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T H E A D O B E® P H O T O S H O P

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“ H O W -T 0 ” M A G A Z I N E › › N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6

how to use the DYNAMIC Learn Mixer Brush to convert your RANGE photographs into works of art

Create custom brushes to add texture and other effects to photographs and paintings

BEGINNERS’ WORKSHOP

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF

Painting in the 21st Century

Photoshop, graphics tablets, and pen computers have given modern-day artists the power to push their creativity beyond the limits of their imaginations

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Kevin Newsome


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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November 2016

FEATURE

62 Elton & Leon

Image: Jason Seiler; Layout: Jessica Maldonado

Jason Seiler’s illustrations and paintings have appeared in many major publications, including Rolling Stone, Billboard, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. He even painted Pope Francis for the cover of TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” issue in 2013. So we were ecstatic when Jason agreed to write an article for us showing his Photoshop workflow for his Elton John and Leon Russell image that he painted for Rolling Stone. So turn the page, kick back, and prepare to learn from a master. Jason Seiler

Departments

From the Editor

Contributing Writers

About Photoshop User Magazine

KelbyOne Community

Exposed: Industry News

Photoshop User Quiz

From the Help Desk

Reviews

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DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT Whenever you see this symbol at the end of an article, it means there are either downloadable practice files or additional content for KelbyOne members at http://kelbyone.com/magazine.

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Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

Corel Painter 2017 Hydra 4

Aurora HDR 2017 for Mac Crucial MX300 525-GB SSD Triflector MKII Frame + Silver/White Panels iOgrapher Ultimate Live Stream Kit for iPhone

Photoshop Book Reviews

All lighting diagrams courtesy of Sylights

Click this symbol above to access the Table of Contents.


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KELBYONE.COM

020 DOWN & DIRTY TRICKS 028 DOWN & DIRTY TRICKS 0 38 BEGINNERS’ WORKSHOP 050 PHOTOSHOP PROVING GROUND 0 54 PHOTOSHOP TIPS 056 DESIGN MAKEOVER 060 INDESIGN TIPS 078 PHOTOGRAPHY SECRETS 3D Title Effect for Bada$$ Effects Book

Corey Barker

How-To

Clone Stamp Painting

Boost Your Productivity and Creativity

©Adobe Stock/David MacFarlane

How to Create a Custom Brush

©Adobe Stock

Backyard Jungle

Advance and Enhance Your InDesign Skills

Painting’s Brushstroke on Photography

DYNAMIC RANGE

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Realistic Photo to Painting

©Adobe Stock/gera85

Do you have a particular photo that you think would make an awesome painting, but you don’t want to cheat and simply run it through a filter or a Photoshop plugin? But you don’t want to paint it from scratch either. The compromise? Use the Mixer Brush with the Bristle Brush tips to manually turn your photo into a painting. Not only will it be more realistic than a filter or plug-in but it will also be much more rewarding. Kirk Nelson

©Adobe Stock/gromovataya

Tool Time


A FEW WORDS FROM

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SCOTT KELBY

From the Editor

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › n o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6

lightroom magazine spreads its wings

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As we kick off the month of November, there’s lots of fun stuff going on here at KelbyOne. Let’s start with the big news: we’re giving our Lightroom Magazine section its own wings, as it now becomes its own separate standalone magazine (so it won’t be just a section here in Photoshop User—it will now be “its own thing,” and we’re very excited about the opportunities that brings). Spinning off Lightroom Magazine into its own separate magazine allows us to expand our Lightroom coverage going forward, and to include photography articles and features that relate to the people reading it. That way, Photoshop User stays focused on Photoshop (and the Creative Cloud applications that surround it), and Lightroom Magazine can focus on Lightroom (of course) and photography topics. Don’t worry—as a KelbyOne member, you’ll receive both magazines as part of your membership. Look for Photoshop User at the beginning of each month (except for the months of June and July because that’s our May/June and July/August issues), and Lightroom Magazine in the middle of the month. Also (and this is huge!), we’re putting an archive from the past two years of Lightroom Magazine on the KelbyOne member site so you can easily access any issues you’ve missed. Hey, speaking of back issues, we’ve done the same for Photoshop User as well—we have back issues available online going back to January of 2014, and this access is included as part of your membership. Remember, our goal each year is to make your KelbyOne membership more valuable than it was the year before. That’s our mantra; it’s what drives us forward each year. And what we have planned for 2017 will make your membership more valuable than ever. Over on the KelbyOne site, we’ve made two pretty significant improvements to our member experience. First, we’ve worked hard to increase the speed and responsiveness of the site, with optimized faster-loading pages and

videos, and we think you’ll immediately see the difference. And second, when you’re watching a course, we’ve made jumping to any lesson in that course much easier and much more intuitive because the lessons are now listed right below the player (instead of having to click that tiny little arrow to bring up a pop-up menu of lessons). It makes things so much easier that you’re going to dig it. There’s so much more to come, and we’re already working on the next batch of improvements and tweaks, but those are two things that I think will make your experience that much better. There’s lots of cool stuff here in the mag as well. Our cover story this issue is from Jason Seiler and it’s called “Elton & Leon.” Jason talks about his process for creating his digital painting of Elton John and Leon Russell for Rolling Stone magazine. Very slick! In our “Beginners’ Workshop” column, Lesa Snider shows how to create a custom brush for painting effects, and in our “Dynamic Range” column, Kirk Nelson teaches us how to use the Mixer Brush to manually convert a photograph into a painting. Scott Valentine gives us some unique ways to use the Clone Stamp tool and panel to create painterly and special effects using a photograph in our “Photoshop Proving Ground” column, and in “Photography Secrets,” Sean Arbabi discusses how classical paintings have influenced the art of photography. Plus, of course, there’s news, reviews, and a whole lot more. Finally, registration is now open for the Photoshop World 2017 Conference coming up in Orlando, Florida, on April 20–22. Register by March 17, 2017, to get EarlyBird pricing (and of course, as a KelbyOne member, you automatically save $200 on a full-price conference pass). That’s it for now (whew!). Lots of great stuff happening. I’m glad you’re here to be a part of it all, and we’re grateful for your support by being a KelbyOne member and Photoshop User (and now Lightroom Magazine) reader. All my best,

Scott Kelby KelbyOne President & CEO Editor & Publisher, Photoshop User


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The official publication of KelbyOne NOVEMBER 2016 • Volume 19 • Number 9

EDITORIAL:

Scott Kelby, Editor-in-Chief Chris Main, Managing Editor Kim Doty, Associate Editor

Contributing Writers

Sean Arbabi • Corey Barker • Peter Bauer • Larry Becker Dave Clayton • Michael Corsentino • Kirk Nelson • Jason Seiler Colin Smith • Lesa Snider • Scott Valentine • Erik Vlietinck Jake Widman

GRAPHICS:

Jessica Maldonado, Art Director Margie Rosenstein, Senior Graphic Designer Angela Naymick, Graphic Designer

MARKETING:

Adam Blinzler • Kleber Stephenson • Melissa White

WEB:

Adam Frick • Brandon Nourse • Yojance Rabelo • Aaron Westgate

PUBLISHING:

Scott Kelby, Publisher Kalebra Kelby, Executive V.P. Jean A. Kendra, Business Manager

ADVERTISING:

Jeanne Jilleba, Advertising Coordinator 800-201-7323 ext. 152

HOW TO CONTACT KELBYONE:

U.S. Mail: 118 Douglas Road East • Oldsmar, FL 34677-2922 Voice: 813-433-5000 • Fax: 813-433-5015 Customer Service: info@kelbymediagroup.com Letters to the Editor: letters@photoshopuser.com Letters to the Lightroom Editor: lightroom@photoshopuser.com Help Desk: http://kelbyone.com/my-account/helpdesk

COLOPHON:

Photoshop User was produced using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5 and Adobe InDesign CC 2015. Roboto was used for headlines and subheads. Frutiger LT Std for text.

This seal indicates that all content provided herein is produced by KelbyOne, LLC and follows the most stringent standards for educational resources. KelbyOne is the premier source for instructional books, DVDs, online classes, and live seminars for creative professionals.

JASON SEILER

| fuel for creativity

All contents ©COPYRIGHT 2016 KelbyOne, LLC. All rights reserved. Any use of the contents of this publication without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Photoshop User is an independent journal, not affiliated in any way with Adobe Systems, Inc. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Photoshop are registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks mentioned belong to their respective owners. Some of the views expressed by contributors may not be the representative views of the publisher. ISSN 2470-7031 (online)


PHOTOSHOP’S MOST WANTED

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Contributing Writers SEAN ARBABI

COREY BARKER

is an award-winning designer and illustrator. A featured instructor at the Photoshop World Conference and an Adobe MAX Master Instructor, he has produced numerous training titles for KelbyOne. Look for his latest book Photoshop Tricks for Designers.

PETER BAUER

is an Adobe Certified Expert that does computer graphics consulting for a select group of corporate clients. His latest book is Photoshop CC for Dummies. He was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2010.

LARRY BECKER

is an author, trainer, speaker, and tech aficionado. He is the founder and lead trainer at LarryBecker.tv, where they teach small businesses and entrepreneurs how to create their own professional-looking videos in-house without hiring a video production team.

DAVE CLAYTON

is a KelbyOne instructor, designer, and creative specialist with more than 30 years experience. He specializes in creating branding projects and logos and has been published by Peachpit and KelbyOne. He’s also an Adobe Influencer and ACA in InDesign.

MICHAEL CORSENTINO

is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer, Photoshop and Lightroom expert, author, columnist for Shutter Magazine and Resource Magazine, and speaker and international workshop leader. Learn more at www.michaelcorsentino.com.

KIRK NELSON

is a professional graphics artist in the Washington, D.C., area. He has a B.A. from George Mason University and is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop. Kirk’s career has touched on a broad range of subjects from logo design to animation. He can be reached here.

JASON SEILER

is a Chicago-based artist whose work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, TIME, The New Yorker, The New York Times, MAD Magazine, and many others. Jason also worked as a character designer on Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, and he painted six stamps for the USPS Forever Series.

COLIN SMITH

is an award-winning digital artist, photographer, and lecturer who has authored 19 books and has created a series of training videos. Colin is also the founder of the online resource PhotoshopCAFE.com and president of Software-Cinema.com.

LESA SNIDER

is the author of Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC for Photographers: Classroom in a Book (2016), Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual, Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual, TheSkinnyBooks.com, more than 40 video courses, and the “Creaticity” column for Macworld.

SCOTT VALENTINE

is a member of Adobe’s prerelease team, an Adobe Community Professional, and Photoshop author. His books include The Hidden Power of Adjustment Layers and The Hidden Power of Blend Modes (both by Adobe Press). Keep up with him at scoxel.com.

ERIK VLIETINCK

founded IT Enquirer in 1999. A J.D. by education, Erik has been a freelance technology editor for more than 22 years. He has written for Macworld, Computer Arts, Windows NT Magazine, IT Week, New Media Age, and many others. He also contributes to UK-based Red Shark News and Red Shark Sound.

JAKE WIDMAN

is a writer and editor who lives in San Francisco. He’s been covering the intersection of computers and graphic design for about 25 years now—since back when it was called “desktop publishing” and Photoshop was just a piece of scanning software.

› › k e l b yo n e . c o m

has been a widely published commercial photographer for the past 25 years. He authored The Complete Guide to Nature Photography (Crown Publishing) and produced a video series on the Nik Collection (Peachpit). For more information, visit seanarbabi.com.

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ABOUT PHOTOSHOP USER

Photoshop User Magazine

Images: Jason Seiler

Photoshop User magazine is the official publication of KelbyOne. As a KelbyOne member, you automatically receive Photoshop User ten times a year. Each issue features in-depth Photoshop, Lightroom, and photo­ graphy tutorials written by the most talented designers, photographers, and leading authors in the industry.

About KelbyOne KELBYONE

is the world’s leading resource for Adobe® Photoshop®, Lightroom®, and photography training, news, and education. Founded in 1998 as the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), KelbyOne has evolved from NAPP and KelbyTraining to create a singular hub for creative people to learn, grow, and inspire. From photographers to graphic designers, beginners to professionals, KelbyOne is open to everyone. There’s no faster, easier, and more affordable way to get really good at Photoshop and photography. You can join for only $19.99 per month or $199 U.S. for a full year of training. To learn more, visit www.kelbyone.com.

MEMBER DISCOUNTS

Save anywhere from 2–3 times your membership cost by using our many industry-related discounts.

ONLINE SUPPORT

Fast, friendly Photoshop, Lightroom, and photo gear help; equipment advice; and more from certified experts at the KelbyOne Help Desk.

MEMBER COMMUNITY

Member Benefits › › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › n o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6

PHOTOSHOP USER MAGAZINE

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Ten issues of the best Photoshop and Lightroom tutorial-based magazine in the industry.

MEMBERS-ONLY WEBSITE

KelbyOne members range from beginners to pros and love to lend each other a hand. Together, we have built the friendliest, most knowledgeable Photoshop and photography community on the Web.

NEWS & REVIEWS

Unbiased coverage on the latest equipment, plug-ins, and programs in the marketplace.

Our extensive website features time- and money-saving content.

ONLINE CLASSES & EDUCATION

Thousands of Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography tutorials, full online classes, and quick-tip videos.

MONTHLY E-NEWSLETTER

The KelbyOne Newsletter is your monthly connection to everything KelbyOne. It’s produced exclusively for members to keep you informed of everything new in the industry and at KelbyOne headquarters.

FIND KELBYONE MEMBERSHIP DETAILS AT kelbyone.com or call 800-201-7323 Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST.


This is a life choice. You choose to live creatively. You decide that any minute could be the moment that you capture and turn into something greater. Then you keep your camera at the ready and your designs in your head. Because if you only get one shot at something, you’re going to take it for all it’s worth. Fuel your creativity.

Easy online training from the best in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photography. www.kelbyone.com


KelbyOne Community › ›

Inspiration, information, and member musings to fuel your creative think tank By Chris Main and Dave Clayton

Photoshop World Conference 2017 Special Pricing Just for You

You may have noticed that your KelbyOne member dashboard has a new sleeker look and is faster to log into. Some of the changes include larger thumbnail previews of the classes so you can easily see the video you’re accessing, a progress bar so you can see which videos you’ve completed and which ones you need to continue, and the option to view your dashboard in list mode or grid mode.

Registration for Photoshop World 2017 in Orlando is now open. As a KelbyOne member you already get $100 off but if you register during our Early-Bird pricing, you can take another $100 off for a total savings of $200! In addition to the conference tracks, workshops, and learning labs, there are several special events, including Portfolio Reviews, Dinner with a Stranger, an after-hours party, live natural shoots, and Midnight Madness.

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Another notable change is “My Favorites” is now called “My Bookmarks.” When watching a course, you can easily bookmark it by clicking the icon at the top-right corner of the page and then accessing it directly on your dashboard. Don’t worry; we’re not stopping here! We’ll have more changes to come, as we’re always working hard to make your KelbyOne experience better.

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Kevin Newsome

Your KelbyOne Dashboard Received a Facelift for a Faster Login Experience

Also, attendees have the opportunity to submit their work to the Guru Awards competition. There are seven categories to choose from: Artistic, Photography, Photo Restoration, Commercial, Photo Montage, Photo Retouching, and Illustration. The winners from each category, as well as a Best of Show winner, will receive special prizes from our sponsors. We’re also bringing back the Film Festival this year! Attendees can submit a short video of their own creation for a chance to win prizes. Both contests are free to enter and give everyone a chance to showcase their hard work. So join us from April 20–22, 2017 (preconference events available on April 19), at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, for Photoshop World 2017 for three days of fun, networking, and hands-on learning!


KelbyOne ARTIST SPOTLIGHT >> Scott Wiggins > MEMBER SINCE 2006

KelbyOne ARTIST SPOTLIGHT >> Lee Mandrell MEMBER SINCE 2016

KelbyOne ARTIST SPOTLIGHT >> Chris Nicholson > MEMBER SINCE 2016


Who’s Who in the KelbyOne Community >> Regina Wyllie MEMBER SINCE 2016


KelbyOne Community Glyn Dewis was recently presenting in Scottland when he met Regina Wyllie. He was blown away by her knowledge and talent, especially since she’s only 10 years old. She has even shot a wedding on her own. After Glyn told her about KelbyOne, Regina immediately joined, so we thought it would be amazing to interview her here in the magazine. So how did your love of photography begin? When I was three years old, I asked my dad, who is a professional photographer, if I could tag along while he shot a mountain bike race. I picked up his wee compact camera and started snapping away. After that I just kept picking up the cameras that were around our house and asking my dad to teach me how to use them properly. Since then I’ve been on fashion and portrait shoots, trash the dress shoots, and even photographed the Mountain Bike World Cup with my dad. What keeps you wanting to learn and shoot more? I love watching the reaction of people’s faces when they see a nice photograph of themselves. I also enjoy taking landscape photographs and seeing how people react to those. It’s nice being able to take my wee camera and use it to create something that makes people smile. What do you love shooting the most? I’ve shot a couple of weddings now and some parts can be a wee bit difficult, such as trying to capture “The Kiss” at the end of the ceremony and shooting the first dance. I love taking the candid shots during the day when people aren’t expecting me to shoot them. Do you remember the first photo you took that made you say, “This is what I want to do”? One of my favorite shots was at the first wedding, when the couple’s daughter gave her wee brother a big hug during the ceremony. I love the fact that it captures a lot of emotion between them. Probably the first shots I took that made me want to shoot more were sunsets at a beach near where we live. We get some amazing sunsets on the West Coast of Scotland and my dad takes us to the beach anytime he can, and we always take our cameras. Do you follow other photographers or have any favorite books or websites that have helped? I really like watching the photographers on programs like America’s Next Top Model, as it lets me see how they

photograph big fashion shoots. I recently met Glyn Dewis, and it was amazing to watch how he can change an image using Photoshop, so I’ve started following him and want to learn more about what he does. I also like Rick Sammon and love his videos on KelbyOne about setting up a home studio (I’ve already started using some of his techniques to practice taking portraits of my wee sister). What would be your dream shoot? I would absolutely love to photograph the singer Christina Perri, as I love her music and think she has an amazing style. I think it would be really cool to do a photoshoot with her in the rain. I might shoot her in black and white, but definitely in the rain. I love taking landscape photographs too, and want to explore more of the world using my camera to record it, as I think it would be really nice to be able to come back home with great photos of my journeys. What are some things you’d like to learn to improve your photography? I really want to learn more about Photoshop and how you can create something completely different from the original shot. Seeing how easy it was for Glyn to make his amazing images was a big surprise for me as my dad doesn’t really use Photoshop very much. Having a membership for KelbyOne means that I can go online to learn the things that I want to learn, which my dad can’t teach me. What’s in your kit bag at the moment, and what’s on your want list? I currently have a Fujifilm X-T1, with an X-E1 as backup, and have the XF35mmF1.4, XF18mmF2, and XF18–135mm lenses. I would love the new X-T2 (the X-Pro2 is nice, but I love the flippy screen on my X-T1) and the 56mmF1.2 lens for portraits, the 10–24mm lens for my landscapes, and the 50–140mmF2.8 for when I need a longer lens. You’re the youngest person we’ve ever interviewed. What advice can you give to other kids your age? If you really want to try photography, you should give it a go—there’s not much to stop you. Most smartphones have decent cameras on them and you can start learning by using one of those. If you can progress onto a compact camera or bridge camera, even better. Learn how to use your camera on Manual mode—you’ll make lots of mistakes but this will help you learn how to get your camera to do what you want it to do. Don’t give up. If this is something that you really want to do, don’t let anything stop you. ■ CLICK TO RATE

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Who’s Who in the KelbyOne Community

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NEW ONLINE TRAINING COURSE AT KELBYONE, WE HAVE A NEW ONLINE CLASS EV

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › n o v e m b e r 2 0 16

Gain a solid foundation for creating better images once the sun goes down. In this class, Gabe Biderman discusses all of the tools you’ll need, the importance of scouting locations, how to play with time and movement, and how to shoot everything from cityscapes to fireworks and start trails to moonlit landscapes.

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Join Scott Kelby for a class devoted to teaching you how to remove all of those distracting elements from your photographs. Whether it is unwanted bright spots, power lines stretching across a sky, walls covered in graffiti, or too many tourists in your landscape (to name a few), Scott has a technique to save the day.


EVERY WEEK

ES VERY WEEK—HERE IS YOUR MONTHLY ROUNDUP

In this inspiring class, Karen Hutton teaches you how to find your artistic voice in order to create unique photos that represent you. Karen shares exercises like observing light in all of it’s many facets and noticing color patterns in your work so you can take these observations and create amazing images.

› › k e l byo n e . c o m

Join Larry Becker as he walks you through the important things you’ll want to know about your new D500. Larry focuses on the things you need to know to get the most out of your camera. Learn the basics of navigating the buttons and dials, where to find key settings, and a wealth of tips & insights to help you feel like a master user by the end of the class.

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Exp sed: Industry News › ›

The latest news about photography gear, software, and services By Chris Main

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › n o v e m b e r 2 0 16

Manfrotto Premieres New Tripod Kits at PhotoPlus Expo

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Manfrotto recently announced Befree Live—the smallest and most versatile video tripod and kits in the Manfrotto range—which they showcased at PhotoPlus Expo in New York City. This new lightweight, high-quality video tripod is intuitive and easy to use with the Befree Live Fluid head that features a stable fluid drag system to ensure smooth pan and tilt along with precise leveling. The video head is compatible with the existing Befree family of products. Befree Live is designed for the needs of emerging CSC and DSLR content creators, including vloggers and mobile journalists. The new Manfrotto Befree Live foldable video tripod has all the quality characteristics that made the Befree line such a success. The tripod reliably supports a payload of 8.8 lbs., extends to a height of 59.4", and folds down to 16.5". It weighs only 3.9 lbs. and also features a sliding plate for use with a wide array of camcorders, CSCs, and DSLRs. It has larger feet and a special hook for extra stability. The following models will be available this fall: Befree Live Fluid Head with Befree Aluminum Tripod kit ($239.99); Befree Live Fluid Video Head ($99.99); and the 290 Light Aluminum with Befree Live Fluid Video Head kit ($169.99).

olloclip Reveals New Lens Sets for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus olloclip recently announced newly designed mobile photography lens sets for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: the Core, Active, and Macro Pro lens sets. The updated designs feature new premium multi-element optics, and the new Connect interchangeable lens system. The new Connect interchangeable lens system attaches and aligns instantly to both the front and rear cameras of the iPhone with no extra parts required. The hinged lens base of the Connect system swivels independently and is designed to be screen-protector friendly (up to .5mm), adapting to keep the lens flush with the camera for improved optical performance. The Core Lens Set ($99.99) features a Fisheye (near 180° spherical effect), a Super-Wide (more than 120° field of view), and a Macro 15x lens that offer a diverse range of options for capturing and sharing unique perspectives. The Active Lens Set ($119.99) offers Telephoto and Ultra-Wide lenses for a 2x optical zoom and a 155° field of view, respectively, making it easy to shoot farther and wider with your iPhone. The Macro Pro Lens Set ($79.99) transforms the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus into a digital microscope or loupe with three versatile lens options: Macro 7x, Macro 14x, and Macro 21x. Advanced six-element optics allow users to get extra close to capture beautiful macro shots with edge-to-edge clarity, greater depth of field, and less pincushion distortion. The InstaFocus hoods naturally collect and diffuse light and facilitate instant focusing. The new lenses should be available in early November.


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Bowens Introduces the Generation X Flash Range The new Generation X flash range by Bowens was debuted at PhotoPlus Expo in New York City. Generation X comprises two new flash systems: the XMT, which is an all-in-one battery unit for location lighting, and the XMS, which are engineered to be the go-to system for photographers who need a functionrich and reliable flash in the studio. The all-new Bowens XMT 500 Pro Traveler Monolight boasts TTL and high-speed sync functionality (up to 1/8000) compatible with Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras; nine stops of flash power adjustment; flash durations as short as 1/10,309: faster recycle times than ever before (as rapid as 0.01 seconds); easy swap lithium-ion battery, which provides up to 500 full power flashes per charge; and rear curtain sync, sync delay, and strobe mode for creative lighting setups.

The Bowens XMS Pro Studio Monolights, available in 500, 750, and 1000Ws models (all fully controllable via the XMSR 2.4-Ghz radio control and trigger) feature multi-voltage operation, plus outstanding specifications with faster recycling times and flash durations. The XMSR model includes Bowens Sync Offset functionality, enabling photographers to embrace any brand of camera to shoot at high sync speeds of up to 1/8000. The XMS 500 will retail for $1,099.99, the XMS 750 for $1,299.99, the XMS 1000 for $1,499.99, and the XMT 500 for $1,799.99.

e x p o s e d: i n d u st ry n e w s

electromagnetic diaphragm for consistent autoexposure control. Additionally, a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables ultra-fast and quiet AF operation, and assignable function buttons on the lens barrel offer customization for engaging pre-set autofocus or other focusing options. A new optical formula consisting of six ED elements, one Fluorite element, a high refractive element, and Nano Crystal Coat helps make for a lighter and more versatile lens, while reducing chromatic aberration and helping to all but eliminate distortion, ghosting, and flare. The magnesium alloy lens barrel features superior weather-sealing. The PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED is a tilt-shift lens that helps capture optically-challenging subjects such as cityscapes and architecture, interiors, or unique landscapes. It offers 97° of coverage—the widest focal length of any PC lens in the NIKKOR family. For the first time with a NIKKOR PC lens, the direction of tilt operation can be made parallel or perpendicular to shift, offering users the ability to control perspective, focus, and depth-of-field, without having to lock and unlock to make adjustments. The PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED was crafted with three ED and two aspherical elements that help combat distortion and glare, while virtually eliminating chromatic aberration and coma, even at the widest aperture settings. The lens also features core NIKKOR technologies such as Nano Crystal Coat to combat ghosting and flare, and an electromagnetic diaphragm for fast auto-exposure control.

Nikon announced two new FX-format lenses: the newly redesigned AF-S NIKKOR 70–200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR and the PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED tilt-shift lens. The updated AF-S NIKKOR 70–200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR provides up to four stops of Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization, an improvement from its predecessor that helps users to eliminate blur and camera shake. During burst shooting, the lens takes advantage of an

Both the AF-S NIKKOR 70–200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR and PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED will be available starting in November for suggested retail prices of $2,799.95 and $3,399.95, respectively. ■ CLICK TO RATE

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Nikon Adds Two New Professional FX-Format Lenses to Its Lineup

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HOW TO › ›

Down &Dirty Tricks

3d title effect for bada$$ effects book BY COREY BARKER

In this issue’s “Down & Dirty Tricks” you’ll learn how I used 3D in Photoshop to create the subtitle art for my Photoshop Tricks for Designers: How to Create Bada$$ Effects in Photoshop book. You can achieve some really impressive effects in a fraction of the time that it would take to create them in other 3D applications— all without ever leaving Photoshop.


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Step One: Start by opening the start_file.psd file from the exercise download, or create a new document (File>New) that’s 2000x1000 pixels. When the new document opens, press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to invert the background from white to black. [KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at http://kelbyone.com/magazine. All files are for personal use only.] Step Two: Once you either open the download file or create a new document, click on the Foreground color swatch near the bottom of the Toolbar to open the Color Picker, and set the color to a yellow-orange (R: 247, G: 148, and B: 29), or choose any color you want to use. Click OK to close the Color Picker.

Step Four: Press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to activate Free Transform. Right-click on the object and choose Skew from the contextual menu. Go to the left side of the transform bounding box, and hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key as you click-and-drag the middle control handle downward. Holding the Option (PC: Alt) key will skew the text based on the center of the bounding box. Once done, press Enter to commit the transformation.

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Step Three: The text is already set in the download file, so if you’re using that file, double-click the type thumbnail in the Layers panel to activate the Type tool and to select the text. Press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the text with the yellowgold color. If you’re using your own file and setting your own text, select the Type tool (T) and click on the canvas to set a text layer. Using a bold font, type the title or name you want to apply. Here we used a font from Typekit called Antique Olive Nord D. If you’re typing multiple words, press Return (PC: Enter) after each word to stack the text and then format each word so the lines are equal in length. In this case, we highlighted the top word, increased the size a couple points, and tracked it out a little until it was roughly the same width as the bottom line. To track out the text, select the entire word with the Type tool, hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, and press the Right Arrow key on your keyboard several times. This will add space between each letter. If you need to decrease the space between the letters, press the Left Arrow instead. You may need to adjust the leading as well, which is the space between each line of text. Again, do this by selecting all the text or just the bottom line, hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, and use the Up or Down Arrows, whichever is necessary to make a little space between the words.

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Step Five: Now that we’ve completed the initial setup for the text, it’s time to convert it to 3D. Go under the 3D menu and choose New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. If Photoshop asks if you’d like to switch to the 3D Workspace, click Yes. The text will be extruded and converted to a 3D layer. If you didn’t switch to the 3D workspace, open the 3D and Properties panels, which are located under the Window menu. You need to have both panels open when editing 3D.

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Step Six: In the 3D panel, select the 3D object BADA$$ EFFECTS in the main list. Go to the Properties panel and set the Extrusion Depth to 75 px.

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Step Seven

Step Seven: In the Properties panel, click on the Cap tab, which is the third icon from the left at the top of the panel. Here’s where you set the Bevel and Inflate. Start by setting the Bevel Width to 10%, then click on the Contour thumbnail to open the Contour Editor. You’ll see a 45° line that represents a profile view of the default bevel. Clicking directly on the path will add a new control point that you can drag around to alter the shape of the bevel. Here we added two points and positioned them as you see here. When you click OK, you’ll see the shape updated. Under Inflate, set the Angle to 50° and the Strength to 3%.


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Step Eight: Go back to the 3D panel and select the BADA$$ EFFECTS Extrusion Material in the list. In the Properties panel, click on the swatch next to Diffuse at the top. When the Color Picker opens, choose black or a really dark-gray color (I chose R: 73, G: 73, and B: 73). Click OK.

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Step Nine: In the Properties panel, set the Shine to 75% and the Reflection to 50%. Just below the Diffuse setting, click on the swatch next to Specular and choose a slightly lighter gray color in the Color Picker to allow a brighter specular highlight on the black extrusion. With the Move tool (V) selected, choose the Orbit the 3D Camera tool; it’s the first icon in the 3D Mode section on the right of the Options Bar. Select Current View in the 3D panel, and click-anddrag in the canvas to rotate your view of the text. As you can see here, the reflection of the default IBL (Image Based Light) is now visible on the extrusion surface. We’ll be changing this into a custom IBL in a little bit. Click Default Camera at the bottom of the list in the 3D panel to return to the default front view. Step Nine

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Step 10: In the 3D panel, click on the BADA$$ EFFECTS Front Inflation Material, hold down the Shift key, and click on the BADA$$ EFFECTS Front Bevel Material so they’re both selected. In the Properties panel, set both the Shine and Reflection to 75%. Also set the Roughness to 10%. This will slightly blur the reflection when rendered. You’ll see the default Image Based Light reflected on this surface, which is good, but again, we’ll be changing this in a bit.

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Step 11: In the 3D panel, click on Environment, then in the Properties panel, look for the IBL setting at the top. In the thumbnail preview for the IBL, you’ll see the default is a gray background with some white dots. Click on the icon to the right of the thumbnail preview and choose New Texture from the IBL menu. Just make the new document 1000 x1000 pixels at 100 ppi, click on the color swatch to the right of the Background Contents dropdown menu, select black in the Color Picker, and click OK twice.

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Step 13: With Environment still selected in the 3D panel, switch to the Move tool. You’ll see a small black sphere appear in the middle of the canvas. This is a model of the IBL that surrounds the text. If you use the Orbit the 3D Camera tool to move it around, you’ll see the specular reflections change on the surface. We’ll finalize the position of this reflection in a minute. Step 14: At this point the surface effects are done, but feel free to play with different color and surface effects to get a better idea of how they work. The last steps are to set up the camera and final position of the text, add the final lighting, and render. First, go to the 3D panel and select Current View, which is the current active camera that we’re using to view the 3D object now. In the Properties panel, you’ll see the 3D Camera settings. Here we want to create a dramatic wideangle effect, so go to the FOV (Field of View) and set it to a 25 mm lens. You’ll see the object move back in space because of the virtual lens change. Just select the Slide the 3D Camera tool in the Options Bar, then click-and-drag down in the canvas to bring the camera closer to the text.

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Step 12: Go back to the IBL menu and choose Edit Texture. Select the Gradient tool in the Toolbar. (Note: If you switched to the 3D workspace, you won’t see the Gradient tool in the Toolbar. Click-and-hold on the three dots right above the color swatches in the Toolbar and you’ll see a long list of tools. The Gradient tool will be in that list.) In the Options Bar, choose the Radial Gradient type, and select the Foreground to Transparent preset in the Gradient Picker. Finally, set the Foreground color to white by pressing D then X. Zoom out of the document so you can see the area outside the visible canvas. Start a gradient in the upper-left corner just outside the canvas area, and drag in toward the center of the canvas. Then add a smaller gradient in the bottom-right corner. That’s it. Close the document and save the changes. While still in the Environment settings, go to the Ground Plane Shadows settings and change the default Opacity of 60% to 0%.

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Step 15: Select the Orbit the 3D Camera tool in the Options Bar and rotate the view to get a more upward viewing angle so you can see the extruded sides. You’ll notice the IBL changes when you move the camera; we’ll fix that in a moment.

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Step 16: Go to the Lights section of the 3D panel (fourth tab at the top) and select the Infinite Light. This was created when we first created the 3D object. It’s a directional light, but it’s evenly distributed over the entire object. Go to the Type drop-down menu in the Properties panel and change it to a Point light. This is a small wireframe ball that emits light in all directions. Once you switch the light, click the Move to View icon directly below the Infinite Light settings in the Properties panel. This will place the light front and center. Use the 3D tools in the Options Bar to position the point light above the object as you see here. Lights can be tricky at first, so you’ll want to practice a little if you’ve never used them before. You can’t rotate a point light but you can move it horizontally and vertically using the Drag the 3D Object tool, and forward and back using the Slide the 3D Object tool. As you get the light closer to the text, it will become more focused.


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Step 17

Step 17: Select Environment in the 3D panel and then use the Orbit the 3D Camera tool to move the IBL around until you see a reflection you like. Now you can start the render to see how it’s going to look. Go under the 3D menu and choose Render 3D Layer, or press Shift-Option-Command-R (PC: Shift-Option-Ctrl-R). You’ll be able to tell early in the render how things will look. If you see any changes you want to make (which I know you will), press Escape to cancel the render and make your adjustments. You can even change the text by selecting the BADA$$ EFFECTS text object in the 3D panel, and then clicking the Edit Source button in the Properties panel. The original document will open. Just use the Type tool to highlight the text and input new text. When done, close the document and save the changes. The 3D text will be updated with all the effects still in place. You may need to adjust the lighting and camera view a little. When you’re done, just start the render again. ■

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Down &Dirty Tricks

backyard jungle BY KIRK NELSON

Summer is over now, but one of the most time-honored traditions of the American homeowner is procrastinating the weekly lawn care. The grass has a way of subtly dissuading this type of behavior because the following week the task becomes twice as difficult. Put it off for yet another week and you could find yourself faced with quite the backyard jungle! This project seeks to capture that feeling of being overwhelmed by simple grass. It uses a handful of stock images from Adobe Stock and several different compositing techniques to bring the full scene together.


› › DOWN AND DIRTY TRICKS

Step One: Start by creating a new document: Go to File>New and give the document a Width of 2000 px and a Height of 1062 px at 150 ppi. Also be sure to obtain the stock images that support this project. Those can be downloaded separately from Adobe Stock or they can be added through the Libraries panel, which can be opened with Window>Libraries. To add the images as watermarked previews to your Libraries panel so you can follow along with this exercise, click on the link for each image below. When the Adobe Stock webpage opens, make sure you’re logged in to your Adobe account. Then, to the right of each image on Adobe Stock, you’ll see the option to Save Preview to My Library (you can click on My Library to select a different library if you want). Click on the cloud-with-an-arrow icon, and the preview image will automatically be downloaded to your Libraries panel in Photoshop.  ack yard house exterior • B with spacious wooden deck • Grass on white background • Grass • Mowing job • The green grass

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©Adobe Stock/Iriana Shiyan

Step Two: Add the stock image of the backyard either by going to File>Place Embedded or dragging the image in from your Libraries panel. When you drag it in from the Libraries panel, the image should already be in Free Transform mode, but if it’s not, press Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) to enter Free Transform. Right-click inside the bounding box, and choose Flip Horizontal. Hold the Shift key and drag a corner point to resize the backyard image so it’s taller than the height of the document and drag it into position on the right side. Then, add some additional perspective to the image by Right-clicking in the bounding box again and choosing Perspective. Pull one of the top corners inward to give the appearance that the camera is lower than it actually is. Press Enter to commit the transformation.

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Step Three: The far left side is currently blank, so it needs to be filled in. Content-Aware Fill is the best way to do that, but that feature doesn’t work on a smart object. To get around this, create a rasterized copy of the backyard layer by pressing Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to Select All, then Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the layer (Layer 1). Then, use the Polygonal Lasso tool (nested under the Lasso tool [L] in the Toolbar) to select the blank left side and go to Edit>Fill. Set the Contents drop-down menu to Content-Aware and click OK to have Photoshop automatically fill in the empty area. Cancel the selection with Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D). ©Adobe Stock/Alekss

Step Four: Add the stock image of Green grass on white background either through File>Place Embedded, or drag-and-drop it from the Libraries panel. Duplicate the layer with Layer>Duplicate Layer. Set the blend mode of the first grass layer to Multiply in the Layers panel to render the white area invisible. On the duplicate layer, go to Layer>Layer Style>Blending Options. In the Blend If section, use the This Layer control and split the white handle on the right by holding down the Option (PC: Alt) key while dragging the handle. Set the left part of the handle to 114 and the right part to 248. This provides a softer transparency for the white background of the layer. Click OK.

Step Three

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Step Five: Add a Curves adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves) above the topmost grass layer. Clip it to that layer with Layer>Create Clipping Mask or by pressing Option-Command-G (PC: Alt-Ctrl-G). In the Properties panel, click to add two points to the curve, one at the top-right grid intersection, and another at the bottom left. Move both of these points downward slightly to darken the top grass layer.

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Step Six

Step Seven: Create four more copies of the merged grass layer (see Layers panel in Step Eight). Notice that the blending options carry over to the copies too. The idea here is to keep scaling and positioning the duplicate layers to completely fill in the visible yard with tall, thick grass. Remember that the further away the grass is from the viewer, the smaller it should appear.

©Adobe Stock/antpkr

Step Six: Select both grass layers and the curves layer by holding down the Shift key while clicking on each of them in the Layers panel. Go to Layer>Group Layers or press Command-G (PC: Ctrl-G) to put the selected layers into a single layer group. Double-click directly on the name of the group and rename it “Midground Grass.” Create a merged copy of that group by holding down the Option (PC: Alt) key and going to Layer>Merge Group. Use the same Blending Options technique to render the white area invisible. Position this layer beneath the layers group in the Layers panel, scale it down with Edit>Transform>Scale, and fill a portion of the yard behind the initial grass layers on the left side of the image.

Step Eight: Bring in the stock image simply called Grass and create a group of foreground grass. Use the same technique as the previous midground grass of using two layers (see Steps Four and Five), with the bottom one set to Multiply, and the top one with Blending Options and a clipped Curves layer. Then group them together into a single group named “Foreground Grass.” Use this group to fill the lower foreground area of the image.

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Step Nine: Duplicate the Foreground Grass layer group twice and transform the copies to fill in the foreground space with lush green blades of grass. Use Edit>Transform> Flip Horizontal on one of the groups so the duplication isn’t visibly obvious. Select all three groups and group them together with Layer>Group Layers or Command-G (PC: Ctrl-G). So now it’s a group of groups! Rename this top-level group to “Foreground Grass Groups,” and add a mask to it with Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Step 10: Switch to the Brush tool (B), and open the Brush Presets panel with Window> Brush Presets. Select the Dune Grass brush preset. Open the Brush panel with F5 or Window>Brush. Go to the Shape Dynamics properties and enable the Flip X Jitter option. Disable the Color Dynamics properties on the left. Set the Foreground color to black by tapping the D key for the default white and black followed by the X key to swap the Foreground and Background colors. Use the Dune Grass brush on the layer group mask to blend the foreground grass into the background grass.

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Step 11: Layer in the Mowing Job stock image and flip the layer with Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal. Transform the image until the man seems slightly shorter than the tips of the tall grass. Use the Quick Selection tool (W) to select the man, his mower, and the area of grass between his feet and the mower. If the tool selects an area you don’t want, hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key to use the tool in Subtract from Selection mode. When you’re happy with the selection, use it as a layer mask by clicking the Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the foot of the Layers panel.

©Adobe Stock/Alexey Stiop

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Step 12

Step 13: Layer in the stock image called The green grass. Convert the layer to a smart object (even if it came in that way already) with Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object. Double-click this smart object’s thumbnail in the Layers panel to open it in a new window. Go to Select>Color Range and use the first Eyedropper tool in the Color Range dialog to select the white background. Set the Fuzziness to 22, and enable the Invert option. At the bottom of the dialog, set the Selection Preview drop-down menu to Black Matte to see if you have a white halo around the grass. If you do, adjust the Fuzziness until the halo is gone. Click OK to create the selection and then use the selection as a layer mask by clicking the Add Layer Mask icon at the foot of the Layers panel. Close and save the smart object to see the update reflected in the main project.

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©Adobe Stock/Alex_Mac

Step 12: Make another copy of the Midground Grass layer group, and move this copy above the Mowing Job layer in the layer stack. Using the Move tool (V), drag the copy of this grass to the bottom of the image. Hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and click on the Mowing Job mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to load it as a selection. Go to Select>Inverse or press Shift-Command-I (PC: Shift-Ctrl-I). Use this inversed selection to create a mask on the copied Midground Grass layer group. Use the Dune Grass brush again to blend this grass group over the legs of the man and into the rest of the grass too. Set the brush to white when painting over his legs and mower to reveal the grass, and switch to black to blend in the other areas of grass.

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Step 14: Use Free Transform to scale the green grass layer up to fill the majority of the frame on the left; this creates the illusion that the grass really is massive and the man and mower are tiny. Go to Filter>Blur Gallery>Iris Blur. Set the center of the blur on the man’s shoulder. Drag the boundary of the blur ring to size it so it fully encompasses him, and set the Blur to 15 px in the Blur Tools panel. This will add a nice focal blur to the front grass and further enhance the illusion of giant, overgrown grass blades. Click OK in the Options Bar to apply the blur.

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Step 15: Go to Image>Adjustments> Curves to run a smart filter adjustment on the front green grass layer. Add a center point to the curve and pull it downward to darken the overall tone of the grass blades. Click OK. Then go to Image>Adjustments> Hue/Saturation and decrease the Saturation to –18 and the Lightness to –18. Click OK. Now the front grass blades should more closely match the color of the rest of the grass.


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Step 16: Make two copies of the green grass layer. Drag the top copy below the original green grass layer in the Layers panel, and use Free Transform to scale it slightly smaller and flip it horizontally. Using the Move tool (V), drag the other copy to the far right to obstruct the right edge of the frame. Make a copy of this layer, scale it down quite a bit smaller, and place it just to the right of the figure. Drag this copy below all the other green grass layers in the Layers panel. Remove the Blur Gallery smart filter setting from this smaller copy by dragging that line item to the Delete Layer icon (trash can) at the bottom of the Layers panel. Then add a 0.5 Pixel Gaussian Blur through Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. If needed, use a layer mask and the Brush tool set to black with a soft round tip to blend in the bottom edge of this layer. Finally, group together all the front green grass layers into a single layer group named “Front Grass.” Step 17: Add two layers above the Mowing Job layer, one named “Shadows” and the other named “Highlights” (see Layers panel in Step 18). Clip both layers to the Mowing Job layer with Layer>Create Clipping Mask or Option-Command-G (PC: Alt-Ctrl-G). On the Shadows layer, set the blend mode from Normal to Multiply near the top left of the Layers panel. Use a soft-round brush at 30% Opacity in the Options Bar. Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and click in the image to sample a darker color from the shadow areas. Gently paint on more shadows along the right edge of the figure and mower (use the Bracket keys on your keyboard to quickly change the size of your brush). Set the Highlights layer to Screen and sample a brighter color to paint an edge highlight along the edge opposite the shadows.

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Step 18: Go to Layer>New>Layer, and in the New Layer dialog, name the layer “Dodge/Burn.” Enable the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask option, set the Mode to Overlay, and enable the Fill with Overlay-Neutral Color (50% Gray) option before clicking OK. Use the Burn tool (nested under the Dodge tool [O] in the Toolbar) with the Range set to Midtones and Exposure set to 11% in the Options Bar to gently darken even more of the shadow areas on the figure and mower. Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key to temporarily switch to the Dodge tool to paint in additional highlight areas.

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Step 19: Add a new layer named “Flare” just above the Midground Grass layer group and below the Foreground Grass Groups. Grab the Gradient tool (G), and in the Options Bar use the Gradient Picker to select the Foreground to Transparent gradient and click the Radial Gradient icon. Then click on the Foreground color swatch, set it to a bright yellow (#fcf5cc) in the Color Picker, and click OK. Create a gradient emanating from just off the top of the frame down below the left of the house. Set the layer blend mode to Screen and reduce the Opacity to 68%. This will give the impression of bright sunlight bathing the scene. Step 20: Add another Dodge/Burn layer to the very top of the layer stack as we did in Step 18, but don’t clip this one to the layer below. Be sure this layer is filled with 50% gray and the blend mode is set to Overlay. Spend some time with the Dodge and Burn tools crafting highlights and shadows for the full scene. Use this technique to create depth to the grass blades and intensify the shadow areas of the house. Set the Range in the Options Bar to Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights as needed for each area of the image. Step 19

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Step 21: Add a Vibrance adjustment layer (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Vibrance) and set the Vibrance to +48 and the Saturation to +3 to make the overall colors more brilliant. Add a Curves adjustment layer (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves) and use two points on the curve to create a slight S-shape to enhance the natural contrast of the image. Step 21


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Step 22: Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and go to Layer>Merge Visible. This will create a merged layer at the top of the layer stack. This technique gives the same benefits of flattening the layers without actually losing them. Name this new layer “Merged,” then turn it into a smart object with Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object.

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The question to ask yourself now is whether it was easier to composite hundreds of grass blades than it is to mow the yard? Fortunately, Photoshop’s blend modes and advanced blending options make it fairly painless to convincingly add those images without having to spend a lot of time crafting difficult selections. Ultimately, we ended up with a fun scene that communicates the feeling of drowning in long overdue yard work! ■

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CLICK TO RATE

Step 23: To finish off this piece, go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter. In the Basic tab increase the Clarity to +36 and the Vibrance to +20 to give the piece an almost fantasy style colorization. Go to the Effects (fx) tab and in the Post Crop Vignetting section set the Amount to –28 to darken the edges. Click OK.

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Beginners' Workshop how to create a custom brush

LESA SNIDER

For some serious creative fun, try making your own brushes. You can make them out of anything—a stroke drawn with another brush, an image you’ve scanned to use as a texture, etc. In this column, you’ll create a brush that’s handy for adding texture to digital paintings and for adding grunge effects to a photo.

Step One: Choose File>New and in the resulting dialog, enter 500 pixels for both Width and Height and 300 ppi for Resolution. Set the Color Mode to RGB, the Background Contents drop-down menu to White, and click OK.

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Step Two: Design the brush tip by using existing brushes to create dabs of paint in the shapes you want. To turn the dabs into a brush you can use to apply color, you have to create them using black and gray paint at 100% brush Opacity. When you paint with the brush later, the 100% black areas will create opaque color and the gray areas will be semitransparent. To do this, press B to grab the Brush tool and then press D to set the color chips at the bottom of the Toolbar to their default values of black and white. Press X until black hops on top. In the Options Bar, click the Brush Preset Picker (circled) and choose a soft-edged brush. Set both the Size and Hardness sliders to 50 in the Brush Preset Picker, and set both the Opacity and Flow to 100% in the Options Bar.

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Step Three: Click or click-and-drag atop your document to create some 100% black dots spaced rather widely apart. Vary brush size as you go by tapping the Left and Right Bracket keys ( [, ] ) on your keyboard.

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Step Four: Click the black color chip at the bottom of your Toolbar to open the Color Picker, choose a medium gray in the large square at the left (circled), then click OK to close the Color Picker. Make a few more random-size gray dots in your document. Repeat Steps Three and Four until your image looks something like the one shown here. You can even place dabs atop each other—the more irregular and messy the dabs, the more interesting your brush will be, so feel free to experiment!

Step Five: Press M (or Shift-M) to grab the Rectangular Marquee tool and then draw a selection around the dabs. Some people call brushes that you create yourself sampled brushes because you sample part of a pattern, object, or image to create them; in other words, you have to create a selection of the pattern, object, or image on which you want to base the brush.

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Step Six: Choose Edit>Define Brush Preset. In the resulting dialog, name your brush “grunge texture” and click OK. Press Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to get rid of the selection.

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Step Seven: Press B to grab the Brush tool and your new brush should be active (if it isn’t, click the Brush Preset Picker in the Options Bar and click the last brush in the list). Click the icon to the right of the Preset Picker (circled) to open the Brush panel and then click Brush Tip Shape at the upper left (also circled). Set the size to 100 px, the Angle to 70°, and the Spacing to 1%. If you have a digital drawing tablet, click the Transfer option and then set the Opacity Jitter and Flow Jitter options’ Control drop-down menus to Pen Pressure.

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Step Eight: Turn on the checkbox next to Shape Dynamics on the left side of the Brush panel and then click the text “Shape Dynamics” (circled) to open those settings. Enter a Size Jitter of 25% to make the brush size automatically change as you drag with it. If you have a digital drawing tablet, set the Size Jitter Control drop-down menu to Pen Pressure and Minimum Diameter to 30% instead so you can change jitter by applying more or less pressure with your pen. Turn on the checkbox next to Smoothing (also circled) to make your brushstrokes less jagged.

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Step Nine: Save your brush again by clicking the Create New Brush icon (it looks like a piece of paper with a folded corner) at the Brush panel’s bottom right (it’s circled in the previous step). In the resulting dialog, enter the brush name you used earlier followed by “angle-jitter” and turn on Capture Brush Size in Preset. Click OK.

©Adobe Stock/David MacFarlane

Step Nine

Step 10: Now that you’ve created a new brush, give it a spin on the leaf photo included in this column. By varying brush size and colors sampled from the photo using the Eyedropper tool (I), you can create a neat graffiti-grunge effect. Be sure to create a new layer for each paint color and change the layer blend mode of all the paint layers to Color using the drop-down menu near the top of the Layers panel (circled). [KelbyOne members may download the file used in this tutorial at www .kelbyone.com/magazine. All files are for personal use only.] Step 10

Until next time, may the creative force be with you all! ■

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Dynamic Range realistic photo to painting

KIRK NELSON

There are three main elements to making this technique work like it does: Photoshop’s Mixer Brush tool, the Bristle Brush tips, and a pressure-sensitive graphics tablet. It’s possible to do this with a mouse or trackpad, in the same way it’s possible to tie your shoe with one hand. Possible, but not recommended.

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Step One: Begin with a photo that looks like it would make for a good painting. Still-life settings are a favorite subject matter for most painters, so consider using an image containing fruit, baskets, jars, cloths, etc. on a tabletop. By selecting a subject matter that’s usually associated with painting, the final effect will be even more convincing. Once you have a photo selected, open it in Photoshop. [KelbyOne members may download the files used in this tutorial at http://kelbyone.com/magazine. All files are for personal use only.]

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Step Two: Generally speaking, paintings have more color saturation and vibrancy than photographs. Start by converting the background to a smart object by going to Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object. Then, go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter. In the Basic tab, increase the Clarity to +25, Vibrance to +18, and Saturation to +15. Switch to the Effects (fx) tab and, in the Post Crop Vignetting section, adjust the Amount to +23. This gives the image bolder colors and a subtle brightness reminiscent of classic painting techniques. Click OK.

©Adobe Stock/gera85

Photo painting is a method of achieving a quick-and-effective painted effect that’s more convincing than any filter. As a disclaimer, this approach isn’t intended to undermine or devalue the traditional painters who have spent years developing their painting skills. This is just to show an option that’s accessible to mere humans and produces good results.


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Step Three: By its very nature, photography captures more detail than most paintings, so to create a convincing painted effect, those details need to be removed from the photograph. Go to Filter>Blur>Smart Blur. Set the Radius to 12.5, the Threshold to 34.6, and the Quality to High, and click OK. These settings will vary for other images and image sizes, but the goal is to blur out fine details without losing subject contours.

Step Five: Open the Brush Presets panel by going to Window>Brush Presets. Select the Round Fan Stiff Thin Bristles brush preset. This is a bristle brush that will provide more realistic brushstrokes. Open the Brush panel (Window>Brush), engage the Shape Dynamics option, and set the Angle Jitter Control to Pen Tilt. Then engage the Transfer settings and set the Flow, Wetness, and Mix Jitter controls all to Pen Pressure. Once these settings are made, consider saving them as a tool preset. To do that, look for the pulldown menu for the Tool Preset Picker on the far left of the Options Bar. Open that and use the gear icon to add a New Tool Preset named “Background Brush.”

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Step Four: Add a new layer with Layer>New> Layer, or press Shift-Command-N (PC: ShiftCtrl-N). Call this layer “Background Painting,” and click OK in the New Layer dialog. Doubleclick the name of the photo layer in the Layers panel, and rename it “Base Photo.” Now grab the Mixer Brush tool (B). If you don’t see it, that’s because it’s hiding behind the regular Brush tool. Just click-and-hold on the Brush tool until the tool menu flies out and you can select the Mixer Brush tool. In the Options Bar, engage the Clean the Brush After Each Stroke icon (brush with a line through it), set the Wet option to 50%, Load to 1%, Mix to 50%, Flow to 100%, and engage the Sample All Layers option.

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Step Six: Here’s where the magic of this technique really comes through. Reduce the Opacity of the Base Photo layer to 50% so it’s still visible but just barely. The Mixer Brush tool will sample the pixel colors as if they were still at full opacity (just as long as the Sample All Layers option is checked). Click on the Background Painting layer in the Layers panel to make it active. Use the Mixer Brush to paint in the background wall and the tablecloth. Don’t worry about painting over contour lines of the subjects, those will be brought back later.

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Step Seven: Hide the Background Painting layer by toggling off the Eye icon next to its layer thumbnail. Add another new layer called “Main Painting.” Look in the Brush Presets for the Round Curve Low Bristle Percent brush tip. In the Brush panel, highlight the Brush Tip Shape option at the top left and look for the Bristle Qualities settings area. Set the Bristles to 36%, Length to 132%, Thickness to 20%, and Stiffness to 38%. Engage the same Shape Dynamics and Transfer settings as with the previous brush. In the Options Bar, set Wet to 57%, Load to 1%, and Mix to 64%. Create a tool preset for this brush called “Basic Brush.”


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Step Eight: Use this Basic Brush to trace along the outside contours of each element in the scene. Once the outlines are established, work on filling in the shapes. Follow along the natural grain and lines of each element. Let the subject dictate the type of paint stroke. Use long strokes for the wood grain of the bowl, but short straight strokes for the grain heads, and round circular strokes for the grapes. (See next step for tips on painting smaller details.)

Step 10: One of the greatest benefits of this technique is the flexibility it provides. If at any point you feel your brush strokes are incorrect, then they can be easily erased with the Eraser tool (E). Consider using the Mixer Brush to first “push” a large portion of paint into an area, then use smaller strokes to “pull” it back into a more controlled position.

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Step Nine: When working with areas that require finer details, such as the print on the vase, it’s important to make decisions over what should be painted, and what should be obscured. The brush tip can be scaled down by tapping the keyboard Left Bracket key ( [ ) to trace along some of the smaller details. But keep in mind that this stage is just to capture the main colors and lines; there will be a detail pass to capture the smaller bits.

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Step 11: Hide the Main Painting layer and add a new layer for “Details.” Open the Brush Presets panel again and select the Round Point Stiff brush preset. In the Brush panel, set the Shape Dynamics and Transfer settings again to Pen Pressure to take advantage of the capabilities of the pressure-sensitive tablet. In the Brush Tip Shape section, set the brush Size to 4 px. In the Options Bar, change the brush setting from Custom to Wet, Light Mix; and set the Flow to 71%. Add this to the tool presets as “Detail Brush.”

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Step 12: Now we’ll spend some time working on the finer details of the image. Bring the Base Photo Opacity up to 80% and hide the smart filter effects by using the Eye icon next to the Smart Filters mask beneath the Base Photo layer. Make sure the Details layer is the active layer and begin to trace out some of the finer details of the original photo. Focus on things like the long wood grain in the bowl and spoon, the texture on the crust of the bread, the fibers of the wicker basket, and especially the bright highlights on the grapes.

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Step 14: Go to Image>Adjust­ments> Curves, or press Command-M (PC: Ctrl-M), and adjust the top and bottom curve points to be closer to the histogram. This intensifies the contrast of the canvas texture. Add a center point to the curve and drag it down slightly to subtly darken the texture too. Click OK, then go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and reduce the Saturation value to a full –100. This will remove the brownish tint that the canvas texture brought in. Click OK.

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Step 13: Toggle all the painted layers to be visible again, restore the Base Photo to full 100% Opacity, and reveal the smart filter effects that were hidden in the previous step. Select a canvas texture to use (you’ll find the one we used here in the download files) and layer it into the project using File>Place Embedded. Photoshop brings the texture in as a smart object with a bounding box around it so you can resize and position it. Scale it to cover the entire canvas area and hit Enter to commit the transformation. Make sure this texture layer is at the top of the layer stack in the Layers panel and set its blend mode to Soft Light.

©Adobe Stock/eleonora_77

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Step 15: For the final effect, create a merged layer at the top of the layer stack by holding down the Option (PC: Alt) key and going to Layer>Merge Visible. Set the layer blend mode to Soft Light to add even more contrast and color vibrancy.

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Photo painting is a fun and rewarding way to transform any photo into a convincing painting. The great thing about this technique is that it’s done by hand, so it’s more personal and rewarding than using a simple filter, but it’s not difficult, and doesn’t require the skill of painting from scratch. ■ CLICK TO RATE


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HOW TO › ›

Photoshop Proving Ground clone stamp painting

SCOTT VALENTINE

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The basic idea here is to use at least two open documents, sampling from one and painting into another. The secret sauce is setting up your source document, where we’ll take advantage of layer styles, blend modes, and adjustment layers. Don’t let that intimidate you—it’s all stuff you’ve probably already seen, just put together in a unique way. Okay, let’s start by opening our source image. I’m using a portrait from Adobe Stock. If you’d like to follow along with this image, click on the Adobe Stock link above, log into your Adobe Cloud account, then click on the Save Preview icon (cloud with arrow) on the Adobe Stock webpage. A watermarked version of the image will automatically appear in your Libraries panel (Window>Libraries). Double-click the image in the Libraries panel to open it in Photoshop.

©Adobe Stock/gromovataya

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Two years ago in this column, I showed you a novel way to use the Clone Stamp tool between two documents. Since then, I’ve learned a few new tricks to make things even easier and the process more organic. Now, while this isn’t true painting, it offers incredible flexibility, especially for non-painters like myself. As you approach this technique, don’t think of it so much as turning a photo into a painting as using a photo as a foundation to create something new using painting methods.


Step One: Create a new blank layer, go to Edit>Fill, select 50% Gray from the Contents drop-down menu, and click OK to fill the layer with 50% gray. Double-click the name of this layer in the Layers panel, rename it “Sample Target,” and lower the Fill to 0% in the Layers panel. Yes, really! We’ll sample from this layer one time, because everything below it will be visible and the gray won’t contribute at all. This allows us to add any additional layers or effects below this Sample Target layer without having to change our Sample Source. So everything you do to manipulate your photo must be done underneath this special layer.

Step Two: Now let’s have some fun with filters. Click on the Background layer in the Layers panel to make it active and duplicate it (Command-J [PC: Ctrl-J]). Start with a simple Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur), but crank it up. This image is about 3,300 pixels on its longest side, and I used a Radius value of 38 Pixels to obscure all the detail and end up with blobs of color (if you’re using the lower-res comp file from Adobe Stock, try a Radius of around 12 Pixels). Click OK, and then turn this layer off by clicking on its Eye icon in the Layers panel.

Step Three: Duplicate the Background layer again, and choose a different filter. My favorites for this technique are Topaz Simplify and Topaz Impression. Both give amazing results for building up complex painting effects. You can download free trials of both plug-ins to try them out. In this case, I used Simplify 4 with a custom preset to reduce details. If you don’t want to use Topaz, you can use any filter in the Filter Gallery (Filter>Filter Gallery) that gives you a painted or graphic effect, such as Paint Daubs in the Artistic folder. For now, we’ll stick with these two filtered layers, and I recommend naming them—in this case, Blur and Simplify would be excellent choices!

The source and painting documents must be the same dimensions, color space, and resolution for the Clone Stamp to work in a predictable way. The New dialog will automatically match whatever is in the Clipboard, so because you copied the Background layer of the source document, all you have to do is click OK.

Step Four: Click on the Background layer of the source document to make it active, press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to select all, then Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C) to copy it. Press Command-N (PC: Ctrl-N) to start a new document with the same canvas dimensions and resolution. This is important!

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Step Five: Paste (Command-V [PC: Ctrl-V]) into the new document and lower the Opacity to about 15%—just enough to make out the outline. Name the new layer “Reference.” Save this new document and call it Painting or something equally clever. I like to keep these two files together and name them something like BridalPortrait_Source.psd and BridalPortrait_Painting.psd so they’re easy to associate when browsing in Bridge. Step Six: The last real piece of the puzzle is setting up the Clone Stamp tool. Press S, or select the Clone Stamp from your Toolbar, then open the Brush panel (Window>Brush) and choose a simple brush, like a small, soft-round one. Next, open the Clone Source panel (Window>Clone Source) and make sure it’s set to the defaults as shown here. Step Seven: Also check the Options Bar at the top and make certain you have Aligned checked and the Sample drop-down menu set to All Layers.

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Step Eight: Click on the Sample Target layer in your source document so that it’s highlighted. Hold Option (PC: Alt) and click anywhere in the source document to pick up one sample. It doesn’t matter where because we’ll reset the Clone Source in the next step.

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Step Nine: Move to the Painting document, create a blank layer above the Reference layer, and make a single stroke or dab anywhere. Now press Command-Z (PC: Ctrl-Z) to remove the stroke, and check out the Offset fields in the Clone Source panel. A quirk of Photoshop is that you have to lay down at least one stroke before you can adjust the Offset values. Enter 0 for both Offset fields and now your two documents are synced up! Wherever you paint in the Painting document will be perfectly aligned with the source document. The value of this approach is that you can save and close your documents, then reopen them later and pick up where you left off by repeating the sample process, including setting the Offset values to 0, and you’ll be aligned in a flash. And remember that during a session, you don’t ever have to choose a new sample location. Sweet!

Step 10: In the Brush Presets panel (Window>Brush Presets), choose any brush you like, including the Mixer Brushes, while your Clone Stamp tool is active. In the source document, make the Blur layer visible and hide the others (always leave the Sample Target layer visible even though the Fill is set to 0%). Back in the Painting document, lay down a stroke or two in the blank layer you created earlier. Use the Reference layer as a guide to choose where you want to paint. Step 11: From here on, the actual painting is entirely up to you—choose brushes, layer effects, and combinations, whatever you like to express your vision. I tend to build up my paintings on various layers, typically adding to the top of the stack as I add detail or want to mix effects. Here are things you can try out as you explore this technique: • Use a reduced Flow setting in the Options Bar and paint in short strokes; this builds up the sample result a little at a time and gives a feel of overlapping strokes. •  Use custom brushes: I love hunting through Adobe Stock looking for illustration ornaments, brushstrokes, and flourishes to use for creating custom brushes. • If you use fancy shapes for brushes, increase the Spacing value in the Brush panel and “stamp” the outline or shape.


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• Change blend modes! You can change blend modes of layers in the source document, the Painting document, or even the brushes themselves in the Options Bar. This is an extremely powerful way to control expression in your strokes. Multiply and Screen are absolutely must-tries. • Use layers, lots and lots of layers. I generally end up with 10–20 layers for most paintings, and some go as high as 50. These are just painted layers by the way, not adjustments, fills, or anything else. Every time I like the look of a given layer and want to preserve it, I add a new one above. Sometimes I use the layers to simulate layers in a real painting, such as blocking in color (the Blur layer), adding a few strokes for some rough detail (the Simplify layer), and a few small details here and there from the Background layer. • Try layer effects for some strokes. A couple of the examples to the right use a drop shadows so the shapes are distinct, and there’s lots of depth. Outer Glow is another great one for implying strokes in plain areas. •  Try random filters in your source document layers: Brush Strokes, Graphic Pen, Find Edges, etc. Turn them on and off as you like to change what you’re painting. • You can build composites with this technique, too. Simply mask your main subject, and add other elements that you want. Give each set of elements the same kind of treatment for Blur, Simplify, or whatever, so long as they’re consistent. This is a really fun way to simulate old paintings using new portraits, or to create fantasy elements, matte paintings, or anything else you can imagine.

This one technique can yield literally infinite looks. All of the example images are variations on strokes, brush techniques, and blending. The keys are to change layer visibility in the source document, work a little at a time on various layers, and keep things pretty loose. If you don’t like something, erase it, and try again. And remember that you’re not constrained to sampling! Try using a regular brush for outlines or highlights, do some smudging, and maybe a little Free Transform (Command-T [PC: Ctrl-T]) now and then. Things may get a little overwhelming when you first try this, so take it slow. Build up and just make a few strokes or stamps at a time. You’ll get the hang of it soon enough. And the best part is you’ll

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be using a tool in a completely new way! Please try this out and share your results and tips online (#PSPG, #KelbyOne). You can also check out my Behance gallery for even more examples. ■

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• Take advantage of Rotation in the Brush panel (found in the Control drop-down menu under Angle Jitter in the Shape Dynamics section) if you have a stylus that supports it, such as the Wacom Art Pen and an Intuos tablet. Otherwise, if you want a little chaos, try just dragging the Angle Jitter slider to the middle and click away—it will randomly rotate your brush marker while stamping.

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Photoshop Tips

boost your productivity and creativity

COLIN SMITH

Hi, everyone! Welcome to the latest set of tips to help you become more efficient in Photoshop. A good tip can sometimes be a frustrating thing. You become frustrated because you might have done something the difficult way for years, only now to discover an easier way. Here’s to frustration! TOO BIG TO FILTER Sometimes when you’re working on a large file and you try to apply a filter, the filter is grayed out. What do you do? Flatten the image? You don’t have to be that drastic. Right-click on the layer in the Layers panel and choose Convert to Smart Object. Double-click the smart object thumbnail to open it in its own window. Now you can apply the filter, save, and close the extra window, and the layer will be updated in the main document with the filter applied.

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STACKING MULTIPLE GRADIENTS Gradients are really useful for blending layers smoothly in a layer mask. Generally, we use the Foreground to Background or Black, White presets from the Gradient Picker in the Options Bar to get the best results. The difficulty comes when you’re happy with the blend, but would like to add another gradient on a corner or somewhere else. The problem is the new gradient overwrites the previous one. How do you add another gradient without replacing the existing blend? The solution is to use the Foreground to Transparent preset from the Gradient Picker. Now you can stack gradients on top of each other.

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REUSE YOUR WORK One of the best things to come to Photoshop in a long time is the Libraries panel. This is a great place to keep reusable elements such as logos, templates, color swatches, and much more. I find the Libraries panel is a huge timesaver. I like to create a library for each different kind of asset. If you have to re-create things such as YouTube thumbnails or Pinterest cards, save the final one to a library. Now you can reuse it and never start from scratch. If you want to save it as an exact size, make sure there are no overlapping smart objects in the document. Smart objects won’t be cropped, so the image dimensions will change to include the smart object boundaries. CAN’T EDIT LIBRARY ITEMS? Speaking of library elements, here’s a little tip for editing them. When you drag a library element into your document, it’s a linked smart object. This means that things like paths can’t be directly edited. If you double-click the smart object thumbnail in the Layers panel to open that element in a separate file so you can modify their shape, when you close and save it, all instances where you’ve used that smart object will be changed. Here’s the workaround: hold down the Option


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RESET WORKSPACES The arrangement of the panels on your screen can be automated by using workspaces. I love workspaces because they save me time by only having the panels open that I need for any given task. You can change between workspaces by using the workspace selector at the far right of the Options Bar in Photoshop. The challenge is that these workspaces can get cluttered. Whenever you drag panels out or rearrange them, Photoshop remembers that state for the current workspace that you’re using. So when you select a workspace, it’s opened exactly how you left it, and that could mean messy! To clean things up, click on the workspace selector, choose Reset [name of workspace] from the drop-down menu, and you’ll instantly have a nice neat setup. BEFORE/AFTER IN ACR If you’ve been using Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) for a long time, you might be used to clicking the preview button on the lower right to see a before-and-after comparison. But ACR has changed in the last couple of years, and now each time you click on that button, it rotates through a number of before-and-after split views that are nice and useful. What if you only want to see the before image without going into one of the split views so you can see how heavy-handed your adjustments are? The solution is to tap the P key on your keyboard and it will toggle back and forth between the before and after image. PUT LAYERS TOGETHER Imagine you’re working on a lot of layers at the same time, but those layers are scattered all over the place in the Layers panel, with all kinds of layers in between. This makes it really time-consuming to select your working layers. The obvious solution is to reposition all these layers so they’re stacked together in the Layers panel. You could drag them one at a time in the Layers panel until they’re all together, or you could try this: First, select all the layers that you want stacked together by holding the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and clicking on each of them in the Layers panel. Another way to select multiple layers is to switch to the Move tool (V), hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, and marquee around the layers directly in the document. Click-and-drag one of the selected layers in the Layers panel slightly up or down, and when you let go of the mouse button, all the other selected layers now domino in the Layers panel and snap next to the layer that you were dragging.

PERFECTLY HORIZONTAL Here’s a quick and useful little tip. If you’re using the Blur Gallery, the Gradient Filter in ACR, or a similar tool, the challenge is getting a perfectly vertical adjustment line. As you pull down on the tool, it may look fairly even, but any slight movement and it starts wobbling all over the place. Get precise angles by holding down the Shift key. The Shift key is the constrain tool in Photoshop. This will enable you to get perfect angles and proportions every time.

DON’T LET “ ” LOOK BAD This is a very different type of tip. If you’re making speech bubbles and adding text for a comic-book style, beware of the letter I. You’ll notice that a capital I can have a crossbar, or not. Generally, speech bubbles should be in all caps. But only use I with a crossbar when you’re using it for firstperson singular. Never use a crossbar in the letter I in the context of a word. TRIM THE FRINGE Quite often when masking in Photoshop, you might find a fine halo of darker or lighter pixels around your mask. This might become really obvious when you try to place this masked layer against a high-contrast background. There has been a lot said and written about cleaning up edges, but here’s one surefire method. Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to select the pixels. Choose Select>Modify Contract, enter 1 or 2 pixels, and click OK. Choose Select>Inverse to invert the selection. Choose Select>Modify>Feather, enter 1 pixel, and click OK. Press X until your Foreground color is white. Press the Delete (PC: Backspace) key, and the fringe will disappear. ■

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(PC: Alt) key as you drag out the library element. Now it’s an individual object that can be edited without affecting other projects where that same element is being used.

055 ALL IMAGES BY COLIN SMITH

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COLUMN

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DesignMakeover JAKE WIDMAN

CLIENT

Tether Tools www.tethertools.com

tool time

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before

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Before

Tether Tools was founded by Josh Simons to address problems with which he saw photographers struggling. “I was working with some photographers in the local market, and I saw a lot of needs that weren’t being met when it came to tethering,” he recalls. “People were bringing large homemade tables out on location, and I thought there had to be a better way.” So Simons developed the Tether Table, which attached to standard tripods and light stands to provide a stable laptop platform. From there, Simons saw the need for cables and extensions, and the company “kind of grew from there,” Simons says. Originally, the company designed and developed all of its own products. Eventually, Tether Tools also started offering arms and clamps made by other companies. “A lot of the infrastructure stuff is not original products,” he says, “but the end products—the cables, monitor mounts, and so on—are all original designs.” Until this year, Tether Tools used a logo that was created early on, within the first two or three months. It incorporated the image of a digital SLR camera attached to a cable, which helped establish the company in the field. The company also had a website that Simons built himself. “It was makeshift at best,” he says. “Over time I got better at it.” The site has gone through a few incarnations, but the company stuck with the same logo until Brian Trummel came on as Art Director in January 2016. Says Josh Kenzer, Director of Online Marketing, “Before Brian started, we didn’t have an in-house designer—we did everything outsourced. We’d never really thought about doing a rebrand using an outsourced designer.” But with Trummel on board, the company decided it was time to update the logo and the website.

makeover submissions We’re looking for product packaging or labels, print advertisements, websites, and magazine covers that are currently in the marketplace for future “design makeovers.” So if you or someone you know has a design that you’d like us to consider making over, or if you’re a designer and you’d like to be considered for a future “Design Makeover,” send us an email at letters@photoshopuser.com. (Note: This is purely a design exercise and the designers do not work directly with the client, create functioning websites, etc.) We’ll also be covering real-world makeovers in this column, so let us know if you recently had a branding makeover or if you did a branding makeover for a client that you’d like us to consider.


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DESIGN MAKEOVER

CLIENT

Tether Tools www.tethertools.com

the problem

By 2015, Tether Tools knew that the brand could use a refresh. “We’d been talking about it for a year before we actually started the process,” says Simons. The website was not as user-friendly as it could be, and the logo was starting to be limiting. For one, the thin font meant it didn’t hold up very well for marketing—in banner ads on websites, on trade show booths, and so on. For another, the company had moved beyond its original tethered photography niche. “Over time, we found that our solutions have been accepted by the film community, the medical industry, the arts community, and even sports analytics,” says Simons. “So we felt that the camera image was limiting.” The hiring of Trummel enabled the company to consider moving forward. “That was when we really started the process,” says Simons, “when we could do it in-house and really spend the time creating exactly what we wanted.” “I started here in January,” says Trummel, “and I saw the opportunity to create a new look and feel for the company—to try to take it to the next level visually.” He saw the opportunity to build an identity that would be stronger and work well in different formats, as well as translate to different business arenas. Specifically, says Simons, the company wanted the new logo to convey versatility and strength. “All our products are kind of like Tinkertoys in a way,” he says. “They all interchange with one another.” And a bolder font and logo would convey the strength of the products and the stability of the company. Finally, the new logo should have an element that could stand alone as an icon and be recognizable on the products and in different environments.

about the client Tether Tools got started with the introduction of the Tether Table Premier. The table filled a need for photographers by providing a secure, stable platform to secure their laptop computer when shooting tethered. That was followed by the Tether Table Aero System, which is constructed completely of T6 Aerospace aluminum and designed to be a lightweight, versatile piece of photography equipment. Today, Tether Tools designs and manufactures innovative workstations, mounting options for lighting and accessories, and power solutions for photographers and filmmakers shooting tethered both in studio and on-location. With tablet, laptop, monitor, phone, camera, and lighting mounts that integrate directly with your existing photography gear, Tether Tools continues to help photographers (and other imaging professionals) set their gear where they want it when they need it. Tether Tools produces the majority of its products in the U.S.A.

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Early logo concepts

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DESIGN MAKEOVER

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DESIGNER

Brian Trummel www.tethertools.com

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the process

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Narrowing down the logo concepts

Trummel started by putting together a concept board to show everyone at the company. The board included logo concepts (see previous page), as well as mockups for print ads, the website, packaging, and trade show displays. “I went through everything to give the team an idea where we could take the brand,” says Trummel. The company is known for its high-visibility cables, so Trummel knew from the start that orange and black were going to be his “heavy hitters” for color schemes. He also wanted to find a strong font that would look good from a distance. Basing the icon on the T was an easy choice. “Tether Tools obviously has two Ts in the name, so I wanted to make that the main centerpiece rather than a visual of a camera,” he says. He explored various treatments of the letter that made it look like a tool or a bracket, which called to mind the company’s signature product. Ultimately, though, “I had a desire to move forward with the solid T and the outer connecting brackets. I used the two brackets to show how the products could lock together.” The brackets also call to mind the process of focusing a digital camera. After trying a few different typefaces, he settled on Eduardo Manso’s Geogrotesque, softening the edges of the letter to offset its harshness a little bit. For the website (see next page), Trummel used Adobe Photoshop to develop most of the main navigation pages and then turned them over to Kenzer to build. “I code all my stuff by hand,” says Kenzer. “Brian put everything in nice layers, and the layers were in folders, so I could just go in and pull out the graphical elements as I needed them.” Kenzer also used Adobe Typekit to help with the font rendering, rather than specifying all the type in pixel-based units.


› ›

DESIGN MAKEOVER

DESIGNER

Brian Trummel www.tethertools.com

After

The final logo consists of an icon that can be paired with the company name in a range of versatile logo lockups— horizontal or stacked—while also having the strength to stand alone. The redesigned website launched in August, which is also when the new logo made its debut. “It all launched at the same time, though we had the logo planned months before,” says Simons. It’s too early to get anything but anecdotal feedback on the results yet—it’ll take a while to see if the more navigable website actually results in increased numbers of visits or conversions. Nevertheless, the anecdotal response has been good: “We’ve done one trade show recently in Germany and designed a full trade show booth,” says Trummel. “That involved a lot of our dealers and distributors at the show. We got really positive feedback from them, and got some comments on social media.” “People are surprised we did it in-house,” says Kenzer. Distributors impressed with the result have called the company to find out what agency they worked with. “They think it took a lot more people than it did.” As with any redesign, not everyone has taken to it right away. A few of the company’s long-time dealers—especially ones in the photography field—have said they were sad at the loss of the old logo with the camera. But, says Kenzer, “To stay modern and stay relevant, you have to make changes.”

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about the designer Prior to joining Tether Tools, Brian Trummel spent four-and-a-half years as the art director for the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau in Arizona, where he was responsible for directing, concepting, developing, and producing print and online marketing materials. Prior to that, he was a founding partner at The Black Rhinos creative design studio in Phoenix, where he provided services for logo design, branding, collateral, and Web design. Trummel says, “I’ve been built with a passion to create and see things come to life. This manifested itself into art school, sign shop labor, a junior designer, designing record covers and posters for friends’ bands, becoming an art director for an indie record label, designing for a large lifestyle brand, hustling freelance for years, creating my own product lines, and eventually leading me to work as in-house Art Director for Tether Tools. I’m constantly humbled and blown away by what others create and design—that’s what inspires me to push myself every day.” ■

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the result

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HOW TO › ›

InDesign Tips

advance and enhance your indesign skills

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FIND ANYTHING, CHANGE ANYTHING The Find/Change feature (Command-F [PC: Ctrl-F]) in InDesign is immensely powerful. Most people only use a fraction of its capabilities. There are four types of searches: Text, GREP, Glyph, and Object. The Text options in the Find/ Change dialog are the only thing most people will ever look at, but there’s more to be had underneath those other tabs. The Text options are the most straightforward: find a certain word or phrase and replace it with another. But by using the options at the bottom of the screen, Find Format and Change Format, you can also search by how words are formatted and replace them with a different format. The GREP Find/Change options are much more complex. We won’t touch on that now, as GREP is a very powerful and specific function in InDesign. The Glyph Find/Change options let you isolate a specific character. This is helpful for locating and altering, say, some bullet points. Now the Object tab is a case of “leave the best for last.” You can find and change the formatting on shapes, lines, text boxes, and more; for example, find all boxes with a 1-pt stroke and replace them with a 3-pt stroke, or find all shapes with a Drop Shadow and remove them. There are some really powerful options and most people have no idea they’re there! If you’re working with large, multipage documents, the Find/Change options will save you a ton of time if your clients require some wholesale style changes.

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ALIGNING STROKES InDesign lets you determine where the stroke is located on a box or shape. That may sound odd but if you also use Photoshop and Illustrator, you’ll know that you can decide where the stroke sits on an object. In the middle of the Stroke panel (Window>Stroke) are the Align Stroke options. By default, the stroke is centered on the path; for example, a 2-point stroke will have 1 point outside the box and 1 point inside the box. With thicker strokes, the placement of the stroke can really matter. At the top of the next column are three boxes that are the exact same size; the only difference is the alignment of the strokes. Because the strokes are set centered, inside, and

DAVE CLAYTON

outside, respectively, it gives the appearance of different-sized squares. It’s helpful to use these settings when you’re trying to get some precisely measured shapes. I pretty much use the inside alignment option all the time to keep my shapes the size at which I created them, but that’s just a personal preference. CUSTOM STROKES IN INDESIGN Want to build a custom stroke in InDesign? It’s easy. Just go to the flyout menu at the top right of the Stroke panel (Window>Stroke) and choose Stroke Styles. A dialog will open with several options and a list of custom strokes. Click the New button to open the New Stroke Style editor. You can make dashed, dotted, or lined patterns; change the length and pattern of the stroke; and preview your designs at different weights.

The custom strokes are saved on a document level, but you can save them and load them into other documents. To save a stroke, click on it in the Stroke Styles dialog, click the Save button, navigate to where you want to save it, and click OK. To Load a saved stroke, click the Load button in the Stroke Styles dialog, navigate to where you saved it, and click Open. If you want a custom stroke to be added to all new documents by default, simply create the stroke with no document open.


› › I N D E S I G N T I PS

CALLING STAR COMMAND Stars and polygons are easy to build in InDesign. Most people, myself included, set the angles and number of sides by clicking once in the document with the Polygon tool (nested under the Rectangle tool [M] in the Toolbar). This brings up a dialog allowing you to choose the Number of Sides and the Star Inset percentage, plus the Width and Height if you know what you require. But what if you want to change the number of sides or the star inset while you’re drawing the shapes? This is really simple and a great little shortcut. Start to draw the shape, press-and-hold the Spacebar, and then use the Arrow keys on your keyboard to adjust the shape without opening the dialog. The Right and Left Arrows change the angle of the star inset; the Up and Down Arrows change the number of sides. (Tip: Once you press one of the Arrow keys, you can release the Spacebar. The Arrow keys will continue to change the number of sides or inset. Just remember to keep your mouse button held down.)

the stars in the American flag for a design. This grid tip works on rectangles and circles too. (Tip: Once you have the number of shapes that you want, you can use the Spacebar trick above to change the number of sides or inset for all the shapes at the same time. Again, remember to keep your mouse button held down.) STYLE TRICK Did you know that you can quickly style text with the Eyedropper tool? First, create a paragraph style (or even a character or object style) and style a paragraph with it. Next, make sure the Eyedropper tool is visible in the Toolbar by pressing the letter I. Switch to the Type tool, select some of the text to which you applied the paragraph style, and then click on the Eyedropper tool in the Toolbar to select it (make sure you click on the Eyedropper tool— if you press the letter I to try and switch to it, you’ll change your highlighted text to “i”). With the Eyedropper active, click anywhere in the highlighted text to “fill” the Eyedropper. Click-and-drag to highlight any other text with the filled Eyedropper to apply that style. The Eyedropper will remain filled, so you can repeat this as many times as necessary. CUSTOMIZING AN UNDERLINE I don’t usually underline text in InDesign, mostly because I don’t like the default thickness or positioning of the line. But you can actually completely customize your underline styles quite easily. To change the appearance of an underline, select some text and click on the flyout menu (four lines) on the far right of the Control panel (that’s the bar that goes all the way across at the top just below the menu bar). Choose Underline Options from the menu to open a dialog where you can easily change the appearance of the underline, including the thickness, positioning, color, stroke style, and more. Make sure Underline On is clicked on to activate all the options. In this instance, I chose Japanese Dots in the Type drop-down menu and set the color to pink to highlight the change. ■

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There’s another super-awesome tip, though, that we’ve covered previously but we’ll remind you of it here, as it’s great when creating multiples of the same shape. Start to draw your star or polygon again. This time, however, don’t hold the Spacebar as you did before. Simply press the Right or Left Arrow keys, and InDesign creates a horizontal line of identical shapes. If you use the Up and Down Arrows, it forms identical vertical lines. Or use both sets of Arrows and you can create a grid of shapes. This is perfect for creating

061 CLICK TO RATE


Throughout my career, I’ve had the honor of working for many amazing clients on projects from character design for a movie to fun caricatures for editorial magazine spots and covers, as well as painting portraits to honor someone in an article or review. One of my favorite publications to work for is Rolling Stone because they let their artists, for the most part, create something that’s fresh and their own. When you’re asked to paint a portrait for the “Music Review” section, it’s because they like your style. There might be some direction or ideas of what they’re looking for, but all they need is for the likeness to be spot on and that it’s a cool piece of art.

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I love this freedom, and

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because of the work Rolling Stone has allowed me to do, doors have opened and other clients have given me the same opportunity, and as a freelance illustrator, this is gold!

BY JA S O N SE I L E R


a challenge trying to figure out how this would work best compositionally. The first thing was deciding on the references from which I was going to work. For Leon, I found two images from the references that Rolling Stone had supplied that I liked and used both of them to come up with the one image. I wanted the image to be serious as far as being drawn and painted well, but I also wanted to capture and create fun characters. START WITH THE SKETCH When sketching in Photoshop, I prefer using a round brush, with Shape Dynamics clicked on so my Brush tool has a point similar to a pen. (You’ll find these settings in the Brush panel [Window>Brush].) I also click on Transfer in order to control the pen pressure. When painting, I usually have my Opacity in the Options Bar set anywhere from 85% to 90% and my Flow from 95% to 100%—I depend more on my control than Photoshop settings.

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My first painting for Rolling Stone was of Lil Wayne. I was so pumped and excited to be working for them, and when they told me it was one of their favorite paintings in years, I was beyond myself and relieved. My excitement was shortlived when a day later the art director called and said he was sorry to inform me that Lil Wayne’s publicist had called and said that they no longer wanted their record reviewed and that the artwork, even though they loved it, wasn’t going to be used. I was bummed, as you can imagine. A day or so later, the art director called back and asked if I wanted to paint another portrait for them. He told me that it was for Elton John and Leon Russell’s new album, but this time there were specific instructions. In short, he told me that Jan, the owner of Rolling Stone, is a close friend with Elton, and if he doesn’t like what I do, I’ll probably not work for Rolling Stone again. No pressure, right? On top of that, I only had two days to complete it from start to finish. They gave me very specific references that they wanted me to work from and told me that it was very important that Elton looked good, and that the image looked cool. When I think of Elton John, I think of the Elton John that I see on TV or from concert footage, but that’s not the Elton John that was in the references from which they wanted me to work. The hair was more tamed and the glasses more normal, meaning I could actually see his eyes, which we don’t usually see. I was very nervous starting this piece, but as soon as I started sketching, that all went away. It was up to me to figure out how to arrange both Leon and Elton in this one image. They did say that they wanted their faces quite large, so it was a bit of

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Close-up of stained canvas board

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I should add that when working digitally, I prefer to use a Wacom Cintiq. For the past seven or eight years, I’ve been using the 21" Cintiq, which feels very natural to me. It’s attached to an Ergotron arm so I can move the screen in a way that feels most comfortable. (I also have a 27" Cintiq, which is amazing, but I haven’t been able to use it very much yet as my current computer is too old. Once I get my new computer, I’ll be ready to rock!) I decided to sketch Leon and Elton’s faces separately, each on their own layer above the background, so I could arrange them on the page to see what would look best. Before sending it to the art director for approval, I decided to add a little color and some texture to give the image a more finished look so they could see the direction I was thinking of taking it as far as the mood or feel. I’m first and foremost a traditional painter, preferring to work with mediums such as oil and watercolor, and because of this, I tend to approach my digital paintings in a very similar way. I want people to look at my work and not quite know from which medium it was created; I just want them to look at it and enjoy it as a piece of art. To get that look with my sketch, I scanned a canvas board stained with raw umber into Photoshop. I placed the scan on a layer above my sketch in the Layers panel and set the layer blend mode to Soft Light with an Opacity of 27%. The tone was a bit too light, so I created another layer above my sketch but below the canvas layer, filled it with a flesh-like color (#e3b686), and set the layer blend mode to Multiply at 100% Opacity. This, added with the canvas layer, gave the sketch the look I was going for. PICKING A PALETTE Sometimes when starting a painting for a magazine, I have a specific idea in mind of how I want the final artwork to look, but I didn’t for this one. I only had two days to finish it, so knew I had to work fast.


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Once the sketch was approved, I decided on a palette of colors to work with. I chose to use the “Zorn” palette, which is what I typically use when working traditionally. The Zorn palette was created by Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860–1920). He was known for his limited palette, which was white, yellow ochre, vermillion, and ivory black. This palette provides colors that have a wide enough range to handle most portrait paintings. I usually switch out vermillion with either cadmium red or alizarin crimson, and will sometimes modify the palette by adding a little French ultramarine blue. I’ve created my own palette and color chart, which I’ve shared with you here. This shows the range of color that can be achieved working with this palette. If I need more saturation or want to change the value, I’ll click on the color swatches at the bottom of the Toolbar in Photoshop to open the Color Picker and make my adjustments.

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NOW IT’S TIME TO PAINT I started with Elton John by squinting my eyes and focusing on values. For me, painting is all about the values. If you have a strong grasp of values, your ability to paint will become less stressful and more focused. I’m using the Spatter 24 pixels brush (part of the default set of Photoshop brushes), which I’ve slightly modified in the Brush panel (see images below). Notice in the Texture section of the Brush panel that I’ve set the Pattern Picker at the top to a custom canvas pattern that I created some years ago. Once I modify a brush, I save it as a preset (click on the flyout menu at the top right of the Brush panel and select New Brush Preset). Now that custom tip will always be available in the Brush Presets panel (Window>Brush Presets).

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Custom brush inspired by the Spatter 24 pixels brush. I like this brush because it has a lot of character and feels more traditional after building up layers.

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This is another custom brush that I use from time to time, similar to the Spatter 24 pixels brush. I like using this brush because of the canvas texture and imperfect shape. I prefer a brush to be somewhat difficult to use because it helps give my art a more organic feel.


Step One

Step Two

Step Two: It’s important not to zoom in too close at the beginning. Try to develop the painting as a whole, using larger brushes and blocking in larger shapes of value, color, and temperature. A lot of new painters want to jump into the details too soon, but it’s much better to block everything in first and finish off with the details at the end. I do this all on one layer. 100%

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Step One: I began by blocking in some basic tones and color on top of my sketch lines. Painting isn’t like filling in a coloring book; my sketch lines are only a guideline, and I’m not afraid to paint over them.

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Step Three: After blocking in Elton’s face and hair, I decided to draw a hand for Leon to help balance the piece compositionally, but also because I thought it would add more to Leon’s character. Step Four: Next, I began to block in Elton’s eyes, nose, and mouth. I suggest working on all the features at once rather than just finishing one area before another. Once the features are all blocked in and I’m happy with the values and colors, then I’ll zoom in a bit closer and begin to add detail and finish the features. Step Five: After spending a little more time on Elton’s eyes, I started to block in Leon’s face, beard, and hat. I continued to go back and forth between Elton and Leon, now blocking both of them in at the same time in order to make them feel connected and together. Up to this point, I’ve used only the Spatter 24 pixels brush, as well as my modified version of the brush, which is a scratchier version of the same brush. The brush settings stay the same throughout the painting; the only thing that changes is the size of the brush.

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Step Three

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Step Four

Step Five


Step Six

Step Seven

Step Six: The art directors weren’t sure about the hand idea, so there was a moment where it had to go. Luckily, I drew the hand on a separate layer. At this stage, I treat the hair no differently than I do the rest of the face; I look for large shapes and values, using a larger brush, and for the most part keeping things simple. Step Seven: The hand was eventually approved but I kept it on a separate layer just in case. At this stage, I felt pretty good about the block-in, so I began to tighten up Elton’s face. You’ll notice from Step 6 to Step 7 that not only have I worked on tightening up the rendering but I’ve also added scratches and little designs on his face. This is a style choice, and my intention was to create character and style with my brushwork to give it a more traditional painted feeling.

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Step Eight: In this step you may notice a slight green tint over the entire piece. I felt that the tone of the whole image needed to be slightly cooled, so I created a layer on top of my painting that was sort of a brown-green (#b0a86e) and set its layer blend mode to Color at 22% Opacity. I continued to paint with that layer off, but turned it back on every once in a while to see how it looked. In the end, that layer was placed on top to cool everything down. In this step, I started to refine Leon’s glasses and nose, as well as adding a few suggestions of his mustache and beard hair. Step Eight

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Step 10

Step 11

Step Nine: When painting hair, I first block in everything with a larger brush, focusing on the large shapes and form, then I switch to a soft round brush and begin to draw smaller individual hairs on a separate layer. I’ll work on that layer for quite a while, developing the hairs in a way that feels natural. Once I have it to a place that I like, I take the Blur tool in the Toolbar and carefully soften the hair. I’ll also take the Eraser tool and softly erase little hairs that meet the skin or fade away; this pushes the hair back into the painting and makes it look realistic. I don’t have a go-to setting that I always use for the Blur and Eraser tools; I adjust them differently for each piece that I work on. I’ll continue this a few times, and in the end I’ll have four to five layers of hair. I use this same technique when painting eyebrows.

they better be really good. It won’t matter how amazing you paint someone’s face if the hands are terrible or weak—the quality of the entire piece will suffer. So I spent a good amount of time painting Leon’s hand to get it just right. For the hand reference, I had a friend of mine pose, and once I had the lighting right, I took pictures and went to work. Even though the references of Leon, Elton, and the hand were all from different times and places, I was able to paint them in a way that they feel together and for the most part natural because of the limited color palette that I’m using to paint everything.

Step 10: I chose to finish Leon and his hair first because he’s behind Elton; this way when it’s time to paint and detail Elton’s hair, Leon will be finished and in a layer below Elton. I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to paint hands,

Step 11: Once Leon was mostly finished, it was time to finish Elton. I added a bit of an edge as well as more scratches to Elton’s shoulder to make him pop out a bit more, but in an abstract way, again giving it a more traditional look and feel. I finished his forehead, eyebrows, and ears and then began to detail his hair.


This is what my layer of noise looked like before I changed the Opacity and the layer blend mode to Soft Light.

Step 12: Once Elton’s hair was done, the painting was essentially finished, except for one last detail. To me, the painting felt too smooth, too digital. To solve that, I created a layer of noise, which adds a nice grainy look to the piece. To do that, I created a layer of neutral gray, and then I selected Filter>Noise>Add Noise and then Filter>Noise>Dust & Scratches. I did this as many times as I felt it needed, and then I switched the layer mode to Soft Light and set the Opacity to what felt right to me. After this step, the painting felt finished and I was quite happy with it. I emailed it to Rolling Stone, and in two days it was on newsstands everywhere—a strange but awesome feeling! It was a pleasure sharing some of my process with everyone here. Happy painting and take care! ■

CLICK TO RATE ALL IMAGES BY JASON SEILER

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After adding noise (100% view)

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JASON

SEILER

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Pope Francis for Time magazine’s Person of the Year cover

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Sasquatch for Jack Link’s beef jerky company

I MAG E

GA L L E RY

Don Henley for the “Music Review” section for Rolling Stone

Steven Tyler for an Adobe TV commercial


Mark Ruffalo for the cover of The New York Observer

This painting from the cover of The Wall Street Journal was for an article about 30-year-olds still living at home with their parents

Donald Trump for the cover of a book called Trumpicana

This diner painting was done as a self-promotional piece. I love Norman Rockwell and wanted to do something that had that same feeling.

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Seasick Steve was painted as a self-promotional piece

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“Beautiful! It looks like a painting.” When referred to a camera-captured scene, photographers often take this phrase as a great compliment. It means they created something beautiful, dreamlike, and otherworldly. Yet most rarely make the correlation between painting and photography. If you want to achieve true greatness in any art, you can’t do so without understanding what past accomplishments have been made, how or why the medium was influenced, and how it twisted and turned to its present state. You have to know its background, and photography’s history is rooted in paintings.

s e a n a r bab i

on

photography

Sean Arbabi

Splashes of color, a balanced composition, and the warm hues of afternoon light made this image a solid candidate to be converted using Topaz’s Impression 2 software, adding brushstrokes and less detail reminiscent of a painting.


› › PHOTOGRAPHY SECRETS

Sean Arbabi

This issue’s “Photography Secrets” delves into the comparison between these two mediums and the impact painting has had on photography— how the artistic qualities and technical aspects of the study of light, color, subject, and form transferred from the brush and the canvas to the lens and the camera.

The Birth of the Medium

This pastoral scene overlooking the California coast with swirling clouds above already has the feel of a painting, but Topaz’s Impression 2 software gave it an authentic painted look.

rudimentary pinhole cameras (the mobile version of camera obscura), the medium advanced artistically and the world was visually changed.

Photography’s Turn to Artistry Replacing paintings as a faster and cheaper method, documentation became a big part of photography early on, whether capturing the American landscape as the country spread west, or creating portraits of the everyday Joe and Jane through long exposures and deadpan expressions. Photographers, however, wanted to be known as serious artists, and only having other art forms to reference, painting became the most popular and closest medium onto which they could latch. Many began contemplating the quality and direction of light, compositional elements, and content, as well as the type and placement of subject matter reproduced in paintings, adopting methods used by master painters. As these new image-makers

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Described as “mirrors with a memory,” the original definition of photography (as I also briefly mentioned last issue) comes from the French word “photographie,” the combined Greek words of “phos” (light) and “graphis” (stylus or paintbrush), literally defined as a “light paintbrush,” and also known as “drawing with light.” The first temporary images were studied more than a thousand years ago by Ibn alHaytham, a Muslim Persian scientist born in southern Iraq in 965. Ibn al-Haytham advanced the theories of the camera obscura, a room-sized box where an inverted scene was cast onto a dark wall through a small opening or aperture. Later, artists would trace these projected scenes onto paper utilizing this method for their art and connecting the two mediums. Although it was the first-known method of photography, the recordings couldn’t be fixed or archived until chemical processes and technologies were later invented in the 19th century. The final sketches were also dependent on a stationary location offering little creativity or mobility. Once men like Thomas Wedgwood, Nicéphore Niépce, Hércules Florence, William Fox Talbot, and Louis Daguerre were able to retain an image permanently on paper in the early 1800s using

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PHOTOGRAPHY SECRETS › ›

studied the re-created light, whether aware of it or not, they were also analyzing exposure and contrast. As they reviewed subject matter, they were dissecting poses and gestures. As they reviewed compositions of landscapes, they began to understand the impact that sense of scale had on a grand scene. In other paintings, they studied such things as the soft, even light on a face; the gathering of a plate of pears; the wispy clouds rolling over a small town; a vista view of an expansive beach; the juxtaposition of an animal or farmer positioned in a large grand scene. You can see these directional studies of light from examples of painters in the

1600s. Johannes Vermeer’s 1665 portrait, entitled A Lady Writing a Letter, exhibited soft light and a luminous focus on the subject. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn’s 1630 painting, An Old Man in Military Costume, displayed the catchlights in his eyes and the structure of his face due to the side lighting and contrast between highlight and shadow. Paintings such as these gave birth to the window-light portraits so beloved by photographers. From people to grand landscapes, still lifes to quaint towns, religious icons to nudes or scenes of fantasy, photographers followed along in the brushstrokes of paintings.

A Lady Writing a Letter by Johannes Vermeer

Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point Trail, by Albert Bierstadt

Photography advancements with mobility (creating smaller cameras such as the Kodak Brownie in 1900), color processes (mass-produced at the turn of the 20th century), and film speeds (leading to faster exposures)

allowed opportunities for master photographers to re-create scenes similar to the famous painters. Much of the changes photography made through the 19th and 20th centuries were directly connected with painters of the past, as well as painters from that era. Philosophies followed suit and quotes such as Paul Cézanne’s “All art is selected detail” not only fit his Post-Impressionist style of paintings, but they also held true for compositional techniques used when framing scenes within the limits of a camera’s rectangle or square format, or the reasoning behind choosing the right lens for the envisioned final scene. The grand romantic mountain landscapes of Albert Bierstadt’s luminism painting style of the 1850s to 1870s connected with photographers, emphasizing the importance of beautiful light, framing arrangements, foreground/background relationships, reflective water, and dramatic weather adding to their final creation. In recent times, late 20th century painters such as Robert Bateman and Stephen Lyman would blur the lines with naturalistic works of

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Painting’s Continued Influence

An Old Man in Military Costume by Rembrandt


› › PHOTOGRAPHY SECRETS

Sean Arbabi

art often mistaken for photographs, once again having an impact on outdoor photographers. This scene, captured at sunrise along the eastern shores of Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, was created by positioning the model a certain way and in just the right place. Only later did

the realization set in that the pose and vibrant colors resembled Maxfield Parrish’s works from the early 20th century.

Producing an in-camera image with similar qualities of a painting isn’t easy, nor does it occur often. The right balance of light, subject matter, and color palette have to be considered to give a photo that painterly feel, whether staged or captured naturally. Considerations of a style must be made, say to decide if your scene fits the realism of contemporary British painter Nathan Walsh, or the impulsive and expressive abstract work of Vincent van Gogh. Formats can be part of the process as well, from horizontal to vertical to square or panoramic. Color is another deliberation, if the scene dictates the subtle hues of pastels or watercolors or the thick vibrant tones of oil paint. The distribution of specific elements can also play a part, as well as unique atmospheric conditions that create soft skies or billowy clouds.

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Painting Through the Lens

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› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › n o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6

Sean Arbabi

Sean Arbabi

PHOTOGRAPHY SECRETS › ›

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A painterly feel may also come through the fashion of a period, such as this image of a young male docent panning for gold. The light reflecting on his face; the all-American, old-fashioned look; and his concentration on his sandy pan are reminiscent of Norman Rockwell’s Boy Reading Adventure Story, a style made famous by The Saturday Evening Post. Of course, some of what painters can do, photographers can’t; for example, using different lenses for different perspectives within the same scene such as a wide-angle feel used to include a foreground combined with a telephoto look to bring the background closer. Painters can take these artistic licenses, but techniques like this rarely convert well into the two-dimensional medium of photography and can only be reproduced through digital postprocessing methods. Then there’s intuition. Sometimes you notice a scene and it just feels like a painting. Much of the knowledge you have of light, composition, contrast, and subject matter has become second nature, and you instinctually know your camera can capture the feeling of paint applied to canvas. Whether keenly aware of the technique borrowed, or in your subconscious when framing the moment, this is when your technical and creative skills combine and you’ve mastered your art.


› › PHOTOGRAPHY SECRETS

Sean Arbabi

Creating a Digital Painting If you’re still working on your “black belt” in photography, however, and you wish to create a Picasso or Rembrandt, what can you do to connect your imagery with a historical painting style or technique? Today’s advancements in digital photo­ graphy and software programs provide the current generation of image-makers with unique post­ processing techniques. Applications such as Topaz Impression 2, a standalone application and plug-in for Photoshop, offers a myriad of customizable effects to help transform your images into full-fledged paintings, complete with specific styles, color mixes, and brushstrokes. Menu selections such as Stroke (brush control), Color (palette selection), Lighting (brightness, contrast, and vignette strength), Texture (surface material and texture strength of your canvas), Mask (hiding or revealing the original scene), and Blend Mode (finishing touches), produce an endless variety of looks. The various presets give you readymade painted versions from your original scene—including sets for Georgia O’Keeffe, Monet, Cézanne, and Renoir—or to use as a base to build your own customized painting style.

Today, it seems like a mix of mediums influence each other, from painting to illustration to photography. As technology advances, each artistic avenue impacts the other in ways that morph from year to year and trend to trend. Nevertheless, the original concepts that drive a scene to grab a viewer emotionally still remain. Acquire the knowledge of those artistic elements, making them instinctual, and your images will paint themselves. ■ CLICK TO RATE

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The Medium’s Postscript

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Product Reviews Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 17" Professional Photographic Inkjet Printer

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › n o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6

Review by Larry Becker

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Let me say up front that the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO1000 absolutely blew me away and exceeded my expectations. My review experience with this impressive inkjet printer was interesting because I didn’t start with it from scratch. When we first received the new printer, it was unpacked, set up, and used by some of the pro shooters in the office, so my review doesn’t cover the unboxing/setup experience. The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is a professional piece of gear. For prints up to 17" wide, and borderless prints up to 17x22" (printed in just 4 minutes), the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 handles a variety of media, up to 27.6 mil fine art. The print head, 50% larger than previously available, uses an 11-color LUCIA PRO pigment-based ink set and Chroma Optimizer. And the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 can connect with your devices via USB 2, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi. When I started using the printer, I had to replace two cartridges, as well as the maintenance cartridge, which was full. (My fellow shooters had done a lot of printing!) You may be surprised by the large size of the individual imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 ink cartridges, but replacing them was easy. While I followed the manual’s directions, there are also helpful illustrations on the printer’s 3" color LCD screen. Once the cartridges were replaced, I let the printer reset before printing, which took quite a while, perhaps because it had been several weeks since the printer was last used. The good news is that the self-cleaning and diagnostics are extremely effective and precise. The very first print that came out of the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 was perfect—and I don’t use that term lightly. Every single detail of the golden sunset HDR print was exactly as it should be. No adjustments. No calibration to my monitor. No user tweaks needed. It was spectacular! That first image had especially smooth, broad areas of color gradation in the sky, but the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 delivered color-accurate output with no banding. Occasionally, with other printers, I’ve found it necessary to add small levels of noise to minimize banding, but that wasn’t necessary here. I printed other large-format images with other colors of gradation in the sky (in the blue family) and those came through as precisely accurate as the smoky golden sky. An area of difficulty for many color inkjet printers is shadow detail, where you might see those areas crushed and discolored in the image. The imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 had zero problems delivering accurate details in the shadow areas of

my images. Not only was the detail as precise as on my monitor, the color accuracy in these areas was especially accurate, with no trace of false color or bronzing. Printing borderless at 17x22" to Premium Luster paper resulted in perfect ink coverage to the very edges. The automatic paper feed was accurate and, (probably) due to the vacuum-enhanced paper handling, there was no trace of ink application errors anywhere in the borderless image area. One more challenge many inkjet printers have is precise color accuracy with flesh tones and vivid colors—especially reds. I printed a larger-than-life headshot of my son at his graduation, and the skin and eye color, as well as the sharpest detailed areas of the image, exceeded my expectations. With most printers, when we look at a print compared to the image on a big, beautiful color monitor, we’re used to the mild disappointment of less dramatic colors and shadow detail we get from ink on paper. If that describes your experience, I’ll bet that you’ll be just as excited as I am by the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000’s output. For precise calibration, the large-format printer has a host of user-controllable settings and software. These optional controls are available to anyone who wants that in their workflow, but the good news is that my high-end, servicebureau quality output wasn’t the result of arduous calibration exercises and tricky color-management profile application. Nope; I just plugged my computer into the USB port, selected the Pro-1000, paper size, and quality, and I let the printer manage colors via my Photoshop print dialog. That’s it! Honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever obtained a perfectly color-accurate, rich, precise image from a printer from my very first print, with no test prints or recalibration. The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 professional photographic inkjet printer is priced in the professional range, and with each replacement cartridge coming in just under $60, it’s not for the typical consumer who needs color flyers for their neighborhood barbecue. It’s designed for demanding professionals and stands up to the pickiest pixel-peepers. If you’re a pro who delivers quality large output to your customers, the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is a smart investment. ■ Company: Canon U.S.A. Inc.

Price: $1,229.99

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Accurate color; variety of connectivity; prints large formats quickly

Not: Costly; expensive ink/many cartridges


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Corel Painter 2017 Texture Painting Directly on Rendered 3D Models and More Review by Erik Vlietinck

Painter 2017 concentrates on five new painting tools and four interface improvements. The biggest news is a texture tool that offers a complete set of controls so you can accurately place, position, resize, skew, and rotate the texture. This allows you to make it fit a plane of a flattened 3D object. Also new is the Interactive Gradient tool, with which you create color nodes along a gradient path. To put this in perspective, other apps such as Photoshop have had this for some time now; however, the Gradient Express Painting feature on the other hand, is unique. With an ordinary gradient, you get a smooth result that has no variation whatsoever. By using the Gradient Express feature, you make Painter add variation to the gradient that can take on different painted looks. I managed to create something that resembles watercolor on paper, but you can tune the effect any way you like. Glazing brushes allow you to create a translucent effect. For example, painting a delicate piece of garment is easy with

Glazing brushes, as these add paint in very thin layers, interacting with your pen’s pressure in potentially complex ways. The other improvements in Painter 2017 are less exciting, for example: Dab Stencils let you change the brushstroke opacity before you paint, basing it on the active paper, flow map, or texture; the Dropper tool has become more flexible and powerful; and then there are the interface tweaks. Painter’s interface has become more organized and manageable over the years. Painter 2017’s Palette Drawers make organizing palettes and panels for your personal workflow much easier and efficient. Having the Brush Selector as a panel doesn’t hurt either. The most effective improvement interface-wise has been the Property toolbar. It now allows you to tweak the controls of your paint tools. ■ Company: Corel Corporation

Price: $429

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Texture tool; Gradient Express tool; Glazing brushes

Not: Interface feeling dated

Hydra 4 HDR App Brings Metal Support, Zonal Tone Mapping, and More Hydra 4 is an HDR Mac-only app (version 10.11 and higher) that has been optimized for Metal for maximum performance, with a new translucent user interface. The new version has an excellent automatic image-alignment system, and Hydra 4 works with a highly accurate 128-bit internal format. When you launch Hydra 4, you start out with a large view of the HDR image, with the individual photos in a sidebar. Each individual image has controls, including exposure and sharpening. Below the image thumbnails there are options to manually set alignment and ghosting. Manual alignment displays your image group as transparent drawings. You draw multiple selections and drag the edges until they all match. I found it very difficult to align my five test images, but Hydra 4’s automatic mode worked perfectly. Hydra 4 has an improved tone-mapping algorithm. The colors of the default HDR image stay very close to those of the original shots—that’s good, because it allows you to start from a neutral image. For a creative look, there’s a Hue slider and a Scope drop-down menu. From this menu, you’ll access individual tone-mapping adjustments for bright, dark, red, green, and blue tones, to create just what you want.

The Hydra 4 app lets you take up to four snapshots so you can compare your results against previous adjustments. In addition, a curtain control allows you to compare your latest adjustment with the RAW composited image or with one of the composing photos. There’s also a slider that lets you adjust viewing exposure for the RAW composite image. You can import single or multiple JPEG, RAW, HDR, or EXR images, and Hydra 4 renders out to JPEG, TIFF, HDR, and EXR in color spaces that include sRGB, ProPhoto, AdobeRGB, and more. The app supports displays such as the 30-bit DCI-P3 display of the latest 27" iMac. ■ Company: Creaceed S.P.R.L.

Price: $59.99

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Render speed; image/tone-mapping controls; comparison tools

Not: Manual alignment is quite hard to get right

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Review by Erik Vlietinck

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REVIEWS

› ›

Aurora HDR 2017 for Mac HDR Photo Editor with Batch Processor, Polarizing Filter, Masks, and More Review by Erik Vlietinck

Aurora HDR 2017 focuses on new features, such as a Polarizing Filter, batch processing mode, and new masking tools. Its tone-mapping algorithm has also been improved. Macphun Software is set to beat its resounding commercial success with the Aurora HDR 2017 version, because the developers have listened carefully to users’ comments and remarks. The company has included improvements its users have been asking for. Batch processing is a two-step undertaking wrapped in two user-friendly, form-based windows. It’s preset-based, but offers the necessary flexibility to please even the most demanding photographer. The first version of Aurora had pretty good tone mapping, but you’ll notice the new algorithm offers a bit more detail and contrast and better noise reduction. And when launching Aurora HDR 2017, the colors of the default HDR result are closer to the originals than those of the first version. The new Polarizing Filter makes it easy to obtain deep blue skies with contrasting clouds. It works well, although if you overdo it, you may create auras around small details such as tree branches, etc. A new zone-based mask feature shows up when hovering over the histogram. Clicking on one of the zone icons allows you to create a luminosity mask. A radial mask has been added

too. Layers are now categorized in types with the new Texture type giving you the flexibility to blend in grain or even a painted structure. I had trouble finding the new Feather & Density brush parameters in the brush context menu, as they’re hidden in the mask controls area of the toolbar. Other minor features have also been improved, including the gradient mask tool; the addition of Darken, Color Burn, and Lighten blend modes for layers; and the addition of advanced Tone Mapping controls, offering a better recovery of “washed” highlights. ■ Company: Macphun Software

Price: $99

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Presets by Trey Ratcliff, Serge Ramelli, and Captain Kimo

Not: Polarizing Filter may create ugly auras

Crucial MX300 525-GB SSD Low Cost, Decent Performance, and Reliability

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › n o v e m b e r 2 0 16

Review by Erik Vlietinck

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Not all lower-cost SSDs are slow and unreliable. I managed to get hold of the newest Crucial MX300 525-GB SSD and ran it through a full week of speed and endurance tests. I used both my iMac and Ninja Assassin video monitor/recorder to see how well the MX300 would behave. Crucial MX300 SSDs come in four sizes: 275 GB, 525 GB, 750 GB, and 1 TB, and I tested the 525-GB model. The advertised performance figures are read speeds of 530 MB/sec and write speeds of 510 MB/sec. My disk was mounted through a Thunderbolt dock on a mid-2011 iMac. It managed to read at 373 MB/sec and write at 335MB/sec, the same as my iMac’s startup SSD. Those figures were very promising for the next test. I recorded 30 minutes of 4K footage on my Ninja Assassin. The MX300 mounted instantly and kept its cool. Last but not least, I recorded for more than 3 hours non-stop, while switching between 30-minute and 5-minute takes, and playing back footage on the Ninja at double speed. The SSD performed without a single glitch.

And there’s more: The MX300 has a metal enclosure, so it’s robust. It comes with a serial number for Acronis True Image HD, which is unfortunately a PC-only backup application. Other benefits include the use of Extreme Energy Efficiency technology, which reduces the amount of active power to 0.075 W, and the use of 3D TLC NAND technology, resulting in an endurance rating of up to 220 TB total bytes written by leveraging larger NAND cells. Finally, the Crucial MX300 offers AES 256-bit hardwarebased encryption for Wave and eDrive support, RAIN technology for increased reliability by storing data in multiple locations on the drive, Exclusive Data Defense to prevent files from becoming corrupted, and, most important for video recording, Adaptive Thermal Protection to keep the system cool. ■ Company: Micron Technology

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Hot: Price; speed; robustness; thermal characteristics

Not:

Price: $119.99


› ›

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Lastolite Triflector MKII Frame + Silver/White Panels Go-To Tool for Head, Beauty, or Fashion Shots Review by Michael Corsentino

When it comes to innovative light-shaping tools, Lastolite by Manfrotto is always at the top of my list. If you’re working with light, either natural or strobe, it’s a good bet you’re working with reflectors—or should be. They’re some of the most affordable, most useful tools in a photographer’s toolkit. I use reflectors a lot in my work in the studio and on location because they’re simple to use, less to worry about (compared to adding another light to the mix), lightweight, portable, and they attract a lot less attention on location than lights with modifiers. There are a ton of great options out there—large, small, collapsible, rigid, and every reflector in between—but basically they all do the same thing: reflect light from a flat surface back toward your subject— unless you’re talking about the Lastolite Triflector MKII. This specialty reflector is comprised of three adjustable panels: center, left, and right. Each panel is infinitely adjustable via an articulating frame that also includes a handy lightstand mount. Three reflector panels means that you can add light exactly where you want it around the entirety of your subject’s face. If you want to fill in only the shadows below the subject’s face for a traditional clamshell look, simply fold

down the left and right panels and use the center reflector panel by itself. If you’d like to add varying degrees of light to either the left, right, or both sides of the face, it’s as simple as positioning the left and/or right reflector panels to achieve the desired effect. Add to this the included reversible white/silver and optional gold fabric choices, and a storage bag, and the possibilities are endless. Lastolite’s Triflector MKII takes things to an entirely different level, providing creative light-shaping options simply not possible with the standard, single-surface, flat and circular reflectors, and it produces a pleasing catchlight to boot. It’s my go-to tool for headshots, beauty, fashion, and anything 3/4 or tighter that’s lit with a clamshell, over-and-under lighting setup. I’ve even used this versatile reflector on location with gorgeous results. ■ Company: Lastolite by Manfrotto

Price: $179.99

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Quality; adjustable; three panels; reversible white/silver fabric

Not: Gold fabric not included

Take Your Social Media Video and Live Streaming to the Next Level Review by Michael Corsentino

Between Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat, and Facebook there’s a lot of video being produced, both streamed and recorded, much of it with a decidedly low-rent, DIYproduction value. Whether it’s poor video quality, shaky footage, lackluster lighting, or the biggest sin of all in video—subpar audio—there’s room for improvement across the board. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a reasonably priced way to step up the look and sound of your iPhone and iPad content? Enter the iOgrapher, a clever, lightweight yet rugged, dualhandled frame for your iPhone or iPad. Its snap-in design securely holds your iPhone in place while vertical and horizontal mounting points allow options for orientation on a tripod. Cold-shoe attachment points for audio and lighting gear round out this all-in-one frame. It’s worth noting that the dual-handle design provides added handheld image stability without a bulky rig.

The iOgrapher Ultimate Live Stream Kit for iPhone is ideal because, in addition to being a well-designed solution, it gives you everything you need to take your social media video and live streaming to the next level. Included in the kit are: the iOgrapher frame; a Rode Video Micro shotgun mic and an iRig Lav Mic for professional-quality audio; two lenses—a wide-angle and a 2x telephoto; a Manfrotto LUMIMUSE 3 LED Light; a Rode SC7 TRS to TRRS audio cable; a Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod; a high-quality pair of Sennheiser HD280 headphones; and a protective case in which to carry it all. (I couldn’t figure out how to fit everything into the case.) If you’re using social media to communicate your message to the masses, and desire a higher production value without breaking the bank, the iOgrapher Ultimate Live Stream Kit for iPhone will definitely get you there. ■ Company: iOgrapher

Price: $545.80

Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Hot: Take iPhone videos with one well-thought-out package

Not: When removing iPhone 6+, you may change phone’s volume

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iOgrapher Ultimate Live Stream Kit for iPhone

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BOO K RE V I E WS › › P E T E R B A U E R › ›

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Practical Photoshop CC 2015 Level 1 Second Edition: New for Photoshop CC 2015.5

Photoshop: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning the Basics of Photoshop—14 Photo Editing Techniques and Tips To Help You Create World Class Photos!

By Donald Laird and Barbara Heiman

By Russell Taylor

This updated version covers Photoshop 2015.5’s new features, as well as most of the previous features of the program. It starts at the beginning by describing the program and including tips for installation and then looks at the major features of the program in depth. There are lots of tutorials to help the reader get a hands-on feel for what they just read. (These tutorials are the meat and potatoes—or kale and kelp—of the book.) The practice files are available to download from www .practical-photoshop.com. Be aware that many of the tutorial images are high resolution and quite large downloads. Most sections also offer an additional project in the “On Your Own” section, some of which provide general guidelines about what to try and some of which include practice files. In the (rather expensive) Kindle edition, use the Index to jump to a subject rather than the table of contents.

It’s short, but inexpensive, and it covers some interesting aspects of Photoshop. (At Amazon, don’t forget about that “Give as a Gift” button—this might be a cheap but appreciated gift for a Photoshop novice, perhaps introducing unfamiliar techniques.) My first impression of the book wasn’t good. Chapter 1 is entitled “The Shadow Tool.” If your Photoshop novice goes to Photoshop’s Online Help and types in “shadow tool,” three of the first four entries are for Photoshop Elements rather than Photoshop CC. All four, however, are about adjusting shadows and highlights. And, as it turns out, the chapter is about using the Shadows/Highlights (misspelled) adjustment in Photoshop. Other chapters look at creating a vintage look, nondestructive workflow (“intact” not “in tact”), smart filters, cropping, adding a fill layer for an amber tint, vignetting, spot healing, fixing red eye, adding grain, creating “retro” effects and halftone dots, and using Liquify.

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Pages: 334

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Price: $59.99 (paperback); $35.00 (Kindle) Rating: ◆ ◆ ◆

Price: $2.99 (Kindle only) Rating: ◆ ◆

Pages: 32


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From the Help Desk

answers to photoshop & gear-related questions

PETER BAUER

I’m creating these amazing (in my opinion) digital paintings using techniques I’ve been learning in Photoshop User. I want to put my signature (not printed copyright info, but my actual signature) on each of them. The thing is, I want it to be exactly the same every time and I can’t seem to do that, even using my tablet. Any suggestions?—Nick

› › p h ot o s h o p u s e r › n o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6

To: Nick From: KelbyOne Help Desk

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Create a new document (File>New) at the size and resolution with which you’ll most often use the signature. (If you print at 300 ppi and you want the signature 2" long, the new document should be 600-pixels wide by however tall you want to make it, remembering that you can crop afterward.) Set the Background Contents of the new document to Transparent in the New dialog. Select the Brush tool (B). Open the Brush panel (Window>Brush) and click on Brush Tip Shape in the left column. Select a brush diameter that’s appropriate for the look you want (I use 20 pixels). Adjust the Hardness (I use 90%). If desired, for a touch of elegance, change the Angle and Roundness (I use 45° and 33%). Press D to set black as the Foreground color (you can change the color to one appropriate for each specific image at the time you apply the signature). Sign your name (preferably using a tablet and stylus). Crop away any unused canvas. The easiest and most precise way to do this is to Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on the layer thumbnail in the Layers panel to make a selection of your signature—this is one reason why you should choose Transparent when creating the new document— and then use the Image>Crop command. Save the file, go to Select>All and then Edit>Define Brush Preset. Remember that the maximum size for a brush preset has increased from 2,500 pixels to 5,000 pixels in either dimension. But you won’t need a signature that large unless you’re creating ginormous images, such as some of Bert Monroy’s work. And in addition to seeing the size of some of his work (his masterwork Times Square measures 5x25'—feet!), it’s certainly worthwhile to visit bertmonroy.com just for inspiration.

KelbyOne Member HELP DESK

Go to Edit>Presets>Preset Manager. Select your new brush preset, then click the Save Set button. I suggest that you save it outside the Photoshop folder so that you don’t lose the brush the next time you need to re-install. Click Done to close the Preset Manager. To use the brush preset, select the Brush tool, choose the signature brush at the bottom of the Brush Presets panel (Window>Brush Presets), set your Foreground color to your desired color, adjust the size of the brush, position the cursor, and click once. An alternative technique would be to use the file of your signature on the transparent background that you saved earlier just before you made the brush preset. When you want to add the signature to an image, open the image file and use Photoshop’s File>Place command (I recommend using the Embedded option) to add the signature file as a smart object. Drag the signature into position, Shift-drag a corner of the bounding box to scale as desired (the Shift key prevents distortion), then press the Enter key. Changing the color of the signature, if necessary, is a bit more time-consuming using this method compared to simply selecting the color of a brush preset in the Brush tool’s Options Bar. To change the color of a smart object signature, you’ll need to double-click the layer in the Layers panel to open it in a separate window. There are a variety of ways to change the color, but the simplest is to add a Color Overlay style (Layer>Layer Style>Color Overlay)— another reason to choose Place Embedded is so that you change the color for only that one image, not all images to which the smart object is linked. Save and close the smart object window. ■

CLICK TO RATE

Are you taking advantage of the Help Desk at the KelbyOne member website? This is the place where you can get all of your Photoshop and Lightroom questions answered by our Help Desk experts. Not only that, you can get photo and computer gear help and advice, as well. What are you waiting for? Visit the Help Desk section under My Account on the KelbyOne member site today! ■


Photoshop User magazine is the official publication of KelbyOne. Each issue features in-depth Photoshop tutorials written by the most talented designers, photographers, and leading authors in the industry. As a KelbyOne member, you automatically receive Photoshop User delivered digitally ten times a year.

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