Tag Archives: Photoshop

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.

Continue reading How to switch Photoshop from Timecode to Frames

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 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

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!

How to create a Bokeh Effect in Photoshop

Photoshop has an interesting set of filters that let us turn ordinary images into fascinating Bokeh Effects. Those can be useful as a nice alternative for gradient backgrounds due to the elements of randomness they can bring, or for foreground effects akin to those created with plastic cameras. 

The above uses a Bokeh Effect as additional foreground pattern. Let’s see how it’s done. Continue reading How to create a Bokeh Effect in Photoshop

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