Question Can you help me create a light glowing within something else in Photoshop?
Sarah Davis, US
Answer Alix replies
The main challenge here is determining how the anatomy will interact with the light. Planning out your internal structures before you start painting will enable you to create a more believable effect. Bones and large solid muscle forms will largely prevent the light from passing through, creating a dramatic pattern within the shapes the light creates.
Skin, which will mostly be translucent, will create brighter, hotter, regions of interest. In the case of all internal forms, anything closer to the surface will have sharper, more defined edges pressed up against the skin, while the further away they are the more fuzzy their edges become.
In my example created in Photoshop, I also used a contrasting lighting scheme – cool light cast on to a creature with a warm internal light – to accentuate the forms with cool surface highlights that read well next to the warm inner glow.
It can be nice to keep some areas of flesh that are unaffected by the inner glow, such as the extremities, to give the interior lighting more impact.