Wrap 2D Images Onto a 3D Object Using Adobe Photoshop CS4

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Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based drawing program created to assist any user in editing with greater effects for the image. Similar to Adobe's Photoshop, Illustrator uses a vector-based program instead of using a bitmap-based program such as Photoshop. Many users do not understand the difference between bitmap and a vector-based program, so here it is. A bitmap image-processing program is ideally used for creating, modifying, and then outputting digital images of any type of photography / graphic.

Although Adobe Photoshop contains many tools and various abilities to create, edit, and output wonderful images, the tools are nothing compared to that of Illustrator's. Typically, users purchase Adobe Photoshop for digital photography editing while Illustrator is purchased for creating images and graphics. Both can be used for each other's purposes and will do each other's job; yet they are specified for their abilities. It is recommended to purchase both instead of using Photoshop for Illustrator's purposes. Top new features for the CS4 version of Illustrator include the new transparency in gradients. This feature gives the user the ability to reveal under objects and create a richer color and texture when mixing multiple layers then covering them up with fades.

Following this there is a Blob Brush tool which will allow you to sketch with a brush then allow it to generate a clean vector shape which will even show the overlapping strokes. This will allow a smoother finish towards the end of your project. Refined Graphic styles will allow you to combine styles for unique looks, which will not disturb the object's current experience. Through this you may use an In-Panel editing tool which will give you access to editing tools directly onto the appearance panel, eliminating the necessity of opening fill in / stroking / or other tools which require more RAM (Random Access Memory) for opening. Overall, that feature will give the user the ability to finish quicker and run Illustrator more efficiently.

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Source by Ahad Virani

Photoshop Fill Flash Technique

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I am going to show you a quick method for adding "fill flash" to your photos, using Photoshop. Fill flash is required when you are shooting a portrait with a bright background scene. If you accidently neglect to turn your flash on during the shot, you will find your background to be well exposed, but your subject may appear quite dark in the scene. All is not lost – here's how we can use Photoshop to correct it!

Step 1: Begin by opening a portrait photograph where your subject appears too dark in the scene.

Step 2: Duplicate the layer: Control-J (PC) or Command-J (Mac).

Step 3: Next, open your Channels Palette. In the Channels Palette you will want to select the channel with the most contrast (most darks vs lights). To view the channels, simply click on them in the channel palette, and you will be able to view them (they will appear in black and white). In portrait photography, the channel with the most contrast is usually the blue channel, as it is here in this example.

Step 4: Once you have found the channel with the most contrast, we are now going to duplicate this channel. You can easily do this by clicking on the channel, and dragging it down onto the "Create New Channel" icon at the bottom of the Channels Palette. What we are doing here is creating a channel mask, which will be used as a layer mask shortly.

Step 5: With this new channel active, open the Levels dialog box (Menu: Image> Adjustments> Levels …). What we want to do here is increase the contrast even further. You will have to experiment as it will be different for each image. Simply slide the light slider inwards, and do the same with the dark slider.

Notice the extreme boost in contrast in the image? Now click OK.

Step 6: Now we are going to add a little bit of Gaussian blur to soften the edges between the blacks and whites. Go to the menu: Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur … and add a blur of approximately 0.5 to 1.5 pixels, depending on your image.

Step 7: In your Channels Palette, click on the icon of the RGB channel to make it active again, which should now display the original image.

Step 8: Switch back to your Layers Palette and ensure that your duplicated layer (top layer) is the one that is still active. Now go to the menu: Select> Load Selection …

When this dialog box appears, ensure that the Channel option is showing the channel mask you created earlier (in this case the "Blue copy", not to be confused with the actual blue channel).

Also, it is important to check the Invert option ON, because (since this will be used as a layer mask in our next step) we want to use the inverse (or negative) of the channel mask ON we created.

Step 9: Now you will see your image with the selection "marching ants" showing. To load this selection as a layer mask, all you have to do is click on the "Add layer mask" icon at the bottom of the layers palette, and the mask will automatically be created for you based on your selection. Here's what our layer mask looks like in the layers palette now:

Step 10: There's always a step where "the magic" happens in Photoshop, and this is finally that step!

In the layers palette, change the blending mode of this top layer to "Screen" and you will see the virtual flash light up your subject. How illuminating!

You may find with some images, that the effect is not quite right, so there are some refinements which are optional and are very easy to make.

If the image is still too dark:

Simply duplicate your top layer again: Control-J (PC) or Command-J (Mac). You can do this as many times as necessary until there is enough lighting.

If the image is too bright:

Reduce the opacity of your top layer until you have your desired result.

The "fill-flash" affected other parts of your image:

You have a layer mask already, so all you need to do in this case is refine it. Click on the layer mask in the Layer's Palette, and (using the paintbrush tool), paint with a BLACK brush where you want to hide the fill flash effect. You can also try changing the brush opacity to 50% along the top of your screen in the brush options.

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Source by Laura Hagen

Features and Benefits of the New Photoshop Elements 10

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The new Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 (or PSE10 for short,) is geared towards enthusiasts who either do not need or can not afford the full Photoshop version. As a beginner, or enthusiast, it can accomplish basic, key activities when it comes to editing your photos and creating lasting memories. You can share your photos with your social network, as well as easily edit and create photos using automated features.

Photoshop has come a long way since it was first introduced in 1987. Today, it is the number one software program for professionals and hobbyists alike. PSE10 is basically a scaled down version of big brother, CS5. For beginners, there are several Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 training and other online training modules that can walk you step-by-step through each feature. You'll be creating works of art in no time.

The software is available as both a disk set and as a downloadable product. It will be supported on both a MAC and PC, but check your OS to make sure it can support the program. It will take up approximately 2.3GB on your hard drive.

The PSE10 has a good work flow in the Guided Edit section and there have been some improvements over previous versions. Among the changes are the Orton Effect, Picture Stacking and Depth-of-Field Effect. For a full review on what these features are, there are several online training modules to help.

The order within the Guided Edit section has been improved and the editing flow is more natural. The first stage of editing is cropping the image. The crop tool has four crop guides in this version which makes creating the look you want fast and easy.

The Orton Effect is another added feature in this PSE10 version. This allows you to create a dreamy quality to your photos and is perfect for candid shots, photos of animals, children and landscapes. Beautiful photos can be created in less than 10 seconds using the Orton Effect. Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 training modules can show you how to do this effectively.

Scrap bookers will appreciate the new text tools. Among other things, they allow you to make lines of text that follow paths that you create. This means that you can place streaming, curvy text on any shape or object, and then resize or add different effects any way you choose. Again, there are many Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 tutorials that can help beginners, as well as pros.

There is also a new "Object Search" functionality that can locate objects within photos, such as flowers, pets, or landmarks. This can save a tremendous amount of time and effort. The Elements Organizer will detect photos that are duplicates so users can delete them; they can also group similar or collections of photos together for a more organized portfolio.

All in all, the PSE10 version will suit novice photographers and hobbyists who love to create lasting memories for personal use. The internet has a wide array of Adobe Photoshop elements 10 tutorials and online training that guide the user step-by-step.

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Source by Chandan Saha

How to Save an Image in Photoshop for Optimal Load Times on the Web

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The first thing you must consider when saving image files for the web is how large your image is. Generally speaking, any image on your webpage, with the exception to full screen images, should be no wider than 1000px to 1500px, and only if they are required to be displayed quite large in the browser. Thumbnails, or pages with many small images on them should be saved at their actual required size, or only slightly larger. For example:


You have a canvas that is 1000 pixels wide, and want it to have 50 thumbnails on it spanning rows of 5. In order to ensure fast load times, you must make sure to save each image no wider than 200px.

These images can then be linked to a larger file which loads one at a time, and only if the visitor chooses to click on the link.

For eCommerce, I normally choose to have my images around 750px wide, allowing a happy medium for image clarity, and page load times.

Saving JPEG Files in Photoshop:

When you are finished editing your photo, and are ready to save the image, you will be given three options to save your images:

  • baseline “standard”
  • basline optimized
  • progressive

The most recent method of JPEG compression is the baseline optimized method. This means that when a page loads, your image will first be displayed blurry, and as the image continues to load, the sharpness will come into focus. It also provides better compression and image quality, so there is never a need to use the other options under most circumstances.

Another option you will have to choose is image quality. For viewing on the web, it is best to choose a quality between 5 and 7. This will ensure you don’t lose quality, while maintaining a small file size.

Saving PNG Files in Photoshop:

Similarly to JPEG, PNG files have a modern compression method which is optimal for viewing on the web. When saving your photo, you will have two options under ‘interlaced’:

  • none
  • interlaced

You should always pick the interlaced method, as it will reduce your file sizes and load similarly to the jpeg ‘baseline optimized’ method. Essentially, interlaced means that lines will be loaded in a non sequential order, while not-interlaced will load each line of the image from top to bottom.

Page load times are a new ranking factor how search engines choose to display web pages in their results. You could be missing out on potential customers by choosing the wrong method to save your files.

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Source by Zac Fair

How to Make Money Online As a Web Designer

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Millions of web designers from all over the world are making a nice living developing websites for their customers. There are different ways to make money online as a web designer. Statistics show that over 66 percent of all local businesses do not have a website. Put your graphic design skills and talent to work and you can earn thousands of dollars a month.

Increasingly more companies are seeking professional designers at reasonable rates. As a web designer, you can make money online by developing software, creating themes, or selling premium fonts. If you are new to web design, there are some things to consider before you start:

– You need start up money
– You need software
– You need to advertise your services

One you buy software, you need to learn how to use it. You will become a better designer and improve your skills as you familiarize yourself with more sites. There are many sites that will pay you for creating custom logos, banners, headers, and themes. Developing website themes can be a very effective way of getting your name out there and finding potential clients. When you create a website, your work is seen by millions of people. This allows you to reach a very large audience.

One of the most convenient ways to find work is using job bidding sites. Before you start advertising your skills, set up a portfolio website and show off your work. Some of the best sites to advertise your services are Craiglist, oDesk and Elance. If you have your own website, include a questionnaire to find out what your customers want. You need to get an idea of ??their style, theme, and color preferences before you start working on their projects.

Another way to earn money online as a web designer is to develop desktop software applications. You can also create iPhone / Android / Windows Mobile apps. People are heavily interested in these products these days, so any shot you make in this area will bring you a steady income.

Web designers can also make money selling stocks, including icons, Vector images, WordPress themes, and Photoshop Brushes. You may also create unique designs that are less expensive but ready to sell to multiple clients after minor changes. Theme design gives you a lot of autonomy and a real feeling of mastery. Make sure you ask your customers to leave feedback and recommend your services to their colleges and friends.

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Source by Teresa A Douglas

Carry Out a Photoshop Upgrade and Enjoy Additional Features

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The newest version of Adobe Photoshop is Adobe Photoshop CS5 and is full with fascinating and innovative features that will interest not simply the expert, but also to a number of people who use it. The advantages of Photoshop CS5 can be summarized as; Photoshop CS5 takes along basic industry requirements, increases user overall flexibility, more user friendly interface, uses the video cards GPU and as a result there is enhanced overall performance and Photoshop CS5 facilitates unlimited memory and 64-bit processing in Microsoft windows and Mac 64- bit personal computers.

The disadvantages associated with Photoshop CS5 tend to be; it has a high learning curve, removal of certain features and legacy add ons, expensive, customers need to choose either giving up old capabilities or paying much more for an additional version, requirements of computer hardware video cards are higher by the GPU and Open GL features.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 follows the industry criteria. With the help of Adobe Bridge web browser it could survey, search, arrange, and manage files. It will use tools for sketching, painting, including notes, retouching, and doing work with type. Photoshop CS5 may also routinely queue responsibilities, edit images. Its tools may be used for website designing, video clip production, graphic design, and photography. The Photoshop CS5 computer software also offers a length variation that provides tools for TV & film, science, medical, architecture, engineering, and manufacturing areas.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 is simply the best and it offers the finest solution for graphics flexibility and potential. By using this software program job can be carried out with ease. It has got really creative and modern functions which are very appealing to its end users. Tools like puppet warp, content-aware fill can be time preserving and helps Photoshop CS5 in displaying its competitive edge.

Photoshop CS5 has additionally a brand new function for painting which helps photographers to display their work completely. This software program has been created very handy by using mini-Bridge integration ratchets. Extrememore, Adobe Photoshop CS5 includes brand new outstanding features.

Individuals at Adobe additionally took consideration of their users and worked tensely on many user wanted enhancements. Photoshop CS5 capability to support 64-bit on both Microsoft windows and Macs and has allowed you to experience limitless RAM if their hardware supports it.

The Photoshop CS5 has countless extra advantages when compared to the early on variations. This clarifies the high cost that comes along with it. Adobe Photoshop upgrade to CS5 is so very important for all users regardless of the cost factor. Using Photoshop CS5 you will definitely get benefit for the price.

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Source by Robert A. Steele

Creating a Work of Art from a Photograph

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Have you ever looked at one of your photos and said to yourself "Wow, that almost looks like a painting"? Did you know there are techniques that can transform that photo into a watercolor or pen and ink painting or charcoal drawing? And then it can be printed on canvas or fine art watercolor paper for that true art feel and permanence.

Photography today is bridging the gap between "fine art photography" and simply "fine art". What takes a painter days, weeks and months to create a painting masterpiece, a photograph can be transformed into a watercolor, a pen and ink drawing and even a charcoal drawing in a few hours. And many if these techniques can be applied to the same image. It all depends on how you want to "interpret" your art work.

Adobe PhotoShop offer many wonderful filter tools and it simply requires a little bit of time and experimentation to learn how to use some of these to enhance your photographs. Adding a little "noise" or Gaussian Blur "to an image can do wonders to transform a photo.

As you become familiar with many of these filter tools, you will soon discover that you will want to apply certain tools to different parts of your image. An easy way to do this is to select an area of ??your photo that you want to apply an effect and "cut it" from the main photo and copy it into a new folder. When you have done this, you can work on each part of the image independently. When you completed your effects to the part you had cut away, simply copy it back into the original image and move it to the proper location. It literally "snaps" into place when you line it up with where it needs to be.

Photoshop Elements has some wonderful "Effects" tools and experiment with some of these to see what they can do with your image. Ahhh, and when you have created some masterpieces, try converting them into black and white or select portions of your image as black and white while other portions remain in color. You will get a "painted effect" on the color portion.

Another interesting fact of transforming these photographs in this way is that you are literally altering the pixels of the image. This allows you to enlarge the image far greater without the image resolution loss that you would experience with a normal photo. For example, we have applied some techniques to an image taken on an 8 megapixel digital camera and have then printed that image at 30 x 40 inches on canvas and it is stunning … and it can easily go larger.

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Source by Michael Warwick

Five New Features That You Should Learn About Adobe Photoshop CS6

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If you are looking to enhance your photos or want to create stunning digital artwork, Adobe Photoshop is the software you need. The latest version CS6 includes five especially noteworthy features that will turn your photos into works of art. Features in the latest update include new design tools, an updated user interface, a new crop tool, improved autocorrect and the inclusion of Adobe Camera Raw 7. These five features are useful tools for photographers, digital artists and everyone else who wants or needs to edit photos and other images. If you want to learn about the many other features of Adobe Photoshop, you can also sign up for Adobe Photoshop Classes.

New Crop Tool

Picture cropping is common part of the process of editing digital photos. The new enhanced crop tool found in Adobe Photoshop CS6 is a noticeable improvement and allows you to crop photos with higher precision and speed than its predecessor. The Mercury Graphics Engine is what gives the crop tool in CS6 its quick and accurate results.

Improved Autocorrect

Autocorrect allows users to make simple edits to their images in a matter of seconds. A simple click of the mouse button can autocorrect curves, brightness, contrast and color levels. Sometimes, all a photo needs is a quick touchup with this tool. It's an easy to use and powerful tool that every Photoshop user should become familiar with.

Configurable User Interface

If you've had trouble with the rather dark default color scheme in recent versions of Adobe Photoshop, you'll be glad to know that you can now choose from four different gray color schemes, each with a different level of contrast.

New Text Layout and Design Tools

One improvement which graphic designers and publishing industry professionals will be especially excited about is Photoshop CS6's improved handling of text, including a Paragraph Styles feature. If you've used Adobe InDesign before, you'll remember this feature – and even if this is your first time using it, you'll appreciate how easy it is to add and fine tune text in your images.

Adobe Camera Raw 7

Adobe Camera Raw 7.2 is also included in Photoshop. This feature allows you to upload .raw and .dng format images from your digital camera and edit them, while keeping the original file intact on your camera's memory card. This feature is also incorporated into Adobe Lightroom and is very popular with professional photographers, since it allows users to work with the original image at the highest possible quality while keeping an untouched copy for archival purposes or further editing later on.

Conclusion

These five different features can help you do more with Adobe Photoshop CS6. If you would like to learn more about what Photoshop has to offer, you can also sign up for Adobe Photoshop Classes in your area. Instructors can teach you more about the software and features, and how you can apply them in your digital photography.

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Source by Mandi Pralle

Throwing Light On The Dynamic Photoshop Drop Shadow!

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A picture has more meaning when it has depth. Even a simple shadow has the ability to bring another dimension to the picture. The shadow can be created from any source of light. It can be shallow or reflective or deep throated! It provides unique visual interaction and the eyes stay on it a little longer … just like it does to the original.

Here's throwing light on dynamic Photoshop drop shadow.

Casting a shadow is a little tricky for any artist, especially when a source of light has to be created. It is easier for a photographer as he gets the natural source but for a graphic artist, it is a challenge. He has to do it in the editing studio. Here throwing light on dynamic Photoshop drop shadow itself is an art form. With the combination of the silhouette and the gradient, wonders can be achieved. And when there is consistency in the images then it looks perfect. Since many programs have this tool it is abused. Here it needs careful handling. It is also interesting to note that a graphic programmer may dubbed as a pro or a beginner or even a hacker by the way he creates a silhouette! The pro naturally avoids the mistakes of the other two types. He is able to create a 2-d or 3-d image successfully with the tool and his technique. When the technique is applied to the websites, it helps the client's business to soar.

How to use the drop shadow technique effectively?

To be really frank, if it is not needed in the image avoid it. It is the best option. But if a spatial metaphor needs to be created then adapt the best techniques. Is the image flat, boring, unattractive with bland colors? Yes then use drop shadow and gradients.

Most of us chose the visual code to decipher objects in the real world. We perceive the natural daylight and shadow and expect the same in the digital world. Drop shadow helps to create the illusion of light and dark in programming. They offer a spatial visual treatment of the object and the human senses. When the artist creates the right illusion it can make the design / image / text more beautiful. In the digital images the shadow propels the image to float or pop out. To make it look more realistic, gradients can appear near the path of the drop shadow (of the object). Closer gradients are lighter than the ones further away (they appear darker, as the outline looms). This can happen with a single source of lighting. Sometimes multiple sources of lighting are used. It creates complexities and the designer has to deftly use his skill to devise the silhouette. This is where his skill comes handy. That is why photo-editing companies have senior designers for such jobs. Despite the fact that the job is complex, it does not cost a bomb to the client. There are offshore firms, which can handle these jobs for lower fees. They are also able to provide quick samples.

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Source by Atiqur Sumon

Improving Your Photos Digitally With Photoshop

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Collecting photos is a wonderful thing that you can keep them for your memories. However, sometimes, you probably want to improve the pictures you have already taken and put it on a frame. Actually, you can do it with the help of Photoshop features. You can do many things on your digital images and enhance its quality.

In the initial step, you need to open the picture through Photoshop. As the first stage, you need to determine if there is any part of your photos needs to be removed. In the effort to remove this part, you can use the CROP tool that you can find on the left side of a toolbar. Especially if there is any undesired background, you can crop it and remain the objects based on your desire.

When decide the part that you want to remove, crop it, and then click on the top of image. Room the lick, you will see several options and choose the "Adjustments / Autolevels". After execute the crop, you may want to control the color of your image that you also do it through the previous options. Come to the "Adjustments" and click "Autocontrast", and then under on the same tool, you can choose the "Autocolor".

After those steps, you can continue to appear the curve palette by pushing the "Ctrl" and "M" button on your keyboard at the same time. Then you can manage the diagonal line as well as you get balance of your desire. When you want to change this line, you could do it by dragging, a click click on your left mouse.

The last step, you need to find the "Filter" menu on the main picture layer. Then, move to the submenu and click the "Sharpen". To choose the "Unsharpened Mask", if you choose one or two pixels, you will get 100% while the two until ten threshold levels can make your picture sharper.

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Source by Sharon Jefferson

Understanding the Principles of Photoshop CS5 Layers

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It is hard to imagine a version of Photoshop without layers, but versions prior to version 3, not CS3, but three indeed worked without layers. Layers however must be the single most important feature of Photoshop that have made it the excellent program that it is today. So, if you wish to make full use of the very latest version, you need to understand the principles of Photoshop CS5 layers.

Within Photoshop you can add layers, take away layers, merge save and delete layers; in fact there is little you can not do. The CS5 version of the program has seven different layer types to work with, each for a separate purpose, and each an integral part of the program.

The most used layer within Photoshop is of course the pixel image layer and this is the one that will open as soon as you import a picture to the app or indeed simply paint onto a blank canvas. This layer there before can be seen as your blank canvas, and also as the most important layer of all; without it, your picture or photo would indeed not actually exist.

The next layer that you have to come to grips with is indeed the non pixel based type and text one. This layer will allow you to write texts over your base layer, and edit them with different fonts and styles. If you want your texts to look great, you should not just write onto your canvas; open text layers in your text options and save the final image in EPS format.

The next layer that should be paid attention to is the fill layer, which like the image layer is a pixel based layer. With this layer you can add color, fill areas of the canvas, and use gradients and patterns to overlay your canvas and image. In little more than a click of the mouse you can add and remove color within this layer.

The shape layer within the CS5 version is a vector based layer, and within this layer you can create and prefine shapes, move them, and resize them as you deem fit without losing any of the excellent quality. There are shape tools within this default shape layer created by Photoshop.

Next, you need to get to grips with the adjustment layer that will allow you to add special effects to your images. Within this layer you can play around with the hue, brightness, contrast and other levels until you gain the desired effect for your image or canvas. This layer is quite ingenious as it will allow you to play around with all these attributes without actually affecting the image itself.

The next layer you come across with CS5 is in fact rather advanced and will be one that you only start to use once you have really got to grips with how Photoshop works. The smart object layer is a special layer type that will allow you to integrate and work on files that were not created within the program such as Raw or Vector files. Within this layer you can resize and swap content without affecting the quality, and you can make as many changes as you like as long as the pixel size does not exceed that of the original.

The last layer that will encounter in Photoshop CS5 is the 3D and video file layer, one that you did not encounter in earlier versions of the program. This layer is indeed only available in the extended version of the program and is a special layer that will allow you to import 3D and video files in special layers, allowing you to work on the video frame by frame.

Understanding Photoshop CS5 layers is actually not as hard as you may expect, and Adobe offer excellent online tutorials that will guide you through the process. Photoshop without layers would be like a PC with no memory. Although the latest versions of the program are used by photography experts, there is no reason at all because the complete novice can not teach itself how to manipulate layers and therefore create outstanding photography and imaging; with just some careful practice you can soon start to create professional and beautiful photos and images.

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Source by John Araiza

How To Make Adobe Photoshop Run Faster

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There's nothing worse than trying to use Adobe Photoshop, but finding that it either runs slow, or has problems. This issue can have a number of problems, and so in order to fix them you have to be able to clean out any of the common problems that it may have inside – allowing your PC to run much smoother and more effectively as a result. We've found that one of the biggest issues for Photoshop is the way in which your computer will either have a large number of problematic files, or just be unable to get the most out of this system. To do this, you have to be able to fix any of the issues that your PC may have inside, which can be done by using the steps outlined on this website.

How to Make Photoshop Run Faster

1) Make Sure Your Hardware Is Up To Speed

The first step is to ensure that your computer has all the hardware which it requires to run. The "hardware" of your system is basically all the important files and settings which will allow your PC to process the files and options that are required to help make Windows operate. Unfortunately, Photoshop needs to much advanced hardware that it can cause your computer a LOT of trouble. In order to fix this, we recommend you identify whether your PC has these minimum requirements:

  • Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 1GB HDD space
  • 1024×768 display (1280×800 recommended) with qualified hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card, 16-bit color, and 256MB of VRAM
  • DVD-ROM drive

2) Close Down Any Other Programs Whilst Using Photoshop

The next step is to close down any of the other software you may be using when you are using Photoshop. We've found that one of the biggest causes of issues for Windows is that you may have a LOT of applications while using PS, but in order to allow your computer to securely access all the files that it requires to run, it's highly recommended that you use only Photoshop at once. This basically allows your PC to "focus" its entire resources onto this program, boosting its speed and reliability.

3) Clean Out The Registry Of Your PC

This step is probably the most important, as it will determine whether your entire computer will run faster. To do this, we recommend you download a registry cleaner, install it and then let it clean out any of the possible problems that Windows might have inside. These tools work by scanning through your system and fixing any of the errors that you'll have on your computer – fixing them. The bottom line is that if you have any errors with the registry database of your PC, it's going to make Photoshop run slower and lag. So in order to fix this, we recommend using a registry cleaner application to scan through your PC and repair any of the errors which may be inside your computer.

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Source by Joseph Goldstein

Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Omaha Web Design

Anyone who’s ever dabbled in website design has probably needed to use image editing software at one time or another. To many it might appear as if there are only one or two options out there. The primary option being an expensive program from Adobe called Photoshop that costs around $300, and a few others like PaintShop Pro and Pixelmator that range from $50 to $100. However, there are two other powerful options that are completely free.

Gimp

While the name might conjure up thoughts of a Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” Gimp stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program (GNU is free software licensing system). The best feature of Gimp is its price tag…free. This open source software is a powerful alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop featuring the ability to create graphic designs through layering images.

It has an extensive plug-in library that continually grows, offering new features for graphic image manipulation. Some developer or user might create a plug-in that makes a photo look like a velvet painting. You can then download these plug-ins and use them free of charge in your version of Gimp.

Gimp also supports the Adobe Photoshop format for paintbrushes. These are a powerful tool within the application that are generally themed and make it easy to add potent imagery to your work. Paintbrushes may be themed around gardens, Japanese letters, Goth imagery, cars or just about anything you can imagine. They’re a flexible, powerful way to take your logos or website images to the next level.

Find this program at http://www.gimp.org.

Inkscape

Another powerful, free program for creating images is Inkscape. Unlike Gimp, which is a raster-based image manipulation program, Inkscape is a vector drawing program. While Gimp is intended for editing photos in the jpg, png or gif format and best suited to handling photorealistic images, Inkscape’s vector drawing is great for icons, logos and more cartoonish images.

Vector drawing programs are based on building, coloring and manipulation shapes. Raster programs like Gimp are pixel-based and this means that when you scale an image to a larger or smaller size, you run the risk of losing image fidelity. Programs like Inkscape and their expensive cousins (Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw) are the perfect tool when you want to create logos that might be presented in many different dimensions.

Most clip art that is not photography based is created using some sort of vector drawing program. Inkscape uses the Scalable Vector Graphic file extension (.svg) which is open standard and means that your graphics file will easily transfer to other programs and be usable.

Find this program at inkscape.org.

Is Open Source for Everyone?

Of course! It’s free! That’s the whole point. There are downsides to using these applications. While you can find hundreds of books on using Adobe’s Photoshop, you’ll only find a handful on Gimp and Inkscape.

Some people love to buy books to learn, but I say that’s actually a disadvantage because again you’re out another $30-$50 bucks per book.

There are plenty of video tutorials on You Tube that can teach you how to use the programs and become very competent. So the investment you make will be time, not money.

If you’re in need of a program that will help you create images for your website that are compelling, but can’t afford a copy of Adobe’s Photoshop – you’d be wise to take a look at these two amazing open source graphics programs.

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92 West | Branding + Strategy + Web Design

92 West is a branding, digital marketing, web design and advertising agency focused on helping brands discover their true voice and sense of purpose; genuinely inspiring audiences.

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Source by Rob Mabry

Photoshop – Using a Layer Mask to Blend Two Images

Omaha Web Design

Hi. This tutorial is based on using a layer mask to merge two images. Today, I will make this dinosaur appear on this beach, just into the water. Layer masks are very simple to use, and also very useful! They work on a black – white – gray system. This tutorial will explain further.

Step 1: Getting the images

Open your first image, in this case it's the beach. Then open your second image (in this case, the dinosaur) and move it onto the first image, this can be done by simply dragging it with the arrow tool!

Step 2: Creating a layer mask

As I said, layer masks make use of black, white and gray. To add a layer mask, simply click the rectangle with the circle inside; bottom of your layer window.

Step 3: Hiding the excess areas

We only want the dinosaur here, so let's get rid of the rest! Take the brush tool, with the brush tool we can use these colors;

Black = hide
White = unhide
Gray = partially hide

The shade of your color decides the opacity of the area you brush. Brush black over the areas you want rid of, see what happens!

Now, you'll have to zoom in (Ctrl + + / Ctrl + -) to get it done accurately … If you make a mistake, do not use undo, simply brush with white.

Step 4: Opacity

In this image, I want the legs to be in the water, this means I want their opacity lowered so it looks like the legs are under water. For this, we need a gray color. Watch as I brush with the gray! As you can see, I've brushed gray and his leg now looks partially hidden! Having image hosting problems atm, Photobucket being bad!

That's it!

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92 West | Branding + Strategy + Web Design

92 West is a branding, digital marketing, web design and advertising agency focused on helping brands discover their true voice and sense of purpose; genuinely inspiring audiences.

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Source by Liam J Hayman

Creating a Blurry Background Using Photoshop

Omaha Web Design

This technique shows you how to create a cool soft focus background leading to a clear foreground …

Step 1 Open a photo in Photoshop. Any photo will do, but one with an obvious object matter is best.

(This is your background layer)

Step 2 In the Layers Pallet, create a clone of the image by right-clicking the background and selecting DUPLICATE LAYER. Name it 'blur'.

(You now have two layers – background and blur)

Step 3 Now it gets fun. Working in the 'blur' layer, select FILTER a BLUR a GAUSSIAN BLUR. Use the radius slider to select a blur that "blurs" to your taste – and depending on what you want to do. Click OK. The good thing is, you can always repeat this step if it does not turn out quite right.

Your image now looks blurry – but do not worry, the original image is still nice and clear in the background layer.

Step 4 Using the eraser tool set to brush, select a suitable size with feathered edge to erase the part or parts of the image you want to remain clear and in focus.

Step 5 Using the OPACITY slider on the Layers Pallet, reduce the amount of opacity to suit.

And that's it! If you do not like what you're seeing – maybe it's too blurry or not blurry enough – just redo the steps. The more often you work with this technique the more comfortable you'll become and know it's limits. You can add more blur layers or try editing the saturation of the blur layer to make less color come through. Try sepia toning both layers and adding distress.

It's a great way to force object focus by removing the extrraneous elements using blur. There are so many uses for this technique and you can do whatever you want, because …

Hey! You're the designer.

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92 West | Branding + Strategy + Web Design

92 West is a branding, digital marketing, web design and advertising agency focused on helping brands discover their true voice and sense of purpose; genuinely inspiring audiences.

Have a project or new idea? Let's Talk.

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Source by Michael Caskey