#CreativeFriday – Content Aware Crop in Photoshop 2015.5

Well big news this week with the launch of the new update to Photoshop CC 2015.5 !

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Content aware crop is a super feature that I think will save lots of time when working on crop correction with some of your images. Take this image below.

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This shot was taken in Mongolia at a Buzkashi, at one of the Nadaam’s outside of Ulgi (Western Mongolia). This event is fast paced and the scene is changing every second, so grabbing the perfect shot is challenging. I also shot this on a 90mm lens, so we were pretty close to the action.

One of my philosophies with photography is trying to fill the frame with activity and elements of the scene, in turn, my images tend to be quite tight to the edges (not to tight of course). In this case, the image horizon is not level, and neither are the horses. In this case I would normally leave the image alone and not do anything with it, as fixing it would take to long (probably more than 5 or 10 minutes, as well taking a few steps to correct the errors). However, with the new content aware crop tool, things now are managed for me and takes seconds, with just a single step.

When the image is rotated and the crop previewed (without the addition of content aware) the problem is evident.

The tail of the horse on the right hand side will be chopped off, as well as the nose of the left hand side horse. As soon as the Content-Aware check box is turned on, the canvas will be extended to accommodate the original aspect ratio and Photoshop CC will automatically manage any empty spaces that have been created.

ContentAwareCropOn

Also Photoshop CC 2015.5 comes with performance and quality improvements to the content aware family, so the results should be significantly superior than before.

ContentAwareCropDone

Final image, the crop is complete and the image is completely useable in just a few seconds of work.

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Ankur Patar Recreates Rembrandt Masterpiece with Adobe Stock | Adobe Creative Cloud

Ankur Patar is a digital artist from India. Watch as he re-­creates Rembrandt’s stolen masterpiece The Storm on the Sea of Galilee entirely out of Adobe Stock, without ever leaving Photoshop. Learn more about the Make a Masterpiece campaign: http://adobe.ly/1YByHLk
See more inspiring work at the Adobe Stock – Make a Masterpiece website.
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#CreativeFriday – 3D Look’s in Photoshop CC from Adobe Capture

Adobe Capture on the iPhone/iPad and Android phones has supported 3D Look /LUT creation for a while, but recently Photoshop CC was enhanced to be able to consume this content for application to a video(s) or still image(s).

Adobe Capture is a lovely app which allows capture of real world textures, patterns, colours as well as a colour spectrum for 3D looks/LUT’s from anything that you point the phone camera at. Below is a screen shot of some tones captured from a series of regular household items.

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Because Adobe capture is configured to automatically sync to the Creative Cloud and then to the desktop apps (in this case MyLibrary), any assets that are created, will be available in Photoshop CC (in this case), almost immediately, marked below in the bottom red box.

PS Library Look

Once in Photoshop CC, it can be added to an image or video, really quickly.

Images. To use on an image, just click on the Look in the Library and it will be applied as a layer to the layer stack.

3d lut image examples

When used on video, just click the Look and a new layer with the Look will be applied, but you will most likely want to drag it out of the group, into it’s own layer, depending how it’s going to be used.

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I think that this support for Colour Looks’/Lut’s has got a lot of mileage to be very creative on making these types of assets for use on video or images in Photoshop CC.
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#CreativeFriday – Lightroom CC 2015.6 – Guided Upright

Lightroom 6.6 and Lightroom CC 2015.6 was were released this week. The post is focused on the new features that are now shipping with Lightroom CC 2015.6, which is the new Guided Upright tool.

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I’ve found that working with the tool for my recent film scans is incredible (as well as for my digital work of course). The reason why i’ve focused this blog on traditional film, is that it’s quite challenging to get the images corrected without having to head over to Photoshop CC, especially when working with complex angles. Typically i will head to Photoshop CC and use the “Adaptive wide Angle filter”, but does cost me time when i have many images to process.

Let is take this image, of this old school scanned negative

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As this Helter Skelter is quite tall, the angle of the photo was taken from below, therefore the converging verticals are to strong.

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Selecting the “Auto” feature in the Transform panel, does’t fix the issue, just rotates the image.

So, on this occasion, i’m going to select the new “Guided Upright” tool, marked in red (Notice the tool has be taken from the left hand side of the Transform panel). Once the tool is moved over the image, a loupe will appear, this loupe will give you more precision when selecting the areas that need to be corrected.

in this case, i am going to use the sign on the Helter Skelter and drag two horizontal lines (using the top and bottom of the sign only), as well as two vertical lines on each of the sides. This should give me the right perspective.

 

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To set this up, position the Loupe on the image and select the edges that will help control the perspective/converging verticals. Just click on the image and drag a guide out, in this case the verticals are added first (but there is no right and wrong way to do this). Also, adding one guide will do nothing, you will need the opposite to create the correction.

As you can see above, the result is very impressive. You will also notice, the “Constrain Crop” is turned on, this means that the crop will be applied automatically.

You can see below, when the “Constrain Crop” is turned off, in conjunction with the scale slider, you can re-scale the image in Lightroom. The other options here are the X offset and Y offset sliders, these are used to re-position the image, left/right and top/bottom.

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If, once the edit is completed, it needs to be re-edited, then just re-click on the guided tool, and the correction can be altered.

This is a super addition to Lightroom within the Creative Cloud (including the Photography plan) and there are very many pictures that I am sure will benefit from this tool.

For more details about Lightroom 6.6 and Lightroom CC 2015.6 (including camera support and bug fix details), please head over to the Lightroom Blog, Lightroom CC 2015.6/6.6, Camera Raw 9.6.

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#CreativeFriday – Sharing an image(s) with Lightroom mobile

I was looking what’s new with Lightroom web today and found a small feature that now allows me to share a single or as many photos as i need, as opposed to a whole collection.

Once in Lightroom web (hyperlink will take you there) and have logged into your Creative Cloud account, then you can select “Photos” to see your images.

Now on the top tool bar, a “select” option (marked in red) is available. This option allows me to select one or multiple images (from either a shared collection or from pictures that have been added from the camera roll on the phone/tablet).

SelectPhotosLRM

Once, select is clicked, the screen turns into a photograph picker

Once selected, clicking the “share” icon, will tell Lightroom mobile to provide a link for your viewers to see your work. You can see in the following screen shot, i’ve even given the link a name.

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Clicking finish will provide a shortened URL for you

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Heading over to another browser (which isn’t logged on) will show what the viewer will see.

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The great thing is that the link is live, so if you add more pictures to it at a later date, your customers/viewers will see the new images.

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The beauty of the Creative Cloud is that these types of updates are added to the product as they are created, for you to enjoy and exploit in your workflow.

 

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#CreativeFriday – Re-size your photographs to a larger size using Lightroom

Have you ever wanted to export your processed images from Lightroom, but at a much larger size than the original size.

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Above is a typical RAW file with some adjustments made within Lightroom. I would like the exported file to be 260cm on the long edge, with a resolution of 250 pixels per inch.

Below you can see the export dialog box (available from the Lightroom Menu / File / Export). You can see that in red, the export file type has been specified to be TIFF/16bit. Under the Image Sizing, the Long edge have been chosen (this can be changed based on your needs of course). Then the new length has been specific as 260.00cm, with a resolution of 100 Pixels per CM.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 21.10.29 copyIf the Pixels per CM is changed to Pixels per Inch, you will see the value in inches (in this case 254 Pixels per Inch).

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 21.10.34Then clicking ‘Export’ will create the larger file in the specified location with the Lightroom adjustments applied.

Also, don’t forget, you can also up-sample an image in Photoshop as well. I wrote a blog post on this techinque a while ago when the new “Preserve Details” feature came out in the 2015 release.

 

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#CreativeFriday – Read only Libraires

The Creative Cloud Libraries got a lovely boost this week, by including the option to choose if a library collaborator is able to Read or Change a library that they have been invited to. Libraries are a great way to collaborate on assets that will be used within a document, be it inside Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, Premiere Pro or After effects. Libraries,  can be just for one person or a team, or even a whole organisation, it’s a great way to share graphics/fonts/colours/3D objects used by the team or the project.

To access your libraries on the Creative Cloud web site, navigate to creative.adobe.com. To open the Libraries, click on the Libraries link (marked in red below).

Library access

Once libraries are open, you will see something like the following. This screen is showing all the libraries that you own (or collaborating on). You will see that there is an option called ‘Collaborate’ available for each library entity. Collaborate will give you the option to add/remove people to the library.

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The new update, now enables you to invite collaborators, and specify if they are able to read or change items. When inviting collaborators, you now see the option to ‘Edit’ or the option to ‘View’.

collabconfig

 

Once invited for edit, the contents of the shared library can be modified. If view is chosen, then they can only use the items and not change anything.

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This is a great leap forward for more controls of your assets, when using Libraries when collaboration.

 

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#CreativeFriday – Searching Adobe Stock and Creative Cloud Libraries

If you are using Creative Cloud Libraries, you are probably wondering how you would have survived without them! If you are not or just getting started, then there are a couple of things to look for, specifically around finding your content, as well as using Adobe Stock.

Here is a screen shot of a typical library in use in Photoshop (but could be any of our desktop applications).

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In total there are over 300 items in this list, which could take a while to find the item you need. Also, you may content in other libraries. To search the library that you are currently in, click on the drop down icon and choose ‘Current Library’. If in the example below, a search term left will be run across all content, within all Libraries.

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You can see below, if the word ‘abstract’ is used as a search term, then only those items that contain the search term in the name are included in the results.

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In this panel, you can also search the Adobe Stock library. This works the same as searching in a Library. Just in this case ‘Adobe Stock’ needs to be selected in the drop down, then the search term is used to find the content across our rich 50million high quality images.

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So you can see, it’s super easy to find existing content which you may have in a private or shared library, but also across Libraries that you are sharing. Then, to add additional content to your composites or designs, Adobe Stock is just a search work away. The Adobe Stock in this way is immensely powerful, unlike traditional Stock libraries where you need to head to a Browser, look, find, download, edit, license and manually replace. Adobe Stock is always there where and when you need it.

Why not get your 10 free images by heading to Stock.adobe.com, and have a go yourself. If you want to use the Stock imagery, then head to my other tutorial, which covers this in much more detail.

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#CreativeFriday – Painting across seams and UV islands on 3D models in Photoshop

A comment appeared on one of my Photoshop 3D Painting YouTube video earlier in the week, so I wanted to address the basic concept this in a post.

When painting 3D models there is always a challenge when the designer/artists reaches the edge of a seam or a UV island and would like the texture to be carried over to the adjoining seam or UV island.

What does this mean. Typically when you view a 3D object on the screen you see the whole object in it’s entirety. Once you start painting things can go a bit wry. For example, paint may end up somewhere else on the model, of even in multiple places at the same time. Or depending on which mode is being used for painting (projection or texture), you may get a warning to suggest that the paint brush has hit a seam. The first example is pretty simple, and can typically happen when a UV island is overlaying another UV island (Remember UV references are just coordinates of a flat 2D reference to the surface of the 3D object. I’ll cover this in a separate post, then we can look at how to correct it).

This post will focus on the tools needed to paint across seams or UV’s islands. I’ll write another post about strategies on how to get continuous texture across a seam soon.

Let us take this example. Here we have a custom built chameleon (by Jon Reilly) and we would like to paint it. Understanding how the UV islands work, can be important for more complex painting and to get full control of the job in hand.

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When the UV texture is opened you will hopefully the black lines. These lines represent the polygons that make up the model, but are laid down flat. To do this, the geometry of the model needs to be unwrapped and laid down flat. Obviously, this requires the polygons to be cut, which creates seams (i.e. take a tin and unwrap it, will at some point need to put the physical object at specific points to do it, this is the same concept). We can see that in this example Jon really knows what he’s doing and has taken lots of case to lay it out in a very logical way. However, as you can see on the diagram, when it’s examined more closely there are well placed seams that enable the textures to support the painting process.The area that we will focus on in this case, is the join between the tail and the body.

On the 3D model it looks like it’s on one piece (i.e a single shell), which it is! And this is great and will talk about it a little later on. When the 2D UV map/texture is opened, it’s clear, and it turns out that there are many individual connected parts. The joint area that we are focusing on, is less logical. In fact there is a connection between all of the UV Islands, just it’s not logical where, unless we understand how the UV map was created. To see how the seams work and put it into practice, select the 3D object window, and make the brush active (using the B key), then select a foreground colour. Within the properties panel of the brush, make sure that Projection mode is selected.

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There are two modes :-

Projection mode

Projection Painting is suitable for painting multiple UV islands and  across seams simultaneously or for painting the seam between two textures. However, in general, it is a lower-performance painting method and may result in cracks when you’re painting complex 3D objects.

Texture mode

Texture painting is targeted to single islands / seams, but will improve the painted texture quality.

Then select the 3D model window and paint directly on the model. You will hopefully see that the paint flows on the model and across the UV islands on the UV mode

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This will demonstrate where the seams connect, and where Photoshop will lay the paint down and make the connection for you. As you know, both sides can be painted on, and the paint will appear automatically on the other view (if for some reason the paint is not updated, Photoshop lost the connection to the other canvas. Best thing to do in this case is close the texture down and re-open it from the model).

You can see that trying to do this direct on the 2D UV map will be challenging, and the UV map is laid down really well.

To put this into context, below is the UV before it was laid out properly in Zbrush. This is typically how UV’s are laid out. Imagine painting on this ! So the lesson is to have good and well laid out UV’s it will help in the painting of a model.

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OK, so why is this important. Well it allows us to paint directly on a model without worrying about seams. And allows a continuous painting experience. This is even more important when working with textures, which I’ll cover this in another blog post very soon.

I hope you enjoyed this and it makes sense for painting on a 3D model with UV’s.

Other links – Photoshop Painting page

Full chameleon painting video

Inspiration for this post

 

 

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#CreativeFriday – Handling RAW and JPG’s in Lightroom

One question that i get asked a lot is, “How does Lightroom separately manage the RAW and JPG files, when the RAW and JPG are recorded for a single picture in the camera”. This scenario happens when the photographer shoots both in the camera (which is usually a setting within the camera’s menu system). Shooting RAW and JPG can be beneficial, the reason that I shoot both, is that I tend to turn on Black and White processing on the preview in the camera, and therefore my JPG will be recorded in Black and White, and I see the black and white version on the back of the camera. This technique can help when correcting/perfecting compositions in the camera (covered in blog post from 2013). This change won’t affect the RAW file (as the RAW file doesn’t record this type of data), but will obviously affect the JPG. Doing this gives me a different way to compose the image in the camera, as well as allowing me to re-create the in camera JPG look once in Lightroom later on.

When both of the files come into Lightroom, we need to know how to manage them, either importing them as a single RAW+JPG file, or as a two single files. Both of these scenarios are managed from the preferences panel within Lightroom (Lightroom preferences can be found in the Lightroom toolbar menu under Lightroom / Preferences (on a Mac), and Lightroom / Edit / Preferences (on Windows)). Within the Import options, there is an option to “Treat JPG files next to raw files as separate photos”.

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When this option is turned off, the RAW and JPG file will be treated as a single file, and merged together. You will see this on the import screen.

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Once imported, there will be a single representation of the image.

The initial preview and image within the Development tab will be settings from from the RAW file plus any changes that may have been previously made (it may have come from another photographer with Lightroom metadata changes, blog post on this here).

If both files are needed as separate RAW and JPG files, then the check box should be turned on (as below)

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This time, when importing, there will be two files in the import dialog, the RAW and the JPG.

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Once imported, there will be two files within Lightroom

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Hopefully this post has de-mistified how to work with both RAW and JPG files within Lightroom and has added a little extra knowledge to your Lightroom workflow.

 

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