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Library: Inside Photoshop

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Inside Photoshop, January 2016
 Inside Photoshop, January 2016 Issue


Spotlight your images for illuminating results

Added on Friday 22nd of January 2016 03:21 am EST

by Renee Dustman

Transplanting an image into new surroundings requires careful consideration. Your image will need more than just a solid-colored background to look and feel at home. As shown in Figure A, a little lighting and shadowing makes new surroundings more inviting as well as more pleasing to the eye. We'll explore these components and how to add them to your images in Photoshop.

Figure A:
Article figure image

Make yourself at home

The first thing you need to do when looking to transplant an image is to create the new document it will call home. In this document, you'll fill the background with color. This step is necessary for the lighting effect you'll add in the next step, and it will also enrich the color of the light.

To create a new document:

  1. Launch Photoshop and choose File > New.
  2. Enter 6 inches in the Width text box and 8 inches in the Height text box.
  3. Set the Resolution to 72 pixels/inch (PPI), choose RGB from the Color Mode pop-up menu, and White from the Background Contents pop-up menu.
  4. Click OK.

To create the backdrop:

  1. Click on the Set Foreground Color box in the Tools panel to open the Color Picker and specify the color values R:169, G:169, B:169. Then, click OK.
  2. Press [option][delete] ([Alt][Backspace] in Windows) to fill the Background layer with the foreground color.

Shine a little light on me

Now you can enhance your background with a lighting effect. The Lighting Effects filter offers several preset lighting settings from which you can choose. You'll start with the default style, which is a white spotlight with medium intensity and a wide focus, and then customize it a bit.

To create a



Preserve your portraits with this stone carving simulation

Added on Friday 22nd of January 2016 03:24 am EST

by Amy Palermo

Carving stone can be so messy, not to mention laborious and challenging. It takes a trained eye and a skilled set of hands to transform a piece of rock into a recognizable statue. But you don't need chisels or hammers when you have Photoshop at your fingertips. We'll show you how to turn your portrait photos into stone statue look-a-likes, like the one shown in Figure A.

Figure A:
Article figure image

Gather your tools

To create a simulated stone carving in Photoshop you'll need two images: a photo of a person or other object you wish to transform, and a photo of the stone that you'd like to apply to your image. To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article and extract the files boy.psd and stone.psd. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Then, launch Photoshop and open both images, shown in Figure B.

Figure B:
						<div class= 


Create glistening glitter text in Photoshop

Added on Friday 22nd of January 2016 03:32 am EST

by Amy Palermo

If you're looking for a festive way to decorate your designs, we've got just the technique for you-glimmering, shimmering text , as shown in Figure A. This is one opulent style sure to please your clients- and dazzle their customers!

Figure A:

Article figure image

We'll walk you through the steps we took to make the Happy 2016 text in Figure A. To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article, extract the file glitter_background.tif, launch Photoshop, and open the file shown in Figure B. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.)

Figure B:

Article figure image

To create the text shown in Figure A, we kept the two text blocks on separate layers, making it easier to color them differently. A bold font works best for this technique.

1. Select the Horizontal Type tool from the Tools panel.

2. Set the type options on the tool options bar. We set our font to Azo Sans Uber Regular, 130 pt. The color doesn't matter because you will colorize it later.

3. Click on the canvas and type 2016.

4. Select the Move tool, then click and drag the type to reposition it on the canvas.

5. Select the Horizontal Type tool again, then click on the canvas and type Happy.

6. Highlight the text and change the point size to suit your font. We kept the font the same but changed the size to 85 pt.

7. Select the Move tool, then click and drag the type to reposition it on the canvas, for results shown in Figure C.

Figure C:

Article figure image

Next comes the fun part-crea



Simplify alpha channels and unmask their potential

Added on Friday 22nd of January 2016 03:38 am EST

by Amy Palermo

One of the greatest characteristics of alpha channels is precisely what confounds many Photoshop users-they are extremely versatile and multi-faceted. For example, say you've just read a tutorial on how to remove the background from a portrait, and in the example, the alpha channel displays as red on the image. Then you see another example and the alpha channel displays as black. You overhear your expert co-worker refer to an alpha channel as a clipping path, and all along you thought it was just a mask. You think to yourself, What's going on, will somebody please explain!? Sure, we will!

Alpha channel fundamentals

On the simple side, an alpha channel is nothing more than a grayscale image. An alpha channel is comprised of black, white, and different shades of grey pixels. The black pixels are opaque, the white pixels are transparent, and the different shades of gray pixels have different transparency levels depending on their value. On the functional side, alpha channels have many uses, the top two being as selections or masks.

Alpha channels as selections

An alpha channel's primary purpose is to save and store selections. Because Photoshop is pixel-based, you can't easily select a segment of your image just by clicking on it, as you can in Adobe Illustrator, which is vector-based. Instead, you have to use one or more of Photoshop's many selection tools and techniques to craft your selection. Since that usually isn't a quick process, an alpha channel offers a convenient place to store that selection until you're ready to use it again.

Alpha channels as masks

Alpha channels are also used to save and store masks. Selections and masks are often interchanged, since when you want to mask out an area of your image, you'll need to start with a good selection. What's sometimes confusing is that when you create a new layer mask (in the Layers panel), and have that layer selected, that mask shows up in the Channels panel.

This is a layer mask alpha channel and it's treated slightly different from a regular alpha channel. It doesn't offer all the same options as an alpha channel does as it's temporary, meaning that if you apply or delete the layer mask, the channe



Make easy white-balance corrections with the Color Balance command

Added on Friday 22nd of January 2016 03:48 am EST

by Jim Whitcomb

If you've ever neglected to adjust your camera's white-balance setting or used its incandescent setting outside, you know how frustrating it is to have a great photo of a red car turn out purple. If you're lucky, and your subject hasn't changed, you can reshoot it. But what if the scene has changed-is the shot completely lost? Luckily, you can use Photoshop's Color Balance command to not only correctly color-balance your shot, as shown in Figure A, but you can also create a color-balance profile which you can save and apply if you encounter the problem again.

Figure A:

Article figure image

Article figure image

Inside and out

When film manufacturers began developing color films, they quickly discovered a problem. Although a subject looked fine when shot outside in daylight, it looked orange when shot inside in incandescent light. As the film manufacturers researched the reason for this discrepancy, they discovered an interesting phenomenon-it wasn't their product, but our perception.

What we think is there and what is actually there can be two different things. White light really isn't pure white. It can vary in color depending on the source-reddish as from a flame, yellowish from an incandescent bulb, and bluish in daylight. And while the color of a light source may vary, our perception of the resulting colors does not. We tend to perceive the same colors under varying light sources as looking the same.

To solve the perceptual problem, the film manufacturers formulated two film types: outdoor film for daylight and indoor film for incandescent light. Many years later, with the introduction of digital photography, digital camera manufacturers discovered the same perceptual problem and likewise needed a solution for outdoor and indoor lighting adjustments.

A white-balancing act

To solve the color perception problem in digital



Tint a grayscale image with Variations

Added on Friday 22nd of January 2016 03:51 am EST

by Renee Dustman

Tinting grayscale images is easy in Photoshop-even when you aren't sure of the color you want to use! To quickly tint a grayscale image like the one shown in Figure A, first choose Image > Mode > RGB Color. Next, choose Image > Adjustments > Variations. In the Variations dialog box, shown in Figure B, specify whether you want to apply more of a par