Getting in one of our photographs in which we grab any sword-shaped object and turn it into a laser sword is easier than it may seem with a tool as powerful as Photoshop. Next, we are going to show you how to add a special lightsaber effect to a photo using the popular editing program from Adobe.
Prepare the photo to use
Creating a lightsaber effect to a photograph so that it seems that we are immersed in the Start Wars universe is not complicated at all, but before we begin, we should prepare the photograph that we are going to use to create said effect well. This is why we need to make sure that the person in the image is holding something that can be used as a sword.
It does not necessarily have to be a sword since any similar object is worth it, such as a mop stick and take a picture of ourselves in the position that we like the most while we hold it. We will need this for later, and almost as if by magic, to be able to add the sword or replace the object that we have grabbed with one.
In the example that we are going to show you, we have chosen the image of a ninja doll holding a sword. Next, we are going to see how to turn that ninja sword into a laser sword
Steps to do with Photoshop
Once we have the photo selected, the next thing will be to open Photoshop. In the event that we do not have it, say that we download its latest version from its official website. Its price is from 24.19 euros per month and allows us to obtain a 7 days free trial version, which can serve us well to try to create the lightsaber effect with which to surprise our friends.
Once downloaded, we open Photoshop so that its main menu appears. Here we must go to the “File” and “Open” tab to select the image to which we want to add the effect to create a laser sword. Subsequently create a new layer clicking on the “New Layer” button or using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + N”. We can also give it a name like Lightsaber.
Now we have two options to select the blade. In the case of being familiar with the software, we can use the Pen tool since we will be able to give the sword a rounded shape so that it seems even more real. If we want to do it in a simpler way we can use the much easier to use Polygonal Lasso tool.
Use polygonal lasso
The Polygonal Lasso tool can be found in the Tool menu on the left located between the rectangular frame and the magic wand. It is also possible to activate it using the keyboard shortcut “Shift + L”.
Next, we need to zoom in on the object we want to turn into the lightsaber. We can do this from the View tab and selecting “Increase” or “Reduce”. We can also do it with the keyboard shortcuts “Ctrl + +” and “Ctrl + -“.
Now that we have it closer, let’s click on one of its lower corners. Next, we click on one of its top corners to connect the two points. Next, we keep clicking around the saber until we get to the same point where we started, and click again to end the selection. We will check how the entire contour has been selected.
Refine with Elliptical Maro
This Polygonal Lasso tool is very useful for creating straight edges, but it is not useful for selecting curves, so to create a rounded tip we will use the «Elliptical Marquee» tool. We can select this from the Elliptical Marquee Tool menu located below the Move tool or use the shortcut “Shift + M”.
Next, we’ll zoom in on the top of the lightsaber. We hold down the Shift key, click and drag to start drawing an eclipse. If it’s a bit tricky at first, we can choose to draw the eclipse away from the selection and then, holding down the click, press the space bar to move it to the correct position.
Once finished we are going to create a fill for the outline we have made. To do this, click on the “Edit” tab and click on “Fill” or directly use the keyboard shortcut “Shift + F5”. In the new window that appears, in the “Content” section we choose “White” and click Ok. Once this is done we will see how the sword appears to transform into a solid white lightsaber. Now we press Control + D to deselect the lightsaber.
Create lightsaber effect
Now, we must create a layer to perform a blur effect. To do this we must click on the “Layer” tab and select “Duplicate layer” or use the keyboard shortcut “Control + J”. Then we drag it below the lightsaber layer and change its name to “Lightsaber Blur”.
Next, we select the lightsaber layer and click on the “Layer” tab. We click on “Layer Style” and “Outer Glow”. This will cause a new window to open. In the Structure section, we choose “Normal” within the blending options and set the opacity to 80%. Within the “Elements” section we select a size of 120 if it is a high resolution file or 60 if it is a low resolution, although we can play with these values until we see how it looks better in our photo.
Later we click on the white color swatch to choose the color we want to give our saber, for which we set the values of S and B to 100. If we want a saber with red light we leave the H value at 0, for a color blue we go to the value 190 and for a green color in 100. Once finished we click on «Ok».
Now we select “Inner shinning” from the menu on the left and configure it by setting the blending mode to Normal and set the opacity to 40%. Click on white and place the same values as for the previous step. As for the size 60 for a high resolution file and 30 for a low one. Click Ok when finished.
Add blur effect
Next, we added a blur effect to both the lightsaber layer and the lightsaber blur layer. To do this, click on the “Filter” tab, click on “Blur” and Gaussian blur. Here we play with the values until we get the desired effect, the first being greater than the second.
Once this is done, we can select both layers and combine or unite them using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + E. With this we would have created the lightsaber effect in our photograph.