I have this image which is the result of a layer on a solid color green surface.

enter image description here

How can I extract these highlights & shadows to a seperate (combined) highlight + shadow layer and reproduce these highlights / shadows on another surface?

Can I somehow pick the color green and substract it from the image.

I have photoshop available.


Here's a method without the need to "extract" anything, just using layers.

  1. Original layer on bottom

  2. New flag layer clipped to layer 1

  3. Copy of the original layer - Blending mode set to Hard Light

  4. Hue Saturation adjustment clipped to layer 3, fully desaturated and brightened a little


enter image description here


I would create my own as alluded to by Kyle...
(However, I don't think using Bevel & Emboss is going to get you there.)

enter image description here

What follows is just my guessing to attempt to create the same general appearance.

Start with a base shape and a few layer styles...

enter image description here

This is merely a few gradient overlays and a drop shadow. Gradient 1 is a Linear Burn (black2transparent) gradient to create shadow at the top of the shape. Gradient 2 is a Screen (white2transparent) gradient to create a lighter bottom. And gradient 3 is a linear dodge (white2transparent) gradient to create the color glow-like effect at the bottom of the shape.

(Looking again.... there's probably a slight, dark, inner glow on the base shape as well. Which I did not include here.)

Then copy the shape, reduce it slightly, and alter the shape using the Pen Tool to create the bottom arc. Change the Fill Opacity to 0% for this layer. And lastly add a couple gradients there....

enter image description here

Both Gradient Overlays are set to Screen and are white2transparent. They merely have differing sizes and positions. One is real small to create that top highlight.

From here, you can place any image below the base shape, and then change the Fill Opacity on the Base Shape layer to 0% also so the layer below is visible, but the styles remain....

enter image description here

And from here you merely tweak the various gradient overlays if needed based upon the photo content.

enter image description here

(I decreased the opacity on a few of the gradients, so the gradients were slightly more visible, for the puppy image.)


Put your image as a separate layer above another layer and let it have blending mode Luminosity:

enter image description here

My background image is more complex than the original single green. Luminosity isn't enough to give what is wanted. The result with it is too flat on complex colors. A curves adjustment layer (with the "next layer only" -switch =ON) can increase the contrast and make the shading better visible. The available enhancement isn't especially big in this case, but it can be worth trying:

enter image description here

Actually the shading effect was asked to be copied from the shown green shape, it was not wanted to be "enhanced" with curves nor other adjustments. It's possible after noticing that also the saturation level should be copied, because the shading appears also as whiter tint of green which is not much more luminous than the rest of the green area.

Both saturation and luminosity can be transferred to new color by having 2 copies of the original - one with blending mode =Luminosity and the other with blending mode= Saturation:

enter image description here

Other blending modes can also work to some degree if you at first desaturate the green shape. Actually you must use something else than Luminosity if your bottom layer must have some own luminosity differences. Try Hard Light. Having also a curves layer is a must in that case.

The green color can be changed by applying Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation > Colorize. No other tricks are needed if only a different solid color is wanted. Arbitary color combination can be given to the green button by inserting a colored top layer with blending mode Color:

enter image description here

The layer mask prevents coloring other items if there's some.

Not asked: There's an earlier answer which suggests you try to learn to draw some light effects with Photoshop's tools. That's not at all a bad idea.


You have an image- I assume it is not a .psd file...

I think you are better off to reproduce this in Photoshop than trying to extract from some (most likely) flattened file.

Create a rounded square shape and fill it with the color of your choice.

Double click the layer in the Layers Panel to bring up the Layer Styles Dialog.

Click on Bevel and Emboss> Contours and the Drop Shadow in the left menu and play with the settings to get it how you want it.

enter image description here

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