How to use the Seletion Brush in Photoshop

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-14-31-03Manga Studio has a really nice feature that I have been looking for in Photoshop for some time: a Selection Brush.

In addition to the usual lasso, marquee and Magic Wand tools, there is a way to simply paint over a part of your image, which then becomes part of (or reduces) the current selection.

Turns out this feature (and then some) is part of Photoshop too – it’s just not called a Selection Brush. Although from what I understand, there is such a feature in Photoshop Elements (a different product entirely).

In Photoshop, this tool is called the Quick Mask feature. It’s dead simple and extremely versatile. What’s not to like? Here’s how to use it:

  • either, head over to Select – Edit in Quick Mask Mode
  • or simply hit the keyboard shortcut Q to toggle the feature on or off

Continue reading How to use the Seletion Brush in Photoshop





How to get rid of that scary blue line in Photoshop

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-11-08-37I was doodling away in Photoshop, one hand on the keyboard and the other using my Wacom pen, when out of a sudden this crazy cyan blue line appeared right across my canvas. Super annoying!

My Intuos tablet has a mind of its own sometimes, selecting things that I don’t want, and perhaps this was one of those occasions. Or perhaps I had accidentally hit one of the gazillion keyboard shortcuts that does something I didn’t even know Photoshop could do. Who knows.

Either way, I had an ultra annoying line across my document, and there didn’t seem to be a way to get rid of it. Here’s what it looked like:screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-50-08

 

Moving the document also moves the line, so it had to be something that could be turned off. But how?

Continue reading How to get rid of that scary blue line in Photoshop





EQUINOX Textures – now available at Renderosity

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I’ve just released a new texture pack, this time for the very versatile Strapless Mini Dress for Genesis 3 and Victoria 7, by hameleon and santuziy78.

EQUINOX contains a total of 40 texture presets for DAZ Studio, 20 for NVIDIA Iray and 20 for 3Delight. I’ve added presets for the whole dress, as well as separate presets for the ornaments (those sparkly little diamonds on the top).

All maps are 4000×4000 pixels, ideal for ultra high resolution renders. You can check out those promos at 1600×1600 by right-clicking on an image, then select “Open in New Tab”.

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Installation and Usage

  1. Unpack all ZIP files into your Poser/DAZ directory.
  2. Load a figure, then apply the “Strapless Mini Dress“ to it.
  3. In DAZ Studio, head over to your Content Library tab and navigate to
    People – Genesis 3 Female – Clothing – Strapless – Equinox.
  4. Choose either the Iray or the 3Delight folder.
  5. Apply your selections to the dress.
  6. Render and enjoy!

You can buy the Strapless Mini Dress here, and my texture pack is available here.





How to add Material Zones to an object in Blender

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-18-07-59Material Zones are – as the name suggests – different parts of a single object that can each be assigned a shader. This sounds more complicated than it actually is.

In a nutshell, you can tell an object that its top should look different than its bottom at render time – figuratively speaking.

Such zones can be assigned only at the modelling level, so that each surface can be described differently by your rendering app. Here’s how to assign these Material Zones in Blender.

Continue reading How to add Material Zones to an object in Blender





How to export only selected objects in Blender

By default Blender exports every item in your scene when you choose File – Export. That’s not so good if you only want to save out a small portion of a large scene.

But it doesn’t have to be that way: there’s the often overlooked Export Options on the right hand side, on the same page where you choose the file name and folder. The very first tick box is labelled Selection Only. Tick it, and only your selected object will be exported.

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There are plenty of other cool options in this handy dialogue too, such as Material Groups, Polygroups, Scale and so forth. Well worth checking out!

  • https://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?219117-How-do-I-export-just-the-selected-object




SYMPHONY Textures – now available at Renderosity

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Here’s a texture set I’ve made for Jolina’s Swimsuit by outoftouch.

SYMPHONY Textures is a set of 16 Material Presets for DAZ Studio, 8 for NVIDIA Iray and 8 for 3Delight. All maps are 4000×4000 pixels, ideal for ultra high resolution renders.

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Installation and Usage

  1. Unpack all ZIP files into your Poser/DAZ directory.
  2. Load a figure, then apply the “Jolina Swimsuit“ to it.
  3. In DAZ Studio, head over to your Content Library tab and navigate to
    People – Genesis 3 Female – Clothing – OOT Jolina Swimsuit – Symphony.
  4. Choose either the Iray or the 3Delight folder.
  5. Apply your selections to the dress.
  6. Render and enjoy!

You can buy Jolina’s Swimsuit here and my texture pack here.





COOL BREEZE Textures – now available at Renderosity

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Here’s a texture set I’ve made for the Jolina Dress by my friends from Rotenburg and der Wümme, outoftouch. Although we don’t actually know each other, I feel a special connection because I used to live in Verden an der Aller, which is a mere stones throw away from Rotenburg. It’s a small world!

The COOL BREEZE Textures consists of 16 material presets for DAZ Studio, 8 for 3Delight and 8 for Iray. Miami Beach remains a constant source of inspiration for me, and makes a welcome change from frequent hospital visits.

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Installation and Usage

  1. Unpack all ZIP files into your Poser/DAZ directory.
  2. Load a figure, then apply the “Jolina Dress“ to it.
  3. In DAZ Studio, head over to your Content Library tab and navigate to
    People – Genesis 3 Female – Clothing – OOT Jolina Dress – Cool Breeze.
  4. Choose either the Iray or the 3Delight folder.
  5. Apply your selections to the dress.
  6. Render and enjoy!

You can buy the Jolina Dress here and my Cool Breeze textures here.

 





How to open multiple images as layers in Photoshop

Photoshop CC splashDid you know there is a way to open several images in the same document as layers in Photoshop?

It’s a real timesaver if you have several renders that all need to be composited onto the same background for postwork.

It’s really easy to do:

  • open Photoshop (duh!)
  • head over to Scripts – Add Files to Stack
  • browse for several images, or choose a whole folder, or choose any open images you have
  • hit OK and let Photoshop go to work

When it’s done you’ll have all images open in the same document, stacked on top of each other in a new layer. Thanks to Julianne Kost for this valuable tip!





How to create a HDRI image in Photoshop

Photoshop CC 25yrsPhotoshop can combine multiple images into one and save them as HDRI, which allows us to use them in our 3D renders – either as 360 degree backgrounds or as light sources.

The way to do it has changed several times over the years – so here’s how this works in Photoshop CC 2015.

Continue reading How to create a HDRI image in Photoshop





How to fix “The interface of shader xxx is invalid” in DAZ Studio

Sometimes, the 3Delight render engine in DAZ Studio can throw a hissy-fit and complain with the following error message:

3Delight message #45 (Severity 2): S2069: the interface of shader '/Users/versluis/Library/Application Support/DAZ 3D/Studio4/temp/shaders/brickyard/{407f8e5c-3a9b-4708-b5e5-799ff1fe7c1d}/shader_Surface.sdl' is invalid
3Delight message #45 (Severity 2): S2051: cannot load shader 'brickyard/{407f8e5c-3a9b-4708-b5e5-799ff1fe7c1d}/shader_Surface', will use 'defaultsurface'

3dl2-4This problem occurs frequently on complex shaders, such as human skin. I have no idea what causes it, because it appears to happen randomly and without reason. Here’s an example of how scary such an error can manifest in a render.

Even saving the scene and loading it may not resolve the issue. Which can be extremely annoying.

Lucky for us there’s an easy way to fix this, thanks to a tip from jestmart on the DAZ Forums. All we have to do is remove the temporary folder in which 3Delight compiles shaders to make rendering more efficient (where I guess sometimes an error can occur). So it’s not the scene or the actual shader that has a problem, it’s just the compiled version of the files before the engine can go to work.

Here’s what we can do to fix it: remove the brickyard folder in DAZ Studio’s temp folder. On a Mac it’s located in /Users/you/Library/Application Support/DAZ 3D/Studio4. Here, navigate to the temp/shaders folder and remove the brickyard folder (the error message shows the full path to that folder).

On a Mac, navigating to that folder via Finder only works with a trick, because the Library folder is hidden by default. You an either use the command line to navigate there, or use Finder and hold down ALT while you click on the Go menu item (this will show the Library option).

When the brickyard folder is deleted, simply start that render again. 3Delight will go ahead and re-compile all missing shaders – this time hopefully without adding freaky effects. There’s no need to restart DAZ Studio. Nice!