More Photoshop Layers Effects
by Piero Desopo

Part 1   Part 2    Part 3   Part 4  Tips

Example 3: glow effect.

Start with a RGB image: it must have a background, a text on a new layer and a third layer between the background and the text.

Now select the empty layer then press hold the CTRL key and click on the text layer.

Go to the Select menu, Modify, Expand and enter 1 as value.

Again Select menu, Feather or press CTRL/ALT/d in Photoshop 5, or CTRL/SHIFT/d in Photoshop 4 and enter 2,5 as value.

Press the D key and then press CTRL + Delete or select Fill from edit menu (fill with background color).

To get a good glow effect you should use an opposite color to the prevalent color.

In this image I've used the white, but a yellow could be good too.

Of course with an image that has bright colors you should use a dark color for the glow. Look here:

A variation of this technique could be the next.

Again RGB image with a background, empty layer and at the top a text layer.

Select the empty layer, press hold the CTRL key and click on the text layer. So the text layer selection is active.

Select menu, Modify, Expand: enter 3 as value.

Chooce a colour to make the outline of the text layer (you can use the default value - press the D key).

Press ALT + Delete.

Good, but we can improve this effect simply to repeating the previous step.

Here's the last image:

Sometimes the glow effect can be used as a shadow effect or to enhance an image's zone.

In fact if you select the object transparency and then apply a feather without expand the selection, you have a "quick" shadow ;-)

In the next image a selection is copied into a new layer: then an empty layer is created between the background and the selection copy.

In the empty layer the glow effect is applied.

As you can see the glow effect is really a powerful effect that you can use several times to get different solutions. You can use it for quick effects and most of the images that you see on the web, the magazines, media and so on are produced with a lot of contribution of glows effects.