Category Archives: 2D

Ramblings, Tips and Tricks around 2D drawing apps such as Photoshop, Manga Studio, SketchBook and the likes.

How to delete multiple projects in iMovie

I edit most of my bike videos in iMovie on macOS. It’s quick and easy for what I need to do, and although it’s not a professional editing package, it’s very good for quick tasks. And it’s free if you own a Mac (or at least it once came free with it).

Over time I’ve amassed a huge library of videos that are still part of my library, and there comes a time at which even the biggest hard disk runs out of space. I already knew that I could delete a single project by selecting the project from the home page, then using the little disclosure menu on the bottom right and select Delete Project.

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Upscaling while preserving details in Photoshop

I’ve received a great tip from Patrick Schoolderman a couple of weeks ago, about how to upscale images in Photoshop with a new algorithm that Adobe call Preserve Details 2.0. I wanted to make a quick note about how to do this and share it with you.

The workflow is as simple as opening your image, then choose Image – Image Size. The big mystery then is to choose the right Resizing Algorithm at the bottom of the dialogue. Rather than Automatic, choose Preserve Details 2.0.

Enabling this feature

Currently (June 2019) this is a “technology preview” feature, which means in order for it to show up in the above dialogue, we need to enable it first. If you don’t see the option, head over to Preferences – Technology Previews and make sure the tick box is checked. Once enabled, restart Photoshop and try again.

While it doesn’t mean we can now shoot 640×360 instead of 4k images, or in other words “turn lead into hold”, this feature can drastically improve image quality when compared to the bicubic method.

It may even help os cut down on render time. I’m thinking of animations that would take much longer to render at higher resolutions, for which an upscale from 720p to 1080p might work well. I’ll do some tests and let you know.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Patrick 😉

How to switch Photoshop from Timecode to Frames

The Photoshop Timeline is a mysterious tool. You can open it from Window – Timeline, or you can open an image sequence/video clip and it’ll dock itself at the bottom of the viewport. By default it displays a sequence in a timecode of sorts, but it’s not the SMPTE or EBU timecode we’ve come to know and love. Instead, it’s something along the lines of seconds and frames, in a format like 02:02f or in other words, something NOBODY in the world would ever use.

But hey, they’re Adobe, and by default they can do anything they want (while extorting money from casual users). I don’t use Photoshop for physical film or video editing, but it’s a nice tool to have when converting rendered image sequences into video clips. I’ve described how to do this here.

When I work this way, I’m more interested in the frame count rather than some made up timecode-thing. I’ve found out how to change this in Photoshop CC, and thought I’d share it with you.

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FIXED: Creative Cloud reports “out of space” although there is enough

I’ve recently migrated my cloud files over to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. I’m currently getting 20GB of space without device limitations. I made the move because Dropbox recently introduced a limitation of the amount of “new devices” that can be linked with a free account, which meant I couldn’t link my new Z600 and Z800 workstations on my render farm.

All of a sudden I see this notice that some files could not be synced anymore, telling me I’d have to clear up some space in Creative Cloud. No problem I thought, several image sequences had been converted into videos so I deleted them. My Finder window reported a correct 9GB of used space, but the Creative Cloud app still reported in excess of 20GB. What was going on?

Turns out when you delete files from Creative Cloud, they go into an invisible Trash – not on your local computer, but – you’ve guessed it – “in the cloud”. That space counts towards your quota, and unless this is deleted, new files won’t sync across your devices.

That’s different from Dropbox, where deleted files could be accessed outside the storage quota for 30 days, before being deleted permanently. With Creative Cloud, we’ll have to do this manually (but of course, nobody tells you this)… now that I’ve found how how to do it, let me show you how.

Continue reading FIXED: Creative Cloud reports “out of space” although there is enough

About OBS Scenes, Collections and Profiles

When I first started using OBS Studio, I was tremendously puzzled about its use of Scenes, Collections and Profiles. It all makes sense if you know what these mean, which I guess eventually you’ll find out – but I wish someone had explained this philosophy to me instead.

Let me help you with that in this article.

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Where does OBS Studio save settings?

I genuinely like what OBS has to offer – especially the new OBS 23. In fact I like it so much that I’ve decided to support Jim and his the entire project through their Patreon Campaign.

Today I’ve “refreshed” my Windows system, which is the system that I use OBS on primarily, and after every good Windows refresh comes that time when you have to restore your machine to a working condition. So the question arose, where did OBS save all my scenes, collections and profiles?

Thankfully, Windows is clever enough to make a backup of the old Windows folder, deep down in which those settings reside (it’s called Windows.old in case you’re in the same predicament). Even if you’re not in this situation, let’s take a look at where those settings are hiding so we can all make a backup and sleep a little easier at night.

Windows

On Windows 10, you’ll find the OBS settings in %appdata%\obs-studio. At least that’s what several forum posts tell us. To the likes of you and me however, that might not mean all that much.

You see, %appdata% is a Windows system variable that contains a path to application related data. Depending which drive Windows is installed on, and what user name you have, its contents varies.

Let’s say my user name is “versluis”, and Windows is installed on the C: drive. This means that the full path to to the OBS data location would be

  • C:\Users\versluis\AppData\Roaming\obs-studio

You can back up the entire folder, or replace the contents of your current folder with that of a backup to bring back all your profiles, collections and scenes.

macOS

On macOS we’ll have to dig into the current user’s Library folder to find the same setup as above. The full path is

  • ~/Library/Application Support/obs-studio/

Much like in the above example, the Tilde symbol means “your current home folder” (macOS has two Library folders, one for each user, and one for the system). Again, if my user name was “versluis”, then the full path to the OBS Settings would be

  • /Users/versluis/Library/Application Support/obs-studio

I haven’t got OBS on Linux, but I believe the setup is similar to the Mac.

Creating Depth of Field in Photoshop

In this episode I’ll show you how to create an artificial depth of field effect in Photoshop, using the Blur Gallery. This can be useful for cutting down on render time, or to apply to images that have been taken with small fixed focus cameras (like the GoPro).

This technique is similar in style to this new “portrait mode” on iOS devices. The Blur Gallery has a lot to offer, I’m only scratching the surface by demonstrating both the Tilt/Shift and Iris Blur filters.

Creating a round cutout mask for OBS Studio

I like the way my PlayStation 4 adds a soft round cutout mask to the PlayStation Camera Feed when streaming gameplay. I wondered how I could best recreate this effect in OBS Studio for a consistent experience, no matter which device I decide to stream from.

Here’s how I did it, with a little help from Photoshop – feel free to use the resulting asset without any need for further fiddling.

Continue reading Creating a round cutout mask for OBS Studio

Creating a Zoom Blur Effect in Photshop

In this episode I’ll show you how to create a moving Zoom Effect in Photoshop, using the Radial Blur Filter. I’ll also explain the use of Smart Objects and how to blend the original image with the blurred version using a Layer Mask.

I’ve used this effect to create the thumbnail for my Vertigo Shot animation here: https://youtu.be/M-UevHx5CsQ

How to duplicate an audio channel in Premiere Pro

I recently had a clip in which the audio was only present on a single channel. Trying to edit that in iMovie proved impossible, because iMovie doesn’t have a way to deal with single tracks of audio. So I thought, I’m sure Premiere can do that.

The question was… how? It had occurred to me that I’ve never needed this feature in over 20 years of working with it.

I hunted around for less than one minute and found it – I thought I’d better write it down before I forget it again.

The trick to solve this puzzle was to open the Audio Effects palette and drag either Fill Left or Fill Right onto the audio track in question. This will double either channel onto the other one, ignoring whichever one is being filled in.

In my case, I had audio only on the left channel, and by my definition, I wanted my (empty) right channel to be filled with whatever was on the left channel.

Premiere does – of course – do the exact opposite: Fill Left will TAKE the left channel and FILL IN the right channel. And vice versa. Lucky for us there are only two of these options (at least in my version of Premiere Pro from 2011), so if Fill Left doesn’t do what you expect… try Fill Right 🤔

Anyway, another mystery solved!