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Library: Inside Photoshop

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Inside Photoshop, July 2015
 Inside Photoshop, July 2015 Issue


Set your type ablaze with Photoshop CC 2014's Flame filter

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:18 am EST

With summer in full swing, you’re probably looking for a hot way to enhance your designs. But let’s face it—during the dog days of summer you want something sizzling yet simple. Well look no further—with CC 2014’s Flame filter and some type, you can create simple, satisfying sizzling hot text effects like the one shown in Figure A!

Figure A:
Article figure image

Lay the foundation
To get started we’ll create a new canvas and then add some type. The flames generated from the Flame Filter really stand out well against a dark background, so we’ll start with a black canvas.

To create the canvas and set the type:

  1. Choose File > New and enter settings to create a new 4.5” x 3”, 300 ppi, RGB document with a black background.
  2. Set the Foreground color in the Tools panel to R:244, G:67, B:5.
  3. Select the Horizontal Type tool from the Tools panel, and choose a thin font from the Font pop-up menu on the Tool options bar. We selected AR DECODE Regular.
  4. Click on the canvas, add some type, and adjust the font size to fill the canvas. We set our type to 130 pt.
  5. Select the Move tool from the Tools panel, then click and drag the text to center it on the canvas as shown in Figure B.

Figure B:
Article figure image

Make the selection

Because the Flame filter only works on a path, we’ll show you how to generate a Work Path from the text and select it so you can apply the filter.

To create and select a Work Path from text:

  1. [Ctrl]


Create splendid infrared images with a simple mix

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:21 am EST

Infrared photography is great for bringing out the mystery and intrigue in a given subject. In Figure A, you can see an image of a park shot in infrared. In regular black and white, this picture wouldn’t be very remarkable, but in infrared, it has a spooky, surreal quality that catches your attention. However, you don’t necessarily need to purchase expensive infrared lenses for your camera in order to achieve this effect. With an understanding of infrared photography and a little channel mixing in Photoshop, you can easily simulate the look of an infrared photo.

Figure A:
Article figure image

Infrared photography

Before digital cameras, you had to use special film that required special processing if you wanted to try traditional infrared photography. In addition, you couldn’t mix infrared shots with normal shots. With digital photography, all you need for infrared is your trusty camera and an infrared filter for your lens.

Most conventional and digital cameras take pictures of visible light. However, when you add an infrared filter, you enable a camera to use the light beyond the visible spectrum—the longer-wavelength light that our eyes don’t normally see. The results are different from what we normally see, as illustrated by the white tree leaves —something very common in infrared shots—shown in Figure A.

You can use the tools in Photoshop to transform an ordinary photo into an extraordinary infrared image. However, if you’re a digital photographer and want to shoot infrared, here are six tips for you to use to get started shooting infrared imagery.

  • Step 1: Get an infrared filter. Standard digital cameras don’t all capture infrared light. Since infrared light can degrade the quality of visible light, many cameras actually add an infrared-blocking filter in front of the CCD or CMOS array. So, if your camera doesn’t capture infrared light, you’ll need to add an infrared filter. By adding an infrared filter to the front of your lens, you’re forcing the camera to capture the infrared as visible light.
  • Step 2: Balance to white. Once you’ve added an infrared filter to your lens, you’ll want to reset the white balance of your camera. This way, the image looks a li


Create realistic rippled reflections with a displacement map

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:23 am EST

by Amy Palermo

Surface treatments, such as reflections, can add great interest and visual excitement to images. Simple reflections are quick, and easy to do, but more complex ones that conform to a surface’s texture such as a ripple on the water, can pose a different challenge. How do you get the reflection to conform to the same ripple? We’ll show you how this can actually be quite simple with the help of a displacement map and some layer masking for results shown in Figure A.

Figure A:
Article figure image

The physics of reflections

Simply put, a reflection is light thrown back from a surface. The quality of the reflection depends on the strength of the light source (called incident light), the smoothness of the reflective surface, and the strength of the reflected light. Essentially, b light sources that bounce off smooth surfaces produce good reflections, while rougher surfaces produce more diffuse reflections.

The state of the reflection also depends on the quality of the surface and the angle at which you’re viewing the subject. For example, a mirror gives you a perfect specular reflection, while rippled water offers a more diffused reflection.

Gather your images

For this technique we’ll show you how to create a reflection of an image on some rippled water. To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article, and extract the file ducks.psd. Then launch Photoshop and open the file. If you’re using your own image, arrange your layers so that the object to be reflected is on its own layer above the water layer, as shown in our example in Figure B.

Figure B:


Don't let color casts spoil your appetite for well-balanced images

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:24 am EST

by Amy Palermo

While it may be common for an image to pick up nasty background colors and cast them through your entire image, you don’t have to like it. And, more importantly, you do need to address the problem. We’ll show you how to tame that color with the help of a curves adjustment layer, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A:
Article figure image

Why such a color cast?

Color casts aren’t uncommon; however you can avoid them, if you know what to look for. There are many different ways that an image can obtain a color cast. Most of them are undesirable, however, we’ll show you which ones you’ll want to retain in your image.

  • When photographing images with film, a color cast is often introduced when the temperature of the lighting doesn’t match the color balance of the film.
  • When photographing images with a digital camera, a color cast is often introduced when the temperature of the lighting doesn’t match the white balance settings of the camera.
  • When scanning images, a color cast is often introduced for a variety of reasons, such as not working in a color managed workflow, scanning without a scanner profile, or when equipment needs maintenance, such as when the bulb needs to be changed or the glass needs to be cleaned.
  • When photographing outdoor images, a color cast is often introduced under b lighting conditions, such as dusk, dawn, or high noon. These color casts are usually desirable to keep in the image, as they create an overall mood for the shot.

You can easily go into the Variations command, and, with a few simple clicks, come out with a quick fix to your color dilemma. But quick isn’t always better, and Curves are actu



Quickly eliminate a color cast by targeting your midtones

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:27 am EST

by Amy Palermo

Not every image ailment can be cured with a quick fix. However, if all it takes to eliminate a color cast from your image is one click of the mouse, it’s a great place to start, and hopefully, stop. Every image has its own set of flaws, but for eliminating an overall color cast from your image, a simple and effective means to begin is to simply readjust your midtones and, hopefully, the rest of the image might fall right into place.

We’ll use the same image we used in the article “Don’t let color casts spoil your appetite for well-balanced images” in this issu



Disable Snap To Document for precision cropping

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:29 am EST

What you’re describing sounds like you have the Snap To Document Bounds command selected. To deselect this opt



Set the range for the Dodge and Burn tools quickly with these keystrokes (Photoshop CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014)

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:30 am EST

by Amy Palermo

When you’re using the Dodge and Burn tools, you can fine-tune your options on the tool options bar. One of these choices involves selecting



Place your guides with precision (CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014)

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:32 am EST

by Amy Courtright

The whole purpose of using guides is to make your graphics line up pe



Use Hue Jitter to vary colors as you paint (CS5/CS6/CC/CC2014)

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:33 am EST

by Stephen Dow

In Photoshop terms, jitter is the amount of variation you allow for a certain setting when using a custom brush. While jitter is typically used to vary the size, angle, and roundness of your brush in the Shape Dynamics Brush Preset of the Brushes panel, it can also affect the c



Improve the readability of text with absolute leading (CS5/CS6/CC/CC2014)

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:34 am EST

by Renee Dustman

In Photoshop, you can fine-tune the vertical space, or leading, between lines of text in your document for improved readability. To do this, select the Horizontal Type tool from the Tools panel, click an insertion point on the canvas in your document, and then type a few lines of text.

Next, display the Character panel. You can display it by clicking the Toggle The Ch



Tips to keep your digital images noise-free

Added on Thursday 16th of July 2015 08:35 am EST

by Stephen Dow

This is a great question, as digital noise is one of the biggest problems faced by digital photographers. The good news is that you can avoid it. The first thing to do is consider your ISO setting. Higher ISO settings tend to display more digital noise than digital images taken at lower ISO settings. The fix is to lower this setting to ISO 200 or ISO 100, if possible, which reduces the camera's sensitivity to light. But this isn’t always the cause of noise. While