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Photoshop Tips And Tricks


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#16
BlackHalo

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Giving an image a vector-style appearance

Firstly, you can go the easy route by simply opening/placing any jpeg file in photoshop and clicking on filters>artistic>cutout and then adjusting the settings to your liking. This gives you a flattened image which looks like a colour vector drawing (kind-of).

Secondly you can use the Poster Edges filter (also found in the Filters>Artistic menu). This gives a 'wetter' look, but still the illusion of a vector drawing. (Note: The Dry Brush filter SOMETIMES works to the same effect, but NOT on all images!).

Lastly, a method i accidentaly discovered yesterday which gives awesome results, but takes a bit longer:

Open the image you would like to 'convert' to vector-style. (Try and find something which has a neutral background as you will need to deep etch the image). Use the magnetic lasso/magic wand/extract tools (see above) to deep etch the photo (select the background rather than the image itself). Once you have the image selected, click on 'Refine Edge' and set the 'Feather' to about 3.0 or 4.0 and 'Smooth' to 100% (make sure the 'Contract/Expand' is on 0). Then erase everything around your selection. Now you should have your chosen image with a nice soft edge. Make sure you have erased everything you don't want to use then select your image with the recangular marquee select tool or select the background with the magic wand tool and simply invert your selection(ctrl+shift+I). (Try to stick as close as possible to the edge of it). Once you have your image selected, go to Edit>Define Brush Preset and click OK.

Now open a new document (any size you want) and select the brush tool (B). Right click and select the brush you just created. Either paint directly onto the background or create a new layer, but either way: first fill the background or layer with the colour of your choice! (For the purposes of this exercise let's say white). Now click on the canvas to paint your image (just change the size and colour of it as you please)(I find the effect works best when using black for the brush and white for the background...).

Now go to Filters>Sketch>Torn Edges and adjust the settings as you see fit. (Try keeping the Image Balance about mid-way and the contrast fairly low). (You can also try Filter>Sketch>Stamp for a similar effect, just a bit less vector-y).

Now your image should look like a semi-vector drawing.

Edited by BlackHalo, 08 October 2007 - 10:55 AM.

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#17
BlackHalo

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Creating 3D Effects Using Photoshop

This is a nifty little trick I learned while working at a design company. It can be used to great extent, this tut is just to show you the basics of doing it.

Open a new document (any size you want) and create a new layer (ctrl+shift+n on pc). Now you can either take a shape which is easy to just wand (such as a rasterized font) or you can create a shape using the polygonal lasso tool (or pen tool, whichever you prefer).

Let's create a shape using the pen tool. Just draw your shape and modify it and eventually close the nodes.
I just did something basic like this (I know it's rough, it's just to illustrate):
Posted Image

Now go to paths (next to the layers tab), right-click on 'Working Path', click 'Make Selection' and click OK. That shape should now be a normal selection.
Right, easy part is over. Now go to the channels tab (between 'layers' and 'paths'). Right at the bottom of the pallette you will see some tiny icons. Click the one second from left which says 'save selection as channel'. An alpha has been created from your shape.

Click on the alpha channel and press ctrl+d to deselect the shape. Your shape should be white on a black background as such:
Posted Image.

Right, now go to filter -> blur -> gaussian blur. Depending on the size and resolution of your image, select a blur that just smooths out the edges. You don't want one that completely blurs the image, you literally just want it to look slick. I suggest ranging from 0.2 to about 0.7 at most (again depending on the size and resolution. Sometimes a blur of 2.0 is required). Click OK.

Now press ctrl+~ to return to the RGB version of your shape. Click on the 'Layers' tab. Now all you should see is a white canvas. Go to Filter -> Render -> Lighting Effects. Right at the bottom of the window there's a section called 'Texture Channel'. Click the dropdown menu and select 'Alpha1'. Now you can play around with the direction and types of light to get the effect you want. When you're done, click OK. You should see this:
Posted Image

Now you could just leave it like that and play with the colors. Or you can go back to the channels tab and click on the alpha channel. Now click 'load channel as selection' at the bottom. Press ctrl+~ again to return to the RGB. Go back to your layers and press ctrl+j to load that 3D outline to a new layer or press alt+return to take that selection out of your window (or press ctrl+shift+i to invert and then erase the bits you don't want).

Point being, once you get your 3D effect, you can use it in a whole manner of ways! Try using it on other photo's and mess around with blending modes to get cool embossed effects!
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#18
playa_in_mind

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Simple photo enhancements for beginners that are quick and easy

Professional Finish
____________________________

1. Open File
2. Right click on background layer, choose duplicate layer
3. Select Filter from menu bar, Blur>Gaussian Blur>Set to 5.0 (level of blur can be adjusted to whatever you want)
4. Select OK
5. Set visibility on duplicated layer to Overlay
6. Select Layer from the menu bar, merge visible

======================

Simple Eye Color Change
____________________________

1. Open File (one focusing on the face)
2. Select Layer from menu bar, new>layer
3. Select the zoom tool and zoom in on the eyes
4. Select the appropriate color from the color pallet
5. Select the brush tool and set the brush size to the size of the iris of the eye
6. Match up the cursor edges with the iris edges and click
7. Select the eraser tool, and erase any color outside the iris (zoom in more if needed)
8. Select the blur tool, set the brush size just enough to cover the edge of the iris
9. Blur the edges of the iris
10. Set the new layer's visibility to color, then merge all layers visible.

======================
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#19
BlackHalo

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Here's a nifty little trick I learned while helping to design a clothing catalogue:

How to remove wrinkles from clothing

Load the desired clothing image into photoshop. Roughly select the wrinkle with the lasso tool (L) and go to 'Refine Edge' (in CS3) and set the feather to about 13 - 18 pixels (depending on the size of the image). Next, go to filter>blur>motion blur.

Now if the wrinkle is horizontal, change the angle of the blur to vertical (thus: always change the angle to go against the grain basically). Set the distance fairly high (halfway or just before usually works) and voila! The wrinkle is gone!

It is necessary to work with fairly large images on this one because if you use it on a 800x600px image, the blur will be quite obvious. Once you zoom out of a large image after using these steps, you can barely see the change. If the change is too obvious, feel free to use the heal tool (j) to soften up the edges.
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#20
BlackHalo

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Creating 3D effects on linear objects:

Just something I figured out while designing a corporate identity a while back. Needed something to display the business card I designed for a company and stumbled upon this. I've only tried this on linear objects (rectangles, squares), but I'm pretty sure with some fiddling it can work with other objects as well (the concept of creating the shadow works perfectly with other images and objects as well).

For the purposes of this exercise, create an 800x600 file, RGB, and a fairly high dpi. Now go to file>place and select a photo or other linear object. Resize it to about half the size of the canvas and rename the layer to 'Picture'. Now press ctrl+t (mac would be command+t) and right click on the image. Select either perspective or distort and adjust the image so that it has a perspectile effect on it (the part furthest away would seem to start disappearing into the background). Once you have the desired effect, double click on the image to aply the transformation.

Right-click on the picture layer and select 'duplicate layer' (or just press ctrl+j). Do this about five times. Now move each of these images down so that they start forming a 3D effect for your object (you might have to move the layers themselves as well). Once you have the desired effect, combine only the duplicated layers by selecting them, then right-clicking on the layers and selecting 'merge layers'. (Rename this layer '3D effect). Alternatively you can select the picture layer and press alt+down, but then you have to move the layers themselves to get the correct order (the plus side is Photoshop automatically moves the image down a bit each time, which saves you some guess-work). Once you've merged the layers, first make sure this layer is beneath your actual picture, then press ctrl+u and bring the light/dark slider down a bit until the new layer is darker than the picture itself.

Now right click on the 'picture' layer and select 'duplicate layer'. Rename this layer 'shadow'. Press ctrl+u (command+u) to open the hue/saturation tab and take the brightness down to make the image completely black. Now move it slightly away from the picture itself (depending on which way you want the shadow to fall). For this exercise, move it slightly to the left and down a bit (very little though, not too much). Now go to filter>blur>gaussian blur and select a blur which is about halfway. Your image should look like a drop-shadow (no hard edges). Fiddle with the slider until you get this effect. Drag this layer below the picture and 3D effects layers (just above the background layer) and move the image around to create a realistic drop-shadow.

Now for the final touches:

Create a new layer and name it 'shading'. ctrl+click on the little example of the picture on the 'picture' layer in the layers panel. A marquee should appear in that shape. (Make sure you're still working on the 'shading' layer and haven't selected the 'picture' layer.) Make sure your colours are the basic black-white setup by pressing D. (if black isn't in front, press x). Fill the marquee on the 'shading' layer with black by pressing G and click inside the marquee. Now click on the 'Add layer mask' icon at the bottom of the layers panel. Now select your gradient tool (press G then Shift+G) and select the 'click to add gradient' button at the top left of your screen. Select the gradient which goes from blue to yellow to blue and change the colours to black-white-black. (Black always hides, white reveals on layer masks). Make sure you have the MASK selected and not the actual image. Now draw a gradient line. You should get an image which has a lighter area in the middle than the edges. Simply drop the opacity of this layer or select a suitable layer style (usually screen or overlay works just fine).

Finally, select your 'background' layer and go back to your gradient tool. Click on the top left button again and select the basic black-to-white gradient. Change the white to a very light grey and draw your gradient line on the background.

Now just flatten your image (right-click the layers panel and select 'flatten image') and save as a high-quality jpeg or pdf. I would suggest selecting 'save for web+devices' (ctrl+alt+shift+s) and fiddling with those settings to get the optimum resolution. (the gradient becomes blocky when saving as regular jpeg).

There you have it! A snazzy-looking 3D effect on a simple shape. Check out the example of my own business cards to see (a few extra touches have been added to my version though, but the basic effect is the same).

Posted Image

Edited by BlackHalo, 10 March 2008 - 02:45 PM.

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#21
Teh King

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Wow, thanks - I'm using Photoshop right now, and I didn't know that Defringe tool.

Thanks
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#22
ibili365

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Thanks for all the information above
I'm learning Photoshop now,it is very useful :)
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#23
donkeyB

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Thank you for all of the above-mentioned posts. I'm new so Photoshop is pretty foreign to me. but thanks to your posts, I understand more about this, and hope that I can make good photoshop work sooner
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#24
iAmXquisite

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Hi ditto,

sorry for the late response. Yes this is what I wanted. I just always thought there was an easier way since all of the magazines and newspapers seem to use this method quite regularly.

Cheers!


Just for anyone who was wondering how Magazines & Newspapers get those nice cuts well they you the Pen Tool this tool has been proven to be real efficient and useful when used properly!

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#25
getgeeky

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can i request for a photoshop tutorial about creating website layouts?
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