Category Archives: 2D

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

How to open and convert multiple raw images in Photoshop

Opening several JPG or PNG images in Photoshop is the easiest thing in the world: just select several in the Windows Explorer or in the Mac Finder, right-click to choose Open, and Photoshop brings in each image as a new document.

But when we try the same with raw images, it won’t work: although Photoshop shows us the raw processing dialogue for all our chosen images, and lets us make individual changes, as soon as we hit Open at the bottom, only the current image is opened as a new document.

What gives? How can we open and convert several images at once? Continue reading How to open and convert multiple raw images in Photoshop





How to draw with an image in Photoshop

Sometimes we want to reproduce an image using a brush stroke. It’s a handy way to replicate a 2D object along a path for example. Using the standard brush for this though, we’ll find that we can only reproduce a single colour image. But what if we want to reproduce all colours in our image?

Enter the Mixer Brush Tool. Here’s how to sample an image and draw with it in Photoshop. Continue reading How to draw with an image in Photoshop





How to create a drape effect in Photoshop

It’s easy to create an effect of draped cloth in Photoshop, like in the image above. We can do this with the Gradient Tool. It’s the icon with an actual gradient on it, sometimes hiding behind the Paint Bucket or 3D Material Drop tool (if you don’t see it, left-click and hold for about one second for the multiple icons to appear, or press the keyboard shortcut G repeatedly).

Once selected, choose Difference as the mixing mode at the top left of the screen, and make sure that the colours are set to back and white (other colours can give “very creative” effects shall we say).

Now start moving your cursor in short strokes from left to right, then right to left. Every time you change direction, the image is inverted. Add a diagonal stroke in every so often. You’ll create magnificent drape effects in no time!





How to export 4k video with Premiere Pro CS 5.5

I’ve finally worked out how to export 4k and 2.7k footage with my 6 year old version of Premiere Pro. That’s exciting news and gives the software a new lease on life!

With the standard export presets, tweaked to a resolution higher than 1920×1080, I’ve always encountered the following error message:

Invalid framesize/framerate for this Level. Please lower the Frame Dimensions, Frame Rate or increase the Profile and Level and try again.

Turns out Premiere has actually given me the answer to my problem right there in that error message, I just never really read beyond “lower the frame dimensions”.

Let me show you how to overcome this 1080p limitation in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and export hi-res video without a hitch.

Continue reading How to export 4k video with Premiere Pro CS 5.5





How to combine an Image Sequence into a video file with Blender

Did you know that Blender has a built-in video editor? We can use that to turn an image sequence into a movie file. I’ve described how to do this Photoshop here, but I thought it would be fun to try the same thing in Blender.

Here’s how to do it: Continue reading How to combine an Image Sequence into a video file with Blender





How to combine a 3D render with a background image in Photoshop

In this video I’ll show you how to render an image in DAZ Studio and compose it onto a background image in Photoshop.

We’ll use the Shader Mixer and a Shadow Catcher in DAZ Studio to make the figure cast a shadow but be otherwise transparent. In Photoshop we’ll add artificial depth of field to an arbitrary background picture using Smart Objects, and I’ll introduce some techniques to blend both images together for extra realism (all non-destructively).

The final picture is going to look like this (featuring the 3D Universe Toon Crab and a new lifeguard tower in my neighbourhood). composite

The whole video is nearly 40mins long, so grab a cup of tea and enjoy.





How to render an image sequence as video in Photoshop

Up until now I had always used Premiere Pro to assemble image sequences of a rendered animation.

I’m still using Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and I’m not currently subscribing to the whole Creative Cloud package. As such, my version of Premiere is stuck somewhere in the past, when 4K was barely an idea, and 1080p was the highest result you would ever need.

The trouble is, I was working on an animation whose resolution was larger than 1920×1080. While Premiere Pro CS 5.5 can handle this and higher resolutions for editing, there doesn’t seem a way to export it at anything above 1920×1080.

My editing needs were moderate at best: assemble 250 frames, repeat those several times, and add a fade to black either end. Which application would be capable of doing this swiftly and efficiently, I wondered?

Photoshop CC can do it! Would you believe it? Here’s how.

Continue reading How to render an image sequence as video in Photoshop





How to create a brush from an image in Manga Studio

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-15-00-57Manga Studio (or Clip Studio Paint as it’s now called) has a very versatile brush engine. We can customise our own brushes too, so that we can “paint” with our own images – just like the ones above, all of which come with the app.

The process is less than intuitive, but once you’ve done it a couple of times it grows on you. I tend to forget how these things work pretty much instantly, so here are some notes on how to create a brush from a seamless tiled image in Manga Studio.

Continue reading How to create a brush from an image in Manga Studio





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