How to Create a Sparkle Effect

Have a photo that needs some additional shine effect? Today we are going to break down the best ways to do it!

The first thing we need to think about is what kind of photo we have. Sparkle and glitter effects are different for certain tasks. Thus, we can have jewelry that has a natural shine, and we want to emphasize the aesthetic look of it or just an image that you want to add some magic sparkle effect to it. Both effects are sparkles but apply differently to an image. As we get to know what photo we have in our hands, then we need to decide what app we are going to use to add a sparkle photo effect.

You may find a lot of different apps with presets and ideas in the App Store on your iPhone or in Play Market if you use an Android-based device. Most of it is not flexible that much due to automatic algorithms being used. But you can also achieve a sparkle effect in Photoshop or via Lightroom.

How to make a sparkle effect in photoshop

Let us start adding sparkle effects with Photoshop. There are multiple ways of creating a sparkle effect in photoshop. You can do it manually using layers and drawing the effect in blending overlay mode with blur on it. But today we are going to discuss an easy way to add sparkles.

Open up your Adobe Photoshop and browse your folders to find your image, or just drag and drop the picture right into the editor.

Then we need to find a sparkle brush for Photoshop. You can google it using the underlined tag. It is available on Brusheezy.com. Sparkle effects could be named differently, we can see ‘Lens Flare’ is free on brusheezy.com, let us download this option and install it for Photoshop.

You will get the ‘.abr’- extension file, which stands for brushes in Photoshop. Now we need to install it. Let us do it step by step:

  • Go to the ‘edit’ menu in the Photoshop panel, find presets here, and choose presets manager in that presets menu.
  • Choose ‘Brushes’ in the presets manager and find the ‘Load’ button to upload our downloaded file from Brusheezy.com.

  • Browse the ‘.abr’ file in your download folder and click on it to add to your brush's menu.
  • You will notice new brushes added and those are already set with sparkle effects

New brushes could be found as you click on the brush icon in Photoshop then go to the brush size setting menu, and here, besides the size, you can scroll down to find your new sparkle brushes. As you can see, there are different shapes for the Lens Flare. Pick one and change the size with values from 200 to 1000 for that brush to test it out, because it is usually set around 5000, but this is just too big of a number, it will overwhelm your image with the area of effect.

Find a bright area on the object in your photo that you want to highlight. It should be clearly seen on jewelry pictures, as there is the light that goes on it and reflects off the jewelry’s surface. Use these white spots to add your sparkles with the new brush. You can play with the brush size to get desired shine effect strength. But before using it, you need to choose the colour of the shining. For that matter, click the ‘Eyedropper’  tool that allows you to save the colour from your image, typically, it becomes white or yellow. Then pick the color on the brighter spots where the light reflects off jewelry. That will match the color for the sparkle effect. Now you can be creative with different values of sparkle effect, the size, and the shape that is available in the brush’s menu.

You can see the result in the picture below. However, you can do a much better job if you find different presets for that effect other than the Lens Flare effect. As you can see, it is basically the sun effect bursting through the lens.

Sparkle effect Photoshop

Add sparkle effect to image with apps

There are a lot of apps available for daily photography to add sparkle effect to photos. The most common sparkle effect app that you can find in App Store is called ‘YouCam Perfect’.

It allows you to use different presets to get a variety of glitter effects. Here you can use the ‘KiraKira’ filter which is the sparkle effect that is frequently added on Instagram photos.

Thus, just take a shot and apply the filter. The variety of filters there lets you enhance the glitter effect to a certain degree, so be creative but do not overuse it to not spoil your image with too much lighting.

Here is the list of other apps that can provide you with the same features but just in a different package and setting.

  • Lens Distortions (Android and iOS)
  • PicsArt (Android and iOS)
  • LensLight (iOS only)

Now we know how to add sparkle effect in photoshop and with the help of different apps on your phone. But is there any other way to get the effect without using different apps and software? You can likely achieve the same effect if you know how to get the bokeh effect with your camera. The bokeh effect shifts the camera focus to the foreground and fills the background with a blurry effect. Basically, you need to shoot a scene with an illuminated background like the streetlights in the night and the blur effect will make those lights blend into abstract shapes similar to the sparkle or glitter effect.

Hope this thread will help you to add some spice to your photoshoots and not forget to smile in the process!

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