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Add Lightnings in Photoshop

Posted on 27th March 2019
For this tutorial, you will need an image to apply the Effect to and one ore some of lightnings with a dark background.

1 - In Photoshop, open the Image you chose to work with.



2 - Create a “New Layer” by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”.





3 - Make sure that the default “Foreground” and “Background” colors are selected (Black and White” and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.





4 - Go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds to keep adding to the Effect.





5 - Go to Image > Adjustments > Invert to invert your Layer (Command/Control + I).





6 - Then, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels (Command/Control + L) and move the left and center levers almost all the way to the right.







7 - Change the “Blending Mode” to “Screen”.



8 - Go to the “Adjustments Panel” and create a “New Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer”. Check the “Colorize” box and adjust the values until you get a shade of blue similar the one in the lightnings. Clip the “Adjustment Layer” by clicking on the small icon at the bottom of the “Properties Panel”.





9 - Select the “Background” Layer and head to the “Adjustments Panel” to create a “New Color Lookup Adjustment Layer”. Choose “Moonlight.3DL” from the “3DLUT File” tab.





10 -  Now, create a “New Vibrance Adjustment Layer” and crank up the “Vibrance” to +60 and the “Saturation” to +55.





11 - Select the “Clouds” Layer, right-click on top of its Thumbnail and choose “Convert to Smart Object”.





12 - Go to Filter > Blur > Motions Blur and use a 0° “Angle” and a “Distance” of 26 Pixels.





13 - Select the “Clouds” Layer again and add a ”Layer Mask” by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”.





14 - Male sure the “Mask” Thumbnail is selected and use the “Brush Tool” (B) with a Big and Soft brush (450 px and 0% “Hardness”) to “Erase” some of the “Lightnings” that cover your subject. Remember to make sure that Black is your “Foreground” color.







15 - Open the “Lightning” images and bring them into your Document. Resize them if needed.



16 - Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels (Command/Control + L) and move the levers until you get a good contrast.





17 - Position the layer under the one you created (“Clouds” Layer) and change the “Blending Mode” to “Screen”.





18 - Use a soft brush with Black as “Foreground” color to clean the portions that need it.





19 - Use “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) to “Rotate” the lightnings so they fit better with the image.





20 - Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation (Command/Control + U), check the “Colorize” box and adjust the values until you get a shade of blue a bit darker than the one you used before.





21 - “Duplicate” the Layer (Command/Control + J).



22 - Select the original “Lightning” Layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use a 3.3 Pixels “Radius”.





23 - Change the “Blending Mode” to “Lighten” and the “Opacity” to 85%. Select the “Duplicate” Layer and apply a “Gaussian Blur” Filter with a 2 Pixels “Radius”.





24 - Create a “Duplicate” of the “Duplicate” (Command/Control + J), enter “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T). Resize and Rotate the “Lightnings”, then right-click on top and choose “Warp”. Play around with the lightnings until you are satisfied with the results and click the “Checkmark” on the Top Menu to “Commit” the changes.





25 - Change the “Color Dodge” to “Lighten” and the “Opacity” to 70%.



26 - Check it out.


by @lornacane

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