#CreativeFriday – Moving 3D Objects, Cameras and Rendering in Photoshop CC

I was asked a while ago to create an article on how to move 3D objects and cameras around in Photoshop CC and, in general how to work with the 3D scene. Having an ability to moving objects around a scene is the basic building blocks of putting something interesting in 3D in Photoshop CC together. Knowledge of this will smooth out the 3D Photoshop experience.

The exercise and objective of this post is to take two individual objects, place them both into one scene and align them against each other, by using just Photoshop’s move and camera tools. The final part of the exercise will be to light the scene using Image Based Lights (IBL’s).

Importing 3D objects into Photoshop CC is straight forward, you can either open then as you would regular file, the 3D file formats that Photoshop CC supports are :-

OBJ, STL, PLY, 3D PDF, VRML, Flash 3D, Collada (DAE), IGES. The Collada, (STL and OBJ are the most common in this arena), Collada is a wonderful format, which is highly flexible and was designed to be an interchange format between 3D applications. Collada, also has the ability to contain animation of the models, which can also be processed and leveraged in Photoshop CC.

3D Objects will be imported into separate canvases and will at some point need to be merged into a single scene, if  the objects need to interact and occupy the same space.

In the following screen shot, you can see there are two canvas, each with a 3D Object. 3D Objects are represented in the Layers panel as a special 3D layer. This 3D layer also contains references to any materials and other specific 3D obejcts that are associated with the scene (i.e below you can see the diffuse/texure map, as well as the Image Based Light (IBL)).

When a 3D object has been selected (by using the regular Photoshop Move tool, accessed by using the ‘V’ key), the ground plane will become visible (if not already). Also, any lights (white circle on the lower part of the interface) will become accessible. The Photoshop CC 3D environment also has the option to have the secondary orthographic view available (window in top left below), we will discuss this in more detail later, but essentially it’s useful when lining items up in the scene.

Moving the camera

There are two ways to move the camera(s) in Photoshop CC. The original 3D move tools are highlighted in yellow below and the new CC tools are highlighted in red. You may ask, what’s the difference? The yellow tools are only available when the Photoshop move tool is selected, while the red tools are available when in the move tool or in the brush tool. This enhancement was made so that the cameras could be moved when you are painting directly on the model and wish to move to another area, or zoom in/out of the model.

Both sets of tools are equal :-

  • Dolly – This moves the camera toward or away from the object
  • Orbit – This moves the camera around the object
  • Pan – This moves the camera above, below and to either side of the object

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To get another 3D layer into a single canvas, you can either drag and drop it in from another canvas (the same as in 2D), or use the 3D menu 3D / New 3D Layer from File.

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Once the objects exist in the same canvas, you will need to merge them into the same scene to allow them to interact with each other.

Combining objects into a single scene

When multiple objects are brought into a Photoshop canvas, they will be on separate layers. To merge them together,  select the destination scene, then select the source scene and choose from the 3D menu / Merge 3D Layers.

N.B. How to choose the destination 3D scene.

This is an important consideration. When you are merging 3D layers you need to be conscious of any environment configurations (Lights, IBL setup etc). You should always select a single destination which contains your desired lighting setup and merge into this one. As Photoshop will preserve the lights in the destination and when merging, will only move the object from the source.

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In the following example, two layers have been selected (the rocket scene being the destination that contains the lighting will be set up). Then the menu option 3D / Merge 3D Layers is selected.

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Once the merge has completed, the two objects (marked yellow and red below) will be in the same scene, any materials will be available in the layers panel (as shown below).

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Once the objects are merged, they can interact with each other. Each item is also independently selectable as well as they are jointly selectable with other objects (for moving or rotation as a group etc).

Whilst the move tool is selected, a click on the object(s), this in turn will select the cage and will activate the 3D navigation widget. At this point, the object(s) can be :-

  • Moved – At the end of each axis on the widget an arrow is available that will move the object in direction (as well as the opposite) direction.
  • Rotated – The second feature (from each axis end) is the rotation tool, this will rotate the object along the axis.
  • Scaled – The third feature will scale the object along the desired axis
  • Scaled Uniformly – The centre point of the widget, will uniformly scale the object to be smaller or larger.

 

Move – The example below shows the Move point of the widget.

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Rotation – The example below shows the rotation point of the widget.

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You might notice the yellow points on the cage, these points allow interaction, supporting movement and rotation of the cage. Also, by selecting the cage, the properties of the object will allow direct input of new positions of the object (marked in red).

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Lights

The scene lights are accessible using the light object (marked in red). Once selected, the light widget will appear (marked in Yellow). This widget allows the light source (in this case the infinite light) to be moved, along with any shadows that might be created on the ground plane. The Light properties (marked in green), show which parts of the light can be modified (including, colour of the light, intensity, as well as and shadow presence and softness required).

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The colour of the light can be changed, and a new colour selected from the colour picker. By clicking on the area marked in red below (any lighting modification will only affect the render and not the final colour print, to alter the colour prints, the materials will need to be changed, this will be covered in a separate blog post).

3D Panel 

The 3D menu is available from the Photoshop menu bar (Window / 3D ). This menu will show the structure for the scene (marked in red below) :-

  • Environment
  • Scene
  • Current View
  • Default Camera
  • Model(s) (There will one of these for each model in the scene)
    • Material(s)

Individual or multiple Object(s) can be selected from the 3D menu (using a single click or CTRL+Click on multiple objects), this action, will in turn will select the physical object(s).

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(Screenshot showing the 2nd object selected by using the 3D menu.)

Moving and aligning objects 

Successfully lining objects to other objects in the scene works best when you have more than one view of the scene. The secondary view (marked in purple below) certainly helps with this task. The secondary view (if not already enabled), is available on the regular Photoshop menu View / Show / Secondary view, and is only available when the 3D layer is selected. This view will show an orthographic view of the model(s) and helps the moving/aligning process.

Using the arrows that are available on each axis of the Move tool widget (marked in Purple), allows the object to be moved into position (you may also need to scale, uniform scale or rotation to get the objects into the correct position). Moving the object in the main window, will also move the object in the secondary view as well, therefore aiding the lining up process.

Creating Other 3D Extrusions from 2D Objects

In this example, I would like to have the logo attached to the Rocket. But there is some existing geometry which I cannot remove in Photoshop. I would need to open a 3D application to remove the polygons manually. In this example, a shape will be extruded which will be used to cover the existing geometry. This process is being used to show the extrusion of a shape, rather than show how to correctly replace polygons/geometry. If i was in a production environment, I would open in 3D software and remove the polygons manually. A quick way to fix this issue, is to place a blank area over original polygons and hide them. This can be achieved by extruding a simple ellipse shape from the shapes menu.

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Once the ellipse has been created, it can be extruded into a 3D shape, as shown below.

This shape can then be merged (the same as before, by selecting the relevant layers in the correct order, then moving into place, intersecting the place on the 3D object where the logo needs to be placed).

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Switching views

Within the secondary view, it’s possible to change the orthographic view. The menu for this is available from the down arrow icon on the secondary view (marked in green below).

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Once the new view has been selected on the secondary view, it can then be switched to the main view by clicking on the switch arrow (marked yellow below). Sometimes, it can be simpler to work in orthographic view in the main window, especially when moving and aligning objects.

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The following screen shows when the objects are aligned.

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Once the object has been aligned, it may need to have it’s material changed. In this case i would like it to stand proud of the rest of the model.

The example below shows how a simple material (shipped with Photoshop) can be applied to a model(s). The material element is available on the 3D menu (marked in Red, there may be more materials depending on the complexity and number of surfaces of the object selected). The shipped materials (marked in purple) are available from the materials selector, within the same marked area. Selecting a new material here, will update the object in the main scene window as well as the secondary view.

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Once the objects are in position, we can finish the lighting of the object

Image Based Lights – IBL

Image Based Lights (IBL’s) are extremely powerful and will allow the Photoshop rendering to look amazing. IBL’s will give a natural lighting effect to the scene and are based on a simple black and white mask, but can get more complex when required.

Accessing the IBL is available from the Environment tab of the 3D menu (marked red). Within the properties (marked yellow) the IBL textures can be replaced or removed etc.

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The IBL is a simple 2D texture that will control how ambient light will hit the model in the scene. You can create your own, or download the two setup’s from the photoshop.com web site (under IBL’s here, and navigate to ‘Stages and Sets’). For this example i’m going to use a simple one, which will give the model a realistic look and feel.

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Once loaded into the scene, the IBL can be moved and controlled. The IBL and it’s properties can be accessed on the Environment tab in the 3D menu. Once selected, the IBL can be rotated into the best position by dragging the ball marked in Yellow. The ball shows the orientation of the mask and how the light source will be transmitted into the scene.

The IBL environment properties can be found in the standard properties panel (marked in Blue). Here you can manage the colour and intensity, as well as shadows and other ground plane parameters.

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The next step in this example is to create a background with a gradient (marked in red), then it’s positioned using the transform tool (CTRL+T).

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Rendering

The rendering of the scene can be done by clicking the rendering button within the properties panel (marked in red below, there are many different places to render the scene).

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Saving 3D models as .PSD or .TIFF.

The last stage is to save the object and it’s layers to either a TIFF or PSD file.

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We hope that from this post you are able to successfully navigate around the 3D scene and use the Photoshop CC navigation tools to make your objects interact and start some basic 3D modelling.

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Mike Scrutton of Adobe talks about 3D Printing and Colour from within Photoshop CC

As Microsoft, HP, Autodesk, netfabb & Shapeways launch the new 3MF file format, TCT interviews Mcor Technologies, Shapeways, Spectrom, Adobe and Faberdashery posing the question; does full colour 3D printing need a new file format?

Mike Scrutton of Adobe talks about 3D Printing and Colour from within Photoshop CC in this podcast. The section about the Adobe colour workflow is from 13.30 to 29.22.

 

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#CreativeFriday – Inline Mask creation in Photoshop CC

One of the most common tasks in Photoshop is creating a mask on a layer.  There are many ways to do this. However, I was speaking to a customer this week, and it reminded me of a great way to create a mask and also see what’s happening to the underlying layers.

This feature can be very handy to see exactly what areas of the mask are being concealed or revealed.

To do this, the ‘\’ key can be pressed when the mask itself has been created and selected. The ‘\\ key will show the mask ruby-lith as well as the underlying image, allowing you to see what’s happening to the mask as it’s being applied (This shortcut is also handy when you need to see varying levels of opaqueness in the mask).

The objective of this example in this blog will show how the mask can be created to reveal the underlying layer, and also use opacity to control the cut away sections. The mask combined with opacity will be used to control how much of the underlying layer will be shown through.

The example below includes a black to transparent gradient on the background, and a white layer above it. The numbers above the white background are the levels of opaqueness  that will be used for the mask. Essentially, to revel the layer/contents underneath the white layer, a mask will need applying to it and parts of it cut away with a black brush.

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Without the mask overlay

When the mask of the layer is selected and a black brush stroke is applied (notice the foreground colour below), the contents under the white layer will be revealed (each brush stroke will also have opacity amount applied (the blue number on the left), which will control how much will be revealed from the underlying layer. If a Wacom tablet/pen is used in combination with the mask, the pressure sensitivity on the nib will control the opacity of the mask reveal).

When areas of the mask are modified and the underlying contents are revealed, it can be difficult to see what’s been removed and what hasn’t. This can be tricky when working with and creating a complex mask.Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 14.27.36To see what is happening with the mask in isolation, the ALT key and a click on the mask, will show the mask in isolation (as shown below).

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With the mask overlay

However, it would be handy to see the reveal and the mask at the same time . To be able to see the mask that is being created inline with the underlying layers, select the mask, then press the ‘\’ (back slash key) on the keyboard. Now when the mask is painted on using the brush, the mask will be seen along with the pixels it is revealing / concealing (the pink area below).

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Once all masks have been painted (as below) the areas can easily be seen, including any feathering that has been applied and used.

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You can see below in a practical example below, that when the mask is shown and the layers below are revealed at the same time. A potentially better mask with more control can be achieved.

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#CreativeFriday- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – Tips and Tricks with Richard West and Richard Curtis

Webinar – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – Tips and Tricks – with Richard West & Richard Curtis

This webinar will look at the Photographic editing in Lightroom 4,5 and 6, as well as some other elements of the Creative Cloud Photography Plan.

The two speakers for this event will be Richard West of Datacolor and Richard Curtis of Adobe.

Richard Curtis
Richard is a Principal Solutions Consultant at Adobe and is focused on the Digital Imaging Solutions in the UK (Lightroom and Photoshop). Richard is also a Photographer with an interest on street, travel and landscape photography, and has been making images for over 20 years.

Richard West
Richard West was the Business Development Manager for the Photo Markets at Apple for 10 years. Richard then joined Nik Software in the UK and was responsible for the growth of their suite of Lightroom and Photoshop plug-in tools. Richard is now runs Datacolor in the UK and will cover off how Datacolor’s products integrate into the Adobe workflow.

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#CreativeFriday – Getting in Sync with Lightroom

I once had a conversation with a highly successful Photographer about what he thought made a collection of photographs more compelling and his response was consistency. There are many things that we can use to get consistency, for example, one could be the framing style, the other mounting or even aspect ratio. For my stories I prefer to employ a look and feel consistency, so I look to use colour tones that are similar to each other. This can be easily achieved using the Lightroom Development module, but some times, it’s an older look that I would like to achieve.

For me, I love the old film types, like Fuji, Kodak or Ilford, for both colour and black and white work. To get a desired look and feel, a preset’s can work very well. The folks at VSCO have spent lots of time to create an amazing set of old film type/vintage styles that can be used on your digital files, the complete set are not free, but well worth exploring in my opinion.

Let us take this series of images on a walk that I took whilst in Japan. The first image is a village scene and is quite dark, but i’m going to adjust the exposure, correct any lens correction, then apply the look and feel preset.

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These quick changes will show what the image is capable of.

Now that a base look and feel has been applied, any of the local adjustments can be applied. i.e. If may be that you would like to recover highlights, shadows or just set the white, black or the clarity, it’s up to you to add your own character.

To have these settings as well as any adjustments automatically SYNCED to the other images, first select the image that is the reference, then use the CMD key (to select individual ones) or the SHIFT key and click on the last desired image to select a range of images (the images in the film strip or the grid view, will show the images that have been marked for selection). Once the images have been selected, then the SYNC button (Marked in Red) will appear and can be pressed to apply the same settings to the other images.

Before the settings are SYNCED, the following menu will be displayed which will allow you to configure which development settings are copied to the other images. You will need to experiment which ones are copies accross, but essentially all settings to an individual one can be copied.

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Once the settings have been copied, then each image can be tweaked. I.e. on the image below, the original crop has been modified in line with the original aspect ratio.

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This one also has an additional crop applied to it.

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Again another crop.

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I am happy with the settings that have been applied from one image to the other and only a little cropping was required. This approach saves me a lot of time to come up with a look for the images, but also the SYNC and small adjustments for each image allows me to process all images with a consistent look and feel in super quick time.

The folks over at VSCO have a special trial edition of the film pack available, with inbuilt presets for two vintage films, that have been tailored for a selection of cameras, these are variations on Kodak Gold and Kodak Tri-X.

Of course the SYNC settings does not only apply to these types of presets, but also for your own that you have created/saved, or any development settings that you have created within the development module.

 

 

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You can learn more about this set and have a play with them as well as the variations by clicking on the following link. Also, there is a help page dedicated to answer any questions that you may have, here.

I hope you have fun with this workflow.

 

 

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Adobe – Creative Cloud Photography update

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Within the Creative Cloud Photography update, there are many components for the Photographer that have been updated, including Lightroom. This blog post will outline the majority of new features, and will be followed up with deep dives on specific items at a future date.
Lightroom has got some great new updates that include inbuilt HDR and Panoramic stitching, but also the ability to create HDR Panoramic’s. There are also great new ways to publish your work and create engaging stories, by integrating your Lightroom Mobile catalog with Adobe Slate and Adobe Voice.
Adobe Slate and Adobe Voice have been designed to enable you to create your stories on the go. Adobe Slate integrates directly into Lightroom web or from the mobile apps on your mobile device. On your mobile devices, both apps link with your Lightroom mobile collections and Creative Cloud folders and assets.
64 Bit Support
Lightroom now has a minimum requirement of 64bit Operating systems for both Windows and Mac.
GPU Suport
Lightroom is now able to utilise the power of the Graphics processor (GPU) within the development module. This not only means that images will load much faster, but Lightroom will be much quicker when editing in development process. This support will enable newer computers, as well as older computers to get a performance boost ,(higher resolution (4K and 5K screens) will notice an improvement in performance as well)
HDR
Working with the community we have heard that Photographers are using HDR techniques more and more, but there is a requirement for a more integrated solution. Lightroom now supports HDR as a dedicated feature, and on output creates a new 32 bit RAW DNG file, supporting over 30stops of tonal range. This means that now for the first time ever you can use HDR created images in RAW space and all of the Lightroom Development sliders will be able to work on this data. Also, the DNG HDR file will be created in the background, so you are able to carry on working whilst it is being created.
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Panoramic’s
The ability to create Panoramic’s is another feature that Photographers like to create. Similar to the HDR feature, the Creative Cloud Photography update includes creation of DNG RAW Panoramic’s. During the creation process Lightroom keeps all of the lens and camera meta data information from all the images (so things like Lightroom Upright as well as Photoshop’s adaptive wide angle technology can play well with the output and correct any distortion).
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Adobe DNG RAW Support for Google devices
Adobe has been working with Google and as of the Lollipop Android update, will now support the Adobe DNG (Open Raw format). This essentially means that a mobile first RAW file workflow is here, enabling photographers to capture RAW data from within the Phone or tablet device and take full usage of the RAW data directly within Lightroom.
Is this the first time you have heard of the DNG format ? If so, what is it?
The DNG open RAW format was introduced by Adobe to offer a publicly documented version of the RAW format, as opposed to a closed propriety format (like CR2, NEF, OLY or RAF etc). The format is in use today, and companies like Leica, Pentax as well as others) and now Google have adopted this as a native camera format. The benefits for the photographer are significant. Both Lightroom and Camera RAW support DNG out of the box. This means that a DNG files can be opened with Lightroom (both current and past) without having to convert them. This means that if a camera manufacturer supports the DNG format (like Leica, etc), Lightroom will be able to open the RAW file without the need to wait for updates to Lightroom for for Adobe to support the file format. 
Converting a propriety RAW format to DNG. 
Some photographers have adopted the DNG format was part of their workflow. As already explained above, Lightroom can import DNG formats, it can also export DNG formats (which can also embed the original RAW file), but also Adobe provides the Adobe DNG format convertor (which is a free download for Windows and Mac) and is able to convert supported propriety files to the DNG format. 
 
HDR Panoramic’s
One of my favourite features in this update, is the ability to created RAW HDR files and then create Panoramic’s from them. For the first time ever, you can now create a Panoramic’s based on HDR Raw DNG files direct within Lightroom. To explain how this works, let’s look at the following example.
In the example below, the pictures were taken with a 1 stop bracket exposure. This means that the far left picture is one stop under the meter reading in the camera, the next is the metered reading and the third is one stop over the meter reading. The last image is a Lightroom HDR blend of the first three.
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This step is performed for the next 4 set of exposure brackets and will create 4 HDR images that are reading for turning into a panoramic.
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A total of 5 HDR images are now ready for turning into the panoramic. By Selecting the HDR images and choosing to create Panoramic will present the Panoramic screen and output the combined file.
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This DNG RAW panoramic is over 8500 pixels on the long edge. Having the Development module utilising the Graphics Processor, means that Lightroom won’t hang about when the image is zoomed into or worked on.
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Filter Brush
One area that Photographers have been enjoying is the new Filter Brush which was included in Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw as part of the Creative Cloud updates. This is a highly useful feature is now available in Lightroom and enables filters such as the Gradient filter and Radial filter to have areas of the mask refined to suit the image in hand.
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Face Recognition
This update to Lightroom also includes the highly anticipated Face Recognition, and the ability to easily and efficiently recognise and tag faces within your catalog. As Lightroom has got some amazing performance improvements to the Development module, the new performance isn’t inhibited by this feature. Face Recognition has been implemented in a way that once turned on will work in the background and while the computer is idle.
Face recognition is enabled in the Lightroom catalog settings
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, when this is turned on, it will allow Lightroom to search in different ways :-
  • When images are imported into Lightroom, they will be automatically indexed into the People database.
  • When Lightroom is parked in the library grid mode, faces through your whole catalog will be indexed
  • When Lightroom is within the People module for a folder, faces will be index within this folder
Once indexing has been performed, the faces for both unnamed and named will appear in the People mode.
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Slide Show
Slide has received the ability to include multiple music tracks (up to 10) into the slide show, but also the ability to dynamically tune the slideshow to the speed of the music.
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Touch
Adobe is always innovating and supporting technology which creative people enjoy using. This release of Lightroom supports Windows touch devices and now supports the Wacom Companion as well as the Microsoft surface touch mode. Lightroom’s touch interface is available just above the film strip at the bottom of the screen to the far left hand side. Changing to the Lightroom touch interface will allow you to work more intuitively on these devices. You can now work on the majority of the Development features all within the Lightroom regular interface, or move Lightroom into the new touch interface.
 
Lightroom mobile on Android Tablet
Lightroom mobile has been available on the Creative Cloud for quite a while now and unlike Lightroom for the desktop has seen a variety of updates being delivered thought out the year, via the Creative Cloud. Lightroom for Android phones can out a short while ago, and now as of this update for Creative Cloud users, now supports Android Tablet.
Adobe Slate
Adobe Slate is a new type of App for the iPad which allows any Creative Cloud user to make visual stories quickly. Adobe Slate has integration to Lightroom mobile collections, as well as your assets on the Creative Cloud storage space.
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To see the Adobe Slate project, please click on the following image.
Fire balloon festival
 
Adobe Voice
Adobe Voice is an app that enables you to make a visual animated video. Adobe voice also has links to your Lightroom mobile catalog, as well as the Creative Cloud storage area.
Pet Eye
If you have animals and are taking photos of them with a flash, then you are probably experiencing the pet red eye, which cannot be easily removed using the standard human read eye reduction. This version of Lightroom now brings the Photoshop Elements Pet Eye removal feature into the fold.
 
Import Directly into Collections (Including tethering)
 
Throughout my travels, I see Photographers using Collections in many different ways. This might be to just automatically organise their images based on metadata or Keywords from the camera using Smart Collections. For example, I know photographers that will use a Smart collection to help with their star rankings (i.e. One star is ok, Two stars are good (good B roll supporting imagery for a story perhaps), and Three for outstanding ‘A’ class work).
Photographers have also been using simple collections to manually organise their images, possible into a Blurb book (images in a collection can be manually re-ordered), unlike in a standard folder. Or maybe using a collection as a Target collection, and adding selected images into using the ‘B’ key.
Collections are also at the heart of Lightroom mobile. Once a Lightroom catalog has been enabled for sync with Lightroom mobile, a collection can be marked for sync. This essentially means that images inside this collection will be synced to Lightroom on the Web as well as into Lightroom on the mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android Phone and now Android tablet). Lightroom collections are a great way to collaborate on your images with other photographers, or with your clients for feedback and review.
Now with this update to Lightroom, adding to collections in different ways has been added :-
  • Import direct into a Collection
  • Tether into a collection
 
 
Lightroom for mobile
GPS Support into Desktop
When images are imported from a Lightroom Mobile catalog taken with the device, images with GPS data are brought across for reference in Lightroom on the desktop and representation on the map.
 
 
 
CMYK Soft proofing support
Lightroom soft proofing under the Development mode now has the ability to soft proof for CMYK profiles. These profiles are also available in the printer ICC profile configuration under the Print module.
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Profile selector
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New MetaData filtering options?
There is now the option to set up a custom order as well as sort by last reviewed comments on Lightroom mobile enabled collections on this dialog on
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New Camera and Lens support

All the new camera support that’s been added for Lightroom 6.0 so far :-

  • Canon EOS 5DS
  • Canon EOS 5DS R
  • Canon EOS 750D (Rebel T6i, Kiss X8i)
  • Canon EOS 760D (Rebel T6s, Kiss 8000D)
  • Canon EOS M3
  • Casio EX-­‐ZR3500
  • Fujifilm X-­‐A2
  • Fujifilm XQ2
  • Hasselblad Stellar II
  • Nikon D5500
  • Nikon D7200
  • Olympus OM-­‐D E-­‐M5 II
  • Olympus Stylus SH-­‐2
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-­‐GF7
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-­‐ZS50 (DMC-­‐TZ70, DMC-­‐TZ71)

Lens Correction Support

All the new lens correction profiles that have been added for Lightroom 6.0 so far:

  • Canon EF
  • Canon EF 24-­‐85mm f3.5-­‐4.5 USM
  • Canon EF 100-­‐400mm f/4.5-­‐5.6L IS II USM
  • TAMRON SP 15-­‐30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD A012E
  • Canon EF 8-­‐15mm f/4L Fisheye USM
  • Canon EF 11-­‐24mm f/4L USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro
  • Lomography Petzval 85mm f/2.2
  • SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM A015
  • Venus Optics 60mm f2.8 2X Ultra-­‐Macro Lens   

DJI

  • DJI Inspire 1FC350

Leica

  • Voigtlander LTM 28mm f/1.9 Ultron Aspherical
  • Voigtlander LTM 28mm f/3.5 Color Skopar
  • Voigtlander LTM 35mm f/1.7 Ultron Aspherical
  • Voigtlander LTM 50mm f/2 Heliar
  • Voigtlander LTM 50mm f/2.5 Color Skopar
  • Voigtlander LTM 50mm f/3.5 Heliar
  • Voigtlander LTM 75mm f/2.5 Color Heliar o Voigtlander LTM 90mm f/3.5 APO Lanthar o Voigtlander VM 40mm f/2.8 Heliar

MFT

  • Voigtlander MFT 17.5mm f/0.95 Nokton Aspherical
  • Voigtlander MFT 25mm f/0.95 Nokton
  • Voigtlander MFT 42.5mm f/0.95 Nokton

Nikon F

  • Nikon AF NIKKOR 14mm f/2.8D ED
  • Nikon AF-­‐S DX NIKKOR 55-­‐200mm f/4-­‐5.6G ED VR II
  • Nikon AF-­‐S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
  • Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 AIS
  • TAMRON SP 15-­‐30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD A012N
  • Voigtlander SL II 20mm f/3.5 Color-­‐Skopar Aspherical o Voigtlander SL II 28mm f/2.8 Color-­‐Skopar Aspherical o Voigtlander SL II 58mm f/1.4 Nokton
  • Lomography Petzval 85mm f/2.2
  • Venus Optics 60mm f2.8 2X Ultra-­‐Macro Lens

Pentax

  • SIGMA 18-­‐200mm F3.5-­‐6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM
  • Pentax K
  • Venus Optics 60mm f2.8 2X Ultra-­‐Macro Lens

SIGMA

  • dp1 Quattro* o dp2 Quattro* o dp3 Quattro*
  • SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM A015
  • SIGMA 150-­‐600mm F5-­‐6.3 DG OS HSM C015

Sony Alpha

  • SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
  • TAMRON 16-­‐300mm F/3.5-­‐6.3 DiII PZD MACRO AB016S
  • TAMRON 28-­‐300mm F/3.5-­‐6.3 Di PZD A010S
  • TAMRON SP 70-­‐200mm F/2.8 Di USD A009S
  • TAMRON SP 150-­‐600mm F/5-­‐6.3 Di USD A011S
  • TAMRON SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 USD F004S
  • Venus Optics 60mm f2.8 2X Ultra-­‐Macro Lens

Sony E

  • Sony FE 24-­‐240mm F3.5-­‐6.3 OSS
  • Sony FE 28mm F2
  • ZY Optics Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f0.95 Pro
  • Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS
  • Sony FE 28mm F2 + Fisheye Converter
  • Sony FE 28mm F2 + Ultra Wide Converter o Sony FE 35mm F1.4 ZA

Yuneec

  •  CGO2gb

Tether Support

All the new tether support that’s been added for Lightroom :

  • Canon 7D Mark II
  • Nikon D750
System Requirements
Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 22.41.43
 
Lightroom
Will still be available as a perpetual version at your local retailer.
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#CreativeFriday – Adobe Previews New 3D Features for Photoshop CC & Unveils 3D Printed Artwork from James Stewart & Francois Veraart

 At the 3D Printshow in New York, Adobe showcased three new features that will be available for 3D and 3D Printing in a future version of Photoshop CC.

The previewed features allow users to automatically adjust 3D object resolution; quickly and powerfully convert images into bump maps that can be applied to the surfaces of 3D objects; and more easily edit textures captured from 3D scans within Photoshop:

 

·      3D Mesh Simplification enables faster processing, printing and expands sharing options Many 3D models have a large number of polygons which, although define the model in detail, provide a level or resolution that is not often necessary for the desired output. For example, most desktop 3D printers are low-resolution, and high-resolution 3D objects can unnecessarily slow down the processing and printing process. Further, as 3D viewers have become more prominent on devices with lower-speed processors, such as tablets, often high resolution models perform poorly on these platforms or, in some cases, don’t load at all. The new 3D Mesh Simplification capability provides a simple slider that allows users to quickly and easily reduce the number of polygons to enable faster processing and ability for others to view their 3D object regardless of device.

 

·      Create and apply 3D Bump Maps from any photograph to add texture to 3D objects

Convert textures from a photograph into a bump map, with flexibility to control desired height and depth of embossment or imprint to create a custom, textured 3D object. 

 

·      Edit colors from 3D scans with Vertex color to texture conversion

While 3D scanning is expected to become increasingly prominent, many 3D scanning solutions capture color data as vertex color, which is not editable within Photoshop. The new Vertex Color to Texture Conversion will interpret and allow users to edit and change colors through creation of a Photoshop Texture.

 

In addition to these feature previews, two artists unveiled new 3D art pieces that take advantage of the advanced 3D and 3D printing capabilities in Photoshop CC.

 

·      James Stewart, a visual effects artist who has worked on movies such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, brings to life an image that captivated him in Brazil through 3D printing:

IMGL4771

You can read more at the video on Adobe Inspire.

·      Francois Veraart, a designer and illustrator with more than 20 years of experience in international advertising, dreams up an “American Football 5.0” player, built by using just the 3D and 3D printing features in Photoshop CC 

FOOTBALL PLAYER FINAL front

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#CreativeFriday – Desktop to Touch Tablet Computer Workflows with Creative Cloud

The Creative Cloud offers so much more than just the desktop applications and has lots of time saving and efficiency workflows built in. This post will give ideas on how the Creative Cloud can be used when you have a desktop as well as a laptop or touch tablet computer in your workflow.

Just to paint a picture. Image you are working in the studio or at home using Photoshop CC on a PSD or a TIFF document (Mac or Windows), and as part of your workflow, you might also have a Wacom Cintiq Companion/Companion 2 at your disposal that you use for the touch/pen interface when working on your artwork.

I and many photographers/designers like using the touch/pen computers, as they allow a more tactile experience when working with photographs or art work.  I tend to use a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 for my work, mainly due to it’s portability and flexible nature (currently it’s currently scanning colour film negatives from 1994 into Lightroom, as well as connected to my 3D Printer for creating 3D models). However, it’s wider attraction is that I can plug my Mac into it for working as a medium size Cintiq at any time. This combination of the Mac and a touch/pen interface is perfect for my re-touching when required.

Once my edit is finished, I can then unplug it from the Mac and go back to the Windows operating system on the Companion 2.

In the scenario above, I might be working on the Cintiq with my Mac Plugged in, then I want to leave the studio, but I might want to carry on working with the artwork. Using the Creative Cloud, I can easily set up both machines (Mac and Windows Cintiq) with my two licenses of Photoshop CC that I get with my Creative Cloud subscription. Each computer is then logged into the Creative Cloud desktop app and both have file sync running.

The PSD file that I am working on will most likely start out on my MAC and probably be derived from my Lightroom catalog or might be a 3D model that I would like to work on (as shown in the example screen shot below).

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 19.07.13

On saving the PSD file for the first time, i’ll make sure that it’s stored on my Creative Cloud Synced folder on my Mac (you can see the folder called “CC Tablet Share” below, and the asset has a green tick on the icon, this green tick let’s me know that the file is already on my Creative Cloud storage area).

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 19.08.02

It was mentioned earlier that the Creative Cloud Desktop app is signed in and has file sync turned on, this means that it will automatically start to sync the PSD to the Creative cloud, once any save activity has completed.

N.B. The time taken to sync to the Creative Cloud and to the other computer will depend on your network speed, internet speed as well as the size of the file.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 19.07.50

 

The file can be seen on the Creative Cloud web view by logging into your Creative Identity on Adobe.com.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 19.18.36

The file(s) will be shown graphically using a thumb nail, also, don’t forget you can also collaborate with other Creative Cloud users on this folder if required.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 19.19.54

Clicking on the icon will show a larger representation with more specific details about the file.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 19.19.28

Now I can unplug the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 from the Mac and it will return back to windows. If the object here was to carry on working on the file using the Cintiq Companion 2, but away from the studio, then I can check that the file has synced, and if so, go on the move with my artwork.

 

N.B With a yearly subscription the applications can work without an internet connect for 90 days, if a month to month plan they will work without an internet connection for 30 days.

I can now travel anywhere and carry on working on the same file in the same way as in the studio.

When an internet connection is next found then the updated contents will be sent back to the Creative Cloud and synced back to the studio Mac. The other option is that if i have collaborated with others on this art work, i can login from any remote cafe or location and get the updates that the collaborators have made.

You can see the catchlights that have been added to the eyes.

Capture222

Once save is pressed, the Creative Cloud Desktop app will sync the file back to the Creative Cloud storage area.

Capture444 copy

The update and the activity are also available in the Creative Cloud web view.  I can then, if required, revert the change by clicking on the previous version (If this is selected, everyone will get the older version).

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 19.55.32

 

Hopefully this describes one of the workflows that the Creative Cloud solves and provides an end to end continuous workflow, across devices and operating systems.

N.B. This also applies if you are a Windows only platform (where no Mac’s are involved).

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#CreativeFriday – Photographic Edge Burn Technique

Over Exposing or burning the edge of a final photograph, has been around for a long time and has been used extensively by the photographic master printers since the 50’s (maybe even earlier). The primary reason to create the edge burn area is to hold the view in the image whilst they are looking at it. This post is about how to re-create the same effect in Lightroom and Photoshop.
If we think why we start the imaging post process, we are thinking about what the final image needs to represent or communicate to the viewer. To achieve this we can use the Lightroom and Photoshop and the wealth of features that they both provide. Not all tools in each program need to be used on every single picture, but I would suggest that there are a few mandatory develop mode panels that should be used for each image.
Basic Panel. 
     This is great to getting your images to a state of readiness for any additional processing. This panel is focused on working with the histogram, and using these control you have the ability to correct any white balance, exposure corrections, contrast, as well as recover any shadow and highlight information in the picture. There are also other powerful tools, like setting the white and black clipping points in the image, as well as clarity, saturation and vibrance. Most of the time, these tools might be all you need to correct the image to make it presentable.
Details
     This panel is typically used to sharpen the image, we will look at this in more detail in a future post. But in essence, it will enable you to choose how much sharpness is applied and the details to recover, but also the ability to control the sharpen mask and select which areas of the image will be sharpened. Sharpening is typically performed at the end of the post processing, however, when using Lightroom it’s ok to add sharpening at any point and refine during the editing process (this works hand in hand with Lightroom’s non destructive editing philosophy).
Lens Corrections
     I would also strongly recommend that lens profiles are applied to the camera body and lens that the image was taken with, i.e. Canon, Nikon, Leica and Hasselblad are a few of the manufactures that Adobe works with to make sure that any natural vignetting or barely distortion are removed before the image is worked on.
N.B. Compact system cameras like the Fuji x-series and Olympus cameras to name a few automatically transfer the lens correction details to Lightroom and the software will automatically apply this to the image.
Effects panel
     The other panel that I typically use in my post processing is the Effects Panel.
The reason that the master printers used an edge burn technique back in the day is that it can help a viewer of a photograph stay within the image when they are looking at it.
To fully understand why the edge burn is so important, we have to look at what the human mind or the limbic part of the brain is looking for and what grabs it’s attention. In it’s basic form, the Limbic brain when seeking for things doesn’t care if it’s good limbic or bad limbic. For example, imagine you are sat in the train carriage and there is another passenger that is working on their laptop and has very heavy hands. Once you hear the tapping of the keyboard it can be challenging to de-focus , the tapping of the keys is very limbic, but not in the good way, it can be highly distracting. The same applies to photographs and something that we can think about and use to control of how the viewer interprets the photograph and gain their attention.
When i’m editing my images, there are some basic elements I am looking for and wanting to improve. Elements like image structure/composition, engaging content as well as more specific limbic elements that can grab the viewers attention. Limbic areas in a photograph that I tend to focus on are how how the dark and light areas are represented and affect each other. These areas if done badly can be highly distracting, however, if done well can be used to navigate the viewers eyes around the image, and focus on the part of the image that I want them to focus on.
Brightness – The areas of brightness in an image need to be controlled for maximum effect. For example, if there are elements within the image that are brighter than the main focus point, these will grab the attention of the viewer and could loose the main focus and point of the image. Once our eyes see this part of the scene, the limbic part of the brain gets attracted, engages and tends to override other parts of the image. Once these areas have been found, the viewer (in my opinion) will get stuck on these areas and will be drawn back to them time and time again, potentially missing the point of the photograph.
So when i’m working on an image, my first activity is to remove anything that will distract the viewer in this way. In the dark room this was called dodge and burn, and also spotting (spotting was mostly done once the print had been created and was done directly to the print using inks), spotting was used to remove dust spots or anything that would show the natural brightness of the paper. In the digital world on a screen this could be something as simple as litter or other artefacts in the original scene. It could also be a bright light in the image, which might not have been noticed when taking the picture (I’ll come onto bright lights in a little while).
Removal of bright areas is pretty straight forward and there are many ways to remove bright areas in the scene, especially when they are small. Tools like the Clone/Heal in Lightroom, or tools like the Spot Heal/ Clone stamp or variety of patch tools in Photoshop have been designed for this type of activity.
Dark areas can also be Limbic but in a different way. As bright areas are attractive, dark areas like shadows push our eyes away and promote hunting of other Limbic bright areas.  So when our eyes see dark areas, they tend to shy away and repelled from these places.
The edge burn technique is a great way for us to control the viewers experience and when the viewers eyes reach the edges of the image, they are pushed back in to the image (centre) to find areas of interest, in this case bright areas.
Times of change.
Back in the day, photographs were printed and photography was all about the print. And edge burning was an active part of the process. However, as times have moved on, there are less images printed and more images appearing on the screen. This does change that way that we need to think about edge burning and when it’s required. For example if the image is shown with a white border on the screen, our eyes will focus on the border and use this as a frame of reference, as opposed to the image, due to the brightness of the border. Once the tones of the border become darker, from middle grey onward the focus and dominance of the image changes, allowing the eyes to focus more towards the image (probably why most slide shows are on a black border). When darker borders are used, burning is not important as the border it self is a big edge burn. If the image on the screen is surrounded by a brighter border (from middle grey to white), then an edge burn might be required to keep the viewer in the image.
When we print (especially in fine art printing), however, it’s most likely that the border will be a mount, and will be a shade of white, (natural white or maybe a snow white are typical). Regardless, it’s still bright and if we are not careful when editing the image, focus of the story in the frame can be lost to the borders and loose the attention of the viewer. In this case, edge burning might be a consideration.
Applying a simple edge burn
In Lightroom the Post Crop Vignette (available under the effects tab) is a simple way to implement the edge burn. There are numerous options for the vignette
Sliders and Controls
Highlight Priority 
Enables highlight recovery but can lead to color shifts in darkened areas of a photo. Suitable for photos with bright image areas such as clipped specular highlights.
Colour Priority minimises color shifts in darkened areas of a photo but cannot perform highlight recovery.
Paint Overlay mixes the cropped image values with black or white pixels. Can result in a flat appearance.
The sliders:
Amount – negative values darken the corners of the photo. Positive values lighten the corners.
Midpoint – lower values apply the Amount adjustment to a larger area away from the corners. Higher values restrict the adjustment to an area closer to the corners.
Roundness – lower values make the vignette effect more oval. Higher values make the vignette effect more circular.
Feather – lower values reduce softening between the vignette and the vignette’s surrounding pixels. Higher values increase the softening.
Highlights – (Highlight Priority and Color Priority only) Controls the degree of highlight contrast preserved when Amount is negative. Suitable for photos with small highlights, such as candles and lamps.
The post crop vignette also supports changes in the crop, by applying the effect after a crop has been modified.
The above options will allow you to create the required edge burn, you will need to wrangle with it to get the results that you want. But if you are wanting to apply an edge burn, similar to the way that the master prints did in the dark room, then it should not be obvious to the viewer, only slightly darker to move the eyes back to the main part of the scene. In the book ‘The Print’ by Ansel Adams, Ansel recommends that the edge burn should be no more than 10% to 20% more than the current exposure of the main part of the scene. In the context of Lightroom, this will need to be converted into a negative value (-10 to -20, I tend to typically use about -17).
Which images might work better with an edge burn.
Not every image will require an edge burn, this will mostly be dictated by the strength of the content in the scene.
i.e. When an edge burn may not be required
In the following example, the bright areas will attract the eye and will keep the viewer in the scene.
Before.
Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 15.05.15
After
The adjustments to this image are quite simple. A recovery of any highlight and shadow detail, then set the white and black point. These are the basic adjustments that I would apply to this image to add more interest for the viewer. Other options include adding 2 radial filters, one to each of the subjects that will darken the areas around them even more. The basic adjustments here, work (in my opinion) because there no strong leading lines or lines of travel in the photograph, so if the viewers eye does accidentally drift to the edges, then the quantity of contrast and the darken edges will move the viewers eye back into the scene.
Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 14.23.35
If there are bright areas in the edges, then an edge burn would most likely be effective and required.
In the following example. The young hay gather is the focus, however, the edges are brighter than the main subject. The hay is important as it adds context to the image but I don’t want it to take over and fight for attention with the main subject.
Before
Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 14.24.40
After
In this case i would use a Radial filter over the young man that will give more focus on him, then use an adjustment brush on the eyes to increase the exposure to attract the viewer into the scene. In the post process, i’ve also added a gradient filter on the left hand side to darken this area down, as it’s a bit bright. The final touch is a crop to remove the break up of hay on the left, then a post crop vignette of -20 to darken all edges equally.
Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 15.11.03
If there are dark edges already, then an additional edge burn won’t make much of a difference, the natural darkness will perform the same thing as the edge burn would. The final presentation should be taken into consideration, and if printing, the type of mount will make a difference. This is just one way of applying an edge burn, there are others ways as well, i.e. Radial filter or if using Photoshop by creating a mask, or using the Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop to apply a radial or Post Crop Vignette.
In the following example, there isn’t a great deal of darkness in the edges, there is however  a lot of break up revealing areas of brightness in between the tree branches. In this case there is a danger that the viewers eye will be drawn to the edges. The main subject is the temple, but there is a risk that the speed of the roof will throw the viewer out of the scene.
 Before
Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 14.27.12
After
To balance the image, the exposure, shadows, highlights and contrast are corrected, as well as the white black points to add more contrast. An edge burn of -20 has been added that will add darkness to the edges. Exploring the scene, in my opinion, the viewers eye will be drawn the roof at the top (due to the brighter areas), then the viewers eye will follow the roof lines, downward. Due to the edge burn, the viewers eye should then naturally pick up the branch of the tree and the viewer should naturally come back to the top of the roof and create a continuous circular flow of movement in the scene.
Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 15.20.03
Additional – Using bright areas as part of the scene
In the scene below, the lights are limbic and distracting, however, i feel that in the following example the lights work and are being used as a frame to focus the viewer in to the main part of the image.
 Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 19.38.06
The edge burn combined with the contents and flow of the elements of the image, is a great technique that can significantly improve the look and presence of your final image. This technique is suited to both print and presentation on the digital screen (slide show, a photography portfolio, Facebook or other social networks). It might require a little bit of wrangling to get exactly right and so that the viewer is not able to see it, but in my opinion is defiantly worth the additional effort.

I would like to wish all readers a very Happy Easter and hope that you are able to get out and shoot some frames.
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#CreativeFriday – Making your own and sharing your Lightroom Preset

When i’m working on images for publishing to my Behance portfolio, I always look for consistency and speed in the post processing. One way that I usually to achieve this is to use or create or modify a preset based on the look of the images within the story that I would like to tell, then apply this to all images and fine tune as appropriate. This blog post will show how to create your own preset, but also how to use it and share with others.

Let us take this starting image that is a RAW file straight out of the camera.

 

The final image, after a little bit of tweaking in the Develop module, it’s looking as I would like it to.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 16.54.12

 

Modifications are all in Lightroom and consist of the following :-

Basic panel 

-Reduce the highlights slider to recover any highlight information.

– Open the Shadows to reveal more shadow detail and allow for more precise black clipping (using the Black point slider)

– Set the White point, Black and clarity to give a more contrasty image.

– There is also a crop applied as well

Tone Curve

– Small ‘S’ curve adjustment applied

Detail / Sharpening

Sharpen is always subjective, but i’ve found these settings are fairly good for my style and how I want to process these images.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 16.52.56

Effects

I like to add a very light vignette and some grain to the final image, just to keep the viewer in the image and add a little bit of grit.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 17.12.25

Now that the development configuration is set up, it’s time to save it as a preset.

To do this, head to the Lightroom menu bar and choose Develop / New Preset. A dialog box will open. At this point give the preset a name and choose the items that are to be stored as part of the preset. Notice that not all are selected, only the items that i would like to replicate across other images in this series (I have refrained from turning on the auto upright, as it will apply to app and may cause me more work later)

This preset will reside under the User Presets and can be selected at anytime from there. To apply to the rest of the images, just select the ones required and select it. In the example below, I selected the folder of 300 images and pressed CMD/CTRL (PC) and A to select them all.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 17.46.40

Once the images have been selected, a right click on one image and select the ‘Develop/User Preset’ and select the preset that has been saved previously. The Development preset will be applied to the rest of the images.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 17.53.36 copy

Each image can then be fine tuned from this base preset.

If the preset is to strong in certain areas, then it can be updated. To update it, modify the development settings then update the preset by applying a right click to it and selecting ‘update with current settings’.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 18.09.29 copy

You can re-apply the preset all of the previous files as well (this is handy for tuning the preset), by re-selecting them and choosing Develop settings as above.

Before

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 18.22.45

After

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 18.19.17

To share the preset with others, you will need to open the Lightroom presets folder, accessed by Lightroom Preferences.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 18.25.51 copy

On the Mac (PC should be similar). Just copy / zip up and send to another Lightroom user and they can put it in the same place, then restart Lightroom.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 18.31.01 copy

 

I hope you have fun working with presets and discover unique looks to your selecting of images. Of course, the development adjustments are all non destructive and can be removed if/when required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

f

 

 

 

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