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How To: Add Shine on Edges in Photoshop

There are multiple ways to achieve the shiny effect on the edges of certain objects. Most people just use several shapes to with gradients on it to get a 3D effect. But if you want your object to have a more soft and round corner (on metal or plastic object mostly) this method will not work.

I will teach you how to get this realistic effect in 3 different ways!

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1 Using the 1px Line


Copy this image in Photoshop or use your own object and create a new layer on top.
Draw a 1px white line on top of the edge with the following settings.

Photoshop Line Tool
Pick a big and soft eraser and erase the outer parts just a little bit to make it look less hard.
Lower the opacity to reduce the lighting on the edge.


1px line edge


Fastest method
Good for big objects and designs


Sometimes it doesn’t look soft enough
You’re restricted to a straight line, round edges for circle shaped objects are hard to create


2 Using the Lens Flare effect


Create a new layer
Fill it with Black with either the Paint Bucket or by pressing alt+shift.
Go to the Effects menu > Render > Lens Flare.

Use the default options or use my slight change on the image below.

Decrease the vertical size to about a 1pixel line.
Change the horizontal size so it fits better (optional).
Optionally erase a bit of the sides to get it softer again.
Change the Blend Mode (try them out, it depends on the object’s colors).

If you want to apply this effect on round objects, use the same method.
But make the width smaller and the height bigger.


Lens flare object edge


It will give a glossier effect
It’s great for glassy, transparent objects
It includes more colors than just a white line
You don’t need to make the lens flare rounded to place it on round objects
It gives the effect of sun reflecting strongly on shiny objects (natural effect)


It’s more time consuming
The multiple colors can look weird on objects with a other colors
It makes the edge look wider.


3 Using the Pen Tool


Create a new layer.
Pick the Pen Tool  and draw the line you want with mostly just 2 anchor points.
Select the Brush Tool and pick your desired size and softness or use my settings and make sure your Foreground Color is White.
Pick the Pen Tool again and right click on the Path (the white line).
Click Stroke Path
Check Simulate Pressure  and pick the Brush out of the menu.

Apply and lower the opacity of use blending modes.

It might happen that the line comes too short, keep this in mind so you draw the line longer on future works if needed.



You’re totally in charge of the shape
Not so time consuming when you know the technique well enough
You can easly modify errors


The line often comes too short
You can’t see the actual result when drawing the line
It sometimes doesn’t look realistic


Spotting the difference between a 1px line and the Pen Tool usage is hard 🙂


The 1 px line is the easiest, fastest method with pretty good results.

What do YOU think? Do you have OTHER techniques?

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19 Responses


Oh thats coool I never knew that thx… 🙂

thanks for the tips. actually at first im doing the first step and yeah i observe it’s not so smooth. now i’ve got the idea of using a pen tool

thanks a lot. it gonna save my time next time.

Yup! Very well explained. I learned from it. Keep those tuts coming!


I like the effect, it can be used for my client work. thanks
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Thank you for your thoughtful post!


Very nice tutorial, thanks for sharing this.



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