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How to add Glow Effect to bright objects in renders using Photoshop

by adhonys

You have finished an interior render, but the lights of the lamps in there dont look on, dont have glow effect.  Here is a short tutorial on how to add a glow effect to self illuminated objects in photoshop.

Open the rendering that you want to edit in photoshop and make a copy of the layer.  On the upper layer, select the bright areas that you want to apply the glow on, using the magnetic lasso or the polygonal lasso tool. (Alternatively you could render an alpha channel for that specific part of the object so that you don’t need to select anything afterwards).

 

After having selected all the needed parts, chose a large brush with white color and paint the selected area like in the image below:
  

Then invert the selection by pressing ctr+shit+I (all at once) and paint the new selection black..

Change the layer blending from “normal” to screen and apply a diffuse glow filter to it (Filters>Distort>diffuse glow). In this case I set the graininess to 0, glow amount to 17 and clear amount to 20, but feel free to play with the parameter’s settings until you like what you see

Note: Before applying the diffuse glow filter, make sure you have set black as foreground color and white as background color, otherwise the effect will be inverted.

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We are starting to obtain the effect we are looking for, but still at the moment it looks a little bulky… we need it to be more subtle. What we need to do is to apply a Gaussian blur filter (in this case with a radius of about 5).

The only thing left to do is to adjust the opacity of the layer you’ve been working on, until you are satisfied with the result. Additionally you can play with the color balance in order to obtain yellowish (or other colors) glow effects.

The same technique can be applied for adding specular bloom to windows in interior renderings.

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