Learn about Photoshop Painting from Real Digital Painters

One YouTube channel that I keep my eye one is the one created by the guys at Level Up. Ok, these videos are hangouts, and may not be the best edited and produced films out there and they are longer than the usual YouTube video (over 2 hours most of the time). However, what I really like about these videos is that the organisers interview and talk with guest speakers who let you into their Photoshop Digital Painting world, and they talk about their workflow and processes. I think this is a great way to learn about other processes that Photoshop does, as well as some great nugets of information that only Digital Painters know. There are lots of them to watch and are great to have on just in the background, enjoy the shows here.

Here is one to get you started, Colour Theory


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#CreativeFriday – Lightroom and Photoshop Workflows, Smart Objects and Camera RAW filter

The Creative Cloud Photography bundle offers the Photographer even more flexibility when it comes to editing their photographs and opportunities to make their images look even more amazing. Integration between the two products is a key benefit and is re-enforced with this bundle. The integration is not new and has been in place some time now, however, with the release of the Photography bundle and the ongoing updates to the Creative Cloud, this integration has become much stronger and offers even more possibilities to make images look even more beautiful.

With traditional Photoshop workflows, any Lightroom / Photoshop adjustment(s) are rasterised early in the workflow and this reduces the options for any non-destructive work later in the process. There are classic ways of editing images in Photoshop and work arounds to try create a non destructive processes, however, this can result in workflows with a large number of layers and committing to adjustments early in the workflow with no way to re-edit previous enhancements.

The Creative Cloud Photography bundle, offers new workflows for the photographer to embrace a true non-destructive workflow, without having to commit to adjustments early in the process. Images now can be saved with all of their Lightroom or Camera RAW adjustments in tact, with supported ways to re-edit the original RAW adjustments from Camera RAW or from Lightroom. This new workflow is a saviour for anybody that is wanting to tweak, enhance and re-tweak their pictures to get the best result at any time in the process.

Photoshop CC has now been enhanced to include the Camera RAW engine as a Filter as well as numerous additions to the already powerful Blur Gallery.


The Camera RAW filter will allow you to make adjustments to your photographs, as you would have done in the Lightroom development module. However, the Camera RAW filter in Photoshop, is not just restricted to RAW files, it can be used on almost any layer inside Photoshop, including video clips, groups, layers and smart objects.


The Blur Gallery Filters enable in-camera motion effects to be applied in the post process. For example, previously in CS6 you could add field blur, iris blur and tilt shift blur, now Photoshop CC adds the ability to add spinning blur and motion blur to an image, just as you are able to create in the camera.


Both of the above filters, as well as most of the other filters in Photoshop CC are now useable on a Smart Objects, which means that any modifications can be re-edited at any time even after the Photoshop file has been saved. This workflow will allow images to be fine tuned at any time and will save a huge amount of time during the refinement process. The filters in Photoshop are now even more powerful and will allow you to make even better, creative images, and most importantly, they will naturally fit into your workflow.


The following example will show how images can be brought into Photoshop from Lightroom, and keep any adjustments editable using Camera RAW and a combination of Smart Objects. This example will also show how unwanted parts of an image can removed and repaired whilst at the same time improving performance in Photoshop, and keeping the modifications editable for the future. New Blur Gallery Filters will be used to simulate movement that may have been lost when the picture was taken, or if the image needs it for creative effect.



The image below was taken at a festival in Bhutan, to be critical about the original picture from the camera, I feel the dancer in the foreground is an important part of the story, however, there are additional elements in the background, like the chair and the additional person, which I feel does not help the picture and will be tricky to fix in Lightroom alone, but where Photoshop really excels.


N.B. This example is using the 2014 version of Photoshop CC.



Keeping Lightroom adjustments editable inside Photoshop CC


The traditional workflow from Lightroom to Photoshop is to let Lightroom apply the adjustments and send a rasterized image into Photoshop. This can be easily achieved using the CTRL (PC)+E or CMD (Mac)+E. There is nothing wrong with this workflow and has been tried an tested for a long time, however, when the adjusted file is then sent to Photoshop there is no way to go back and re-edit any Lightroom adjustments. If changes are required, then the process will need to re-start and any Photoshop edits will need to re-apply.


An alternative way of working is to open the file into Photoshop from Lightroom as a Smart Object. This will send both the RAW file as well as any Lightroom adjustments into Photoshop and keep the edits alive and re-editable into the future. To do this, right click on the picture in the filmstrip, or from the menu bar Photo / Edit in / Photoshop as a Smart Object.



Inside Photoshop CC only a single layer will be shown in the layers palette. This layer is the Smart Object and will hold both the RAW file as any adjustments from Lightroom. Smart Objects can hold anything inside Photoshop (not just RAW files and meta data), it can also store video files/clips, groups of layers, other smart objects, Layer Adjustments etc etc, and in any combination.



At any point in time, the Smart Object layer can be double clicked and the contents will be opened. In this example, the RAW file will be opened using Camera RAW, as well as any Lightroom adjustments that are found (If the file came from Bridge into Photoshop via Camera RAW, then the same screen will be displayed). The RAW file and Lightroom adjustments will be available even after the file has been saved (as long as the layer stays as a Smart Object and is not rasterised inside Photoshop).



Using Photoshop to make complex image edits. 


Sudden activities inside the frame are a classic occurrence that regularly happens when a photo is taken. These additional elements sometimes, don’t help convey the story. In the example, there is a green chair as well as an additional person walking in the background. A few extra seconds and a move to the right would have eliminated them, but the position of the dancer might have been sacrificed.  Elements like these are easy to removed in Photoshop using many of its tools, the one that will be used here is the Content aware patch tool.


The traditional workflow for removing anything in an image (including spotting), is to duplicate the background layer and work on this new layer. It’s a tried and tested route and works very well, but, one of the issues with this approach is that duplicating layers can drastically increase the number of pixels and in turn increase the physical document size. It’s also difficult to look at what was changed at a future time. A different way to achieve exactly the same thing, and not radically increase the file size, as well as improving the workflow, is to create a new empty layer above the background and use this to store any changes.



Content Aware Patch provides a fast and accurate way of fixing/replacing the areas that need to be modified, as well as showing a preview of what will be changed. When using an empty layer (is in this approach), it’s important to have the ’Sample all Layers’ icon turned on, as this will allow the tool to sample all layers in the stack and place the processed result into the empty layer (this option in the following screen shot is depicted using the multiple layers icon in the tool bar).


When working with the Content Aware Patch tool and where there is a defined line (below there is a hard line between the crowd and the floor), try to make sure that the source and destinations are lined up on the preview.



Once applied, the replacement patch can sometimes have colour issues, especially when there is a gradient involved. In the above image there is a gradient on the floor, therefore the blend is not a seamless as it could be. Photoshop CC 2014 has the ability to control the colour values on the patch to make a consistent colour blend; this is available on the adaption tool bar options (Colour has a range of 1 to 10). This value can be changed even whilst the selection and patched area are still active.



At this point in a traditional workflow, the Photoshop user might create a new layer that is a merge of the two layers, and place it above the modification (sometimes called a lock off layer, and will contain the results of the fix). However, this will commit the modifications and would make it much harder to modify the patch (if required), in the future.


A new workflow is to wrap this adjustment into a Smart Object, which will allow the re-editing of the patch in the future. To do this, select the layers that need to be converted then choose Convert to Smart Object. Once the conversion has completed, a single layer will be shown, and any adjustments to the image can be made using this as a base image.



Once the Smart Object has been created, it can be used to hold for any Filter adjustments or any Layer adjustments. Using this method will keep any image edits non destructive for much longer time in the editing process.


In this example, the dancer was taken with a high shutter speed, resulting in freezing of any motion. It’s not until the editing process, where other pictures that were taken can be seen, that the creative decision may be to add some motion to help tell the story to this particular photograph. A new tool in Photoshop CC, called the Path Blur filter can be used to re-create motion in the scene (this motion can usually be created in camera, using a slower shutter speed). This filter will be applied to the results of the Smart Object, therefore, not changing its contents, and is re-editable in the future.



Once the Path blur window is open, a Bezier like curve/path can be drawn. This curve/path can be used to show the motion of some areas of the scene or the entire scene. Once a curve/path has been drawn, the speed of the motion can be controlled by either using the on screen widget, or by using the controls on the right hand side of the screen.




The curve/path can be moved or bent into position by dragging any point including the center point. Other points and curves/paths can also be created to create fluid motion in the scene if required.




Only the dancer needs the movement, but the result of the single curve/path will affect the whole scene. In this case more lines can be created to stop motion in other parts of the picture. In the example below, another straight line is created to the left of the dancer. Stopping the motion will help convince the viewer that the dancer is the only part of the scene that is moving (Motion like this can be controlled in the camera by using a slower shutter speed and a tripod).


Slowing the motion in this part of the scene is controlled at either end of the curve/path. Each end of the curve/path has a speed value that can be reduced. These values are controlled by turning on the Edit Blur Shapes (right hand properties panel below), this action will show two red arrows at either end of the curve/path. Changing the End Point speed at each end will slow the motion down. A zero value at each end should work just fine.


 Once the effect has been applied, Photoshop will add the effect to the Smart Object, and provide a free mask. The mask can be used to mask out specific areas of the effect on the rest of the photograph. The effect can be re-edited at any point in time by double clicking on the Blur Gallery Filter on the Smart Object. The effect can also be temporarily removed by clicking on the eye icon next to the mask (will turn off all effects) or the eye icon next to the Filter (in this case the Blur Gallery Filter). Turning off individual Filters is useful to turn off filters when more than once filter is used on the Smart Object.



The white mask can be painted using the Photoshop Brush tool (B key). Painting in black will hide the effect and painting in white will reveal the effect. Once the Brush has been selected, the D key can be used to reset the foreground and background colours (black and white). This reset is useful if other colours have been used in a process before this step. The X key can be used to quickly switch the foreground and background colours around when painting.  The mask can be accessed at any time by selecting it with the mouse and holding the ALT key down whilst double clicking it. This is a good place to see what the mask looks like and to refine it further if required.




If a mask has been used on the layer, it will affect filters that are applied. If any new Filter adjustments are required and they don’t require the mask, to keep the edits non destructive and re-editable in the future, this adjustment to the Smart Object can be wrapped up into another Smart Object. This option is available by selecting the layer(s) that need to be converted, and using the right click on the layer, or by opening the layers fly out menu (top right hand side of the layers panel) and choosing ‘Convert to Smart Object’.



The result will be a single layer that contains all of the previous adjustments. This method will also increase Photoshop performance when working with layers and complex edits, the resulting layer size will be smaller and Photoshop will be faster.




Now that a single Smart Object layer has been created and it contains all of the adjustments, the edit can continue. In this case, the Camera RAW filter can be used to further enhance the image.



The Camera RAW filter will open up the Camera RAW dialog screen and provide comprehensive adjustments of this powerful filter. Any adjustments available in this dialog box can be performed at this stage (i.e. Split tone, radial filter, clone/heal, lens corrections etc. etc.).




To further enhance the viewers experience and to keep the viewer in the picture much longer, we can use traditional dark room techniques to guide the eyes into where we need the viewer to focus. Dark areas of a picture will repel the eyes and bright areas will attract the eyes. In the dark room, master printers would use this technique and create something called an edge burn (which is similar to a vignette). Essentially this keeps the viewer in the photograph and will keep the view from ‘falling out of the frame’. This effect can be achieved in Lightroom or Camera RAW by using the Post Crop Vignette, but sometimes we might need a more impactful way of doing this. The Position of the Post Crop Vignette cannot be modified and will be applied from the center outward, this is heavily dependent on the final crop of the image. The Radial Filter in Lightroom and Camera RAW will allow a customised area to be created, and then apply adjustments outside or inside of it. In this example, the exposure can be reduced outside to give a much more controlled effect (this is also a great tool to use on portraits or anything that needs focused impact).


The radial filter can be selected and drawn on to the image at the desired location. The radial filter’s size and shape can be changed at will by dragging it or by expanding/contracting the handles on the ellipse. The image below is showing the area covered by the radial filter by having the mask turned on.




The initial round/elliptical shape of the Radial Filter isn’t quite correct and a part of the dancer is affected. The Radial Filter in Camera RAW now includes a brush that is used to customise its shape. To turn the brush on, select it in the radial filter options panel (or press SHIFT+K), then choose + or – to add or subtract the mask area.




Once the Camera RAW filter adjustments have been completed, press OK and commit the results. The results are then added to the Smart Object. The Camera RAW settings can be modified at any point in time by double clicking on the Camera RAW filter option. Also, the layer mask can be used to further refine the filter(s) adjustments.





Once the edit has been completed, it can be saved from Photoshop CC using the CMD (Mac)+S or CTRL (Pc)+S, the file will automatically be saved next to the original RAW file and will be available inside Lightroom.


If the file needs to be worked on further (now or in the future), it’s best to edit the original and don’t make any additional adjustments in Lightroom to the Photoshop (PSD) file. To open the file quickly into Photoshop from Lightroom the CTRL (PC)+E or CMD (Mac)+E combination can be used This will keep the workflow simple and not add any complexities. If Lightroom adjustments are required, then they can be made using the Camera RAW filter and Smart Objects inside Photoshop CC.




Once re-opened inside Photoshop. All Smart Objects and adjustments are available. This means that the PSD file doesn’t have to be flattened once the Photoshop Edits have been initially made. Other adjustments / enhancements can be made to your picture in the future, as your Photoshop editing skills become stronger and more refined.




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The Times UK – 3D Printing Article.

Are you interested in 3D Printing? There was a great supplement in the UK Times magazine today (December 11th 2014). It looks to provide an overview of the current state of 3D Printing. There are also micro sections and one happens to be about Desktop 3D Printers in the home. There are more articles, but just wanted to focus on this one as there is a great section on what Adobe is doing in this space to make 3D printing more accessible to all.

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The Societies (SWPP) Adobe Seminar Schedule – January 2015

Adobe will be attending the Societies trade show in 2015, which will run from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th of January at the Hilton London Metropole.  We will have designed a seminar room running free talks on lots of different and exciting topics for Photographers (times listed below). We will not be pre-registering for the talks, so it’s a first come first served basis, but you will need to register for the show itself. Please feel free to  just turn up and join in on the talks, it will be great to see you at the event.

You can visit the Trade Show (Jan 16-18) completely FREE, as long as they register with the SWPP before 10th January 2015. You can register here.

For travel planning, the event will be held at the Hilton London Metropole 225 Edgware Road, London, W2 1JU.

Friday & Saturday

10:30 – 11:00 – Lightroom and Photoshop retouching workflow

11:15 -11:45 – Hidden gems in Photoshop  CC 

12:00 – 12:30 – Video Editing in Photoshop 

12:45 – 13:15 – New features in Photoshop for Photographers

13:30 – 14:00 – Colour Management – Perfecting your workflow 

14:15 -14:45 – 3D Printing for Photographers 

15:00 – 15:30 – Lightroom and Lightroom Mobile 

15:45 – 16:15 – Raising your game using Behance 

16:30 -17:00 – What is the Creative Cloud Photography Plan?


10:30 – 11:00 – Lightroom and Photoshop retouching workflow

11:15 -11:45 – Hidden gems in Photoshop  CC

12:00 – 12:30 – Video Editing in Photoshop 

12:45 – 13:15 – New features in Photoshop for Photographers

13:30 – 14:00 – Colour Management – Perfecting your workflow 

14:15 -14:45 – 3D Printing for Photographers 

15:00 – 15:30 – Lightroom and Lightroom Mobile 

15:45 – 16:15 – Raising your game using Behance 

Lightroom and Photoshop retouching workflow.
 the past few releases in the Creative Cloud, Lightroom and Photoshop have seen workflow improvements for Photographers. This session, hosted by a re-touching expert, will look in detail at the new tools and explain how to improve your post production/re-touching workflows, to create even more beautiful images. 

Hidden gems in Photoshop  CC.

This talk will explore overlooked features inside Photoshop CC that we think are underused and valuable to the Photographer or anyone that would like to learn more about the application.

What is the Creative Cloud Photography Plan?

The Adobe Photography Plan includes more than just Lightroom and Photoshop. In fact, it has been designed to include all the tools required to survive in the modern photographic world. This talk will demonstrate and break down what is included as part of the Adobe Photography Plan and explain how it works, as well as some of the new features that are available in Lightroom and Photoshop and new opportunities for both the Professional and Amateur photographer.

Raising your game using Behance.

Online portfolios, mobile devices and social networks are a great way to show case your work as a photographer, as well as engaging your audience and building your photographic brand. The Adobe Photography Plan contains all of the tools you need to make your images look great, as well as including modern ways of showing off your work, either on the web, using social networks or on mobile devices. The Behance platform is part of the Adobe Photography Plan, and a great way to show off your work, as well as an way to engage the existing community of image makers of all disciplines. This session will walk you through how the system works, how to place content in Behance from Photoshop and Lightroom, and how you can use it to raise your profile as a photographer or digital artist. 

Lightroom Mobile.

Lightroom mobile is a new addition to the Adobe Photography Plan and is available free for both the iPhone and the iPad. Mobile viewing, as well as editing your photographs, without being tied to the desktop version of Lightroom is enabling photographers to work in very different ways. This talk will walk you through how to set up and configure Lightroom mobile, as well as how it can be used as part of your editing workflow.

3D Printing in Photoshop for Photographers. 

3D Printing is taking the world by storm, and this technology is opening up new creative ideas for Photographers. In early 2014 Photoshop gained the ability to create/print 3D objects using a variety of printers, materials and services. This talk will walk you through 3D printing in Photoshop with examples of how Photographers can embrace it in their work.

Colour Management – Perfecting your workflow.

This session is brought in conjunction with Adobe and Datacolor and will provide an end to end solution for colour management.  We will explain how colour management can easily be incorporated into your workflow from ‘in the camera’, to the screen and finishing at the printer and transform your workflow forever. This session will ensure that you are able to make perfect looking prints every time.

New features in Photoshop.
In the Creative Cloud, Lightroom and Photoshop updates have both seen the addition of new tools for Photographers. This session will look in detail at the new tools and explain how to improve your post production/re-touching, to create even more beautiful images. Photo editing and retouching techniques can always be improved by embracing new innovation that is available in software. 

Video Editing in Photoshop. 

We all have cameras that are able to create stunning photographs, and many can now record stunning HD quality video too. This session will show how you can import your video clips into Photoshop and use your existing Photoshop skills to edit and create a compelling short film. 

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#CreativeFriday – Using Lightroom and Photoshop to Edit your Photos

The Creative Cloud Photography bundle offers the Photographer even more flexibility when it comes to editing their photographs and opportunities to make their images look even more amazing. Integration between the two products is a key benefit and is re-enforced with this bundle. The integration is not new and has been in place some time now, however, with the release of the Photography bundle and the ongoing updates to the Creative Cloud, this integration has become much stronger and offers even more possibilities to make images look even more beautiful.


The typical workflow between the two solutions is to let Lightroom render it’s adjustments and take the results into Photoshop. This is a great and well defined workflow, however, it does not offer an option to re-edit the Lightroom adjustments from within Photoshop. The integration between Lightroom and Photoshop in the Photography bundle has become much more flexible, by making use of Photoshop Smart Objects. The ability to open a Smart Object from Lightroom into Photoshop is not unique to the Photography bundle, but, there has been a number of significant improvements to the workflow and the ability to use more Photoshop Filters in a non destructive way on Smart Objects as well as the traditional adjustment layers.


With traditional Photoshop workflows, any Lightroom / Photoshop adjustment(s) had to be rasterised early in the workflow and reduced the options for any non-destructive work. There are classic ways of editing images in Photoshop and work a rounds to try create a non destructive process, however, this can result in workflows with a large number of layers and committing to adjustments early in the workflow with no way to re-edit previous enhancements.


The Creative Cloud Photography bundle, offers new workflows for the photographer to embrace a true non-destructive workflow, without having to commit to adjustments early in the process. Images now can be saved with all of their Lightroom or Camera RAW adjustments in tact, with supported ways to re-edit the original RAW adjustments from Camera RAW or from Lightroom. This new workflow is a savior for anybody that is wanting to tweak, enhance and re-tweak their pictures to get the best result at any time in the process.


To demonstrate this, here is a picture that I took in Bhutan. I like the way that the monks are running up and down the stairs, carrying food and other items, I think it nicely shows part of the Buddhists monks way of life. However, there are a few issues that I would like to solve, and after all, both Lightroom and Photoshop are tools to help fix any photographic problems with the picture. First of all, when I took the picture I was stood to the right of the scene, this angle has created awkward result. Also, to me the monk disappearing out of the frame is not something in my opinion that helps the photograph. Of course all of these issues might not be what you would look to fix in the photograph.


The objective of this walk through is to show the integration of image editing between Lightroom and Photoshop and another way to open pictures, keep the Lightroom adjustments active and create a non destructive workflow for any future enhancements.


N.B. This walkthrough uses the 2014 release of Photoshop CC.



Initial adjustments can be made in the Development module of Lightroom, we don’t need to worry if the results are not exactly what we are looking for, as we can modify them later once our work is inside Photoshop.



To enable the non-destructive workflow and the powerful features of Photoshop CC, the RAW image will need to be opened into Photoshop, and in the mean time keeping our Lightroom changes so that we can work on them later. Instead of using the ‘Edit in Adobe Photoshop’ option in Lightroom (CMD (Mac)+E or CTRL (PC)+E), the option ‘Open as Smart Object in Photoshop’ will be used. This menu option can be reached by right clicking on the image in the film strip or the middle window, or by using menu item ‘Photo / Edit in / Open as Smart Object in Photoshop’


Once in Photoshop you will see the same single layer result as in a traditional workflow. The difference is the small icon in the bottom right hand corner of the image on the layer. This icon denotes that a Smart Object is in use. The Smart Object is effectively a container, which is storing Photoshop Objects. In this example the Smart Object is holding the RAW file as well as the Lightroom adjustments (in the form of metadata). The Smart Object could also contain layers, masks, video as well as any other Photoshop object.


To access the contents, just double click on the image on the layer. Before the contents are opened in this example, a Photoshop Adjustment layer will be added to make an enhancement to the photograph.




Photoshop adjustment layers are accessed from the Layer menu option and are placed above the layer that is selected in the layers pallet.



The curves adjustment layer has been applied (as shown below) and the image has had a simple ’S’ curve applied to it (The ’S’ curve will deepen the shadows and lift the highlights, adding contrast to the image).




Even though the curves layer is applied to the image, the contents of the Smart Object can still be accessed by double clicking the original Smart Object layer. This action will open the Camera RAW filter and allow modifications to the original Lightroom edits. The values in Camera RAW interface will be the same as from the initial settings in Lightroom (both Lightroom and Camera RAW share the same technology).  The usual features in Camera RAW (Lightroom) are also available in this dialog, including lens corrections, radial filters, adjustment brushes, split tone, etc.



Once adjustments have been made/refined and OK has been pressed in the Camera RAW dialog, Camera RAW adjustments will then be re-applied to the Photoshop Smart Object layer. The Smart Object will always show the final result of its contents.




Previous to Photoshop CC only a few of the available Filters could be applied to a Smart Object and used in a non-destructive workflow. In Photoshop CC almost all of the Filters can be used on the Smart Object and provide a re-editable, non-destructive enhancement to the photograph.  Photoshop Filters can be found under the Filter menu item.



The Filter to be used in this example and one that will fix the perspective is the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter. To use this Filter, lines are drawn across the image, in both the horizontal and vertical positions, where required. This will tell Photoshop where in the image the straight lines are. If there was any barrel distortion (including fish eye lenses or wide angle lenses), then the lines that are draw will follow inherent lens curvature and Photoshop will draw a curved line instead of a straight one. For each line there is an option to right click and pull up a dialog that will straighten out and fix to the vertical/horizontal.



Once the correction(s) have been made, the result will be sent back to Photoshop and shown on the original Smart Object layer. Notice the Curves adjustment layer is still in place above the original Smart Object layer. The Filter is applied to the Smart Object and will be positioned underneath it (as shown below). The Filter adjustment will be created with a mask, the mask can be used to show/hide parts of the filter effect. Also, using the eye icons that are next to the mask, the filters can be turned. The filter adjustments can be re-edited by double clicking on the filter.



Everything at this point is re-editable including the curves adjustment, original RAW edits from Lightroom as well as the Adaptive Wide Angle, all by double clicking on the relevant object.



Once back in Photoshop the crop tool can be used to trim the picture up and remove the monk from the edge. The Crop inside Photoshop CC as well as Photoshop CS6 has the non-destructive crop feature. The non-destructive crop feature has a small icon on the tool bar which can be used to control the removal of pixels after the crop. In this example, the pixels will not be removed and can be re-edited at any time (this option may also be marked as ‘Delete Cropped Pixels’ on the crop toolbar).



Once the Photoshop file is saved (CTRL (PC)+S / (CMD (Mac)+S) the result will be placed in the same location as the original RAW file and will also appear next to the original file inside Lightroom.



Once the PSD file is inside Lightroom, it can stay there an be part of the search/index system and can be found during the Lightroom filtering process. If the PSD file needs to be re-opened inside Photoshop then the regular CTRL (PC)+E/CMD (Mac)+E keystroke can be used to send it to Photoshop. Additional Lightroom adjustments can be made inside Lightroom at this point and re-opened using the Edit a copy with Lightroom Adjustments (remember that Lightroom will never modify an original file). However, the benefit of having the Camera RAW filter inside Photoshop means that adjustments at this stage in Lightroom are no longer required, the file can be simply opened into Photoshop and made using the Smart Objects and Camera RAW filter. This approach can make the editing process non destructive even after the Photoshop file has been saved.




Once the file is opened as the original from Lightroom, then the file will be opened from where it was left.



If in Camera RAW, the PSD file can be opened by using the ‘Open With – Photoshop CC’.








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#CreativeFriday – Sandra Canning and 3D Printed Photographs

Lithophanes have been around since the 1820’s, and now 3D Printable lithophanes for use on desktop 3D Printers are starting make this technique more accessible for all. Pre-created and downloadable lithophanes have been published on content libraries like Thingiverse for a while as well. However, trying to make your own from your own Photographs or even artwork requires specialist skills and knowledge of 3D applications. Since earlier this year, Photoshop CC now has the ability to create 3D printable lithophanes from your own images and makes this process really easy. The way to use Photoshop CC to achieve this, is covered in depth in a previous blog.

3D Printed photographs are an exciting new concept for Photographers and a very unique way to show off your work. One such Photographer who is active in printing 3D lithophanes is Sandra Canning.

Sandra Canning BW

I asked Sandra if she would be interested in join me for an interview and share her thoughts and motivation for creating 3D Printable lithophanes for my readers.

Richard: Sandra many thanks for agreeing to take part in this interview and thank you for your time. Similar to yourself, I am very excited about the possibility of being able to print Photographs using 3D printers, both on the desktop as well as using an online services as well. Can I first ask what is your background as a creative / photographer?

Sandra: Fine art photography is my specialty. My preferred subjects are landscapes, seascapes, architecture (using long exposures). I am an amateur, but my goal is to eventually pursue my creative projects full-time. I am mostly self-taught and started to seriously develop my skills about 3 years ago.

Richard: What inspired you to invest time in photography and what is your focus when taking images.

Sandra: I pursue photography for purely selfish reasons. Creative expression is how I reconcile a world that seems to be going increasingly mad. By creating beautiful things I can balance the other negative emotions that are a part of everyday living. Photography is my first love. I desire to share the uplifting spiritual connection I get when creating. I believe that the world and its people are just as capable of miracles as they are mayhem. I simply choose to focus on the good. Sales are starting to pick up so it’s also nice to know that others appreciate the work. I am also grateful for the awards and recognition I have gotten.

Richard: What inspired you most to become interested in 3D and 3D printing photographs?

Sandra: Around May-June of 2014, I wanted to find something new to do with my pictures, and I stumbled on some articles about 3D printing. The creative possibilities blew my mind. I had heard about it prior, but it never seemed relevant to me. I remember gawking at the impossible design innovations in sculpture, fashion, jewellery etc. But when I looked for 3D Printed applications for photography there was much to be desired. I came across 3D printed lithophanes, but the pictures were not fine art quality. This breakthrough technology also seemed to have a content problem. The lithophanes I found were of Yoda and cats. At that moment, I got the bug to create 3D printed, fine art quality lithophanes of my photos. I have been on that mission ever since.

Richard: What do you think are the biggest obstacles in moving into and taking up 3D printing?

Sandra: I started this a few months ago with no background in engineering, design, or 3D printing whatsoever. So, I can only speak from my very limited experience. My biggest issues are: costly high-resolution printers, limited and expensive materials as well as the difficulty of creating printable 3D models. Spending thousands of dollars to make a small plastic item is not a compelling use case for an artist trying to sell “fine art objects”.

Richard: What do you think is missing in the move to 3D and 3D printing that would help others adopt this technology / technique?

Sandra: Unless you already are a 3D designer, creating a 3D model is a very time consuming, anger inducing, and expensive to outsource. Going from an idea to 3D model has to get easier, be more accessible and more fun. Thankfully this is being addressed. Lithophane actions (and the other 3D tools) in tools like Photoshop CC can make it fun to generate a printable model. I have not tried Photoshop CC yet as i have been using specialist people, but I have been following the advancements and plan to give it a test drive soon. If you are a professional photographer, I am not sure that you will make much of a profit just yet. Current at-home 3D printers are expensive and the build volume is small. Galleries want BIG. In the short term, I would rather pay for a maker space pass or use a service bureau for printing the final part. I think that in the next year the high-definition machines will be far more powerful, larger build volume, better reliability, better materials and will be half the cost of today’s machines.

Richard: I hear that you have had 3D photographic exhibition, can you tell us about that and what was the reaction of your guests?

Sandra: I never would have been able to do the exhibit without the help and support of Prototyping Solutions (http://prototypingsolutions.com/). What made the collaboration with them a success was that it was fun for these hard core engineers to get a chance to flex their artistic muscles. It was a treat for them to do something that was not the typical widget. They saw the vision and jumped in head first. Attendees at the exhibit were visibly impressed when I explained that the same machine used to make the 3D printed photographs could also build a small car or industrial prototype. The lithophanes were printed at 16 micron layer height in Vero White on a Stratasys Objet260 Connex 3D printer. Each part took around 30-45 minutes to build.

Richard: What would you like to see develop to further enhance this technique that you are now pursuing?

Sandra: The lithophanes I exhibited were beautiful, but my vision was to create a little time-machine and bring back lithophanes from the 1800’s. I need a different material (translucent porcelain). I would love to see the lithophanes in full-colour (for the next exhibit ;-). I also have some other ideas for 3D applications for 2D photos.

Richard: Do you think you will ever look at real 3D modeling or will this be your focus moving forward?

Sandra: I will do as much as I can with the limited time I have. I wish I could devote all of my time to the many ideas I have been getting since embarking on this journey. I have some new ideas for sculptures, tableware, and jewelry. It blows my mind that 3D/3D printing allows a non-traditional sculptor to create sculptures. Never before in history have creators had this kind of power. I plan to start taking classes in 3D design.

Richard: What creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?

Sandra: The lines between creative disciplines seem to be blurring if not completely disappearing. I refer to it as the BIG RETHINK. The people who inspire me are the revolutionary thinkers who are not afraid to venture into foreign territory. Iris Van Herpen’s collections are great explorations of so many specialties. By combining 3D printing, biology, engineering, architecture, and innovative materials, she is refashioning the boundaries. Neri Oxman is one to watch because she has the eye of an artist and the mind of a scientist. Her revolutionary ideas on “material ecology” have had a clear influence on design theory moving forward. The Metal Series of shoes by Bryan Oknyansky still has me speechless.

Richard: What social networks do you like most?

Sandra: I am actually suffering from social media fatigue at the moment. Reluctantly, I’m on Twitter, Google +, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, 500px. I need to find time to work on my Google Gallery.

Richard: How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?

Sandra: We may have a problem. Remember when Taylor Swift said in her WSJ Op-Ed piece, “In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.” I think this is also true for photographers on social media. So many people have mastered social media and have a million followers although their work is just borderline. The networks have to pander to people with lots of followers regardless of the quality of work, and sometimes that means seeing the same people over and over. Not sure how this will play out.

Richard: What are you looking forward to in the future?

Sandra: Bringing to life some sculptures, jewellery, and tableware I have been thinking about. I also have to perfect the 3D printed lithophanes. Right now they are quite good, but they can be improved.

Richard: Do you have any future projects that you would like to talk with us about?

Sandra: 3D scanning and depth cameras are high on my list to investigate. I love the idea of going from 3D scan to 3D model. I intend to do quite a bit in the future with 3D scanning. When I realized there would be no going back for me and that as a creator I had to master these skills, I formed a Meetup group to share and learn with others. Check it out here http://www.meetup.com/ArtOf3Dprinting. The mission of this group is to popularise 3D printing through fun and engaging events. I have to thank 3D Systems for sending Megan Innes to Miami to demo the iSense 3D scanner on October 25th. I am always on the lookout for partners to lead workshops, so please contact me if you have compelling products or talents that would make a fun workshop. You will find an eager audience in South Florida. I am excited to create more events.

Richard: Is there anyone that you would like to thank in this shift to 3D and 3D Printing?

Sandra: I feel like I stumbled into 3D/3DP blindly. The real miracle is the incredible amount of people who reached out to grab me as I stumbled. In the end I didn’t do it alone. I am so happy I was not my usual stubborn self, Miss Independent. I am happy I did not let the fear of knowing absolutely nothing stop me from pursuing my vision. I have met some of the kindest, smartest, and creative people on this journey. Collaboration has been the key to my success so far. When we start regularly cross-pollinating engineers and artists, things will become even more exciting.


I owe 1000 thanks to Prototyping Solutions for 3D printing the lithophanes of my photographs for the exhibit. The full list of people who helped is on my blog.


Thank you, Richard, for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts on these very exciting new tools for creators.
I would like to thank Sandra for this interview, if you would like to see more of Sandra’s work, then please head over to her website.

Sandra’s original photograph.

Tree in Key  Biscayne

The printed output on Vero White on a Stratasys Objet260 Connex 3D printer

Unlit Tree in Key Biscayne Lithophane

The final result is back lit and hung on the wall.



Sandra created many more examples and displayed them in a galley for her follows to view.

Proteus Rising From the Sea-Lithophane


Sea of Love Lithophane


3D Printed Lithophanes on display at Sandra’s exhibition.


Lithophane Art Exhibit Sandra Canning


Sandra Canning

This is the serendipitous journey of a female photographer unveiling beauty in all her disguises. Canning is noted for saying that sometimes she finds the pictures, but quite often they find her. Her mission is to go beyond the veil to reveal the beauty that is hidden in plain sight. Canning’s vision when creating an image is based on sharing our “Beautiful Whirled” as she sees it: through the prism of optimism, lit by hope, inspired by awe, and ruled by beauty.

Her belief is that when we commune with beauty, we touch the Divine. Her typical subjects include seascapes, landscapes, & architecture. Canning is mostly self-taught. Long exposure is her preferred technique. She says this is because it provides a photographic record of something that lies somewhere beyond “real life”.

Photographing the fourth dimension (time) allows her to transport the viewer to a world between worlds. Canning has been published in numerous magazines, won awards, sold to collectors and the hospitality industry. She was born in Trinidad, and grew up in St. Thomas USVI. She has lived all over the world, and I now resides in South Florida. www.sandracanning.com


3D Printed lithophanes from the Stratasys Objet Connex 3D printer can also be made in the UK by the good folks at IPF.

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EUROMOLD 2014 – Mike Scrutton Demonstrates Colour 3D Printing Potential

At Euromold this week Mike Scrutton of Adobe is presenting off the Stratasys stand, and showing the capabilities of how 3D models can be painted and customised inside Photoshop CC, then printed in full colour on the Stratasys Object 500 Connex 3. The TCT article can be found here.

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TCT 2014 – Mike Scrutton Talks about Printing 3D Objects in Colour

In November at the UK TCT 3D Printing show, Mike Scrutton from Adobe talks about the challenges of printing 3D Objects in full colour.

The full story can be found on the TCT web site

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Upcoming Lightroom Webinar with Adobe and DataColor

DataColor and Adobe will be hosting a free joint webinar on Tuesday 2nd December 2014 at 7pm GMT. The talk will be showing how to use Adobe Lightroom to edit your Photographs. If you would like to join and listen into this session, then all you have to do is register yourself by using this link.

The presenters will be myself and Richard West from Datacolor, and will be suitable if you are an Amateur, Semi Professional or Professional Photographer.

rc rw


Talk Details :

In this joint Webinar from Datacolor and Adobe Richard Curtis (Adobe) and Richard West (Datacolor) will look at the Photographic editing process from start to finish when using Adobe Lightroom. We will dissect key points in the workflow and look how they affect each stage of the editing process. From key considerations when importing images, such as capture options to which options make the biggest difference in the development module.
The talk will also look at image output and export options from Lightroom and what to consider at this critical stage.


Richard West (Right above)

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


Richard Curtis (Left above)

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. He is a keen technologist and a photographer for over 20 years, with a focus on travel and portrait photography.

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#CreativeFriday – Lightroom 5.7 Commenting feature

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 was updated this week (5.7 update) to include Lightroom Mobile Commenting. Essentially this enables you to collect your own comments from your mobile device or both your own/public comments via the Lightroom web based interface. Using the Lightroom web based interface, means that you can now collect comments and feedback from your clients, customers or your family and friends.

NB. Lightroom mobile is only available via the Creative Cloud Subscription (including the Creative Cloud Photography Bundle).

Within Lightroom on the desktop it’s simple to make your photographs (RAW, PSD, TIFF etc) files accessible on your iPad or iPhone or the web interface.

Let us take these images. They have all been selected (as you can see marked in yellow, as they have the light grey background).

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To add the selected images or to just create a new collection, click on the ‘+’ icon (marked in red) next to the Collection panel. A dialog box will be displayed, which will allow a Collection to be configured, and enable this Collection to sync to Lightroom mobile. In the dialog box, just give the Collection a meaningful name. The check box ‘include selected photos’ will make sure that all images that are selected in Lightroom desktop will be included, and the ‘Sync with Lightroom mobile’ check box will enable this Collection to take part in the Lightroom mobile activity.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 06.22.22Once this has been actioned, Lightroom desktop will start to sync the files to the Creative Cloud (marked yellow), then publish to a private folder on Lightroom mobile. A new button has also been added (marked in blue), which will allow the Collection to be shared publicly. Anyone with the Public URL will be able to view the contents. (NB. the Collection will not be available to search engine crawlers, do you will need to provide the link to your viewers).

There is also a context menu available on the Collection, this is found by using a right click on the Collection name (marked in red above/below). Once the context menu is shown (see below), an option to access Lightroom mobile links can be used to turn on and control the mobile features. From here the collection can also be made public by selecting the ‘Share Collection’ or you can view the collection in the web view.

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Once the Collection has been shared, distributing the public URL from Lightroom desktop is easy. The public URL (as shown in green below) on on the Collection definition.

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The shared Collection also has a fly out menu (marked green below). Using a right click on the public URL, as shown below, allows copying it to the clipboard for pasting into other communication services (email, iMessage, twitter etc).

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In Lightroom mobile web view, the access type is shown by the Collection name. Notice the lock at the top of the page, this signifies that the collection is private and only available via your Adobe ID (both on the web and via Lightroom mobile on the mobile device).

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This collection looks exactly the same on the mobile device. Functionality for each collection can be found by touching the 3 dots (marked in yellow below).


Once the 3 dots have been selected, a menu will appear.

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A new option to Share the web collection in Lightroom 5.7 has been added. Touching this option will show and enable the sharing options.

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Sharing will immediately make this collection viewable by anyone with the URL.

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The link is sharable directly from the mobile device as soon as the collection has been made public. Sharing options will utilise the iOS options, services like email, twitter, iMessage are available (plus others, depending on the apps that you have installed).

N.B. The collection can also be made non public at anytime, by Unsharing it.

Once the collection has been made public, it can be used to collect comments from the viewers.

When a viewer opens the Public URL they will be able to navigate around the collection and view single images at any time. On the bottom right hand side (marked in red), viewers can add comments as well as likes the image(s).

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Likes can be created by clicking the heart icon (marked in red below), and comments created by typing into the comments field (marked in yellow below). Likes and comments are show in the list above (marked blue and green below).

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Comments can be removed by the viewer, by hovering over the comment and a trash option will be displayed.

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Once clicked, the comment(s) will be removed.

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Once a comment has been added to an image, the comments will be synced back to the collection in Lightroom Desktop. A notification in yellow will be shown in the top left (marked in red), also, a small comments icon will appear on the collection (marked in yellow). A context menu is available by right clicking on the collection (as shown in blue). Selecting the Review comments will show the comments that have been added.

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Comments will be shown in the comments panel (marked in red), for the image (marked in yellow).

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Any comments that are received are also available on the mobile device


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