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.
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).
The whole video is nearly 40mins long, so grab a cup of tea and enjoy.
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.
Manga 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.
Manga 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
I 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:
Moving the document also moves the line, so it had to be something that could be turned off. But how?
Sometimes it’s necessary to select more than one saved selection in Photoshop. And I was often wondering how to do it, thinking there had to be a way – until I discovered it by sheer accident today while pressing seemingly random buttons.
Usually I call up a seed selection by heading over to Select – Load Selection and choose the channel I want. But that way I can only bring up a single selection at a time.
Lucky for us, there is another way: we can display selections using the Channels Tab. Usually it’s next to Layers Tab – but in case it’s not showing up, choose Window – Channels to display it.
Click on a channel and it will display the corresponding parts in your main window. That’s not what we want, I just thought I’d mention it.
To turn a single channel into a selection, CMD-click / CTRL-click on it. As you hover with your CMD key pressed down, the selector will turn into a little square with a dashed outline, indicating this would become a selection (I guess).
To select more than one channel, we can simply use SHIFT while clicking (only works on channels other than RGB, Red, Green or Blue – i.e. it only works on saved selection channels). If we combine this with holding down CMD, then we can select multiple selections at once.
Let’s see an example
In my case, I have two saved selections for a zipper, and I’d like to create a selection that incorporates both of these at the same time. Hence, select the first channel, then hold down SHIFT+CMD (or SHIFT+CTRL on Windows) to select another channel. Note that the cursor turns into a little plus icon (you’re adding to a selection).
Hey presto, both areas are selected in my main view!
It gets better: you can also subtract from a selection, by holding down ALT in addition to SHIFT and CMD. So if we’d like to remove a channel from our selection, we’ll hold down SHIFT+CMD+ALT, then click on the undesired channel. Note that the cursor turns into a little x icon (indicating that you’re removing something from your selection).
And that’s how we deal with multiple selections in Photoshop 🙂