Create a glowing lightsaber using Photoshop Colour Balance

    Create a glowing lightsaber using Photoshop Colour Balance

    Feel the Force by mastering Photoshop’s colour balance!

    All Star Wars fans dream of owning their very own lightsaber. The Jedi Knight’s weapon of choice is possibly the greatest fictional gadget ever. The closest we’ll come to the real thing can be achieved easily in Photoshop with a simple blur and colour balance technique.

    Our starting image

    Our starting image

    When you start this tutorial, you’ll be but a learner. By the end, you’ll be the master. The circle is complete.

    01 ADD A BLACK LAYER

    Open the file ‘lightsaber_before.jpg’ and then go to Layer>New>Layer to access the New Layer Dialog Box. Give the layer a name and then change the Mode drop-down to Screen. Now check the box next to ‘Fill with Screen-neutral colour (black)’ and press OK.

    02 SELECT THE BLADE

    Select the Pen tool and then click at the bottom of the shaft to add an Anchor Point. Click again at the top to add a second point, then continue the path so it goes right around the blade. When it’s closed, right-click and select the Make Selection option.

    03 MAKE THREE COPIES

    Hit D to reset your colours to black and white, then Cmd/Ctrl+Backspace to fill the selection with your white background colour. Now press Cmd/Ctrl+J three times to copy the selected white blade onto three new layers.

    04 APPLY FOUR BLURS

    Highlight the top layer first and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set Radius to 70 pixels and hit OK. Now apply the blur to the layer below, but this time with Radius at 40. Repeat on the next two layers with Radius at 20 and 2.

    05 MAKE IT BLUE

    Go to Image>Adjustments>Colour Balance. From here, add cyan and blue, then press OK. For a different colour, press Cmd/Ctrl+U and move the Hue slider. Now we need to paint in reflected colour, so select the Brush tool from the Tools Panel. Hold Alt and click on the blade to sample a colour.

    06 ADD REFLECTED COLOURS

    Create a new layer and then press Alt+Backspace to fill it. Hold Alt and click the Add Layer Mask icon for a full mask, then change the Blend Mode of the layer to Colour. Finish off by painting with a white soft-edged brush to reveal colour along the edges of the model’s arms and the top of his head.

    This entry was posted on Friday, April 19th, 2013 at 1:00 pm and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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    | Tutorials | 19/04/2013 13:00pm
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