How to create Star Wars lightsaber photos with your kids in Adobe Photoshop

Finding photography projects to do with your kids is a great way to combine your passion with fun for the kids.  What better way to do that than to create photos of your kids as Star Wars heroes, or villains…  PhotographyTV joined forces with another YouTube creator, Life Effects in this video to show you how to create lightsaber photos with your kids using Adobe Photoshop (affiliate link).  

See the images below for a step by step visual explanation of the process used in Photoshop to add the lightsaber effect.

Duplicate the layer (Control + J) / (Command + J on a Mac)

Hue / Saturation layer, reduce lightness to -100 (all black)

Merge layers (Control + E) / (Command + E on a Mac), and set blending mode to Screen

Select the brush tool (size varies by the size of your saber) / Set hardness to ~ 50%

Draw the lightsaber – select an end point and hold down shift and click the other end point to draw a straight line. Fill in as needed.

Add 3 more layers (Control + J) x3. Add Gausian blur separate for each layer (5, 15, 35, 75)

Merge all layers (not the background) with Control + E. Set blending mode to Screen

Add adjustment layer for Color Balance. Enable Clipping mask to focus only on the lightsaber.  Select the color you want for the lightsaber and adjust Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights accordingly.

Add glow effect from the lightsaber. Select Background layer > Color Balance adjustment > add color with emphasis on highlights.

Add a vector mask. Hit Control + I to hide color balance layer. Use brush tool (low opacity %) to brush in the glow from the lightsaber to add a realistic glow effect.


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