How to Create Realistic Lightning in Photoshop

Create realistic lightning in Adobe Photoshop in 3 easy steps.

Here is a quick and easy way to create realistic lightning in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1. Create Your Brush

I'm going to assume you have already created a new image with a dark background. So, lets get to making the brush. Select the Pencil tool and make a small, sharp brush using a size of 1px and hardness of 100%.

Step 2. Draw Your Lightning

Drawing lightning isn't an art. Keep it jagged. Make sure you have created a new layer and selected white (#FFFFFF) to draw with. When you are done, you should have something like this.

Step 3: Apply a Glow

Open up the Layer Styles window by double-clicking on the layer with the lightning on it. Go to 'Outer Glow' and create a glow with the following settings:

Blend Mode: Screen
Opacity: 100%
Noise: 0
Color: #7e90ff (you can try other colors if you wish)
Technique: Softer
Spread: 3px
Size: 9px

Now you should have something like this:

That's really how simple it is. With a bit of practice you will be able to add this lightning to any photo.


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