Photoshop CC 2014 FAQ Available – Features That Require Video Card Usage (GPU)

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!

5:30 AM Permalink

Creating Trees in Photoshop CC 2014

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

Threes from left to right, top to bottom: Redwood, Ginko, Young Maple, Aspen,  Populus Nigra, Yound Ash, Willow, Young Robina, Sakura Cherry Blossom, Fraxinus Griffithii. Acer, Palm, Bamboo, Cyprus, Stylized Tree #.

Top Row: Redwood, Ginko, Young Maple, Aspen, Populus Nigra. Middle Row:Young Ash, Willow, Young Robina, Sakura Cherry Blossom, Fraxinus Griffithii. Bottom Row: Acer, Palm, Bamboo, Cyprus 2, Stylized Tree 3.

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.

Lighting set to 180, 135, 90, 45, and 0 degrees.

Light Direction set to: 180, 135, 90, 45, and 0 degrees.

The camera angle can be changed as well.

Camera tilt set to 0, 12, and 24.

Camera Tilt set to 0, 12, and 24.

You can choose anywhere between bare branches to thick, bushy, leaves.

Number of Leaves set to 0, 20, 40, 60, and 100.

Leaves Amount set to 0, 20, 40, 60, and 100.

The leaf size is also adjustable.

Leaf Size set to 1, 50, 100, 150, and 200.

Leaves Size set to 1, 50, 100, 150, and 200.

You can alter the branches height (where the branches begin extruding from the tree), as well as the branches thickness.

Branch Height set to 70, 184, and 300. Branch Thickness set to 0, 100, and 200.

Branches Height set to 70, 184, and 300. Branches Thickness set to 0, 100, and 200.

Of course you can create your own tree/leaf (not-of-this-world) combination as well as customize the leaf color.

Different leaf and tree combinations as well as custom colors.

Different leaf and tree combinations as well as custom colors.

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.

Normal and Locked leaves (note that they aren't rotating), normal and "flat" shading for branches, normal, flat and enhanced contrast for leaves and custom branch colors are all additional options.

Top Row: Normal and Leaves Rotation Lock applied. Normal and “flat” shading examples for branches. Bottom Row: Normal, Flat Shading, and Enhanced Contrast applied to leaves, and custom branch color applied.

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.

With the Randomize button the attributes are changed every time a tree is created.

With the Randomize button the Branches and Leaves attributes are changed every time a tree is created.

If, on the other hand, you uncheck “Randomize Shapes”, you can render trees with identical branches and leaves. In the illustration below, the first and second tree was rendered with the Randomize Shapes checked and you can see that they’re identical. If, however, you do not like the shape of the branches and leaves on the tree you can use the Arrangement slider to modify them. In the third and fourth tree below, I kept the Randomize Shapes unchecked but moved the arrangement slider to create a different combination of branches and leaves.
With the Randomize button unchecked, the first two trees are identical. Using the Arrangement slider modify the next two trees (Arrangement set to 50 and 100).

With the Randomize button unchecked, the first two trees are identical. The Arrangement slider was then used to modify the third and fourth trees (Arrangement set to 50 and 100).

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.

Have Fun!

5:26 AM Permalink

Visual Memories – The Year in Review

I can’t believe that it’s already the end of the 2014! I’ve created a slideshow with my favorite images that I’ve posted over the past year on Instagram. I enjoy reflecting on the year to try to discover relationships between events in my life. I would strongly encourage you to create a collection of your own images for the year – I have found both the process and the results to be very insightful. Happy Holidays!

And, if you’re interested, below are are the videos from the past 3 years:

2013 Fractured Moments

2012 Moments Alone

2011 The Red Thread

5:55 AM Permalink

Julieanne’s 68 Favorite Photoshop CC Features

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!


1/50 Refinements to the Crop Tool

2/50 – Making Nondestructive Adjustments using Liquify in Photoshop CC

3/50 -Applying Non-destructive Field, Tilt & Iris Blur Filters in Photoshop CC

4/50 – How to Add Realistic Spinning Motion Blur Effects using Spin Blur in Photoshop CC

5/50 – Using Path Blur to Add Motion Blur Effects Along a Path in Photoshop CC

6/50 – Re-Editable Rounded Rectangles in Photoshop CC (Live Shapes)

7/50 Disabling Photoshop’s Properties Panel from Auto Showing on Shape Creation

8/50 –  Path Creation and Selection Improvements in Photoshop CC

9/50 – Upright Perspective Corrections in Camera Raw for Photoshop CC

10/50 – Sync Upright’s Numeric Transforms in Camera Raw

11/50 – The Radial Filter in Camera Raw in Photoshop CC

12/50 – The Graduated and Radial Filter’s New Brush Feature in Camera Raw in Photoshop CC

13/50 – The Advanced Healing Brush in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CC

14/50 – Additional Secrets of the Advanced Healing Brush (Spot Removal Tool) in Adobe Camera Raw

15/50 – Using Adobe Camera Raw as a Smart Filter  to Create a High Dynamic Range ( HDR) Image

16/50 – Setting Default Type Styles in Photoshop CC

17/50 – System Font Matching and Sub Pixel Rendering in Photoshop CC

18/50 – Typekit Font Matching in Photoshop CC

19/50 – Font Search, Instant Type Preview and Typkit Features in Photoshop CC

20/50 – Camera Shake Reduction as a Smart Filter in Photoshop CC

21/50 – The Crop Tool, Workflow Options and Image Size in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CC

22/50 – Workflow Presets Now Available in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CC

23/50 – New Save Image Options in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CC

24/50 – New Image Sizing Options in Camera Raw in Photoshop CC

25/50 – Soft Proofing Now Available in Adobe Camera Raw 8.1 for Photoshop CC

26/50 – Improved Image Size and Smart Sharpen Technologies in Photoshop CC

27/50 – Linked Smart Objects in Photoshop CC

28/50 – Converting Embedded Smart Objects and Packaging Linked Files in Photoshop CC

29/50 – How to Align and Distribute Layers using Smart Guides in Photoshop CC

30/50 – How to Use Layer Comps for Multi State Mock-ups in Photoshop CC

31/50 – Reducing Color Noise using Adobe Camera Raw

32/50 – Reposition and Duplicate Local Adjustment Brush Adjustments in Photoshop CC

33/50 – Interactive Histogram and LAB Color Readouts in Camera Raw

34/50 – Adding Grain to Image Sequences (Time Lapse) in Camera Raw

35/50 – Red Eye Removal Enhancements in Camera Raw

36/50 – Camera Raw Previews in Photoshop CC

37/50 – Per-Panel Preview in Camera Raw in Photoshop CC

38/50 – Save to Behance from Photoshop CC

39/50 – Conditional Actions in Photoshop CC

40/50 – How to Remove Distracting Elements using the Enhanced Content Aware Tools in Photoshop CC

41/50 – How to Use Perspective Warp in Photoshop CC

42/50 – Apply an Arrow Along A Path Using Photoshop CC

43/50 – Create Unique Trees in Photoshop CC

44/50 – Adding a Picture Frame (Border) in Photoshop

45/50 – Additional Filters Available for 32-bit Files in Photoshop CC (v14.1)

46/50 – How to Use Focus Area to Make Selections in Photoshop CC

47/50 – Refining a Selection with the Maximum and Minimum Filters in Photoshop CC

48/50 – Color Range Improvements in Photoshop CC

49/50 – Automatic Asset Creator – Generator in Photoshop CC

50/50 – Sync Settings in Photoshop CC

51/55 But Wait, There’s More – Additional New Features for Photoshop CC!

52/55 – Color and Brush Panel Enhancements in Photoshop CC

53/55 – The Experimental Feature Manager in Photoshop CC

54/55 – 3D Printing and Manipulation in Photoshop CC

 55/55 Exporting Color Lookup Tables in Photoshop CC

56 Extract Assets for Generator  in Photoshop CC

57 Tips and Tutorials Accessible via Photoshop’s Welcome Screen  in Photoshop CC

58 Flame Generator Filter  in Phtoshop CC

59 New Guide Layout and Guide From Shape in Photoshop CC

60 The Libraries Panel in Photoshop CC

61 Modifying Selections in Photoshop CC

62 Feathering the Edges of a Selection along the Edge of a Document in Photoshop CC

63 Quick Photoshop CC Shortcuts: Improvements to Layer Groups, updates to Live Shape Properties, and new Fill Options

64 Layer Visibility and Locking Layers shortcuts in Photoshop CC.

65 Overscroll Documents Feature in Photoshop CC

66 Animation Support for 3D Printing in Photoshop CC

67 “Rigged File Support and 3D Animations in Photoshop CC

68 3D PDF Import/Export in Photoshop CC

5:07 AM Permalink

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.)

5:10 AM Permalink

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.

5:05 AM Permalink

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.


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.  : )


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


Voilà! The master document is updated.


5:42 AM Permalink

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.

5:44 AM Permalink

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).

5:07 AM Permalink

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.


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!

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 Permalink

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!


5:07 AM Permalink

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.

5:06 AM Permalink

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.

5:06 AM Permalink

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.

layer style

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”.

5:12 AM Permalink

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.

5:06 AM Permalink