KILLER LINKS AND MICRO-TIPS
A collection of useful links, and Photoshop 'MicroTips' that may aid in the pursuit of PhotoManipulation. The resources here are an aggregation of my favoured sites, sites submitted by other deviants on my journal as well as bitesize tips and links posted on my journal postings.
When viewing the tips section, you may feel there are more efficient approaches to achieve certain goals - but in this instance, experience and knowledge can be earned through looking into the workflow of others.
Utilities & Resources:
International standard paper sizes - I use this site all the time when designing larger format posters for clients, all the ISO sizes in one place.
Imageshack - Had to include this hosting site, I use it all the time!
Xero Plugins - A site offering Freeware Photoshop PlugIns.
Photo-Freeware - Photography / Photoshop software resource site, Freeware licenses.
kuler - Web-hosted application for generating color themes that can inspire any project.
vecteezy - Vector resources download site, check for individual useage terms.
brusheezy - Photoshop brushes download site, check for individual useage terms.
Design Theory & PM Articles
Compopsition Guidelines - A DA News Article outlining the philosophies of composition.
PhotoManipulation Newbie Guide - A DA news article giving advice to new PhotoManipulators.
Lighting Techniques - DA news article news article outlining PhotoManipulation lighting techniques.
Trend Examination - An article exploring the notion of trends within the PhotoManip galleries.
Type is Sexy - Many people could do a lot lot better with their typography (myself included!). This is an awesome site for going over the basics and some more of the finer points of typography. Lovely looking site.
Mayangs Textures - Ive loved this site for many years; propably the best free texture site on the web. Check it out. Free to use for personal or commercial.
CG Textures - Great textures and stock photography site. Unrestricted terms, free to use for personal or commercial.
3D total Textures and Reference - Broad stock site free texture and reference library. Free to use for personal or commercial.
Lost and Taken - Another blog posting textures and resources, for useage rights - check the terms.
Bitbox - Interesting blog that posts textures and resources, check the terms for more details on image useage.
texturez.com - Cute site with nice layout, offering many different textures. Free to use for personal or commercial.
TextureKing - Great looking texture site. Free to use for personal or commercial.
Stock Sites & Premium Stock Sites
ImageAfter - A vast, useful stock site featuring textures and photography; Free to use for personal or commercial.
SXC.hu - Stock.Xchng, the free stock powerhouse; easy to use - but there are limits on useage for some images, not always the greatest quality.
Dreamstime - Royalty free stock site I havent used yet, but it has a 'FREE' section. Check the terms for more details on image useage.
NASA PhotoJournal - Excellent material for PhotoManipulation space art. Free to use for personal or commercial.
NASA 3D resources - Excellent material for 3D space art. Free to use for personal or commercial.
archive3d - Resources / models for 3D rendering software and 3D objects.
Thinkstock - Premium stock site with reasonable rates. Royalty Free useage terms will vary.
Fotolia.com - The premium stock website Im currently using. Great selection, but seems pretty expensive. Know of any better ones in regards to value for money?
Tutorials & Inspiration
50 Body Enhancement tutorials - Simply a great collection of body enhancement / retouch tutorials.. Learnt a lot of tricks from here..
abduzeedo - A collection of visual inspiration and useful tutorials.
PhotoShop Lady - Heplpful Photoshop tutorial / resource site.
ModelMayhem - A place to meet and collaborate with models and photographers. NOT A STOCK SITE!! However, you can build relationships and work the imagery on a collaborative basis.
Flame Tutorial - ~focchia
idk if i understood well...can i post the tip link here???
well..here it is my tip .. it's about how to easly cut flames, maybe it's for noob but...i think it could be useful to save time..it's in italian....but it should be understandable..if not..tell me i'll translate
Obscure Keyboard commands - =j14v6
A nice article on some of the more obscure keyboard commands in PS...
PS timesaver shortcuts - ~androidu
A big time saver in PS are the brackets  (for the brush size) and the Shitf +  combo for the brush softness/hardness
And another one is the Ctr key while using any tool,what this does is it switches you to the move tool for the duration that you're holding the Ctr key alowing you to quickly move layers freely as you wish.While holding Ctr you can also use the arrows on the keyboard to nudge the layer/layers in any direction one pixel at a time
These are my favourite 2 tips in PS
Clarity and Lighting - ~magicalmasterpiece
Tip #1: If the edges of what you've cut out looks too pixelly, try setting the eraser to 50% or a small brush, to soften the edges, but not so much that it looks carelessly 'rubbed out'.
Tip #2: Try to pick stock images where the lighting is similar, since this can definately make life a lot easier when playing with the lighting of your manipulation.
15 Photoshop Tips - ~blissart
I like quick tips, they are like power boosters to your Photoshop efficiency! I have written 15 Photoshop Tips (I Bet) You Don't Know: [link]
Also one more on my blog: Togglebar to Access the Palettes & Toolbox Temporarily. [link]
Coloring and Depth effect - ~LordIlpilazzo
Color to BW conversion with amazing smoothness, depth and equalized shadows
1 - Duplicate your color layer - and convert that layer to Black and white (Image - Adjustments-Black and White or Alt+Shift+Ctrl+B)
2 - Duplicate your Black and white layer - then invert this layer (Ctrl+I)
3 - On the inverted layer - apply Gaussian Blur (Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur) The amount of blur intensity is defined by the quality of the original pic. More if pic is grainy - less if smooth
4 - Set the layer style of the inverted layer to OVERLAY
5 - Adjust the curves of the inverted layer to taste
Example of results here: [link]
Masking tips - `phoenixleo
Extracting: never use eraser.
-If you really want to do it hard and fast way, mask the layer, and with black in foreground erase the unwanted part).
-or use the magic wand tool to select the parts in the actual layer, (at the top, under the image section, there is that square over square meaning add to selection) use that and keep deleting in the mask layer to erase well. this will mean you can get back anything if you want later.
-for things of same colour or similar, use Select > Colour range and click the part you don't want. those part will become white. hover over fuzziness and slide it to what amount of accuracy maybe, you want it to be selected. and click ok. it will be selected. you can either delete it in the actual layer or delete it in the mask layer.
-another is filter > Extract. with a brush you want select the edges or the object so that the line goes all over the image and completes. then with the fill tool fill the middle with colour. click ok and it will be selected/ or image extracted from background. check the things you can do too here.
-PEN TOOL! takes time ,but oh my is it soo good magnify image in 300 or 400% and slowly go through all the edges click by click or how you want. then when the whole thing is complete, right click > make selection > anti alias 0 > ok. and that part is selected. now you can ctrl+J to put the selected in new layer or delete it whatever!
Painter and Photoshop - =LibertineM
Consider using Painter when looking for brush stroke effects in your manipulations. Quick clone your original painting and get ready to use the Clone Color feature with the brush of your choice. Painting with the Clone Color mode switched on is a great way to maintain the hues and saturation levels in a piece but also make it look like you've slaved away with a camel hair brush. Then you can tighten up the detail using the Soft Restoration brush, that adds back in in detail from the original. Look at the hair in this piece. That's the Clone Color tool in action!
Brush Apps - ~blissart
Also if you ever wanted to view your Photoshop .abr file (Brush set) without having to open the Photoshop and installing them read on to find 2 nifty opensource free apps which allows you to do just that: 2 Free Photoshop Brush Viewer Apps: ABRviewer: [link] and ABRView: [link].
High Pass - ~youstolemysoul2
the high pass filter is a great way to enhance textures/shadows/vibrance in an image.
1. select your image layer.
2. ctrl+j (or apple+j for MAC) to duplicate that layer.
3. select the duplicated layer.
4. go to filter>other>highpass.
5. lower # = less texture/shadows/vibrance. higher # = more texture/shadows/vibrance.
6. lower the opacity of the highpass layer to 35-75% (I usually go right around 50%).
7. go to layer>new adjustment layer> levels.
8. adjust the sliders to bring back those dark blacks and light whites.
this is great for enhancing wrinkles and freckles!!
Mouse control & Shortcuts - =SoulFighty
My tips r mostly for beginner ..
For fast scroll over ur work: In the the full screen mode:
ctrl + mouse scroll will move ur workspace to the right & left
alt + mouse scroll will zoom ur workspace in or out
For tiny precise moving or pulling any object: select the specific object -> zoom/macro the image by magnifier as much as possible -> use ctrl + arrows for very fine movement (dragging by mouse is a mess )
For making nice borders/edges without using the layer style: select ur object -> in the selection options -> modify -> contract by 2-3-4 px -> invert selection -> layer via copy -> turn layer style into multiply ... voilà .. a very nice edge there !!
Painter & Photoshop - =LibertineM
Oh one more! In Painter the Glow Brush located in FX Brushes is the most subtle and wonderful Dodge tool ever. Just set it to Clone Color (again) and you can add luminous and easily adjustable highlights to an image. Never use straight Dodge ever again!
Layer Masks - ~youstolemysoul2
Instead of erasing part of an image use a layer mask, so if you want to bring back part of the image later it makes life much easier.
1. Find 2 images you want to merge together.
2. Put them in the same file together as separate layers.
3. Select your top layer.
4. On the bottom of your layers palette there are a bunch of buttons. The third one over is "add layer mask". Click that and a white square will appear on the layer you had selected.
5. Click the white square just to make sure you have it selected.
6. Choose a black paint brush and paint away parts of the image you want gone. You will notice the white square in your layers palette will start to have black areas in it (this is showing you what parts your painting away).
7. If you feel like you painted away too much of the image and want to bring part of it back, just change to a white paint brush and paint it back through.
There are many applications for this in photo manipulation. So play with it and have fun!
Panning - ~youstolemysoul2
and a quick tip!
In photoshop it doesn't matter what tool you are using- if you hold down the space bar you can click and hold to move your image around.
Skin Retouching - ~LordIlpilazzo
My fave skin smoothing method
1 - Duplicate image twice (now have 3 layers: Background, Background copy, and Background copy 2)
2 - Apply Gaussian blur to top layer - Background copy 2 (Layer - Blur - Gaussian Blur) Intensity of blur depends on quality of image - for most unretouched stock image of decent size I use about a 20.
3 - Create a snapshot. You can find this on the HISTORY window. It's the camera icon on the bottom.
4 - On the top of the History window, you should now have an entry for "Snapshot 1" Select it
5 - Move layer 2 - (Background copy 2) to the top position. Your image should now look like the starting image again
6 - Merge the top 2 images down (Ctrl+E) - you now have 2 layers (Background, and Background copy 2)
7 - On the top layer (Background copy 2) use the HISTORY BRUSH TOOL to paint in the smoothness.
I usually use about a 60% opacity on the brush - but be sure to lower the opacity (and brush size) around detailed areas, and areas where the skin meets another contrasting color, as this method can blur the contrast color to the skin.
If the blur is too much when you are done - you can always lower the opacity of this layer, and let more of the original layer (Background) show through to give detail.
Cleaning Edges - ~iLeeh95
A good tip after rendering something is to click in the rendered layer and go to Layer>Matting>Defringe
So you don't need to worry about bad edges
Selecting Firew - =ActYos
- open the fire image ( recommended to be on a black background )
- transform the layer from "Back Ground" layer into regular layer
- open Channels panel
- ctrl+click the most highlighted channel ( often Red channel in RGB mode or Magenta Channel in CMYK mode )
- then copy the composite channel with the full colors
- paste the copied image in a new document, you will get a transparent fire layer
- try to duplicate and change in modes to get the most desirable effects
Brightening Faces - =LibertineM
Is the face of your model too shrouded in shadow? Select the face, duplicate and change to Overlay. Instant brightening for you to further tweak.
Blurring by Channels - =ActYos
lens blur filter by channels:
- open your photography
- transform the layer from "Back Ground" layer into regular layer
- open Channels panel
- click on the " create new channel " button
- use the gradient tool with black in the background color and white in the foreground color, choose radial gradient from the options bar
- drag the mouse in the center of your canvas and release the mouse to get a radial gradient in the new channel
- back to layers panel, activate your layer, go to Filter --> blur --> lens blur
- from source pop-up menu choose the channel which you already made it ( "Alpha 1" by default )
-use your own options to get the desired effect ( based on your photography )
Shortcus - ~MelMuff
Shortcuts - Can work in various programs and web browsers
Ctrl X - Cuts
Ctrl C - Copy
Ctrl V - Paste
Ctrl B - Bold
Ctrl I - Italics
Ctrl U - Underline
Ctrl P - Print
Ctrl Delete - Deletes entire word
Home - Brings you to beginning of line
End - Brings you to end of line
Ctrl Home - Brings you to the very top
Ctrl End - Bring you to the very bottom
Ctrl N - New file/window
Ctrl O - Open file
Ctrl T - New tab
Ctrl W - Close tab
Ctrl Z - Undo
Ctrl Y - Redo
Ctrl H - Replace
Ctrl A - Select All
Ctrl F - Find
Ctrl G - Go to/Find Again
Other helpful tips
In Photoshop, you can use the Clone Stamp Tool to makes things look seamless and fix blemises. I luv using this tool to clean up stuff. When looking for it, look for a stamp icon.
Want to take an entire screenshot of your computer? Look for F12 on your keyboard then look beside it on the right for a button that says "Print Screen SysRq" or something like that. Hit that button and it takes an entire snapshot of your computer screen. Now open any graphic program like Paint, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, etc. Create a new file and simply paste. Now you have your screenshot and can save it as an image. Enjoy! Message me if you need more help with this.
Selection Tips - ~LordIlpilazzo
My three great mantras are:
- Always use the pen tool for selections. No other tool gives you more control (and the ability to correct) than the pen.
- Always use masks - never cut.
- Save your selections - you WILL need them later (Select-Save Selection)
1 - use the pen tool to make your selection, then use the DIRECT SELECTION tool to make adjustments
2 - Open the paths window
3 - Right click on the Work Path and choose "Make Selection"
4 - Set the feather radius to at least 1 pixel and hit OK
5 - Modify the selection (Select - Modify) to either Expand or contract depending on if your selection includes or excludes (this will make sense when you see the result - you can always step back to go the other way) Expand or Contract at least one pixel more than the feather radius set earlier. (If your feather is 1 then E or C 2) Click OK
6 - Click the Layer Mask button
The size and resolution of the image will determine the Feather and Expand/Contract pixels. More for a high res image, less of a lower res.
The beauty of this method, is that your cut image is pre-feathered to blend with the background you are applying this to.
Photoshop to PaintShop Pro Term Dictionary - evthefantasim:
A Photo Shop to Paint Shop Pro Term Dictionary:
I'm a Paint Shop Pro user and really find this useful.
Layer Masks - ~CassielsSprite
Blending Images Tip:
One strategy I use over and over again in my Photomanips is blending two images into one smoothly. My process is to extract both images and adjust accordingly. Than on the top layer of the image layers I add a layer mask. I use the black to white gradient on the layer mask across the middle of the images I'm trying to blend. I undo and repeat the process until I can no longer see a distinct line. Afterwards I go over little pieces that don't appear as smooth as I want with a black soft brush in the layer mask.
Opacity - ~CassielsSprite
When wanting to make part of an image see-through, instead of losing the entire image with the layer opacity, add a layer mask to the image layer and paint over the section with a gray color brush.
Shortcuts and Workflow - ~jalvarado
I've been working with Ps for more than 5 years now, so I would like to help and participate to .
Shortcuts and workflow
I've become fond of certain shortcuts that just boost your workflow. I use them every time I'm working on a piece.
fit document to screen (this is great to appreciate your work at the max your screen can fit) ---------------- Ctrl + 0[zero] or ? + 0 (mac)
while zoomed in on your document you can hold the space bar and move around your document using your mouse
view document's actual size (I usually make posters that are 18in by 24in and I love using this to see how the details are going to look when the piece is finished) ----------------- Ctrl + Alt + 0[zero] or ? + opt + 0 (mac)
Duplicate layer ( I always duplicate any layer I am going to modify to have a back up just in case) ---------------- Ctrl + j or ? + j (mac)
Change Opacity (if move tool is selected, layer's opacity will be changed. If other tool is selected, opacity of the tool will be changed. Also, holding shift while using this will change the tool's flow)
number in pad = opacity percent
1 = 10% opacity
2 = 20% opacity
3 = 30% opacity
and so on...
0 = 100% opacity
00 = 0% opacity
New layer without dialog --------------- Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N or ? + opt + shift + N (mac)
You can learn even more if you use this one ----------- Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K or ? + opt + Shift + K (mac) (show all keyboard shorcuts)
I'm sure many of us have encountered situations where we need to adjust the brightness/contrast of an image, or the hue and saturation, or any similar scenario. Many would just do the following:
Image > Adjustments > [insert adjustment here]
However, I would recommend you to add an adjustment layer instead. These, give you a little bit more control, you can modify the adjustment if you change your mind, you can treat them as layers(giving you the option of changing its layer mode and finding some nifty effects) and they can be easily masked at will.
They can be found at the bottom of your layers panel
(here's and image) [link]
The Best Tip - ^Elandria
DON'T FORGET TO SAVE OFTEN AND HAVE A BACKUP!!
Is the only tip I ever give lol
Blending Tutorial - ~joannastar-stock
I made this mini tutorial for blending when I saw that quite a few of my stock users were struggling with blending into my backgrounds:
Texturing - :devLunaticSta:
Layering texture on top, even if it's something that doesn't fit the 'theme' of what you're doing, can give a unified feel to the whole manip. For example, a forest scene with a few elements, layer over something like *Mithgariel-stock's frost texture on soft light, drop the opacity. It will barely be visible, but it adds unity of elements that a lot of manips need.
General Philosophies - `Rose-Rayne
My tips are:
Practice EVERYDAY. Seriously it helps. Look at me. xD
Reference is good and not cheating.
Even once you find a setting or something that works for you still experiment. You can find more things that work for you.
Clone Stamp - ~MelMuff
I just realized that I might not have been clear enough about the Clone Stamp Tool. This is how you use it. So you want to fix up an image by getting rid of unwanted blemishes. Choose a spot nearby that you want to clone then press the ALT key and left click. You just copied the spot. Now go to the spot that you want to get rid of and left click the mouse and hold. It's begins to paste what you just cloned. Move the mouse around a bit and watch you unwanted blemish disappear. Now this could take a bit of practice. Sometimes when you are fixing up a big area, it could start pasting an area outside of what was cloned. I find the best method to avoid that is to just paste a little bit at a time and reclone every now and then. Here is a simple tutorial that has screencaps:
I also noticed at the bottom that it links to other Photoshop tools. Enjoy!
Tutorial Site - ~quarterbacker
A paid site, but helpful nonetheless
Starry Sky - ~svarthvitt
Great way to make a realistic looking starry sky in PS (I used a A4-sized background);
1 Start with making your background layer black.
2 Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Gaussian distribution at 23,6% amount, with monochromatic on.
3 Go to Image>Adjustments>Levels (or hit ctrl+L). Input: 138, 216.
4 Duplicate your layer (ctrl+J).
5 Apply some gaussian blur to your new layer (radius 1,2 pixels).
6 Still with your new layer selected, go to Levels; input 8, 23.
7 Select your background layer again and make it into a layer (Layer 0).
8 Move Layer 0 so that it's on top and set the Blending Mode to Lighten and lower the opacity to about 44.
9 Merge the two layers.
10 Go to Levels again, input 0, 215.
11 Duplicate the layer
12 Apply Gaussian blur to the top layer (radius 1,8 pixels) and change the blending mode to Screen.
13 Merge the two layers and you have a black starry sky : )
Lighting Tutorial - ~Voltaireon
Lighting is key when making a believable photo! [link]
If the pieces pasted together don't mesh, something must be wrong, so try using different effects to make it more believeable!
Matching Grain - *drop-asd
Stock photos of models usually contain some grain to a different extent. It's bad to use the blur or the reduce grain tools in PS. Instead try to paint over the grainy areas with relatively low opacity according to how confident you are with the brush. The surface becomes smoother and if you do this with all the photos will make the different elements look better together.
Hope I'm not late But even if I am...
Layer Masks - ~Djsanka
I have found that using layer mask instead of the eraser tool has come in handy almost every time I do manips.
If you do something wrong or would like correct something, you can easily just select the brush tool and use black and white to remove or "bring back" what you did.
Do A LOT of tutorials. But don't just follow every little bit they say.
Try to experiment a little. If it says "use this color", try other colors and see what i would look like.
Test Effect Tutorioals - *Allendra3
[link] 80 Photoshop Tutorials for different text effects
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