Smart Objects for Photographers: Part 1
Smart Objects are a special kind of Layer in Photoshop that contains image data from either pixel-based images (Photoshop files) or vector-based images (Illustrator files). Smart Objects add another level of editing flexibility in a non-destructive manner similar to, but not totally identical to, the way Adjustment Layers and Layer Styles allow you to go back and make changes after the fact.
Don't Distress Unless It's Type
You see it everywhere you look. Whether it it is a part of a print advertisement or a poster or even over the internet, distressed or grunge type is as popular these days as the printed word itself. How it came about or even why it came about is still speculation to some degree, however some designers think, because digital type was so down right perfect, something had to come about to contradict the entire movement. Whether it was brought about by whimsy or necessity this crude, broken and rough treatment of type is here for awhile so why not take advantage of it while it's still in Vogue.
You can go out and buy these type fonts on their own and spend a lot of money while your at it, or you can use some simple tools in Photoshop to achieve results which are unique to your own particular sense of design and direction. The process is quick and can be changed at any time to suit your needs. Let's begin.
Another Funky Background
If you're at all like me, I'm always looking out for some new technique for producing abstract backgrounds to show case a grouping of images I have created. I'm looking for a degree of control yet flexibility at the same time. Photoshop has lots of ways to put this together and this tutorial will give you various options using filters and brushes. Let's begin.
Frame it Your Way
There are many ways to generate additional viewing interest with your images from stepping up the contrast to using exotic filters in Photoshop. They all work well, however a very simple way, which is not at all time consuming, can be had by simply framing smaller sections out of the image, the sum of which becomes greater than the whole. Let's begin.
Design Through Luminosity
There are many really interesting design methods available using Photoshop, as you have probably already discovered from the internet. One of these methods deals with the utilization of the image’s luminosity. By mapping the luminosity or brightness of the image, you can manipulate tonal values and create some very intriguing images. The method probably works best on portraits and while it may sound a bit complicated, in actuality it uses only a few simple tools in Photoshop, with which you may be already familiar. Let's begin.
Disco Ball - Part 4
Disco Balls are very effective in real life; make your own using Adobe Illustrator. In this fourth part we will create the sparkles for the 3D sphere.
Disco Ball - Part 3
Disco Balls are very effective in real life. Make your own using Adobe Illustrator. In this third part we will create the shading for the 3D sphere.
There are times in your photography when you may want to give flat art a three dimensional look by just adding folds to the image. Photoshop has some very simple tools to create this illusion, such as the Rectangular Selection Tool and the Gradient Tool. Let's begin.
3D Pine Tree for Christmas!
Ho! Ho! Holy 3D Tree, Batman! Use this simple, stylized tree in your holiday graphics. Built only using Photoshop CS5 Extended!
Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
If you've ever tried to photograph a painting on the wall with a point and shoot compact digital camera, with a built in flash, you know it's next to impossible to produce an image without some sort of hot spot because of the built in flash. Professional photographers will tell you the best way to offset this condition is to have the light source at a 45 degree angle to the painting, but how do you do this with a built in flash? Well one option is to physically position yourself with the camera at a 45 degree angle to the painting and surprise—no more hot spot.
Fine and dandy, but at this point the painting's perspective is lost and one end of the painting is larger than the other. Is there anyway you can have your cake and eat it too? Yes there is and Photoshop carries with it a little known option which will solve the perspective issues. Let's begin.
Don't Water Down Your Water Marks
The most striking thing about today's photography is that it's all about being digital and the fact someone could copy images from the web, copy images from social media sites, and they can continue to copy and copy and claim all the good stuff you've done over the past five years as their's and a part of their current portfolio. Yah—They do all this stuff and have no remorse, no sense of integrity, and lastly they couldn't care less, because the images have not been protected with even a simple watermark. Photoshop has some very simple ways of protecting your images whether you're on a Windows platform or on a Mac. Watermarking is a good way to protect your work from the unscrupulous who are always looking for the easy way out. Let's begin.
It's a Small World After All
I'm sure you've been to different web sites and seen those enclosed world, little planet, image effects. Generally speaking, the effects are quite interesting and show and express an unusual perspective. While all this can be true for the most part, the actual steps in creating such an image can be quite lengthy and involved. Today I want to show you a quick way to achieve the same look but with a lot less effort using a filter and some manipulation of the actual image dimensions in Photoshop. Let's begin.
Brightness and Contrast Without Levels or Curves
There are times in your photography when incorrect exposure settings or just poor lighting in general will cause your images to come up a bit on the flat or low contrast side, especially when you might have an overcast day. If you've been around Photoshop long enough you'll probably turn to either the Levels or Curves adjustment to save the day. However if you've only started out in Photoshop, Levels and Curves can be quite daunting.
Today I want to demonstrate two quick (lightning quick) ways you can improve upon image contrast and brightness without the use of Levels or Curves. It's really easy. Let's begin.
Snappy Photoshop Eye Retouching
Got a few seconds? Check out this Photoshop tutorial on using a layer style for adding a little zing to eyes in your portraits.
The Soft Vignette
Vignettes have been used in photography as well as in paintings for as long as we've had art forms. A vignette is defined as a painting, drawing, or photograph that has no border but is gradually faded into its background at the edges.
Whether it's a hard edged vignette you want to produce or a soft edged vignette as in the tutorial I'll be presenting today, vignettes have a very unique way of focusing on the principle subject interest. Photoshop can produce these soft vignettes very quickly with easy to use tools and techniques. If your just starting out in Photoshop, you'll welcome this as still another way to show off your portfolio and your talents. Let's begin.
Content-Aware Turbo Tips - Part 1
Think you've got a handle on Content-Aware tools in Photoshop CS5? Here are some tips to turbo-charge your work flow. Check out this two-part series and start burning up the canvas!
Connecting the Dots in Photoshop
Photoshop is reputed to be the number one image editing software in the world and besides this it can pass at times for a graphics generator as well. Drawing solid lines using Photoshop is certainly easy enough, but it's another story when it comes to dotted lines. There's probably a few round about ways of construction, but wouldn't it be nice just to call on a set of preset dotted lines to use when you need.
This tutorial will demonstrate a very simple way to do this and also provide for a way to store your dotted creations. Let's begin.
Are Your Digital Images in a Lot of Pane
When I ask the question "Are Your Digital Images in Pane?", I'm talking about something like window panes. This tutorial will demonstrate an attractive way to display your images in a grid pattern using a Clipping Group or Clipping Mask in Photoshop and along the way you'll pick up a quick way to align shapes using Smart Guides. Let's begin.
(Not so) Scary Ghosts 'n Goblins - Part 8
In this long-running series, I've shown you how to create all sorts of spooky artwork for Halloween, just using Fireworks. Well, be prepared to be frightened beyond belief in this episode, as we leave the warm embrace of Fireworks and enter the dark, foreboding realm of Photoshop . . .
Follow along in this tutorial as we distort the very fabric of the spirit world itself, warping it for our own devious machinations by using the monstrous Puppet Warp tool! Bwa ha ha ha ha!
Ok, admit it, that sounds pretty scary, right? A little, maybe? Well seriously, I do like Photoshop as well as Fireworks and I found a pretty neat way to add a little more life to the undead using the Puppet Warp tool. So tag along and see what we can do by working with both Fireworks and Photoshop.
What's There to Calculate?
You've probably realized by now, there are many different ways to produce grayscale images from your color photos. Lightroom, Raw and of course Photoshop all allow you to change tonal values and contrast to suit your taste in the grayscale conversion (Raw and Lightroom being very similar).
One of the most misunderstood and perhaps scariest method of converting a color photo to grayscale in Photoshop however, is the use of the Calculations dialog and it really doesn't have to be. What your going to be doing once you have the Calculations dialog open, is simply combine two channels from your color photo until they look good to you in grayscale. In theory a lighter channel combined with a darker channel work very well together. There's no math involved and the results are right there on your screen to approve. Let's begin.
You may be in one part of the country and you need to get your portfolio or those wedding proofs to a client in another part of the country. How do you do it? Well just send them a special delivery by email. Photoshop has some really powerful engines for compiling your images and then putting them into to a neat package for delivery across the country or around the world. One of these engines will take a folder of images or some opened images, create a slide show with transitions, and then finally compress them into a Photo Web Gallery for all to view. Let's begin.
Stack Your Focus
A common problem, especially in macro photography (very close up photography), is trying to get the important parts of the subject in focus from foreground to background. When your photographing flowers for example as macro subjects, most of the times you want to shoot with a fairly wide aperture opening so the background is out of focus bringing more emphasis to the actual flower. Invariably however, either the foreground is in focus or the background is in focus, but never the twain shall meet. So how do you get around this dilemma? Why Photoshop of course.
Photoshop has two great automatic editing engines which will quickly rid you of this problem, just one catch—you need to take two shots of the same image. One of the shots will be to focus on the foreground of the subject and the second will be of the background of the subject in focus. You'll photograph both exposures exactly the same and at the same aperture setting. Try to use a tripod where possible and have the same composition in each frame.Once you have done all this, you can open both images in Photoshop. Let's begin.
Zoomify Your Images
Have you ever tried to load up large detailed files to your web site so people could see the quality of your work? Most of the time Photoshop users will try and accomplish this by either uploading a smaller version of the image(s) or use Save for Web in Photoshop. A smaller file version often defeats the purpose of the exercise and very large files processed through Save for Web can often crash, depending on how current your processor is. So how do you bring up large files with oodles of detail to your site? In a word—Zoomify.
Zoomify is a function of the Export Menu in Photoshop and has been around since CS3. This processor is often overlooked or misunderstood, however it's dirt easy to use and a tiny giant in its capabilities. Let's begin.
Bringing out Details
Need a little extra pop in your images? Want to get an HDR look without the HDR work? Well, that's just too bad. I got nothing for ya. Nothing!
Except this tiny little technique that could very well blow your socks off.
Brighten Your Horizons
This next tutorial will demonstrate a very effective and dramatic way to punch up your landscape images. In it you'll see a similarity to some of Dave Hill's work along with a kind of cross processing look used in the film era. Cross processing was a way to process color negative film in slide developer or to process slide film in color negative developer to get some unusual effects.
Most of the effect is done in Camera Raw and then a few Filters and Layer Blends applied directly in Photoshop. Let's begin.
Alien Skin Blow Up 2 Review
Blow Up 2 by Alien Skin – a Photoshop plug–in that produces enlargements of photos, sharper. Using an innovative algorithm, that temporarily converts pixels to a vector representation which results in perfectly smooth, sharp, crisp edges.
Add More Contrast and Drama to Your Images
There are a dozen or so different ways to add contrast to an otherwise flat looking image. It's also possible to spend a lot of time doing this. In this tutorial I'll show a super fast way to not only enhance the contrast of your images, but also add some drama. The technique uses a few Layer Blending Modes and one Filter adjustment and the settings can be used as a consistent formula and style for your images to come. Let's begin.
Vignette Edged Effect Using Photoshop
Create your own Vignettes for your photos using Photoshop. No plug–in, that's right, no plug–in. The Vignettes are created in seconds using a quick, easy, and very simple technique.
Linking the Unlinkable
If you're just starting out in Photoshop, you're probably discovering it to be a very powerful image editing program which works well with photographs as well as text and graphics. This tutorial well demonstrate a quick and easy and fun way to play with graphics and make it appear as though they have been chain linked together and along the way pick up some new key strokes and short cuts. Let's begin.
3D Graphic Cube in Photoshop CS5 Extended - Part 1
Take a look at this video, which shows you a new 3D Primitive in Photoshop CS5 Extended. We'll use the Cube Wrap object to quickly create a compelling graphic with transparency and shadows. The first part will cover building the object, while the second part will show you how to use the new shadow-catching Ground Plane. The 3D Graphic Cube in Photoshop CS5 Extended Series:3D Graphic Cube in Photoshop CS5 Extended - Part 1
3D Graphic Cube in Photoshop CS5 Extended - Part 2 Coming Soon
Changing the Colour of a Car
In this tutorial we will look at how we can change the colour of car from its basic colour to an alternate colour. This process won't damage your image in any way at all.
Adding a Frame / Border to a Photo Using Photoshop
Create your very own borders, in colors to compliment your photos using Photoshop. No plug–in, that's right, no plug–in. The borders are created in seconds using a quick, easy, and very simple technique.
Maypole with Repoussé
Perhaps you've seen the new Repoussé tool in Photoshop CS5 Extended and thought "Well, that's great if I want to have 3D text. But how else can I use it?" Or maybe you're wondering how to pronounce Repoussé, let alone know what it's for. In either case, you want to read this tutorial and see where Photoshop is taking us!
Making a Pattern with Photoshop CS4 Pixel Bender Plug-in
It's endless pattern making fun, you will enjoy it! Create an array of patterns in Photoshop CS4. Save a Photo or Design as a Smart Object and apply filters using the Pixel Bender Plug-in (a FREE plug-in). The patterns you can create are endless by using your own photos or art. Patterns can be saved to use over and over again!
Inside the Unsharp Mask Filter
Our images can sometimes be out of focus and not as sharp as we'd like to see them. It happens to everyone at one time or another. A fix for this, the Unsharp Mask Filter or USM for short, has long been available in Photoshop. While this filter can often improve the sharpness of your focus plagued images it can also be somewhat of a mystery when it comes to using the dialog controls properly.
In this tutorial I'll try to give you a bit of insight on how this filter does its magic and hopefully give you a better understanding of its inner workings. Let's begin.
A Classic Star Burst in Photoshop
You’ve probably seen this effect done in a lot of different ways and used in many different applications. Whether it’s used to enhance layouts or used on it’s own to punch up your images, the star burst effect will be around for a long time.
There are a few ways you can use Photoshop to create this effect, let me show you a quick and easy way, which only uses two filters. Let’s begin.
It's one of my favorite and least remembered holidays - St. Patrick's Day! Let's celebrate with a gritty, grungy shamrock made popular on faded T-shirts everywhere =)
Creating a Realistic Looking Phillips Screw Head Using Photoshop CS4/CS3
In this tutorial we are going to create a cool looking Phillips screw head to apply to our designs. We will be using: Photoshop CS3 / CS4. All we need is a blank canvas, a few Tools and to apply a Layer Style. We will save the finished product as a Smart Object. What do we achieve? A Smart Object to use over and over again!
Instant Panoramic Collages
If you've ever seen the collages of famous photographer, artist and designer, David Hockney, you'll realize how effective collages can be in visual communication. Furthermore, adding a collage technique to your panorama photography, will give your images even more impact than just the standard flat and one dimensional images to which we're all accustomed.
While we can at best come only close to some of Hockney's images, Photoshop has the ability in it's Photomerge function, to do very quick and effective collages at the push of a button, then all you have to do is dress it up a bit. Let's begin.
Photoshop 3D for Reflections
Do you ever have a need to create good-looking reflections for your graphic design? This effect is all over the web, but is usually 'faked' in that the reflection is a copy of the artwork rotated and scaled.
Using Photoshop CS4 Extended, you can create real reflections from your artwork that will update as you change the art. And you can check out a variety of reflections and shadows very quickly, enabling a wider selection in a short time.
Fire up Photoshop and let's get reflectin'!!
Creating and Saving a Cool Organic Toxic Gel Style in PS CS3/CS4
Create a cool Toxic Gel Style to apply to text and shapes using Photoshop CS3 / CS4, a blank canvas, the Type Tool, and the Bubblegum Regular font. Apply a few Layer Styles and then save the Style. What do we achieve? A Style we can use over and over again.
It Was a Noisy Day
Time was, when we all had cameras which used film, we occasionally ran across a little issue with something called grain. Grain was usually a product of high ISO numbers and dim lighting and produced an image, which had a granular, textured appearance especially apparent when the image was enlarged. This grain can at times be aesthetically pleasing, but for the most part it was technically a bad thing.
Today's digital version of grain is referred to as noise and also results from the same high ISO numbers in dim lighting situations. With digital sensors replacing film traditionally, electronically we're dealing with something called a low signal to noise ratio, which simply put means, less light, more noise.
There are a few ways in Photoshop to offset this noise, some of which deal with just blurring a dominant RGB Channel. This method generally softens the look, but at the same time also blurs a lot of detail in the image. The method I'll be showing you in this tutorial relies on a premise which says in essence noise is random. Perhaps if I expose the same scene several times using a tripod, I can move the noise to different positions and then finally use an average to produce the image. Let's begin.
Smudge Brush Valentine
Need something new for those Valentine's Day hearts? Check out this simple effect for a unique look!
The Modern Digital Portrait
Today's digital portrait is a bit different than traditional portraitures. If you looked and compared today's portrait with yesterday's, you probably have noticed today's portraits are much brighter and have more contrast than in previous years. Photoshop has many different ways to achieve this look and in this tutorial I'll demonstrate a quick and reliable method using Layer Blending Modes and Layer Masks. Let's begin.
Ribbons Using the Warp Tool
Need some little decorations for your designs? How about some easy-peasy ribbons?!? You'll need Photoshop CS2 or higher to use the Warp tool in this quick tutorial.
Text Images and More
Text Images are a part of everyday graphic tools which can be applied to all kinds of layouts and designs. A Text Image is exactly as it sounds, namely, an image inside of some text. Photoshop has a number of ways to produce this effect, but I'm going to focus on one of the more easier and less time consuming methods using a Clipping Mask. I'll further show some additional effects you can apply using the Free Transform Tool, Layer Styles and a Filter. Let's begin.
High Contrast and Gradient Blends
This next tutorial will give you an opportunity to bring together some very high contrast and graphic effects to images which might lend themselves to a more commercial setting as in advertising promotions and agency work. The method for producing this effect relies on such Adjustment Layers as Threshold and Gradient Fill to do the work. You don't necessarily have to start off with the most technically perfect image; the effects can be changed at any time; and the original image will never be damaged. Let's begin.
Pixelization Is a Good Thing
Have you ever noticed some ads for electronic gear or some movie posters having a portion of image pixelated and then the pixelization fades away to reveal the full image? The effect generates a kind of futuristic, computer-like and scientific feel which can be a very eye-catching addition to your photographic images. You don’t need any sophisticated equipment to create this effect. All you need is Photoshop, a Filter, a Gradient Style and a Layer Mask. It’s quick and effective. Let’s begin.
Using 3D Models for Wireframe Effects
Have you ever tried to draw a wireframe or blueprint by hand? How'd that work for you? Unless you are a professional draftsperson (or are insanely talented), you probably didn't have much luck. Here's a quick way to get a reasonable blueprint effect using real 3D models.
Yeah, that's what I thought, too... but try it anyway :)
Time to Be Creative—Blur
Have you ever wanted to photograph moving water, water falls for example, in such a way as to produce a creative blur? This creative blur technique of the falls is usually done using a slow shutter speed and a small aperture opening and yields a dreamy quality in the moving water. These settings however sometimes cannot be achieved because of extremely intense lighting conditions and consequently you end up with a mediocre effect at best.
Well here comes Photoshop to the rescue. In just a few simple steps, using Filters and Layer Masks, you can achieve this effect even if the water appears motionless. Let’s begin.
3D Spray Can in Photoshop CS4 Extended - Part 1
So, you've probably checked out some 3D tutorials for Photoshop, including 'fake' 3D that just uses gradients and bevels... right? And maybe you've tried to use some of the new 3D features in Photoshop CS4 Extended. If so, you may have been underwhelmed with the offerings - cylinders, spheres, boxes... I mean who needs just those things, right? And that hat. Don't get me started on the hat.
Well, this tutorial is for you. Provided you want to learn how to take those primitive shapes and make something useful :)
The 3D Spray Can in Photoshop CS4 Extended Series:
3D Spray Can in Photoshop CS4 Extended - Part 1
3D Spray Can in Photoshop CS4 Extended - Part 2
When Your Camera Let's You Down
There are times in my photography and I'm sure in yours too, when I'm a bit disappointed because what I saw with my eyes and what the camera recorded are two different things. The colors might not be as bright, the contrast might be too flat and with all of this there might be a lack of detail in the image as well. While there are a lot of controls to fix these conditions in Photoshop, sometimes you don't need a sledgehammer to drive home a thumbtack, so to speak. Sometimes a simple Highlight Mask will solve these problems in a few short steps. Let's begin.
Drama in a Soft Spotlight
This is an excellent technique when you want to focus on some unique portion of an image. Standard techniques in Photoshop for doing something similar include selecting a new layer above the Background Layer of the image, feathering the selection, then inverting the selection, and then filling the inverted selection with a color, thus creating a sort of vignette. The method I'm going to show is a lot less task oriented and uses the Lighting Effects Filter in Photoshop. Let's begin.
Autumn Leaf Brush
Need a leaf brush for your Autumn projects? Here's a quick way to get a stylized custom Photoshop brush to fit all your Fall needs.
Lomo Magic in Photoshop
In the early days of photography a Russian camera called the Lomo was a cheap and a very popular camera for doing a lot of casual photography. Some of the unique properties of the camera revolved around how it was made and the images it produced. Technically the optics were poor and loaded with aberrations, along with a soft lens which could rarely produce too much detail. The images were inherently color saturated and contrasty. Despite all this seemingly negative stuff however, the images were hauntingly beautiful. The only analogy I can make is in typography, where for years type was very clean and stylized and then out of the blue we suddenly had all kinds of grungy and broken, distressed looking type fonts come on the design scene. This is what Lomography is to modern photography.
Lomography also takes on a philosophy towards photography style which tends to be very loose and casual. Shooting from the hip sometimes or not composing the shot at all are typical. All this develops into a kind of art form unique to a different way of creating images altogether.
Photoshop is an excellent tool to recreate this type of imagery and with a few tools such as Curves and Gradient Mapping, you'll be able to quickly render this effect. Let's begin.
Studies in Noise - Part 1
Noise!! You can't seem to avoid it in your digital images. Well, guess what? We are going to embrace the enemy! In this two-part tutorial, we'll look at the basics of using noise in creative ways. The first part talks about ways to use Photoshop's filters to generate and manipulate pure noise. The second part will take that information and start building textures.
If you do any photoretouching or need some creative sparks, read this article ;)
The Studies in Noise Series:
Studies in Noise - Part 1
Studies in Noise - Part 2
Black and White Forever
As much as I like color images, I still have a real passion for a well exposed and tonally rich black and white image. There are many ways in Photoshop to do this, but I'm always looking for some method which is quick, uncomplicated and will yield results which I can adjust to my taste.
In this tutorial you're going to learn a method for achieving these results using the Lab Color mode in Photoshop as well Layer Blend Modes. Let's begin.
There are times in our photography when we’d like to make parts of the image stand out more. While there are many different ways of doing this, using a blur filter of some kind along with a Layer Mask in Photoshop is the easiest and most consistent. Let’s begin.
I Like My Black and White High Contrast
A style for Black and White images, which is gaining quite a bit of popularity these days, is to produce an image from a color photo into a High Contrast Black and White image in Photoshop. Not only does this transformation yield an image with a lot of depth, it also enhances the image's detail as well. The process is not a tedious one and uses tools you may have already used such as the Channel Mixer and the Unsharp Mask Filter. Let's begin.
Skin Tones Still Too Red?
If you've ever gone through the motions of color correction in either Levels or Curves, I'm sure you've realized they don't always do all you want. This next quick tutorial will give you a way to extend and improve upon the corrections in Levels and Curves with particular focus on skin tones which may still be too red.
The tools we'll be using in Photoshop (I'm using version CS4) are simple and easy to use. Let's begin.
Gray Skies to Blue Skies in Just a Few Steps
The weather is always a challenge when shooting outdoors and more times than not you'll run across scenes which work well, however, there's not enough blue in the sky or water or the leaves are just not the right color for the season to really express what autumn is all about. Just a little more color here or there would make a greater impact.
While there are many different techniques in Photoshop to enhance the colors locally in an image, I'd like to show you a quick method using the Color Balance Adjustment Layer, which will not damage your original image and yet give you complete and quick control over any local color change you need in your image.
Edge Sharpening—A USM Alternative
Think of sharpening an image and your thoughts will in most cases turn almost automatically to the Unsharp Mask Filter. It's probably the first tool we all started out with and, for the most part, it does a very good job, thank you.
The USM (Unsharp Mask Filter) tends to globally sharpen an image, which isn't always necessary and sometimes can even be overdone. The kind of sharpening which I'll demonstrate in this tutorial, is used primarily to sharpen the edges of an image.
In this tutorial we'll look at the Emboss Filter in Stylize, together with Hue/Saturation and Layer Blending Mode settings to complete the desired effect.
A Quick Look at Hue/Saturation
If you're just starting out in Photoshop, or if you've been at it for awhile, you've probably realized there are numerous ways to make color changes to images. The Color Balance Dialog, Selective Color, Levels, Replace Color and many more are all a part of the Photoshop arsenal. One of them however, Hue/Saturation, is not used too often and can seem to be a bit intimating at first glance.
In this tutorial I want to take you through some of the basic functions and defining characteristics of Hue/Saturation, without getting you too involved with all the numbers which seem to appear out of nowhere in the adjustments of this tool. I'll also show you some very intuitive methods for changing Hue, Saturation and Lightness and some special new features available in CS4.
Creating Photoshop Floral Brushes in Illustrator
The magic behind Adobe Photoshop is not the tools themselves; it is the tricks and tips that we can do with these tools. Photoshop tools are very flexible and let you customize and create your own color palettes, patterns, action, brushes, and more. When Adobe began to focus on the integration between its products, Photoshop became more integrated with other Adobe tools such as Illustrator, Flash, After Effects,.etc.
This article hacks on the the integration between Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create high resolution floral brushes that are originally built in Illustrator as vectors. We will copy the vector floral artwork and paste it into Photoshop, where we can then convert them to Photoshop brushes. Also, we will learn how to create sets of floral brushes and save them for further use.
The download files for this tutorial contain floral brush samples in both vector and brushes format to help you learn more about how to create brushes in Illustrator and then convert them into Photoshop brushes.
Infra Red and Adobe Camera Raw Are Great Friends
I'm sure most of you who have been with photography for awhile, still remember the painstaking process of creating an Infra Red (IR) image from scratch. Along with the issues of focusing an IR image, you had to be concerned with ambient temperatures and film processing techniques to end up with what would, if everything went right the first time, a spectacular scene consisting of a stark sky with puffy white clouds and the general landscape of trees and grass taking on a surreal cotton candy fairyland appearance. The entire scene was rendered in bold tones of black and white. Those were the days, tedious at times, but eventually it was all worthwhile.
Well today you can still achieve all the splender of an IR image effect with a lot less effort and a lot more control. Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) combine together to give remarkably brilliant IR effects from any color image you might have kicking around. It's quick and easy.
Photoshop—Invisible Ink and Decoder Rings
Over the years we've gone over a lot of different tutorials using Photoshop and they've, for the most part, been very practical and creative solutions to everyday situations as well as unusual situations. Everything from complete digital make-overs in Photoshop to Pasta Verde—Wait a minute, Pasta Verde is what I'm having for dinner tonight. Suffice to say, all work and no play makes Jack or Jill a dull Photoshop user, so I thought this next tutorial might want to bring out the secret agent in you.
Using some very simple tools, such as the Text Tool and Levels in Photoshop, you'll learn how to encrypt a secret message in one of your photographic images which you could send off to another secret agent. Let's begin.
Fiery Photoshop Soap Bubble - Part 1
I've seen fire, and I've seen rain... er... soap. But not at the same time. Until now! Break out those latent 3D skills and come with me as we bend Photoshop to our will and place a little lick of fire into a soap bubble!
This tutorial is aimed at intermediate to advanced users, and goes really quick. But don't let that scare you - the steps are all there, and we have forums to help you with the details and concepts. Photoshop CS4 Extended has brought 3D well into the realm of every user. So let's go burn some soap!
The Fiery Photoshop Soap Bubble Series
Fiery Photoshop Soap Bubble - Part 1
Fiery Photoshop Soap Bubble - Part 2 Coming Soon
End of a Rainy Day
Have you ever tried to recreate those dramatic beams of light which sometimes happen after a brief rain storm has passed your area? They can be quite spectacular to photograph too, but even if you didn't have your camera with you at the time, you can still get this effect anytime you want using a few tools and techniques in Photoshop. Let's begin.
Text Overlay Effect
I'm betting you have some pictures that you really enjoy, that you'd like to share with others, but are tired of the same old thing... Here's a little trick using some text that will take those favorite shots and make them presentation pieces!
Be Up Front with Your Backgrounds
There are times, I'm sure, when you've wanted to use some out of the ordinary, unique background, to be part of a photo montage, some sign work or even the background for a business card, as I recently did. There's lots of clip art out there, which could certainly do the job to some extent, but how about creating your own bold and beautiful abstract background in Photoshop?
It's not difficult and takes only a few minutes with only a few tools, the primary of which is the Gradient Tool. Let's begin.
Capture the true essence of your hero self (or friends) with this quick and easy graphic novel look. Amaze your friends! Change your enemies! Confuse small domestic animals!
Timeline in Adobe Photoshop CS4
I remember the old days, when we first saw layers in Photoshop. It was arguably the most important update in the history of the product. As time moved on, we naturally saw additional updates with each new version, but most them did not impact the application in quite the same way. Few updates have actually introduced new trends to the Photoshop workflow or opened new capabilities to Adobe Photoshop users. Animation is one of those few.
The addition of animation capabilities was one of the major features, starting with Adobe Photoshop CS3. Actually, it wasn't a totally new feature even then, as it was inherited from a previous Adobe product, Adobe Image Ready, that had died after the merge between Adobe and Macromedia.
Adobe Image Ready did not use a real timeline, like the ones we are used to seeing in products like Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premier. It was based on frames, where each frame included the changes you made to the layers through the Layers panel. Personally, I did not like this layer/frame style much, as I am more used to the traditional timeline in Flash, After Effects ... etc.
Adobe Photoshop CS3 and CS4 have merged the two methods of animation, the timeline animation and the layer/frame style animation. In this article, we will talk about the timeline in Photoshop and how to use it to create layers and layer styles.
Rafiq Elmansy has been a multimedia graphic designer, graphic and web designer since 1999. His background is in fine art and sculpture. He uses Adobe Products to create graphics and animations for desktop applications, cartoons, games, web sites, e-learning courses, and mobile and Pocket PC applications. He is the founder of Bee Design Studio. He is an Adobe Flash CS3 Certified, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Certified, and the founder of the first Adobe User Group in Egypt. Rafiq also creates computer artwork and writes articles and reviews about graphics, animation, and Flash topics at his site, Graphic Mania. Rafiq is an Adobe Community Expert, contributor writer at Adobe Design and Developer center and uCertify.com co-author.
One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
In the early days of computers and printers, it was possible to create images through a dot matrix kind of concept, which essentially drew the image details with rows of dots. Today this retro technique can be used to produce an interesting graphic in Photoshop, especially if instead of using just plain dots, you use words.
This tutorial will introduce you to some simple tools, such as the Type Tool, Threshold Layer Adjustment and the Gaussian Blur Filter, in Photoshop to produce this image effect.
Retro Fitting a Color Match
Have you been in a situation where you've photographed two different scenes, at perhaps different times of the day—or even different days—one of the images may be a bit cooler or warmer in color tone than the other and yet you wanted them both to match or at least harmonize?
Well in today's Photoshop CS versions, there's not a lot of fuss surrounding this, you simply go up to the Image Menu, select Adjustments, then Match Color, to bring up the dialog window, and you're good to go. You then make a few adjustments and for the most part you're going to get pretty close to what you want. However…What if you don't have Creative Suite yet? What if 'cause money’s been tight and although you've been meaning to upgrade, it just hasn't happened and all you currently have is Photoshop's version 7. What can you do?
Well this is what this tutorial is all about. We're going to choose the Levels Adjustment Layer and the Color Picker to do all the work. Let's begin.
Sketching with Paths
Do you like the look of free-hand sketches? Do you want to turn a photo into a sketch, but don't like using filters? Did you answer these rhetorical questions aloud?
I'll be honest... I love the idea of being able to sketch, but I really and truly am horrible at it. Or maybe you really are good at sketching, but you don't have a digital tablet.
Good news!! Follow this simple guide to give your sketches a natural look without using a tablet or having any innate talent! Ok, you may have talent, but this is still a cool thing to have in your toolkit :)
Not All That Sketchy
There’s probably more ways to turn a color photograph into an image with the appearance of a pencil sketch with Photoshop, then there are potholes on our city streets. This includes a myriad of possible filters, as well as third party software. The problem I've noticed with a lot of these methods is the lack of tonality in the final image. Good pencil sketches, which I’ve seen in galleries, have always contained a gradation of some kind generated through a rubbed pencil or rubbed graphite technique, which causes the sketch to take on a more three-dimensional look.
This tutorial will show you how to produce sketches from color images in Photoshop, along with a method for controlling the amounts of tonality when and where you want. We'll be using the Gaussian Blur Filter, USM Filter, Layer Blending Modes and Layer Adjustments to fine-tune the effect. It will only take a few steps and you'll be impressed with the results.
Glamour Lighting Effect with a New Hairdo
This tutorial will demonstrate a quick way to turn a fairly ordinary portrait into something a little more glamorous, along with a change of hair color. A few Filters as well as Layer Blend options in Photoshop, will quickly transform the ordinary into something extraordinary. Let's begin.
Does Size Really Matter?
A question which has plagued the digital world since the digital age has been around is, "How much can I size up my image file until I finally lose image quality?" There is a general feeling, shared by many people, that a file has to have oodles of image resolution to render poster size prints. This is a common misconception, in fact it is possible to output beautifully detailed color photographic prints, 20"x24" and larger, from files coming in at only 150 PPI. Hard to believe, yet true.
There is third-party software out there, costing hundreds of dollars, claiming to just what I’m talking about. However save your money because Photoshop can do the job as good as and, in some cases, better.
May I Have Your Autograph
Have you ever wondered if there was any way to have a brush preset in Photoshop set to your own signature, so you could use it to electronically sign your images? Well you can and it’s easier than you think.
The first thing you need to do is have access to a scanner which enable you to scan your signature from a sheet of white paper. I also suggest you write your name in black ink and consider using a fine tipped marker rather than a pen. The fine tipped marker will give you a wider and more solid script which will yield a better scan. If you have an auto setting on your scanner, just it do all the work. otherwise you can set the scanner manually to a grayscale image at about 150 to 300 PPI. The black is the signature itself and the white area will become transparent. When you have scanned the signature you can bring it into Photoshop and begin.
Yet Another Great Edge Effect
Yes, yet another Edge Effect. There's so many out there and they're all different; some easier than others and some more difficult to produce, but either way they all add a creative touch to the right image.
The effect I'm going to demonstrate in this tutorial is simple, attractive and quick and can be used on all subject matters including portraits and landscapes. The effect uses both the Quick Mask Tool and a filter from the Filter Menu in Photoshop. Let's begin.
Can you take good portraits, but need a little extra spice? How about making those eyes pop? Use this nifty trick to liven up your portrait work in under five minutes.
Nondestructive Dodge & Burn
There is a lot of buzz around High Dynamic Range (HDR) and other looks such as that made famous by Andres Dragan and Dave Hill. You can even buy an insanely expensive plugin for Photoshop to simulate the looks of the last two photographers.
But, I'm cheap. And I like to do things the "old fashioned" way. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to rock the old-school Dodge and Burn layer to control highlights and shadows. It's up to you how far you take the technique, and whether you use it for good or evil.
An Ansel Adams Look-Alike?
Born in San Francisco, California in 1902, Ansel Adams is probably best remembered for his stunning large format black and white photography of landscapes throughout the United States and in particular, Yosemite Park, California. His unique style of imagery, came up with fairly high contrast images which still retained incredible detail in both the highlight and shadow areas of the image. Because of this, he is often referred to as the granddad of modern HDR.
Adams was a master of traditional film and silver print photography and now using Photoshop in the digital world, you can recreate the style of Adams without the lengthy process. In this tutorial you’ll use the Channel Mixer on an Adjustment Layer to quickly change from a full color image to an Ansel Adams style black and white image without damaging your original. Let's begin.
Are your photos too chipper? Do you crave some good, funky foul weather to give your shots some personality? Well, you're in luck today! Add a little rain to your blah shots to give them some visual interest and depth. This effect works best on black and white, but can be used for muted-tone color images, too.
With this filter tour-de-force, we'll generate some rain that will give you a chill. And make you sneeze. Take some vitamin C. Seriously.
Vignette—Everything Old is New Again
The lenses used in the early days of photography, had many optical problems associated with them. One of the most apparent of these problems was something known as vignetting, which produced darkening around the edges of the photo. Although almost unavoidable in the early days, current optics rarely have this problem. I use the word problem only from a technical perspective. Aesthetically, however, it is a great technique for isolating your subject matter and generating a higher interest level, sort of like peeping through a keyhole so to speak.
Since modern lenses are pretty well free of vignetting, if we still want the effect we'll have to create it. Today's tutorial will demonstrate how you can quickly create a vignette in Photoshop and then save the effect for future use on other images. Let's begin.
A Holiday 2-for-1 Special
Since it's the holiday season and everyone is in great spirits, I thought I might add to the season and bring you a two for one holiday special. Yes two related tutorials in one.
First off, I'm going to show you how to perk up the color and contrast of your images with some quick adjustments using the L-a-b Mode and Curves Adjustment. Then with the same image you'll see how you can create a decorative edge effect using, of all things, the Extract Filter. Lets begin.
Black is Black—I Want My Color Back
It's not possible to colorize a part of an image which is 100% black you say. In other words, if part of the image has zero Red, Green and Blue values in it, it can not be colorized since the technique of coloriztion relies on pixels valued from 1 to 254 in brightness range. I say the impossible is in fact possible. Photoshop has some very clever tools to accomplish this without being in anyway destructive to the original image. In fact you can colorize the same black portion of the image over and over again with different colors and still retain the same image content. Let's begin.
You Need to Tone it Down
Have you ever photographed people where the lighting was pitch black and all you had for a light source was the electronic flash you bought on sale on your camera? Invariably the images you get back turn out to be less than flattering. Generally speaking, in lighting situations like this, the contrast of the scene is so high, parts of the face seem almost bleached. You can avoid some of this by directing the flash a bit differently (not all flashes are capable of this) or use a diffuser over the flash (also not for all flashes) but if the deed is already done, what can you do? Why use Photoshop of course.
There’s got to be a dozen different tools in Photoshop to remedy this situation. The Clone Stamp Tool or the Healing Brush are a couple. However this tutorial will introduce you to a not so obvious fix, which works quickly in only a few steps and will never harm your original. Let’s begin.
Spiral Peel in 3D - Photoshop CS4 Extended
Ever peel an orange and keep the whole skin intact? Me, neither.
But fortunately, with Photoshop CS4 Extended, you can forge your own proof! Actually, this is a technique whose result was made popular several years ago, with folks making Escher-like spirals and skins out of photos.
Until now, you had to do that work by hand, which took considerable skill in knowing how to draw contours, etc. Things are much easier in 3D, so let's take a look at a simple example to 'unravel' this technique!
The Other Side of Clouds
I'm sure most of us Photoshop users have, at one time or another, wanted to create clouds in an image. For the most part we have relied upon Photoshop's Render Clouds Filter to do this. While the filter is there to help you out, the effect is often predictable in it's pattern and the overall appearance looks a bit contrived.
In this tutorial we're going to revisit the Render Clouds Filter in a different way so you can create better looking clouds the next time you want them as a part of your project. The tutorial will use Levels in the Adjustments Menu, as well as Color Range in the Select Menu to accomplish this. Let's begin.
Picture Perfect Type
Whether you're just staring out in Photoshop or have been at it for awhile, somewhere along the way I'm sure you've seen bold type with an image inside it and wondered how it's done. This effect can been useful to impact on titles for posters and other graphic displays and while there are a lot of different ways to produce this effect, I'm going to show you how to produce picture perfect type using something called a Clipping Group. It's easier than you think. Let's begin.
Nothin' But Blue Skies Do I See
This next tutorial demonstrates a very quick and easy way to turn those gray, dull, overcast skies to blue and cheery.
This method uses Color Range, the Photo Filter and Adjustment Layers in Photoshop to accomplish the effect without ever harming the original image. You don't even have to make a copy of he Background Layer. You can even adjust the effect to only apply it to certain parts of the sky, or in certain amounts. Let's begin.
Bendy Gradients in Photoshop CS3
We've all been there. We want some kind of nice, smooth gradient that follows a curve. If you've ever experienced the heartbreak of wishing for Illustrator's Mesh Tool in Photoshop, here is a small cure. It's not perfect, but it will give you some smug satisfaction!
Grab a handful of gradients in Photoshop and whip them into shape with this tutorial and the warp tool.
Photoshop Tips and Tricks
There are times when a little tip or trick in Photoshop comes in handy when there just isn't any other way to do it. In this quickie tutorial I'll demonstrate three ways to perk up your craftiness in Photoshop.
First I'll show you a way to see the feathering on a selected area before you apply the feathering and then a way of isolating and adjusting specific over exposed areas of an image by using a special Channel selection method.
Snap Shot to Painterly in Minutes
There are times when you've taken a snapshot of a scene only as a record of you being there. I know I have just snapped away at a scene only to get me motivated. Still, all and all, there are also times when you'd rather improve these snaps somehow before you toss them out. Photoshop has many ways to take your haphazard shooting spree and change it to something a little more artistic and painterly.
The Filters in Photoshop offer some very creative ways to do this and while I've seen them used and overused, this next tutorial looks at a very quick and simple way to apply certain filters and Blending techniques which is not overdone, and adds great creative depth to even a snapshot. Let's begin.
Technique: Scatter Brush Layer Masking
This next tutorial will introduce you to additional controls in the Brushes Palette area which will allow you to dress up your images in a new way by setting the dynamics of the brush. After you explore this sparsely visited area in Photoshop, you'll be amazed at the variety of effects possible and the creative control available in the brushes. Let's begin.
Newsprint with Photoshop CS3
Recreate imaging effects of old, forgotten days with this nifty little halftone effect. Come back with me nearly two whole decades to see how newspapers looked "way back when". This is that "weird dot thingie" look.
Photoshop Experiments - Part 2: Basic Filter Fun
Building your core Photoshop skills doesn't have to mean taking classes, or reading books. But you do need to spend some quality time with the application. This means poking around the tender parts and paying attention to cause and effect.
One great way to do this is to play with filter effects on abstract images. The results are not usually something you would put up in a portfolio, though you both will be happier in the long run.
So, put on your pajamas and get ready for some cuddle time with Photoshop as I kick off this series with a look at building up filter effects.
The Experimenting in Photoshop Series:
Experimenting in Photoshop - Part 1
Experimenting in Photoshop - Part 2: Basic Filter Fun
You've probably tried, or at least read about, the many different ways to create a decorative border or frame around the edge of your images. Some of the methods can be quite complex and then there are other methods which are quite easy and quite predictable. This tutorial will demonstrate more of the latter, although at times not always predictable.
The Lasso Tool in Photoshop has long been used as a selection tool to make irregular selections from your image. Today, however, we're going to use the tool to create a decorative frame which can take on all kinds of shapes based upon how you you sketch the selection. Let's begin.
Drawing or Photograph?
Have you ever wanted to turn a photograph only partially into a line drawing? While some effects I've seen turn the entire photograph into a line drawing, the effect I'm about to show you in Photoshop uses the Smart Blur filter in a special way and can turn any portion of the photo into a line drawing. It's a very quick effect and there are only a few steps, so let's begin.
There used to be a time, not so long ago, when commercial photographers, such as myself, went out with large format cameras and large format film to photograph architecture for a client. A camera called a view camera
was used to photograph this architecture because the camera itself had a number of adjustments on it which you could swing or tilt the film plane separately from the position of the lens and thus create vertically accurate perspectives of a building.
While this is still going on to some extent today, the tendency however is to use smaller format cameras, which inherently suffer from linear distortions. The cure for this linear distortion, one of which is vertical lines not appearing as vertical lines, is again Photoshop. There are a number of different ways to correct for vertical distortion and today I'd like to demonstrate the effectiveness of a fairly recent addition, in the Filter, Distort menu under Lens Correction. Let's begin.
Extract Some Creativity from Your Images
The Extract filter in Photoshop can be a complicated or simple tool to use depending on your experience with it. The Extract filter is used largely to remove a background from the main subject and then to place the main subject on a new background. This process is known as close cropping.
Having said all this, you should also be aware the Extract filter can be a fun and creative tool to create an artistic approach to your images as well. All it takes is a few layered copies of your image in Photoshop, applying the effect, then finally composing the images with perhaps a new background. It's easy, quick and creative. Let's begin.
Cross Processed Film Effect
There's a great way to get some gritty, glowing effects to your images. If you shot them on film, then you have the added bonus of getting toxic chemical exposure. Sadly, us digital folks will have to achieve this film look without the interesting health effects and wonderful smells of a wet darkroom.
A Matching Color Set in Three Steps
Have you ever wondered if it were possible to give a group of photos, perhaps a series of images, the same sort of color tone? You might want to do this when you are exhibiting a show of your work to set a particular mood for the exhibit, whether warm or cool in appearance.
Well Photoshop has just such a tool, which often is overlooked or at first glance looks a bit complicated, and yet the Match Color tool and its dialog window does a quick and easy job of setting the color mood for any and all of your future images in three easy steps. Let's begin.
Photoshop Goes To the Movies
Who would have ever thought Photoshop CS3 could be a video creation tool? In this article, which kicks off an irregular series designed to show you how the tools in the CS3 Creative Suite integrate with each other, we create a video that starts in Fireworks CS3 and winds up in Flash.
Approximate download size: 8.7MB
Focus Hocus Pocus
Have you ever wanted to selectively focus on one part of an image, while at the same time bringi other parts of image out of focus? While there are a number of ways to achieve this in Photoshop, the one I'm about to show is kind of interesting and uses one of Blur filters along with a Channel Mask to produce this effect. Let's begin.
That Mask Brings Out the Color of Your Eyes
Have you ever been in a situation where you're setting up a pose for a young couple, and the lighting is right, the smiles are perfect and then you go to shoot them and realize one of them has blinked. So you take the photograph over again, same pose, and now the other one blinks. Alright, how many times is it going to take until they get it right.
Well in Photoshop all you really need is the two shots as they are, even if on their own, they're both bad. If you have just one of the couple with the correct expression, you you can use Photoshop's Layer Masks to quickly give you a seamless and useable portrait of the both of them which looks great. Let's begin.
Page Curls Without Third-Party Software
Page curls—You've seen them time and time again on images where a corner has been turned up to provide a three dimensional look to your photography.
Many times you might have to employ the use of outside third party software to provide the desired results, which often is an additional expense. However with some easy to use tools in Photoshop, such as the Warp tool, and Layer Styles, you can produce effective and quick page curls including object/drop shadows with a variety of background colors. Let's begin.
Quick Color Cast Removal
Color cast. It's a dreadful thing that can mar or ruin an otherwise great photo. Maybe you forgot to set your white balance properly, or you were shooting quickly to grab the moment and didn't account for the lighting conditions. Or perhaps your camera just doesn't account for more than one or two types of light.
Well, hope is here! With this nifty little trick, even your neon blue aquarium pictures can be rescued. Mostly :)
Another Rainy Day
A quick summer shower has a way of freshening up the air and, most of the time, it's gone before you know it. There's also an intense feel sometimes of color saturation after one of these showers which you're not always around to capture on film or electronically.
In this tutorial you're going to discover how you can quickly create a summer shower look in Photoshop without even getting your hair wet. Simple tools such as Transform, the Polygonal Lasso, and Layer Blend Mode adjustments will allow you to bring together this effect on the driest of days. Let's begin.
HDR for Dummies
Back in November of 2007, I wrote a tutorial entitled "HDR—Everywhere You Look"
, which showed you how to produce a High Dynamic Range image through the use of some of the automated features in Photoshop.
Generally speaking, you need at least three exposures of the same image, one overexposed to bring out the shadow detail of the image; one under exposed to bring out the highlight details of the image; and lastly one of average exposure. Once you have these exposures, you can send the exposures through Photoshop's HDR processing engine and get the final image merging all the exposures into one. Ultimately, you then end up with an image of High Dynamic Range which gives you all kinds of detail throughout the image's entire brightness range.
Having said all this, let me now show a way you can get almost the same look with just one average exposed image and a lot less effort. We'll be using some very basic tools in Photoshop such as Gaussian Blur, the Overlay Layer Blending Mode, Invert from the Image Adjustments Menu and Desaturate. This is very fast. Let's begin.
Good Things Come in Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is an age old composition technique which has been used by artists and photographers to compose their images in a dynamic way. Also referred to as the Golden Mean, this method of composition uses the idea of visually dividing an image into thirds both vertically and horizontally. The intersecting points where the lines cross, and there are four of them, are referred to Thirdal Nodes.
These Thirdal Nodes pinpoint the areas of the image which suggest the strongest point of interest and thus become the target areas for anything in the image you want emphasize. Diagonal lines generated through these points allow further interest and direction through the image, a path as it were.
While you may not have the eye to mentally draw up this grid of thirds, Photoshop has a quick and easy way to put it all together for you on any image almost automatically. Let's begin.
As Different as Night and Day
Night photography can be tricky and require quite a bit of knowledge about exposure settings. It becomes increasingly more difficult when you're shooting digital and you have to concern yourself with the long exposure times which can produce noise from the sensor of the camera. Invariably you'll probably have to drag along a sturdy tripod as well. All of this is why some beginners avoid night photography altogether.
Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to avoid all the pressure of night photography? Wouldn't it be great if there was a fix to turn practically any daylight scene into a night scene? Ask no more, here comes Photoshop to the rescue. You can create a realistic looking evening scene from a daylight scene by simply using a few tools in Photoshop such as Blending Modes, the Hue/Saturation adjustment and the Curves adjustment. This won't take long, so don't blink. Let's begin.
Misty Moments in Photoshop
Have you ever wanted to create a feeling in Photoshop which depicts a misty window look? You know, the kind of look which is very moody and romantic at the same time. It's easy and requires only a bit of work with Channels and some filters in Photoshop and can be applied to any subject matter. Let's begin.
Masking in Photoshop - Part I: The Basics
After the undo function and layers, masks are probably the most essential and flexible way to manipulate images in Photoshop. They can be used to isolate parts of an image, blend multiple images together, or selectively adjust images in very complex ways. If you have not yet taken advantage of this tool, read on and be amazed! Or at least bemused.
Scott Valentine is a web and graphic designer, award-winning digital photographer and Photoshop finger-painter. His day job has nothing to do with any of this because then it would be like work. Scott founded
and currently runs an Adobe user group in northern New Mexico, and volunteers his expertise in various online discussion forums.
Approximate download size: 1.7MB
The Masking In Photoshop Series:
Masking in Photoshop - Part I: The Basics
Masking in Photoshop - Part II: Advanced Techniques
Masking in Photoshop - Part III: Complex Selections
It's nice to have blue skies in all your images as well as in your own life, but there are times where a stark blue sky just looks a little bland or to extreme. It can go from one end of the spectrum to the other. Clouds in a sky tend to break up the visual monotony and add a contrast which can be very striking and interesting. With Photoshop it's easy to create realistic looking clouds by just using a few common tools
This tutorial will quickly bring together the Difference Clouds filter, the Free Transform tool, a Layer Mask and the Quick Mask to create artful, realistic clouds in any stark blue sky. It's quick and simple and you'll be amazed how how realistic the effect looks. Let's begin.
It Was a Frosty Friday
I guess just the fact that I live in Canada (the Great White North) and it's winter, makes me want to come up with new ways to to share our lovely season and bring you effects you can use to create snowy and frosty scenes even in the peak of summer.
The effect I'll present today allows you to use Photoshop's Wind Filter, the Hue/Saturation control, the Clouds Filter and Layer Masks to render a frosty look even from images you have created on a much warmer day. The steps are simple and not too extensive and will give you a new creative look to your images quickly and effectively. Let's begin.
Today's Forecast—Snow Showers
Mark Twain once said, "Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it." Not completely true, because now in Photoshop there are some quick and easy ways using simple filters and techniques to give the illusion of all kinds of different weather conditions, when and where you want them, including the illusion of snow showers.
I've seen this technique done by just using a Motion Blur and a layer simply filled with Noise. In this tutorial however I'll try to bring it up a notch by using both the Levels Adjustments as well as the Render Clouds Filter.
Snow Grey: Not OK - Snow White: Just Right - Part 2
There are different ways to handle a snow scene photo; you can correct the exposure at the time you shoot, or you can adjust the exposure in software such as Fireworks or Photoshop. In this, the second in a 2-part series, we'll look at software solutions.
Ideally, you make exposure adjustments at the time of shooting to improve the overall brightness of the scene. But if you're unable to, or perhaps you received the file from someone, you need to turn to the Digital Darkroom for a solution.
Pretty much all imaging software, free or commercial, is capable of improving the image seen above. Some methods are better than others, though, so we will look at a few different ways to achieve the end result. This tutorial will focus mostly on Fireworks, but we'll also look at a couple proprietary tools in Photoshop which can help.
The Photographing Snow Series:
Snow Grey: Not OK - Snow White: Just Right
Snow Grey: Not OK - Snow White: Just Right - Part 2
Photographing Snow Scenes - Sometimes Gray IS Okay
HDR—It's Everywhere You Look
The hottest new imaging method around since the digital camera, has got to be High Dynamic Range imagery or HDR for short. Photographers of every ilk are trying out this new method of producing images and filling their web sites with them.
What is HDR? HDR simply put, is a way of combining at least three images of the same scene into one. One image of the scene is over exposed, another is under exposed and the last of the three is an average exposure of the scene. The exposures can be over and under exposed by as much as three stops depending the brightness range of the scene. It's important to note however, you almost always will need a camera tripod to photograph the scene, the exposures are only done by changing the shutter speed not the aperture setting (which would change your depth of field) and lastly the subject matter you photograph must be still to prevent a ghosting effect.
So what does all this do you ask? Well it's almost impossible to get all the detail in both highlights and shadows with just one exposure, especially if the scene is contrasty and overly bright. The best way to retain almost all the highlight and shadow detail pre digital, was using Ansel Adam's Zone system together with something called either push or pull processing. Then was then, now is now. The past has been replaced with Photoshop's brilliant automated HDR feature. Let's see how it works.
Using Photoshop to Make Anaglyph 3D Pictures
There are a number of ways to make and view stereoscopic (3D) images at home. Every technique requires a set of two images, one for each eye, and the difference comes from how the images are viewed. In one approach, shared by the Fisher-Price View-Master, all you really need is the pair of images themselves, mounted side by side. By training each eye to separately look at its corresponding image, you can experience the 3D effect without any special equipment at all. To be sure, this takes a bit of practice and, some would argue, an unusual knack. Many people simply find the procedure too difficult — it feels similar to viewing random dot stereograms, popularized by the immensely successful Magic Eye
books in the 1990s. The benefit of the View-Master is that it shepherds the gaze of each eye for you, but custom View-Master reels can be prohibitively expensive.
Another approach requires nothing more than a pair of red/blue glasses for viewing. This method produces something called anaglyph images
, often seen in US theatres when 3D movies hit their peak in the 1950s. Anaglyph glasses can be purchased today in small quantities from online retailers. They're typically less than a dollar apiece.
A pair of red/blue anaglyph glasses
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create an analyph image from a stereo pair. We'll briefly discuss how to photograph the pair in the first place, then step through merging the two images for stereo viewing.
Approximate download size: 2.6MB
Native PSD Import into Flash CS3
Importing Photoshop files directly into Flash is now a reality with Flash CS3. Flash's new ability to import a PSD file by its layers and be able to import them as their own bitmap image as well as editable text layers, and into their own MovieClips, is extremely convenient for anyone who develops their interfaces and designs in Photoshop.
This article is quite similar to my previous article about importing Illustrator files into Flash. There are differences when importing Photoshop files however.
Inside the Big Picture
There are times when your photography might look a little ho-hum, or what you thought you had captured was great, turns out to be something a bit less than great. So it was with the image below, which I photographed in a nearby park of two cyclists. The image while technically good, just didn't have the speed I sensed from the bikes and the composition on the whole was a bit symmetric and static looking. So I'm going to turn to Photoshop for some help.
I'm going to make the main focus of the cyclists turn into a picture within a picture by using a Shape Vector Mask and Clipping Groups. Then I'll apply a Motion Blur to the Background to give it a sense of speed. The picture within the picture will also have a Stroke around it, along with a Drop Shadow generated from the Layer Styles Menu of the Layers Palette. Let's begin.
A Lightning Effect as Quick as Lightning in Photoshop
There's probably more than one way to create a lightning effect in Photoshop and I've seen more than enough other methods of creating the effect with other authors. The technique I'll demonstrate today is quick, simple and does not require any auxiliary images to work with. In fact you're going to create this effect entirely from the controls in Photoshop.
The result of this tutorial will give you a method of producing a dramatic looking lightning bolt which can be used on its own in a layout or design. In a future tutorial we'll be looking at how to incorporate this effect in existing images which will make your files even more dramatic.
Edge Sharpening Couldn't Be Any Easier
Some of the best sharpening tools in Photoshop are the Unsharp Mask and the Smart Sharpen Filters. Most people would agree with this statement and a lot of folks use these two for most of their image editing when it comes to sharpening. However, how many people really know how to use them properly or know when they've gone too far or too little with the process? It's often a bit of trial and error with a lot of control options and it gets even more tricky when you want to just sharpen just the edges of an image rather than the entire image.
Well this tutorial is bent on making life much easier for your when it comes to edge sharpening and believe or not, you're not going to go near the Unsharp Mask or the Smart Sharpen dialogs. This tutorial will show you how to effectively and simply do edge sharpening with the use of Layer Mode options and a little obscure filter called the High Pass Filter.
The Orton Effect Using Photoshop
The Orton Effect, named after photographer Michael Orton, combines two of the same images, one of which is over exposed by two stops and out of focus and another which is over exposed by one stop and in focus. The result, traditionally produced with slide film, results in a beautiful image which resembles the style of the impressionist painters.
Now for those of you who are still working with film and keen on tradition, this method will still be available to you until the world runs out of film. In the meantime, Photoshop has some very effective tools which can recreate the Orton Effect in the digital world simply and beautifully. This tutorial will demonstrate how you can produce this effect in Photoshop without having to photograph the same scene twice with different exposures and focus.
Colorization—This Time Using Levels
There are many different ways to colorize black and white images and all of the methods have their own unique twists and turns which would make one more desirable than the other. This particular tutorial deals with a method of colorization which is just a little bit different than the rest. It allows incredible control over a multitude of color shades towards your black and white image.
We'll explore the concept of using the Levels Adjustment in Photoshop to colorize your black and white image. Rather than using Levels directly from the menu items we're going to use the Levels Adjustment in the form of an Adjustment Layer. This will assure you can make an infinite number of changes to color schemes without ever mechanically affecting the original image.
Copy and Paste Features Between Photoshop and Dreamweaver CS3
In my last video, I demonstrated how to take images from a pdf file and paste them from Photoshop into a Dreamweaver Document. Well this copy/past functionality is not limited to single-layer images. Dreamweaver CS3 supports the use of PSD files and also allows you to copy and paste multiple layers from a Photoshop file.
In this video we'll explore this new integration between Dreamweaver and Photoshop and various ways to use it.
Approximate download size: 17.8MB
It's Not All Just Black and White
I've pasted in numerous web forums over the years and along the way I see the same question popping up, namely, how do you create a black and white image to reveal some of the original color image. In other words, if I have a color image how do I first of all turn it into a black and white image and then how do I bring back some of original color to the black and white version.
Photoshop has some great tools to accomplish this such as Layer Masks and Layer Adjustment controls to put this great effect to work. It won't take long. Only a few steps and you'll have it for life.
Digital Workflow - Adding Images from a PDF to your Web Site
As designers we receive our image assets in many formats and various media. A lot of times I will get rough layouts, including images and text, in the form of an MS Word document. Recently, though, a new client of mine has started sending me PDF files that she lays out and creates in MS Publisher. These layouts are for their static web catalog and each page represents one product section of the site.
I have found this very useful as it clarifies the sequence of the products within the page table and reduces the number of emails that are needed to ensure the line up is correct.
However, getting these images from the PDF to the web page was at one time somewhat tedious. At worst, screen grabs might have been made. At best, the PDF could be opened in Photoshop where the images would all have to be saved individually and then inserted into the DW page.
Now, though, with the improved integration between Dreamweaver and Photoshop, the process is even easier.
Follow along in this video as we see four Adobe Products in the CS3 Suite work together to simplify and speed up web page work flow. For those of you new to Photoshop or the integration between Photoshop and Dreamweaver, I think you will find this video enlightening.
Approximate download size: 4.5MB
Photoshop Graffiti—Advanced Blending Techniques
You may already be familiar with some of the basic Blending Modes located at the top left of the Layers Palette, under the sub menu, which allow you to make changes to both type and images on a Layer. This tutorial will cover still another Blending Mode available from the "Blend if" sliders. The "Blend if" sliders tend to have a a great deal of functionality and might be considered to be a bit more advanced than the basic Blending Modes. I'm going to use the "Blend if" sliders and text to put some graffiti on the side of an old oil drum and try to make it look as though the text is actually a part of the drum.
Hue/Saturation — Summer to Fall in a Wink
The Hue/Saturation Control under the Image > Adjustments Menu, can make color changes to the entire image as well as only parts of it.
This brief tutorial will serve as an introduction to this powerful control and demonstrate its use in both changing color in parts of an image as well as the entire image. Along with this I'll show you how you can also quickly and safely edit the color changes if necessary.
Your Images Deserve Your Copyright
Regardless of the situation, the photographic images you have created are yours, and you alone have the right to make copies of them until such time you give permission to another person to reproduce them. There is never a guarantee someone won't take your image and copy it from a web site portfolio you've created, or a client may copy and use it from a file photo on a CD which was given to them.
This tutorial shows a quick way to put a copyright notation on all of your images by way of generating a Pattern in Photoshop to protect your work from misrepresentation.
Using Photoshop's Auto Align and Auto Blend Tools
In case you haven't noticed, I love to take nature photos. Landscapes, waterscapes, trees, rocks, gardens .. the list goes on. Photoshop CS3 has made this even easier with a much improved Photomerge feature (for panoramics) and two other related commands: Auto Align Layers and Auto Blend Layers. These commands can be used individually or in tandem, depending on your needs.
In my case, these two commands give me the best of both worlds - easily - when photographing a high contrast scene, such as a sunset. In this video, you will see how easy it is to take these two hand-held photos:
And combine them to get a shot that gives us detail in the highlights and the shadows:
During this 10-minute video, you will see how to use these two commands as well as make use of the Shadow/Highlight adjustment feature and the Spot Healing tool.
Approximate download size: 8.4MB
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
I'm sure there have been many times you've noticed a beautiful rainbow, just after a rain shower or thunderstorm, but you just didn't have your camera to capture the event. Now with Photoshop you can produce a realistic rainbow effect in a previously photographed scene anytime you want.
Photoshop has some unique Special Effect Gradients, as well as Layer Masks, to produce exceptionally realistic rainbows in your images. This tutorial will explore the ways you can make a good looking scenic even better and perhaps more dramatic.
HELP! — My Type is Distressed
Distressed Type is very popular type effect used to display broken type on rough surfaces. You may have seen this as a rough stencil on a wooden orange crate or some products shipped from overseas.
There are several ways to create this type effect and indeed there is third party software which allows you to create this effect. I'm going to show you how to produce this effect in Photoshop so you don't have to spend a lot of money on additional software. I'll also introduce the Calculations Dialog, which will allow further manipulation of the type.
Still Another Sharpening Method
Yes still another way to sharpen your images. This technique is quite fast, involving only a few steps and is totally forgiving and adjustable.
We're not going to even use the Sharpen Filter for this one, but instead we're going to be using a High Pass Filter, some Layer Adjustment Modes and finally give the image an adjustable vignette to top it all off.
The New Way to Do Gray in Photoshop CS3
Photoshop is often used for simple tasks, such as converting a color image to grayscale. Like other tasks this one can be completed in several different ways and every Photoshop user will have their own technique. So finding the method that works "best" for you may come down to trial and error. Knut Kubenz's Image > Mode > Grayscale Is Out Series
presents two "better" grayscale conversion options.
Now with the introduction of Photoshop CS3 there is a brand new way to complete this task. This tutorial will discuss Photoshop's Black and White Conversion tool and look at some of the results you can achieve with it.
Bump Up Your Images with Bump Maps
In this tutorial we'll look at the creation and use of Displacement or Bump Maps as they're commonly called. If you've never used Bump Maps before, you're going to discover they can be used together with some of the more useful and more complex special effects filters in Photoshop. Depending on how you create these Bump Maps, you can develop some very realistic results which would otherwise be tedious or next to impossible to render.
Displacement filters in Photoshop, read the light areas, the dark areas and the midtone areas of a Bump Map to displace the position of pixels in the original image. Dark areas cause negative displacement, (pixels are repositioned downwards and to the left), midtone areas hold the pixels to their position and light areas displace pixels positively, upwards and to the left. This might be a little bit difficult to grasp if you've never used Bump Maps before and hopefully this exercise will give you a better feel for for how they work.
Bubble, Bubble—No Toil, No Trouble
If you're at all a Shakespeare fan, you'll recognize the title of this tutorial as a take off from Macbeth, when the witches are stirring up a caldron "—Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble". At any rate, in this tutorial I wanted to demonstrate a very quick and easy way to create realistic looking bubbles without any existing imagery. Along the way you'll pick up some new skills as well as apply some obscure filters which exist in Photoshop.
I recently was given a project where the client wanted a few bubbles as a background to a product. When the client started talking about wanting this bubble here and this other bubble there, I became a bit leery and uncomfortable; bubbles are pretty well free spirits, real ones I mean. So we opted for ones Photoshop could provide.
Making Acrobat Press-Quality PDFs from InDesign and Other Creative Suite Programs
This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to make press-quality PDFs from Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop (versions CS2 and CS3) with the correct job options for your particular type of document.
When made correctly, a press-quality PDF will sail like a breeze through your print shop’s prepress section.
The PDF has the correct color and resolution settings, your print shop is able to make their technical adjustments to it such as separations and trapping, and the finished printed product is just as you expected. Plus…it gets printed on time and within your budget without any problems.
Sound like a graphic designer’s Utopia?
Nah! Once you master Bevi Chagnon's 3-step method, making perfect PDFs is as easy as pie.
Audience: Graphic designers, publishers, desktop publishers, ad designers, prepress technicians, publication production managers, and others who are involved in print media. This tutorial is especially helpful for those sending electronic files to a print shop for either offset-, web-, or digital-printing presses. (Note: I mean web printing presses, not the World Wide Web or Internet.)
Topics covered in this tutorial:
- Acrobat presets: which one to use
- Press-quality vs. print-quality vs. PDF/X
- Customizing the job options
- Compatibility levels and how they affect your PDF
- Printer's marks and bleeds
- Compression and downsampling settings for photos and bitmapped images
- Color conversion settings
- Reviewing color breaks (separations)
- Embedding fonts
- Security settings
The Adobe PDF Series:
Acrobat PDF 101: What’s a PDF and What Do I Use to Make One?
Acrobat PDF 102: PDF Ground Rules for Press, Print and Web
Press-Quality PDFs: Making Acrobat PDFs from InDesign and Other Creative Suite Programs
Resampling/Resizing - What's the Difference?
If you want to change the size of an image in Photoshop, there's probably only two popular ways to do it. Either you Resize the image or Resample the image. Generally speaking, people use Resampling and Resizing interchangeably to mean the same thing. Misunderstanding the difference between the two can be hazardous to your image's health. The Image Size Dialog Box in Photoshop is where it all starts and in this tutorial I'll explain the difference as well as show you how to get the most out of your files without compromising quality.
Quick Select Tool - Quick Use and Tips for Photoshop CS3
Adobe's new Photoshop CS3 package has a lot of great new features and the Quick Select Tool makes life just a little easier when it comes to making selections. It's packaged with Refine Selection Edge in the Select menu, which allows you to further modify the selection you've made to the image, as well as any Layer Mask you may be using at the time.
In this session I'd like to give you a quick look at the tool as well as give you a few tips and Hot Keys which will altogether speed up the process the process of making selections.
Instant Panoramic Views in CS3
CS3 is here. Version 10 of Photoshop is alive and running with all kinds of new features ready to make your life easier and more productive with a host of automated new functions.
In this session I'd like to introduce you to some brilliant new technology which is built into Photomerge, a process which can instantly change your individual images of a scene into a panoramic view with amazing results.
Those Fabulous Buttons
You see them on practically every web site these days and they can be beautiful as well as funtional. What am I talking about? Well it's those fabulous translucent buttons leading you from page to page or link to link on a web site.
Photoshop does a very quick and beautiful job of producing these buttons, which you can have in any color and shape to put on your own web site.
The Beaming Bride
I don't know about you, but every time I make a portrait of someone I'm always looking for ways to enhance and introduce lighting accents to the portrait to both isolate and emphasize some of its attributes. Last time I looked at Photoshop there were about a million ways to do this, here's just one more.
This technique works well if you have a window for a source or background as a part of the image. The concept is to produce a beam of light generated from the window so as to further draw attention or spotlight the subject. A few simple tools in Photoshop such as the Polygonal Lasso Tool, Layer Mode Blends and a Layer Mask are all you'll need to make this work.
Instant Infrared From Your Color Images
The magic of infrared film and their prints can produce hauntingly beautiful images far surpassing the ordinary. The world takes on this moonlit quality, with dark skies, fluffy white clouds and green foliage taking on a brilliant luminosity. These results are generally produced by using a deep red filter over the lens of a camera loaded with infrared black and white film.
In this tutorial I'll show you a way you can simulate these results in Photoshop using three simple tools: the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, the Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer and the Noise Filter.
Quickly Transform Photographs to Line Sketches
Photographic images can take on a whole new appeal by turning them in to colorized line sketches. It's not difficult to do and in fact so quick, it'll make your eyes pop.
In this tutorial we're going to use a few simple tools in Photoshop, such as Hue/Saturation and the Glowing Edges Filter, to create and emphasize the graphic aspects of an image.
Corrective Surgery for Commercial Shoots
Sometimes the use for Photoshop is just trying to make sense of something technically and aesthetically poor meet the grade for a web site. It's not glamorous but it is a necessary part of the grunt work.
This tutorial looks at some of the tools and techniques such as Close Cropping with the Polygonal Lasso Tool, Step and Repeat for duplicating areas, Perspective control using the Transform Tool and adjusting Brightness using the Levels Adjustment Tool.
How to Create a Canadian Sunset
Okay, now you too can have your very own Canadian sunset anytime you want. Just get an image, slightly silhouetted and preferably photographed around and hour or so before sunset and then with a few simple tools, a few steps and the help of Photoshop ... You've got a Canadian sunset.
Canadian sunsets, especially around the fall, are particularly beautiful, in fact songs have been written about them. Photoshop can change any drab sunset into something of a blazing glory with the use of a Blur Filter, Layer Mode Adjustments, and the Hue/Saturation dialog adjustments.
Photos to Art
So you've always wanted to be a painter but you never had the money for oils, acrylics or water colors and were always worried about getting your clothes and hands dirty. Here's a method which allows you all of the creative freedom you want as a painter without the expense or the mess.
Photoshop provides such tools as Layer Blends and Filters which can take a fairly ordinary looking image and turn it into something very painterly. Although there are many filters available in Photoshop, we're not going to just plug one in and leave it. This method allows you to go beyond this to manipulate color, saturation, brightness, contrast and texture.
Thinking Outside the Box
The image you see might seem a little odd at first, and we're going to make it look even weirder by applying some simple cropping and layering techniques in Photoshop which will give it a whole new dimension; a third dimension to let you think outside the box.
The image was taken on a beach near where I live. The scene is exactly the way you see it. I have not done any Photoshop magic to it, but the only thing making this backlit image even weirder is the strong fill-in flash I used to give the scene a surreal quality. I want to go one step further with this image and provide a mat border around the image which will hopefully make it look even more bizarre.
Automating Tasks in Photoshop
I was recently cropping a bunch of product photos for a catalogue and I found myself performing a number of the same tasks on each photo. These tasks were not difficult to do but by the fifth or sixth photo it was getting a bit monotonous and time consuming. I was also finding that I was sometimes missing steps, which meant I was going back to double check that I had indeed performed all the tasks on each photo. With twenty some photos to go I needed to find an easier way, so I created my own Action to automate the tasks. By Creating an Action the steps that took me about 15 mouse clicks could be completed with one and it ensured I completed all the tasks on each photo.
This tutorial will look at the methods available in Photoshop to automate processes. We will use the Action palette to create and load actions as well as look at the Batch processing tools available.
Actions are a sequence of commands that can be played to perform tasks on the open file or on a number of saved files using the batch command. Nearly all of Photoshop's commands can be added to an action. Actions can be stopped or include modal controls that allow you to perform tasks or enter values while the action is in progress.
Approximate download size: 6.4MB
Lighten Up! — They're Only Shadows
Shadows are a very important component of any image, but when shadows get too dark and you start losing some, if not a lot, of the detail which should be there, you've got to have some way to restore what seemingly has disappeared.
Levels has been around for a long time and does help to some extent. Curves too can be very specific in isolating certain areas of the image, along with being sometimes a bit too esoteric for the beginner. But along with these two methods for making shadow adjustments, Photoshop has a very quick, intuitive and easy way to lighten primarily just the shadows of an image using Layer Blending Modes and of all things, the Gaussian Blur Filter.
History Without All The Mystery
The History Brush in Photoshop in conjunction with the History Palette, are for a large part used to simply restore a previous action to an image and serves as multiple undo on a brush. Beyond this simple function most creative uses for the History Brush and Palette are a bit of a mystery. History need not be a mystery.
There are many ways to apply the History Brush creatively and either paint or fill in effects from the Filter Menu or other sources in Photoshop.
The glass ball is a staple when it comes to Christmas tree ornaments. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors and are often embellished with beads or other sparkly bits. With the Christmas season in full swing I thought it would be a nice time to do a little holiday decorating. In this tutorial we will use Illustrator to create a traditional glass ornament.
To create this glass ornament we will use some of Illustrator's basic drawing tools, the 3D mapping tool and the Photoshop Glass Effect.
Where's A Pond When You Need One?
There have been many times I've gone out, as I'm sure you have, with my camera in hand and thought, "Now that's not a bad landscape to photograph, but if only there was a pond to reflect some of the scene." A little bit of water can completely change the mood as well as impact on the strength of the image.
Photoshop has some simple tools you can use to change most outdoor scenes from waterless to water-full, (if there's such a word).
Color Correction Without A Color Monitor
Throw away your color monitor, you won't need it to do color corrections anymore.
Does this look right to you? Should it go a bit redder? Is it too blue? Is the monitor's color off?
You can remove a lot of the guess work in color correction by using a numbering system for Photoshop's Levels control, which afterwards can be saved and applied to any image. In fact, using this method doesn't even require you to have a color monitor, because you'll be working the numbers.
Now That's A House of A Different Color
Ever get stuck with the question, "What color should it be"?
Great looking house, but the white on the siding is too bright and I know I'm going to have to paint it every year just so it doesn't look dirty.
Here's a quick and simple Photoshop way to change the color of a house's siding or any image, over and over again, interactively, with any color, using Adjustment Layers.
Quickie Depth of Field Adjustment in Photoshop
Have you ever wanted to change the depth of field of an image and asked, "Can I do this without ruining my image"? Well with Photoshop, the Lens Blur Filter and a Layer Mask, it's all very doable.
Fire and Smoke in After Effects
After Effects from Adobe is capable of some fantastic video effects right out of the box, but there are also some great plug-ins with the Pro version that can help you put some extra pizazz into your video. This tutorial will show you how to create realistic Fire & Smoke effects using only the bundled plugins which you get when buying the Pro Version of After Effects 7.
Tiago Dias works at a corporate television and news production company based in London with subsidiaries around the world, as a video producer and Flash developer — this is Tiago's ideal job, as it combines 2 of his favorite technologies! In his free time he writes tutorials on Flash and After Effects for various communities.
Shine a Little Light on Me
This is a great way to spotlight a portion of a portrait or some interesting feature of any image. Using Adjustment Layers, you can have instant control of the spotlight's size, shape, tone and position without damaging any pixels.
Home Renovations with Photoshop CS2
So you say you're tired of watching all those home renovation programs, but you have this fine piece of real estate that just needs a little TLC.
To sell a house, you need to have curb appeal, which this old place clearly lacks. So on our to-do list we have:
- Get rid of the No Trespassing sign
- Fix the torn metal roof and brighten it up
- Brighten up the siding a bit
- Demolish the decrepit addition out back
- Clean up the front yard
- Add new sod
- Make it a prettier day in general
I'm here to tell you that with the help of Photoshop, the aptly named Patch tool, and a couple of other do-it-yourself features such as the Clone Stamp and the Replace Color tool, this little fixer-upper can be upgraded from condemned to just plain derelict. We will also be making use of Layer Masks, and selective contrast adjustments. Sounds pretty technical, doesn't it?
When the job is done, we should have something similar to this:
Supplied with this tutorial is the project image, "fixer_upper.jpg."
Shadow/Highlight Control Moves Indoors
Most of the time we use Shadow/Highlight, in the Image > Adjustment menu, to control a naturally back lit subject and we forget about the times we're indoors and not under naturally lit environments. This great tool, Shadow/Highlight, can have new creative meaning as well as functionality, in situations which are set up as well as spontaneous. This tip will allow you to look at the Shadow/Highlight control in a completely different light (pardon the pun).
Image > Mode > Grayscale Is Out - Part 1
The time has come to forget about using the old standby, Image > Mode > Grayscale, for converting your color images to Grayscale. In this tutorial we're going to look at two methods, which allow you to have even more control over the tonality of your Grayscale images using the Lab Mode in Photoshop as well as the Layer Adjustment functions. In some cases you'll actually be able to select specific colors in the image and automatically adjust their respective, individual tones.
The Image > Mode > Grayscale is Out Series:
Image > Mode > Grayscale Is Out - Part 1
Image > Mode > Grayscale Is Out - Part 2 Coming Soon
Perplexed With Type in Perspective?
Getting text to follow a specific perspective isn't easy and can be perplexing—unless you use Photoshop's brand new Vanishing Point Filter. I'll show you a great way to put any type face in line with any perspective.
Polarized Sky Effect Without the Expensive Filters
Have you ever wanted a rich, Polarized sky look to your images, but you didn't have the money for the often expensive photographic filters to do it? Photoshop's Gradients come to the rescue.
In this tutorial we'll look at how to easily improve the richness and saturation of a faded blue sky using the Gradient Adjustment layer and paint brushes.
Using the Crop Tool to Make Your Picture Larger?
It may sound impossible, but you can actually change the Canvas Size of your picture, making it larger, by using Photoshop's Crop Tool, which normally makes the picture smaller, without any fancy calculations or head scratching.
The Crop Tool is often used to make pictures smaller. This quick and easy tip takes the guess work out of extending the Canvas size without the need for time consuming calculations.
Dashed Line in Photoshop
We all know those people who do everything in Photoshop and although it is possible to create almost anything in Photoshop it's not always the best option. For example some tasks, such as drawing graphics, may be more difficult to do in Photoshop then in other vector-based applications, such as Illustrator or Freehand.
Often Photoshop artwork may include a combination of photos and graphic elements. With the integration between Photoshop and the other Adobe applications this is now easier then ever to do.
In this tutorial we will add a dashed line to an image that has been created in Photoshop. Creating dashed lines in Photoshop can be a bit tedious so we will export a path from Photoshop then use Illustrator to create the customized dashed line. We will then place it back into Photoshop creating the final graphic with much less time and frustration.
Flawless Skin Using the Healing Brush and Patterns
Unless you work with customized patterns, the Healing Brush might have only a limited range. Here's a method of creating a customized pattern for the Healing Brush to extend its range retouching the human face quickly, easily and flawlessly.
The Rule of Thirds with the Help of Photoshop
Why not use methods of composition artists have been using for years to make your images more visually powerful?
Set up a grid in Photoshop which will automatically tell you all the hot spots for your image's composition and final crop. It's easy and something you'll use over and over again.
Winter in August?!
Want a COOL way to turn a summer scene into the dead of winter? Photoshop has it using Layer Blends and the Clouds filter.
Better Sharpening Using Photoshop's Lab Mode
If you've ever wondered if there's a better way to use the Unsharp Mask Filter in Photoshop, here it is. By using USM in conjunction with the Lab Mode in Photoshop, you'll produce image sharpening with less artifacting as well as have easier control.
Turn Words Into Wood
The next time you're ready to develop some interesting display typography use Photoshop.
Using the Clipping Mask tool (to create Clipping Groups) in the Layers palette as well as other creative tools in Photoshop, you can capture images of textures, including wood, to create decorative lettering effects.
Using Illustrator and Photoshop to Age Artwork
From t-shirts to web pages, the "I've been around for 100 years" look has become quite popular. On web pages, the effect can be used to add some texture and interest to graphics; on t-shirts it creates that favorite old t-shirt feel right off the rack. Whatever the resulting artwork will be used for, this method is easy to do and can be customized to suit any application.
The first time around in Wear it Out - Create a Worn Out Look Using Freehand
, I demonstrated this technique in Freehand. In this article, I will use Illustrator and Photoshop to show a different method of producing a similar result.
Illustrator and Photoshop streamline this process, allowing you to create great results in just minutes. Included with this tutorial are four textured images which can be used to create aged artwork or you can use the Photoshop steps provided to create your own textures.
Approximate download size: 1MB
Bitmaps Without Backgrounds - Using Clipping Paths in Photoshop
Have you ever wanted to import a bitmap into a layout without the surrounding rectangle? Bitmap images are always rectangular. Even if you erase or remove the background in a photo editing application you still get a white rectangle that will cover other elements in your layout. If you want to see only part of the image you import, you must crop or mask it, if possible, within the layout application. You can also use Photoshop to create a clipping path that surrounds the part of the image you want to see. The rest of the image becomes transparent when imported into another application, creating a similar effect as a mask created in an Illustration program like Fireworks or Photoshop.
Depending on the applications you are using may allow different methods be used to accomplish this effect. In this tutorial we will use Photoshop to create a clipping path around an object in a photo. We will then import that photo into a layout application.
Approximate download size: 3MB
Simple Layer Masking with Photoshop
If you've read any of my articles, you've probably heard me rant and rave about the power and flexibility of using masks while working in Fireworks. Photoshop has some pretty powerful masking features as well. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create and edit a layer mask from a bitmap selection, and drop in a new background behind the masked object.
Layer masks can be created using either another bitmap image or a bitmap selection. In this particular example, we'll be using a bitmap selection to mask the background of an image. I'll show you how easy it can be to create a layer mask, and adjust it to suit your needs.
This type of masking has many uses. It comes in very handy if — for example — you are working on a catalogue site and need to have all the products on an identical background. Another situation might be a scenic photo that was shot on a drab, overcast day. Wouldn't it be great if you could replace that nondescript grey sky with a bright blue one with fluffy clouds? Well, you can with masking, and keep everything editable in case you change your mind later (or find a better sky).
Hand Coloring and Tinting a Photo in Photoshop
Harken back to the days of olde when a photographer used FILM and made enlargements in a DARKROOM. This tutorial will show you step-by-step, how to recreate some of the coloring and tinting techniques that have been used for years on traditional black and white photographs, using Photoshop's Actions, adjustment layers, masks, gradients, bitmap selections and the paint brush tool.
Cosmetic Surgery in Photoshop
A lot of times you find you have a friend or a family member of whom you've taken a quick photo. Upon closer examination they're not too thrilled about the facial lines that have developed over the years.
There are many ways to solve this concern, and we will be looking at a Hollywood glamour technique which makes use of the Quick Mask in Photoshop.
Approximate download size: 342k