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Library: Inside Photoshop

Browse through Inside Photoshop library to enhance your creativity

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Inside Photoshop, August 2016
 Inside Photoshop, August 2016 Issue


Light up the sky with a photo-realistic lightning effect

Added on Friday 5th of August 2016 01:35 am EST

by Michelle Dick

Lightning is a powerful way to set your images apart from others and demand a viewer's attention. You can punch up the drama in any foreboding sky with our electrifying lightning creation. Here's how to do it.

Storm on the horizon

Let's begin by selecting a stormy photo that lends itself to our electrifying effect, as shown in Figure A. To follow along with us, download the file from the URL at the beginning of this article and open the file storm.jpg in Photoshop. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images have been modified for educational purposes.) With the image open, it's time to create a new layer to house the lightning bolt effect.

Figure A:  

Article figure image

To create the lightning layer:

1. Click the Create A New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel (Window > Layers).

2. Double-click on the layer name to rename the new layer Lightning.

3. Select the Gradient tool from the Tools panel and choose Foreground To Background from the Gradient Picker on the tool options bar.

4. Press D to revert to the default black and white swatches (in case they aren't alr



What to do when you can't access the Oil Paint filter

Added on Friday 5th of August 2016 01:46 am EST

by Amy Palermo

Photoshop's oil paint filter debuted in version CS5 as a Pixel Bender Plug-in, and in Photoshop CS6, Adobe incorporated this filter directly into the application. Sadly, it was discontinued not long after. Photoshop CC 2015 sees the re-release of this amazing painterly filter, which offers a quick way to take a digital photo, like the one shown in Figure A, and give it the look of an authentic oil painting, as shown in Figure B.

Figure A:  

Article figure image

Figure B:  

Article figure image

To access the Oil Paint filter, choose Filter > Stylize > Oil Paint. If you're one of the many users who can't access the filter, it will appear grayed out, as shown in Figure C. We'll show you how to troubleshoot this filter woe, and hopefully get the Oil Paint filter available for you once more.

Figure C:  

Article figure image

Step #1: C


Dye your rainbow rose the Photoshop way

Added on Friday 5th of August 2016 02:00 am EST

by Amy Palermo

If you want to photograph roses, rest assured you'll be able to find a bunch of red, white, or yellow roses at just about anyplace that sells flowers. If you're looking for something different like, say, rainbow roses, those are a little harder to come by. But you can improvise and make your own rainbow roses in Photoshop with the technique illustrated in Figure A.

Figure A:  

Article figure image

Rainbow roses

As you've probably guessed, rainbow roses don't grow naturally. Just as carnations and chrysanthemums are frequently dyed, the rainbow rose is artificially colored.

Flowers naturally draw up water through their stems. To dye a flower you simply cut the end of the stem, and then place the stem in colored water. The flower will draw the colored water into the petals, and the dye stains the petals. Colorizing a single-colored flower sounds simple enough, but what about a multi-colored flower?

To dye a flower in multiple colors, the cultivator must split the stem and then dip each stem part into different colored wate


Frame your shots better by using natural elements

Added on Friday 5th of August 2016 02:13 am EST

by Stephen Dow

When you think about framing your images, you might imagine a nice walnut frame and some low-reflection glass. But there's another type of frame you can use when shooting your digital images—a natural frame. Don't be deceived by the word natural, as a natural frame is actually any object in your scene that can create a frame within your image. Natural frames can be doorways, windows, fences, and trees, as shown in Figure A, or any number of other everyday objects. They can be very useful for adding visual interest and further defining the subject of your image. Including frames in your digital images isn't difficult; in fact, we'll show you how digital cameras make it easy to take advantage of this technique.

Figure A:  

Article figure image

The digital advantage

So, what makes this a digital topic and not a pure shooting-technique topic? Digital cameras have several advantages over traditional cameras that can help make capturing framed images easier.

bullet First, the LCD screen lets you not only quickly preview your images, but it can also help evaluate exposure adjustments without having to wait for film to be developed.

bullet Second, many digital cameras offer articulated LCD screens, so selecting unique viewpoints and capturing that perfect frame is much easier than with a fixed viewfinder.

bullet Third, selecting frames can even be done after the fact, as the digital format makes it simple to use image-editing applications to crop your images to a perfect framing.

Have your images been framed?

The use of natural frames in photography is a technique that has been used since the introduction of the medium. Frames add


Double-check selections before making alpha channels

Added on Friday 5th of August 2016 03:15 am EST

by Amy Palermo

You're correct in your expectations: When you save a selection as an alpha channel, Photoshop displays the selected area as white, and the non-selected, or masked area, as black. It sounds like you inadvertently selected the inverse of what you intended to select.

This is a common mistake when you need to select an object that has a single-colored background, such as the racecar shown in Figure A. The easiest way to select the racecar is to select the white area, and then inverse the selecti


Call attention to an area in an image with a circular stroke

Added on Friday 5th of August 2016 03:24 am EST

by Renée Dustman

Although you might think there should be a tool that automatically creates a stroked circle for you, there really isn't. The next time you want to circle some text or a graphic, here's what to do:

1. Open your image in Photoshop.

2. Create a new layer (to preserve the image detail) by clicking the Create A New Layer button on the


Make an object the center of your canvas (CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015)

Added on Friday 5th of August 2016 03:44 am EST

by Renee Dustman

There may come a time when you need to center an object on your canvas. You could eyeball it, but that isn't very precise. You could use a mathematical equation to figure out the center, but that's too much thinking—especially when you can get Photoshop to do it for you. You can easily align layers and, as shown in Figure A, the



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