Glow in the Dark Effect in Photoshop

For this Tutorial, you will need an image of the subject you want to apply the effect to.

1 - In Photoshop, open the image you chose to use.

2 - Select the “Background” Layer and create a “New Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer” by clicking on the small black and white circle at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”. Move the “Brightness” lever all the way to the left (-150) and the “Contrast” lever all the way to the right (100).

3 - Now, create a “New Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer”. You can do this the same way as before or by going to the “Adjustments Panel”. Adjust the levers so you get a “Bluish” tint (our values where Hue: 199, Saturation: 41, Lightness: 0).

4 - With the top layer selected, head to the “Adjustments Panel” and create a “New Vibrance Adjustment Layer”. Set the “Vibrance” value to +100 and the “Saturation” to 50.

5 - Create a “New Levels Adjustment Layer” on top. Move the White “Output Level” (the bottom one) to the left (we set it to 198) and move the White and Midtone Point levers in the “Histogram” to the left too (Grey: 0.58, White: 113).

6 - Select the “Background” layer and make a “Duplicate” (Command/Control + J). Drag its Thumbnail and place it on top.

7 - In the duplicate, use the “Magic Wand Tool” (W) to select the portions of the image you want to apply the effect to, choosing the “Add to Selection” and/or “Subtract from Selection” options in the Top Menu to refine the selection.

8 - In some cases you can go to Select > Similar to add to the selected pixels. You can also use any other selection tool you want (Like the “Lasso Tool” (L)) to remove unwanted pixels from your selection.

9 - Once you are done, click the “Select and Mask” button on the Top Menu. Fix the values in the “Properties” Tab if needed and choose “Output to New Layer with Layer Mask” in the “Output Settings” Tab. Click “OK”.

10 - Right-Click on top of the newly created layer thumbnail and choose “Convert to Smart Object”.

11 - Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation (Command/Control + U) and adjust the levers so you make the colors pop (our values where Hue: 0, Saturation: +100, Lightness: +10). Rename the Layer to differentiate it (we named it Orange/Red).

12 - Duplicate the “Orang/Red” layer (Command/Control + J) and make sure the duplicate sits on top.

13 - Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Use a 25 Pixels “Radius”. Change the “Blending Mode” to “Screen”. You can change the settings of the “Smart Filters” if you want by double-clicking on top of their thumbnails in the “Layers Panel”.

14 - Select both “Red/Orange” layers (“Shift” key) and “Group” them together by clicking on the small Folder icon at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”. Name the group folder “Red/Orange”.

15 - Select the “Background Copy” layer and repeat Steps 7 to 14 this time selecting a different color.

16 - In some cases, you can check the “Colorize” Tab in the “Hue/Saturation” adjustment to apply a certain shade to the whole selection. Then, keep going as before (Red/Orange). When you are done, give the appropriate name to the layers and group.

17 - Do this for all the different colors you wish to apply the effect to.

18 - We decided to adjust the “Blue Shade” of the “Levels Adjustment Layer” a bit. To do it, just, double-click on its thumbnail and change the White “Output Level” (the bottom one) to 223 and the White and Midtone Point levers in the “Histogram” to Grey: 1.25, White: 255.

19 - Create a “New Layer” on top of everything by clicking on the small icon at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”. Name it “Glow”.

20 - Select the “Brush Tool” (B) use a size of about 650 px and 0% “Hardness” with 30% “Opacity” and 27% “Flow”. Make the “Foreground” color a light blue (#68f3fc) and paint some “Light” reflections on top of certain portions of the subject and the paint to enhance the glow. Change its “Blending Mode” to “Overlay”.

21 - Now, create a “New Vibrance Adjustment Layer” on top of everything and set the “Vibrance” value to +100 and the “Saturation” to +40.

22 - Check it out!

by @lornacane

*Note: You may need to use different values in the “Adjustment Layers” and in the “Blending Modes” depending on the image you chose.

4 Likes

This is an awesome tutorial! Thank you for sharing!

1 Like

Thanks!