How to add a glow to a Custom shape in Photoshop tutorial > How to add a glow behind a shape in Photoshop tutorial

How to add a glow to a custom shape

How to add a nice glow to behind a shape in Photoshop ?? Probably countless ways and tools that can be used. The heart shape used in the example is available in set 26. Of course, you can add the glow to behind many heart brushes (or any artwork layer) or just a basic layer as long as there is transparency to the layer so it is no use if the layer is a solid fill.


Using gradients

Select the shape (as a layer) and then go to the background layer and set the gradient first stop to white and set the last stop in the gradient to the color of the background or a dark color then set the type of the gradient to the radial and then set the origin point behind the art and then drag out to the edge of the document. You can also create a similar glow using gradient themed plugins available on the web




Using Camera raw filter

Camera raw filter can be used to create a quick glow. Go to the background layer and then go to the filter menu and camera raw filter and select the radial filter (along the top bar of options for the filter) and click in the center(or behind where the item is) and drag outward to the edge of the document / preview. Set the feather option to 100 or so for the color and then set the exposure to -4 or so and then tweak the temperature and tint settings as required.


camera glow


Use the lighting filter

Go to the background layer and filter menu and render and lighting. Move the center of the lighting effect to behind the shape. If there are more than one or so lights you may wish to set the filter back to the default via the presets in the filter. You can then scale width and the hotspot angle to give more of less of a glow behind the shape. Set the color to white.




Glow style

Select the artwork and then go to the layer menu and layer style and then select the outer glow option. Set the spread to 0. Set the size as large as possible. You can select the contour setting to create different glows but the basic default contour is generally fine for the glow. You can find many different glow items on the site in Photoshop styles




Additional ideas

You can apply the above once but you can also apply them more than once. You can use them in different colors or perhaps combine the effect with filters to add even more weird and wonderful distortions and warping to the generated light effect. Or perhaps distort the underlying layer (unlock it first) to create a glow that is going off at an angle and not added straight behind the selected object. Or perhaps add the glow and then turn it into a smart object and duplicate that layer and re-position and blend (such as using blending modes and opacity) to combine the generated lights.