Tagged: Photoshop

Quickly adding a vignette to your image in Photoshop

Vignetting an image is a way of highlighting a subject in the image by making the edges of the image darker or lighter. There are more than a few ways to add a vignette to an image in Adobe Photoshop, but by far the easiest way is to use the built-in Lens Correction tool. Step 1: Start by opening your image in Photoshop. An image with the subject in or close to the center works best, but isn’t necessary.

before vignette

Image before vignette

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Beauty is in the details

Some people have waaaay too much time on their hands! Or you could say, they have way too much Photoshop talent. I ran this article back in 2006 on my previous blog, but thought it was worth revisiting. Bert Monroy, a digital artist, has composed what is claimed to be the largest Photoshop image known to the public. A quick look at the above image doesn’t do it justice. Here are some specs for that image:

  • The image size is 40 inches by 120 inches.
  • The flattened file weighs in at 1.7 Gigabytes.
  • It took eleven months (close to 2,000 hours) to create.
  • The painting is comprised of close to fifty individual Photoshop files.
  • Taking a cumulative total of all the files, the overall image contains over 15,000 layers.
  • Over 500 alpha channels were used for various effects.
  • Over 250,000 paths make up the multitude of shapes throughout the scene.

Most of the basic shapes and the Chicago skyline were created in Illustrator and brought into Photoshop for the final touch. The attention to detail is just staggering, as seen in the image at right. When you consider that the zoomed in image at right is such a tiny portion of the overall image above, it’s just an incredible amount of detail for something virtually nobody will see at first glance. Most designers and artists would have skipped such details in such a large image, but it goes to show you what attention to detail can do for your image, and your reputation. You can read more at bertmonroy.com – but be patient, the page WILL take a while to load.

Shortcut to apply Layer Styles to objects in Photoshop

Adobe PhotoshopIf you haven’t used Styles in Adobe Photoshop, you’re missing out on a simple way to add visual styles to objects quickly. If you have used them, the following tip may make applying them quicker. Rather than selecting the layer you want to apply the style to, then clicking the particular style from the Styles panel, try dragging the style from the Styles panel and dropping it on the object in your Photoshop document you wish to apply it to. Why is this quicker? Because you don’t have to worry about which layer is active. You can drag a style to anything on any layer, not just the current active layer.

Adobe CS4 Printing Guide available for download

adobeAdobe has posted the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Printing Guide, which serves as both a detailed technical reference for handling Adobe Creative Suite 4 Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat files from your customers, and as a training tool for your staff. If you want to know more about graphics, exporting and printing, font issues, working with book files, output troubleshooting, color management and more, you’ll find this downloadable PDF guide extremely helpful. Direct-download links: CS4 Print Guide – low-res (PDF, 4.6mb) CS4 Print Guide – high res (PDF, 18.1mb) If you’re still using Adobe Creative Suite 3, you can download the Creative Suite 3 Printing Guides here: CS3 Print Guide – low res (PDF, 6.6mb) CS3 Print Guide – high res (PDF, 24.4mb)

Save more of your Photoshop history

One of the coolest features Adobe ever added to Photoshop is the History panel. It allows you to be creative and not worry about losing previous work once you apply filters and tweaks. A little known feature is the ability to customize your history. Click the fly-out menu from the top of the History panel and select History Options. From the dialog box that comes up you can adjust a few things that may make your History panel a little more useful.

Another way to sharpen images in Adobe Photoshop

There are lots of ways to sharpen an image in Photoshop, and there’s really no right or wrong way. But there are better ways than others. I think you’ll find the following method to be interesting, and provide pretty good results. First, place a copy of the image on a second layer by hitting Command + J. Set the newly duplicated layer’s blending mode to Overlay. Now go to the menubar and select Filter>Other>High Pass. Use a starting value around 4 to 6. You can adjust the values to your liking.

Time Magazine cover blunder

Maybe you saw it and didn’t notice, or maybe you read about it on the Photoshop Disasters blog. Either way, it’s a lesson in Photoshop work. The lesson is “stop and look at what you’re doing.” In their hurry to put together their election cover for Time Magazine, the designer clipped out an election booth and added a fake drop shadow to finish it off. Never mind that the shadow is done poorly, with the cast shadow being a solid shade with hard edges. They should have used a gradient from dark to light, with the lightest part of the shadow being the point furthest away from the object. They should have also added some noise to the shadow to soften it against a white background, and perhaps feathered the edges a bit. The real problem is that when you fake a shadow, it has to actually touch the item it is being cast from where the item meets the floor.

Time Magazine's Photoshop blunder

Time Magazine's Photoshop blunder

In the cover artwork above, you’ll notice that the voting booth has three legs holding it up, two in front and one extending in the back, and some sort of middle brace extending straight down. However, the shadow of the back leg and middle brace never touches the actual booth legs where they meet the floor. I’m sure the designer had to shrink the shadow vertically to make room for the black type just to the right of the voting booth, but in his hurry to “fix” it, he completely ignored the fact that the shadow is ignoring laws of gravity, professionalism, and pride in the designer’s work. When you’re cloning, removing or adding things to photos in Adobe Photoshop, you really need to step back once in a while and look at your work. Ask yourself if you “believe” what you’re looking at. Did you pay attention to the small details? There’s not a whole lot going on in the Time Magazine cover, the designer should have caught this problem and fixed it. It would have taken just a few minutes, and saved himself and Time Magazine a whole lot of embarrassment.

Open layered Photoshop files without the layers (flattened)

When you have a Photoshop document that contains many layers and layer effects, it can sometimes take longer than you want to open. That’s the price you pay for convenience. But there are certain times when you simply want to save the PSD file for use on the Web or for another use that doesn’t require the added file size and convenience of the layers. You could open the file normally, then flatten the image via the Layers panel flyout menu, but that’s too much work. Instead, try this tip. You can open a flattened version of your layered Photoshop file simply by holding down the Option and Shift keys while double clicking the file in the Finder, or opening it from the Open menu in Photoshop. Note: In some rare cases, Photoshop may pop-open a dialog box asking if you wish to use the composite data. Just hit OK and let it open. I’m not sure why it does this, but I’ve found that it usually happens on older Photoshop files.