Because so many people ask me how I come up with the ideas for my digital illustrations, I put together a short slideshow to demonstrate how I layer different elements together.
The video below provides a more detailed Photoshop tutorial demonstrating how “Isostacy” was created.
The video below provides a more detailed Photoshop tutorial demonstrating how “Twilight” was created.
For more complete training on how I use Photoshop to create these composites, you can watch either of my two training series on Lynda.com:
Introduction to Compositing
The Art of Photoshop Compositing
Posts in Category "Adobe Photoshop"
Because so many people ask me how I come up with the ideas for my digital illustrations, I put together a short slideshow to demonstrate how I layer different elements together.
In order to create a seamless pattern in Photoshop open the desired image and choose Filter > Other > Offset.
Increase the values so that you will be able to easily see the offset and for Undefined area, choose Wrap Around.
If you see that the tonal values shift dramatically, choose Edit > Undo (to undo the offset filter) and make any necessary adjustments to even out the lighting across the image.
Use the Healing Brush or clone stamp tools to remove any noticeable seams – being careful next to the borders of the image (if you change the border areas, it might not tile seamlessly).
Once the file is seamless, choose Select > Select All and then Edit > Define Pattern. Give the pattern a notable name and click OK. This pattern will now be available when using Edit > Fill, Layer Styles, Pattern Fill Layers, the Pattern Stamp, Healing Brush, Shape Tools (for both Fill and Stroke) and when creating Brushes (using the Texture attribute).
Note: because it is easier to create a seamless pattern when the original image is evenly lit, I have found that scanning textures (such as paper), produces very good results. In addition, try to avoid obvious items in the texture that will easily be spotted when the pattern is repeated.
Photoshop’s new Libraries panel can help creative teams share assets when collaborating on projects. Not only can you share images and graphics, Layer Styles, colors, and the style of your text (font, size, style and color) between two machines (installs) using the same Creative Cloud account, you can also share those Libraries with other Creative Cloud members.
To share a Library, click on the flyout and select Collaborate.
Enter the email addresses of the people you want to share with. Once they accept the invitation, they will have access to that library where they can view, edit, move or delete contents of the library.
Note: if you have concerns that someone that you collaborate with might inadvertently delete the content in your library, then follow these steps to duplicate your library before you share it:
1) Create a new library.
2) Navigate back to the Library that you are going to share.
3) Select all of the items in the library, right-click within the Libraries panel, and select “Copy to” and select the Library to be shared.
As a follow up to Monday’s blog – here are a few shortcuts for accessing special characters within Photoshop (assuming that the font that you have selected contains those characters!).
Bullet (•) – Option + 8 (Mac) | Alt + 7 (Win)
Cent (¢) – Option + 4 (Mac) | Alt + 155 (Win)
Copyright (©) – Option + G (Mac) | Alt + 0169 (Win)
Degree (°) – Option + Shift + 8 (Mac) | Alt + 248 (Win)
Ellipsis (…) – Option + Semi-colon (Mac) | Alt + 0133 (Win)
En dash (–) – Option + dash (Mac) | Alt + 0150
Em dash (—) – Option + Shift + dash (Mac) | Alt + 0151
Registered Trademark (®) – Option +R (Mac) | Alt + 0174 (Win)
Trademark (™) – Option + 2 (Mac) | Alt + 0153
Here is a list of my favorite shortcuts for working with Type in Photoshop:
1) Basic Formatting Shortcuts:
• Command + Shift + < or > (Mac) | Control + Shift + < or > (Win) increases/decreases point size by 1.
• Command + Option + Shift + < or > (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + < or > (Win) increases/decreases point size by 5.
• Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) left/right arrow key decreases/increases kerning (the amount of spacing between two characters).
• Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) left/right arrow key decreases/increases tracking (if greater than 2 letters are selected).
• Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) + up/down arrow increases/decreases leading (the amount of vertical space between lines in a paragraph).
• Command + Option (Mac) | Control + Alt (Win) + up/down arrow increases/decreases leading by 5.
• Option + Shift (Mac) | Alt + (Win) Shift + up/down arrow increases/decreases the baseline shift by 1.
• Command + Option + Shift + A (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + A (Win) reverts back to Auto Leading.
• Command + Return (Mac) | Control + Enter (Win) commits the text (simply clicking return/enter will add a line break).
• Command + Shift + L/C/R (Mac) | Control + Shift + L/C/R (Win) aligns text Left/Center/Right (when using the Horizontal Type tool).
• Command + Shift + L/C/R (Mac) | Control + Shift + L/C/R (Win) aligns Top/Center/Bottom when using the Vertical Type tool.
2) Changing Font Style
If a font “family” (Myriad or Minion for example) has a font “style” (Bold or Italic for example), then the following keyboard shortcuts will change the Font Style. If the font doesn’t contain the style then “Faux” styling will be applied.
• Command + Shift + B (Mac) / Control + Shift + B (Win) sets Bold.
• Command + Shift + I (Mac) / Control + Shift + I (Win) sets Italic.
• Command + Shift + K (Mac) / Control + Shift + K (Win) sets All Caps.
• Command + Shift + H (Mac) / Control + Shift + H (Win) sets Small Caps.
3) Selecting Type
• Shift + Left Arrow/Right Arrow selects 1 character left/right.
• Shift + Down Arrow/Up Arrow selects 1 line down/up.
• Command + Shift + Left/Right Arrow (Mac) | Control + Shift + Left/Right Arrow (Win) selects 1 word left/right.
• While the type (or a portion of the type) is selected, Command + H (Mac) | Control + H (Win) hides the selected “reversed out” type enabling a more accurate preview of the type (especially when selecting a color).
• Double click the “T” (Type Layer thumbnail) in the Layers panel to select all of the type on the Layer.
• Select multiple type layers at one time (using the Layers panel) to change attributes for multiple layers at once.
4) Resizing Type — When editing type, Command-drag (Mac) | Control-drag (Win) the anchor points (of the bounding box) to resize the type. Add the Shift key to constrain proportions.
5) Repositioning Type—Positioning the cursor slightly outside of the Type’s bounding box, temporarily toggles the icon to the Move tool. Drag to reposition the type in the image area without first having to commit to the type.
6) Adding a New Type Layer—Shift-click the Type tool in the image area to create a new type layer when close to another type block. (Adding the Shift key prevents Photoshop from auto selecting nearby text, which can be very helpful when a image contains several type layers in close proximity).
7) The Adobe Single vs Multi-Line Composer —The overall “look and feel” of justified text can be vastly improved by calculating the justification settings based on more than one line of text in a paragraph (as opposed to setting each line individually). The next time you create a block of paragraph text in Photoshop, select the type and use the shortcut• Command + Option + Shift + T (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + T (Win) to toggle between the Adobe Single-line and Every-line Composer. The Adobe Every-line Composer will almost always produce tighter, better-looking paragraphs with more consistent spacing.
8) Paragraph Formatting Shortcuts
• Command + Option + Shift + H (Mac) / Control + Alt + Shift + H (Win) toggles paragraph hyphenation on/off.
• When creating Paragraph (or “Area”) type, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) in the image area to set the width and height of the paragraph type bounding box.
• Command + Shift + J (Mac) | Control + Shift + J (Win) will justify the paragraph and left justify the last line.
• Command + Shift + F (Mac) | Control + Shift + F (Win) will justify the paragraph AND justify the last line.
9) Warping Type Layers — To warp multiple layers of text as a single unit, select the layers and convert them into a single Smart Object. Then, add the warp. (Edit > Transform > Warp or Type > Warp Text)
10) Changing the Color of Type
• Option + Delete (Mac) | Alt + Backspace (Win) fills any selected type with the foreground color.
• Command + Delete (Mac) | Control + Backspace (Win) fills any selected type with the background color.
Note: If the type layer is selected, but no individual letters within the text block are selected (there isn’t any text insertion point in the text), these shortcuts will change the color of all of the type on a layer.
11) Previewing Fonts
Now that Photoshop displays live font previews in the image area, you might want to turn off the preview in the font menu (allowing you to see more of your image, and less of the menu). Choose Type > Font Preview Size > None to turn off (or make smaller) the font preview menu.
The video below has more information on Instant Font Preview, Font Search and Typekit Features in Photoshop CC:
And here is more information on Typekit Font Matching in Photoshop CC
And a blog post about System Font Matching and Sub Pixel Rendering in Photoshop CC
What to know how to set default Type Styles in Photoshop CC? Watch the video below.
Learn more about Paragraph and Character Styles in the following Photoshop video:
I’m sure that there are more shortcuts that you find useful. If so, please share!
The advantages of using a compatible video card (GPU) with Photoshop are better performance and access to more features. In this document, you will quickly find out everything you need to know about how Photoshop uses the Video Card (GPU) in your system including troubleshooting steps and features that have been recently updated to take advantage of the GPU.
This document provides a quick reference guide to video card usage in Photoshop. Some features require a compatible video card. If the video card or its driver is defective or unsupported, those features don’t work. Other features use the video card for acceleration; if the card or driver is defective, those features run slowly.
Thank you Tina and Adam for putting this together!
Did you know that Photoshop CC has the ability to create really cool trees? Although the feature was first available in the CC release, it was greatly improved for the 2014 release and was made much more discoverable by moving it (from the hard-to-find option under scripted patterns within the Fill dialog), to the Filter menu. Living in the filter menu, it is able to create a live preview and can render the trees 5-15 times faster than before. In addition, you can choose from over 30 tree types and refine them using several new parameters including the ability to change the size and type of leaves as well as the height of branches. It’s important to note that these trees are not clip art. They can be altered (randomized) to create slightly different, unique trees every time the filter is run!!
Here are examples of some of the different types of trees (shown with their default leaves). If you would like to see all of these examples larger (and with more detail), click here to download the PDF.2015 Trees
Here are the different types of Leaves Type that you can apply to the branches of the trees:
And, you can change the angle of the light.
The camera angle can be changed as well.
You can choose anywhere between bare branches to thick, bushy, leaves.
The leaf size is also adjustable.
You can alter the branches height (where the branches begin extruding from the tree), as well as the branches thickness.
Of course you can create your own tree/leaf (not-of-this-world) combination as well as customize the leaf color.
Leaves can be “locked” so that they don’t rotate (this can result in more of an illustrative look). Leaves and Branches can have natural or flat shading and leaves can be rendered with additional contrast. Even the color of the branches can be modified.
If you check the “Randomize Shapes” option, the branches and leaves change every time (even if you keep all other options the same). In other words, you have no control over the branch/leaves shapes – it’s completely random. (even if you keep all of the other options the same). This can be very useful if you want to make a number of trees that are are similar to one another, but not identical. For example, if you automate the Tree filter using Actions, each tree will be unique in the forest.
After you have created the desired tree, use the Custom menu at the top of the Trees dialog to save those settings to use in the future or share with friends. And, a little known fact, the Tree filter can follow paths! For example, using the custom shape tool to create a heart and then creating a Willow or Pine tree without any leaves is illustrated below.
I have also found that Puppet warp can be very helpful when trying to make small adjustments to a tree to reshape them.
If you have recently updated to Creative Cloud, here is an updated list of my 68 favorite new tools, feature enhancements, and productivity improvements since Photoshop CS6. Have fun!
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.
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.
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. : )
To update the link, click on the Icon in the Properties panel and choose Update Modified Content.
Voilà! The master document is updated.
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.
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).
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.
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).
In the Timeline panel, click Create Video Timeline. This adds all of the selected layers to the Timeline.
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.
Add audio by clicking the Musical Notes icon on the Timeline and selecting Add Audio. Trim the audio clip if necessary.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.