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Library: Inside Photoshop

Browse through Inside Photoshop library to enhance your creativity

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Inside Photoshop, July 2016
 Inside Photoshop, July 2016 Issue

 

Don't let a deadline crunch your creativity: Get inspired by silhouettes!

Added on Monday 11th of July 2016 04:42 am EST
 

by Amy Palermo

When you think of a silhouette, you may envision cut-paper art, wrought-iron farm animals, or trendy iTunes advertisements. But what you might not realize is how easy it is to make silhouette art using Photoshop and how much of a punch you can pack into your designs when you incorporate silhouettes, as demonstrated in Figure A. So before you waste hours trying to come up with something new, let's explore the many different ways you can vary up silhouettes for dynamic art that's sure to please.

Figure A:  

Article figure image

Silhouette art rose to popularity in the early 1700s because of a Frenchman named Etienne de Silhouette. Early silhouettes were primarily portrait silhouettes, where artists would paint with watercolor paints, Indian ink, or black soot, on canvases of paper, glass, plaster, or ivory. Cut-paper silhouettes became more popular in the 19th century as black paper became more readily available.

A silhouette is essentially an object's outline filled in with a solid color, most notably black. However, in Photoshop, you can and should take artistic license to make your silhouette appeal to you and your client.

Silhouette basics

Because the primary silhouette element is the object's outline, you need to determine the subject to silhouette, and then get to work with your favorite selection method to isolate the shape. The good news: While crisp and tidy selections are always welcome, yo

 

 

Create festive text with this star-spangled brush preset

Added on Monday 11th of July 2016 05:50 am EST
 

by Amy Palermo

When your holiday plans include picnics and fireworks, don't overlook that your designs deserve star treatment, too! We'll show you how easy it is to create a festive brush preset that you can use to create the star-spangled text shown in Figure A.

Figure A:  

Article figure image

Lay the foundation

This text effect works best with a semi-bold font. To give our text an Independence Day flare, we'll create a new document with a blue background and set some red type.

To set the type:

1. Create a new document with a colored background. We created a 5" x 3" 300 ppi document, and set the color to R:16, G:12, B:51.

2. Select the Horizontal Type tool from the Tools panel, set the options for the font styling and color on the tool options bar, and then add some text to the canvas. We used Segoe UI Black 85 pt, and set the color to R:210, G:27, B:27. Our results are shown in Figure B.

Figure B:

Article figure image

Create the brush preset

Creating a star brush preset that pai

 

 

Follow 4 easy steps to create an authentic retro photograph

Added on Monday 11th of July 2016 06:07 am EST
 

by Gary DeFranco and Amy Palermo

Sometimes adding years of wear and tear to a photo, like the one shown in Figure A, brings a special visual interest to your project. And, although it may seem like a simple process to desaturate a color image and add a yellowish cast, that approach doesn't always produce the most convincing results.

Figure A: BEFORE

Article figure image

AFTER

Article figure image

Try these steps next time you need a retro look. To follow along with our example, download the file retro.zip from the URL given at the beginning of this article. Extract the file retro.psd, launch Photoshop, and open the file shown in the Before sample in Figure A. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) For the purpose of this example, we'll aim to achieve a look popular in consumer magazines in the early days of full-color photography.

 

 

Give your images a fresh point of view with creative masking

Added on Monday 11th of July 2016 06:20 am EST
 

by Amy Palermo

Every so often you'll shoot an amazing photo that captures the essence of everything you want your final piece to stand for. But all those other times, your images and product shots need a little help. We'll show you how—with a little creative masking—you can turn any regular photo into dynamic imagery, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A:  

Article figure image

Pick a photo

Although no special criteria exists for this technique, a photo with a primary focal point, such as the one shown in Figure B, works best. If you want to follow along with our example, download the file dotty.zip from the URL listed at the beginning of this article and extract the file cool_lady.psd. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Then, launch Photoshop and open the file.

Figure B:  

Article figure image

As you can see in our file, the imagery is on its own layer and the background layer is white. If you are using a different image, fill the bac

 

 

Select complex image areas with precision

Added on Monday 11th of July 2016 11:51 am EST
 

by Renée Dustman

You can make selections in Photoshop using a number of tools—which tool you use depends on the type of selection you need to make. Some areas, such as a solid dark color on a white background, are easy to select using the Magic Wand tool. Other areas, such as a multicolored object with smooth, clean lines on a multicolored background, are a little more difficult to select. Still, the Lasso or Pen tool usually does the trick. Then, there are image areas like the one shown in Figure A. How on earth do you make a selection around all that hair without making it look like a bad haircut? We'll show you how in this article.

Figure A:

Article figure image

Mission statement

Of course, the leading question is why does one need to create selections at all? In this case, we want to silhouette the model from the background in our image. To follow along, download the file selections.zip from the URL given at the beginning of this article, and extract the file model.jpg , launch Photohsop and open the file. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.)

Step 1: Select a channel

Hair is possibly one of the hardest things to select in a portrait image. It can be done, though, and done well. The first step is to look at each color channel and determine which one has the most contrasting shadow, midtone, and highlight detail. This will help us isolate the portion of the image we want to select.

To begin, choose Window > Channels to display the Channels panel. As usual, we're working in RGB Color mode, so we have three chann

 

 

Balance uneven skin tones with an easy spot blending technique

Added on Tuesday 12th of July 2016 12:04 pm EST
 

by Renée Dustman

Skin tones are prone to lighting imbalances, especially when photographed outdoors. When a shot is taken without a flash and in full sun, facial features often suffer from areas that are too dark or too light, as shown in the Before image in Figure A. One correction method you might consider is using the Dodge and Burn tools, but we have a better idea. We’ll show you how to paint and blend away these and other trouble spots using a technique that’s more akin to makeup artistry. As shown in the After image in Figure A, it’s quite effective.

Figure A: BEFORE

Article figure image

AFTER

Article figure image

 

 

Here's how to make concentric circles in a snap

Added on Tuesday 12th of July 2016 04:09 am EST
 

by Amy Palermo

Is there a quick an easy way to make a bullseye target symbol in Photoshop? I was hoping to find a filter to do this and not have to align circles.

A bullseye target—concentric circles at their finest—is actually really easy to create with the Polar Coordinates fi

 

 

Lighten a color without changing its hue or saturation

Added on Tuesday 12th of July 2016 04:21 am EST
 

by Renée Dustman

Is there a way to change the lightness of a color without changing the actual hue or saturation? Thanks!

The Adobe Color Picker allows you to select foreground, background, and text color in Photoshop. T

 

 

Reveal your brush tip size on the fly with this shortcut (CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015)

Added on Tuesday 12th of July 2016 04:29 am EST
 

by Amy Palermo

If your cursor preference settings are set to Standard or Precise, you won't see the exact size of the brush tip while you paint. Don't

 

 

Display full color when editing a single channel (CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015)

Added on Tuesday 12th of July 2016 04:37 am EST
 

by Renée Dustman

Digital images are made up of channels on which color detail is stored. By default, all the channels in a Photoshop document are selected t

 

 

Maximize your touch screen experience with the Modifier Keys palette (Photoshop CC 2015)

Added on Tuesday 12th of July 2016 04:45 am EST
 

by Amy Palermo

If you use a Windows touchscreen device with Photoshop, you're in for a treat! New to Photoshop CC 2015 is the Modifier Keys palette—allowing you to easily access th