advanced photoshop

Quick trick: CS6 Lighting Effects Filter

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Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

Find out how this Photoshop filter has been completely redesigned

The Lighting Effects filter is hardly a new addition to Photoshop, but it has been completely redesigned and rebuilt for CS6.

You access the filter from Filter> Render>Lighting Effects, which takes you to the new dialog. In the new interface, there is an Options bar along the top, from which you can access the Preset options for lighting, as well as the different types of light on offer: Spot, Point and Infinite.

Spot lights give a small amount of light, which you can customise to alter the intensity, location and direction, as well as the Hotspot location, which is where the light hits your subject. Point lights are like light bulbs and you can alter their location and intensity but not their direction. Finally, Infinite lights are more distant light sources, and you only have the option to change their intensity or colour.

The Properties panel down the right-hand side of the screen has lots of different sliders that you can adjust to tweak and customise your lighting. You can also add multiple lights to any scene as needed.

Step 1: Enter the filter

Quick trick: CS6 Lighting Effects Filter

Open the photo that you want to work on. If you want to be able to re-edit the effect, then duplicate your photo layer and turn the duplicate into a Smart Object. Go to Filter>Render>Lighting Effects to open the newly designed Lighting Effects interface, where we can start adding lights.

Step 2:  Pick a light type

Quick trick: CS6 Lighting Effects Filter

Add a new light from the dropdown menu in the Properties panel, or using the Lights tab in the Options bar at the top of the screen. We are going for a Point light in this particular scene, which brings up a control ring with an Intensity Ring in the centre. Adjust the Intensity to suit.

Step 3:  Make more adjustments

Quick trick: CS6 Lighting Effects Filter

We have increased the Exposure, lowered the Gloss and increased the Metallic and Ambiance values. You can save presets for future use, though trial and error works well to get the right look. The faster processing of Photoshop CS6 means alterations are made in real-time.

Final product

Quick trick: CS6 Lighting Effects Filter

  • Very good!
    Gostei muito do efeito e da simplicidade do meio de manipulação; a sua aplicação é também muito abrangente, pode ser usado em vários contextos.

  • Chandradhar Koneti

    The intensity adjustment ring and light source point etc are not visible.
    All there is, is a change in the illumination in my photograph.
    I’m not able to change anything else.
    The intensity ring and focus are not visible.

    Here is a screenshot of the problem.

    Please Help.

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