2014/12/18

5 years and 1,600 Photoshop and Lightroom Tips, Tricks and Techniques

For the past five years (where did the time go?), I’ve been posting a Photoshop or Lightroom Tip, Trick or Technique almost every weekday. Next year, I’m going to post less often, but hope to cover features and techniques more in-depth. Thank you all for your support over the years!

(Of course all of the past tips will remain on my blog – just use the search box to quickly find past posts on the topic you’re interested in.)

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2014/12/17

Changing Brush Size Quickly in Camera Raw

To quickly change the size of the Adjustment Brush in Camera Raw, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click Win drag left/right to decrease/increase the size of the brush. Add the Shift key and drag left/right to decrease/increase the Feather value.

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2014/12/16

Updating “Modified” Linked Content in Photoshop CC 2014 

Photoshop CC 2014 makes it really easy to update a Linked Smart Object when changes are made to the external, linked file. In the illustration below, I have placed a graphic that was created in Adobe Illustrator into my Photoshop document. The image is still being refined by another artist on my team.

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The Pattern graphic was added into this document using the File > Place Linked command in Photoshop.

After the artist updated the graphic (the linked document) in Illustrator, I opened the “master” document. Photoshop automatically displays a warning icon in both the Layers and Properties panel. Photoshop doesn’t automatically update the master document with the updated linked file because, in some instances,  you might not want that updated version – perhaps you disagree with the artist’s updates.  : )

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To update the link, click on the Icon in the Properties panel and choose Update Modified Content.

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Voilà! The master document is updated.

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2014/12/15

Duplicating Documents in Photoshop

When creating illustrations for this blog for example, I often want to duplicate the open document -leaving the original in it’s current state and creating a duplicate document to make the changes to. Although I could choose Image > Duplicate, name the duplicate document, and click OK, I find it more efficient to click the “Create New Document from Current State” icon at the bottom of the History panel.

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2014/12/12

Using Multiple Windows in Photoshop CC

When doing detail work on an image (where, for example, you might need to be zoomed in to a very small portion of the overall image), it can be helpful to open a secondary window in order to see the changes that you are making in relationship to the entire photograph or design. To do so, simply select Window > Arrange > New Window For (XXX).
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2014/12/11

Creating A Simple Slideshow in Photoshop

If you’ve ever wanted to quickly create a slideshow from a sequence of images in Photoshop, start in Bridge and select your images. (Ideally, the images that you select in Bridge should be at the correct size and in the order that you want them to be in your slideshow.) Then, choose Tools > Photoshop > Load Files into Photoshop Layers.

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In Photoshop, select all of the layers by choosing Select > All Layers – or use the shortcut Command + Option + A (Mac) | Control + Alt + A (Win).  Then, to reverse the order of the layers, choose Layer > Arrange > Reverse. (For some reason, Photoshop loads the layers so that the first layer ends up at the top of the layer stack, which is most likely the reverse order that you intended).

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In the Timeline panel, click Create Video Timeline. This adds all of the selected layers to the Timeline.

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In the Timeline panel, click the filmstrip icon and choose New Video Group From Clips. This will sequence all of the photographs, one after another, in the timeline.

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Add audio by clicking the Musical Notes icon on the Timeline and selecting Add Audio. Trim the audio clip if necessary.

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Choose File > Export > Render Video and select the desired preset from the list or enter your own custom values.

Of course, if you’re working with Lightroom, you can create a video using the Slideshow panel, however if you want to use Photoshop’s tools (such as adjustment layers, Smart Filters, and animated layer masks), to enhance the images, then Photoshop is a great way to get your feet wet without learning another program.

And don’t worry, if you decide to get more “involved” with video and motion graphics, then Premiere and After Effect will be waiting for you.  : )

For more information on working with stills and video in Photoshop (including how to add filters, work with adjustment layers, create animated masks and work with timelapse, check out the videos below. Note: some were recorded with CS6, but are still relevant today!

Working with Video in Photoshop CS6

How to Pan and Zoom Video in Photoshop CS6

Masking Video for Special Effects in Photoshop CS6

Quick Tip – Creating Masks to Move Over Time in Photoshop CS6

5:05 AM Comments (1) Permalink
2014/12/10

Using the Gradient Tool in a Layer Mask in Photoshop

When drawing with the default gradient in a mask, if the mask isn’t quite right, it’s easy to draw another gradient to replace the first one.

Dragging the Default gradient from white to black, hides the adjustment in the lower portion of the image.

Dragging the default gradient from white to black hides the adjustment in the lower portion of the image.

However dragging a second gradient replaces the first one.

By default, dragging a second gradient replaces the first one.

If, however, you want to draw a secondary gradient that will add to or subtract from the mask (instead of replacing it), change the blend mode for the Gradient tool to Multiply (to add black) or Screen (to add white) and then drag the second gradient.

Setting the Gradient to screen will add the lighter portion of the gradient while hiding black.

Setting the Gradient tool’s blend mode to screen (before dragging the second gradient) will add the lighter values to the mask. If you are hiding an area and want the darker values of the Gradient to show, then change the Gradient Tool’s blend mode to Multiply.

Note: in the example above, I selected Edit > Undo to undo the gradient that drew in the second illustration before changing the blend mode to Screen and redrawing the gradient.

Of course there are other ways to draw masks, but I find this to be straightforward. Plus if you use the radial gradient you can create a cool looking “bubble mask” by drawing multiple black to white radial gradients with the Gradient tool’s  blend mode set to Darken – although I’ve never actually used a bubble mask like this for anything useful – but I’m sure that someone has!

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2014/12/09

Shortcut to Reset Dialog Boxes in Photoshop

In almost all of the dialog boxes in Photoshop, holding the Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) key toggles the Cancel option to Reset.

And, more often than not, while in those same dialog boxes, Command + “+” (plus)  (Mac) | Control  (Win) +” (plus) zooms in and Command +  “-” (minus) (Mac) | Control  (Win) + “-” (minus) will zoom out.

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2014/12/08

Crop and Straighten in Photoshop

When using the Crop tool in Photoshop, holding the Command  (Mac) | Control  (Win) key will temporarily select the Straighten tool.

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2014/12/05

Applying Effects and Styles to Layer Groups in Photoshop

When you want to apply the same Layer Style (or Effect), to multiple layers in a document, try putting all of the layers into a Group and then add the Layer Style to the Group (instead of adding the Layer Style to each layer). That way, if you have to make changes to the Layer Style, you only have to  make the change to the Layer Style on the Group.

I the example below, I put all of the layers that needed the same Layer Effect into the “Fish” Layer Group.

Because the Layer Style was applied to the “Fish” Layer Group, the Layer Style is automatically applied to all three layers included in the Group. Notice how the large “fish” on the left has a gradient and pattern overlay while the two other “fish” (whose layers aren’t included in the group) do not.

Any layers that I add to that Group will automatically have the Layer Effect Applied.

layer Styles are automatically applied as additional layers are added to the group.

Here, all of the layers that make up all three of the “fish” have been added to the “Fish” Group, so they all have the same gradient and pattern overlay (because Layer Styles applied to a Group are automatically applied as additional layers as they are added to the group).

One word of caution: if you have layers within the Group that overlap one another, Photoshop is going to act as if all of the layers within the Group are merged and then applies the Layer Style. In the illustration below, see how repositioning the two shapes in the Layer Group so that they overlap creates a very different result than when the Layer effects are added to each individual layer.

Even though the three Seaweed layers are within the group, each layer has it's own Layer style applied and we get the same results that we would if the layers were not with in a group

In this example,the same layer Style is applied to each plant layer.

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In this example, the Layer Style is applied to the Layer Group. Notice how it appears as if the three plant layers are merged before the layer style is applied.

Note: if you do need to apply the same Layer Styles to several individual layers, there are many different ways to do this. My favorite method is to copy and paste via the context sensitive menu: Control -click (Mac) | Right -click Win to the right of the layer name on the layer with the desired style and choose “Copy Layer Style” from the context sensitive menu. Then, select the layers that need the layer style applied and Control -click (Mac) | Right -click Win in the layer (to the right of the name) and select “Paste Layer Style”.

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2014/12/04

Viewing Free Transform’s Transformation Handles in Photoshop 

When applying Free Transform on layers that contain information beyond the visible image area (i.e. the layer is much larger than the current canvas size of the document), the transformation handles may or may not be visible depending on your current zoom level. Instead of having to zoom out several times to make the transformation handles visible, use the shortcut Command + 0 (zero) (Mac) | Control + 0 (zero) (Win). By default, this shortcut  zooms out the document to “fit on screen” (View > Fit on Screen) however when using Free Transform, the shortcut “fits” the transformation handles on screen.

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2014/12/03

Transform Again in Photoshop

Command + Shift + T (Mac) | Control  + Shift + T (Win) transforms the layer(s) again by applying the same transformation settings.

Command + Option + Shift + T (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + T (Win) will create a copy of a layer and apply the same transformation settings. Note this shortcut does not work with multiple layers selected.

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2014/12/02

Reference Point Location for Free Transform in Photoshop

When using Free Transform, the “Reference Point Location” (also referred to as the “center point”) can be changed to determine the location around which transformations occur.  You can drag the center point freely within the image area, click on one of the nine reference point locations, or set it numerically using the Options bar. This can be particularly useful when trying to align objects or rotate around a point that is off-center.

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2014/12/01

Free Transform and Warp Mode in Photoshop

When in Free Transform, if you want to toggle to Warp mode, you need to click the Warp icon in the Options bar (or Control -click (Mac)  |  Right -click Win within the transformation bounding box and chose Warp from the list). However, while in Warp mode, Command +T (Mac) | Control + T (Win) toggles from Warp mode back to Free Transform mode.

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2014/11/26

Announcing “Introduction to Photo Compositing” with Julieanne Kost on Lynda.com

I’m excited to announce my new Introduction to Compositing course on Lynda.com! If you’re interested in learning how to create new visual narratives with the power of photo compositing, then this course is for you. Here is a more detailed description:

By choosing elements that work together to form a cohesive message, Julieanne Kost is able to create a composite image that’s more powerful than its individual parts. In this course, she shares the fundamental creative and technical concepts behind photo compositing, from creating diptychs that juxtapose images in separate “frames,” to assembling multiple exposures and strengthening visual impact with textural information. With these simple yet powerful techniques, Julieanne shows how to pull together different imagery and create new, unified visual narratives.

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Topics include:

• Unifying images through subject, theme, and composition

• Creating diptychs in Lightroom and Photoshop

• Using layers and masking to blend photographs

• Applying textures with blend modes and opacity

• Blending nighttime and daytime images

• Creating unity with color and tone

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