I have a layered file that consists of a colored background and sparkles over it. There are multiple sparkle layers of different sizes and intensities. The purpose of this file is to generate production images with various kinds of sparkles. I achieve it by tuning background color and sparkle layer opacity. Here's the simplified cropped example:

enter image description here

All layers are of Normal Blending mode, with the exception of the SPARKLES group, which is Color Dodge. And the resulting image is:

enter image description here

As you see, the sparkles have the same hue as the background. But the problem is, for some cases, I need to add a golden tone to the sparkles, so their color would look like (sparkles' form doesn't matter in this example, pay attention to color only):

enter image description here

And I don't know how to do it. I don't prefer duplicating sparkles in yellow, because there are too many layers to duplicate then, and I like the sparkles' appearance in Color Dodge mode - it keeps the original background hue, but just lacks a gold-tone there. Is there a way to add a golden effect in a single place? So it can be easily tuned. I tried to implement it with an adjustment layer, etc. - no success.

2 Answers 2


For better control with the color I would recommend that you didn't use blend modes to achieve this, but instead used a Solid Color layer with a Layer Mask.

It should be pretty easy to convert what you have now:

  • Place a black layer below your "Sparkles" layer. It should now look something like this:
  • Select > All.
  • Edit > Copy Merged.
  • Delete or turn off the black layer and the "Sparkles" group.
  • In the bottom of the Layers panel, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer and select Solid Color.
  • Choose a color (you can edit it later) and click OK.
  • Alt + click the Layer mask thumbnail on the solid color layer to enter the mask.
  • Edit > Paste in the merged image of the sparkles. It's important that the black background is actually completely black in the darkest point. If it isn't you can use Levels ore some other adjustment to achieve it.
  • Select > Deselect.
  • Click the thumbnail of the solid color layer to exit the mask.

Now you can choose whatever color you like for the sparkles by double-clicking the solid color thumbnail. You can also click the the mask and edit it like any other grayscale image at any time.

  • I like this method, although it forces me to create an additional golden sparkle layer. I would add an edit that we may still get use of Blend Modes. I followed your steps and then tried to choose Darken mode and what a beautiful glints I got: i.sstatic.net/wAHTL.png. Scaled to 400%. A gold-tone is added and the original blue hue preserved – that's important. Would it be convenient for you to include this info and embed this (or your) image, @Wolff? I have no copyrights here, so it's fine. I could delete the comment then. Then your answer would be fulfilled. Is that possible?
    – HoRn
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:14
  • @HoRn, I can't reproduce your result. Don't fully understand what you do. Not sure I follow the part about an additional layer either. If you use this method from the start you wouldn't need the layers you have to begin with.
    – Wolff
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 17:08
  • ... but yes, once you have a solid color layer (or ordinary layer) with a mask, you have just isolated color from transparency and can use whatever additional blend modes, effects etc. you want.
    – Wolff
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 18:57
  • Additional layer - ah, there are many layers with Blend modes to remake and I've got too far with them... So, while they remain, the new golden layer counts as additional.
    – HoRn
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 19:51
  • I also played with hue to make tone vary a bit from sparkle to sparkle i.sstatic.net/uU6P2.png. Noise mask
    – HoRn
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 20:36

I would...

  • copy the composite image.
  • Create a Photo Filter adjustment layer
  • Paste the composite into the Photo Filter mask
  • Adjust Levels on the mask to boost contrast
  • Choose the Photo Filter color... and play with the density...

enter image description here

Kind of the same as Wolff's, but the photo filter slider offers a tad more subtle control.

  • We agree on one thing: use a mask.
    – Wolff
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 20:39
  • Good that this method preserves the original blue hue. But with the photo filter, I notice that bright parts are gold, yet separate pixels stay not far from grey: i.sstatic.net/KCSvk.jpg. Could anything be improved here? Density or Preserve Luminosity do not help here...
    – HoRn
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:04
  • @HoRn You can try adjusting the Blend Mode for the Photo Filter Layer. That's about as much as you can do.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 17:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.