Saturday, 10 March 2018

Month #Two Warming Up Exercise - Halo ......

Lighting Effects

I followed the tutorial Halo (link underneath) using the resources supplied, firstly adding the clouds and ground layer, distorting, blending and fitting them to the image size. I added a city background and a large moon with brushes from my own resources. 

Next was the halo soldier layer and this was the longest part of the tutorial, cutting them out, good practice I suppose, but ....... a bit annoying. When I'm learning from a tutorial, I would prefer to have the resources already prepared.

Anyway, after that I added the last cloud layer giving it a lovely orange glow and added more lighting, an overlay of one of my fractals then added two light sources to enhance and amplify the obvious existing light source.

Here is my result.

Easy Shadows

How to add shadows.

  • Duplicate layer, flip.
  • Flip by using transform/distort to flip.
  • Duplicate layer and lower exposure until black
  • Layer mask to hide unnecessary parts
  • Gaussian blur to blue the shadow

Friday, 9 March 2018


These are fractals which I have created in Apophysis, particularly for use in lighting and backgrounds. I will be changing them regularly as I copy them to my Mac external drive backup, as I created them in Windows.
They are size 1024 x 920 @ 300dpi. png.
A dark background can be added to them then used in Photoshop with screen blend.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Shift Art Challenge - March

Theme - Light

The challenge for March involves creating light in our pieces. Most of the resource images provided this month have very plain or diffuse lighting and it is up to me to make the lighting exciting, dramatic, other-worldly or whatever I decide.

I had to use a minimum of three images of the many supplied, a new light source and one of the supplied textures.  One of the images must be the main subject of the work.

The hummingbird is one image and I also duplicated it for use in a partial background, a doorway and interior was another image and of course the sunflower image. I incorporated two textures from CJM Fine Art Textures and Elements of which I already had an extensive library of. These are the cracked texture to the left and the fine lighting on the right behind the hummingbird. The lighting is in the upper left hand side.
The background is a mixture of three textures with blending modes applied.

Three different images, one texture background and a lot of fiddling

Monday, 5 March 2018

Month 1 - Rolling up my sleeves #1

Blend together one ground and one sky

Well I actually blended two skies and two background images. These were all from a trip I did last year (March 2017) in my Princess Bouncealot to Scotts Peak Dam, Tasmania. Incredible scenery and cloud formations.

The jagged mountain range in the far background is the Western Arthurs, looking down southwards, the scene in the foreground is taken from Red Knoll across Scotts Peak Dam, looking northwards.  These are all my own photographic images.

I had a long play blending images and colours, then because I could, and because I hadn't had a decent play around in my filter cupboards, I added some Topaz filters, mainly concentrating on a painterly effect.  Something different anyway.

Painted Sky

These are some of the original images

Wednesday, 28 February 2018


Until I remember how to extract properly.

Another way - use magnetic lasso tool, to refine click on quick mask down the bottom of tool and use the brushes to refine the edges
Click the quick mask icon again when finished and you have a nice clean selection.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Month 1 .. The Last Resort tutorial

In this Photoshop tutorial, Bunty Pundir shows how to create a dark, mysterious and eerie scene of a girl alone in a canoe.  He uses some essential techniques to build a dark and misty scene using a variety of stock images.  You will also learn how to use displacement maps to create reflections in the water.

The last resort

  • Creating a mist - new layer named Mist, on a sky/cloud image which has been desaturated, soft brush colour #a1a1a1, I put my opacity to 50% and painted the lower half of the image. Added a layer mask and added filter/render/clouds, foreground colour black.
  • Screen blend erases black in a layer, for example a moon can be added, using screen blend only the light parts of the image show through, then use a layer mask to erase any edges etc.
  • Much adjusting using colour balance, brightness and curves to add more saturation and tones.
  • Interesting use of displacement filter to add ripples to the copies of boat, lamp and fae, first we made a psd copy of a displacement map - new copy, fill with black, convert to smart object, add noise, add bas relief filter and a motion blur then save. 
  • I tried not to make this too dark so as to retain the details of the fae, lamp and boat, and the birds.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Month 1 .. The Storm tutorial

My version of The Storm

"In this PS tutorial Bunty Pundir creates a dark and dramatic piece. Learn how to manipulate images of water and sky to transform them into an amazing ocean scene."

Oh I learned a heap more in this tutorial, especially about matching and changing colours, also about blending multiple images into a background.  In this image there are three ocean images plus some brushes for surf and bubbles that I used. The sky is made up with two images, all blended together, then coloured to match and highlight darkness and light.

The ship is extracted but it is a bit rough as I wanted to complete this image while struggling with my new Mac and a differently behaved mouse which was a bit frustrating.

Colour balance was used near the end but the most fascinating for me was the colour lookup layer, used colour balance to shade the image in green tones then the colour lookup to change the colour of everything to match, thus the sombre dark blue/grey in this image.

What a lot of fun. I don't know how I am going to remember all this lol.

Month 1 .. Time tutorial

time - my result - a bit rough around the edges, but .....

Today I completed rather a long tutorial as per link underneath, but I will just jot down new things I have learned from this so I have notes to refer to.  The author concentrated mostly on lighting effects, some of which I found very interesting and a lot that I did not know.

"In this tutorial Bunty Pundir will show you how to create a surreal photo manipulation featuring a girl reading a book and a giant clock. This tutorial showcases some classic photo manipulation techniques such as painting shadows, adding lighting effects and unifying elements into a final image."

  • So the first layer was the road photo, added to this was the photo warming filter.
  • A light source was added to the middle using curves, increasing lightness on the highlights.
  • Using opacity, colour balance to accentuate the light source.
  • The clock was added, duplicated. To keep the original reflection and shadows a mask was painted over the duplicated clock layer.
  • Clone stamp was used to remove the name from the clock face.
  • Lots of masking and adjustment layers were used for highlights and colourings.
  • Use a brush on a mask to delete any colours on the clock face etc.
  • Add a layer and brush for extra shadows.
  • Use a layer mask on adjustment layers to accentuate as needed.
  • There were a few steps I decided not to use,
  • Curves adjustment using the bluc channel accentuates yellow on any layer.
  • For another light source, he set the foreground color to #61390e and used a soft round brush to make a big stamp right in the middle of the background, blend mode to linear dodge then a brightness adjustment with minor brightness and minus contrast
  • Various colour balance, masking, brightness, warming layers for final effects.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Select and Mask

Creating accurate selections and masks in Photoshop is now quicker and easier than ever before. A dedicated new workspace helps you make precise selections and masks. Use tools like Refine Edge Brush to cleanly separate foreground and background elements and do much more.
The Select and Mask workspace replaces the Refine Edge dialog in earlier versions of Photoshop, offering the same functionality in a streamlined way.

Launch the Select And Mask workspace

Open an image in Photoshop and do one of the following:
  • Choose Select > Select And Mask.
  • Enable a selection tool, such as Quick SelectionMagic Wand, or Lasso. Now, click Select And Mask in the Options bar.
  • In the Properties panel for a Layer Mask, click Select And Mask.
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+R (Windows) or Cmd+Option+R (Mac).
You can set the default tool behavior, such that double-clicking a layer mask opens the Select And Mask workspace. Simply double-click a layer mask for the first time and set the behavior. Alternatively, select Preferences > Tools > Double Click Layer Mask Launches Select And Mask Workspace.

User interface

User interface: Select And Mask workspace

A. Tool options B. Tools C. Adjustable properties 

Tools at a glance

The Select And Mask workspace features a combination of familiar and new tools:
Quick Selection Tool
Make quick selections based on color and texture similarity when you click or click-drag the area you want to select. The mark you make doesn’t need to be precise, because the Quick Selection tool automatically and intuitively creates a border.
The Quick Selection tool works just like the corresponding tool in classic Photoshop. See Make quick selections.
Refine Edge Brush Tool
Precisely adjust the border area in which edge refinement occurs. For example, brush over soft areas such as hair or fur to add fine details to the selection. To change the brush size, press the bracket keys.
Brush Tool
Begin with making a rough selection using the Quick Selection tool (or another selection tool) and then refine it using the Refine Edge Brush tool. Now, use the Brush tool to finalize or clean up details.
Use the Brush tool to fine-tune selections in two simple ways: paint over the area you want to select in the Add mode, or paint over areas you don’t want to select in the Subtract mode.
The Brush tool in the Select And Mask workspace works much like the corresponding tool in classic Photoshop.
Lasso Tool
Draw freehand selection borders. Using this tool, you can make precise selections.
The Lasso tool in the Select And Mask workspace works just like the corresponding tool in classic Photoshop. See Select with the Lasso tool.
Polygonal Lasso Tool
Draw straight-edged segments of a selection border. Using this tool, you can make straight or freehand selections. The Lasso tool in the Select and Mask workspace works just like the corresponding tool in classic Photoshop. See Select with the Polygonal Lasso tool.
You can select this tool from the options when you right-click Lasso Tool.
Hand Tool
Navigate around the photo. This photo works just like the Hand tool in classic Photoshop
Zoom Tool
Magnify and navigate around the photo; works just like the Zoom tool in classic Photoshop

Options bar

Add or Subtract: Add or subtract from the refinement area. Adjust the brush size if necessary.
Options bar

Sample All Layers: Creates a selection based on all layers instead of just the currently selected layer

Refine the selection

You can refine your selection in the Properties panel of the Select And Mask workspace. Adjust the following settings:

View Mode settings

View Mode. From the View pop-up menu, choose one of the following view modes for your selection:
  • Onion Skin (O): Visualizes the selection as an animation-style onion skin scheme
  • Marching Ants (M): Visualizes the selection borders as marching ants
  • Overlay (V): Visualizes the selection as a transparent color overlay. Unselected areas are displayed in that color. The default color is red. 
  • On Black (A): Places the selection over a black background
  • On White (T): Places the selection over a white background
  • Black & White (K): Visualizes the selection as a black and white mask
  • On Layers (Y): Surrounds the selection with areas of transparency
Press F to cycle through the modes and X to temporarily disable all modes.
Show Edge: Shows the area of refinement.
Show Original: Shows the original selection.
Low Res Preview: Shows lower resolution preview on Mouse Down.
Transparency/Opacity: Sets transparency/opacity for the View Mode. This setting applies beyond the Select And Mask workspace to the Overlay view mode in classic Photoshop.

Edge Detection settings

Radius. Determines the size of the selection border in which edge refinement occurs. Use a small radius for sharp edges, and a large one for softer edges.
Smart Radius. Allows for a variable width refinement area around the edge of your selection. Among other use cases, this option is helpful if your selection is a portrait that includes both hair and shoulders. In such portraits, the hair might require a larger refinement area than the shoulders, where the edge is more consistent.

Global Refinement settings

Smooth. Reduces irregular areas (“hills and valleys”) in the selection border to create a smoother outline
Feather. Blurs the transition between the selection and the surrounding pixels
Contrast. When increased, soft-edged transitions along the selection border become more abrupt. Typically, the Smart Radius option and refinement tools are more effective.
Shift Edge. Moves soft-edged borders inward with negative values or outward with positive ones. Shifting these borders inward can help remove unwanted background colors from selection edges.

Output Settings

Decontaminate Colors. Replaces color fringes with the color of fully selected pixels nearby. The strength of color replacement is proportionate to the softness of selection edges.
Important: Because this option changes pixel color, it requires output to a new layer or document. Retain the original layer so you can revert to it if needed.
Output To. Determines whether the refined selection becomes a selection or mask on the current layer, or produces a new layer or document.
  • Click  (Reset The Workspace) to revert the settings to the original state in which you entered the Select And Mask workspace. This option also reverts to the original selections/masks applied to the image when you entered the Select And Mask workspace.
  • Select Remember Settings to save the settings for use with future images. The settings are applied afresh to all future images, including the current image if it is reopened in the Select And Mask workspace.
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