#CreativeFriday – Simplifying difficult selections in Photoshop CC

Sometimes you get an image that needs work in specific areas, or part of an image need cutting out. There are some great tools inside Photoshop to do this, i.e. Magic Wand, The Pen Tool and the Quick Selection Tool, as well as many other methods. These tool have been designed to provide a fast way of selecting objects based on an algorithm and the actual image data. Even though these tools are amazing and do a fantastic job, there can be tricky images, where alternatives methods are needed.

In the following example i’d like to work on the two people in the scene. Ideally i’d just like to select them with one of the tools. However, the issue is that whilst there are areas of contrast that the tools can use to find an edge, there are a lot of areas that are going to be challenging (especially around the head of the person in the background). There are lots of ways in Photoshop to solve this problem, this post is just a different way to make this type of selection much simpler.

This method will employ the new Photoshop CC new Camera Raw Filter to increase exposure / contrast / shadows etc in the image , and provide a temporary edge so that the Quick Selection Tool can be used to select the people very quickly.

1The image adjustment will be temporary, so the first thing to do is create a way to apply a radical adjustment, which can be undone later. The image layer is converted to a Smart Object (marked in Red below),  this option can be found in multiple places in Photoshop, one of these is the Filter menu / Convert for Smart Filters, the other is via the fly out menu on the Layers panel.

Once the layer has been converted to a Smart Object, the Camera Raw Filter command needs to be applied to the Smart Object. This filter is marked in Yellow and available from the Filter / Camera Raw Filter menu option.

2 copyThe Camera Raw Filter provides most but not all of the tools in the usual Camera Raw filter (used when opening a traditional RAW file). In the following example you can see that the sliders for the exposure, contrast and clarity have been used to radically adjust the image, to create the temporary edge required for the quick selection tool. Once finished, click OK.

N.B. You may need to adjust these sliders differently in your image to create the same effect.

3 copyThe beauty of using the Smart Object is that the effect is only temporary and can be reset once the selection has been made. You can see in the following screen shot, the Camera Raw Filter is now a child of the layer and has been placed on the Smart Object Filter (marked Yellow). The selection in this example is made using the Quick Selection Tool (marked in Red). The edge selection is now pretty quick and accurate using the new edge from the Camera Raw Filter adjustments.

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Once the selection has been made, it can be refined by using the Refine Edge command (marked Red above).  You can see the refine edge dialog below. The brush (marked red below), is used to paint on the edge of the selection, in combination with the control sliders to make the selection much smoother and more precise. The refine edge is particularly good when it comes to selecting hair and other complex selections. The brush when first used will make a positive selection. However, by pressing the ALT key the cursor will show a negative sign and remove the selected areas.

On this example, a mask will be created to cut the faces out, but there are other options as well, depending on what result you want out of the Refine Edge command to create (options are marked Yellow below).

5.1 copyOnce the mask has been created, it can be refined further by selecting it (marked Red below), then choosing the Refine Edge command (show in red below). This will effectively modify the created mask. Working with the refine edge command takes practice, so if the results are perfect the first time, keep working with it until you have the selection that is required.

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Once the mask has been created to your satisfaction, you can either re-open the Camera Raw adjustments by double clicking on the Camera Raw Filter in the layers panel, then reset and adjustments that were made. Or the effect can be turn off by using the eye icon next to the Smart Object Mask (marked in red below).


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This is one example of using this technique and i am sure there are many others to experiment with. Good luck with your selections and hopefully this post will give you new ideas.

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Stay sharp with Typekit Practice

Stay sharp with Typekit Practice

We’ve introduced a new resource to help people learn about typography. We call it Typekit Practice. We’ve just gotten started with a couple of lessons, but we’re excited to add to it and see how people use it. Have a look, and let us know what you’d like to learn about next.



We’ve have also added Mozilla’s Fira Sans and TypeTogether’s Alverata PE to our collection of fonts that are available for desktop sync. Make sure to check them out.

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New Digital Publishing app on the iPad for Canon EOS Photographers

There is a new free iPad app in the Apple App Store based on the Adobe Digital Publishing platform. This great app has been created by Canon and goes in the whole Canon camera eco-system. It’s got a wealth of content and interactivity, including which lenses to use for what style of photography (Macro, Wedding, Portrait, Food and many more), tips and techniques when using the Canon EOS system, but also interviews with leading Canon Ambassadors and Explorers. The app is available here in the Apple App store, and is available in EMEA only. If you would like to search for it then type Canon Brochures”  in the iPad app store.










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#CreativeFriday – Organising/Filtering and selecting your photos/videos in Lightroom

Filtering your photos in Lightroom

Lightroom was initially designed for professional photographers with input from professional photographers, and this ethos is still the way Lightroom is developed today. The original idea of Lightroom was to help and assist the photographers workflow in this digital world and to smooth out what can be a complex digital world. As we know and have probably experienced, when we are shooting digitally we tend to be collecting a lot more images than we ever did with film, we are also creating artwork and video which is additional to the images that we are storing. Once element of the workflow within Lightroom is focused on managing this problem and providing a way for photographers to find their images extremely quickly. Lightroom includes the Library module to enable achieve this, as well as some other tools to allow you to organise and find your pictures quickly. However,  there is some manual effort required to allow the organisation to be even better!

The core data that Lightroom holds and gives the photographer access to, is the data which is brought in from your camera. When you import assets into Lightroom, Lightroom automatically extracts this data(metadata) and adds it to the internal indexing system (a database). This core metadata then allows images to be found based on items like the Camera body, Lens, F-stop, Flash fired?, GPS coordinates etc, which are all important to photographers. But also, when you are importing the images you  have an additional option to apply keyword(s) in bulk to these assets and can important additional contextual information about the image, i.e. Keywords that describe where a photo was taken, who is in it, what’s going on in the scene etc. This extra information is really valuable for helping the images to be found at a later time.

Working example.

I was on a Photography trip recently covering the Holi colour festival. Before the trip I had started to think about what the images would be used for and and ideas for a story, this type of planning helps ams think about how will organise my images in Lightroom later . During then trip and when I am importing these images back home, I tend to think about how I might want to find them in the future, along with how I can remember the pictures.

Depending how regular you shoot and what you are shooting, can result in collections of thousands of images, and some of them can get lost. Over a good few years of continuous shooting, it’s not uncommon to have have 10’s of thousands, or even 100’s of thousands of images, then finding images can become a real issue, taking huge amounts of time to find the ones that you need. For example, I was asked recently to be part of an exhibition with my Chernobyl work on Behance , Wow I thought, what an amazing opportunity. These pictures were only taken 18 months ago, but I have still taken over 20,000 images since then, and I already had 110,000 in my Lightroom catalog before the Chernobyl shoot. Also, the chap that asked me for the images needed them within 24hours, and I still have a day job to do!

When I imported the images initially I had created them with the some keywords (Chernobyl, Abandoned City, Pripyat, Ukraine). Most of these make some kind of logical link to the images, the only keyword that may not make a logical choice was the “Abandoned City”. Using this type of world allows me to group other places that are Abandoned (i.e. if I ever get to Fukushima, Abandoned villages or other places), already gives me a good start to start and logically group images based on a theme. Ultimately, over many years i’ll have a collection, that may allow me to make a book on Chernobyl, or on Ukraine or on Abandoned places. So using this type of word keywords gives different ways to select for a future use. Also, I used to use Colour ratings for where an images ends up (i.e. Flickr, Blurb Books, 500PX, Behance etc), but I found that I kept getting lost with which colour meant what, especially when you move between different computers and catalogs. So, now I tend to use keywords to store the end location, i.e. 500PX, Behance and other locations are added to the keywords.

This approach to key wording isn’t a time consuming or onerous and doesn’t need to be done all at once, just as and when the images become relevant. Now If I or you get asked to show work, the images can be found quickly using different combinations of keywords and meta data, and it doesn’t get in the way of the image making process.

To enable this, you will need to start to implement adding Keywords into your workflow.

There are effectively two ways to find the data using metadata and keywords in Lightroom. These are using Keyword selections directly or by using the Filter system in Lightroom.


There are two areas that will be focused on in this blog. The Library Filter (Marked Red) and the Keyword selector (Marked in Yellow).  The Keyword selector is great for a quick selection of images that contain a certain keyword, and the Library Filter is great for more complex and combinations of selections.

Keyword Selector

The keyword selector (marked Yellow), has a search area at the top of the panel, which is used to narrow the number of keywords that are shown in  the list. The list of keywords has multiple areas of interactivity, one is the arrow on the left of the keyword, which can be opened to show hierarchy , i.e. if you wanted to categorise all of the Indian towns and cities that you have visited, you can make a keyword called India, then under this define Varanasi, Delhi, Agra etc. The number on the right hand side of the keyword is the number of items in the library that contain that keyword.

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Once you start to type into the keyword search the list will start to reduce. In the example below, the words “Kol” have been entered and it finds words starting with the same characters, however, typing “kata” would also find the same word. The search is applying a contains filter to the list. As you can see, there are only 6 images shown in the grid, that’s because there are only 6 images that have the word Kolkata in the list, clicking on the small arrow (marked blue), will show these six images.


Next to the search icon there is a small drop down arrow, this will show any sub folders that exist under the folders that are selected as part of the search. In the following example, India has been placed in the search bar and you can see that the “Blurb India Book” and “India” (under the Places folder) have been selected, but in this view,what’s under the India folder is not shown.

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If the fly out menu is opened (marked in red), there is an option to select “Show all Keywords inside Matches”. This option will show the folders under India as shown below. There are 39 images under Varanasi and the rest are under the India folder (i’ve not yet finished moving things into the correct places).  You may also notice the small tick box next to each keyword, clicking this check box will allow you to add the keyword to the images that are selected, un-checking this box will remove the keyword from the image(s).

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Library Filter

The library filter is available to show and hide by pressing the ‘\’ key in the Library module, or from the menu bar item View / Show Filter Bar. Once the filter bar is shown there are many options to choose from.


The text option will allow you to select images where the text value that is entered into the search box will be found in the meta data fields described in the yellow box that match the rule in the green box.

I use this option a lot to find an image by file name. Typically when I upload an image to the web I keep the file name in the metadata. If there is a need to access the file, then it will have the same name, regardless of the extension used (PNG/JPG/PSD etc).  I just type the file name in to the search box and Lightroom will look across the folder(s), Collection(s) that have been selected.

The same selection selection options are available within the search box (marked blue), this is available by clicking the arrow next to the magnifying glass.



The Attribute filter enables selection of images using a variety or ways, or a combination of them. Images can be selected by the “Flag” status (i.e. Picked for selection, Flagged or Rejected), marked in yellow. Images can also be selected by using the star rating system (marked blue),  (managing your pictures is covered in this post). If you are more of a colours person, then images can be filtered by using colours (marked pink).

The “Kind” option (marker green) allows users to view images by Master / Virtual copies and Videos.



The meta data filter option allows you to filter the images based upon any metadata fields that exists inside Lightroom. I.e. on the screen below there are options to select by Keyword, Camera, Lens and ISO, however, these can be changed by selecting the drop down next to the heading (marked in Yellow). Also, columns can be added and removed by selecting the fly out menu on each column (marked green). This will provide you flexibility to select the right pictures based upon metadata settings in Lightroom that have been captured by the camera, or been entered in using the keywords.

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It is also possible use a combination of the Attributes selectors as part of the metadata searches as well, just by clicking the attributes/both buttons.

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Selecting multiple options in the metadata search

When in the metadata filter screen, multiple options can be selection (marked in red below). To do this, select the first one by clicking it, then for subsequent ones (across different columns), hold the CMD (Mac)/ Ctrl(Pc) key down and then click on the ones that are also required.  This selection will apply ‘AND’ logic, i.e. Canon 5D Mark II and EF50 F1.5 and ISO 200 and ISO 250. So this is another way to refine the searches and start to use the metadata to plan the story that you might want to tell.

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I had a project running a long time ago, which was pictures that were taken out of a moving car with a 50mm lens using F4. This would have been easy to select using the method described above.

It’s also possible to use the filters across many collections or folders at the same time (as shown below, marked in red). To do this, select the first collection, then using the CMD(Mac) / CTRL(Pc) key click the additional ones to be used. The selected ones are shown at the bottom (marked in yellow), along with the number of pictures filtered (3) and the total number (105) in this example. The multiple metadata items are shown in blue and you can see that the images that are selected over the chosen collections, are images that were taken with the Canon 5D mark II and a TS/E 90mm lens.

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Saving filters as part for future use

The “filters off” combo box is a way to save the filters by creating a preset. The saved presets are available in the top half of the list, saving is easy, just clicking on the “Save current settings as a new Preset” will save to the list. There are other management options available as well.



I hope you find this post useful for organising, selecting and filtering your images.



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Photoshop Live 2014 – July 18-19 at Brighton Dome

PS Live

Photoshop Live is the UK’s brand new event dedicated to all things Photoshop. Taking place in Britain’s creative hub, the event will take place in the Brighton Dome from 18-19 July. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about what’s happening in the world of Photoshop and a place to learn, be inspired and inspire others.

Friday 18th July is a dedicated day for professional designers and Saturday 19th is a day for photographers.  Featuring some of the best artists in the UK, Photoshop Live is a great day out for anyone wanting to take their photographic art to the next level.

There will be lots of talks and interactivity on both days and Adobe will be there to answer any questions that you have around the Creative Cloud, Photoshop/Lightroom and the plans that are available. Of course you might just want to ask questions about the tools themselves, and we will be more than happy to speak with you on this as well.

Both days will start off with a keynote from Adobe. Tony Harmer will be opening the Friday and I’ll be opening the Saturday, we very much look forward to meeting you there.

If you would like to go, then you can get a discounted ticket from reading this on my blog, all you need to do is to use the code “speaker20″ on the registration page.


Richard Curtis

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Creative Cloud file view refreshed, and ability to share a Public link to a Creative Cloud Folder is now available

If you navigate to your files page on creative.adobe.com you will see a refreshed look and feel, as well as having the ability to share a link to a folder by making it public.

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You will also find that you can now share a link to a folder. The Send link is available by clicking the black arrow on each folder. A flyout window (marked in Red) will appear and you can share a link to the folder from here.

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A dialog box will appear (similar to the one marked in red below). By default the folder is private, to make it public and share the link, click the “Create Public Link” button.

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Once the make public button is clicked. You are able to revert this change (marked in red), as well as seeing the short URL for the folder marked green), the URL can also be copied to the clipboard as well. The recipients email address can be entered into the box marked in pink, if you choose this option, then creative cloud will send an email on your behalf once you click the “Send link” button. The download files within the folder can be disabled point, you you would like people to view only.

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When the recipient access the public URL they will see a screen similar to the following. The screen will show the contents of the folder, including other folders. Clicking on the other folder(s) will drill down into those folder(s) as well.

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By clicking on an image will show the one image per page

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When using a Photoshop file, the layers panel can be selected (marked in red below), each layer can then be turned off/on individually to show the build up of the asset.

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The file can be downloaded as well (as long as the download check box was enabled), by clicking on the download link. The viewer will be given options on how to download the file (don’t forgot if you want to share/allow a viewer to view and/or download a Raw Photograph, you can do that as well).

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The download will not be shown when the folders download option is turned off on the send folder link configuration panel.

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Note the download option is now not available to the viewer when this option is disabled.

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If an Illustrator file is viewed, each art board will be shown as a separate page

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Layers in Illustrator files are turned on and off in the same way as Photoshop layers are in the Creative Cloud web viewer.

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This means now that you can share a link to your files in a folder with people that are not in the Creative Cloud.

 But wait there’s more

Content within the folder for the owner has also been refreshed

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We hope that you find this additional feature useful within the Creative Cloud web interface.


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#CreativeFriday – Before and After preview in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) in Photoshop CC

Today’s blog is a deep dive into the new Before and After preview mode that has been available inside Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), within Photoshop CC. The before and after preview enhancement options where added to ACR inside Photoshop CC as part of the 8.4 ACR update.

This option is a welcomed feature and it’s extremely handy have this in the ACR panel. It means that adjustments can be reviewed against the original file or another base line effect. This feature also extends itself to the snapshots option within ACR (covered as part of this post).

Of course the before and after preview doesn’t only add value to the Photographer and RAW photographs, but also to any other users when using the Camera Raw as a Filter, which was added into Photoshop CC. The Camera RAW (ACR) as a filter option allows the powerful Camera raw adjustments to be used on anything inside Photoshop CC (including Layers, JPG, TIFF, Groups, video clips/sequences, 3D and many other combinations).

The example below will provide a deep dive in to all of the options available as part of the preview feature, what the options do and how it can be used in the real world. We will also cover how it works with snapshots for comparing adjustments to other snapshots.

The picture below was taken in a monastery in Bhutan, and I know there is some shadow information that I would like to show, and this can be achieved using the Shadow recovery in ACR (the same as Lightroom). As the image is being modified, the changes can be previewed against the original, as well as comparing an effect or a preset to another preset once I am happy with the ACR adjustments. Then I can really see which effect suits the image the best.


The bottom left of the image is a little dark, so the shadows can be opened up by using the shadow slider in combination with the Gradient tool. The Gradient tool is pulled into the frame from the lower left of the image and more detail is revealed.

Notice on the screen shot below that the tools now show the mask that is created by using the gradient, and an option to change the colour of the mask is available (marked in Red below).


The mask is turned off by unchecking the mask check box, which makes it easier to see the effect (marked red above).

To see the before and after preview the “before and after preview button” at the base of the image (marked red below), can be pressed (or by pressing the Q key). The previews that are available are on a cyclic view, which is enabled with multiple presses of the preview button, or by pressing the Q key multiple times. The previews that will be displayed as part of the cycle are available for configuration through the options that have been selected on the preview preferences panel. You can access the preview preferences by holding a right click on the preview button (marked red) and a small pop up box will appear (marked blue).


Once the preview preferences option has been selected a small panel will be displayed (as shown below)


The cycle preview modes option provides a way to have the preferred previews shown when cycling through the before and after preview views, meaning that if you like only Top/Bottom side-by-side view as your preview, selecting only this will show this view when the preview button is pressed (marked red above), or the Q key is pressed. The Draw items panel determines how the splits are shown on the screen and if the before and after labels are displayed (examples discussed within this post).

Each view is shown in the following screen shots.

Left/Right side-by-side


Left Right Split view

6 Top/Bottom side-by-side

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Top/Bottom split view


The view of the split screen or side by side views can be modified to your liking within the preview preferences panel (shown below). The Divider in side by side view (in preview preferences, marked in red below), this refers to the dividing line (marked red in both cases in the screen shot below), and shows a solid black line between the two images.

The Panel labels (marked blue) will label up each side of the view with before and after.


The following screen shot shows that you can select just one preview view.


Of course the before and after preview comes into it’s own once you zoom in and use the hand tool to explore and compare specific areas of the scene (marked red below).



Snapshots are available in the area marked in red below and will be empty on the first instance of opening Camera RAW (ACR). The are two distinct ways of using the snapshots. One is to create the look manually using the tools inside ACR, then create the snapshot to record the adjustment. Or a to use a preset adjustment and create a stored snapshot item to record a certain effect.


Using Presets

Moving to the snapshot panel (marked Orange below), will revel a fly out menu (marked Blue). In the screen shot below, the cursor is hovering over Apply preset. This means that any preset in ACR (marked pink), can be selected and applied this to the image. Once a preset has been selected (VSCO presets are used in this example, they available from https://vsco.co). The snapshot button (marked in Brown), will record this effect against a user defined name (marked Yellow), this will record the snapshot save it in the snapshot list. In this case the name is the same as the preset chosen (this will help me remember the preset that was used to achieve a certain effect).


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You can repeat this action of applying presets and saving as a snapshot as many times as is required.


N.B. If the original layer has been converted to a smart object (either from Lightroom or when the file was opened from ACR in the first place), the presets will be stored in the .PSD/.TIFF file. This procedure will create a re-editable ACR configuration which means the adjustments made in ACR are non destructive and can re-edited again and again, even when the file is closed and re-opened as a .PSD or a .TIFF.


Adjustments as snapshots

Presets are not the only way that snapshots can be used, adjustments that are made within the ACR tools (radial filter, gradients, brushes, exposure etc), can be saved as a snapshots as well.

Once the snapshots have been applied you can then cycle through them and see how they are different from the original image/before the snapshot was applied, and compare the different effects.


This is shown in the video below


You may wish to compare a selection of snapshots against a specific snapshot.

To achieve this, choose the snapshot that you would like to use as the before image, then press the “copy current settings to before “ buton (or pressing alt/option and P keys), marked in red below. This will make the before image the same as the current snapshot. Then the other snapshot can then be compared to this version


See the video below to see this in action


Hopefully this has given you a deeper understanding of using the new preview buttons and options in Camera Raw ACR 8.4.



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#CreativeFriday – 3D Extrusions in Photoshop CC using the Pen Tool

Sometimes all you need is a simple “thing”, i.e. like a Smart Phone holder, or something to hold the rose bush in place in the garden, but there just isn’t the exact object in store anywhere. I find this situation now quite interesting and rather than moving in to a state of panic, I can actually design  something and prototype an idea until I get it to work to way that I need it to.  However, i’m not a dedicated designer and I don’t have the 3D tools or the inclination to work in polygons or other 3D technologies. The solution, is that I need something really easy to use, that will allow me to take my idea(s) and allow me to use the knowledge that I already have within the Photoshop tools, to make something.

As an initial ideal and after seeing Paul Trani’s iPhone holder, I decided to make my own Smart Phone holder using the Adobe Logo shape as a base.

The design will be very simple, not pretty or designed out, but functional at best. This object will become a simple smart phone holder (ok. i have an iPhone, so that’s what i designed it for, but it could be re-designed very quickly for any other device

The object that will be made in this tutorial can be seen on the Sketchfab platform (as shown below).

Adobe iPhone Holder
by rcurtis
on Sketchfab

The design was built with the standard Adobe logo. The first thing to do is to trace the outline of the white area and create the front/side face of the model. The logo is opened into Photoshop CC and then using the Pen Tool the edge is traced.

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The white background is all that is needed for the model, the easiest approach is to use a guide (make sure rulers are turned on (View / Rulers)), then a guide is pulled down from the top (you can turn guides off later by choosing view / show / guides). The guide will be used to align the base of path that will be created for the final object. The guide is shown in light blue.

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Pen tool is selected (marked in Red).

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The Pen tool is used to follow the edge of the white area and make the outline of the Adobe Logo.

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Once the initial design is complete, there needs to be a place to put the Smart phone. In this example, an element of the right hand side of the logo can be used as the holder for the phone. There are many alternative design considerations here, so it’s just a working example.

The Pen tool can be used to cut the section out of right hand edge by intersecting the existing edge, and make a small lip to hold the bottom edge of the phone in place. Just remember that there might be a home button that needs to be accessed while it’s in the cradle, in this case there needs to be enough room to firmly hold the phone and provide access for this button.

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The great thing about using Photoshop CC and the Pen tool, is that the design can be modified after it has been converted into a 3D model. Think of this as a non destructive shape. You can create anything similar to this using the Pen tool, but be aware that that there is a limit to path complexity.

An empty layer is created (marked Red), to hold the 3D object, otherwise Photoshop will use the logo as a template for the 3D object.

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Select the new empty layer and make a 3D extrusion select from the menu bar by choosing 3D / New 3D Extrusion from Path (marked red). This will convert the simple shape outline into a 3D object. This option can also available when using the Pen tool, and right clicking on the path and choosing “Convert path to extrusion” (marked Yellow).

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The 3D extrusion will be created

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Once the 3D geometry has been created you can use the 3D tools inside Photoshop to finish your design. This maybe compositing it into a 2D scene using the Vanishing point, or maybe even 3D printing it.

The next step for this example was to 3D print it and see if it would do the job of holding the smart phone.

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The object was printed in just a couple of hours. This was a great way to see if the object would work before a better print and more of them were printed. This process is typically called Rapid Prototyping and provided valuable in this example. It turned out that the actual holder part was to small. The path design can be re-edit at any time, make sure the move tool is selected (marked Red), then click on the 3D object to show the cage (yellow box).  With the properties dialog being open at the same time, clicking the  Edit Source (Marked Yellow), will allow you to modify the original path.

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Once the original path is loaded into a second window. The Direct selection tool (White pointer) (marked Red), can be used to change the original path (the vector).

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Once editing has completed, the window can be closed and the modifications saved. This will dynamically update the 3D object back in Photoshop. CC.

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Once the design has be re-worked and maybe printed again, the final working model could be printed multiple times. In fact the object was quickly duplicated 5 times more in Photoshop on the 3D layer, and then exported as a MakerBot x3g file. The final print took a whopping 17hrs to print, but leaving the printer over night certainly did the trick.


You can see here that Photoshop CC is a great way to try 3D and create some 3D content that can be very useful and not to intimidating as you already know how to use most of it from your existing knowledge of Photoshop 2D.

For some inspiration head over to Francois Veraart recent Photooshop 3D artwork project  on Behance. We would love to see and hear what you make in Photoshop CC. Why not upload your creations to SketchFab.com with the free account and tweet me at @richardcurtis.

SketchFab is integrated into Photoshop CC, and available by choosing the menu item 3D / Share 3D layer on SketchFAB.

Best of luck..Please also let me know there there is anything else that you would like to see written on Photoshop CC 3D tools.

If you don’t currently have Photoshop CC then why not try it for 30 days using this link, look at all of the available plans here.

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Adobe Inspire Magazine – Innovative Photography

There are some amazing innovative and creative photography projects and photogtaphers in the world. And it’s always great to be inspired by these people to allow our own photography to grow and become even more amazing. The Adobe Behance platform is a great way to publish content and inspire others, as well as to be inspired. The Behance platform can also be used to collaborate with others (closed peer groups or the wider community). Behance can be find at www.behance.net.

Adobe also make a magazine called Inspire and is available on the iPad from Apple iTunes. The current edition has an amazing piece of work from Jean-Yves Lemoigne, Jean has found a way to mix all media types to create his style and creates a mesmerising and unique and creative piece. Jean’s website is available here, but his loop project is the piece of work that i’d like to draw your attention to, this piece can be found here.

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The Inspire magazine is available on the browser by following this link, but there will be some delay as the content needs to download. The iPad however, is a great experience.  The looping images are the ones that have great impact, and are within the article. The first one is shown here and with a quick look.

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Enjoy the experience.

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#CreativeFriday – Watermarks, Print Templates and Tethering into Lightroom

There are many times when an image or text is required to be overlayed on your images. This might be when an image is published to the web (in the form a a copyright logo/text), or maybe at an event where logos are overlaid and printed on the output. This blog post will explain how to set up text and graphics for an overlay, as well as including the overlay on a tethered capture.

Lightroom accepts both JPG and PNG files for watermarks, both of which are easy to create. We will use Photoshop CC to create a simple .PNG image overlay. The Benefit of using Photoshop CC, is that you can use anything for your image overlay and get it exactly where you need every time.


The first step is to think about the dimensions/size of the final output (you can change it later, but I find it best to design this early in the process.


The example used here is based on a standard 6×4 output.

First, open up Photoshop CC and create a canvas with an aspect ration of 6 inches by 4 inches, making sure that the background is transparent (this is import, as it will let the image be displayed through it (remember the watermark overlay will be above the image in it’s stacking order).


Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 13.34.16Photoshop CC will now show the transparent canvas

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Graphics and the like can be added to your overlay design. In this example, there is a simple piece of text (Font is coming from Typekit), as well as the Adobe logo and a white rectangle with a blurred edge.

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You can see that we have used the “Facit” font which has been downloaded as part of the Typekit Fonts.

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Save the template for Lightroom in the .PNG format. It’s also worth while saving the .PSD file as we may need to revisit it at a later time.

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Open Lightroom and head over to the Print module (Lightroom 5.4 is being used in this example).

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A new page setup will need to be created, to do this click on the “Page Setup” marked in Red below. For the image size that i’ve chosen in this example, a preset does not exist, so a new custom one will need to be created. Clicking on the “Manage Custom Sizes..” will take us to the custom page editor.

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A new page can be created by clicking on the “+” button on the dialog. Name the page preset as appropriate (in this case I have called it 6×4), then specify the width and height values.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 15.16.45To make it simple, this dialog uses Millimetres (MM), you can convert inches to mm by using the following calculation

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Press OK.

Inside the Print module of Lightroom (marked Red). You can see that the Single Image / Contact sheet (marked Yellow) has been selected. An image has also been loaded into the image area (done by selecting a picture) in the filmstrip. Within the Layout configuration (marked Purple) the margins have been zeroed, 1 row and column selected, as well as the cell size equalling the size of the page setup (6in x 4in (ruler units can be changed if required)).

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Open the “Page” tab (right hand side of the print module in Lightroom, “Watermarking” (Marked Red) has been enabled by clicking on on the tick box, then click on the “None” combo box to open the watermark selector. Notice there are already a few watermarks set up, and am able to call upon any saved ones when needed. To create a new one, select “Edit Watermark” (marked Yellow). The Watermark dialog will appear (marked Green).

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By default text might be enabled (radio button at the top of the panel). The text that is used for the watermark is shown and is editable on the bottom right hand side (under the picture). The Font can also be changed under the text options, including fonts from Typekit (which are now available if you are a Creative Cloud subscriber, if not then you can access a 30 day trial here).

To enable graphics, click on the Graphics radio button selector in the top right hand side of this panel. Then choose the .PNG file that  was created in Photoshop CC earlier.

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The transparent file will be shown over the example picture that was selected earlier.

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Under the watermark effects, physical attributes can be changed, i.e. Opacity, size (if the Photoshop page size was done correctly, this should need to be set to Proportional and 100%, otherwise, these can be adjusted), The anchor point can be changed as well, centre has been used on this example.

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But looking at the overlay, there is some of the underlying image missing, the original template needs to be changed to make the white rectangle more opaque,  just need to head back over to Photoshop CC and adjust the opacity of the white area. The adjustment is marked in Red below.

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Re-save the file as the .PNG version and re-load the image in to the Lightroom Watermark dialog. You can see the change makes more sense and shows the whole image.

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Before Save is pressed, you can update the current watermark or create a new one by opening the combo box (marked “RC (edited) above), at the top of the watermark editor dialog (shown below).

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Save the watermark. The image should update in Lightroom

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The print job can be set up as well, Printer configuration has been completed in the example, however, you can also create a JPG file as well from the result.

A Saved print can be made by clicking on the Create Saved Print button (marked Red below), then naming it and selecting the options.

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I would also recommend that a Lightroom template is made. Navigate to the Lightroom Print Templates and click on the “+”sign. Then name the template as needed and press Create.

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Once the template has been created a right click will update it with subsequent changes, as well as able to export and import other templates in other Lightroom’s (if you are transferring the templates, you might need to also transfer the image used for the overlay as well).


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One useful purpose and a trigger for this post is event photography, having images captured via tethering and having the watermark automatically applied. To do this, Plug the camera into the computer using a tether cable (or your preferred method). Head over to the library module and start tethered capture.

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Once tethered capture has been selected, you will need to select a few options (like the shoot name). This name will be used later to select the images captured.

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Press OK. The tethered tool bar will appear and should connect to the camera. Notice that a development setting can be applied at the time of tether, this will allow you to make your prints with a development preset already having been applied, giving your prints  finished look. Also, notice the name of the session appears on the left hand side of the Library module.

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To make sure that the print template is applied to the images that are taken in this shoot, a smart collection can be used to hold the images coming in from the camera (this is nice and clean, especially if you are showing clients that are with you in the shoot). Locate the collections panel in the Library module and click on the “+” icon, then select the “Create Smart Collection” as shown below (marked Red).

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The Smart Collection will need some more information (i.e. where to find the images), for this make a rule that will select all images where the folder name contains all of the words of the tethered capture shoot name, in this example “Studio Session 2″.

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.35.21Head over to the Print module, select the newly made Smart Collection, the film strip should be empty. Any pictures taken on the camera as part of the tether should will be placed in this Smart Collection and have the template applied automatically. Markings in Red are the configurations in Lightroom, the areas marked Yellow will create the Print or the file.


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The last thing, is that the operator just needs to press CTRL+P and the result will be printed on the printer.



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