After watching our popular Photoshop CS5 Essential Training course, and hearing all about the photo-developing power of Adobe Camera Raw, one of our members wanted to know how to open her JPEG files in Adobe Camera Raw directly from within iPhoto. With a few Preference-setting hoops to jump through, it is entirely possible to set up iPhoto and Photoshop so that you can use iPhoto as your Photo organizing database of choice and still use Camera Raw in Photoshop to edit your JPEGs. Here’s a quick video tutorial that shows you the path of least resistance:
Note that for quick one-way edits (meaning you don’t have any need to go back to iPhoto with your newly edited image), you can set the Photoshop preferences as shown in the video, then simply drag an image from your iPhoto preview window onto the Photoshop icon in your dock and the image will open in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). Also note, while I recorded this in Photoshop CS5, the preference settings are identical in Photoshop CS6. As a bonus, if you’re already using Photoshop CS6, expect to see some improvements to ACR developing, too.
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This week’s Deke’s Techniques tutorial demonstrates how to take an otherwise land-locked model and make her appear to emerge from water. The key to this deceptively simple technique is to create a properly aligned, reflected version of the model’s image, that is based on a common smart object so that any changes to the original are reflected in the duplicate.
After you flip the duplicate upside down, your first step is to create a soft transition between the two images. In this video, Deke shows you how to set up a gradient transition in the intersection between the rightside-up and upside-down versions, so that no seams are visible between the two. Once you reduce the opacity of the reflection and add a water layer (adjusted to taste with a color overlay), you’ll arrive at the refreshing effect on the left below.
To make the properly wavy reflection on the right above, members of lynda.com can watch this week’s exclusive movie titled in which Deke shows you how to create a progressive ripple pattern that you can use for any Photoshop image.
See you back here next week when Deke will return with another versatile, reflective technique.
For this week’s featured five new tutorials, I have a sampling of movies from five different Photoshop courses we offer in the lynda.com library, each with a slightly different approach, scope, or focus. With the announcement of CS6, we’ve updated three of our mainstay Photoshop training courses, and when you combine that with our existing content, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start or which course is right for your needs. Here are some quick descriptions and free movie samples of five of our Photoshop offerings, from the encyclopedic to the specific, to help you figure out which one is right for you in your current state of expertise and interest.
Are you looking for more direction on where to start with Photoshop? Let us know what you’re looking to accomplish below in the comments section, and we’ll share our ideas about where to begin.
1. Photoshop CS6 Essential Training In general, Essential Training courses at lynda.com are designed to give you comprehensive knowledge of a software application and a solid foundational overview of the product from a real-world perspective. In the case of Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, this means author Julieanne Kost stays focused on the most important tools for photo editing and compositing, with just the right pairing of ‘how does this tool work’ and ‘why you want to use it and when.’ Essential Training courses are great for watching start-to-finish for the big overview, or if you need focused instruction on a tool, or set of tools, you don’t quite understand. For example, in this excerpt, you’ll see how Photoshop’s Liquify tool can be used judiciously in a variety of different real-world portrait retouching scenarios:
Note, if you’re working with an earlier version of Photoshop, there are Photoshop CS5 and CS4 essential training courses available in the library as well.
2. Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
The fundamentals course from the Photoshop One-on-One series also covers the core concepts of working in Photoshop, but veteran Photoshop instructor Deke McClelland approaches his training as though he were your private one-to-one tutor. Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is great if you’re looking for more insight into how tools integrate with one another, or if you prefer to learn through “mini-project” examples that develop over the course of a movie or a chapter. In this excerpt from chapter four of the course, you’ll see a six-minute lesson on blending, and, specifically, how to work with three distinct features: Opacity, the History panel, and blend modes:
Deke has been creating a version of the One-on-One Fundamentals course in the lynda.com library for several years, so if you’re working with an earlier version you can find this specifically tailored instruction for Photoshop CS3, CS4, and CS5 as well.
3. Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
Using Photoshop can mean different things to different people and this course is notable for it’s focus on the needs of a particular set of Photoshop students—photographers. In this course, Chris Orwig, a noted photographer and photography teacher, details the features and techniques surrounding photo enhancement and retouching, preparation for print and online publishing, and much more. He also teaches some of the foundational science behind digital photography, including this discussion of pixels and bit depth:
5. Photo Restoration with Photoshop
In this course, professional photo restorer Janine Smith describes how to use Photoshop specifically to restore, retouch, and enhance old or damaged photos. In addition to covering methods for fixing everything from exposure, to stains, colorcast, scratches, and tears, Janine also shares how to evaluate damaged photos before beginning the restoration process. A course that offers lessons through exploration of an example project, this course includes a hands-on photo restoration that takes an image from a damaged start to a restored finish. In this video from chapter nine of the course, you’ll see a before and after of the course project restoration, and a run-down of the improvements Janine will help you tackle, including, the restoration of a major crack through the subject’s face, color alteration, and the removal of several major damage spots:
The course was recorded in CS5 but it’s real strength is the best-practices approach that Janine takes to photo restoration, so you should find valuable information here even if you’re still working in CS4, or if you’ve just forayed into the brave new world of Photoshop CS6.
Photoshop is a complicated program that can be used in infinite ways for a variety of creative endeavors. The team at lynda.com is dedicated to making sure you can find a course (or maybe three) that really provides the depth of coverage, level of context, and variety of specific interest that you need. Are you looking for a place to start with Photoshop? Let us know here, and we’ll share our ideas about where to begin.
In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques, you’ll see how to create text out of thin air—well—smokey thin air. Using a photograph of smoke and some editable text, Deke shows you how to make wispy, ethereal letters using a standard text layer and Smart Objects.
You’ll start by putting your white, soon-to-be smokey, text in front of a plain black background layer, and merging these two layers to make a Smart Object. Next, you’ll work on distorting the text with a smart version of the Wave filter and managing the Randomize setting (which means clicking it until you get something you like) to make your smoke seem properly transient.
Then it’s a matter of adding appropriate Motion Blur, applying the best blend mode (in this case Color Dodge), and finishing up with some more Gaussian blur. Because Color Dodge is one of those blend modes that responds to Fill Opacity better than standard layer opacity, you’ll also reduce the Fill Opacity. The result is this completely editable, ethereal effect:
If this effect seems familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen it in action in the thumbnail graphic and introductory movie from Deke’s free Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview course (a living example of Deke using his effects in his own projects).
See you back next week with another free technique!
Designing for the web is a bit different than designing for print, so it’s important that you set up your Photoshop document correctly before you begin designing your web mockup.
First, in Photoshop, go to File > New. This opens up the New Document dialog box, where you can choose everything you need. Start with the Preset pull-down and choose Web. From there, you can choose the size of your document. If you want your site to appeal to the largest possible audience, don’t choose dimensions that are too wide or too narrow. A good starting place is 960 pixels wide and 690 pixels high. You can always adjust as you go, but this is a good starting size.
Leave the Color Mode set to RGB Color and 8 bit. Background Contents refers to the background color for your document. Leave it set to White. Click OK.
To help in your design layout, turn on your rulers by going to View > Rulers (or keyboard shortcut Ctrl+R in Windows, Cmd+R on a Mac). Since you’re in a web document, the rulers should display in pixels. Right-click on your ruler and select Pixels.
You can also select View > Show > Grid if you want a grid to help you with your design layout, and you can drag out some guides to assist you in the placement of your design. To create a guide, click and drag from a ruler into your document. Turn on the Info panel (Window > Info) to give you the precise location of your guide. You can reposition your guide at any time with the Move tool, and if you want to remove a guide, simply drag it off the art board.
Now that you’ve set the dimensions, color space, and resolution for your working file, you can easily move ahead with the creation of your web-design mockup.
This week’s Deke’s Techniques continues the celebration of Spring that began last week with an exercise in creating type out of freshly cut turf. In last week’s episode, Deke showed you how to create leafy letters by using a Photoshop type layer as a mask. In this week’s free video, you’ll see how Deke renders type in freshly cut grass. Like last week’s leafy letters, this technique begins by using a Photoshop text layer as a mask for a grassy green photograph, and leverages the power of Refine Mask to ensure that the letters have appropriately rendered edges that do justice to the grass hedges of our masked image.
This week Deke also goes a little further to show you the nuances of working with grass on dirt, which requires anticipating how to lift the appropriate shadow color from the dirt that underlies the turf. A grass effect is particularly sensitive to the Refine Edge command, meaning that the letters tend to run together in an unfortunate way. To avoid this, Deke shows you how to split the layer mask into two parts in order to make sure the letters retain their separation. As a final step, if you are working with turf, you naturally need to embed a perfectly landed golf ball into your image. With careful application of the shadow, you can really sell this effect, as seen here:
If you’re wondering why Photoshop looks so dark and elegant in this video tutorial, it’s because Deke has demonstrated the effect inside of the Photoshop CS6 public beta. For a limited time, you can download the application, free of charge, from Adobe Labs, and if you find yourself disoriented, you can also watch Deke’s entire Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview in the lynda.com library. The CS6 Beta Preview course has been unlocked and is free to everyone for a limited time during the beta cycle, so it’s a great time to try these techniques in the latest version of Photoshop.
See you back next week with another fresh technique from Deke!
In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques video, Deke turns ordinary text into…a shrubbery! This relatively simple technique combines a text layer and a leafy photo to make letters that appear to be made from foliage.
Deke begins by creating a mask using the standard Myriad Pro text. Then, using the Refine Mask command (in Photoshop CS5 or later—later meaning Photoshop CS6 beta), he renders his text to have a realistic, botanical effect. The refinement supplied by the Refine Mask feature allows the leaves to gracefully manifest around the letter edges, providing some transparency and detail. He follows up this relatively simple procedure with some key layer effects (Drop Shadow and Inner Glow) and voila, leafy letters! It’s a quick, easy technique that has an abundance of potential uses.
It’s good to keep in mind that you don’t have to use text for your mask—really, any shape outline will do.
If you’d like to go full topiary, Deke also has a member-exclusive tutorial this week called Creating topiary type, where he explains how to create the full grown from the ground look. All you need is a photo featuring some nicely textured plant life, and your Photoshop garden can grow to whatever shape you desire. Since Deke is lounging in Hawaii this week, I decided to use this technique to create the tropical topiary you see below. Applying the technique to a different set of files only required a few adjustments in the Refine Edge panel and a slightly different green for the Inner Glow layer style.
Deke will return from his island sojourn with another free technique next week.
In this week’s free technique, Deke uses a variety of Photoshop effects to turn a couple of unsuspecting rental car agents from this world into rental car agents from a galaxy far, far away. The eerie Star Wars hologram effect made famous by Princess Leia can work nicely on everyday substantive earthlings with the right combination of a custom pattern, a Displacement Map, and some choice layer effects. Imagine if your next rental car included the two regular people (on left) waiting virtually (on right) to acclimate you to the cool, but unfamiliar, controls of your strange vehicle.
The effect starts by saturating an ordinary pair of humans with some old-school, horizontal TV static via the application of a simple custom pattern (Deke shows you how to make the pattern in the free video). Then the shadows of the humans are given faux-holographic substance via the application of a Displacement Map. To finish the effect, Deke applies a few layer effects and shows you how to customize your holograph based on whether it’ll appear digitally or in print.
On the note of cool but unfamiliar controls, you may notice that in this week’s Deke’s Techniques movie Deke is using the new dark user-interface brought to you by Photoshop CS6. While Deke’s technique will work just fine in CS5, if you’d like to try Photoshop CS6 and experience the dark interface for yourself, you can download the free Photoshop CS6 public beta for a limited time from Adobe Labs. After you have the CS6 beta, if you’d like to hear more about how it works, lynda.com has made Deke’sPhotoshop CS6 Beta Preview course free to everyone for a limited time as well.
Now that you have the power to hologram yourself into any setting with Photoshop, where will you go first?