How To Use Diffuse Glow to Match Background Tonality: Learn Photoshop

Learn how Woody Walters uses Diffuse Glow and High Pass to Match Background Tonalities. This is a creative use of a tool that you probably never even thought of.


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Video Transcription for the Hearing Impaired.

Welcome everybody to Woody Walters Digital Photo Candy.  This is the Photoshop Tip of the Week and you are here for that tip, so let’s get started.  I was playing around with this illustration, and it is kind of a fun illustration that I did.  I got this going here and I decided to try a different technique on it.  And the actual technique is kind of cool.  Couple things I need to do, what I am doing, if you look here, I have applied a diffuse glow to her and that is really cool.  But something that I have never tried before is adding a diffuse glow to a scenery type of thing.  So we have this house right here, which is way cool.  What it is, if you look at it, and I am going to zoom out right now.  If I look at the difference between the house and the girl, these two aren’t working very well together.  It is the contrast range that is bothering me.   So I am going to zoom this up and we are going to go to filter.  I am going to make sure I have a copy of this layer, this is just a copy, you can see that.  And I am on that copy layer.  Notice my swatches, that the white is on the bottom.  I don’t know why, but diffuse glow, at least on my set up, is using the underlying color.  It usually doesn’t happen that way, usually it uses the top layer.  But for some reason, my diffuse glow is using the bottom color.  Go to Filter, Filter Gallery, then come down to Distort, and we will use Diffuse Glow.  And we are going to look at that.  I am going to zoom out so we can find the image.  Now this is what the image is doing when I do that.  It Is looking pretty darn good.  The Clear Amount really affects this, so you need to be careful with that.  We are going to move it to the right and get it just the way that we want it to be, about 33.  Good, look at that.  Then we are going to click okay and let that work.  You can see the difference there.  I like the diffuse glow.  

That is all fine and dandy but what I want to do now is merge that, Control + E (MAC command + E) and then I am going to do Control + J to make a copy of that layer (MAC would be Command + J).  And then we are going to hit that with a high pass.  Filter, Other, and then come down to High Pass.  We are going to set the radius to about 4, and we are going to say okay.  No we are going to go to Layer Mode, and choose Overlay.  And now I am going to zoom in on this because it is really going to make a difference.  Watch and I will show you the difference between this and that.  You can barely notice it, but watch.  Control + J, Control + J, and Control + J.  And now the contrast, let me zoom out so you can see it.  Watch this as I turn the layers off and on.  Can you see the difference in it?  By adding that diffuse glow plus the high pass filters, it is really looking like it should be looking.  And that is pretty cool.  

So that is just another technique.  I have been using diffuse glow for a long time, but I have never applied it to scenery I have only applied it to people.  By applying it to this scene I was able to get the contrast range that I wanted in my house and trees to match the girl and it really brings it all together.  I hope that you can see where you could apply this to your own work.  Until next week, shoot from the heart and shoot with passion, and we will see you at for the Photoshop Tip of the Week.