Photoshop Archives

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.

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Where is Save For Web in Photoshop CC 2015

The 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 …

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How to save Layer Effects as Style Presets in Photoshop

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To apply a carefully crafted Layer Effect in Photoshop to more than one layer or group, we can save it to the Styles Swatch for easy access later. It’s that little palette I never quite take seriously – mainly because it’s impossible to decipher which effect does what from the tiny preview icons.

Nevertheless, the styles palette is a handy tool to bring back such effects in other documents. Great for things we use on a regular basis. In the above image for example, the Layer Effect is the white border around each small inset image, as well as the drop shadow. Next time I create such a collage I may want to bring the same effect back with a single click. I can do that by using a style.

Here’s how to save a Layer Effect as a Style in Photoshop.

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How to convert Layer Effects into actual layers in Photoshop

Layer Effects are great in Photoshop, but sometimes you may need to apply another such effect to a layer that already has Layer Effects applied. For example, a Pattern Overlay may require another Pattern Overlay. What can we do? It’s astonishingly simple really: we convert the Layer Effects to discreet layers. Here’s how to do it. …

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How to open a layer as a new document in Photoshop

Sometimes it’s nice to extract a layer from an intricate Photoshop document and turn it into its own isolated document. Here’s how to do it: Select your layer and head over to Layer – Duplicate Layer… This will bring up a menu that lets you choose what you’d like to call it, and most importantly …

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How to use Smart Objects in Photoshop

Smart Objects are a great way to employ non-destructive editing in Photoshop. The idea is that Photoshop “remembers” what was applied to a layer rather than apply an effect. Take a background image with a blur effect applied for example. You could simply select the layer, head over to Filters – Blur – Gaussian Blur …

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How to create editable blurry text in Photoshop

There is an easy way to create blurry or out-of-focus text in Photoshop using Layer Effects. The text remains therefore perfectly editable. Here’s how to do it: First we’ll create a standard text layer. Pick a font and write something nice, and choose the foreground and background colours as you wish. You should end up …

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Keyboard Navigation in Photoshop

There are a number of super handy keyboard shortcuts for navigating the Photoshop interface. I keep forgetting them so I wrote them down here as a reference. I’m using Photoshop CC 2014 on a Mac which means that magic trackpad gestures work well for the following: zooming (pinch gesture) panning (two finger drag) rotating the …

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How to define a Pattern in Photoshop

You can define a pattern from any image in Photoshop and use it as Pattern Overlay later. Simply head over to Edit – Define Pattern and give your new pattern a catchy title. That’s it! There are a few things to be aware of though: most patterns are used as tiles and will therefore repeat. Once …

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How to add effects to a single layer in Photoshop

Photoshop has a feature called Clipping Layers. It’s extremely useful, but doesn’t quite describe what it does. Besides it’s extremely unintuitive if you’ve never used it before. Among other things it can be used to add an effect to a single layer rather than the entire image, as you would if an adjustment layer is …

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How to remove the Bristle Brush preview in Photoshop

The Bristle Brush preview in Photoshop is great if you have a large screen, but on smaller setups it can get annoying. It’s easy to switch off if you know where to look. Let me show you where that is: Head over to Window – Brush (or Window – Brush Presets). A window opens which …

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Painting textures with 2D tools using ZAppLink in ZBrush

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.28.24ZAppLink is a ZBrush feature that allows you to use 2D painting tools to paint the texture on a 3D object, as it’s seen in the workspace. Rather than exporting, editing and re-importing textures, drawing on awkwardly layed out UVs, or solely relying on 3D painting tools, you can simply frame your object and draw on it – with anything that supports the PSD file format.

This is different to using GoZ which relies on 3D features of a painting app (such as Photoshop Extended – which I don’t have). ZAppLink allows you to use other 2D tools in your pipeline such as SketchBook Pro, Manga Studio, Corel Painter and many others.

Here’s a quick guide on how to use ZAppLink in ZBrush 4R6.

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How to fix Brush Lag in Photoshop CC

Photoshop CC splashBack in 2013 I was trying out the then-new Photoshop CC for 30 days. I wasn’t sure if the upgrade was for me or if I should stick with my trusty copy of Photoshop CS5 (which by the way I own and can use forever and a day, without a monthly license fee… but that’s another matter).

So I’ve installed CC, marvelled at the new look and the 3D tools, made a brush stroke on a new canvas and… what the hell is that?

My stroke was lagging behind by about a second or more until it appeared on the screen. I wasn’t using a complicated brush either, just a bog standard 20 pixel soft edge brush without any Blending Options.

Shocked, perplexed, dissatisfied and smiling to myself, I consulted Google. One user in particular had this problem too, and many more chipped in on a forum thread over at the Adobe Forums and the (now defunct) Photoshop.com. I was glad to hear I was not alone – yet nobody had a solution to this problem.

Yesterday, a lovely representative from the Photoshop Facebook Page got in touch with me and offered help and advice – and ultimately solved my problem. Thanks, Jeff!

Let me share with you what worked for me, perhaps it works for you too.

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Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription Woes: does it really matter?

Adobe_CS5.5_Product_LogosYou can’t buy any of the Adobe Creative Suite products anymore. From now on you can only “license” any of Adobe’s products for a monthly or annual fee. This includes Photoshop, Premiere, Dreamweaver and all the other CS products we know and love. That’s old news.

What isn’t so old is the bitching and bickering from everybody (including myself) about the idea of being “forced” to shill out small regular payments and pay for “access and incremental upgrades”, rather than “invest big” once and own the software.

While this is certainly a departure from the old licensing model, I wonder: is it really worth losing sleep over it? Let’s examine the options and see if perhaps a monthly subscription is actually cheaper than purchasing a product the old fashioned way.

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Photoshop CS5 Default Brushes

Sometimes it’s nice to come back to the very basics of how Photoshop came when you’ve first installed it. Sadly the Reset Brushes command doesn’t always work so I’ve decided to upload the default brush set right here. Simply unzip the following file, choose Replace Brushes and and load it in: Download Photoshop CS5 Default …

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