Adobe Photoshop: Add the gloss effect to any image

Many professionals use this sweet technique to add the glass effect to all of their images. You to can use this glass effect for any image that you want, with these helpful tips!


Basically the glass effect is adding a White to transparent type gradient over any image and reducing the opacity to around 20% for the gloss layer. You can do this for any image that you want, to make it look like it is shining.

1. Use the pen tool to create a box or desired shape over the image. Try to have a gradient from dark (at the bottom) to light (at the top) if you can for the background.(if you don’t have the pen tool then you can use the marquee tool and gradient tool):

2. Right click on the layer and select blending options. (you can also the add a layer style menu)

3. Check the Gradients box. Then change the gradient to a totally white gradient

4. Make one side totally transparent

5. Click on OK

6. Change the opacity of the layer to about 20%. (this setting will differ from picture to picture)

Final Effect (this is just to demonstrate… if you put this on real images the results will be better):

Then your gloss is good to go… you can add this great effect to any image! But remember that the darker the background the more better the gloss.

For example here’s a extremely simple and easy to do glossed image:

Note: To make the gloss curved I used the pen tool.

If you want any additional help in ‘glossing your picture’ or any feedback on the effects you’ve achieved by using this recipe, feel free to use the comments section.

The Conversation

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  • Michael

    Well tutorial. This should have been put on youtube in video format.

    (Sorry my English is bad.)

  • amit

    this is a good site

  • BAS

    Thnx, It was useful

  • Rob

    This is all well, good and easy when you are dealing with paths, however, the real trick is doing it with bitmaps, on a transparent background, when the logo is not a square. Got any tips on that?

    • brym

      Hi Rob. I’m not great in PS, but I managed to apply this to a 3-quarter circle with a flat base. What you need to do is use the Marquee tools on a new layer above your existing graphics. As best you can, try to match the basic outline of your graphics with the Marquee tool, then apply the above effects to the new layer.

      When you’re done, you will most likely be left with gradient effects outside the edges of your graphics. To solve this, I selected the Eraser, large enough brush, Opacity at 100% and the Flow at around 70. Then start erasing any left over gradient effects.

      Finally, I took the Blur tool to any gradient edges which were still visible.

  • mike

    good tut. really helped

  • Rated

    It’s the best turorial of gloss i’ve found in internet yet

  • Anonymous

    good one !

  • Anonymous

    nice tutorial .

  • Chris

    hey can you tell me how you used the pen tool to make that curved effect? i have a curve, but i cant ‘select’ that space. thanks! please email me. thanks again. eko1130@gmail.com

  • nice tips gud tuts but i can’t do it 🙁

    • shibbir

      why u can’t do it? tell ur problem?

  • shibbir

    Thanks u so much. Since long time i was finding this.. and then i found it..Thanks a lot

  • exact.y what I was looking for, thanks a bunch!

  • Anonimo

    No esiste un plugin o style para poner este efecto a mas de 100 fotos para un catalogo o otra forma que no sea el efecto pluma gracias

  • Nomad_310

    sir, can’t understand the gradient part, please can i have the psd file of this tutorial? please send it to my email nomad_310@hotmail.com

  • Nomad_310

    sir, can’t understand the gradient part, please can i have the psd file of this tutorial? please send it to my email nomad_310@hotmail.com

  • HELP

    can’t understand the first step, how do you use gradient tool with pen tool??

  • aji

    thanks…