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Library: Inside Photoshop

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Inside Photoshop, April 2015
 Inside Photoshop, April 2015 Issue


Don't be fooled by the complexity of illusions

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 04:21 am EST

by Amy Palermo

When you're planning the creation of a new piece of art in Photoshop, creating an illusion may come to mind. With Photoshop, anything is possible; a staircase can float in space and a dog can go snorkeling. You can create situations that never happened, as shown in Figure A , and fool people into believing they did. To accomplish this task in a manner that is believable and compelling, you need to understand how the elements of your design interact with each other, and how the human eye perceives these elements. By keeping these things in mind, you'll be able to create visually stunning pieces, no matter what the context.

Figure A:
Article figure image

Prominent in the late 1950's thru the mid-1960's, Op Art is also known as Optical Art. Op Art is characterized by patterns of lines and shapes arranged in a certain order to create pulsating images, foreground and background disturbances, color distortion, and many other visual effects. The primary focus of Op Art is to fool the eye, and is often accomplished through elements such as chromatic tension and the arrangement of geometric shapes to create the illusion of perspective.

Optical illusions

Everything you create in Photoshop is essentially an illusion. You're adding elements to a digital image that didn't otherwise exist. All in all, however, the viewer looks at your image, and interprets it for what it is. But, what if you want to go one step further and trick them into seeing something that isn't really there? Well, then you'd create an optical illusion. There are many different types of optical illusions you can incorporate into your Photoshop artwork.

  • Geometric illusions. Geometric optical illusions are the most commonly recognized. Created with patterns of geometric shapes and lines, such as the one shown in Figure B, they can create a false sense of perspective, movement, or even make your eye think a square has rounded corners.

    Figure B:
    Article figure image

  • Artistic illusions. Artistic illusions are works in which the artist has intentionally manipulated elements to create a scene that couldn't possibly exist in our physical space of reality. The work can be a montage of elements as the one in Figure A, or simply an image with two compositions: one primary and one more hidden so the viewer's eye bounces back and forth between the two.
  • Size illusions. Size illusions are usually geometric in form, however, the primary focus is how an object relates to another object's size and space. In the illusion shown in Figure C, the two hexagons in the middle


Set the stage for an artistic illusion

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 05:14 am EST

When you create an artistic illusion in Photoshop, the images you choose to work with are crucial to the success of your final piece. You can spend hours searching for just the right piece of stock photography that fits your needs—with fruitless results. Or, you can simply take your own photos.

To photograph your own subject for an artistic illusion, the first thing you need to do is find a willing candidate for a photo shoot. This can be your best friend, your neighbor, your boss, whoever



Share assets between apps easily with Creative Cloud Libraries

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 05:20 am EST

by Amy Palermo

One of the problems designers often faced in the past is that content wasn't always easily accessible between apps. For example, you probably work on client projects using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign interchangeably. So it makes good sense that you should be able to access the same logo, colors, photos, and text styles quickly from any of these apps. Well, now you can. Creative Cloud Libraries makes your creative assets available to you and anyone on your team who has a Creative Cloud account in both the Creative Cloud desktop and mobile apps.

Put it in the library

To access the Libraries panel from Photoshop, choose Window > Library. As you can see in Figure A, the panel separates assets by type, making them easy to filter through when you need to work quickly. These are the asset types that you can add to the Creative Cloud Libraries:

  • Colors. Sample colors and create color themes to keep your design work consistent.
  • Text Styles. Save formatted text styles (including font face, size, kerning, and more) and eliminate the need to reformat specialized type every time you need to use it.
  • Layer Styles: Capture and store combinations of different layer styles (such as drop shadows, bevels, strokes, and fills) and easily re-use them on other design elements.
  • Brushes: Use the Adobe Brush CC mobile app to create amazing brushes from photos you take, and store those brushes in your libraries to use in Photoshop and Illustrator or the CC mobile apps.
  • Graphics: Store different graphic elements in the Creative Cloud Libraries, including photos, logos, Photoshop layer groups, and patterns, to name a few. You'll have them readily available when you need them most!

Once you add content to a library, Photoshop syncs it to the Creative Cloud so it is easily accessible to you from other Creative Cloud desktop and mobile apps that you connect to with the same Adobe ID.

Figure A:
Article figure image



Add a ray of hope to a dreary image with the Gradient tool

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 05:31 am EST

by Renee Dustman

Capturing the image of a complete rainbow spanning over a picturesque landscape is an aspiration you may not expect to achieve any time soon. What are the odds you'll ever be in the right place at the right time? Well, we got tired of waiting and decided to play Mother Nature again. If we can create clouds in Photoshop then what's stopping us from conjuring up a rainbow? As shown in Figure A, a rainbow is a great way to perk up a dark and dreary image. What you can't see in our image, though, is the technique we used to create the rainbow. We'll reveal it to you in this article. And, we promise, it will be a lot easier than capturing the real thing!

Figure A:
Article figure image

Set the stage

First, open the image you want to enhance with a rainbow in Photoshop. In your open document, display the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and [option]-click ([Alt]-click in Windows) on the Create A New Layer button. In the resulting New Layer dialog box, enter Rainbow in the Name text box. Then, click OK. You'll work on this layer until the very last step.

The History panel is great for keeping track of your steps as you create them, but its memory is erased after you close the document. Alternatively, you can create a new layer for each step. Unlike a history log, the layer method gives you a way to go back and make changes to the document without having to retrace your steps. Instead of creating many separate layers, though, consider creating a set of layers. A layer set enables you to organize a single effect created on multiple layers. For example, you can organize all the layers that make up the rainbow technique in a single set. Then, with a single click of your mouse, you can show or hide all the layers in the set. To create a la



Smooth your brushed lines with help from the Pen tool

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 05:39 am EST

by Amy Palermo

Painting perfect curves with the Brush tool and a mouse is cumbersome at best. One small hiccup and your curve will look like your three-year-old nephew got a hold of your designs. To paint smooth edges, think beyond the Brush tool-put the Pen tool to work!

Instead of simply brushing a stroke and leaving the results to fate, you'll make this a two-step process. It might seem like a little extra work to draw a line and then stroke it, but the results are worth the effort as you'll have much more control over your curve's smooth e



Restore a converted background layer

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 05:45 am EST

by Renee Dustman

As you said, you can convert the Background layer to a regular layer by double-clicking on it in the Layers panel and clicking OK in the New Layer dialog box. What’s the difference between the Background laye



Form your images into text with clipping masks

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 05:51 am EST

by Amy Palermo

What you’re trying to do actually a simple technique when you use a clipping mask.

To form images in the shape of text with a clipping mask:

  1. Open an image you wish to form into the shape of text. If it’s a locked background layer, double-click on the layer and press OK in the New Layer


Journal cover image Use these keyboard shortcuts to select and move layers easily (CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014)

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 05:53 am EST

by Amy Palermo

One of the features you’ll likely use often in Photoshop is layers. So learning how to navigate through the Layers panel quickly and easily is a skill you shouldn’t overlook. We’ll show you how to both cycle through the Lay



Create flawless skin in a few quick steps (CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014)

Added on Monday 6th of April 2015 05:58 am EST

by Amy Palermo

Your model may not have perfect skin but you can enhance it in Photoshop. While you shouldn’t consider every skin blemish unattractive or necessary to hide, there might be times when you’ll want a soft, flawless look.

To enhance your model’s skin in Photoshop:

  1. Drag your image layer to the