#CreativeFriday – Using Photoshop blending options to ‘Knock Out’, and cut out 2D shapes for 3D composites

Working with Tony Harmer this week, we encountered a Photoshop challenge which took us a while to bottom out. However, we haphazardly stumbled on another way to cut 2D shapes out from other layers and keep control of shape measurements.

There are currently many ways to cut out shapes in Photoshop, either using Layer Masks, Vector Masks, Clipping Masks, or using the subtract/exclude commands etc. The objective of this particular solution is another way to control specific measurements, especially with 3D printed objects.

For an example let us take something really simple. We want to take a 12cm by 12cm square and cut out a square hole in the middle which is 10cm by 10cm. The measurements are quite specific in the printing process, but maybe required in a 2D design also.

In the example, the new canvas is created, which has a transparent background (This means that later on we will only see the shape, regardless of what we do with it).

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 19.14.16The next step is to create a rectangle (marked red below) with the rectangle tool. Notice that the width and height of the rectangle are specified as 12cm by 12cm (marked in yellow) as this is a live shape which will give us flexibility and control of the shape.

Now to cut out the 10cm by 10cm square from the middle. Another rectangle is needed which in this case will be 10cm by 10cm width and height (marked in yellow below). The colour of the rectangle isn’t signifiant, it’s just to show it’s presence.

We will use the yellow square to knock the 10cm by 10cm hole in the 12cm square. To do this, we can put a blending option on the Yellow square layer and change the Knock out option. This can be achieved by adding an effect (marked in green) or by double clicking on the layer.

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Photoshop will bring up the Layer Style dialog box and should park on the Blending Options by default (for a new effect), as shown below. On this dialog under Blending options there is an option to use Advanced Blending (marked in orange). For this technique to work, the Fill opacity value will be set to 0.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 19.29.52v10 copy

If the Knock out is kept at the default setting, ‘None’ and the Fill Opacity is reduced to zero, it will just remove the yellow rectangle and revel what was below it in the layer stack. If the knockout is changed to shallow when the Fill Opacity set to zero, the effect will be to remove the yellow rectangle, as well as removing the shape from the shape below it. In this case, the yellow rectangle will be removed from the blue larger shape and the background will be shown. (The shallow knock out will be one level deep in the layer stack, which essentially means that if it’s part of a group nothing will be knocked out).

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The effect can be seen above (notice that the layers are all directly above and at one layer deep).

Below shows another layer that is added to the top of the stack, which is also one layer deep. When it’s Blending option is changed to shallow, the effect is the same and its shape is knocked out.












There is another option on the knock out, called ‘Deep’.

In the example below, there is a lot going on.

At the base there is a blue rectangle, immediately followed by square that cuts out the rectangle, by using a zero fill shallow knockout (as seen below).

Above this there is a group called ‘Octagons’, contained in this group there is another group called circles. Both of these, regardless of the groups and nesting of groups are controlled by a shallow knock out on the blue rectangle. This shallow knockout is at the top group level, so it’s still at one level deep. Therefore everything under a shallow knock out regardless of the nesting will inherit the Blending option from the one level deep Knockout configuration.

The Halfmoon group at the top of the layer stack does not knock out any part of the blue rectangle (notice there is no Blending option on the Half moon group to allow this to knock out at this level). Inside of the Half moon group, there is a small blue circle called ‘Elipse 3′, this shape is not cutting out the blur rectangle, but it is cutting into the pink circle, because ‘Elipse 3′ has a zero Fill knock out layer set to ‘shallow’. In this case the shallow only goes one level deep.

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To allow ‘Elipse 3′ (marked in red below) to cut into the blue rectangle (marked yellow), it needs to go past the first level ‘shallow’ and to the ‘Deep’ level. This can be controlled by changing the blending option to zero fill and knock out ‘Deep’ (marked in orange).

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Ultimately, there are many options for this and many different combinations. i.e. You can have a photoshop layer cut into Photoshop layers, Photoshop layers cut into Illustrator placed layers, or even a combination of the above. This does mean that we are able to keep measurements and dimensions in tact, especially when 3D Printing.

Converting the 2D shape to a 3D object.

The first step is to group all layers together using Smart Objects, which will result in a single layer. The 3D conversion is executed by choosing the 3D menu 3D / New 3D Extrusion from Layer command. This option should create the 3D geometry for you.

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To go a little further, attributes about the 3D object can be modifed. By clicking on the 3D object once will bring up the navigation widget. Pressing the V key whilst the navigation widget is shown, will cycle through the 3D modifiers. Things like bevel, inflate, taper, twist etc can be applied to the object. In the following example the front face of the object (blue painted face above) has had a bevel applied to it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 21.34.28The 2D shapes have now been converted into a 3D object, all of which are completely editable if desired. Re-editing the object can be achieved by double clicking into the Smart Object layer (Half Moon layer above).

I used this opportunity to make something out of this technique and made a fully rendered scene, the creation (not including rendering) took about an 1hr.

monster layout v4


The basis of the monsters were created using a Live shape rectangle with rounded corners, with 4 circles to cut away the bottom. In the example below there is a group called tentacles, which contains 4 circle shapes. The group level is then set to have a fill opacity of zero and a knock out of shallow. This will essentially cut the circles out of the rectangle leaving the tentacles.

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All of these layers are then converted into a single Smart Object by selecting them all and choosing Filter /  Convert to Smart Object (I find that labeling the layers is very useful to keep track of what’s going on).

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Once the option 3D / New 3D Extrusion from selected layer command is issued, Photoshop will move into the 3D mode and show the new extrusion. To alter the final extrusion, the tools marked in red can be used and will appear as a widget on the 3D bounding box or cage (the V key can be used to cycle through the tools). At which point elements of the 3D geometry can be changed. i.e. the extrusion, bevel, tapering, inflation etc can all be modified to give the final required look.

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After configuring the extrusion, altering the taper and bevel, here’s what the modifications look like

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For the render and final piece, there are two elements that i’ll add. One is a background, by just creating a layer underneath the 3D layer  (marked in Red), and pulling a gradient across the layer. The gradient tool is marked in yellow, and uses the foreground / background (marked in green) to construct an initial gradient (marked in blue). This layer isn’t locked, so can be transformed and scaled to make sure that it fits the scene.

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To render the scene and get a more realistic look, Image based lights can be used (IBL). The Photoshop team have created some IBL’s for you and are available here. From here you can download the creative and basic IBL’s just to get you started. An IBL will allow the renderer to give a more realistic look and feel.

The basic IBL’s ones are just black to white gradients, which hold back light in specific regions. However, the creative one’s are more complex and have the feel of a real studio with soft boxes etc.

To add an IBL to the scene, open the 3D panel using Window / 3D, and select the environment (marked in blue below). This will open the properties panel for this object, from here the IBL check box should be ticked on. Assuming it is on, the IBL that is currently being used is show in the small thumb nail next to it (marked in red). To replace the default IBL, click on the folder icon (marked in green) and replace it’s contents with the IBL (marked in red). The file dialog box is shown, and the one i’ve selected for this exercise is shown in pink (the IBL graphic is shown in yellow). Once this is added the scene lights can be moved around (as well as other lights that are having an impact on the scene.

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A reflection can be added if required, by using the reflection option and opacity on the environment properties (marked red below).

The final activity is to render the scene. This can be performed by clicking on the render option, which can be found in numerous places inside the 3D environment in Photoshop (marked in red below).

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I hope this blog post has given you some ideas of how to use 2D shapes and cut outs within 3D composites in Photoshop. The Final Behance page is here.


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#CreativeFriday – Photoshop, Pressure Sensitivity for Opacity Control and Wacom Tablets

The Wacom tablet is a highly useful hardware device for working with and retouching photographic imagery, as well as video and 3D. Photoshop has inbuilt support for the Wacom tablet, regardless of it’s a Intuous Pro, Cintiq or a Bamboo tablet and pen combinations. This post will look at understanding the effect of using pressure for opacity control within Photoshop for any of your art work.

Within Photoshop there is support for the tablet and pen within a large number of the standard tools, some of these are :-

Spot Healing Tool, Healing Brush, Brush Tool, Pencil Tool, Colour Replacement, Mixer Brush, Clone Stamp, Pattern Stamp, as well as many other tools.

Within these tools the are a number of items to consider, this post will focus on the opacity control, marked in red below and how this can be used for other configurations (including pen and tablet usage).

 Fig 1.0

When this option is selected the Wacom tablet can be used to control the amount of pressure that will be used to control the opacity of the tool action that is used (N.B. pressure cannot be simulated with a traditional mouse).

To understand how this works, the brush properties can be viewed easily, this is available by clicking the brush presets, marked in yellow.

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The brush presets properties dialog box will be opened.  There are two components working here. When the brush opacity button is turned on ( showed marked in red in fig 2.0), the transfer check box (as shown in Red below) should automatically turn on. Clicking on the Transfer text, will open up the Transfer properties options.

When the brush opacity is turned on, the opacity jitter value will be automatically set to pen pressure on the control property. This is the default option which cannot be changed and will control the opacity that is applied via the tool that is being used. Turning the pressure button on will reset the whole panel of the transfer only, and will not affect the other options that are available on the brush. This means that other options can be modified and used on a tablet or mouse combination (the mouse cannot control any pen pressure) as a configurable option.

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 Fig 2.0

When the tablet opacity button is turned off (in Fig 1.0), the brush will return back to the original values before the tablet opacity pressure control was turned on. This means that changing the values in the brush from the default values that come with Photoshop upon initial installation can be changed and modified to your working environment.

One incredibly useful update made to Photoshop CC  was the colour coding to brush presets and if any changes have been made to the original values. This can be found by pressing the Brush Presets button (marked in yellow) and is also available on the brush properties panel (above brush presets button).

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If the brush is using the default values then it will a blue box around it on the brush presets panel, as shown below

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Any changes that have been made to the brush will turn the box to orange

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Of course it takes time to configure the brushes and how they work within your environment, and saving this time will be advantageous for many reasons. one, might be to allow a smooth workflow between different environments. It used to be challenging to get the brushes in sync with a second machine (if one is being used). The Creative Cloud solves this problem, by enabling brushes as well as other items to the synced to the Creative Cloud for storage and sharing to other environments that you maybe utilising.

The Sync Settings dialog can be found under Photoshop preferences, under the Sync Settings options. As you can see below, all settings have been uploaded (these are described and can be individually selected) and are now available to other computers. The upload and download buttons are used to sync the settings.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 19.57.04

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#CreativeFriday – Lightroom Mobile iOS 1.3 Update

Lightroom 1.3 for iOS (iPhone and iPad), available now, include some new features and some bug fixes.

I wanted to highlight a couple of features that i’ll be using in this update. As a travel photographer I like having access to my RAW smart previews on my mobile device where ever I am. However, changing the segmentation view, and the way that the pictures are displayed is really useful and can help me remember when an image was taken. Lightroom mobile 1.3 now has the ability to view the photographs by a date segmentation.

To change the segmentation order, open up the mobile collection, by taping on the thumbnail.

IMG_1072 copy_1.3


When the collection is shown, the title is shown at the top of the screen. This title is active and clickable. Calling up the organise options, when touched.

1. IMG_1074_1.3Regular flat mode is selected by default, the new Segmented mode is also now available.


The new Segmentation mode can be selected by clicking on the “Segmented” button.

4. IMG_1076_1.3

The photographs are now shown in a segmented order (by Year), as shown in the screen shot below, the default view is by year.


Of course, photographs are more relevant when you can change the Segmentation order. The Segmentation text (year and number of photos), when held down with the finger will show Segmentation options.

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Choosing the “Hour” Segmentation will show when the pictures were taken by date and hour.


Cut and Paste Settings. 

When I am travelling, I tend to make some simple adjustments using the Lightroom mobile develop module, and would like to copy and paste my settings to another picture.
6. IMG_1078_1.3


In the example above, global adjustments have been made and i’d like to copy them to another photo. If you hold a finger down on the image, the copy and paste settings menu will be displayed. Choosing “Copy” here, will take the global adjustments and copy to the clipboard.

What you can copy is also presented, by default all are selected. This panel of course can be customised, just by taping on the adjustment that are/are not required.

7. IMG_1079_1.3

N.B. Notice the Basic Tone has sub menu, this can be customised as well.

Once the Photo to receive the settings has been located, holding your finger down to call up the copy/paste menu.

8. IMG_1080_1.3

Choosing paste will place the settings on this photograph.

N.B. Applying paste on an image that already has settings, will replace the old new settings. Of course the paste settings action can be undone by using the undo option on the image.



You can see the original post for Lightroom mobile 1.3 by following this link.








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Ann Aveyard – Winner of Landscape Photographer of the year (SWPP)

Adobe sponsored the Societies of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP), Landscape Photographer of the year category this year. I would like to congratulate Ann Aveyard on her stunning, winning image of Naples Pier in Florida. Ann took the photograph 30 minutes before sunrise and I think you will agree, it certainly deserves this award. Well done Ann!

We hope that  Ann enjoy’s the 12 Month’s complimentory membership to Creative Cloud that she won for this image. Ann, we would love to hear and see what you create with the new tools and features that are now available in Creative Cloud.




Ann Aveyard

Ann Aveyard 17.01.14


I began my career as a photographer in 2010 after a very successful career as a registered nurse in the NHS.  As a nurse I had the skills to calm, reassure and put people at their ease, – skills which are transferable and essential in my role as a photographer.  I have always loved taking photographs and when I left nursing in 2010 it was my opportunity to train as a photographer and to devote my time to developing my skills. I undertook formal training in photography at the Bournemouth Arts University and Poole College. My photography business, Ann Aveyard Photography, is mainly wedding photography and family portraiture although I also do some commercial photography.  In my spare time I particularly enjoy street photography and photographing wildlife. 

Qualifications and Awards:

I studied photography at the Arts University College, Bournemouth and at Poole and Bournemouth  College. I was awarded licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society (L.R.P.S.) in June 2012,  licentiateship of the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers (LSINWP) in Nov 2013, Associate of the International Society of Nature and Wildlife Photographers (ASINWP) in April 2014, licentiateship of the Society of wedding and portrait photographers (LSWPP) in January 2014 and I  became a qualified member of the Guild of Professional Photographers (QGPP) in August 2013.

 I have received four Gold Awards with The Societies in the wildlife, landscape and documentary categories and was awarded the Societies Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014 in January 2015.  I have also won many awards in the Guild of Photographers monthly image competition. Over the past four years I have had 13 publications in ten magazines:  Portrait Photography, Digital Photographer, Digital Photo, Photoplus Magazine, Amateur Photographer, RPS Digital magazine, The World of Wildlife, Family Traveller magazine, The ImageMaker and Governors camp game reports. I won a travel photographic competition with Imagine Travel and  one of my wildlife images was in the finals of the Telegraph Weekly Photographic Competition. .  

For more of my work visit www.ann-aveyard.co.uk 

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David Clapp at the Wildlife Life Photographer of the Year Exhibition

I recently managed a wonderful tour of the 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards, if you haven’t been yet, it’s a delight and i’d highly recommend seeing it, in my opinion some of the best and strongest wildlife photography yet. Whilst walking around, I happened to notice some work of a very talented Landscape and Travel photographer David Clapp.

David’s submission was of the Witches Hat in Iceland. The submission is called ‘Magic Mountain’ and was a finalist in the Earth Environment section of the exhibition.

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David Clapp


David Clapp is a landscape and travel photographer who never expected to be. An avid musician, he learned the creative language through guitar and sequencing software, making his transition to cameras and Photoshop seem almost second nature. Forever attempting to push the boundaries as technology unfolds, his technique and technical abilities speak for themselves through the complex work he produces. 

‘For me, photography will always be the marriage of computers and cameras. Technology and creativity has always been a constant source of fascination and my vision has always taken a rather elliptical orbit, between day / night / landscape / architecture / travel. I can’t define exactly what it is I do, so I do them all.’ 

David works closely with Canon UK and Canon Europe, representing Canon at numerous leading industry events like ‘The Outdoor Show’, ‘The Photography Show’ his public speaking and teaching skills have extended beyond workshops to video presentation. David has co-presented ‘EOS Adventure: Portrait & Landscape Photography’ and also presented tutorials for the Canon EOS 6D, sent to Patagonia, now a landscape camera that he uses extensively throughout his work.

David divides his time between business and creativity – He works for numerous magazine titles, as well as amassing a strong position in commercial architectural photography, stock photography for Getty Images and as a inspirational lecturer and workshop leader.

Somewhere in the gaps he enjoys playing the guitar and DJing.

To see more of David’s work, you can visit his website at www.davidclapp.co.uk

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#CreativeFriday – Create a simple 3D Design and 3D Print from just Photoshop and Illustrator

I’ve been working recently with more 3D Prints from Photoshop, and some ideas of a basic Photoshop 3D and 3D creation workflow. This time I wanted to show and create something super simple and explain how this can be achieved using Photoshop and Illustrator for Creative Cloud.

The idea was to make and print a 3D object which would carry a letter.  And I thought it would make an ideal gift.

The Letter is easy, with the introduction of TypeKit in all Creative Cloud plans, I can find a font that I like and make a 3D print out of it. The tricky bit was to suspend it on something interesting. Photoshop has got the Pen tool and it’s super simple to make something, however, illustrator has a more powerful and controllable engine for vector art work. So I decided that the workflow should start in Illustrator, as this would be the fastest way of working.

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Inside Illustrator I created a new canvas using File / New Canvas

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My object that I’d like to use needs to be curvy, and a spiral would be a good place to start.

Using the Spiral tool, available under the tool bar menu item marked in Red, a simple spiral can be created.

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Just by drawing it out on the canvas.

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Then, to give the spiral some shape, I applied the Variable Width Profile (marked in Green) and adjusted the size of the stroke (marked in Red).

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Then saved the Illustrator file and open it into Photoshop CC using the Place Linked Command into a new canvas. The Place linked command is new to CC, but as the ability of referencing the file as opposed to embedded it inside Photoshop. If the contents of the linked file change, then Photoshop will reflect any changes (If both applications are open, the changes will be instant, otherwise you will need to open the Photoshop file and apply any changes).

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Because the contents of the file are from a different application, Photoshop will ask which format is best. I chosen the default, ‘Page’.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 15.18.55Once the file is linked in Photoshop, the object and the transform tools will be shown. You can then scale this as you like using the handles. Once the transform has completed (if any) then the tick at the top of the page can be clicked to commit any changes.

Now inside Photoshop we can finish the design by adding a letter, as well as a way for the object to stand up once it’s printed.

First let’s add the letter.

To add a letter, the Text tool (marked Red) can be chosen and then marked up on the canvas. Once this is in place, a letter can be entered by using the keyboard, then it’s characteristics can be changed, it’s font family, weight, size, etc.

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Even after the initial letter has been entered it’s easy to change. Just select the text layer ((cmd+click directly on the object) or the layer can be selected). It’s not important at this stage to edit the text, as we are going to use the new Photoshop text preview to see which font works the best.

Let us change the font for a Typekit font.

When the Text tool is selected, other fonts are available from the drop down combo box. There are options to filter the fonts by Typekit fonts (marked in Red), as well as adding fonts from Typekit (marked Yellow). You are probably asking, what’s so great about Typekit fonts and why would it benefit me. Typekit fonts are available for all Creative Cloud subscribers, as both web fonts and desktop fonts. This means that where ever you use the font it will have the same look and feel (think about your brand, logo’s and printed artwork). It’s also especially useful if the artwork ever goes to another Creative Cloud user. Photoshop is now able to search for Typekit fonts within a document and if the font does not exist on the computer, is able to download it for you by using the Creative Cloud Desktop App. This is a great way to work especially if you are collaborating with another user.

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Filtering by Typekit fonts will make it easier to distinguish fonts from regular desktop loaded fonts. If the font that you want to use does not exist, it can be downloaded using the ‘Add fonts from Typekit’ button.

Once the button is selected, you will be taken to the Typekit service, from where you can search for fonts and preview them. Once the right font has been found, the ‘+ Use fonts’ button can be clicked.

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You can then instruct the Typekit service to sync the fonts for you

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As long as the Creative Cloud desktop Application is running and the fonts sync is turned on, the fonts will sync to your computer and be available in your desktop apps.

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Once the fonts have been synced, you can preview them in Photoshop within your artwork. However, if the font list is long you may not be able to see the artwork.

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One of my favorite features that’s now available in CC is the Overscroll option.

Turning on the Overscroll option will turn on the scroll bars (both horizontal and the vertical) on the canvas, so that the canvas can be freely moved around. This will enable the canvas to be moved into position, so you are able to see what’s happening, especially when a menu item will covers document that you wish to preview.

Now, by moving over the fonts you should be able to see the preview in real time.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 17.36.17we can move the text into position by just using the move tool (using the ‘V’ key).

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 17.44.18


In this case, the output looks ok, however, if we need to modify to change it’s position, we can. Double clicking on the Spiral layer in the Photoshop layers panel, will open the file in it’s original application, in this case Illustrator. At which point the curves can be changed, by using the handles.

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Once the file is saved, it will be updated inside Photoshop (as long as Photoshop is open). If Photoshop is closed, then it will need to be opened to make the changes.

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To Finish the base so that the object will be self supporting, we most likely just need a flat section at the base that intersects with the object itself. This can be achieved by using a thin rectangle (marked in Green), using the 2D rectangle tool (marked in Red).

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The last thing to do is to convert this 2D layer into a 3D object.

Before we convert to 3D, the best thing i’ve found, is to convert all of the required components into a Smart Object. The Smart Object will place all of the selected layers into a single object, which can be edited at any time in the future (as long as the file is saved as a PSD or a TIFF).

To do this, multi select or just select the layers that are required to be converted (notice that the background white is not included). The Illustrator file was placed into Photoshop with a transparent background, which is what we need to successfully convert this object into a 3D object. Using the menu option choose Filter, Convert for Smart Filters, this will result in a single layer, with the others layers preserved inside it.

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The result should be similar to the following (marked in Yellow).

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To convert the contents as a single entity to a 3D object, make sure the Smart Object layer is selected, and choose the menu option 3D / New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. This will convert to a 3D Object and display the 3D mode of Photoshop.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 18.30.47

There will only be a few modifications made to the object before it’s printed. The extrusion/or the depth will be reduced to be around 2cm, and the way that the letter is supported by the spiral.

The extrusion of the whole object can be altered by selecting the 3D object and pressing the ‘V’ key once. Once the second widget in the series of 3 is shown (as shown below), hover over the middle area (extrusion) with the cursor, then either using something like a Wacom pen or mouse drag up/down which will in turn will increase /reduce the extrusion amount. The actual extrusion should be shown in real time. A small heads up display window will be shown, which will show the actual depth in the unit measure that has been selected (probably cm).

The other way of altering the extrusion, is to open the properties panel once the object has been selected and the navigation widget is shown. Then modify the extrusion depth (marked in Red below).

There are a couple of ideas left that we need to consider with the object. The ‘L’ letter is floating above the spiral, and if we printed this, it would be suspended in mid air and might create a failed print (depending on what is depending on it’s location/position).

One option is to lower the ‘L’ so that it intersects with the spiral. To do this, click on the 3D object, then open the properties panel and click on the ‘Edit Source’ button.

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This will re-open the smart object layer that we converted to previously. To open it’s content double click on the Smart Object layer. At this point, all the original layers will be available and the objects can be moved into position, just using the move tool. If the original spiral needs to be modified, then the Place Linked Illustrator Smart Object can be opened and re-edited inside Illustrator. The screen shot below is showing that the letter ‘L’ can be moved down, so that it intersects with the spiral (N.B it ideally needs to intersect with something, but depending on what the design is, it may be a requirement to print them separately, which of course is possible as well).

The Other option is to create some pegs that will hold the ‘L’ object into position.

The Photoshop standard 2D shape tools are an ideal way to create this type of object. The ellipse tool or an other shape tool can be selected. In the following screen shot, an ellipse/circle is created (Red) and a new Layer is created automatically (marked Yellow).


Once the 2S shape has been crated, a 3D object can be created from it by using the menu option 3D / New extrusion from Selected Path.

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This will create a simple 3D object in the shape of a pin (marked in Red below).

To move the camera that is viewing the object the controls marked in Yellow above can be used.

This object is not in the same 3D space as the original spiral shape, it’s within it’s own 3D environment. It can be merged with the main object, by selecting the main object first, then by holding the shift key down, select the pin object (many layers can also be selected using this method).

Once all 3D layers have been selected, they can be merged into the first selected layer using the menu option 3D / Merge Selected Layers.

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The result will be one 3D layer with at least 2 objects (depending on how many where selected during the merge process). Clicking on the object will result in the navigation widget being displayed. Using this widget, the object can be rotated and moved into position. In this case will be under the L.

The fastest way of making sure this object (marked in Red below), is in the correct position, the objects rotation (X/Y and Z axis, marked in Yellow) can be changed using the object position (marked in Green) on the properties panel.

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Objects may then be moved into position using the navigation widget (marked in Red below).

To place the pin in the correct location, the widgets marked in Yellow can be used to position the camera where the objects need to intersect. This will give a much better view of the model when working with this much precision. If you need to get closer, then the Dolly Camera (far right control in the yellow marked area) can be used, in conjunction with the camera up/down (middle control in the yellow marked area).

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In the example a second pin would be ideal. A duplicate of the first pin would be ideal for this use. Within the 3D menu (available on the menu item window/3D ), all objects in the scene can be seen. In here the single pin (marked in blue) is clearly visible. Right clicking on this object will being up the context menu, from here the duplicate or instance object can be selected to create another pin object.

A second object is then created and can then be moved into position. Notice that that pins are long enough so that they intersect the area below the letter, as well as into the letter ‘L’. When this object is printed, this whole section will become a single piece and will hold together, both during the print process, as well as in the finished piece.

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Now the objects have been secured together, it’s time to print it.

In this example below a simple FDM style plastic printer with a single extrusion head will be used.

To access the 3D print menu, open the menu item 3D / 3D Print Settings. The print options will be show (marked in Red). There are many printers available, either local printers, or printers provided by 3D Print services.

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Once the printer and resolution has been selected, the print button can be pressed (marked Yellow). The only issue that may occur and stop the next part of the process, is when the object is larger than the print bed, in this case it will need to be resized. If this is the case, the button ‘Scale to Print Volume’ can be selected, which will reduce the print to be the maximum size of the print bed. Or the model can be reduced manually by using the white square in the middle of the navigation widget from the main 3D view.

The Photoshop 3D print pipeline will be run and the print engine will look at fixing the model for any errors, create a single printable shell and make sure that the model is supported using scaffolding when required. This fixing, repair and scaffolding will be generated specifically to the printer that has been selected. As opposed to a generic fix and scaffolding process.

N.B. This unique process ensures that Photoshop will always create the correct model geometry to ensure a printable object.

Once the mesh fixing and scaffolding has been created (if required). The object and it’s scaffolding will be shown in the preview window.

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Marked in Red above, there are preview options. These options are to  display the mesh only, show the repairs (which are colour coded to the right hand side of these options). Or to show a Raytrace Preview. The Raytrace preview will attempt to show the resolution or the printer, so for example, you are able to what a 100micron print looks like compared to a 50micron print for example.

In this case, the chosen orientation of the model is not best way to print it. Printing this way will print the supports which takes up time and material that may not be needed. A better way is to print the model on it’s side, against the bed. This way, no scaffolding will be required because the object is self supporting.

To go back to the model and re-orientate it, just click cancel and click on the object.

To select all parts that need moving (including the pins, object and base), the 3D menu is used and all components are selected (marked in Red). The properties of the model (marked Green) can be modified, this change will have an impact on all selected components (marked Orange). In this example the X axis has been rotated by 90 degrees. The object can be manually moved into position using the navigation widget, direct on the model if required.

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Now when the 3D print pipeline is selected, the model is fixed and no supports are created because the model is self supporting, even when using a FDM printer. Having no supports will also allow the materials to be used more efficiently, with less waste, and the model will print much faster.

In the following example the object can be clearly seen on the print bed.

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Once the print pipeline has completed, the object and how it will be printed will be shown Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 00.58.31

The actual output on the print bed

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Final piece

I hope this piece is useful and shows what can be achieved extremely quickly using Photoshop CC as a 3D creation tool, then using it’s powerful 3D print engine to print a highly effective object. Please get in touch by leaving a comment if there is something that you would like to see more about in the world of 3D printing with Photoshop CC.




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Adobe Seminar Room at The Photography Show 2015

We are pleased and excited to announce that the Adobe Seminar room will be returning to The Photography show this year. We have been working hard to make sure that there is something for all photographers who will be attending the show, as well as new topics and innovation that exist inside the Creative Cloud Photography plan, that we feel is exciting and would like to share with you. This year we will have one large seminar room at the event with each talk lasting for about 40 minutes, the schedules for each day are laid out below. Below the schedules you will find a more detailed description of each talk so you are able to make sure it’s the right talk for you, and to give you an insight into what you can expect from the talk and what you will take away.

Adobe would also like to offer you a discount code for the event, just enter ADOBETPS15 on the Photography show website. This reduces a pre-show booked adult ticket price from £13.95 to £10.95.

We are very much looking forward to speaking with you at the show.

Saturday 21st March

 Sunday 22nd March

 Monday 23rd March

 Tuesday 24th March


Detailed descriptions of each session


TPS 2015 Descriptions


Who’s speaking?

David Mallows



David Mallows has over 20 years combined photographic industry experience in both hardware and software, coupled with first hand knowledge of the day to day practicalities of running his own commercial photography business. He has been a freelance presenter for Adobe Systems UK for the last 8 years, regularly presenting and delivering training at major UK photographic trade events.

Since 2007 David has photographed many of the biggest stars of the music industry as an official photographer for The Brit Awards, The Classic Brit’s, The Mercury Prize and the Music Industry trust Awards.

Gavin Hoey

Gavin Hoey - COLOUR


Gavin Hoey is a freelance photographer, writer and trainer of all things photographic. His easy to understand photo techniques combined with endless enthusiasm means you can find his work in books, magazines and across the web. Gavin is driven by a passion for sharing his photography and Photoshop knowledge.

In 2008 he started recording and uploading photo tutorials to YouTube, then in 2010 he was the winner of Adobe’s Next Photoshop Evangelist competition. Gavin is currently a regular presenter for Adorama TV where his mixture of camera tips and Photoshop tricks has proved a huge hit.

Eric Renno (AKA Tip Squirrel)


As the founder of TipSquirrel.com and producing video and written photoshop tutorials for magazines and online titles, Eric enjoys sharing his love of Photoshop, computing and mobile photography. When not writing Eric can be found addressing camera clubs and teaching at his local media college.

Richard Curtis


Richard is a Principal Solutions Consultant at Adobe with a focus on Digital Imaging. Richard is the UK contact for Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements and Imaging workflows around the Creative Cloud. Richard is also the primary contact for Adobe in the UK and EMEA for 3D and 3D Printing with Photoshop  He is a keen technologist and a photographer for over 20 years, with a focus on travel and portrait photography.

Tony Harmer


Adobe Senior Solutions Consultant for Design products, Tony Harmer takes care of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign with a specialism in interoperability and workflows. Tony has worked in the creative industry for over 30 years on a range of design, illustration and web/screen projects. An Adobe Certified Expert and Instructor in several products (holding more than 160 certifications and one of only a small number to achieve status as a Creative Suite Master) Tony has delivered training all over the UK and Europe, as well as being a contributing writer to Computer Arts, various blogs and a Lynda.com author.

Tony has presented on both sides of the Atlantic for Adobe and as a guest speaker at industry events—one of his presentations was key in helping to influence the decision to integrate forms into InDesign—and he delivers on a range of subjects including Illustrator, Photoshop  and Creative Cloud topics. 

Richard West

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Richard’s career has spanned more than 20 years in the photographic, print and design markets. Originally working in a technical support role for what is today one of Kodak’s subsidiaries in the graphic arts market, he went on to spend almost ten years working in Business Development for Apple where he helped in the launch and roll-out of many products including Apple’s photographic offerings.

Further to this Richard ran Nik Software in the UK taking the company’s professional plugin products and Smart Device App, Snapseed, to market culminating in Nik’s purchase by Google.
Now Richard heads up Datacolor in the UK introducing professionals and hobbyists alike to Colour Management.

Richard has trained and presented to many of the largest professional publishing and broadcasting companies worldwide (including Publicis, Bauer, the BBC and Sky). He has a particular passion for promoting and encouraging creative skills in the classrooms of colleges and universities across Europe. During his time at Apple he played an instigatory role in their ‘Young Creative’ initiative, a program devised to help budding digital artists be inspired to enter today’s diverse world of media

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#CreativeFriday – Choosing Which Creative Cloud Shared Folders to Desktop Sync

A powerful features of the creative cloud, is to synchronise content from your desktop directly to the Creative Cloud and visa versa. This also means you are able to share this synchronised content with others, for collaboration or for sharing. This feature is available in the Creative Cloud Desktop version Version (October 2014), and the File Sync must be turned on in the properties panel of the Creative Cloud Desktop App.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 17.49.04The initial synchronise is easy to set up. When you install the Creative Cloud Desktop App a folder called ‘Creative Cloud Files’ is created, and most likely will appear in your Windows explorer window (Windows) or on the side bar on the Mac (as shown below).

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This folder will automatically be synchronised by the Creative Cloud Desktop App to your online Creative Cloud account. You can get access to the desktop folders or the web view direct from the Creative Cloud Desktop Application as shown below.

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You can also see the folder on the web view.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 16.44.11Once content is placed in the desktop folder or in the web view folder, the content will be synced in both ways. The screen shot below shows the content placed into the desktop folder.

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On the Creative Cloud view you will see the same image (once the sync has completed)

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From the desktop or the web view, the folder can be shared with another user, by right clicking on the synced folder.

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Or from the web view using the collaboration option

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The desktop view will take you to the web view and open the collaborate with users window

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At this point the folder can be shared with other users that have an Adobe ID, also, other users can share with you as well.

When the folders are shared, the invited user(s) will receive a notification to let them know that they have been invited. Once they accept the invitation the new folder will appear in their Creative Cloud folder, both on the web, and if the Creative Cloud Desktop App is running, to the desktop as well.

Sometimes, the invited user, or if you have been invited, may not want to have everything synchronised as this will take up additional local storage.

A feature has been added which allows you or the invited user to control which folders are synced to the local desktop folder (N.B. Creative Cloud Desktop app must be running)

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The way to find the option is by navigating to the root folder of the ‘Creative Cloud Files’ folder. In the case above it’s at the user account level. Once you can see the ‘Creative Cloud Files folder’, a right click will show the context window, which will then show ‘Select Shared Folders to Sync’.

To stop the sync, remove the desktop folder and it’s contents, but to leave the content available for future use on the web. The folder can be un-ticked.

As long as the Creative Cloud Desktop App is running, it will start to work, remove the files and folder, then inform you using the notifications.

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This is a great way to take control over which folders and content will be sync to your desktop so as to aid file organisation. When the shared folder and or it’s content is required, it can be just be turned on again.

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Once the Creative Cloud Desktop App has finished it’s work, the folder and it’s contents will be added to your local desktop Creative Cloud folder.


The original blog is available here .

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Food Photographer of the year 2015..calling for your photos


Hi Folks, the end date for submitting entires to the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the year 2015 is almost here. It’s your last chance to have your Food Photography judged by Michel Roux Jnr.

Why not use or try the Creative Cloud Photography plan?

It’s an ideal opportunity to put the Creative Cloud Photography plan to work and make your photographs look incredible. If you are not currently subscribed to the Creative Cloud Photography plan, then it’s a good time to try and also enter this great competition. Subscribing to the Creative Cloud plan is easy, just follow this link, If you are not sure about subscribing, then you can try both Lightroom and Photoshop by following the links at the bottom of the associated pages. There are some quick and easy ways to get started with these programs. My Lightroom essentials workflow playlist is on Youtube, as well as the Adobe Photoshop YouTube  and Lightroom YouTube channels.

The closing date for entries is 8th February, so it’s time to get snapping for Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2015, a thrilling celebration of all that is special and significant about food photography.

The competition is open to everyone, professionals and amateurs, young to old, across the world, with a prize of £5000 for the overall winner. As a finalist you will also receive an invitation to attend the exclusive VIP awards ceremony in London in May 2015.

The awards cover fourteen categories, ranging from Food in Action, Food in the Field, Food for Sale and Food Portraiture, also three sub- categories for the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year, a documentary and non-documentary category for the unearthed® Food in Film award and of course our three young categories.

New judges for 2015 include, Anglo-French culinary legend Michel Roux Jr, Emily Luchetti, Chair of the James Beard Foundation, USA, and George Motz, Founder and Director, Food Film Festival NYC, who are joining luminaries such as Jay Rayner, Chair, (The Guardian, Observer, BBC’s The One Show), Sanjeev Kapoor, India’s culinary superstar and Chris Beetles, of Beetles & Huxley, one of the world’s leading galleries specialising in photography.


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The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers annual convention update.

The weekend just gone saw the return of the Societies (SWPP) annual convention held at the London Hilton Edgware road Hotel. It was a another well attended and informative event with some amazing photography, as well as winners for the annual awards.

Adobe sponsored some of the awards, one of which was the Overall 3rd place, which was won by Trev Wilson. We would like to congratulation Trev on this award and pay tribute to his amazing photograph of this Kingfisher.



Trev Wilson

I started photographing Wildlife purely as a hobby about 10 years ago then accidentally fell into equestrian events and set up quite a successful company covering events all over the North West as a result of this I was asked if Id shoot a couple of weddings and the lure of being fed, getting paid more and actually socialising whilst I worked got me hooked.  So no more standing in the rain for 12 hours shooting horses.  Since then Ive mentored by Damian Mcgillicuddy  for 4 years and run a successful portrait studio in Wallasey Merseyside.  The people side of my photography is pretty much self generating now so 18 months ago I decided to go back to where it started for me and shoot wildlife for me again.  Ambitions / future Id love to spend extended time photographing African wildlife and phase out the weddings & people completely. 

You can see more of Trev Wilson’s work at his website here.

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