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Ethereal effect and edges

Author: Naniette

Tools Needed

* Paint Shop Pro or other Paint Program

* A rendered image or picture


On this tutorial I will explain how to add an ethereal effect and edges to your renders, plus how to create glowing text. I will be using Corel Paint Shop Pro but it can be easily adapted to other paint programs.


Step 1: The Effect

To create effects similar to the image above do the following:

Open your image, duplicate the layer and name it BlurLayer, to duplicate go to Layer – Duplicate or right click on the layer in your layers palette, if your layers palette is not visible pres F8 to open it.


Note: If you want to add this effect to your character only and not the background, render your character separately, and put him/her in a new layer on top of the background picture.

With the new layer selected, go to Adjust – Blur – Gaussian Blur, I have used a value of 10, this may vary depending on image size, and your image should look somewhat like this:


Really blurred huh? Don't worry that is what we wanted. Now let's change our layer mode, on your layers palette, look for the word normal, click on it and you will get a popup menu like this one:


Choose screen as the layer mode, as you can see the image is already looking 'dreamy' but the effect may be too bright, so unless you are looking for such a bright effect you should lower the opacity. I have set mine to 75%. But it's all about what works best for your image.


Step 2: Adjustments

You may need to adjust the brightness and contrast of the image, go to Adjust – Brightness and Contrast (Shift+B) and adjust them to your liking, I have adjusted brightness by 15 and contrast by 10, but again this depends on your image.

This is how it is looking so far:


Step 3: Layer modes

With some tweaking this can be used to create other effects. If your character is on a separate layer from the background, try lowering the opacity on the original layer to get a 'ghostly' image!

Changing layer modes can also get you some really interesting effects!

Step 4: The Border

Create a new layer and name it Border, using the selection tool (S), outline a box around your image.


Invert your selection, selection – invert (Ctrl+Shift+I). Select the color you want to fill the borders with, fill the selection.


Go to adjust – blur – Gaussian blur. The radius will depend on the size of your image and the effect you want, I used a radius of 20 and then lowered the opacity of the border layer. Make sure you deselect the border (Ctrl+D) since this will alter the results!.

Step 5: The final image

Here's the final result, compare the original and the final image: it has been resized but I think you can appreciate the effect rather well!



Step 6: It works with text too

This can also be used to create “glowing” text. Here's how to do it:

Create a new image, let's make it 400×400 so we will have plenty of space, choose a text color, and write something. Duplicate that layer two times.


Choose the layer that is on top, and go to Adjust - Blur, when asked if you want to convert to a raster layer press OK, I used a radius of 5, but this will vary depending on the size of your text, set that layer to screen mode, and adjust the opacity if needed.


Choose the lower layer and change the text color to black or a dark gray, we will use this to create a drop shadow effect, move the text a bit down and to the side and you get this:


If you want your glow to be stronger, duplicate the blurred layer. The same goes for the drop shadow.


Step 7: Conclusion

Take this further! Try using different colors and layer modes to see what you can create. Thank you for reading this tutorial, if you have any comments feel free to contact me.