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Beginners Guide to Photoshop: Add sunrise to your image

In this tutorial we are going to add sunrise to our image using

  • Smart Filters
  • Lens Flare
  • Video time line
  • Adobe generation for intermediate frames
  • Add night
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Before the detailed steps, if you like, You can watch a step by step video below. For any clarification or comment fill the form to the side and we shall come back to you as soon as possible

Step 1, Resize your image and Convert it for smart filters

  • After selecting your image, you have the option to work on its original size in case resolution is your target.
  • Otherwise if you intend to convert ti to GIF, it is better to resize it in the first place
  • So, Any duplication will be in consistent size
  • To resize you image, menu>Image>Image Size
    1. Change the width of the image to a size suitable for your project
    2. Make sure that the width and height are linked
    3. The height will be automatically resized in same percentage
    4. The size is dropped from 35MP to around 2MP
  • After hitting OK
  • click ctrl+0 or COMMAND+0 to fit image on screen
  • Then duplicate the image using ctrl+j or COMMAND+j to keep the original one as your background and other effects to be applied on it
  • Select the duplicate layer from the layers panel. If you can’t reach the layers panel, menu>Windows>Layers or F7
  • Then You have 3 options to apply the Lens Flare Filter
    1. Make the duplicate layer a container for smart filters, menu>Filter>Convert for Smart Filter.
    2. Or apply filters directly to it.
    3. Or Add a black color layer and add the Lens Filter to it.
      To add a black color layer menu>layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color, then select black or enter hex code #”000000″
Original Image
Image resized

Step 2, Add a natural sun to your image

  • Actually we are going to add a Filter called Lens Flare
  • Lens Flare acts as if you are shooting against a bright light source, which here we can consider the sun and in coming tutorial we shall use it as a moon
  • If you are using the duplicate image, While the image copy is selected we are going to menu>Filter>Render>lens Flare
    1. Drag the source to add it where you like
    2. You have 4 Lens options, we shall select the 35mm because it has a reflection on the bottom of the image. This location is opposite to the direction of the Flare
    3. We shall boost the Brightness to 200%
    4. Then hit OK

  • If you are using the Black Solid Layer, While the Black Solid Layer, is selected we are going to menu>Filter>Render>lens Flare
    NOTE: It will initially have the last settings and position used
    1. Drag the source to add it where you like
    2. You have 4 Lens options, we shall select the Movie Prime this time to see a different effect
    3. We shall keep the Brightness at 100%
    4. Then hit OK
  • When the blending mode of this layer is normal, it will cover the layer under it.
  • To blend it with the original image, you can select one of the blend options as in the image below e.g. screen
  • Compare the result of the 2 Lens Flare filters below
  • Either you used a smart filter on the image or an extra black layer, they will produce the same effect. it depends on your work flow.
Movie Prime Lens Filter
on Black Solid Layer
Blend Modes,
Select Screen
Movie Prime 100 Brightness
Movie Prime Lens Flare
Filter Brightness 100
35mm lens flare 179 applied
35mm Lens Flare Filter
Brightness 170
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