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Archive for the 'Photoshop' Category

Snow and Ice Challenge

Thanks to all who sent in their submissions.Are you tired of winter? Is the snow and ice wearing you out? Are you cursing the groundhog and Mother Nature? Unfortunately winter is not over yet. The forecast for the next 7 days includes low temperatures and more snow.

If you want to beat the winter blues, get involved in IT Training’s Snow and Ice Challenge. Grab your camera, Smartphone, or camcorder and take a photo or video that will raise our spirits and make our readers smile.

Your entry must be original and it must be submitted by the person who captured the photo or video. But unlike many other photo or video contests, for this challenge you MUST use your favorite application to enhance, distort, or manipulate the media in some way. For example, you can use Photoshop to put clothes on your snowman or use After Effects to convert snowflakes into ice cream cones. Be creative! Have fun! Get out of your winter funk! If you manage to make us smile, we will post your photo or video on this blog.

If you’re interested but you don’t know how to edit photos and videos, consider taking a Photoshop, After Effects, or Premiere Pro workshop. Our classrooms are always warm and full of bright ideas, but if you can’t bear the thought of getting out to attend an instructor-led workshop, consider downloading workshop materials or attending online training sessions.

For more information about how to submit your photo or video, click here.

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…and we have a winner! Congratulations, Andrew! This video is quite entertaining. Nice job.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a submission. Here are a few of the other entries:

Woman, Snowman, and boy

 

Snow Scene

 

Boy in snow

 

CIB Bldg in Snow

 

How to organize your files

files_header

I’m sure this isn’t going to be the most advanced tip you have ever came across, but this new way of organization changed the way I manage my files. Today I’m going to show you how you can Photoshop, paint, PowerPoint, or whatever your favorite software is for creating simple block graphics in order to make your very own custom background.

Read the rest of “How to organize your files” »

Preparing Graphics for the Web

The best way to save your images

One of the biggest space fillers on your computer right now is probably images and movies, especially if you’re a designer. Digital images take up a lot of space all over the place–in our emails, computer memory, webpages, etc. It’s such a pain when you don’t have any more space on your devices, and absolutely everyone hates when those pesky large files take FOREVER to load. When working with digital image files there are certain file types that work better depending on what you are doing.

Small info graphic stating "Know your file types: When to use .gif, .jpeg, .png"  Read the rest of “The best way to save your images” »

Try out and save effects with Photoshop Layer Comps

You can save different versions of an image using the Layer Comps panel, and then choose one later. You may want to try on effects by enabling visibility, position, and appearance of specific layers of that image. A common example would be  where you want three or more versions of the same image; for example, one version may be black and white, one tinted, and one in full color.

image showing visibility of two layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel

image showing visibility of two other layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel  image showing visibility of two layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel

With Photoshop Layer Comps you don’t have to save three different images. Instead, as long as you save your changes in layers, you can save and compare each of these adjustments in the same image.

The beauty of Layer Comps is that when you save your document as a Photoshop document, you can always return to all your settings by returning to each of your saved Layer Comps. You may close the document and still return to all your settings later when you open the document. Layer Comps will remember some, but not all, of your modifications.

To start using Layer Comps, show the Layer Comps panel: from the Photoshop menu, choose Window -> Layer Comps.

With the Layer Comps panel in view, to save specific layer combinations, simply show and hide the layers you want in the Layers panel. With each variation, click the Create New Layer Comp button  Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 5.27.19 PM in the Layer Comps panel. The visibility of the layers will be saved just as you specified. Name each Layer Comp so you will know at a glance which set of layers will be viewed when you select them later.

Use Photoshop clipping layers to create overlays and cameos

image_inset

In Photoshop, a clipping layer is a layer whose pixel or vector content acts as a mask for one or more layers above it. Where either pixel or vector content exists on the clipping layer, you can use the shape of the content to reveal what is on the layer above, while its transparent areas reveal what is on the layer below.

The result of the clipping action is that you don’t actually see the content of the clipping area; you are just using its shape like you would a cookie-cutter. One of the things you will do most with clipping layers is to make type or a shape look like it’s filled with a photo. You can do this over a transparent background, or over another image.

Here, we started with a simple river landscape, for which we would like to add an inset of eagles:

River image in Photoshop. One layer only at this point.

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Use a Photoshop clipping layer to confine an adjustment to a specific layer

Sometimes in Photoshop you need to apply an adjustment layer to only the layer directly beneath. In the example below, a few shots were taken from a mobile phone with the intention to fit them together later into a panorama using Photoshop. In this case, because of changing lighting conditions between shots, the topmost layer happens to be darker:

layeredTemple1

By applying an adjustment layer to it, you can now see that the entire scene is lightened:

layeredTemple2

This is not the effect we want. What we need to do is brighten only the top layer, leaving the rest untouched.

Read the rest of “Use a Photoshop clipping layer to confine an adjustment to a specific layer” »

Quick way to create background color in Photoshop

Ever want to put a color in the background layer of you Photoshop file? It is so simple.
1. Click on the foreground color in the toolbox.

Graphic of Photoshop's foreground and background tool on the toolbox

 

 

 

 

2. Choose the color of the background desired by clicking in the large area on the menu. That color will appear under the word new:

Color Picker menu in Photoshop

 

3. Click OK in the menu.
4. Hold down the Alt key (Option on a Mac) and hit the Backspace key.
5. The background is filled with that color.
6. If the background color on the toolbox is what you prefer, hold down the Control key (Command on the Mac) and hit the Backspace key.

Just saved you lots of time, right?

Photoshop: Dodging and burning the nondestructive way

The Dodge and Burn tool in Photoshop are older tools that refer to the photographic process of managing incoming light during the photochemical developing process, to make certain areas of the photo light or dark. Because these tools are readily available on the Photoshop toolbar it is easy to blithely use them, only to discover that we overdone the effect and have damaged pixels.

There is a nondestructive way to lighten or darken parts of an image in Photoshop using a new layer with a Blend mode. See the technique here:

http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-editing/dodge-burn/

Note, however, that it is not necessary to fill the layer with 50% gray because in any of the Contrast blend modes, gray IS already transparent. Thus, just add a transparent layer on top of the one you want to lighten or darken, change the blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light (these work best for me) and then paint with black or white in varying opacities over the areas you want to darken or lighten, respectively. 

Delve into Photoshop’s tools with this collection of resources

Adobe Photoshop is a complex piece of software to tackle. If your goal is to become a Photoshop expert, plan on spending several years working at it. If you want to learn as little as you can to make it useful, I suggest you take our Photoshop CS6: The Basics workshop.  If and when you’re ready to go further, try the other workshops and webinars  that we offer.

Learning how to use Photoshop requires a hands-on approach, and once you’ve exhausted all of IT Training’s offerings, you’ll need to seek other learning resources. Luckily for you, the Internet is overflowing with free Photoshop tutorials. In this post, I share a few of them with you.

Photoshop is all about the tools. There are probably hundreds of them, and if you don’t know which tool to use for which task, you won’t be able to accomplish very much. That’s why I searched the Web for tutorials that really focus on Photoshop’s tools. It seems to me that learning what each tool can do is like learning the alphabet. Once you have the letters, you can build words, and then sentences, then paragraphs; you get the idea.

So without further ado, here are six tool-focused Photoshop tutorials. Click titles to view the tutorials.

Read the rest of “Delve into Photoshop’s tools with this collection of resources” »

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