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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

Photoshop tut: Showcase lighting

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Member Since: Apr 28, 2006
Posts: 2,542
goobimama is a jewel in the roughgoobimama is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: iMac Core Duo 20", iBook G4, iPhone 8GB :)

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I posted this in another forum, and they kinda liked it. So I thought I'd post it here as well. For the n00bs

Step 1: New document, fill it with black.

Step 2: Create new layer (Command+shift+N) and name it “Showcase”. Draw out your main showcase background using the Rectangular Marquee tool (M). Fill that with any greyish colour (Shift+F5)

Step 3: With the layer selected, go to Layer > Inner Shadow

Gradient Overlay:

Stroke: 1 point, Outside, with a dark grey colour

Step 4: Now create a new layer (name it base) under the “Showcase” layer (hold command and click the new layer icon to create one under the current layer). Drag out a rectangle using the marquee that’s the same height as ‘showcase’, but make it wide. Fill it with whatever colour (shift+f5).

Step 5: Create a new layer over the “showcase” layer. Call it ‘light source’. Create a small little rectangle to symbolise a tubelight. Fill it with white. Now go to Layer > Layer Options > Outer glow. Use the default settings, but make the yellow colour more white.

Also, if the light source is looking too sharp, give it a blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur). Reduce the size of the ‘outer glow’ if it looks too blurry.

Now create a new layer under ‘light source’. Select both the new layer as well as light source and hit Command+E to merge. Now take a rectangular marquee tool, and cut out the top part of the outer glow.

Step 6: Select the “showcase” layer in the layers palette. Create a new layer under it. Then select ‘showcase’ layer and hit Command+E (Layers > Merge). Then go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects. Now this is the tricky part. Trial and error is the ultimate. I’d suggest playing around with the intensity and focus while making the area larger or smaller on the preview board. The rest of the options are only for fine tuning and not required. You will have to imagine the ‘light source’ layer for this to work. I didn’t get it quite right for this tutorial, but I should tell you that it took me like 20 minutes to get a perfect lighting on one project.

If 'showcase' is getting a lot of banding, then just give it some noise (Filter > Noise > Add noise). It will give it a more natural feel to it.

Step 7: I have given a gradient overlay for the “base” layer using the Layers > Layer Options > Gradient Overlay. It’s radial with a 180* angle.

Step 8: Import your graphic. Give it a white border if you will, and add a drop shadow (Layer options > drop shadow)

*This example is a little large actually. It works well for smaller thumbnails, sidebars and such.

Lemme know if there are any issues...
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Member Since: Feb 09, 2007
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that's awzome nice tut I'm gonna try this when I get home
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Alexis's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
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Alexis is a jewel in the roughAlexis is a jewel in the roughAlexis is a jewel in the rough
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You can get some nice images with the Lighting Effects filter.
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Member Since: Jan 11, 2008
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big thank you from a n00b!
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