Introducing Adobe Post

Recently I’ve been playing with Adobe Post – a new, free, Adobe app that provides a wide range of customizable templates for adding text to photos. It’s a great app for someone like me who would much rather start with a template and then modify it – rather than staring with a blank page! After selecting a template, you can easily “remix it”,  changing the text, photo, fonts, color palette, spacing, alignment, opacity, and shape. Here are a few examples that I created.



When you are happy with your stunning, professional-looking, design, you can save the image or quickly share it to your favorite social media channel!

And here is a quick teaser video:

For more information check out the Creative Cloud blog.

Have fun! : )

5:13 AM Comments (2) Permalink

Adding Images from the Libraries Panel in Photoshop

When dragging and dropping images from the Libraries panel into an open document in Photoshop, the images are placed by default as Linked Smart Objects and are automatically resized to fit within the canvas. (Note: there is no loss of image quality as a result of resizing because the images are Smart Objects).

If you do not want Photoshop to resize the image when dropping it into the document, uncheck Resize Image During Place in Preferences > General.

Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) will drop the image as a raster layer (pixels instead of a Linked Smart Object).

5:03 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Calling all Students: Passport to Creativity!

The Adobe Student Marketing team is very excited to launch Passport to Creativity! Passion Passport will give six students from around the world the chance to travel to the world’s most protected natural environments, capture them, and showcase their work. Students can simply tag their Instagram photos, videos or Behance portfolios with #MadeThis and #PassportToCreativity.

Q: Who is eligible to participate?
A: Students who are currently enrolled in a college or university, from all majors and backgrounds, are eligible. You must be 18 years of age, or older.

Q: I don’t live in the US. Can I participate?
A: Yes. The opportunity is available globally.

Q: Will I be paid for my work?
A: No. However Adobe will be providing room and board, food and travel.

Q: Can I tag multiple posts?
A: Yes, you can tag as much of your work as you’d like with #MadeThis #PassportToCreativity.

Q: Do I need Creative Cloud to participate?
A: Not at all, but it can’t hurt your chances to be familiar with it. We encourage everyone to apply if they have a passion for creativity and exploration. Get started by downloading a free trial of Creative Cloud here: http://adobe.ly/1NctzEp

Click here for more information and application deadlines.

5:15 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Adjusting the Length of the Tilt Shift Blur in Photoshop

Dragging the dotted lines within the Tilt Shift Blur Gallery filter changes the length (also known as the fade range) of the blur independently of one another.

Option  (Mac | Alt  (Win) -dragging the dotted line causes the opposite side to mirror the change by repositioning it by the same number of pixels.

Note: this means that if the two dotted lined were symmetric before dragging with the keyboard modifier, they will remain symmetric, but if they were previously repositioned (one line was moved 20 pixels and the other was moved 50), then using the modifier will change them both by the same number of  pixels.


5:06 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Unifying Images Through Color in Photoshop

When creating composite images, I am often trying to unify multiple elements that were photographed at different times, in different locations, under different light conditions. One of the techniques that I use to establish consistency throughout the disparate elements is to use one of the source images as a color overlay for the entire canvas. In this example, I wanted to use the color from the wings layer to unite the other elements (such as the overly saturated table).



First, I selected the wings layer, duplicated it, and repositioned it at the top of the layer stack.

First, I selected the wing layer, duplicated it and positioned it at the top of the layer stack.
To resize the layer, I selected Edit > Free Transform > Scale (so that it would cover the entire canvas).

To resize the layer, I selected Edit > Free Transform > Scale so that it would cover the entire canvas.
On the Layers panel, I changed the Layer’s blend mode to Color.



I selected Filter > Blur > Gaussian to remove detail, while still maintaining the color.



Then, I chose Edit > Free Transform, to flip the layer and reposition and resize the layer as needed.



Finally, I added a Layer Mask and used the Brush tool to paint with black to hide the color from areas such as the figure.


Note: If you want to use more than one layer as the source for your “color”, select the desired area (using the marquee tool or whatever tool works) and choose Edit > Copy Merged to copy the information to the clipboard. Then, choose Edit > Paste. Photoshop will create a new layer that you can reposition, resize, etc. as needed.

Before and after unifying eh composite using color.

Before and after unifying the composite using color.

For more information about compositing images in Photoshop, be sure to check out my two training courses on Lynda.com:

Introduction to Compositing

The Art of Photoshop Compositing

5:26 AM Comments (2) Permalink

Boundary Warp Now Available in Adobe Camera Raw 9.4 and Lightroom CC 6.4!

When stitching together multiple images of a scene to create a panorama, I often find that the edges end up being irregular (especially when shooting without a tripod). In the past, I typically had to either crop the the image (to avoid transparent areas) or take the panorama into Photoshop to use Content-Aware Fill, Liquify, Adaptive Wide Angle, or other techniques to fill in the missing areas. With the new Boundary Warp feature in Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Lightroom  you can  adaptively stretch or reshape the edges of a stitched panorama to fill the rectangle boundary.

In this example, the original stitching results in irregular edges.



Using Auto Crop removes the transparent edges, but has to also remove some of the foreground which I would prefer to keep.



Applying the new Boundary Warp feature reshapes the image to fill in the missing areas.



Here are some additional (animated) examples of the effects of setting Boundary Warp’s slider at 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100%.



This image was stitched from different exposure taken from a moving car (in case you were wondering why the bus was truncated and two of the the bicyclist appear multiple times.

This image was stitched from multiple exposures taken from a moving car (in case you were wondering why the yellow bus was truncated and two of the the bicyclist appear multiple times).

Boundary Warp may not work well on images with straight lines or architectural features as the process of warping the image to fill the surrounding canvas may bend the lines. In the example below (and in the general case of buildings with possibly many straight lines), it’s not possible to stretch the image to fit the canvas AND preserve the lines at the same time. In other words, something has to give (the windows in the upper right and light on the left look a bit distorted) .


And a video from the famous Dr. Brown!


For more information about new camera and lens profile support, how to install the updates, as well as bug fixes and other changes, please see this post from the Adobe Lightroom Journal.

9:01 AM Comments (8) Permalink

Masking Multiple Layers using Layer Groups

Not only are Layer Groups great for organizing your layers, they can also be used to mask the contents of multiple layers at one time. With the Layer Group targeted in the Layers panel, click the Add Layer Mask icon from the bottom of the Layers panel. Paint in the mask to control the visibility of all layers within the Layer Group.


This shortcut also works with vector masks (and a combination of both vector and raster) as shown below.


5:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Copying Merged Layers (and Groups)

Command + Shift + C (Mac) | Control + Shift + C (Win) copies a merged version of all visible layers within the selection onto the clipboard.

Option + Command + Shift + E (Mac) | Alt + Control + Shift + E (Win) , pastes a merged copy (of all visible layers) on a new layer above the topmost currently selected layer.

5:35 AM Comments (0) Permalink

Displaying the Contents of a Layer Group in Photoshop

Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click the disclosure triangle next to a Layer Group to expand or collapse all layer Groups in the document.

Option (Mac) / Alt (Win)  -click the disclosure triangle to expand collapse all groups nested within the current group.

Option-Command (Mac) / Alt-Control (Win) -click the disclosure triangle to expand and collapse all groups (nested or not).

Control (Mac)/ right mouse (Win) -click the Group’s disclosure triangle and choose “Close/Open this Group” or “Close/Open all Other Groups”.

5:19 AM Permalink

Selecting Layer Groups with the Move Tool in Photoshop

To automatically select Layer Groups (instead of individual layers), with the Move tool selected, check the Auto-Select box in the Options bar and choose Group from the pull-down menu.

4:18 PM Permalink

Deleting Layer Groups in Photoshop

To delete a Layer Group, select Layer > Delete > Group or, with the Layer  Group selected on the Layers panel, click the trash can icon. Either method displays a dialog with the options to delete the “Group and Contents” (which deletes both), “Group Only” (which removes any Layer  Groups but leaves the layers), or “Cancel”.

To delete the Layer Group and all of its contents while bypassing the dialog select the Layer Group on the Layers panel and either drag the Layer Group to the trashcan icon or, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the trashcan icon.

Command  -drag (Mac) | Control  -drag (Win) a Layer Group to the trashcan icon to delete a Layer Group without deleting its contents.

5:24 AM Permalink

Duplicating Layer Groups in Photoshop

Here are three easy ways to duplicate a Layer Group in Photoshop:

1) With a Layer Group targeted in the layers panel, Select Layer > Duplicate Group.

2) Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the Layer Group in the Layers panel until you see a heavy black line between the layers and release.

3) Use the context sensitive menu – Control -click (Mac) | right-mouse click (Win) on the Layer Group and select Duplicate Group.

5:20 AM Permalink

Adding Layer Groups in Photoshop

Layer Groups are an excellent way to organize a complex multilayered document. To create an empty Layer Group, click the Create Layer Group (the folder) icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. The Group will be added above the currently targeted layer. If no layers are targeted, Photoshop adds the group to the top of the layer stack.

To create a new Layer Group while simultaneously placing targeted layers into that group Group select Layer > Group Layers or drag the targeted layers (in the Layers panel) to the New Group icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, or use the keyboard shortcut Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + G.  The group will be added above the topmost currently targeted layer.

To ungroup layers select Layer > Ungroup Layers or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + G (Mac) | Control + Shift + G (Win).

5:16 AM Permalink

Matching Image and Canvas Size in Photoshop

To make a document the same size as another open document, while in the Image Size and Canvas Size dialog boxes, select the other open document from the bottom of the Window menu and Photoshop will automatically fill in the values.

5:03 AM Permalink

Drag and Drop to the Center of a Document in Photoshop

Holding the Shift key while dragging and dropping a layer(s) between two documents will place the “dropped” layer(s) into the center of the destination document.

If there is a selection in the destination document, holding the Shift key while dragging and dropping an image will drop it into the center of the selection.

5:59 AM Permalink