Archive for October, 2014

#CreativeFriday – Texture and Text Effect Actions

I recently found some nice actions tucked away under the actions menu, so wanted to share with you, just in case you haven’t found them.

To access the actions panel (if it is not shown) in your current Photoshop workspace, select from the menu bar Window / Actions. Once the actions panel is open, click the panel fly out menu (marked in red), you will find the textures and other effects located there.  For the examples in this post Textures and Text Effects will be used. To select each one, click on the corresponding name.

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The actions are activated by choosing the one that needs to be applied, then clicking the play icon at the bottom of the panel. The actions will fill the canvas, and may overwrite layers below it. In the following example a clipping layer is used to place the new texture within the letters. Activating the clipping layer is done by holding the ALT key down whilst positioning the cursor between the two layers in the layers panel. An icon will appear (small white box with a black arrow (in Photoshop CC), a mouse click will activate the clipping layer and will immediately transition the layer into the clipping layer and the underlying layer will show through.


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Clipping layer applied.

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Example of Cold Lava texture


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Example of Rippled Oil texture


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The Text Effects Actions (available under the same fly out menu), gives some other interesting effects, as well (all of these effects can be created manually, but these actions will just save a load of time).

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Example of Brushed Metal

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Example of Clear Embossed. The clear embossed may need some additional elements adding to it, in the following example a Colour Overlay of Red has been added  as well as black background.


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Example of Die Cut.

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Example of Medium Outline.


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There is one other action that is worth exploring further, and is available under the same actions fly out menu. The LAB Black and White Technique is worth playing with.

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The action (as well as some of the previous ones), will stop half way through and ask for manual input. In this case the Hue/Saturation dialog box will be shown. This is a nice sandbox, so feel free to try to different values around the panel.

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Behind the Scenes on Gone Girl

Hollywood blockbuster Gone Girl was edited entirely in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. The workflow used by David Fincher and his post-production team offers insights into the evolution of filmmaking today. Working interactively, with editorial and visual effects tightly linked, the team was able to shape the 6K source footage into a cinematic masterpiece. Hear how they did it.

Watch the behind the scenes interveiew here

LEARN MORE about the Adobe Creative Cloud pro video tools:

Photoshop 2014.2 update – Move tool change workaround.

The Photoshop 2014.2 update, changed the behaviour of the Move tool which may not suit everyone’s workflow. This post documents a workaround that should replicate the previous behaviour of this tool.

Move Tool Change

Holding the CMD (Mac) /CTRL (Pc)  with Move tool selected toggles Auto-Select for objects on the canvas


If this change does not suit your workflow, there is a workaround which should support the previous behaviour.

-Uncheck auto-select, don’t hold down CMD to select items In the current layers… just use CMD click to define the’ layers you wish to select.
‘We used to select our layers in the layers panel, and then use the move tool while holding CMD to drag them all at once without needing to actually target the layers with the mouse.’
So in the case above… you CMD select your layers… then DON’T hold CMD to drag them all at once. No arrows required.

Editing your holiday snaps with Photoshop CC, presented by Gavin Hoey

If you missed the recent webinar “How to edit holiday snaps with Photoshop CC” presented by Gavin Hoey  or would like watch it again, then please find below the on demand – recording.


How to edit your Photos with Lightroom/Photoshop and DataColor

If you missed the recent webinar “How to edit your Photos with Lightroom/Photoshop and DataColor”, co-presented by Richard West of DataColour  or would like watch and listen to it again, then please find below the recording.



#CreativeFriday – Creating Duplicate Mirrored 3D Shapes in Photoshop

This is a little trick that i’ve been using recently. The problem that I had was that I needed to create a mirror image of an element on a piece of 3D art work that I am working on. For example take this 2D shape that has been created with the pen tool.

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Then if it’s duplicated, by holding down the ALT key and dragging it into the new position (or by pressing CMD+J(MAC), CTRL+J(PC)), will create the same shape.

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To create a mirrored shape, it needs to be flipped on the vertical. To do this, Photoshop’s free Transform tool can be used, by pressing CMD+T(Mac) / CTRL+T (PC).

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To make the mirror, the width can be changed from 100% to -100%, this will flip the shape.

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Now, how does that help with 3D?

Typically 3D elements in Photoshop CC are created direct from the path / shape. In this case, once the initial shape has been drawn it can be extruded. To do this, Once the layer is selected, menu item 3D  / New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer can be selected to convert the shape to a 3D shape. Because the layer is transparent, the extrusion will just be for the shape and won’t include the background.


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This will create the 3D extrusion. Once 3D extrusions have been created, clicking on them until the move widget appears (once is normally enough), will give access to it’s basic properties, including an option to edit the original source document.

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Once in 3D it’s simple to create a duplicate 3D object, by opening the 3D menu from the Window menu item. Selecting the main object, in this case Layer 1 (Marked in Red), then by right clicking and choosing ‘Duplicate object’. This will create a second 3D object within the same 3D environment.

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When the front face of the new object is selected, the font face inflation will be selected in the 3D menu.

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To get a mirror of the 3D object, it can be rotated by 180 and achieve the same effect, however, the face that will be shown to the camera is the back face.

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So, the thing to do is to flip the source in the same way as the 2D shape in the initial part of this blog

Reverting back to the front inflation view of this object, then selecting it until the move widget is displayed. The basic shape properties along with the ‘Edit Source’, will be shown in the properties panel (Objects will need to be created from Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC for the source to be editable. If Illustrator files are used as a source, then ‘Edit Source’ will open up the 2D Photoshop element, the illustrator file can be accessed by double clicking on the Smart Object Layer , then the original vector can be modified).

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Once this has been chosen, the original shape (as in the first section of this document) should be displayed. Following the same principles, CMD+T(Mac) or CTRL+T (PC) (to enter free transform) can be used.  The original value of the width is 100%, a new value of -100% in the width parameter will mirror the shape.

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This action will flip the shape on the vertical. This change can then be saved and committed to and the document closed. The 3D shape should also be updated and now be an exact mirror image of the original.

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This has been very useful when creating mirrored parts of my personal Photoshop CC 3D model project (Behance – Work in Progress).

Apple Aperture to Lightroom Import Plugin is now available

The Apple Aperture to Lightroom imported is now available as a plugin, from the Adobe Add-ons site.

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As promised in a blog post here, we are proud to introduce the Aperture and iPhoto import plugin for Lightroom 5.  The plugin allows Aperture and iPhoto customers to migrate their images and key metadata (such as keywords, events, project structure) into Lightroom catalogs in a seamless way.

Installation:  There are 2 ways to install the Aperture plugin.

Creative Cloud members – please visit the Adobe Add-ons page here and follow the instructions to install:

  1. Ensure that you’re using Lightroom 5.6.  You can check your Lightroom version by going to Help->System Info inside Lightroom.  If not using Lightroom 5.6, please update to the 5.6.
  2. Close Lightroom.
  3. Click on the Install button on Adobe Add Ons.  This will launch the Creative Cloud Application, which will download and install the plugin.
  4. Launch Lightroom.

Note – if you are unable to install, first try restarting the Creative Cloud application.  If that does not work, then please follow the instructions listed for perpetual customers below.

Lightroom 5 Perpetual Customers – please follow the manual installation instructions below.

  1. Ensure that you’re using Lightroom 5.6.  You can check your Lightroom version by going to Help->System Info inside Lightroom.  If not using Lightroom 5.6, please update to the 5.6.
  2. Download the plugin zip file to a known location (such as your desktop)
  3. Double click on the downloaded zip file to extract it.
  4. Navigate to the Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom folder.  To do so, use the Go menu item within Finder.  Please note that the Library folder is hidden by default and that you will need to hold down the Option/Alt key to make it visible.
  5. Check to see if there is a Modules folder.  If not, please create this folder.
  6. Copy the extracted aperture_iphoto_importer.lrplugin file to the Modules folder.
  7. Start Lightroom.

Download link ->  aperture_iphoto_importer


1.  Open the Plugin

For Aperture Customers:  click on File -> Plugin Extras -> Import from Aperture Library

For iPhoto Customers:  Click on File -> Plugin Extras -> Import from iPhoto Library

2.  Verify that the Library location is correct.

3.  Click on the “Options” button to see additional Options.  Here you can select the options that work best with your personal setup.

4.  Hit the Import button.

Expected Behavior

The Aperture/iPhoto plug-in is expected to import the following data from an Aperture or iPhoto library into a Lightroom Catalog:

  • Flags
  • Star Ratings
  • Keywords
  • GPS Data
  • Faces (face naming tags are mapped to keywords)
  • Rejects (files designated as Rejects in Aperture will be imported into Collections > From Aperture > Photos Rejected in Aperture)
  • Hidden Files (files designated as Hidden in iPhoto will be imported into Collections > From iPhoto > Photos Hidden in iPhoto)
  • Color Labels (Aperture Only – Color Labels are mapped to keywords: Red, Orange, etc…, including support for custom label names)
  • Stacking (Aperture Only – Stacks information is mapped to keywords: Aperture Stack 1, Aperture Stack 2, etc…)
  • Aperture project/folder/album hierarchy will be mapped as closely as possible into Lightroom collection sets and collections
  • iPhoto events/folders/albums will be mapped as closely as possible into Lightroom collection sets and collections
  • Import ‘Full size’ previews from Aperture/iPhoto (optional, off by default), provided that they are up-to-date
  • Aperture ‘Versions’ will translate into Virtual Copies in Lightroom (without adjustments)
  • Metadata that can be entered in the ‘Info’ panel in Aperture

Information that is not imported into Lightroom:

  • Image adjustments
  • Smart Albums
  • Face Tag Region of Interest (face naming tags are mapped to keywords)
  • Color Labels (other than optionally as keywords)
  • Stacks (other than optionally as keywords)
  • Any kind of creation (books, web galleries, etc) other than the collections that correspond to them


#CreativeFriday – Using an Image to overlay the Loupe View in Lightroom

Here is a super feature that allows you to overlay and preview any type of graphical content over a photograph in Lightroom. This is a handy way to see what your final composite will look like without having to drag and drop images into the Photoshop file (or even Place/Link images within Photoshop). This powerful yet simple feature will make it really easy if you are designing any type of magazine cover, book cover etc and allow you to make those aesthetic decisions very quickly.  This post will explain how to set up the graphic template in Photoshop CC, then how to overlay this on an image in Lightroom. The image below visually describes what you will be able to achieve once you have read and followed the instructions in this post.


Let us start out in Photoshop CC and make the template from some graphics. In this example there is a black banner with text in the lower 1/3 of the image, then transparency in the other 2/3 with a logo in the top left hand corner.


The logo in the top left hand corner was capture from artwork in the real world and captured using the Adobe Shape CC iPhone App (which is included as part of your Creative Cloud subscription, you just need to download and login with your Adobe ID).


The brush marks at the bottom of the image are from the Adobe Brush CC iPhone app. This brush is one of the standard ones that is available by default in the app,  you can make brushes out of anything in the real world (from in front of the camera), or from the camera roll.

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Once either or both of these effects have been captured with the iPhone/iPad apps (Brush CC is available on both iPad and iPhone), the artwork/content will be synchronised to the Creative Cloud Libraries, and shown in the Creative Cloud Library panel that is now available in both Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC. The Creative Cloud Libraries is a great way to consolidate many types of creative assets at a global level within the applications, making all synced assets available to the desktop(s) where you have the Creative Cloud Desktop App running. Content can also placed from Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC into the Creative Cloud library, by dragging it into the panel, this content will also be available in your other installations of the desktop apps  and includes Type, Shapes, SVG objects etc. The Creative Cloud Libraries is represented by the Creative Cloud icon (marked in Red) inside both Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC. When this panel is opened, the assets are shown (marked in yellow).

The Creative Cloud Libraries panel is accesible from the menu bar, Windows / Libraries.

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To use an asset of type PSD, PNG, SVG etc, just create a new canvas or open an existing PSD file, and drag the icon to the canvas. If using the brushes, then select the brush using the ‘B’ key (or from the tool bar), then paint as you would normally do (this obviously works on 3D objects as well).

The next operation is to save the PSD for reference, and to create a new PNG file, the PNG file will preserve any transparency in the document and will be used in Lightroom. To do this select the menu item File / Save As and choose PNG in the file format.

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Open Lightroom and make sure that menu item View / Loupe Overlay Grid and Guides are both turned off. In the following image, the pictures that i would like to preview have been placed into a Lightroom Collection, and is called “Urban Creative”.  (To create a collection, navigate to the Collection headings and click on the ‘+’ icon. This allows a new collection to be created and images to be placed into it).


If the images are not in a collection and are inside a folder, then previewing the overlay is the same. Collections  just organise the images in a more logical way, as opposed to the sort order of the folder (date/time. file name  etc). To show a single image in the main view (and not the grid view (as shown above)), press the ‘E key. A screen similar to the following should be displayed.


To load the PNG file that was saved from Photoshop and apply the overlay, open the menu item , View / Loupe Overlay / Choose Layout Image, then select the PNG file that was saved earlier. Previous overlays can be turned on by selecting the Recent Layout Images option.

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Once the image has been chosen, the PNG will be shown and the image will show through the transparent parts of the graphic design.

Once Lightroom is in Image Overlay mode a message for ‘CMD for options will be displayed’, pressing CMD (Mac) / CTRL (Pc) at this stage will allow you to configure the transparency and matt properties of the loupe image overlay:-

  •  Opacity will control how much of the image loupe overlay is shown (100% is full, 0 is none)
  •  Matt will control the opacity of the area around the loupe image (100 % is black and 0 will show all of the image)

To modify these values, hover over each one independently, and whilst still holding the CMD/CTRL key and holding right click on the mouse  / pen right click equivalent (if using one (i.e. Surface Pro 3 pen or Wacom stylus)) at the same time, will allow the values to be increased/decreased.


When CMD / CTRL is not pressed, and the image is double clicked Lightroom will return back to the Grid view.

When the CMD / CTRL key is pressed and when

  • The navigator (top left of the screen), is in ‘FIT’ mode, clicking on the image will zoom into 1:1. Space bar will also take you to the 1:1 view
  • If in Fill mode, the image will fit the screen
    The other zoom modes will operate the same way as they do when clicking on them in the regular loupe view

It’s also easy to reposition the loupe overlay and recompose the scene. To re-position the graphic overlay over the image and to find the best fit, hold down the CMD (Mac) / CTRL (Pc) key and grab the overlay graphics only (grabbing the image at this point might zoom the image). The cursor will change into a hand and you can now move the overlay image around (Moving the loupe around at this point will set it’s position for the next image).

I find the best way to see the image and new image overlay is to have the zoom mode in FIT mode. Make sure that the Tool Bar is off (you can toggle the toolbar using the ’T’ key), then press Shift + CMD + F (Full screen, hide panels), shown below.


10If this is not the correct image and you would like to try others, then use the left and right arrow keys to move to the next picture.

It’s also easy to use the overlay image, or a different range of images,  Press Shift + CMD + F (Full screen, hide panels) to show panels once again. Then select a new collection or folder. The Picture should change and show the new set of images that was selected, press Shift + CMD + F (Full screen, hide panels) and the images will be shown without the panels and toolbar.

(The models used in this post were used with permission from Leni’s models).

New 3D printer profiles for Photoshop CC

Photoshop CC now has had even more printer profiles added to enable 3D prints to be made on even more online services.

Photoshop CC already supported the Sculpteo and Shapeways 3D printing services, Photoshop CC now supports i.Materialise as well as DMM (for Japan).

The profiles are downloadable from the Photoshop 3D web site and It’s simple to install the profiles into your current version of Photoshop CC.

First, download the new profiles from the Photoshop 3D printing site, to your computer.

Once the file has downloaded you should either have a zip file, or a folder called ‘All Printer Profiles’. Open this folder / zip file and you will find a zip file for each printer profile.

Unzip the one that you would like to install and then open it from Photoshop CC, to do this, Open Photoshop CC and open menu item File / Scripts / Browse and select the .JSX file under within the printer profile folder

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You will see a ‘Done’ message as soon has the profile has been imported.

To make sure the profiles have been installed, open a 3D model into Photoshop CC, then goto the 3D menu and choose 3D Print Settings. You should see (in this example) the i.materialise profile under the print to selector (marked in red), and under the printer a list of materials should be displayed and available for selection.

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Repeat for other profiles.

If you are interested in seeing what artists are designing,making and printing from Photoshop CC, why not head over to the Photoshop Behance 3D Gallery.

Gone Girl goes from raw 6K footage to Hollywood thriller with the power of Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Two-time Academy-winning editor Kirk Baxter, ACE, discusses how Premiere Pro and other Adobe apps like After Effects give him a powerful editing and post-production toolset. See how the tight integration of Adobe video apps helped Baxter and team turn the raw footage of David Fincher’s thriller Gone Girl into a polished motion picture. LEARN MORE: