This tutorial will teach you how to add lighting effects to a model in Photoshop CS5. This is an advanced tutorial dealing with paths and blending modes. It is advised you follow some of the easier tutorials on the site to touch up on your skills for this tutorial.

Step 1) Setting up the background

Create the document, I chose to use the dimensions of 750 by 550px.

Make sure you set your foreground color to #505050 and background color to #000000

Drag a Radial Gradient at the position shown in the diagram below

Step 2) Cropping the Model

Crop out the model using the pen tool. You can find a tutorial for that earlier in this site.

After you have cropped the model out, go to Image, Adjustments > Levels to tone it darker.

Open up the vector curves in Illustrator which can be downloaded here. Select the curves and press Ctrl + C. Now switch back to Photoshop and press Ctrl + V to past the Smart Object.

Position the curves like in the image below.

Step 3) Glowing Curves

Duplicate the vector curves layer. Right click on the new layer and choose to Rasterize it.

Go to Filter> Blur > Gaussian Blur with 2px. Set the blending mode for this layer to color dodge.

With a soft eraser of 300px, erase parts that are further away from the model.

Step 4) Adding Color Light

Create a new layer between the curves and the model. Make a circular selection with the Elliptical Marquee tool at the center. Go to Select > Modify > Feather with 30px.

Fill this selection with # D200FF. Change the Blending Mode to Screen and Opacity to 40%

Step 5) Adding More light

Using the same method in step 4, create 2 more colored lights above the model layer. The colors I used were #F6FF00 and #00A2FF. Change the Blending Mode for these two layers to Overlay and Opacity to 60%.

Step 6) Glowing Smoke

Select the Smudge tool with 200px for the size, and smudge the colors together. You should be able to push and mold the colors in any direction you want.

You will start to see a nice glow of colors and blending around the blurred edges.

Step 7) Adding Point Lights

Create a new layer on top of the rest. Select a Soft Brush tool with #FFFFFF and paint some white dots of various sizes along the edge of the model.

Step 8) Stroking Paths

Create another new layer on top. Use the Pen tool and make one or two paths similar to the one in the image below. Set the foreground color to #FFFFFF. Select the Brush tool and reduce the size to 3px. Right click on the path you drew and choose Stroke Path. This is located in your Paths Pallette.

Check on Stimulate Pressure and then press ok.

Step 9) Glowing Lines

Right click on the lines layer and choose Blending Options > Outer Glow. Set the Blend Mode to Linear Dodge( Add), Size to 6px and Color to #00D2FF. You can leave the rest as default.

Download Source Files