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ULTIMATE GUIDE TO
BRUSHES Master Photoshop’s brush tools to create your best-ever digital art
TURN YOUR PHOTOS INTO ARTWORK Transform photos into beautiful colour-pencil images
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GET THE OIL PAINT LOOK Make the most of Photoshop CC’s Oil Paint ﬁlter
14 page rs’ beginnes guide
How to paint skies Calligraphy-inspired art Creative masking techniques
IMPROVE & TRICKS LANDSCAPES TUTORIALS FEATURES TIPS CREATE WITH SHAPES
Build up a picture using Custom Shape tools
MAKE A BOKEH BRUSHmake Learn how to and use your own Photoshop brush
Editing tricks for better scenic photos now
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01 Use CC’s Oil Paint ﬁlter Filter techniques to help you get the look of an oil painting in Photoshop CC or CS6
02 Illustrate with shapes Discover how creating and manipulating simple shapes can lead to incredible artwork
03 Amazing photo effects Create artwork that really stands out using Photoshop’s Calculations and Transform tools
04 Easy ways to paint skies
A quick look around the internet will reveal that Photoshop is one of the most powerful digital painting tools out there. You can create a huge range of effects with Photoshop’s default brushes, not to mention the plethora of free add-ons that you can pick up. This issue, we show you how to get to grips with Photoshop’s brushes and start producing beautiful paintings of your own. The great thing about brushes is that they’re not just for painting projects. They can add light effects to photos, help you to retouch portraits, and smooth over the joins to create flawless composites. You don’t have to be a painter to get the most from brushes, but after reading our creative and inspirational guides you might just want to give it a whirl! Happy Photoshopping!
Grab your brushes and discover these fail-safe techniques for painting perfect clouds
05 Combine two scenes Merge photos for a creative effect that combines day and night in one imaginative image
April Madden Editor email@example.com
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06 Did your work make it to our readers’ gallery?
challenge 10 Readers’ Your chance to win a fantastic photo effects plug-in
Ultimate guide 12 Feature: to brushes Get to grips with Photoshop’s powerful painting tools
22 Tutorials Your Photoshop tutorials begin with a creative ﬁlter project
82 Reviews Retouching software, an effects plug-in and a camera on test
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essentials 90 Q&A Your Photoshop Elements, CS and CC problems solved
interview 98 Expert A Q&A with fantasy artist Jenny Laatsch
Top tips 40 60
Top ﬁve The best free stock sites for start photos
Competition results The winner of our Godzilla poster design competition
ULTIMATE GUIDETO BRUSHES Learn to create great art with Photoshop’s powerful Brush tools and discover how you can create your very own masterpiece
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Q&A Your Photoshop questions answered P90
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Tutorials 22 Use CC’s Oil Paint 42 Improve landscapes ﬁlter Learn some creative digital techniques in CC and CS6
28 Turn a photo into a sketch
Use CC’s Oil Paint filter Mimic the look of an oil painting in Photoshop
32 Master bokeh Make and apply a bokeh brush to a photo
Combine day and night into one imaginative image
Illustrate with shapes
Use custom shapes to create artwork
52 Easy ways to Discover quick and easy ways to paint clouds
photo effects 46 Amazing Use Photoshop’s Calculations and Transform tools
Create fun sketches that look hand-drawn
Combine and retouch images for perfect scenes
62 Stunning lettering techniques
How to incorporate lettering into a creative painting
46 36 52
New to Photoshop? Check out our introductory guide
Combine two scenes Combine day and night in one image
Healing Brush techniques 68 The 76 Blending Merge images together with Heal skin and retouch faces with this powerful tool
Blur ﬁlters 70 Learn how to use the Blur ﬁlters for creative effects
masks and blending modes
selections 78 Create Find out what a luminosity mask is and how to use one
74 Monochrome Use adjustment layers for perfect B&W edits
READERS’ IMAGES Welcome to an inspirational round-up of great Photoshop artwork created by none other than your fellow readers
OF TH MONTH
Adriana Musetti Dávila www.photoshop creative.co.uk/user/ Adriana_Musetti_Dávila
“Since my foundations as an artist is in traditional art, I like to use the same methods. On top of a neutral layer, I proceeded to do a background with quick and spontaneous brushwork.”
Ray Pennington www.photoshop creative.co.uk/user/ rayman4210
“I tried to show her in a setting of heat and ﬁre. I used textures for her skin, hair and background. Some colour and shadows were also used. Always remember if you can imagine it, you can make it in Photoshop.”
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Luis Araujo www.photoshop creative.co.uk/ user/luisaraujoo
“I have been using Photoshop for around four years. This image shows a lunatic living by the train tracks. He believes the train will break at any time, so every time a train approaches he holds up a spanner and starts screaming ‘The train is going to break!’”
Welison Alexandre www.photoshop creative.co.uk/ user/Welison_ Alexandre
“I used lighting effects with blending modes, and added leaves to give movement.”
Lisa Davies www.photoshop creative.co.uk/ user/Lisa90
“I used galaxy pictures for the sky and reﬂection, the Dodge tool for the glow, and Curves and Channel Mixer for colours.”
www.photoshop creative.co.uk/user/ PauloBraga
“I replaced the sky in this landscape with a brighter one, and then placed in two castles, adjusting Color Balance and Saturation. After the landscape was ready, I added in the woman ﬁgure and a lens ﬂare.” “I started off with a snowy background, using Hue/Saturation, Levels and Curves adjustments. I managed to edit the wolf by applying adjustments to the shadows and also applying a Gaussian Blur to the background.”
“This work represents my introduction to Photoshop. My passion started when I went to install Photoshop CS6 Extended and saw the cover of the program, changing my life.”
César Oliveira www.photoshopcreative.co.uk/ email@example.com
“This manipulation was created by merging four images. After joining the images, I worked on highlights and shadows, and ﬁnally uniﬁed colours by using adjustment layers such as Photo Filter.”
Anna Przybylska www.photoshop creative.co.uk/ user/zwyklaania
“This is very simple photomanipulation, as I used only ﬁve elements and three brushes for skin, hair and glitter. I added the glow of the sun, used a lens ﬂare and an orange Photo Filter adjustment.”
Achraf Baznani www.photoshop creative.co.uk/user/ abphotographe
“I used a selection tool to cut out the model and put it on the camera. A third layer was added for the lens reﬂection.” “I adjusted the size of the coin to make it sit in my hands. After I adjusted the colours. I wanted to provide an idea of how money dominates our life.”
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READERS’ CHALLENGE Upload your images to photoshopcreative.co.uk
Challenge entries The best entries and
overall challenge winner
1 Anna Przybylska Sketch “First I retouched the woman’s skin, eyelashes and hair, then added the flowers and butterflies. The Graphic Pen and Smart filters helped to blend everything together.”
2 Harsh Gorasia Amalgamate “I started with Channels to make the focus on the mode face and also to create an extraterrestrial mood. In the end I used tons of layers, strokes and adjustments to achieve the result.”
Re Chaallders’ WINNenge ER
Simon’s choice “We admire the work gone into Anna’s image, making it seem like a realistic drawn sketch.”
3 Joshua Boot Never Forgotten “I edited the city scene with various filters until I had the natural look I wanted. I overlaid it onto the paper image and blended in using varying techniques. I then dropped the portrait on top o everything and made it part o the sky.”
4 Job Wanis Sketched Woman “I converted the woman’s picture into a pencil drawing using adjustments and a Gaussian Blur. I also added some shadows using Curves and Levels.”
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MATE G IDETO BRUSHES Learn to create great art with Photoshopâ€™s powerful Brush tools and discover how you can create your very own masterpiece
FRE RESOURECE S Grab back ground bru ! sk s
in colour s hes, wa sketches a tches,starting these pain nd more to try tin photosho gs.Head to blog. pcreati /tutorial-ﬁ ve.co.uk les to download
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN PAINTFROM PHOTOS Get started by mixing brushes with filters to transform a photo
REALISTIC EYES Learn the techniques behind painting an eye from scratch
PAINTA SCENE Create an entire scene with brushes and lighting techniques
PAINTVIVID SUNSETS Mix paint and colours to form a beautiful sunset from scratch
PAINTA STILLLIFE You can paint a stunning still life with textures and brushes
BRUSH PRESETS Photoshop packs in a range of preset brushes with plenty more available for free download around the web.
AINTFROMPHOTOS ow to take a photo and transform it with rushes and filters surprisingly easy to use brushes to transform photos into a digital painting. Filters also offer a d place to start if you’re a complete beginner, and the Mixer Brush tool is perfect for getting to w the various brush tips and settings. We show you how to apply Photoshop’s ﬁlters such as Dry Brush and Smudge Stick from the stic set, and then let the Mixer Brush tool loose on each one. This tool is particularly good as it nds the colours that are already in the image.
THE MIXER BRUSH The Mixer Brush works like a grown-up version of the Smudge tool, pulling colours into each other to create the look of paint mixing.
EXPERT TIP Locate preset brushes
Photoshop’s ready-made brush tips help to get you off the ground when it comes to painting. To locate them, go to Window>Brush Preset and click the small drop-down arrow. When selecting sets from this palette, use the Text Only option to view the names.
PAINT ANIMALS Duplicate your image then go to Filter>Artistic>Smudge Stick. Inside the Filter Gallery set Stroke Length to 2, Highlight Area to 5 and Intensity to 10. Using the Mixer Brush tool, shape the tones and colours around the contours of the animal. This is another way to paint with a ﬁlter that works for this particular subject.
DERPAINTING ts call the base of a painting its erpainting’. Create your by applying a ﬁlter to a o, then paint over it.
CITYSCAPES Working on a new layer, select the Mixer Brush and use the Flat Blunt With Texture tip from the Dry Media set. In the Options bar, set the tool’s Size to 40-50px, Wet to 24%, Load to 39%, Mix to 42% Flow to 11% and Sample All Layers must be activated. Increase or decrease the Mix and Flow settings based on your image. Boost colours with Hue/Saturation.
PAINTING PORTRAITS First go to Filter>Artistic>Palette Knife. Set the ﬁlter’s Stroke Size to 9, Stroke Detail to 3 and Softness to 0. Use a Flat Blun With Texture brush (Wet: 24% Load: 39%, Mix: 42% Flow: 11%, and Sample All Layers ticked) to brush on an empty ayer until the painting starts to appear.
Capt engagi human brush tec When painting a featu face such as eyes, the a the skin texture and deta You want to ultimately por emotion that’s recognisabl familiar with viewers. Over th steps we’ll provide the tool set brush techniques to help you dr colour and add detail to an eye in best way possible.
Howto painteyes HOWTOPAINT HAIR
Create a new layer for the eye sketch and pick a normal Soft Round brush (Size of 12px, Opacity of 84%, Flow at 100%, and colour set to #211210). Activate ‘Always use Pressure for Opacity’ and ‘Always Use Pressure For Size’.
Your sketch should be at the top and locked. Apply base colours with a soft brush (#9b665a and #0a0404). With the Mixer Brush set to Wet 8%, Load 8%, Mix 8% and Flow 100%, and the Spatter 46 brush tip, mix colours.
The best brushes for painting hair are Round Angle Low Stiffness for applying colours; Round Fan Stiff Thin Bristles to create details, and Flat Angle Low Bristle Count for highlights. If you wan to make the colours more vibrant, it’s just a case of changing the blending mode to Colo Dodge and also using a lower opacity.
Use a Soft Round brush set to Size 50-67px, colours #535770 and #0a0404, to form the base colour of the eye. With the Spatter 59 brush tip (Size 20-50px, Opacity 50% and Flow 100%), add depth.
Create a new layer, with Foreground set to #e4b291 and blend mode to Darker Color for the brush. Add a mask to erase some areas. To make eye highlights, use a Soft Round brush with Opacity 50%. For shadows, use the colour #a07467 but this time change the blend mode to Multiply.
Zoom into the eye to add skin texture. Use the Spatter 59 and Spatter 46 brushes, with colour set to #e4b291 (alternate with #e7e7e7), and brush over the skin areas with a low opacity to apply subtle texture.
Use Photoshop’s existing brushe to create your own masterpiece
Start with the background ﬁrst. You can add detail to it later, but make sure that the basic scene is set before you add foreground detail.
The next step from painting using a photo is to create an entire scene from scratch. And if you use the brushes properly, it isn’t such a daunting task. The brushes used in this image are Dry Media, the basic Soft Round, and the Round Fan with Texture. The most important part when using brushes is laying down base colour to then paint from with the Mixer Brush. This is a very easy way for creating shape, texture and form, without too much going wrong. On top of these, adjustments will help to create the shadows and highlights, such as using Curves, Color Balance and, our particular favourite, Selective Color for t ing the final tones and hues for a better painting.
or a more traditional aintbrush tip, select the Mixer rush tip and choose the Soft ound brush. Adjust Wet to 8%, oad to 8%, Mix to 8%, and Flow o 6%. Turn on Scattering inside he Brush palette and set it to round 610%. Also activate Pen ressure, and adjust Count and ount Jitter to give different ffects for brushmarks.
TEXTURE Apply texture with the Mixer Brush tool using the Texture option in the Brush palette. To make the texture stand out more, after adding the paint, go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask to increase the effect.
Start with a blue background (#2e4692). Add a new layer and use a white, small brush set to Opacity 79%, Flow 100%, ‘Always Use Pressure For Opacity’ and ‘Always Use Pressure For Size’. Start sketching the scene.
For the trees, you can either download a specific tree brush, or use the Soft Pastel Large brush from the Dry Media Brush set. For better results, the trees should be black. Paint with a brush Size of 50 to 60px.
The outline layer for the wolf needs to be on top and locked. On a new layer under the outline, use the Soft Round brush to colour the wolf using an off-black (#403e30). The Smudge tool is useful for creating the fur.
COLOUR SHIFTS Don’t be afraid to go crazy with colour! The icy blue on the wolf’s fur is unnatural, but enhances the image.
BRUSH STROKES Visible brush strokes are better than completely smooth colour for creating a painterly look.
EXPERT TIP Why not smudge?
Many artists ignore the Smudge tool, but it’s a powerful tool that can be useful for creating animal fur. In addition to this, you won’t have to download any brushes, as they’re all ready to go in Photoshop inside the Brush Preset palette.
Select the Mixer Brush tool for adding a lighter colour and choose the Soft Pastel Large Brush, set to Wet 40%, Load 40%, Mix 40% and Flow 40%. The Sample All Layers option must be deactivated.
Merge all layers by using Cmd/Crtl+Opt/ Alt+Shift+E, then pick the Mixer Brush with the Round Fan With Texture tip. With Size 6-15px , Wet 25%, Load 25%, Mix 25% and Flow 40% and Sample All Layers active, add details.
After that use different layers to add highlights on the fur. The Color Dodge blend mode with a low Opacity (25-30%) is ideal. Finally, use adjustments such as Selective Color to enhance the tones and hues to your liking.
PAINTVIVIDSUNSETS Inject rich colours and create simple compositions in a few easy steps
You don’t have to be a professional painter to be able to paint well. Even if you’re new to the idea of painting a scene such as a sunset, you can achieve results using simple b techniques and setting up the Brush r Brush tools with the right settings
01 llo ad
EXPERT TIP Laying down colour
Many techniques that use the Mixer Brush require multiple colours to be painted on the canvas before mixing. Using Photoshop’s normal Brush tool (B) with a Soft Round tip will get you going with the background colours for your paintings.
Ap COLOUR EFFECTS Look to paint in dark and light shades of orange, with hints of red, to create a convincing sunset sky.
02 cb oun oad am
GLOW The sun’s glow was made using a Soft Round brush tip with the Color Dodge blend mode, then reducing the layer’s opacity.
HE RESCO FFECT
After merging all your layers, duplicate the merged layer Cmd/Ctrl+J) and then go to Filter>Artistic>Fresco. Hit OK to apply he default settings for this ﬁlter, hen change this layer’s blend mode o Screen to merge the ﬁlter effect with your painting. You’ll ﬁnd that the painting looks more artistic this way.
04 for th adju
Learn how to craft a still life painting by combining brushes and texture
ADD IN TEXTURE
Apply the base colours (#935b25, #83401d, #dd9b5a and #62451a) with a large round brush. Use the Mixer Brush to blend together (turn on ‘Load The Brush After Each Stroke’ and ‘Clean The Brush After Each Stroke’).
After outlining the fruits, add a new layer and colour the dark areas on the fruit by using #82723a (greens) and #961f22 (for reds). Use the Flat Angle Bristle Count brush to blend these colours into the fruit outlines.
THE SUMI-E FILTER
Textures work wonders for adding a realistic canvas surface to your paintings. Look for thick textures like concrete for great results.
Use the Sumi-e Filter from the Filter Gallery>Brush Strokes to bring out edge detail for a different painterly style. The following settings work well: Stroke Width 8, Stroke Pressure 3, and Contrast 15. You can reduce the effects of the ﬁlter after applying it by going to Edit>Fade Filter Gallery and reducing the Opacity slider, or playing around with the blend mode options.
Use the Brush tool to add to the effect using the Round Curve Low Bristle Percent brush set to Size 150-175px and Opacity 52%. Add different layers for different colours in the scene, such as the basket in the background.
On a new layer use a Flat Angle Bristle Count brush to blend lighter tones. Adding a texture below the fruit layers will make the scene more realistic. Use the Selective Color adjustment to boost shadows and saturation.
For the last step, set a new layer to Soft Light and use Soft Round brush with its Hardness set to 20% and Spacing to 262% to add white speckles to make the fruit appear more realistic.
EXPERT TIP Dark to light
EFFECT Learn to use Wet Watercolour paintings have always b original and classic appeal. In the follo of digital watercolour painting using P various watercolour brushes with the settings inside the Brush palette th evocative but timeless
Watercolour artists paint differently to other artists, working from light colours to dark. To replicate the pale, delicate look of watercolour, you should use the same method. Start with the lightest tones and then build up the darker ones on layers above.
style because of th s we’ll show you the ba op’s brushes. Combining Edges and Brush Tip Shape orts of effects are not only
Draw your sketch and add a new layer under it. Set your colour to #ddcdc4 and go to Edit>Fill. Choose Foreground Color for Use and hit OK to create the base colour.
HIGHLIGHTS Highlights should be bright and clear, and only a shade or so darker than the background colour.
MIDTONES Midtones should be soft and muted. Blending the edges of several midtones together adds to the watercolour look.
Now go to the Watercolor Heavy Loaded brush under the Wet Media set. In the Brush palette turn on Wet Edges and lower Opacity to 43%. Now paint!
In the Brush palette tick Dual Brush and pick Round Blunt for the secondary brush. Tick Wet Edges and inside the Brush Tip Shape options, change Bristles to 72%, Length 188%, Thickness 11%, Stiffness 82%. Paint in a different colour on a new layer to create depth.
SHADOWS Dark shadows should be added last of all, using a very light touch! The Burn tool or a soft airbrush effect will both work well.
t’s easy to create your own spray rushes. All you have to do is create new layer then use a Splatter 9px brush and set Size to 200px, Opacity: 100% and Flow: 100%. Turn n Texture from the Brush palette nd you can work with the Airbrush oft from the Round Brushes et, or Spray brushes inside the Natural Media set to create some nteresting spray paint effects.
From the Wet Media set select Water Paper 25. Set the Opacity to 43%, activate ‘Always Use Pressure For Opacity and Flow 62%. Brush over the skin with flesh tones (#e1bc9b) to create a soft skin texture.
Use CC’s Oil Learnsomecreativedigitaltechniquestomimicthe appearanceofanactualoilpainting
he artistic community frequently maligns Photoshop’s filters, because it’s usually obvious that an image was created by a machine rather than a human. The problem is that most filters cannot make the multitude of decisions regarding things like brush weight and direction that a human can. We make these decisions based on the context of the image; filters just see a series of pixels and treat them as such. Yet Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter brings things a step closer in that there is some edge-detection built into the algorithm. This still doesn’t grant perfect handpainted results, but it’s a lot better than the previous filter attempts. In this tutorial we will show you a technique for using the Oil Paint filter to yield results that are strikingly similar to a painting created by hand. The basic technique of the method is to isolate elements of the painting and use different Oil Paint settings on each element, thereby giving the illusion of the hand-painted effect.
What do y
Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC
What you’ll learn Create digital art with the Oil Paint ﬁlter, masks and layer styles
Exper Kirk Nelson “As a digital artist with a background in traditional art, I’m always interested in digital techniques that simulate the traditional ones – especially ways of getting ﬁlters to appear not-so-ﬁltery. I’m an Adobe Certiﬁed Expert (ACE) and have 15 years industry experience and work as a graphics artist in the DC area. Just your friendly neighbourhood graphics geek!”
Onthedisc Unleash your inner artist with the start ﬁles
Start images Photoshop Creative
Open both supplied start images. Drag and drop the sunset image onto the beach image. Then transform the sunset layer until it covers the sky. It’s helpful to reduce the opacity while transforming, just to see how the layers line up.
Use the Polygonal Lasso to trace along the roof lines of the huts. Complete the selection to generate a selection of the sky area. Use this as a layer mask on the sunset layer (Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection).
Sample a blue colour from the foreground hut, then use a large soft brush on a new layer to paint along the upper bright areas of the sky. Change the layer’s blending mode to Color Burn and reduce the Opacity to 18%.
Duplicate the merged layer (Cmd/ Ctrl+J). On this layer go to Filter>Oil Paint and set Stylization: 10, Cleanliness: 10, Scale: 3.22, Bristle Detail: 10, Angular Lighting: 57.6, and Shine: 0.55.
To enhance colours in the sky, click on the sunset layer and go to Image> Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Use a Hue setting of 3 and a Saturation of 25.
Create a merged layer by holding down the Alt/Opt key and going to Layer>Merge Visible. Then apply the first painted filter by going to Filter>Filter Gallery. In the Artistic folder find the Paint Daubs filter and set the Brush Size to 8 and Sharpness to 24.
Duplicate the merged layer again and move the duplicate to the top of the layer stack. Run the Oil Paint filter again but this time set Stylization, Cleanliness and Scale to 10 and Bristle Detail to 0. Set the Angular Direction to 300 and the Shine to 1.3.
Using the Polygonal tool, create a selection along the roof edges of the huts again. Continue the selection to include the foreground. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. This makes the sky visible behind the huts.
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Experttip Smart Filters
To give some thickness to the paint, add a Bevel and Emboss layer style. Set the Depth to 123%, Size to 17px, Soften to 16px, disable Use Global Light and set Angle to 192 and Altitude to 74. Reduce the Highlight Opacity to 34%.
Create another copy of the merged layer for the sand. Move this layer to the top and run the Oil Paint filter again. Set the Stylization to 10, Cleanliness to 9.85, Scale to 2.08, Bristle Detail to 10, Angular Direction to 187.2, and Shine to 0.1.
In Photoshop CC, the Oil Paint ďŹ lter includes Smart Object support. That means the effect can be readjusted at any time. This is helpful in a project like this one, where each layer should have its own appearance. Just right-click on the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Then when you run the Oil Paint ďŹ lter as normal, it is applied as a Smart Filter. To readjust the settings just double-click the Oil Paint line as it is listed beneath the layer in the Layers panel.
Mask out the sand layer completely by going to Layer>Layer Mask>Hide All. Then use a large, soft edged brush with white paint to gently reveal the painted sand area. Make certain the mask is the target, not the actual layer.
Duplicate the merged layer once more for the grass. Move this layer to the top and run the Oil Paint filter again with Stylization of 7.48, Cleanliness at 6.8, Scale at 0.79, Bristle Detail at 10, Angular Direction at 187.2, and Shine of 1.5
Add a Bevel and Emboss layer style to the grass layer with a Depth of 121%, Size of 21px, Soften of 16px, Global Light disabled, Angle at -162, Altitude at 74 and the Highlight Opacity at 34%. This adds a sense of thickness to the paint strokes for the grass.
Go to Select>Color Range and use the eyedropper to sample the green of the grass area. Go to Select>Refine Edge and adjust the Contrast and Shift Edge to generate a clean selection. Set the Output to Layer Mask before clicking OK.
Create another merged layer at the top by holding down Alt/Opt and going to Layer>Merged Visible. Then run the Filter Gallery and look for the Underpainting filter in the Artistic folder. Set the Brush Size to 2, Texture Coverage to 4, Scaling to 169% and Relief to 4.
The Underpainting filter hides all the work previously accomplished by the multiple Oil Paint filters. To blend the two together, set the blend mode to Vivid Light and reduce the Opacity to 40%. This also intensifies the colours of the painting.
Create yet another merged layer (Alt/Opt+Layer>Merge Visible) and use the Burn tool to darken the edges and corners. Start by setting the Range to Highlights and the Exposure to 11%. If you find the effect is too subtle, change the range to Midtones.
Enhance the image colours even more by going to Image> Adjustments>Vibrance. Set the Vibrance setting to 13 and the Saturation to 5. If the colour shift isnâ€™t noticeable, feel free to increase these settings.
Duplicate the Burn layer and use Select>Color Range to select the white areas of the huts. Then use that selection as a layer mask. If the selection included portions of the sky, paint those out of the mask with a black brush.
Add a Bevel and Emboss layer style to the white paint strokes. Set the Style to Outer Bevel, the Depth to 572%, Size to 2px, Soften to 2px, disable the Global Light, set the Angle to -37, Altitude to 64 and reduce the highlight Opacity to 34%.
Create a new layer at the top of the stack and fill it with the Foreground colour. Then set the blending mode to Soft Light and the Fill to 0%. Add a Pattern Overlay layer style set to Soft Light with the Dark Course Weave pattern at a scale of 63%.
Add a layer mask to the texture layer then grab the Gradient tool. Set the gradient to black-to-transparent and the gradient mode to Radial. Then use several gradients on the mask to control the appearance of the canvas texture.
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Onthedisc Start image for you to practise on
Essentials Works with
Photoshop CS and above, and Photoshop CC
What you’ll learn How to use the AKVIS Draw plug-in to create sketches from photos
Expert Charli Edwards “I love using mixed media in my artwork, and I found the AKVIS plug-in is a great tool to add sketched elements to my work. I’m a professional digital designer who has used Photoshop for over 10 years.”
Turn aphoto into a sketch Createfunsketchesthatlookhand-drawn usingAKVIS’splug-inandPhotoshop
ver wanted to turn a photograph into a sketch? It’s now easier than ever to do just that, with help from of a plug-in by AKVIS called Draw. In the following steps we’ll being showing you how easy it is to use this plug-in alongside some of Photoshop’s existing Filter Gallery options, such as Oil Paint and Stamp, in order to create an authentic hand-drawn sketch like our example. You’ll be guided through how to use various blend modes to soften details, and we’ll also be covering the importance of merging layers
to create unique effects that you can tweak until you have the perfect image for you. Applying tools such as the Brush and Pen provide the control required to adapt the image after the plug-in has done the hard work. If the tutorial has whetted your appetite, you can download a free 10-day trial of AKVIS Draw from http://akvis.com. If you like what you see, you can purchase your own copy of the plug-in to use over and over again. Prices start at $49 (that’s around £30).
Open the image and duplicate the Background layer so that you have an original image to work from. Name the new layer Sketch and with it selected, go to Filter>AKVIS>Draw and press Continue. This opens the image up in the plug-in.
When the photo loads up it will preview a sketched image with various generic settings. Adjust these settings to add more detail. Untick the Thick Strokes option, and also make sure that Original Colors is deselected.
Now to adjust the sliders. Each one controls aspects of the sketch, so the first thing we need to do is adjust the Level Of Detail slider to 88 and the Hatching Intensity to 50. You’ll be able to see how the image changes as you adjust each slider.
TutorialTurnaphotointoasketch Experttip Embrace merging Don’t be afraid to merge layers to create new effects. If you’re concerned you may not like the ﬁnished image, save duplicate versions of the layers inside a group folder just in case. Rename your layers so that it makes it easier for you to reference them later on.
The Saturation slider should sit at around 75 and Extra Detail needs to be 165. Increase Hatching Density to 823 and Simplification to 0. Finally adjust Sensitivity to 64 and Dispersion to 20. The image is starting to take shape. Press the tick.
Now we have our image ready, in Photoshop hide the Sketch layer and duplicate the Background layer. Open the Hue/Saturation panel by pressing Cmd/ Ctrl+U and adjust Saturation to +66, then press OK to confirm.
Turn the Sketch layer back on and change the blend mode to Screen. The image instantly looks more sketch-like, although the colours are a little pale. To counteract this, change the Opacity of the Sketch layer to 75%.
To make it easier to keep track, rename the saturated layer copy to Face, and then add a layer mask to it and invert using Cmd/Ctrl+I. Then (making sure the mask is selected), paint back in the face features from the Face layer.
The face and neck are a little messy, and we want to lose the blinds. Pick a soft brush (B) with Size 200 and Hardness 0%, select a white Foreground colour and paint over these features, adjusting the brush’s size as needed.
Change the blend mode to Screen and Opacity to 40% for the Face layer, and create a new layer underneath. With a small, soft brush, using #ffe3e9 as the colour, paint underneath the eyes and the cheek areas to tone down the highlights. Set the brush’s Opacity to 38%.
With the Sketch layer still showing, duplicate the saturated layer and set white as your Background colour and black as your Foreground colour. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery and locate Charcoal under Sketch. Apply the following settings: Charcoal Thickness: 5, Detail: 0 and Light/ Dark Balance: 69. Click OK.
The next step is to adjust the composition by trimming the image. Select the Crop tool and set the cropping ratio to 240mm x 310mm. The idea is to lose some of the white space above the girl and make her more central to the image.
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Tidy up the layers by merging the top three (press Cmd/Ctrl+E multiple times). Set the merged layer blending mode to Screen and if there are too many highlights, use an Eraser to remove. Zoom in and out to see the full composition and ensure colours are balanced.
The lines left behind by the original blinds doesn’t add anything, so we’re going to clean the image up by removing them. Hide the Sketch layer and use the Pen tool to draw around the girl and sofa. Ctrl/ right-click and select Make Selection. Set Feather Radius to 0.5px and click OK.
Use the Paint Bucket tool (G) to fill the area with a lilac colour. On the Sketch layer, deselect the area (Cmd/Ctrl+D), and then merge them together. Double-click the merged layer and apply a Pattern Overlay. Select the Italian Canvas option from the Artists Brushes Canvas presets. Set to Soft Light, Opacity of 48% and a Scale of 55% to add a texture.
Whatyou’lllearn Createdigitalphotoart Combine Photoshop with a plug-in for sketch perfection SIMPLIFYING FEATURES Too much detail in the face makes the sketch look like a photo. Take your time to remove details, or add ﬂat colour to areas, to get the perfect balance.
REMOVE BACKGROUNDS The beauty of a sketch is that it can be simple. Don’t be afraid to remove the details you don’t want, like the blinds behind the sofa.
SOFT BRUSHES Using a soft brush enables you to soften edges and erase areas of unnecessary detail without causing blunt lines. After all, a sketch is supposed to be a little rough around the edges!
The model’s legs can easily become messy if you’re too liberal with the settings in AKVIS Draw. For fewer marks, build up layers of detail by running the image through Draw and masking certain areas out.
AKVIS makes images look like pencil sketches. To make this look realistic, use the Screen blending mode, as it keeps colours light and soft. Too much contrast makes the image messy.
Tutorial Masterbokeheffects FREEON YOURDISC! Takethistutorialfurtherbyblending inoneofthestunning bokehtextures courtesyofwww.123Creative.com. Thereare24tochoosefrom,andthey canbeusedtakethisbokehimageto newheights.Justloadupyourfree discandheadtotheResource sectiontoﬁndyourbokeh goodies!
Onthedisc Spot this start image in the Tutorial Files
Essentials Works with
Photoshop CS3 and above and Photoshop CC
What you’ll learn Create a brush to simulate the bokeh effect found in photography
Exper Stewart Wood “I love bokeh and I often overlay a bokeh texture onto my photos to give them a little more magic. I specialise in portraits and composites and being able to add extra effects like bokeh to my images is great. Even better than that is being able to create custom brushes.”
Master bokeh effects Start ima ge
okeh is the word given to the out of focus part of a photograph. The shape and size of the bokeh is determined by the type of lens used and the aperture, but they are usually circles of light. The wider the aperture is, the more defined the bokeh effect is. Bokeh is more noticeable in the highlights of a photo and at times like Christmas it makes for a beautiful look. But there is no need to worry about aperture settings; we can simulate the bokeh effect from
inside of Photoshop. The bonus to this is we can have the bokeh on a separate layer so we can always come back and edit the effects at a later date. This tutorial reveals how to make a bokeh brush and apply it to a photograph. The techniques used in this tutorial can be applied to many other situations like retouching a portrait, compositing and graphic artwork. Being able to create custom brushes is a must-have for retouching work, so let’s discover how to create a custom bokeh brush.
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Fill (Shift+F5) this circle with black and deselect (Cmd/Ctrl+D). Go to Layer>Layer Style>Blending Options. Change the Fill Opacity to 50%. Select Stroke and use 10 pixels for the size. Choose Inside for Position and Black for its colour.
Create a new document. Use a screen resolution of 500x500 pixels and use Transparent for the background. Select the Ellipse tool (M), and holding the Shift key, create a circle that fills the canvas.
Change the Spacing value to 100%. After that, select the Shape Dynamics and change the Size Jitter to 100%. Select Scattering and change Scatter to 500%. Select Transfer and change the Opacity Jitter to 100%.
Create a new document (Cmd/ Ctrl+N). Set size to 395mm wide x 310mm high at 300 pixels/inch. Fill the Background layer with a very dark grey, not black. If you fill it with black the effect wonâ€™t work. The colour we used was #262626.
Select the circle and go to Edit>Define Brush. Name your brush and save it. Select the Brush tool (B) and go to Window>Brushes (F5). The first thing to do in the Brush palette is to select the new brush.
Create a new layer group called Bokehs and change the blend mode to Color Dodge. Create a new layer, choose white for the colour and select the Brush tool (B). Paint with a large bokeh brush.
Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. For this first layer, use 48 pixels for the Radius. Create another layer and paint more bokeh shapes. This time, use a smaller size for the brush and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, and set Radius to 34 pixels.
Create another layer and repeat the previous step with a smaller brush. Apply the Gaussian Blur, with 11 pixels for the Radius. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels and move this above the folder. Enter 125 into the shadow output levels.
Tutorial Masterbokeheffects Addagradient
Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. Click the gradient to edit it. The colours used were black at location 0%, brown (#9f6422) at 43%, yellow (#f8f1ad) at 100%. Hit OK to apply the changes.
Go to File>Place (Photoshop CC use Place Embedded). Pick the ‘Leopard. jpg’ file. With the Quick Selection tool (W), select the leopards and foreground rocks. Click on Refine Edge and tick the Smart Radius box. Set the Radius to 2px.
We need to add a little contrast into the leopards. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Change the black input to 25, the grey input to 0.95 and white to 250. Go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask.
With the Refine Radius tool, paint around the fur. Set Feather to 1. At the bottom of dialog, change Output To Selection and click OK. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Clean up the mask using a soft black or white brush.
Experttip Varythe settings You can vary the settings for each adjustment and ﬁlter used. If you don’t want to follow this tutorial step-forstep, you don’t have to! Go ahead and change the colours of the gradients, change the settings used in the adjustment layers, and even change the opacity settings. Changing the blend mode of the bokeh effect will give you a completely different look as well. Go ahead and experiment and see what you can come up with.
Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness & Contrast. Set Brightness to -75 and go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask. Select the layer mask and paint over the leopards with a black brush to reveal them. Repeat, but this time brighten the leopards by +25.
Create a new layer, called Vignette. Now go back and repeat the steps for Go to Edit>Fill and give this a 50% grey creating the bokeh shapes but place fill. Go to Filter>Lens Correction and go to the layers at the top of the layer stack. Set the Custom tab. Use a vignette Amount of the opacity of the group folder to 25%. We -100 and Midpoint of 0. Set the blend mode want this folder barely visible. to Soft Light to complete the effect.
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Onthedisc Start ﬁles to get you started with shapes
Essentials Works with
Works with Photoshop CC and above
What you’ll learn Control and combine custom shapes, the Pen tool and custom brushes
Illustrate with shapes
Jenni Sanders “The Pen is one of my favourite tools in Photoshop. It’s very powerful and allows for adjustments without losing quality. My ﬁrst experience with photomanipulation was watching my dad clone out holidaymakers from our family beach photographs. From that moment I was completely hooked.”
hotoshop can be used for more than just editing photos; it’s also an incredible tool for creating your own art. This tutorial will guide you through using custom shapes in creative ways by layering, combining and using the Pen tool to fine-tune your creations. All the shapes are initially laid down as vectors, which allows for smooth, clean lines and the ability to scale and transform each shape multiple times without losing quality. Vectors are calculated using points and algorithms in real time by Photoshop and are
essentially re-drawn each time they’re adjusted. If you have visions of your computer groaning under the weight of hefty files, don’t worry; they’re much easier on the hard drive than high-resolution photos. Another advantage of using shapes and layers is that you can copy and paste assets to use them throughout your project, saving you a lot of time going through similar actions. After the shapes are all done, we’ll call upon brushes to give the image more of an organic feel. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Create a new portrait canvas using File>New. This image is going to fade from day to night, so from inside the adjustment layer icon in your Layers palette add a Gradient Fill layer. Double-click the drop-down to open the Gradient Editor.
Select a three-colour gradient from the presets and use the colour-stop indicators to select a navy, cream and light blue. Hit OK. Check the style is set to Linear, 90 degrees, Scale 100% and hit OK. Create a new layer on top of this one.
Select the Brush tool (B) and click the drop-down arrow next to the preview. On the right is a small cog; click it and select Load Brushes. Locate the ‘TheShoreways_brushes_paint.abr’ with the supplied files, and double-click to load.
On the new layer just created, use some of the loaded brushes to draw a texture. Pick colours that are similar to the background, varying the darkness and keeping Opacity to around 20%. Build up until you have an organic feel.
Select the Shapes tool (U). Click and hold to reveal options and select Ellipse. Draw the planet by dragging out. Pick the colour from the Options bar and leave the Stroke set to off by selecting the strike-through icon. You can use the Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) commands to adjust your shape.
Zoom in and select the Rectangle tool. Draw a thin rectangle in brown for the trunk. Then, select the Custom Shape tool and load all the shapes by clicking the Shapes preview dialog, then the cog symbol and click on All. Select the teardrop shape and draw in a green shape.
The teardrop isn’t too tree-like, so adjust it by selecting the Pen tool (P), holding Cmd/Ctrl and clicking on the edge of the shape. The adjustment points will appear. Use Cmd/Ctrl-click to move them, and Opt/Alt-click to change the angle of the paths to soften and widen slightly.
It’s an idea to keep each tree in a group using Layers>Group Layers. Use Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy each group and use the Move tool with Free Transform to arrange them on the planet. Adjust shades, sizes and rotation for variety.
Using the same technique, create other trees. Teardrops can be made taller, and a cloud has been simplified. Have fun playing with the custom shapes and the Pen to see what you can come up with.
The moon and star custom shapes are a bit plain. Draw them out in the bottom corner and select the Pen tool. Cmd/Ctrl-click the shape’s outline. Hold Opt/Alt while dragging the points to create bigger moon curves and Cmd/Ctrl-click to make the stars thinner.
Use the same technique to stylise the clouds, and use the Ellipse tool for the sun. Use the Pen again to customise these shapes. For the sun beams, select the Line tool and change the options to Combine Shapes to create them all on the same layer.
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Experttip Deﬁne shapes
Drawing with the Pen tool can be tricky without much experience, so using an image or scanned sketch to trace over is recommended. Select the Pen tool and zoom in to place your points. Click and drag to adjust the curvature of the path.
Keep adding points; remember you can go back to any point with Cmd/Ctrl to move and Opt/Alt to adjust. Use as few points as possible to keep it smooth. If a shape isn’t working, try adding or removing a point along the path.
Shapes created with the Pen tool can be saved as a custom shape. For example, the bird in this tutorial was saved as a custom shape so it could be used again. Simply draw out shapes with the Pen tool using paths. Then, with the Pen tool still selected, Ctrl/right-click and select Deﬁne Custom Shape. A pop-up box will appear for you to give it a name and that’s it! The shape will now appear in the Shapes menu for you to draw with the Custom Shape tool.
When you’ve drawn the figures, connect the first and last point and click Shape from the top banner. Transform it using Free Transform. Change the colour by double-clicking the layer. For more detail, use the same technique to draw birds.
Create a new layer with Cmd/ Ctrl+Shift+N. Zoom into the trees and select the Brush tool (B) and choose one of the new brushes. Pick a dark green colour, and set the Opacity to 5-10%. Begin lightly shading around the edges.
Continue moving around each element, using your new layer to draw on shadows. Select a darker version of each colour to keep it varied. Finally, select the Line tool and with Width set to 7px, draw a triangle grid across the planet’s surface.
Highlight all the layers, Ctrl/right-click and select Merge Shapes. Cmd/Ctrl-click on the Planet layer to create a selection and add a layer mask to the Grid layer with Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Ctrl/right-click on the grid’s layer and select Rasterize. Using the Paint Bucket tool (K), fill the triangles with different colours.
File>Open ‘Papertexture.jpg’ and put it on top of the grid. Ctrl/ right-click between the layers to create a clipping mask and set blend mode to Multiply. Set the Grid layer to Screen. Duplicate the Grid layer and set the blend mode to Luminosity with 50% Opacity.
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f photography is not your first love then you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of ways to get quality images free of charge. Stock websites offer up a huge selection of user-generated and professional images, that can help you out in times of need when creating art in Photoshop. Here’s our pick of the best.
01FREERANGESTOCK Like many free stock sites, you have to sign up first to be able to download files. Creating a profile at Freerange Stock won’t cost you anything, and once you’re in you can get downloading instantly. Browse images using Freerange’s in-house collection, or the usersubmitted images for more variety. Images are found under either most popular or newest, and resolutions can vary.
02 FREEDIGITALPHOTOS This website works slightly differently to others, with a range of images available for free at a small resolution under the standard licence. The higher up you go in terms of resolution then the more expensive images become. This makes FreeDigitalPhotos ideal for grabbing images as part of a website or smaller prints.
03FREEIMAGES This was known as StockXchnge, but with a new name and similar features, freeimages is still a great place to go for high-resolution images without having to pay. The website has grown over the years to provide a huge selection of images, from casual everyday shots to the more high-end, studio images. It’s easy to navigate; making it a breeze to find the required image. FREEDIGITALPHOTOS
04STOCKVAULT Stockvault makes it easy to find what you need, with categories including Nature, Graphics and People. All images are high-resolution, excellent quality and free, of course! Commercial use and free distribution isn’t permitted however, but there are lots of options for using at home for your own Photoshop compositions. A great website and a must-have for the bookmarks.
05MORGUEFILE Putting its gruesome name aside for one moment, this is a handy place to go for that last-minute free image. The quality of images can vary quite drastically, so hunting for the best-looking ones can take you some time!
It’s only small resolution images that are free from freedigitalphotos.net but they can still be useful.
FREEIMAGES The new name for StockXchnge, freeimages.com is a hive of resources.
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Improve a landscape photo Takeyourlandscapephotographsfurtherbycombiningandretouching imagesforanewandenhancedcomposition
hen shooting at a location, you can attempt to avoid capturing ugly objects simply by repositioning yourself for a clearer view of the main subject. However, this may not be possible when shooting wide-angled views of a landscape scene, or if you are looking at a busy scene with not much room for manoeuvre. But it isn’t always obvious problems like dustbins or street signs that can ruin an image. In our example here, the start file is pretty good but it can still be made much better. The beautiful scene is ruined by the man-made objects such as the buildings, roads and bridge. In this tutorial we’ll focus on what the Content-
Aware Fill options can do to remove any unwanted objects. But even though this works well, it may not get the job done completely. We’ll also need to use the Clone Stamp tool to clean up other parts of the image for best results. The skill that’s most required for doing a project like this is patience. As good as Photoshop is, it can take a lot of work to get the job done. This is where you need to figure out which tools are the right choice for the task ahead. Once you’ve mastered the skills shown in this tutorial, you should be able to confidently tackle other retouching challenges that are too complex for the Clone Stamp tool to handle alone.
Go to File>Open (Cmd/Ctrl+O) and select ‘Landscape.jpg’ from the supplied resources. Select the Ruler tool (I) by clicking and holding the Eyedropper tool to reveal the sub-menu.
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Onthedisc Practice with the supplied start ﬁles
Essentials Works with
Photoshop CS3 and above and Photoshop CC
What you’ll learn Use retouching tools and Content-Aware Fill to remove objects
Expert Stewart Wood
With the Ruler tool selected, drag out a line along the top of the bridge. Select Straighten Layer from the Options bar at the top to straighten the image. Rename this layer Base by double-clicking on the layer’s name.
“I was thrust into the world of Photoshop about eight years ago. Back then we had to remove unwanted objects the hard way! I specialise in portraits and composites, and being able to remove unwanted objects quickly in Photoshop is a time saver for all photographers.”
Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and select the Lasso tool (L). Select the top empty area created when we straightened the image. Go to Edit>Fill (Shift F5) and in the Use options, select ContentAware Fill. Then click OK to fill the area.
Repeat the last step for the rest of the image affected by the Straighten command. If at any time ContentAware Fill does a bad job, just refill the same area using the Fill command.
For smaller areas like the fence and buildings, use the Spot Healing Brush tool (J). Make sure you have the Content-Aware option active in the Options bar. When you see a small man-made object, just paint over the area to remove it.
Let’s tackle the bridge. With the Clone Stamp tool still selected, use it to break up the bridge into separate parts. This will help Content-Aware Fill do a better job by only having to remove smaller areas rather than large chunks at a time.
Using the Lasso tool (L) select the areas of the bridge and go to Edit>Fill (Shift F5). In the Use options, select Content-Aware Fill. Combine the Fill command, Spot Healing Brush and Clone Stamp to remove the bridge and the tree in the foreground.
Using the Lasso tool (L) select the foreground plants. Copy the contents to a new layer. Go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask and enter 50% for Amount, 1.0px for Radius and 0 for Threshold. Press OK to confirm.
Sometimes the Spot Healing Brush won’t do the job. This is when we fall back to the Clone Stamp tool (S). Areas like buildings can be removed using the tool. Press the Opt/Alt key to define pixels to copy, and then just paint over the area.
Let’s brighten up the foreground just a tad. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/Contrast. Enter 35 for Brightness. Go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask. This will make our adjustment only affect the previous layer.
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Experttip Add ripples to water
Go to File>Place (for Photoshop CC this will be Place Embedded). Select ‘Sky.jpg’ and reposition the layer to the top of the image. Reduce the layer’s Opacity to 50%, as this will help to blend in our new sky. Rename this layer Sky.
Select the base layer and with the Quick Selection tool (W), select the sky. Go to Select>Modify>Feather and enter a Radius of 1px to give the selection a slight blur. Select the new Sky layer and go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.
Keep things realistic is paramount, and adding some ripples to the water will further improve the realism of this composition. Select the Reﬂection layer and go to Filter>Distort>Ripple. Select a size of your choosing (we used an Amount of 200%). Click OK when you’re satisﬁed with the ﬁnal results in the preview. Now that the water reﬂection will have a small amount of distortion, it will help make it blend in more with the scene.
Copy the Sky layer and delete the layer mask. Select the water as you did with the sky. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Pick a black brush (B) and paint on the layer mask to blend in the reflection. Set the Opacity to 50%.
Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and enter a Radius of 4px. Create a new layer and name it Vignette. Go to Edit>Fill and choose 50% Grey. Go to Filter>Lens Correction and under the Custom tab, use a Vignette Amount of -100 and Midpoint of 0.
Go to Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color. Enter a hexadecimal colour of #a800ff. Change the blend mode to Exclusion and set the layer’s Opacity to 10%. Rename this layer Colour Fill 2.
Set the blend mode of the vignette to Soft Light and Opacity to 50%. Go to Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color. Enter a hexadecimal colour of #006cff. Change the blend mode to Exclusion and the Opacity to 15%. Rename this layer Colour Fill 1.
Let’s add some contrast to finish the image. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Change the black’s Input to 25, the grey’s Input to 1.03 and for the white, set to 239.
Onthedisc The ﬁles you need to follow along
Essentials Works with
Photoshop CS and above, and Photoshop CC
What you’ll learn Use Calculations and Transform tools for tricky selections and masks
Exper Daniel Sinoca “Learn a new photo trick to create an out-of-bound image using the Calculations command. The methods in this tutorial will help you make complex selections quickly and easily. I started to get involved in the digital world more than ten years ago and enjoy working as a freelance artist, creating all kinds of multimedia projects.”
Amazing photo effects
aking an interesting out-of-bounds effect is a really good way to learn some of the basic tools in Photoshop; and some of the more complex ones, too. With some basic editing skills and creative ideas, it’s possible to make an image jump out of the screen in no time at all. In this tutorial we’re going to show you how to achieve this effect and much more. You’ll create a complete surreal scenario, flooding an art gallery using some powerful tools and tricks with Photoshop’s Transform options. The major technique here is the Calculations command, which enables you to
combine two different channels to create selections, or a complex mask, based upon the colour values within the image. This is the best way to create selections for most images, especially the ones with lots of contrast between the Foreground and Background colours. We’ll guide you through in stages to show you all the techniques involved such as the Dodge and Burn tools and the Levels adjustment to create a compelling image. In the free resources supplied, you’ll find all the files and images you need to recreate this image, so open them up and get started!
Create a new blank canvas (Cmd/ Ctrl+N). Set the Width to 395mm, Height to 310mm and Resolution to 300ppi. Go to File>Place and find ‘Wall.jpg’ from the supplied resources. Press the Enter key to set the wall image.
Go to Filter>Render>Lighting Effects and select the Spot options. Rotate the light direction to around 90, change Intensity to 35, Hotspot to 40, and Ambience to 21 and press OK to add this to the image.
To create the effect of depth in the frame, go to Layer>Layer Style>Bevel & Emboss. Set the Style to Inner Bevel, the Direction to Up, and change the Size to 76px, Shading Angle to 153, Altitude to 32, then press OK.
Go to File>Place and choose one of the frame images. Resize and reposition as above. Go to Edit>Transform> Perspective and adjust the perspective by dragging the corners.
Head to File>Place and load ‘Canvas.jpg’. Ctrl/right-click and choose Rasterize Layer. Now go to Filter>Oil Paint. Set the Brush Stylization slider to 5 and Cleanliness to 5. Set Scale to 1, Bristle Detail to 5, Angular Direction set to 0 and move Shine to 2.
Adjusttheperspective Drag the canvas layer behind the frame layer. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T, hold the Cmd/Ctrl key, and drag the handles to adjust the perspective. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow. Set Angle: 145, Distance: 100px, Spread: 40, Size: 240px.
Place the image ‘Wave.jpg’. Open the Channels palette and go to Image>Calculations. Set the Source 1 Channel to Red and check Invert. Change the Source 2 Channel to Blue, blending to Subtract, and Result to New Channel.
Open the Levels adjustment and drag the sliders inwards for high contrast. Grab the Dodge tool (O), set Range: Highlights, Exposure: 100%, and then paint over the white areas. Grab the Burn tool (O) (set Range: Midtones, Exposure: 100%) and paint over the black areas.
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Experttip Calculations command
Press F7 to open the Layers palette and drag the Wave layer on top of the Frame layer. Go to Select>Load Selection. Choose Channel: Alpha 1, and set the Operation to New Selection and then click OK. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T to resize the image.
Place in ‘Wave1.jpg’. Go to Image>Calculations and set the Source 1 Channel to Red and check Invert. Now set the Source 2 Channel to Gray, and then set the Blending to Subtract and Result to New Channel.
Click on the Channel’s layer Loadbrushes (Window>Channels) and repeat step 8. Now let’s make the composition Open the Levels (Cmd/Ctrl+L), boost the more realistic. Grab the Brush tool (B). contrast, and then grab the Dodge and Burn Go to Window>Brush Preset or hit F5 and tools to enhance the contrast. Press F7 and open the top-right menu. From there, go to Select>Load Selection. Drag the Wave1 choose Load Brushes, locate the supplied layer and place under the other Wave layers. ‘Brushes.abr’, and click Load.
Place the ‘Fish.jpg’ and ‘Fish1.jpg’ files. Hold the Shift key and resize the images to fit into the water. Go to Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal and place the fish over the waves. Ctrl/right-click and choose Rasterize Layer.
The Calculations command combines different channels to create a high contrast layer. Use the dialog box to choose the channel and apply blending modes. We can create an Alpha channel for masking. There isn’t a speciﬁc mode to use, so it’s a matter of experimenting with the different modes until you get a high contrast effect. Depending on the image, the selection won’t be perfect. After applying the Calculations, use Levels to adjust the tones.
Create a new layer (Cmd/ Ctrl+Shift+N) and name it Brushes. Now select the Wave Brush 2718, set the Foreground colour to white and paint over the floor. Change the blend mode of the layer to Overlay.
To blend the fish with the waves, grab the Eraser tool (E). Press F5 and choose Brush 848. Flip and resize the brush, but leave its Opacity set to 100%. Now just brush around the fish to help blend them into the image.
Go to File>Place ‘Seagull.png’ and ‘Seagull1.png’. Again, holding the Shift key, drag the corner of the transform box to resize or rotate the images evenly, and then press Enter to confirm the resizing.
Hold Shift to select the Canvas and Frame layers. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate and hit Cmd/Ctrl+M to merge. Go to Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical. Open the Free Transform, hold Cmd/Ctrl and drag the middle handles to adjust the perspective. Hit Enter, and repeat for the Fish1 layer.
Change the blend mode for the water layers to Multiply. Grab the Eraser tool (E) and choose a soft brush with a Size of 300px. Lower the brush’s opacity to 60% and erase around the waves.
Closerlook Buildinganout-of-boundsimage Combine selections to create a stunning composite BRUSH PRESETS Brushes are essential tools in any composition. Used with different sizes and opacities, the waves can be blended and painted over the ﬂoor.
CHANNELS AND COLOUR
Layer styles are great for adding effects to change an image. You can apply one or more styles to any layer.
Use channels to pick up a colour and generate a new selection. You can also use channels for correcting colour or for sharpening details.
CALCULATIONS COMMAND DODGE AND BURN Lighten or darken areas in an image using the Dodge and Burn tools. They are very handy tools, especially when used over a layer mask.
The Calculations command is one of the best ways to create accurate selections that can be saved as new Alpha Channels for layer masking.
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Show us your best sky work
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Base image for you to paint over
Essentials Works with
Photoshop CS and above, Photoshop CC
What you’ll learn Customise existing brushes and create your own to paint skies
Expert Joe Cummings “I have been creating digital illustrations professionally for almost ten years. Being able to exploit the almost inﬁnite variation of tools in Photoshop, Painter and many other programs ensures that work can be created quickly and conﬁdently.”
Easy ways to paint skie
igital painting is great fun but can be a real time-sink, especially when you’re a beginner. Who hasn’t been envious of the seemingly effortless ease displayed in a speedpainting video? Well the good news is that you can speed up your painting process, simply by learning some easy-to-use techniques. One of the biggest obstacles to speedy painting is the fear of the blank canvas. It throws up questions like ‘where do I put my first brush stroke?’ and ‘how do I render this material?’. This
Whether you work 100% digitally or start off with pencil and paper, it is always advisable to begin with thumbnail sketches. Sketch out several ideas and layouts before you do any serious work. It may be tedious but it could save you hours of wasted time.
tutorial is designed to show how, with a few simple tweaks of Photoshop’s brushes, you can create tools that will help you overcome these obstacles by quickly filling large areas with marks that suggest tone and structure. In particular, we will show you how to quickly block in a large, cloudy sky with one simple brush and refine it with another that you will make yourself. The tutorial demonstrates that making the correct initial marks gives you a strong foundation on which to develop your creativity, so let’s get started!
Depending on your skill level, either sketch out the castle using reference pictures for inspiration or, as is the case here, build a 3D model. Arrange basic cylinders, cubes and spheres, etc, and use them as a guide. Google Sketchup is ideal or even Photoshop, if you have the Extended version.
Spend some time drawing in details; as much as you can. The line work may not dictate exactly what you paint but a well thought out guide will give you confidence, and in the end, freedom when it comes to painting. You can also get the line art and 3D castle used here in the supplied tutorial files.
Choose a colour for the hill, Cmd/ Ctrl+click the layer window to select the layer contents and fill the selection with the colour (Alt+backspace for Foreground colour). Do the same for the other layers and use the Gradient tool to add some variation.
Beneath the line drawing layer, which has been changed to Multiply, use a hard, circular brush to paint in the shapes of the hill and castle. Put each element â€“ the hill, castle, background landscape â€“ on its own layer.
Paint a simple rock with a basic hard brush, making sure there are strong shadows and clear fissures. Drag a rectangular selection around it and go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. Name the brush and increase Spacing. Add Size Jitter in Shape Dynamics and a slight Scattering.
Make sure that the Angle Jitter for the cliff brush is set to Pen Tilt. Using the Lasso, select the cliff area. Paint in the rocks that will give the appearance of random fissures. Use the tilt of the pen to vary the angle and ensure to vary the size.
With a basic cliff texture in place, add some more cracks and shadows to the surface with a small, hard brush. Take some time to develop the castle and landscape too. It is always best to avoid focusing too long in one area.
Create a brush with the following properties: Brush tip shape: Hardness 0%, Spacing 30%; Shape Dynamics: Size Jitter 100%, Control: Fade, Min diameter 20%; Scattering: 120%; Texture: Clouds 180%; Transfer: Opacity Jitter 100%, Control: Fade. Now paint several dark cloud layers, decreasing the size as they recede.
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Experttip Repetitive objects
To create an array or grid of identical objects, place the original object on a new layer. Hold down Cmd/ Ctrl+Alt+T. This selects it for transformation and copies it. Make the transformation and hit Enter. Hold down Cmd/ Ctrl+Shift+Alt and hit T for an identical transformation. Further taps of the T key will produce new transformed copies. Each object will be created on its own layer, so select all the layers and merge (Cmd/Ctrl+E).
Select the contents of the first cloud layer and on a new layer above, use white to paint in the cloud volume. Light comes in from top-left so ‘sculpt’ the cloud using white and hold Alt to pick and blend intermediate tones. Repeat for other layers.
Use the second brush to create additional cloud volume with lots of granular texture. Search Google images of clouds for reference. It’s highly unlikely that you will get this right first time, so don’t be afraid to delete the layers and start again.
Open a new file and with a soft brush paint a fluffy mini-cloud shape. Ensure that there is no symmetry or hard edges. Define the brush preset as in step 6 and increase Spacing, Size Jitter and Angle Jitter to produce random, irregular cloud strokes.
Select a dark blue colour and create a soft gradient at the top of the sky with the Gradient tool. On a new layer, paint some soft, white lines across this area and blur with Gaussian Blur. Use the Smudge tool to drag out wispy tendrils of cirrus cloud.
Make some window shapes using the Rectangle and Elliptical Marquee tools. Copy and arrange them in different sizes on a single layer (see tip). Use Free Transform to position the layer as a template for painting windows on the castle. Once in place, select the layer contents and paint.
Holding Cmd/Ctrl+Shift, click all the cloud layers. Select an orange or pink colour and, on a new layer above, drag out a gradient from the bottom up to add some colour to the distant clouds. Reduce opacity and change the blend mode to Linear Burn.
Once you are happy with the sky, finish off by adding the small details; the little things that suggest a story. On a new layer, paint in some soft mist to help bind the composition. Duplicate the layer, add some noise and change the blending to Overlay.
Combine two scenes
here are apparently two types of people in the world: morning people and night people. Confusingly, I don’t seem to fall into either category – I am strictly a lunchtime person. I’d like to think that my body just naturally peaks at this time but I fear that it’s probably the promise of debauched lunchtime sustenance that
motivates me to frenzied action. With that in mind, we are going to create a scene that is set neither in the morning nor the night – but both. One of the brilliant things about being a Photoshop artist is that we have been given the ability – nay, the power – to change lush verdant fields into arid deserts and sun-burnt days into moon-kissed nights and this is
where the inspiration for this image comes from. Using Photoshop’s powerful ContentAware Fill command, some clever Blending Options settings and some ingenuity, we are going to create a mind-bending visual oxymoron, fusing the night with the day, the lush with the barren. And so, as lunchtime approaches as I write this, let’s get started.
Show us what you have combined
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Onthedisc Create a combo with the supplied ﬁles
Essentials Works with
Photoshop CS5 and above, Photoshop CC
What you’ll learn Manipulate opposing scenes to create a stunning landscape
Expert Andy Hau “I am a Architect and Graphic Designer, and the owner of A.H.A Design Ltd, a multidisciplinary design studio. In all of my work, I believe that design should have an element of joy about it – from its inception to the ﬁnal product. Design is an escape from the futility of modern life, not an endorsement of it.”
Ensure the two photos you are trying to combine are taken from a similar perspective and that there is a location where they can join. Drag your background image into the canvas.
Stretching your image to fill the canvas will distort it. Instead, use the Magic Wand (W) to select areas to fill in and select Content Aware Fill (Edit>Fill). Photoshop will fill in these areas using the current image.
Drag in the second image. Play with the colours by changing the Hue setting (Image>Adjustments>Hue/ Saturation). Add stars by layering a night sky image on top and change the blend mode to Screen. Cut out an image of the moon using the Polygonal Lasso (L) and place accordingly.
Set the perspective by drawing vanishing points with the Pen tool (P). Cut out the image of a wooden post using the Polygonal Lasso (L). Extend it by using the Clone Stamp tool (S). Adjust the size of the post to align with your perspective guides (Edit>Free Transform).
Connect the posts with ropes using the Pen tool (P). Click and drag to create curves. You can change the curves by holding Cmd/Ctrl and moving the handles. Double-click on the layer and apply a Bevel and Emboss layer style to add depth.
Like most creatives, the Content Aware Fill command is somewhat temperamental. Usually, it creates a seamless fill but sometimes youâ€™ll need to tidy areas using the Clone Stamp (S). Hold Alt to select the areas that you want to clone.
Draw in guides for where the fabric would sag using the Pen tool (P). Using these guides, cut out the background using the Polygonal Lasso (L) to create the fabric. Double-click the layer and apply a soft Inner Shadow layer style to add fullness.
Cut out small gaps in the fabric using the Polygonal Lasso (L). Create subtle movement by overlaying the night sky with an image of a white curtain. Change the blend mode to Multiply.
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Experttip Clipping masks
To create the area where the fabric bends and forms the ground, create a white fill using the Pen tool (P). Set the Stroke setting to No Color.
Drag in the paint texture and remove the white areas using Select>Color Range. Place the paint texture layer underneath the duplicated foreground layer, right-click the foreground layer and select Create Clipping Mask.
Select the foreground layer and duplicate it. With this new layer highlighted, select the white area using the Magic Wand set to Sample All Layers. Use the Content Aware Fill (Edit>Fill) to fill in this area with scrubland. Place this on top of the white fill layer.
Drag in the canvas texture and desaturate it (Image>Adjustments> Desaturate). Place this layer above the white fill layer. Right-click on the canvas texture layer and select Create Clipping Mask.
Cut out the paint buckets using the Polygonal Lasso tool (L). Depending on their location, adjust their size using Edit>Free Transform to exaggerate the sense of perspective.
The birds and hyena traverse the two worlds and bring the image together. Cut out both using the Polygonal Lasso (L) and place them near the seam. Change the brightness(Image>Adjustments>Brightness/ Contrast) and the opacity of the layers to merge them into the scene.
Clipping masks are simple but not immediately obvious. The most important thing to know is that the cutting object must always be below the object being cut. Right-click on the layer with the object being cut and select Create Clipping Mask and the object being cut will show through the cutting object. This technique is particularly useful for complicated silhouettes such as paint effects or if you want to cut out images in the shape of words or text.
Cut out the painter on the ladder using the Polygonal Lasso (L). The more care and attention you spend on this part, the better the results. Use Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation to blend the painter into the image.
Check you are happy with the composition of the image. The position of all the objects should appear balanced and there should be a natural flow. Finally, adjust and balance out the colours and brightness levels where necessary.
GODZILLA POSTER COMPETITION
POSTER CHALLEN GE
Check out the winner of our Godzilla competition, and also a round-up of some of the best entries To help celebrate the latest cinema release of Godzilla, we teamed up with Warner Bros to challenge you to create an inspiring fan poster for the ﬁlm – and the results are in! Hand-picked by the director himself, and chosen from over 190 entries, the winning poster was created by Laurie Greasley, and will be displayed in cinemas across the UK. The ﬁlm’s director, Gareth Edwards, shares with us what drew him to this particular poster: “I thought this was a very clever idea that was completely on-theme; the idea of Godzilla being a metaphor for radiation and, like our ﬁlm, something that starts in Japan and heads to America.” He goes on to add, “the use of natural ocean currents to create a ﬁery iconic image that just looks really cool, feels very complementary to our movie.” Head to www.tinyurl. com/Godzilla-Posters to see all the posters entered into this competition.
Laurie Greasley In 2011, I was living in Japan only 60 miles south of Fukushima Daiichi on the coast. After the disasters, I would see these hair-raising graphics of the radiation levels in the Paciﬁc Ocean. When I read that Gareth Edwards was trying to keep the Godzilla movie contemporary, I remembered the graphics and thought it would be a strong theme to use in the poster.”
Lewis Moorhead I decided to incorporate the claw with the eye of Godzilla poking through. I wanted it to be professional but alternative to the movie shots. I hope I did a good job.
Godzilla is clearly the main attraction here, but as with many large-scale ﬁlms, there should also be a focus on the characters. So, I tried to wrap it all up with a little hint at the destruction around them. Illustrated with pencil and coloured digitally.
I wanted to portray the ﬁlm’s saturated colour schemes which match the wake of destruction that Godzilla causes. I wanted the iconic red ﬂares from the paratroopers to really pop against the sky and balance well with the logo.
Edward Pirrie The idea to have Godzilla reﬂected in the building beside him came from a similar scene in The Return Of Godzilla from 1984, which was the ﬁrst Godzilla movie I saw as a child, and that imagery haunted me for a long while afterwards.
Glen Stone I’ve always been a fan of sci-ﬁ movies and when his debut feature Monsters came out, Gareth Edwards really took the genre and shook it up. So when I heard he was making the Godzilla remake I was over the moon.
Get more typographical inspiration
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Onthedisc Line art and calligraphy to experiment with
Essentials Works with
Photoshop CS and above
What you’ll learn The fundamentals of dip nib lettering and how to use it in your artwork
Expe Schin Loong “I am a fantasy illustrator and calligrapher. I started drawing as a child after being inﬂuenced by cartoons and comics and enjoy painting portraits of women. I keep an art website at schin-art.com and blog about calligraphy at openinkstand.com.”
Stunning lettering techniques Learnhowtoincorporatebeautifulcalligraphyor penmanshipinyourartandbreathelifeintoportraits
n this tutorial we will learn how to incorporate beautiful calligraphy into a piece of artwork. Sometimes a poem or quotation can inspire or add to the emotion of a piece, but it is not always easy to insert such an element into a painting. For this tutorial we will learn how to mix a portrait with a famous poem and use Photoshop and Corel Painter in addition to traditional lettering tools to
First, create a simple sketch of your portrait. Don’t worry about the lettering for now; just lay it out as if it is going to be a regular art piece. Keep a natural balanced composition and plenty of space for it to breathe. Keep your lines smooth, light and clean.
create a finished piece. You can use any kind of lettering or script such as italics, modern block writing, traditional Copperplate script, or even textura or graffiti – as long as you feel the script will match the feeling of the words and the art piece. Treat this tutorial as an inspirational guide rather than a step-by-step process; you can incorporate your own art style along the way!
For this portrait, a dark background was used to contrast with the lettering over it. Using the Gradient tool and a large acrylic brush, colour the skin neutral and apply a soft halo. Just play around and see what looks good. It’s okay to change your mind later!
Time to add face detail, using acrylic and blending brushes in Painter. Take time with this, especially when it comes to the eyes. Keep her skin alive with hints of red, brown and yellow, and don’t be afraid of using different hues and saturation.
Continue work on the rest of her body. Experiment with different colours, skin colours, highlights or even lip colours. She should look good enough as a standalone portrait, so don’t even think about the lettering at this point.
Clean up the edges and backgrounds to prep for the lettering. It’s always better to keep things neat when introducing a new element, or else it’s easy to get confused! If you have to, flatten layers to keep the file manageable.
The text was written on a piece of paper using a traditional dip nib and ink, and laid out in a way that it flows around the portrait in a pleasant way. Draw the lines using pencil and then add the calligraphy. Legibility is not a concern.
Drag the lettering over to the artwork. Make sure to keep it on a separate layer. Try and position it using the Transform tool so it is pleasing to the composition and does not distract from it too much. Remember she is your focus; the lettering comes second.
She was originally going to have a veil of some sort, but that changed to dark hair instead. The dark hair and background will help make the lettering and eyes pop even more. It’s okay to change your mind if it makes the painting better!
Scan in the lettering and prep it into line art using Channels in Photoshop. Use Image>Adjustments>Hue/ Saturation to eradicate tone variations and turn everything to a solid black. This will make it easier to manipulate on the artwork.
Now the words are in place, add colour to the words to give it life! Keep it on a separate layer and select a Gradient Overlay layer style to play around with colours. The light hue stands out from the dark background. It’s not perfect, but we’re getting there.
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Experttip Using a dip nib pen
Continue working on the portrait, finished up her hair, cleaning up the backgrounds and adjusting colour. Keep the delicate balance between lettering and portrait and don’t let the words overpower or overcomplicate her too much.
Use the Screen or Color Dodge blend modes to blend the letters together and keep working on the piece until everything looks right. To add more pizzazz, crop out a part of the swirls and add it over the whole portrait, adding depth and interest.
You can create digital lettering, but the most lively and natural-looking writing is from the hand. For this painting, we used an old 1850s American script called Spencerian, with an old-fashioned pointed dip nib (Nikko G or Zebra G are good beginner nibs), cleaned it with soap and water and stuck it to an oblique holder before dipping into the ink for writing. You can look up writing scripts for reference and can even ﬁnd free calligraphy lessons online.
Lips can be very expressive with just a small stroke of the brush! The most important points of the mouth are the corners; those two points can say anything.
Combine decorative text with painting for stunning portraits CALLIGRAPHY SWIRLS Texture can be achieved in calligraphy. Play around with swirls and use that to add interest. Make curls, swirls, twirls, and other things ending in ‘irls’.
FANCY WRITING Just because the lettering is not the main focus doesn’t mean it should be in the background all the time. Highlight the best parts of your writing with colour and sparkle.
WINDOWS TO THE SOUL Eyes are always a good focus to a painting. As humans, we are drawn to see eyes on a face ﬁrst. Ensure these are beautiful and sharp!
SOFT TEXTURE Counterbalance the hard texture with soft brush strokes, which helps give your viewers something to look at. Every brush stroke should be ﬁnished and beautiful.
TEXTURE Use texture to help add a extra visual interest in your work… it could be photographs of tree bark, concrete, rust, paper, anything you like that will look good. Watercolour textures always seem to work well.
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The easy way to learn Adobe Photoshop
Essential Simple guides For Photoshop & Photoshop Element tool guides 14 pages of essential guides
Blend in Elements Merge images with layer masks and more
CREAT SELECTIONS Discover how to create and work with luminosity masks in our guide on p80
Essential editing guides The Healing Brush tool ...................................................................68 Get creative with Blur ﬁlters.....................................................70 Use layers for monochrome..................................................... 74 Blending techniques in Elements ......................................76
Photoshop for Beginners
SMALL FIXES Isolated blemishes can be sorted with one click.
GO LARGE For larger areas, it’s possible to brush over the problem parts to erase them.
Onthedisc Try out this technique on the supplied image
The Healing Brush tool Heal skin and retouch faces using this powerful tool The Healing Brush is a tool that’s been designed for quickly retouching portraits and removing distracting objects in photos. Put simply, it works by copying and pasting pixels over each other, but unlike basic copying and pasting, there’s a bit more to consider when it comes to the Healing Brush. Working with a subject such as a portrait, a balanced blend of new pixels over old is needed for realistic
results. We want to avoid making people look overly retouched, because even the smallest out-of-place pixel will look strange to the human eye. Adapting the tool’s settings is vital for producing the best results and here we show you exactly how to do that. Follow the steps opposite to find out more about using the tool and its options, plus how to retouch small spots or large blemishes without leaving any traces.
Heal away blemishes Smooth out skin and remove spots for a clear complexion
Adjust and sample Set up your layers
Load up this image into Elements. Start off by adding a new layer above the Background by clicking on the ﬁrst button along the top of the Layers panel. Go to the Window menu and load up the History panel. This will come in handy later on.
Sample All Layers
Press J to go to the Healing Brush tool (if the Spot Healing tool loads, press J once more). In the Tool Options panel, tick Sample All Layers so edits to the new layer are made using pixels from the Background layer.
Now ‘good’ pixels have been sampled, click over the blemish to remove it. A few clicks might be required to completely cover up larger blemishes. The tool will blend in pixels to create realistic skin. Hold the Space Bar to pan across to another area of the face.
SAMPLED OR PATTERN Set to Sampled, the Healing Brush tool picks up the pixels on the photo. Set to Pattern and you can apply texture and patterns.
MODES Mode contains the blending options for changing how the new pixels appear. Set Mode to Multiply to adapt to the lightness of the new area.
The Healing Brush shows you a preview of the area being retouched. This preview can easily be hidden by unticking the Show Overlay box in Clone Overlay.
To use the Healing Brush tool to remove blemishes, locate an area to remove. Adjust the size of the brush so it covers the area completely (pressing the square bracket keys will do this quickly). Hold down Opt/Alt and click over an area close to the blemish to sample the ‘good’ pixels.
For larger blemishes, the Healing Brush tool enables you to ‘paint’ over the area. For this, tick Aligned in the Tool Options bar for best results. Also, increase the size of the brush, and then Opt/ Alt-click to sample new pixels and carefully dab over the blemish.
At a glance The best options for the Healing Brush
It’s best to set Hardness to 0% to create a soft edge between the new and existing pixels.
ANGLE If Roundness is set to less than 100%, change the Angle setting to create more accurate healing around the shape of the subject.
CLIPPED PREVIEW Choose whether you want to view the whole image while healing pixels or just the area selected.
Photoshop for Beginners
Test your skills with the images supplied
Get creative with the Blur filters in Photoshop Learn the basic skills for adding blur effects to images in Photoshop CS6, CC and Elements Photoshop offers you a whole host of built-in filters, ranging from colourisation filters, artistic ones, sharpening effects and ways to distort images, too. But in this tutorial we’ll be focusing all our concentration on the Blur filters. First introduced into the Photoshop family with CS6, the Iris, Field and Tilt-Shift blur filters have been added to the collection of ways for you to edit photos simply and effectively. It might seem strange to
say that you can improve the look of an image by making it appear blurrier, but by doing this you can shift the focus onto the main subject when it might not have been clear before. The tilt-shift effect, also known as ‘miniaturise’, can make an aerial view look like a toy town. The Field Blur filter is used to improve the depth of field, and the Iris Blur gives you even more room to create stylish blurred effects to transform a normal image.
TECHNIQUE 1 Field Blur effects Improve an image’s depth of field with this Blur filter The Field Blur filter enables you to select part of the image to make it the focus area, and by dropping pins onto the image you can control what stays in focus and what becomes blurry. In this example, we’ll show you how to make the castle the main focal point of the image, rather than the rolling f g dl d
FORCE A FOCAL POINT By blurring the foreground in an image, you can push a viewer’s eye towards the part you want to highlight.
Depth of field Create a central point in your image by blurring the rest
Find the ﬁlter
In Photoshop CS6 or CC go to Filters>Blur>Field Blur. The easiest way to keep track of how much blur you add is to check the Preview box in the top bar. In Elements, select Guided mode, and under Photo Effects locate Depth of Field.
Place your pins
Control the blur
In CS or CC, click on the parts of the image you wish to control. It’s best to place a pin over the main subject so you can lower the amount of blur. If working in Elements, simply select with one pin, or use the Quick Selection tool to choose which parts to keep in focus.
To increase the amount of blur, click on a pin and adjust the outer circle by dragging it clockwise to boost the effect. Drag it counter-clockwise to reduce the blur. Hit OK to conﬁrm. In Elements, use the Blur section of the Guided effects to control the areas outside of the selection.
Photoshop for Beginne EMPHASISE THE SUBJECT
TECHNIQUE 3 Work with the Iris Blur
By blurring the background you can bring your portrait subject to the fore.
Blur the background to create a more engaging portrait image The Iris Blur filter takes the Field Blur to the next level. When placing your pins you can control the shape of the area that it affects, choosing how much of the edge blur to apply. This puts the focused point exactly on the subject you want, and looks great on a portrait image – especially if there’s a busy background behind the subject.
BACKGROUND BEGONE Eradicate busy backgrounds with the Iris Blur ﬁlter and improve your portraits.
Use the Iris Blur to make your subject stand out
Place your ﬁrst pin
Adjust the blur
The Iris Blur ﬁlter comes under the Filter menu and with the Blur set. This is separated into its own section. There’s no option like this in Elements but the Gaussian Blur ﬁlter can work in similar ways.
As with the Field Blur, pins control the blurred areas. Simply click on the part of the image you wish to be in focus and a large oval boundary will appear. This controls the size and softness of the blurred parts.
Let it render
Using the dial on the centre point, or the sliders in the right-hand panel, you can change the amount of blur that’s applied to the unpinned areas. Make sure Preview is turned on by checking the box along the top.
Chances are that you don’t want just one area to be edited, so feel free to drop in as many pins as you like onto your image. Here we’ve highlighted the areas of the model’s lower body and shoulders.
By clicking and dragging on different points of the oval, you can change its shape. The square dots on the outer circle control the width; click and drag to alter. The inner, larger dots control the edge blur.
Once you’ve positioned your pins, and the blurry areas are in the right position, click OK in the top bar. This will apply the ﬁlter’s effect to your image. Be patient; it can take some time to render.
TECHNIQUE 4 Tilt-shift focus
Easily apply a fun, toy-town effect to images The Tilt-Shift filter creates a surreal effect and gives you the opportunity to make a picture look as if it’s been photographed as a miniature version of itself. The angle of the image you use is important with this, as too low down and the effect won’t work. But add some elevation and you can create a great-looking image that appears far more complex than it actually is.
TOY WITH IMAGES Use the Tilt-Shift ﬁlter to make ordinary images inﬁnitely more interesting.
Place your pin
Extend focus area
Control the blur
Go Filter>Blur>Tilt-Shift. Click and drag until the blur is over the focal point. Add multiple pins to keep complete control over the image. In Elements’ Guided mode, go to Photo Effects>Tilt-Shift>Add Tilt-Shift.
By clicking and dragging the solid inner lines you can control how much of the central area is in focus. In Elements, select Modify Focus Area and draw a line over where you want that point to be.
To control the blur, click and drag on the dashed outer lines. This enables you to add or take away the blur from the edges. To increase the blur, use the slider in the sidebar. In Elements, click Reﬁne Effect.
Going small The controls for your miniature masterpiece ROTATION If you want your tiltshift to be horizontal or diagonal, click and drag on this dot to position it.
TO PIN OR NOT TO PIN? Use the pin to select the main focal point of your image – it falls between the middle of the two solid lines.
Add more pins
You can keep adding pins and repeating the process until the image is blurred either side of the main area. Click OK and your image will render, giving you a great result. In Elements, click Done.
OUTER BLUR Click and drag this line to determine where the blurred edges come into the blur gradient on the inner section.
Photoshop for Beginners
Use layers for monochrome in Elements Discover the magic of adjustment layers for easy B&W edits Making an image black and white can be a simple one-click affair, but opting for the Desaturate button can drown out details and damage the overall effect. You want to take away the colour, but not the detail. The key to this is adjustment layers; the miracle of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Adjustment layers enable you to alter an image without damaging any of the original pixels. Used for a number of different reasons, from fixing contrast and brightness, to adding more colour, adjustments are the marvel of the quick photo-editing world. Hidden under that magical adjustment layer button lies a plethora of edits. Experiment by tweaking sliders to the maximum because you can delete or edit the results with ease. Add a spot of Dodge and Burn for picking out details and you’re all set for success. You’ll get a perfect monochrome shot in under an hour.
What can go wrong? OVER-EGGING IT It’s easy to get carried away with tools like Dodge and Burn because, just like real-life painting, you focus on details and you can often go too far. The trick is to zoom to the full-size image often (use Cmd/Ctrl+0) and check how your micro-editing is affecting the entire image.
Make perfect monochromes Go further than desaturating; use adjustment layers
Ctrl/right-click the Background layer and hit Duplicate Layer. Click the black-and-white circle at the top of the Layers panel and select Brightness/Contrast. Adjust the sliders to get a clearer and brighter image. We increased Brightness to 60 and lowered Contrast to -14.
Remove the colour
Next, hit the same adjustment layer button again but this time select Hue/ Saturation. Drag the Saturation slider all the way to the left to -100. This will turn your image completely black and white.
Tweak the Levels
Zoom in to detail areas like the foreground rocks or the clouds using Cmd/Ctrl and the + or – keys. Inside the adjustment layer list, choose Levels. Tweak the highlights to 230 and the midtones to 1.10 for subtle improvements to exposure.
Bring out highlights
Deepen the shadows
In the toolbar, choose the Dodge tool. Make sure the Range is set to Highlights and, using a soft round brush, paint over whiter areas of the rocks. Notice the immediacy of brightness you get. Continue manually pulling out sparkly details.
Adjustmentlayers Get the most from these miracles EDITABLE EDITS The best thing about using adjustment layers is that you can go back and tweak your edits later; essential for beginners.
DODGE AND BURN These two tools are incredibly easy to use for making highlights sparkle and shadows deep and dark.
Find the Burn tool under the same tool box as Dodge. Concentrate on the darker areas of detail and manually paint in shadows using a similar method as Dodge. Focus on the clouds at ﬁrst and use your square bracket keys to alter brush size as you go.
THE POWER OF ADJUSTMENTS Adjustment layers hold the key to reeditable functions like brightness, contrast and saturation for colour.
DON’T FORGET TO DUPLICATE Whenever you work on a new image, duplicate the Background layer for the safest editing. This way you’ve always got an untouched original.
Photoshop for Beginners
Blending techniques in Photoshop Elements Merging images together is an essential design skill and Photoshop makes the process a snap! Blending images together seamlessly is one of the most important abilities in your Photoshop skill set. Once you know how, you have the capability to create anything you desire requiring multiple image manipulation, because you will be able to create a convincingly realistic photocomposite. Photoshop and Photoshop Elements offer several techniques for accomplishing this, each with its own special functions that are useful for different situations. Three techniques that will be discussed in these pages are how to use layer masks, blending modes, and the Refine Edge command. Layer masks are the most basic and common way to blend images quickly. They enable you to ‘hide’ pixels on a layer, or just a selected part of a layer, revealing pixels on the layers under it. Blending modes are options you can set for each layer, which determine how the pixels on two layers will blend together. Once you understand these techniques, you will learn how to use the Refine Edge command, which enables you to easily select and manipulate the fine details and edges of the layer you are working on. Over these pages, you will learn how to best execute each of these techniques with Photoshop Elements as your editor.
THREE BECOME ONE
Onthedisc Get blending with these start images
The trick to blending images is to make each one work with the other. You don’t want harsh edges or obvious joins.
CLOUD BLENDS The cloud image has been merged with the illustration. Thanks to blend modes, the two fuse together beautifully.
TECHNIQUE 1 Use layer masks Surely the quickest and easiest way to blend images For masking, it’s best to begin with two images that complement each other in terms of lighting, contrast and composition. One is placed directly on top of the other in the Layers panel. What a layer mask does is make part of the top visible layer transparent, so that the layer beneath shows through.
FLYING FROGS Two images, one layer mask and a fantasy creature is born.
Create a mask
Reﬁne the mask
Open the frog and butterﬂy images in Elements. Click the Expert mode, so the Layers panel is visible down the right. Click on the Photo Bin icon at the lower-left of the screen. Drag the butterﬂy image on top of the frog’s layer. There are now two layers.
Position the wings over the frog’s back. Click the layer mask icon in the Layers panel to add a mask. This will change your current colours to black and white. With the Gradient tool (G), apply a gradient to the mask to hide the butterﬂy’s body.
Select the Brush tool and set its Opacity to 50%. Zoom to the edges of the wings and brush over all other areas of the butterﬂy. Black areas of the mask will become transparent (reveal) and white areas will remain opaque (conceal).
Photoshop for Beginners
TECHNIQUE 2 Blend mode basics
Blend modes can amplify two or more images layered over each other Blend modes enable you to change how two layers are merged together by applying different rules for how pixels interact with each other. By default, each blend mode is set to Normal, which doesn’t affect how pixels look. Choosing a different mode will always be an experimental process, as each one will present different results depending on the images being used in the effect.
PLAY WITH MODES Three images were used here, and the blend modes enabled each element to interact differently with the others.
Merge details Experiment with blend modes for seamless joins
Prepare the images
Extract the image
Add a third image
Open up the supplied texture, clouds and plant images. Position the plant layer on top of the texture. Using the dropdown menu at the top of the Layers panel, notice that the default blend mode is Normal.
Select the Magic Wand tool from the toolbar. Click on the white areas of the plant’s layer to remove the background. Hold down the Shift key to select more than one area at a time.
Change blend mode
Experiment with modes
With the cloud layer selected, click on the Layers drop-down menu and choose Hard Light. This mode will drop out the opacity of the sky, leaving some residual blue colour and the white of the clouds visible.
You can easily switch blend modes by hitting the up and down arrows on your keyboard. This enables you to quickly view all of the effects each mode has to offer. Each one will yield different results.
Place the clouds on a layer above the plant. Position the clouds to cover the plant. To make the pixels directly above the plant show, hold down Opt/Alt and click on the line between the cloud and plant layers to clip.
Sometimes just one blend mode isn’t enough. Duplicate the cloud layer by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+J and clip as before. Give the duplicated layer a variety by experimenting with Hue/Saturation and other modes.
What does it mean? FRINGING – The true function of Reﬁne Edge is to remove what is known as ‘fringing’. In photography, this is the term for the ghost-like discoloured pixels that surround some images. It also refers to edge pixels that are left over from quick or messy background removal.
TECHNIQUE 3 Refine that edge The Refine Edge command will enable you to perfect all of your selections In this tutorial, you will discover how to perform one of the most widely used Photoshop techniques. The Refine Edge command will help you extract an image from its background. This command is indispensable when it comes to getting rid of pixel impurities along the edges of tricky objects, such as hair, or when the image you need isn’t working with its current background.
Place your image
Invert the selection
Check the effect
Open the texture and maple leaf images, and place the leaves on top of the texture. Pick the Quick Selection tool (A). Set Tolerance to 25. Hold down the Shift key and click to select the green background.
Once you’ve selected the background, Select>Inverse to select the leaves. In the Options bar at the bottom, click Reﬁne Edge>View. From the drop-down, choose On White, and enter the settings shown. Click OK.
You should have a new layer with the reﬁned edges of the leaves masked out over the original leaf layer. Zoom in to the leaf edges, and toggle the original leaf layer’s visibility back on to see the difference.
WHERE IS IT KEPT? The Reﬁne Edge command should be used after the Magic Wand or Quick Selection tools to extract an image.
Blend with texture
Many options offer ﬁne-tuning and preview reﬁnements; you may also save the settings you select.
When you blend the leaves with the texture, the edges will look clean. Make sure the top layer is still selected and set the blend mode to Multiply. This ampliﬁes the colour and the texture shows through.
VIEW MODE Viewing the adjustments you make to your edge is most easily seen with the On White or On Black option.
Photoshop for Beginners LARGE SELECTIONS
A Cmd/Ctrl-click on the RGB channel is all that’s needed to create selections based on luminosity values.
GET PICKY It’s possible to select smaller areas simply by using a different key combination.
Follow how these masks work on this image
Create selections in Photoshop Discover the basics behind creating a luminosity mask and make selective photo edits with ease The Channels palette appears in Photoshop CS or CC versions (unfortunately not Elements) and provides users with another method of making selections. Rather than use a selection tool, such as the Magic Wand, we can use colour channels to form a selection based on the brightness of an image or luminosity; hence why this technique is sometimes called ‘luminosity masking’. What this lets us do is adjust detail and lighting in certain
areas for better control over exposure. This may seem complicated, but don’t fret. Anyone can get to grips with this form of editing. In fact, when you get really efficient at this technique, multiple luminosity masks can be created based on the shadows, midtones and highlights of one image, enabling more dynamic edits to made across the image. But for now, let’s start with the basics.
Creative masking Use Curves and masks to edit images
New adjustment Open Channels
Load a selection
Open up your image in Photoshop CS CC. To create a luminosity mask, load up the Channels palette (Window>Channels). There should be four channels visible: RGB is one, with Red, Green and Blue underneath.
Inside the Curves adjustment, ﬁx the exposure by shifting the diagonal line upwards. This boosts the highlights. Cmd/ Ctrl-click on the Curves’s mask to reload the selection. Go to Select>Inverse to ﬂip the area around to select the shadow regions.
To create a selection, hold down the Cmd/Ctrl key and click on the RGB Channel (the top one). What happens now is Photoshop forms a selection of the midtones and highlights in the image.
Add a another Curves adjustment layer for the inverted selection. Brighten the shadows by lifting up the lower section of the diagonal line. The shadows should lighten up. By controlling both highlights and shadows, a dynamic exposure can be formed.
The Channels palette can now be closed. To tweak the exposure using the newly created selection, go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves. Hit OK in the pop-up dialog box. In the Layers palette, the mask next to the Curves adjustment will take on the selection.
Keep it going!
There nothing stopping you from creating more than two luminosity masks. Cmd/Ctrl-click on the mask and then Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+Shift on it again, for a smaller selection. Add a new Curves adjustments as you go and edit each one for an impressive array of layers and masks!
Selectiontips Get your Layers palette in order NAMING GROUPS To make things easier for yourself, place multiple layers into a group and name it either ‘highlights’ or ‘shadows’.
ADJUSTMENTS AND MASKS The mask that comes with this adjustment layer has had a selection added to it from the Channels palette.
What does it mean? LUMINOSITY MASK – When you make and edit a selection from an image based on how bright it is, this is sometimes called a luminosity mask. The technique isn’t just for light or luminous areas of your image though – you can also create selections based on midtones or even shadows too.
PORTRAITPRO 12 STUDIO MAX
Price £59.90 Web www.portraitprofessional.com
PortraitPro 12 Studio Max
If you find retouching a challenge then this might be just the thing...
t can be said that no editing task is too small for Photoshop. So long as you can imagine it, it’s possible. Right? Although this is somewhat true, this isn’t always realistic, especially if you’re just starting out in the field of retouching. PortraitPro understands this harsh reality, and aims to break down a relatively complicated process into a simplified and efficient one for anyone to handle. A lot has changed since version 11 came onto the scene, and with version 12 there are features and functions that are even more powerful than before. What’s behind all this? It’s called Clearskin 4 technology and works to smooth out blemishes and spots automatically while being sensitive to complexion and texture. When you think of the amount of work that’s otherwise required to achieve similar results with Photoshop’s retouching tools, it can be a seemingly impossible prospect for many beginners. PortraitPro 12 is also available as a 64-bit editing suite for speedier processing times. Version 12 is up to four times faster than its previous incarnation, which means we are not left waiting around and twiddling our thumbs for adjustments to render and effects to take shape on an image. But the most significant improvement is the software’s ability to adapt lighting in an image in more realistic ways than was possible in version 11. A set of Re-lighting adjustments help you to change the direction and diffusion of light from a new source, as if you were reshooting the image in the studio. This could be compared to dodging and burning an image in Photoshop using layers, but instead of potentially damaging the image with destructive brush work, PortraitPro handles all the decision-making processes itself, doing what it feels is best to produce a finished portrait. There are multiple options, of course, so it’s not a one-sided affair. The Skin Lighting Controls enable the complete remapping of light over a person’s face, including left and
right shadows, cheekbone highlights, plus contract and spotlight positioning. It’s incredibly precise at recognising details between two separate parts of a human face, whether you’re changing the colour of hair or bringing back skin texture and pores. The effects of each slider for making changes do not fail to impress, either. However, on one hand we have the ability to completely reshape and light a portrait, and on the other it’s very easy to go overboard and make a person look unnatural and excessively retouched. That’s where the presets come in handy for adapting skin tone and lighting as naturally as possible, before moving onto the sliders to customise the portrait further. Working with more than one person is achievable, too. This is done by clicking on the Other Faces button to hop to the next face in the image. Unlike the Studio or Standard versions of the software, the Studio Max includes a batch processing feature for automated editing. This detects the age and gender all at once, and then applies presets to those subjects in the batch.
This is certainly a piece of software that succeeds in what it sets out to do. Even on low-quality images, where you might have caught someone awkwardly grinning in the background of a group shot, the software still manages to pick out detail and give it a once over – a life saver if you’re not yet accustomed to the retouching tools in Photoshop.
Thespecs Company Anthropics Technology Additional specs Mac OS X 7 or later, Windows 7 or later
This is the most straightforward and comprehensive portrait retouching software we’ve used. A must-have for transforming people quickly and realistically.
PortraitPro to the rescue! Here’s how PortraitPro manages to transform faces so quickly
Batch or single?
When you load an image you’ll be presented with options for either batch editing or working on a single image. Opting for the batch route means the software will process multiple images at a time.
PortraitPro will ask you to select the gender of the person being edited. By clicking on one of the four options, either for an adult or a child, the software will add pins to facial features. These can be moved.
SOCIAL TIES Facebook links have been added to PortraitPro, connecting you directly with friends and family.
PRESET EFFECTS These will help you achieve a basic level of retouching, designed speciﬁcally for adults and children, as well as different styles of portraiture.
BRUSH TOOLS Not only are there sliders, but there are tools for manually going about things as well, such as removing spots or 5 o’clock shadow.
YEARS OFF! Reducing wrinkles and blemishes is extremely easy to do, using sliders that automatically do the work for you.
Standoutfeature Plot to edit There are pins that need to be plotted out before the software can perform its magic. Ensuring these are in the right place can be ﬁddly, but it’s an important phase as otherwise the edits that follow can spill outside of the face and end up looking patchy.
The software applies a preset to the portrait. Based on the preset, the person’s jaw line, cheek bones and nose structure are all reshaped. Catch light, colour and skin smoothening are also applied.
Using the Fill Hair and Smooth Hair sliders, any rough-looking stray hairs can be blended with the background details. The Shadows option darkens the spaces between strands of hair for better contrast.
Changing the colour of hair is easy. Pick a colour from under Hair Recolor, and add shine, colour and vibrance. Not all colours work, but there’s no need to create masks as you would in Photoshop.
ANALOG EFEX PRO
ADJUSTMENTS The presets are intended to be used simply as starting points. The righthand side of the interface houses the adjustments required to make further changes to the way your image looks.
PRESETS At the left of the interface you’ll ﬁnd four preset groups on offer: Classic Camera, Wet Plate, Toy Camera and Vintage Camera. Each contains several different effects.
BRUSHES The Brush option takes you back to Photoshop and enables you to selectively apply the effect that you’ve just concocted in Analog Efex Pro.
Thespecs Company Google Nik Collection
Additional specs Price £88approx/$149 Web www.google.co.uk/nikcollection
Windows and Mac compatible Works with Photoshop CS4 or later, and Elements 9 or later
Analog Efex Pro
What does the latest addition to the Google Nik Collection family have to offer?
ne of the funny things about the digital age is how keen digital artists are to make their images look like prints that have been left in sunlight to discolour for 25 years or more. Well, there is no shortage of plug-ins available to add deckle edges, produce intriguing colour balances and weather photos to make them look as though they are from another age. The popularity of Instagram trends have ﬂooded into plug-ins – Analog Efex Pro is certainly not the ﬁrst one. The Nik Collection in general has established itself as one of the most solid contenders, though, thanks in no small part to the acclaim that Silver Efex Pro has enjoyed. Anyone who has used Silver Efex Pro will feel at home with Analog Efex Pro. Utilising a familiar interface built around a combination of presets and sliders to customise effects, this is a powerful plug-in that’s capable of transforming an image. There are four basic preset groups: Classic Camera, Wet Plate, Toy Camera and Vintage Camera; each containing several different
effects. Results can be easily customised by adjusting key ingredients such as bokeh, dirt, scratches, vignetting and the actual ﬁlm type; as well as essentials including brightness, contrast and saturation. If this isn’t enough, there is a Camera Kit menu to adjust lens distortion, light leaks and include frames. There’s also a Brush option that enables you to return to Photoshop, and adapt the effects in a localised way. The plug-in is fun to use and the effects would certainly be a ﬁddle to manufacture in Photoshop, but the Nik Collection is a family of plug-ins, which means Analog Efex Pro is not available on its own. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone would want to invest in this if it were a separate plug-in, because its novelty would soon wear off. The effects available here are not subtle ones, because there’s little point to applying effects like this in a subtle way, also the more versatile effects, such as borders and frames, are available elsewhere in the Nik Collection group. But it is a good group for quick edits.
Standoutfeature Photo Plate This enables you to experiment with different textures, recreating the look synonymous with the earliest photographs ever created. The effect is divided into three subcategories: Streaked, Corroded and Concrete. Along with the Light Leaks adjustments, this is one of the most interesting aspects of Analog Efex Pro.
Not all that different to what’s been done before, but there’s a lot of fun to be had. Compared to Silver Efex Pro, this feels more like a novelty than a serious editor.
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NIKON COOLPIX S9700
Company Nikon Additional specs Â’ $ ;> Â’ !f ]^bWQOZ h]][ Â’ #[[ eWRSO\UZS ZS\a
Price ÂŁ329.99/$349.95 Web www.nikon.com
Nikon COOLPIX S9700 We find out if Nikonâ€™s latest travel compact is destined to take off
Photos are by far the best way to preserve memories, and so a versatile camera should be at the top of your list when planning a holiday or adventure. The COOLPIX S9700 is certainly a promising contender if youâ€™re the outdoors type, thanks to a number of handy features. First up, there is its sleek and compact body which easily slips into your bag and doesnâ€™t weigh you down while youâ€™re out and about exploring. Thereâ€™s also its 30x optical zoom lens for shooting a whole range of different subjects. Zoom all the way out and youâ€™re able to fit loads in the frame, from a fantastic group shot to sweeping landscape panoramas. When you make use of the 30x optical zoom, you can also get close to far-away subjects which is a real bonus for such a compact camera. The zoom lens can even extend to 60x, using the digital â€˜Dynamic Fine Zoomâ€™, but of course the image quality rapidly deteriorates doing so. The cameraâ€™s Hybrid VR (vibration reduction) technology does a good job of keeping shots steady at longer focal lengths, although using a tripod is advisable when making use of the full telephoto reach. While travelling, itâ€™s easy to share experiences with everyone back home thanks
mode to help with tricky lighting conditions, and a mode for creating a black-and-white version of every photo. The camera is particularly good for taking flattering portrait photos, thanks to the dedicated Smart Portrait mode and Glamour Retouch menu (this one has options to whiten teeth, smooth skin and even add make-up before photos are shared online). There are also plenty of other in-camera editing options, with a variety of filter effects that can be applied before or after the shot is taken. A Quick Retouch option is perfect for correcting images. Sadly, thereâ€™s no option to shoot in RAW format for more advanced Photoshop edits, but this is not something we would expect from a compact, travel-light camera. The overall image quality is very impressive, with plenty of detail and vibrant colours to give your holiday snaps extra impact.
This is a handy travel companion that has everything for shooting and sharing photos, with plenty of options to suit photographers of all skills levels.
Use the Smart Portrait mode to take flattering portraits and enhance in Elements
Smooth the skin
Set the Smile Timer
Make it blink proof
Switch to Smart Portrait mode on the dial, and then press the Menu button. Select Skin Softening and choose the level of softening to be applied to your photo so that you can smooth out any blemishes.
to the cameraâ€™s Wi-Fi function. Simply connect the camera wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet device wherever you are, and then transfer photos across to Nikonâ€™s Wireless Mobile Utility app (available on iOS and Android). Images will be ready to share straight from your device when thereâ€™s a mobile or wireless internet connection available. We also found this handy for backing up photos, as saving them onto an external device is a reassuring way to have duplicates in case something bad should happen. Better still, built-in GPS enables you to tag shots with the exact location they were taken, so youâ€™ll never forget where you were for that once-in-a-lifetime moment. Unlike many other compact cameras, this COOLPIX features manual modes as well as auto ones, enabling you to take full control over your photography. But if itâ€™s simplicity youâ€™re after, the S9700 is easy to use, with clearly labelled buttons and simple menus that are quick to navigate. For those who prefer a point-and-shoot method, thereâ€™s an extensive array of scene modes on offer, including the standard Landscape and Sports modes, as well as the more unusual Museum and Food options. Thereâ€™s even a Backlighting
Back in the Smart Portrait menu, select Smile Timer and switch it on. This will get the camera to automatically take a photo whenever it detects the subject is smiling, helping you capture the best moment.
Now select Blink Proof in the Smart Portrait menu and switch it on. This will stop the camera from taking a photo if your subject blinks, so you wonâ€™t be left with a shot of them with their eyes closed.
WIDE–ANGLE LENS The 25mm wide-angle lens takes up most of the front panel, but enables you to capture plenty of the scene in each frame.
LARGE LCD The 3-inch screen on the back of the camera is big and bright, giving a clear view of what’s being photographed, even in bright sunlight.
LONG ZOOM The lens protrudes out quite a way when fully zoomed in, but it retracts back into the camera to maintain its slim and sleek design.
EXTRA GRIP Though it’s quite small, the grip on the front of the camera gives you a bit of extra stability when shooting handheld.
Whiten teeth and eyes
Open up your photo in Elements and select the Dodge tool from the toolbar. Select Midtones as the Range and then set Exposure to 60%. Brush over the teeth and the whites of the eyes to brighten them up.
Standoutfeature Log your location As well as Wi-Fi, the S9700 comes with built-in GPS and a feature called Global Navigation Satellite Systems. This enables you to tag images with detailed information about where they were taken and even log your travel routes on a world map. This will help you organise your shots when you get home and remember exactly where you were at that picture-perfect moment.
If the camera’s skin softening failed to hide blemishes, remove them with the Clone Stamp. Set the Opacity to 100%, select a clear area of skin and hold the Opt/Alt key to sample. Brush over the area to cover it up.
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Meet your experts… Julie Bassett “I always love exploring Photoshop’s hidden tricks and tools to make common tasks much quicker and easier.”
Daniel Sinoca “Filters are deﬁnitely the easiest way to create simple effects in Elements, such as a lightning bolt in the night’s sky.”
Kirk Nelson “Textures can easily make up an average day’s work in Elements, and applying them to images is ridiculously easy as well.”
Andre Villanueva “I get a real buzz when I use Photoshop to replicate real-media effects like stencils and grafﬁti.”
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After creating a base composition, add letters using the Type tool. To combat the sharp edges, apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Gaussian Blur). Play with the Radius setting until it looks blurry enough without going overboard. Blur rectangles created with the Rectangle tool (U) and slant with Edit>Transform>Skew. Next, sprinkle paint drips and splatters (the above were courtesy of mediamilitia.com) throughout. These add bits of imperfection, recalling the passionate urgency of grafﬁti art. We applied our own bits of paint using the Brush tool and the Spatter brush presets. Place
a grungy cardboard texture on top and set its layer from Normal to Multiply blend mode to help tie everything together. Black & White and Levels adjustment layers were used to control the saturation and tone of parts of the image. Some Color Fill Layers can be added to provide ﬁnal hotspots of colour. Set these to Color Burn and ﬁll the masks with black. Use a soft, round brush to paint white back in key areas to judiciously add the colour splashes. Creating stencil effects is a fun challenge because it goes against the inherent digital crispness of computer graphics.
PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS
Common problems solved
DODGE HIGHLIGHTS Grab the Dodge tool and set its Range to Highlights, Exposure to 50% and paint over the neutral layer to add glow.
The Difference Clouds ﬁlter creates good clouds. Set the Foreground and Background colours to black and white.
To blend the lightning with the background image, change the layer’s blend mode to Screen.
NEUTRAL OVERLAY Hold Opt/Alt and click the Create A New Layer button. Make sure the Mode is set to Overlay and check Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% gray).
On a night image create a new Open Levels (Cmd/Ctrl+L) layer and grab the Gradient and drag the black and tool. Create a Linear Gradient and go midtone sliders to the right until the to Filter>Render>Difference Clouds. effect starts to show. Adding more Hit Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the image. contrast will bring out the lightning.
Grab the Brush tool (B) and select black as the Foreground colour. Paint over areas you don’t need. Now change the layer’s blend mode to Screen.
Open Hue/Saturation and check the Colorize box. Change the Hue to a bluish colour. Resize (Cmd/Ctrl+T) and duplicate the layer to create new bolts.
Common problems solved PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS WHAT ARE LAYER COMPS USED FOR IN PHOTOSHOP CC? Layer comps are a way of creating multiple compositions of an artwork within one document. For example, if you can’t make your mind up on how a layout should look, you could do it one way, save it as a layer comp, and then rearrange it. Save the second layout as a layer comp as well, and then you can ﬂick between them and show others to help you decide. A layer comp essentially takes a ‘snapshot’ of your current image and saves it in the Layer Comps palette (Window>Layer Comps). It stores information about layers that are visible or are hidden, how a layer is positioned, and whether a layer has a style or blend mode applied to it. If you make a change that cannot be stored in a layer comp, or that affects Photoshop’s ability to restore any layer comps, a warning will pop up in the palette.
HOW CAN I WORK WITH TEXTURES IN ELEMENTS? In Photoshop Elements 12, Adobe has provided an abundance of methods for creating interesting and creative effects with very little effort. One of those methods is the texture applications found in the Quick mode of the program. The Textures panel is hidden among the other more popular panels found at the bottom-right of the main screen, such as Adjustments, Effects and Frames. Once the Textures panel is open you will be greeted with ten different textures available for a single-click application. These vary between grunge effects, woven grain, and peeled paint. Click on a
texture thumbnail and it gets applied to the image straightaway. Even though the process is easy, the effects are actually very good. By switching over to the Expert mode after applying the texture, you can see how the texture is being applied. This allows for more application options as you can change the blend mode and opacity settings for the textured layer. You can even paint on the associated layer mask to control exactly where the texture should or shouldn’t be applied. By returning to the Quick mode, subsequent texture applications will stack up to provide even more creative effects.
PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS
Common problems solved WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS MARQUEE TOOLS USED FOR? Before
USING MARQUEES Swap between the different Marquee tools for swift and precise selections.
HOW CAN I GET CREATIVE WITH PHOTOSHOP BLUR FILTERS IN MY PHOTOS? Inject your photos with a dose of delicious motion using the Blur ﬁlters. Under Filter>Blur you’ll ﬁnd several blur types to play with. Before applying one, Ctrl/right-click on the target layer and choose Convert To Smart Object. Now, when you apply a ﬁlter, it’ll be added as a non-destructive and easily editable Smart Filter. Use the Radial and Motion Blur ﬁlters to forge a dynamic fusion of photos. We ﬁrst stacked the skater atop the background. A layer mask was added to the skater, and a soft, round brush was employed to paint with black to fade the edges out. After ensuring both photos were Smart Objects, we applied a Radial Blur to the bottom plaza shot. The Spin Method was used here, but be sure to also try the Zoom Method to draw attention to the focal point. The skater was brought to life with the Motion Blur ﬁlter. We used a horizontal motion to counter the circular direction of the background. To bring detail back to the skater, black was painted in the Filter effects mask to remove blur in some areas.
Photoshop Elements really only has three different Marquee tools. First is the Rectangular Marquee, which can be swapped for the Elliptical Marquee. These tools are primarily for creating large selection areas to surround a subject. Because of their perfect mathematical shapes, they do have a degree of precision. Secondly there’s the Lasso tool which comes in different ﬂavours including Freehand, Polygonal and Magnetic. These are handy for drawing a selection around a subject. Then there’s the Quick Selection tool that enables you to paint areas of a selection and Elements will automatically detects edges. When paired with the Reﬁne Edge feature, this proves to be the most multi-purpose selection tool the program has to offer.
Before BLURRED VISION Use the Blur ﬁlters to make backgrounds more interesting and draw attention to a subject.
Common problems solved PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS Before SET YOUR LIMITS SAMPLING OPTIONS Continuous picks up any colour that falls under the brush target, so stick to Once to click and choose a colour.
Contiguous means that the colour going to be erased must be touching the target pixel. Set this to Discontiguous to get around ﬁddly tree sections.
BLEND IMAGES To help the tree and the background blend, we selected the tree layer and applied Hue/Saturation to match it to the sky tones.
REPLACE BACKGROUND We have used our newly cutout tree to create a fresh composition with the addition of a striking background.
PROTECT FOREGROUND Select a colour you want to protect with the Foreground swatch to ensure that your tree is not erased.
This quick technique works best when your tree is against a blue sky. Duplicate your Background layer and select the Background Eraser tool.
In the Options bar, set Sampling to Once (the second little icon), which means that wherever you click, Photoshop will sample the colour and erase it.
Click a bit of blue sky and Set Limit to Discontiguous paint – the blue will be and set Tolerance to 50%. erased. When you let go of your Tick Protect Foreground Color. Go down to the Foreground swatch and mouse and re-click, Photoshop pick an average green from your tree. takes a new colour sample to erase.
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The Making Of Dragonfly Jenny shows us how her painted image was created from scratch Unexpected Friends
Jenny Laatsch We talk to this digital artist about how she uses Photoshop to express her mood
or Jenny Laatsch, her time spent at school and gathering critical feedback were the catalysts behind her development as a Photoshop artist. She talks to Photoshop Creative about her background in learning to create photomanipulations, and how she now brings her ideas to life on the digital canvas with her favourite tools.
HowdidyoulearnPhotoshop? I learned the basics when I went to school to study graphic design in 2005, but I didn’t really start to learn how powerful the software was for art until I started playing on a website called Worth1000 in 2009. There, I really learned how to make fantasy artwork by blending photographs together.
Whatareyourfavouritepartsof Photoshop? If I can only choose one it would have to be layers with clipping masks, and the Brush tool would be a very close second. I love how Photoshop gives you the ability to use many different layers and clip them to the layer below. When I ﬁrst started doing photomanipulations, layers saved my ﬁnal image countless times. And, as a beginner painter, layers enabled me to
learn without the fear of having to redo an entire piece because something wasn’t working out.
Arethereanystrongmessagesin yourart? I usually create artwork to ﬁt my current mood. Perhaps that is why my pieces happen to cross so many genres. I really enjoy creating pieces that speak to more of a fantasy and emotional side.
Anyadviceforbeginners? The best advice is to follow a lot of tutorials and ask for critiques. A lot of critiques. I was lucky to have had a few great mentors when I ﬁrst started that really helped to push my creativity and technical skills. Their critiques helped to shape the artist I am today.
Whatwouldyoudoifyouweren’t anartist? Nothing. Art is a great escape for me. It’s my stress release, my only ‘me’ time. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. For more work by Jenny, visit www. photoshopcreative.co.uk/user/Jennlaa
Starting off with a digital sketch I started off with a few sketches from a reference photo. After that, I then created a solid black outline in Photoshop to kick off the painting.
Block in colour For ease of use, I added all my colours on a separate layer. I kept the colours for the background and leaf on their own layers as well.
Paint and warp Using a medium hard brush, I applied more colour at 80% Opacity with 80% Flow. I switched the file’s orientation and preferred it!
Adjust lighting My final step was to add a new layer and fill with 50% grey. I set this to Overlay and using the Burn and Dodge tools, I added shadows and highlights.
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Published on Dec 14, 2017