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Library: Inside Photoshop

Browse through Inside Photoshop library to enhance your creativity

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Inside Photoshop, September 2014
 Inside Photoshop, September 2014 Issue


Add versatility to your next line art scan by planning ahead

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:08 am EST

Line art, such as our illustration shown in Figure A, can be the basis for a lot of interesting artwork whether you use it on its own or incorporate it with larger illustrations. Learning to properly work with line art enables you to turn a random doodle into more formal work. Line art can also be useful for mocking up prototypes quickly in the early design phases of a project. We"ll show you how to produce quality line art scans with a little help from Photoshop.

Figure A: Optimum resolutions for line art scans
Article figure image

Scan it right
To access your scanning options through Photoshop, choose File > Import, and then select your scanner. Many people get confused about how to set their scanner software when digitizing black and white line art. There are, however, only two very important settings you need to pay attention to in order to produce optimal scans: image mode and resolution.

Choose an image mode
Most scanner software offers two modes for scanning line art: Line Art (or Black & White) and Grayscale. You"re probably familiar with Grayscale, as it"s an image mode Photoshop also offers. Line Art (Black & White) mode may be a bit obscure, but it"s actually the same thing as Bitmap mode in Photoshop.

You can scan your line art in either mode. However, if you need to do more extensive edits or apply filters, then you need to work in Grayscale mode rather than Bitmap mode.

Set the image size
You should always scan line art at the same resolution of the final output device, maxing out at 1200 ppi (pixels per inch). While you"re probably aghast at the resolution, keep in mind that bitmap images only contain 1 bit of color information per pixel, whereas a grayscale image contains 8 bits per pixel and an RGB image has 24 bits per pixel. Because each pixel in a line art image can"t hold that much information, you need more pixels in order to generate an acceptable image, as shown in Figure B. Refer to Table A&nbs



Take advantage of Typekit and take your typography to town!

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:09 am EST

If you love fonts, you know that one size doesn"t fit all-different fonts evoke different moods, and some fonts are more suitable for body copy and others for design elements. And an experienced designer needs a variety of font styles to experiment with when creating mockups for clients. If you purchase your own software, you know first hand that stocking up on a library of fonts is an expensive endeavor. But if you"re using Photoshop Creative Cloud as a standalone app or as part of the entire Creative Cloud subscription, you"re in luck because Typekit is included as part of your subscription!

To access Typekit you"ll need to launch the Creative Cloud application and click on the Assets tab, as shown in Figure A. Let"s explore Typekit and see what it has to offer!

Figure A:
Article figure image

What is Typekit?
Typekit is a subscription-based font service that started in 2009 and was initially created for online documents. Adobe acquired Typekit in 2011 and now offers thousands of fonts as part of the Creative Cloud subscription. While Typekit doesn"t come included with every Adobe Creative Cloud App, it comes with many of the more popular ones, including Photoshop. Typekit also comes with the entire CC package, plus you can subscribe to Typekit as a standalone product.

Why is Typekit so convenient? Fonts are expensive so building a library is a huge financial commitment. The big expense leaves many designers searching for free fonts online, sometimes leading to unpredictable font quality and unwanted consequences, such as viruses. With Typekit fonts you can



Create primitive portraits that'll make your clients go wild

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:10 am EST

Creating interesting Photoshop effects doesn"t have to be a laborious process. Once in a while it should actually be fun! So here"s a technique that"s both simple and fun-we"ll show you how to create wild portraits with animal photos and layer masks. So let your hair down, release your primitive side, and follow along!

Choose your subject wisely
Take careful consideration when choosing images for this technique. Consider your portrait"s head size and shape as well as the animal"s facial features. For example, while not impossible, giraffe faces are tricky to match up with human faces because of their oblong shape and the extended space between facial features.

For this technique, we"ll start with an easy combination-the lion and the businessman shown in Figure A. To follow along with our example, from the URL given at the beginning of this article, extract the file wild_portrait.psd, launch Photoshop, and open the file. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Our sample file contains both images, with the layers appropriately named Lion and Man.

Figure A:
Article figure image

Align the features
In order to transform your portrait into a wild beast, you"ll need to align the important facial features such as the eyes and the mouth. You"ll need to decide how true you want to remain to the human"s head shape or the animal"s head shape. For this example, we"ll align the lion"s eyes to the human"s eyes, but keep most of the animal"s head shape.



Learn the secrets and challenges of shooting neon

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:11 am EST

Since its invention, neon lighting has grabbed attention and dazzled viewers. Nothing has come to epitomize the city at night more than neon-or, more precisely, neon signs. Early filmmakers would often run a montage of neon theater marquees at the beginning of their films to evoke the razzle-dazzle of opening night on the Great White Way (a euphemism for Broadway ablaze with neon).

Originally, neon signs were simple and inexpensive ways to incorporate a message into a lighted sign. However, over the decades, they"ve evolved. Technology mixed with ingenuity has transformed neon signs into a highly developed art form-one that is well worth the effort of photographing, as shown in Figure A. However, as exhilarating as shooting neon may be, it does require some special techniques to capture it correctly.

Figure A:
Article figure image

Nebulous neon
Neon is a basic element and is a gas at room temperature. It was discovered in 1898 by two chemists: Sir William Ramsay, a Scotsman, and Morris M. Travers, an Englishman. A few years later, in 1910, the neon lamp was invented by Georges Claude,


Know when to choose which blending mode

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:11 am EST

You sure can! While we"d never discourage experimentation, you can stay one step ahead of the curve when you know how each layer blending mode affects the underlying pixels. Garnering this knowledge will help you make more educated choices when applying layer blending modes.Let"s take a peek at the list of blending mode options. Open the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and click on the Blending Mode pop-up menu to display the options. As shown in Figure A, Photoshop separates the blending mode options into six groups. There"s a method to this madness! When you know what each group of blending modes do, it"s easier to select the one you need for your images.

Figure A:
Article figure image

To follow along as we explore the blending modes, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article, extract the file blending.psd, and open the file shown in Figure B. Then, select Layer 1 in the file and, as you read this article, experiment with each blend mode from the Blending Mode pop-up menu.

Figure B: LAYER 1
Article figure image

Article figure image

The first set of modes is Independent blend modes. You can see their results in Figure C. In each of these blend modes, pixels on the top layer blend (or replace) pixels on the lower layer:

Figure C: NORMAL
Article figure image



Isolate images and tackle transparency with ease

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:12 am EST

There are actually a few different ways you can go about doing this. You can either eliminate the background entirely, or you can create a mask or clipping path in Photoshop to hide the content. Both ways will give you an image file that you can use in InDesign.

To eliminate the image background:

  1. Make sure the image is not on a locked bac

Create concentric circles easily with this filter

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:12 am EST

Ah yes, a bullseye target; concentric circles at their finest! It"s amazing how many different things you can do with Photoshop filters. This look can be achieved with the Polar Coordinates filter.

To create a bullseye target:

  1. Create a new 4" x 4" RGB 300

Form your images into text with clipping masks

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:13 am EST

Absolutely! This is a very simple technique. And, you don"t actually have to remove the text"s color, you simply need to apply 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

Deactivate that text box so you can use keyboard shortcuts (CS4/CS5/CS6/CC)

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:13 am EST

In Photoshop, when you have the Text tool selected, pressing v on the keyboard switches to the Move tool. However, if you have an active text box (bounding box showing), you"ll find out that instead of selecting the M


Set a custom background color for a new document in Photoshop CC 2014

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:14 am EST

Gone are the days where you"re limited to a white or even transparent background in your new Photoshop files. New in Photoshop CC 2014 is the ability to


Don"t forget, you can always crop out unwanted subject matter (CS4/CS5/CS6/CC)

Added on Thursday 4th of September 2014 01:14 am EST

Sometimes, no matter how carefully you compose a shot, some unwanted person, item, or area of the subject manages to end up in an otherwise good image, as shown in Figure A. Your first impulse may be to immediate