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Computer ArtsTutorial

Expressive lighting effects

Lighting effects are an effective way to add a detailed illustrative touch to a photo. Justin Maller demonstrates how to go about combining several lighting techniques.

Lighting effects are a versatile set of techniques that have recently come back into vogue in advertising and the fashion press. Lights and tracing motion effects can become part of the composition, adding brightness and motion to an image.

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They're an excellent trick to have up your sleeve because of the flexibility they offer and if you've got a few different methods in your toolbox, you can easily create a dense, detailed effect to use as a focal point, or simply add some subtle highlight touches to an existing traditional or digital illustration. Either way, with enough refinement and practice, the end results of combining these techniques will benefit almost any photograph or composition.

In this tutorial, I'm going to look at (among other things) ways of bringing originality to digital lighting by introducing and vectoring traditional sketches, as well as examining some nifty Illustrator-based stroking techniques that achieve results with the greatest of ease.

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