Run Photoshop in 32-bit mode (64-bit Mac OS only)
In 64-bit versions of Mac OS, Lighting Effects is available only if Photoshop is running in 32-bit mode.
For more information, see 64-bit operating system benefits and limitations in Photoshop.
Apply the Lighting Effects filter
The Lighting Effects filter lets you produce myriad lighting effects on RGB images. You can also use textures from grayscale files (called bump maps) to produce 3D‑like effects and save your own styles for use in other images.
The Lighting Effects filter works only on RGB images.
Determines how much the surface reflects light (as on the surface of a piece of photographic paper), from Matte (low reflectance) to Shiny (high reflectance).
Determines which is more reflective: the light or the object on which the light is cast. Plastic reflects the light’s color; Metallic reflects the object’s color.
Increases (positive values) or decreases (negative values) light. A value of 0 has no effect.
Diffuses the light as if it were combined with other light in a room, such as sunlight or fluorescent light. Choose a value of 100 to use only the light source, or a value of –100 to remove the light source. To change the color of the ambient light, click the color box and use the Color Picker that appears.
To duplicate a light, Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Mac OS) the light within the preview window.
Lighting Effects types
Shines light in all directions from directly above the image—like a light bulb over a piece of paper.
Casts an elliptical beam of light. The line in the preview window defines the light direction and angle, and the handles define the edges of the ellipse.
Adjust an Omni light
Adjust directional light using the preview window
- To change the direction of the light, drag the handle at the end of the line to rotate the light’s angle. Ctrl-drag (Windows) or Command-drag (Mac OS) to keep the light’s height (line length) constant.
- To change the height of the light, drag the handle at the end of the line. Shorten the line for a bright light, and lengthen it for a less intense one. A very short line produces pure white light; a very long one, no light. Shift-drag to keep the angle constant and change the height of the light (line length).
Adjust the spotlight using the preview window
- To increase the light angle, drag the handle to shorten the line. To decrease the light angle, drag to lengthen the line.
- To stretch the ellipse or rotate the light, drag one of the handles. Shift-drag to keep the angle constant and change only the size of the ellipse. Ctrl-drag (Windows) or Command-drag (Mac OS) to keep the size constant and change the angle or direction of the spotlight.
- To set the light focus (or spotlight intensity) and control how much of an ellipse is filled with light, drag the Intensity slider: full intensity (a value of 100) is brightest, normal intensity is about 50, negative intensity takes away light, and –100 intensity produces no light. Use the Focus slider to control how much of the ellipse is filled with light.
Lighting Effects styles
Use the Style menu in the Lighting Effects dialog box to choose from 17 light styles. You can also create your own lighting style by adding lights to the Default setting. The Lighting Effects filter requires at least one light source. Only one light can be edited at a time, but all added lights are used to create the effect.
Circle Of Light
Four spotlights. White has full (100) intensity and a concentrated (8) focus. Yellow has strong intensity (88) and a concentrated focus (3). Red has medium (50) intensity and a concentrated (0) focus. Blue has full (100) intensity and medium (25) focus.
Five Lights Down/Five Lights Up
Five white spotlights, down or up, of full (100) intensity with a wide (60) focus.
Red, blue, and green lights that produce a light of medium (60) intensity with a wide (96) focus.
Soft Direct Lights
Two unfocused white and blue directional lights. White has a soft (20) intensity. Blue has a medium (67) intensity.
Add or delete a light
Create, save, or delete a Lighting Effects style
- To create a style, choose Default for Style and drag the light bulb icon at the bottom of the dialog box into the preview area. Repeat as desired for a maximum of 16 lights.
- To save a style, click Save, name the style, and click OK. Saved styles include all the settings for each light and appear in the Style menu whenever you open the image.
Use the Texture Channel in the Lighting Effects
The Texture Channel in the Lighting Effects dialog box lets you control lighting effects using grayscale images (called bump maps) that you add to your image as alpha channels. You can add any grayscale image to your image as an alpha channel, or create a new alpha channel and add texture to it. For an embossed text effect, use a channel with white text on a black background, or vice versa.