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Artificial Headlights

In this tutorial you will learn how to turn a daylight scene into a dramatic night time scene, and how to create artificial light beams and lens flare.
First we will need to darken the image to give the effect that it is nighttime.
To do this we will create a Levels adjustment layer by first clicking on the adjustment layer button…
…then choosing Levels.
In the Levels box you will see three colour picker buttons, one black, one grey, one white.
First choose the black colour picker and click on the area of the image that you want to turn completely black (the ground behind the car, or a tree branch).
Then choose the white colour picker and click on the whitest area like the white part of the headlights.
Now we will give the image a blue tint.
Choose Photo Filter from the adjustment layer list, then click on the Color box.
Use the colour ’00eaff’.
We will be using this colour again later, so click Add To Swatches.
Give it a suitable name and click OK.
Back in the Photo Filter box, change it’s Density to 60%.
Now that our image has a night time appearance, we can add our headlights.
First use the oval selection tool to select one of the right headlights.
Then hold down the shift key and select the other light.
Next go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast and bring the Brightness up to 100.
We will now add the glow of the headlights, but first we’ll need to expand the selection so go to Select>Modify>Expand, and expand the selection by 12 pixels.
The glow will have three coloured layers.
So click the new layer button three times.
Name top layer ‘white’, middle layer ‘blue’, and bottom layer ‘dark blue’.
With the ‘white’ layer selected, go to Edit>Fill…
Choose White and click OK.
Next select the ‘blue’ layer and choose Colour…
Use the same blue that you saved as a swatch earlier.
Then for the ‘dark blue’ layer use the colour 3600ff.
We will now blur each of these layers seperately.
With the ‘dark blue’ layer still selected, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set it to 60 pixels.
Next select the ‘blue’ layer and Gaussian blur it to 40 pixels.
Lastly, Gaussian blur the ‘white’ layer to 20 pixels.
Now select all three layers and drag them down to the Group Layers button.
Name the group ‘right headlights’ then duplicate the group by dragging it down to the New Layer button.
Name the copied group ‘right headlights flare’.
In this group you can delete the ‘white’ layer because it wont be used.
First click on the ‘dark blue’ layer then go to Edit>Transform>Scale.
Scale the glow down vertically, as shown above.
Next go Filter>Blur>Motion Blur, and keep the Angle at 0, then set the distance to maximum.
Then Motion Blur again using the same settings, so that the dark blue glow has been motion blurred twice.
Duplicate this layer once to strengthen the effect, then select the ‘blue’ layer.
Do the same again for the ‘blue’ layer, scale down vertically, motion blur twice, and duplicate once.
Now duplicate the whole group to strengthen the lens flare even more.
Now you can either copy these groups and move them over to the left headlight, or repeat these processes again for the left side.
Next we will create some circular gradients to add more glow around the headlights.
First create a new layer above all the flare layers, then click on the Gradient tool.
Choose a 2 colour gradient using the blue from earlier fading to transparent, and click on the radial button.
Click in the centre of the headlights to determine the centre of the gradient, then click again at the top of the image to determine where it ends.
In the same layer, create another gradient over the other headlights, then reduce the opacity of the layer to 50%.
Create another layer above all the headlights layers and create two more gradients as before but this time white.
Change the layer’s blending mode to Overlay, and it’s opacity to 50%.
Finally we will add some headlight beams.
Create a new layer above the white gradients layer, and call it ‘right headlight beam’.
With the layer selected, use the Polygonal Lasso tool to draw a shape like the one above.
Fill the selection with white.
And then Gaussian blur it by 25 pixels.
Do the same for the left headlights in a new layer, then duplicate both layers.
Give each of the duplicated layers a layer mask by selecting the layer and clicking on the layer mask button.
Select one of the layer masks and go to Filter>Render>Clouds, then do the same in the other layer mask.
And here is the end result.
Thanks for reading :D