Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop Very Simple Tutorial: Sunlight Glare

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We had a visitor from Boston the other day. He said that his company owns the tallest building. He showed me a photo. I said “Whoa… That’s a beautiful building.” But then… He burst into tears. I asked him if a deadly fire killed his beloved wife in the building or something. He actually said that prospective tenants decide not to move in when they see that photo. So I said “You could use some glare.” That honest opinion of mine seemed to turn him on. So he asked me to fix the photo. Not a problem! I just launched Adobe Illustrator CS2 and Photoshop CS2 on my iMac. In a matter of 5 minutes or so, I finished modifying the image. After I showed it to him, he seemed content and went back to Boston.

The following tutorial shows steps to create a scene of sunlight glare, using Adobe Illustrator CS2 and Photoshop CS2. The photo used in this tutorial comes from Webshots. Note that the screenshots below are extracted from a tutorial video with PNG compression. Therefore, their quality may not be the best.





  1. Using Adobe Illustrator CS2, let’s use Flare Tool to create a glare image.
  2. Let’s import the glare image to Photoshop with copy and paste. After adjusting its location and size, apply Adjustments > Invert to the glare layer. Furthermore, change the blend mode of the glare layer to Linear Dodge to utilize light at the maximum.
  3. Apply a small amount of Gaussian Blur to the glare layer.
  4. Back to Illustrator, let’s create another shape. This time, we use Star Tool to create a shinning light image.
  5. Apply Pucker & Bloat to stretch the shape. Use Direct Selection Tool to adjust anchor points to give some variation to the shape. Set the stroke color to none and fill color to sheer white or use Radial Gradient if you like.
  6. Bring the shinning light image to Photoshop. Adjust the location and size. Then change the blend mode to Linear Dodge again.
  7. Apply Gaussian Blur to the shinning light image.
  8. Use Adjustments > Levels to increase contrast and allocate more ratio to bright tones.





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Video tutorial with no audio commentary

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Illustrator and Photoshop CS2 are products of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

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