Tag Archives: Photoshop

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 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





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 combine several saved selections in Photoshop

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.

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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).

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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

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-13-47-53

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!

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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).

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And that’s how we deal with multiple selections in Photoshop 🙂





How to use the Photoshop 3D Bridge in DAZ Studio

In this video I’ll show you how to use the Photoshop 3D Bridge in DAZ Studio 4.9. It’s a little clunky and a little old school, but it can still be a helpful tool to either render a scene from DAZ Studio directly into Photoshop for compositing, or exchange texture maps for easy changes and amendments. I’ll also discuss how to bring a whole 3D scene into Photoshop and add a few troubleshooting tips.

But I know that videos aren’t for everybody, so I thought I’d also add some written instructions here for good measure. Continue reading How to use the Photoshop 3D Bridge in DAZ Studio





How to export a UV Texture Template in Photoshop

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 11.21.17Sometimes it’s necessary to have a 2D Texture Template for a 3D model. It makes texturing a lot easier in 2D painting apps.

While some programmes like Marvelous Designer can create the UVs, and quite clearly show them to us, there’s no easy way to export them as a flat file – akin to the one you see on the right here.

Photoshop to the rescue! All versions of Photoshop 3D and Photoshop CC can import OBJ files, and they can not only display the UV Map as an overlay, they can turn it into a new Layer for us as well.

Here’s how to do it.

Continue reading How to export a UV Texture Template in Photoshop





Where is Save For Web in Photoshop CC 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 18.12.38The swanky new slash screen isn’t the only thing that’s changed in Photoshop CC 2015. One of those functions that I use probably THE MOST in Photoshop is File – Save For Web. It’s been around for ages and means that you can quickly create a flattened JPG or PNG of your otherwise well-stacked and complicated image.

The geniuses at Adobe recognized that the term “save for web” probably doesn’t describe accurately what we’re doing anymore, so they’ve moved this function to File – Export – Save For Web (Legacy). Thankfully they did not take it away!

You’ll be pleased to hear that the keyboard shortcut CMD+SHIFT+OPT+S (the worst ever keyboard combination ever – which is why I’ve mapped it to one of my Intuos buttons – WAAAAAAY easier to remember).

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 12.41.53

While this comes as a bit of a shock to long-term users, Adobe has added a new version of the Save For Web dialogue, accessible from File – Export – Export As. This will let you do pretty much what Save For Web did, without the gazillions of options we never really used.

An even easier implementation (without any default keyboard shortcut mind you) is File – Export – Quick Export as PNG. Without any options or settings, this will simply save your current well-stacked file as PNG in the same resolution as the original. You can’t resize the image with this option, but you can with Export As – just like we could with Save For Web.

One thing I did notice is that these new export options come with a bit of a performance penalty: my system about two seconds to bring up this new Export As dialogue. Safe For Web (Legacy) on the other hand opens instantaneously.

Let’s just remember that “newer” isn’t always synonymous with “better”.

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