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ARCHIVE: How to make your images 'Glossy & Glowing'

Tue. Dec 20th 2005, 06:19pm:

Often I have to use pictures on my sites that aren't of very good quality; mostly bad lighting, low-resolution, too much noise and grains. I know I'm not the only one either but I could never figure out how to make my images "glow" like those glossy magazines. Here's a quick trick I found (using Paint Shop Pro 8+) that gives even dark/low-res images a very healthy "glow". I used PSP but I think it should work easily on Photoshop and other image editors with layers & layer-blending features.

  1. Put your image on a new layer, call it Layer Top.
  2. Copy Layer Top to Layer Middle and Layer Bottom and make sure the layers are ordered correctly.
  3. Select Layer Bottom and give it a Gaussian Blur of 2-4 pixels. If you don't have Gaussian Blur, use any appropriate method to blur the bottom layer. Don't blur too much.
  4. Change the Blend Mode for Layer Top to Multiply, Layer Middle to Screen. Keep Layer Bottom as Normal/Opaque.
  5. Tweak the Alpha/Opacity of Layer Top to perfect your glow. Opacity levels between 20%-40% work well for me.
It seems like a lot of steps but it doesn't take more than 60 seconds. And you'll be amazed at how easy it is to make your pictures GLOW like shown below:

Easy Glow - Before & After