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Part 13. Special Effects > Task 2 How to Build a Glow Effect with Stroke Path

Task 2 How to Build a Glow Effect with Stroke Path

You can add an effect around a featured object that looks like a glowing halo that softly fades into the background. In addition to having aesthetic appeal, the effect described in this task works well when you're silhouetting an object against a white or dark background. It also works to separate the object from its background.

1.
Open the File and Draw a Path

Choose File, Open and select the file you want to modify. Select the Pen tool from the toolbox. Use the techniques described in Part 3, “Selection Techniques,” to draw a path around the desired object.

2.
Select the Outside of the Object

Choose Window, Paths to open the Paths palette. With the path tile selected, choose Make Selection from the palette menu and click OK in the Make Selection dialog box that appears. Then choose Select, Inverse to deselect the object and select only the background.

3.
Select the Glow Color

Double-click the Foreground color swatch in the toolbox; after the Color Picker opens, select a color for the glow. Click OK to close the Color Picker.

4.
Configure Settings

Select the Paintbrush tool in the toolbox. In the Options bar, drag the Pressure slider to about 8% or 10% percent and select a very large feathered brush. Click the Brush icon and set the Master Diameter slider for the brush size. Select the Airbrush icon in the Options bar and set the Flow and Opacity as desired.

5.
Stroke the Path

With the new path selected in the Paths palette, select Stroke Path from the palette menu. In the Stroke Path dialog box that appears, click OK to apply the stroke using the brush settings specified in Step 4.

6.
Modify Brush Settings

Restroke the path several times by repeating Steps 4 and 5. Each time you reapply the stroke, select a smaller brush size and increase the pressure. This intensifies the stroke as it gets close to the object, simulating the glow effect. Deselect the path in the Paths palette to view the effect unobscured by the path.


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