Photoshop Blog

August 12, 2011 /Other news /Photoshop /

Hidden Gems in Photoshop CS5: Your Burning Questions Answered!

This week, we asked our Facebook fans to share their most pressing questions about Photoshop CS5. Whether it’s a feature or a project that’s got you stumped, we put our “Hidden Gems” expert, Bryan O’Neil Hughes, to the test. He reviewed nearly 100 Facebook comments and has selected a few challenges to tackle here, with some solutions you might not have otherwise thought of…

David Daigle asks:
How can I get a grid to show up in the Liquify palette? Not the map which moves but it would be helpful to see a grid so I could align my Liquify work, or at least guidelines to show up?

Bryan: Ok, this was a fun challenge for me – create a scalable, persistent grid that is static (unlike the mesh that you can create and view in Liquify), but that can still be viewed in Liquify.

Here you go:

    • Open your image and create a new Layer (blank)
    • With the new Layer (blank) selected, navigate to Filter/Vanishing Point
    • Use the Create Plane tool (C) to drop a point in each corner of the image
    • Change the size of the grid to get the look and scale you’re after
    • From the small fly-out (to the left of the “grid size” control), choose “return grid to Photoshop”
    • Now, select your Image Layer and navigate to Filter/Liquify
    • In the lower right, check “Show Backdrop” and choose your Layer (likely “Layer1”) from the drop down menu

You now have a visible grid that will remain fixed as you manipulate your image!

Nerius Toule asks (two posts!):
Show me how to create animation with Photoshop cs5?

Bryan: I’d happily pen a quick tutorial, but in looking around, I found a great video that shows not only an answer to your question, but one I often hear about Puppet Warp (“can I make an animation with that?” – as it turns out, YES!).

Lu Schmidt & Lorri Davey ask:
Lu: In Refine Edge, please explain what each thing does. I still have trouble getting fur and hair. Does it only work if there is high contrast? Lorri: Masking hair! I have tried till I am blue in the face and I can not ‘cut out hair even!

Bryan: Ah, fur and hair can be quite tricky. I know, because I have a cat! My favorite method consists of first using the Quick Select tool to create a selection. Painting a selection adds to a selected region, Option/Alt+painting removes areas…and as you include or exclude regions, Photoshop “learns” more about what you want in and out. Now for the fun part….

Many things are easier to show than tell, luckily I have a video of what works best in Photoshop CS5; here Russell Brown solves this problem beautifully, check it out (from 4:40-6:45):

Jeff Beadle asks:
What’s the easiest way to color match different photos when making a composite?

Bryan: I’ll give you two ways, but there are –of course- dozens!

The first of which is the route to all sorts of hidden magic – open files through Adobe Camera Raw. If they aren’t native raw files, try…

    • Selecting multiple JPEG or TIFF files from Bridge
    • Press Command+R and the files will open in Camera Raw
    • Now anything done to one file can be synched with the other
    • Simply “select all” and “synchronize” – Camera Raw will let you choose which changes you want to synch
    • For images taken in similar light, this is a fantastic way to ensure similar color tone, temperature and specific tonal properties
    • If you have many more, you can even Save and (later) apply a preset

The other way is great for images that have entirely different looks or lighting.

    • Open an image and the image you want to match
    • Navigate to Image/Adjustments/Match Color
    • Here you can select your source image and fine-tune the Luminance, Color Intensity and Fade

I’m a big fan of this feature for matching color, but also Black & White!

One last trick – try passing images through Adobe Camera Raw and adding a touch of grain. I find this gives images a little bit of structural consistency that your eye might otherwise pick-up (no matter how good the selection of color).

Thanks to our fans and followers for submitting your questions. We spent some time reading all your comments and you’ve given us some good fodder for future posts and product team discussions. We could blog on and on!

Bryan’s tips don’t stop here. He’s back in our studio recording more “Hidden Gems” videos to share with you in the future. Until then, check out our YouTube channel for some more tips like these and new uses for Photoshop CS5 features you may not have realized.

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Join the discussion

  • By karen rutab - 10:13 AM on August 12, 2011  

    why i cannot download cs5..can u help me pls

  • By Jayesh - 10:13 AM on August 12, 2011  

    Thank you for answering the queries and questions.

    I loved the way you’r always up for helping people.

    Thank you once again.

  • By Aya samy - 11:55 AM on August 12, 2011  

    thank u i was realy need this answer…..Aya samy

  • By Gabali - 12:36 PM on August 12, 2011  

    Thnx that was great .. cheers

  • By Tal - 6:36 AM on August 13, 2011  

    WOW! the color matching is genius! I didn’t know it’s porpoise up until now and it is such a great tool for stop motion animators!

    Also I like PixalBender!

  • By Jovana Gnjatic - 1:03 PM on August 13, 2011  


  • By Jovana Gnjatic - 1:07 PM on August 13, 2011  


  • By Akbar - 1:45 PM on August 13, 2011  

    thanks to u that i learned new tips of (The easiest way to color match different photos when making a composite) from u thank you very much,,,,,,,

  • By philip - 5:11 AM on October 21, 2011  

    I recently discoverd Adope Photoshop and also that one can download brushes but I could not can not coulor my brushes for example i downloaded the brush like wing bruhes and I want to make it more realastic I just cant can someone please help me or put a tutorial on youtube on how to make brushe more natural or how to colour brushes I downloaded a brush of a tree once I tried to colour it but ended up making it look like a a pre school kid drawing a christmas tree someone please help It will be highly appreciated.

  • By Bill - 9:38 AM on September 13, 2012  

    I recently purchased a Nikon D7000. I shoot in RAW. When I try to load the photos in PhotoShop it doesn’t recognize the files or says the format is not supported. I had been using a D90 shooting RAW and had no issues. I am using PS3. I have purchased PS6 but have not installed it yet.

    Thanks for your help.


    • By Pete Green - 3:30 PM on September 13, 2012  

      PS CS3 didn’t have support yet for the RAW files with this camera, it was added during CS5’s lifespan, and it is supported with the ACR version in PS CS6.