Thursday, September 28, 2006



A few people asked how I did the light bloom effect. Here is a quick video showing the steps. A new layer above the drawing is created and then filled in with black. The layer property is changed to “screen” and then I use the airbrush tool around the edges of the character. Pick a nice light color and think about how the light would break around the form.

47 comments:

Kaiser said...

Holy crap man, I have been scouring places for so long looking for a tutorial that shows me how to do that light effect.
I am so damn glad you made this blog. Keep up the awesome work.

T-Ravisaurus Rex said...

very cool! I love to see this stuff, even though my own artistic talent us nonexistant. I missed seenig you guys at ComicCon this year. I'm hoping to be at Pax for my first time next year! Keep up the awesome work!

Sam Kalman said...

It's great of you to share your artist secret moves. I think it's fascinating to watch you manipulate your drawings. Please share more! Maybe you can work up to sharing some artist super combos or aerial raves.

Jonah said...

Interesting.
I'll be sure to pass this on to Jeremy. He's pretty new at the whole "digital art" thing (he still does almost everything by hand. Penciling, lettering, etc.), but he picks up quick on anything requiring that particular half of the brain.

David said...

I am always happy to find another easy way of doing something in Photoshop, something that does not require filters or special brushes and such. The best ones have always been the blending modes of layers, and that still holds true. Thanks for 'showing us how', as it were. Demos are always apreciated.

Algeya said...

Thanks a lot , sharing how you make your art with us simple mortals.

I will keep working until I can make incredible art like you.

Anonymous said...

This is the mark of a true artist. It amazes me that something so simple has such a dramatic effect on the piece. And you make it seem effortless, Mike, that's what's so cool.

Now, would it kill you to lay down an audio track to go along with it? And come back to Dark Iron?

Pat Race said...

Thanks for the tutorial, I came across one you did on inking a while back and it really helped me get more out of my tablet. Keep up the great work!

Thanks for the inspiration - here are a couple of things I've made:

Airport Security Comic

Fun Forever Comic
Unibot Sketch

Seb said...

The one thing that always amazes me about you is your willingness to teach.

Thanks for not being a dick. Seriously. There are more than enough in the art world.

Stephanie said...

I have a total n00b question: what program did you use to record that tutorial?

bastlynn said...

In a related note - how did you get the shadow at the bottom of the figure there, so that it lays as it should into the depth of the visual space as 'ground' ?

Mordrak said...

Hi, I was wondering how you felt about making the videos available for download? I know there's a few free hosting sites, but not sure what limits they put on it. Is it practical for you to post a high res version too?

Thanks!

Colleen said...

Brilliantly simple, I never would have thought of this. I'm working on a bio-illustration project of hawks and eagles and I might mess around with this effect showing the birds up against a bright sky.

Thank you for sharing, sir, I look forward to more. :)

Inferno_str1ke said...

That's impressive stuff - I'm strictly an amateur on Photoshop but learning little techniques like this can really help show off a picture.

Gabriel said...

bastlynn - The shadow at the bottom is just the oval selection tool used to create an elipse around his feet. I fill it with black then use the eraser tool set to airbrush to erase the bottom of it. hope that made sense.

Stephanie - I used my screen recorder to make the movie. It is free to try and about thirty bucks to buy.


I really appreciate the comments guys. I'm going to try and keep this updated with videos and sketches. I'm learning here to and if something I figure out can help someone else I'll try and share it.

Hawk said...

hehe nice. makes me want to do some video tutorials now. ;)

Anonymous said...

Gabe, can you suggest a good pad? A friend of mine has a cheap little corel pad, but I'm not sure about the quality. Just something good overall for personal use.

Anonymous said...

Gabe, this is amazing! Thank you for the lesson, I have admired your work for years and I love it when you share your artistic process.

Keep it up man!

Big Al

bastlynn said...

Gabe - Perfectly sensible :) Thank you muchly!

Bill said...

Thanks for the awesome tip Gabe, really useful and I had no clue how to do something like that.

LuckySean said...

so bloody simple yet so awesome

Anonymous said...

Awesome, when you find the time, please post up some more video tutorials. They will come in handy for all us wannabe artists. :D

CoyoteLoon said...

Just consider me another weekend-hack artist who is thrilled to see you start this blog. I love the way you've evolved your own distinctive art style over the years, and it was great to see the deceptively simple tip on the glow effect. I kinda feel stupid for not figuring it out myself, now. I'll definitely be checking the blog regularly to see if I can steal any more of your Photoshop Kung Fu.

FDisk said...

Thanks for this tutorial Gabe; I put it to good use right away!

Check out the results:

Um...Lion-O's sister

Anonymous said...

Sooo, my good friend (whom I have only read about), I tried this while in a hurry to get ready for work (my hair was drying), and I didn't get the same effect.

I messed with Flow and Opp. with the airbrush button on. But I mostly got a rather dull circle. I switched to white (I figured this was the case anyway, but you didn't say), and it still didn't really work out for me.

To my knowledge, I followed everything to the letter. But I wasn't able to get the GLOW effect to work. Just some dull tones. =(

What might I be doing wrong for this?

-- Firia

FDisk said...

Firia,

Go over your steps again, maybe you missed something:

1) Create a layer on top of all your layers.
2) Fill it with pure black
3) Set its blending mode to "Screen"
4) Grab the brush tool and set it's hardness to "0"
5) Pick a light color (Not necessarily white, pick a very bright yellow for instance; something towards the top left part of the color spectrum/palette near the white)
6) Start painting

Jinx said...

Well, just a quick tip for ya Gabe: you don't really need to fill the layer with black. An empty layer set to screen will do just as fine. I suppose a one-step tutorial isn't much of a tutorial though ;)

Kai said...

Hey neat, I use that bloom effect method as well! Crazy that the pro's use it too... I guess that means I should keep using it. Sweet.

Bauske said...

Sweet baby kermit, that's awesome! Thanks for the post, man! I'm going to start watching this blog. Always loved your stuff, and now it'll be nice to get a more behind-the-scenes look at how you do things.

Ryan said...

Yeah, for those of you out there experimenting with this, you really don't need the black fill, just an empty layer. And don't just use screen mode, experiment with all of the different blend modes. You can easily cycle through them by selecting the direct select tool (the black arrow tool), selecting the layer you want to experiment with, and press shift & + (plus button) or - (minus button) to cycle through the different blend modes.

This should also help you get very acquainted with the blend modes, something terribly important when you're in a crunch and need to blaze through some awesome special effect.

Stephanie said...

Awesome. Thanks for the response :)

Johann said...

Very handy information. I'll be sure to incorporate it into my next photochop.

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial! I had some problems with the right settings of the brush-tool but once i figured them out, i was amazed how easy it is to create such a good-looking effect.

Oh, and what I always wanted to see is the "creation-process" of one of your drawings, from the pencil scetch to the final cartoon or whatever.

NIK said...

Awesome! Thanks for the tips. I'm a photoshop novice, and any help is much appreciated. You should do a weekly vid cast or something through itunes describing how you do some of this stuff.

lauren "aseariel" gee said...

thanks for this, sir. :)
i can tell it's helping quite a few fans of your work, myself included.

peace.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, I've played around with lightbloom myself. I find that doing it right in illustrator is possible as well.

Just outline areas you want to highlight with shapes of whatever color you like and then feather the living hell out of them until they are adiquately fuzzy and transparent.

I like to keep everything all vectory and good.

M Schultheiss said...

Nice simple tut and nice drawing.

Anonymous said...

This is not about your blog check outhttp://threebeautifulthings.blogspot.com/ She is the same age

Vicco said...

Cool art, cool FX, I tried to do It, but my Brush doesn't seem to have a Hard Option (someone mentioned make hardness "0"). It just makes clear round circles, but I don't get that effect... :-(

BTW, Viva Mexico!

bob said...

how do you put that video in to you blog

bob said...

how do you do video in you blog

Anonymous said...

Ya thats right. Light that crotch!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this.

I think I'm going to play around in Photoshop now...

goodbye Paintshop

~p

Anonymous said...

Dear god, how annoying yet awesome this is! It's exactly what I needed to improve one of the pictures in my university pre-selection kit application, which I just sent off this morning! Arg!
Still, absolutely awesome art and awesome effect for future use. Keep these tutorials coming! The YouTube video was useful too.

- Atcote

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