- Mike Hoffman is a designer, artist and photographer who enjoys teaching and sharing his knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom.
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Category Archives: Tutorial
We see loads of tutorials online teaching aspiring photographers how to retouch portraits of people, but it’s not very common to see one that deals with our avian friends. Nevertheless, retouching in bird photography is every bit as important (maybe more so) than retouching people. Since most birds haven’t had the chance to apply makeup before the shoot, we’re going to have to give them a little bit of help in post production to have them looking their best!
So, join me as we apply a little bit of makeup, mascara, and maybe even (gasp) a little plastic surgery as we retouch our bird portrait – and take it from good to great.
Over in the NAPP forums, last Christmas a user asked about creating textures of pine needles or straw to be able to draw a Christmas Tree. I offered a simple solution using the brush engine, and after a few requests, and enhancements (adding snow) decided to create this tutorial. I posted it on the forums at that time, but now have decided to post it online here for all to share.
Merry Christmas! I hope you’ll enjoy this!
One thing I really love about Photoshop is that it offers many different ways to solve a problem. There is generally no right or wrong way, just another way! And in coming up to speed with Photoshop, one of the key skills you’ll need to develop is creating selections and masks.
As with most other areas of the program, there are many ways to create a selection: ranging from the selection tools themselves (lasso, marquee, quick select, etc), to brushing on a layer mask or quick selection using any of the brush tools (brush, pencil, eraser, stamp, smudge, gradient, dodge, burn, etc) to even alt-clicking on a layer’s or channel’s thumbnail to load it as a selection (opt-click for you Mac users). However, I’m going to set all that aside today, and focus on another way to create complex selections – using paths and the paths panel.
We’ve seen that Adobe Bridge is a very powerful tool for managing many types of files, but with Creative Suite documents, and Camera Raw files, the Bridge is outstanding. This power comes at a cost in terms of system loading, though, and Adobe’s developers realized that not all systems are state of the art, blazing fast systems with unlimited memory. For that reason, they have added some ability to control Bridge’s on-the-fly performance and throttle back some of the processing power demanded, for those occasions when your system (or your patience) just isn’t up to it. One of the ways this is done is by controlling the display of thumbnails in the Content window.
Unfortunately, these settings frequently confuse new Bridge users. I’ll look at this problem and offer some solutions and pointers for taking control of Bridge’s display of thumbnails, and making it work for you.
Today, I have two quick Power Tips for using Adobe’s Camera Raw. These are just a couple of little time savers that aren’t obvious… and if you didn’t know they were there, you could skim right past them without seeing them.
Take a gander at these tips, and I hope they will lead you to further discoveries in the world of Adobe Camera Raw. Should you want to learn more, I’ve added some links to further learning at the end of this article.
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding Adobe Bridge CS4 is, “What happened to Contact Sheets?” They are no longer available as a script, although the Contact Sheet II, Picture Package, and other “missing” scripts are still available for download (Mac). In fact, if you ordered Photoshop CS4 in the box, you’ll find this and other scripts in the “Goodies” folder on the Content disk.
However, the reason these scripts aren’t installed by default, is that they’ve largely been replaced by Bridge’s new Output work space. With this work space, the Bridge developers have taken a hint from Lightroom’s Output Module, and have created an experience that, well, heads in that direction. As you’ll see, there is still room for improvement; but give the new work space a chance – it is certainly an improvement over the CS3 scripts, and I’m sure you’ll see many ways that it will help make you more productive.
When you browse the internet, you create favorites within Safari, Firefox or Explorer, in order to give you a shortcut to sites that you visit frequently. Having these “favorites” saved and organized allows you to navigate quickly and easily to web sites you visit most often, without having to type long and cumbersome URLs into the address bar of the browser.
When you work with Adobe’s creative suite, and manage multiple projects on your computer, you can use Bridge CS4’s “favorites” feature in much the same way as you would create shortcuts in your browser. Bridge Favorites allows one-click navigation to all your commonly used file folders within your system.
It’s Tuesday again, and around these parts that means it’s time for another tutorial. Today, we will continue our exploration of Bridge, which I’ve been calling the Swiss Army Knife of the Creative Suite. In this series, we’ve begun to enumerate the many ways that Bridge is oh, so much more than a file browser.
Today’s tour leads us to the many varieties of viewing, reviewing, and previewing that Bridge offers within its interface. As we’ll see, the options are many, although some of the capabilities are not quite obvious, if not downright cloaked in obscurity.
Last week’s tip focused on Photoshop’s Free Transform tool and the various ways in which Free Transform could be applied to combine all the power of every transformation tool in Photoshop’s toolbox, all at the tip of your fingers.
But wait, there’s more!
Yes, Photoshop is one of the most multi-dimensional wonders of modern technology. There are many ways to accomplish your tasks, and I’m here to provide you with some of the easier ones!
In NAPP’s User Forums, a member asked how to start with a small object in the center of an image, and create a spiral getting progressively bigger. Free Transform to the rescue! Except, in order to accomplish this effect, we’ll start at the outside and work our way in.
You’ll see why in just a moment.
Working with Adobe Bridge can be intrusive or annoying, as it takes up the full screen and you have to switch back and forth between Bridge and Photoshop, or Bridge and your other CS applications. You can make the Bridge window smaller, but you still have to switch back and forth, and the small Bridge window doesn’t show content the way you might like.
Not to worry! Apparently the Adobe developers noticed the same thing, and in Bridge CS4, they have introduced a solution: Compact Mode. Switching to Compact Mode in Bridge shrinks the window, but does oh, so much more. In compact mode, the side panels are hidden, and the interface becomes much more streamlined.