Layer Styles

This huge set contains 76 glitter Photoshop textures in the form of layer styles. So just select your layer and click the style you like to make your text sparkle!

Glitter Text Effect (PSD)

Glitter Text Effect

If you want to create a glitter text effect, just download this file and replace the text with your own—an amazing effect will be added to it automatically.

Other Glitter Photoshop Tutorials

Love Photoshop actions and Photoshop effects? Then make sure to check out these:


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