Category Archives: 2D

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

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.

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

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

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

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!

Multi Camera Editing in Premiere Pro CS 5.5

Even my ageing version of Premiere Pro CS 5.5 has multi-camera editing capabilities built in. And even my ageing Mac Mini from 2012 can cope with full HD clips during those edits.

It’s a slightly mysterious process, and until very recently I didn’t quite know how to do it, but with my desire to do multi-camera interviews with inspirational people, it’s something wanted to research. This workflow is also helpful if you have a single camera feed and want to switch live (vision mixer style) to zoomed-in versions of the same.

Now I know how to do it (works fine in present versions of Premiere Pro too). Before I forget this concept again, I thought I’d better write it down and share it with you (and my future me).

In short, we need to

  • drag all camera clips into a timeline (all on top of each other)
  • sync all clips in this timeline (then select them all, right-click and choose “synchronise”)
  • create a new sequence from that sequence
  • enable multi camera on that clip
  • open the multi camera monitor, press play and switch live between cameras, creating edits on the fly

Jonathan Lang explains it here:

Continue reading Multi Camera Editing in Premiere Pro CS 5.5

Creating a Logo from a Raster PNG in Blender

In this episode I’ll show you how to use the SVG file with curve information and turn it into an extruded logo using Blender. I’ll setup the scene and ground plane, get the camera ready and turn the default light into a strong side light. This will serve as a starting point to creating our logo.

This is part 2 of a mini series about how to create a logo from a screen grab in Blender. You can watch the whole series on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPcx_LSSGfZcC3_xaHyio5zs31Y5VyWpZ

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

How to turn a Raster Image into a vectorised SVG in Photoshop

The other day I wanted to convert a logo into a path, so that I could use it as a shape in Blender. It was in fact the WordPress logo that was provided as a PNG or PDF from the WordPress Branding section.

The trouble was, both the PNG and the PDF are rasterised, and as such cannot easily be used for an extrusion in 3D as an SVG file would. The question then was, how do I convert an image into an SVG in Photoshop, so that I could import it into Blender?

It took a bit of fiddling, but here’s how I did it.

Quick introduction to SVG Files

SVG files can actually contain three types of data:

  • Vector Graphics, such as paths (which is what we want)
  • Raster Graphics, such as bitmap images (which we have, but don’t want)
  • and Fonts

What I needed in Blender was indeed a Vector Path. Although the other two data types can be contained in an SVG file, Blender can only read path information at the time of writing. It makes sense too, because really I’d like to the path information available as a curve in Blender, not the potential raster or font information.

I’m mentioning this here because

  • a.) I didn’t know this, and
  • b.) importing an SVG containing either fonts or raster graphics will import nothing into Blender – which had me stumped.

Thanks to cegaton on Blender Stackexchange for this explanation!

Hence, for Photoshop to export vector data instead of raster data in our SVG file, we need to jump through a few hoops – but it is possible. Let’s see how!

Continue reading How to turn a Raster Image into a vectorised SVG in Photoshop

Catch this episode on my 3D Podcast:

How to render media with Alpha Channel in Premiere Pro

I made some new lower-third captions for my YouTube channel in Premiere the other day. I had a vision for some animations, and rather than spend several hundred dollars on pre-made snazzy clips, I thought I’d take on the task myself. 

For those to be usable on top of other video footage in my screen casting software (Camtasia Studio 3), I needed the animations to be rendered out with an Alpha Channel. That way a mask is automatically created, letting other programmes crop out everything around the titles.

Since I never had to do that before, I asked myself: How do we render a clip with an alpha channel in Premiere? 

After careful research, combined with some tireless trial and error, I found the solution to this puzzle – and here’s how to do it.

Continue reading How to render media with Alpha Channel in Premiere Pro

How to export multiple timelines at once in Premiere

I recently had the need to encode several audio clips I had edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5. That’s easy if you export one timeline at a time, by selecting the sequence, then click File – Export – Media

But this principle doesn’t work if you have several sequences that need to be exported. 

An article in the Adobe Forums suggests how to do this using After Effects as an intermediary, but it seemed very convoluted and a total hack. Besides, I don’t have After Effects so that’s not really a solution.

Convinced that there had to be a better way, I had a quick fiddle – and lucky for me I’ve discovered an easy workaround that I’ll share with you here. I’m using Premiere Pro CS 5.5, so I’m assuming it’ll work in later versions too.

Continue reading How to export multiple timelines at once in Premiere

How to pixelate text in Photoshop

In this screencast I’ll demonstrate how to pixelate or obfuscate text in Photoshop.

I usually use Skitch for such things, but one day it wasn’t working, and all I had to hand was Photoshop – so I hunted around and found that it works just as well. It’s just knowing what to click. Once I figured that out, I thought why not share it with the world.

Here are some written instructions, just in case you’re not a video person.

Using the rectangular marquee tool (M), draw a selection around the area you’d like to pixelate. 

Now head over to Filter – Pixelate – Mosaic to bring up a little dialogue box.

Here you can select the Cell Size, meaning how pixelated you’d like the selection to appear. Photoshop even gives you a preview option – how nice is that?

When you’re happy, click OK and Photoshop will burn your pixelation into the selected layer. Press CMD+D to deselect the marquee, or head over to Select – De-select. Next, share your anonymous masterpiece with the world.

Happy pixelating!