like the title says, is there a way to manually create a glossy/metallic lightning effect on certain part of the object ? I am using Adobe Photoshop CS6.

This is my image, i want the light on my figure look glossier and reflective My image

And this is the result that i wish to achieve: Image belongs to Kuroneko_oxyz

  • 1
    Hello Brown Shady, welcome to GD.SE and thanks for your question. As-is, your question is very broad. Could you please explain what you have tried and why it didn't live up to your expectations? That way, we can help you within the space of a few paragraphs, which is this site's scope. If you have any questions, have a look at the help center or feel free to join us in Graphic Design Chat once your reputation allows you to (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Nov 1, 2016 at 14:54
  • @Vincent Thank you for warm welcome, I've been using the Dodge and Burn tool in PTS to add more depth to the area on my object where light is reflected so as to make it feel glossy and shiny. I am ok with the result, just wondering if there is a better way to make it look glossier or any kind of technique other than using the Dodge and Burn tool. I also want to know how to make the ambience of the entire image look like metallic. Nov 1, 2016 at 15:45
  • Could you please edit that info into the body of your question? Thanks! :)
    – Vincent
    Nov 1, 2016 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


So, since you have the metal texture on a lot of your image, it's going to be difficult (and probably not desirable) to get a "plasticy" gloss on your figure.

However I can recommend a couple of simple techniques to amp up the reflectiveness that you've already got going on.

First let's look again at your original image.

Original image

Now, let's start off by using the levels adjustment so that we can amp up the whites and create more contrast.

Using levels

Next, if you want to go even further, take the pen tool and outline sections of your image that you want to be even more reflective. Go ahead and right click to make that area a selection. (I didn't feather because I prefer to blend manually for stuff like this later)

Using the pen tool to make a selection

Now, add a gradient from white to transparent following the already present direction of light on your image.

Adding the white gradient

Next, head over the the layers panel and set the gradient layer to overlay with about 20% opacity or so (really, whatever looks best to you).

layer settings

Repeat the pen tool steps for each highlight on your image that you want to amplify. For this example, it did one other small section on the dude's biscep.

Finally, blend the edges of your new gradient sections using the blur tool.

Highlight more and blend

Let me know if you have any questions and/or if this method works for you!

Final image with more reflection

  • Very thank you for your time Ashlee, your answer covers up all my queries. I will use your technique from now on. I have to admit that my image looks like plastic, been retouched it too much. Nov 1, 2016 at 16:09

This is my suggestion. In photoshop use new layers on top of your originl drawing and add some small reflections but without blur or soft edges.

Use really well defined edges with whites and lighter colours. You could also use blending modes on those layers such as "Overlay" and "Screen" for zones where light is reflected.

To add even more depth you can also use some dark shade zones again without gradients of soft brushes. For these dark zones use blending modes like Multiply and work with the layer's transparency.

The more defined your edges are the glossier the look. :)


  • Thank you Joana, your sugguestion is very helpful, all I find on the Internet is how to make reflective/shiny text effect, i am trying this now, thanks again. Nov 1, 2016 at 15:50

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