• Premium Lifetime access

  • Ambient Light & Beams of light in Photoshop CC

    Share on pinterest
    Share on facebook
    Share on tumblr
    Share on twitter
    Share on whatsapp
  • In this video I will show you how to make a cinematic ambient light effect in Photoshop by creating beams/rays of light

    Creating this kind light beams is very easy and they can really enhance your images because they create depth and a better ambient light. Combine it with some basic color grading and you can create a truly interesting look.

    Final result


    Creating ambient Light in Photoshop

    Open the image that you want to use for your light effect. I used an image of an old train but this effect can be made for old attics, barns, rooms or whatever images where a sun rays and light beams could look nice.

    Create a new layer above your image and use the Pen Tool or the Polygonal Lasso tool to create a selection above the window or opening where the light come through. I make it on top of the train window.

    Ambient Light - Selection Photoshop cc tutorial

    Fill the selection with a bright color on the new layer. I used the color #fff6dc to simulate the sunlight but you can use any color you like.

    Sun rays photoshop tutorial

    With the layer selected press Cmd/Ctrl+T or go to Edit>Free Transform to load the Free transform tool and then right click and select Distort and distort the shape like shown below. You can also use the Perspective to widen one end of the shape as the light expands.

    Photoshop CC light beam tutorial

    Soften your light beam using a Blurring filter. For this kind of light beam I used the Box Blur but the Gaussian Blur also looks nice.


    Now create a gradient map for the light layer and use a white to black linear gradient to fade the effect as shown below. I left the blend mode to Normal but you can try Screen, Lighten or stack up multiple layers on Softlight, it depends on your photo. I dropped the Opacity to 50% for a more realistic ambient light effect.

    Sun light effect. Ambient light Photoshop tutorial

    Now repeat the same with all the windows or places where you want to create this effect. Play with blend modes and keep a consistent angle if you only have one light source. Also use different blurring amounts if you want a more visible beam of light and not so diffused.

    If you want to create a cinematic effect use adjustment layers. I used a Color Lookup with the Tension Green on Normal at 60% and an RGB Gradient Map on Color at 10%.

    Photoshop CC ambient light effect tutorial

    Other tutorials

    5 Responses

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

  • Keep in touch

  • © PSD Box 2010-2022 | Andrei Oprinca

    What's new in 2022

    In this video I will highlight the most important changes and new releases in 2022.

    If you are a member and have any problems accessing the site or downloading the premium content, please click the “I need help” link on the top menu bar.

    Log in

    Access your account

    Don't have an account?

    Create a free account and unlock hundreds of free downloads: PSD files and tutorial resources

    Novedades en 2022​

    En este vídeo destacaré los cambios más importantes y las novedades de 2022.

    Si eres miembro y tienes algún problema para acceder al sitio o descargar los contenidos premium, haz clic en el enlace “Necesito ayuda” de la barra de menú superior.

    Iniciar sesión

    Accede a tu cuenta

    ¿No eres miembro?

    Cree una cuenta gratuita y desbloquee cientos de descargas gratuitas: Archivos PSD y recursos