Creating a Glow



  • EDIT

    I have gotten great responses that I thank everyone for, and now I move onto my next question, rather than starting a new thread:

    How does one accomplish brush strokes like this as seen in the red/blue/green "energy" strokes?

    energy strokes.png

    I know that one can use any hard or soft brush to create these (as with anything) with lots and lots of time, but I can't help but think the artist is using specific techniques and/or brushes. I can't seem to replicate them.

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    Hi! I was so impressed by the responses to my last question regarding drawing clean art I thought I'd take my chances with another! 🙂

    I have noticed in much of the art I like, especially in the anime style, there is a strong glowing effect used. See below

    all-might-1.jpg
    all-might-2.jpg

    I am confused on two levels. First of all, is this glow really an "effect" at all, or is the apparent ultra-white or ultra-blue simply an optical illusion in the sense of seeming bright when compared to what's around it? (really just #FFFFFF?)

    And secondly...how do I do it? I have tried but I can never get it to pop like this. 🙂



  • @austinmdiamond You might be able to achieve something like this by messing around with the layer modes. Soft light, colour dodge, overlay and hard light are all good at layering a colour over somethings, which may be what they've done in the second image, colouring the hand with it's base colour first and then layering the light colour over the top with one of those layer modes selected. To make the blurriness you could either add a gaussian blur filter, paint it with a soft brush, or even use the blur tool. The colour of the glow itself should is probably just the designer's choice, for decisions like that I would just look at a lot of reference and think about colour theory. For the science behind the glow effect and understanding why it works/looks the way it does and how it interacts with things, I would study colour and light and possibly get some good books like How To Render (Scott Robertson), or Color and Light (James Gurney).

    The most important thing is probably experimentation, practice, and gathering a lot of reference material. You may even discover your own way of doing it.

    Hope this helps 🙂


  • Pro

    @austinmdiamond New animation softwares have some layer modes. just like Photoshop does! When I was working on my graduation film on Toon Boom Harmony, I created some glow effects by duplicating my animation layers and adding blurs and overlay modes. The examples you shared could use a similar method. Lines, smoke, whooshes and particles are animated by hand in white and blue colors, then blurs and lighting modes are applied on them to create special effects 🙂



  • So, like, scientific-wise, are these glows really just tricks of the eye? (Meaning, the brilliant blue or white I see is really just made that way because it contrasts so forcefully with the duller colors around it.) It really looks like my screen is brighter, more luminous, where the glow is!



  • @austinmdiamond some traditional painters create a glowing effect by the colors & brushstrokes they use. While artists like Steven DeLuz, Mike Malm and Thomas Kincade (not to be completely cheesy, but the guy could really paint light!) didn't employ the digital effects of the samples you shared, their paintings are luminous. And it's all about tonality and color choices.

    So yes, there are visual effects that most digital painting programs have, as mentioned above, but no matter how a piece is created, the colors in it glow because of what's around them. If the backgrounds were lighter or the characters lit differently, even if the same effects were used, you wouldn't see an obvious glow. You need dark to make light stand out.

    Hope this helps!

    (Oh, and by a weird coincidence, I just watched this YouTube video while eating lunch where Ross Draws talks about how he creates a glowing effect in his pieces using color dodge (apparently it's what he's known for). You might find it interesting.)



  • I have gotten great responses that I thank everyone for, and now I move onto my next question, rather than starting a new thread:

    How does one accomplish brush strokes like this as seen in the red/blue/green "energy" strokes?

    energy strokes.png

    I know that one can use any hard or soft brush to create these (as with anything) with lots and lots of time, but I can't help but think the artist is using specific techniques and/or brushes. I can't seem to replicate them.


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