Author Archives: farlco

About farlco

Digital Imaging Technician Photoshop Retoucher

Graffiti A Wall with Vanishing Point

When adding an element, such as text, to an image you can use the transform perspective command to match an existing plane within that image, however an easier and more accurate method is to use the vanishing point “filter”.  It’s under the filter menu but it doesn’t act like a filter, it’s more like a match perspective tool.  The tool is very useful if you wanted to superimpose an image onto a laptop screen, particularly if that screen is at an angle.  In the following example I will superimpose text (spray graffiti) onto the side of a building, CFC free.

  1. Open the image you want to be your background.  Use the type tool to type your graffiti.  Format the text as close to the final size as possible, I chose a font called Newrus.
  2. Once you are happy with the size and spacing of your text, rasterize the text, note you will not be able edit the type after this stage.
  3. Choose Select > Select All, and then Edit > Copy.  You can now delete the text layer as you no longer need it.  Create a new blank layer.
  4. Under the Filter menu go to the Vanishing Point filter.  Using the Create Plane tool define the Plane or perspective you want to match by selecting the four corners of that plane.  The Plane grid turns blue when the plane is a valid one.vanishingpoint2
  5. Now paste the rasterized text (Ctrl/Apple V), use the transform plane tool to place the text where you want it, you will notice that once you move it close to your defined plane it will snap into the desired perspective, scale your text as needed . Hit OK.
  6. You can now blend to match your background using a blending mode, the mode I used here was the overlay mode.  You could also apply a texture to it to blend it further.  Flatten your image.  vanishingpoint2a

Posted by on July 14, 2009 in Image Editing, Photoshop


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Lab Mode for quick color boost

Converting your images into Lab mode can have several advantages when adjusting or retouching your images.  One of these advantages is the way lab mode allows you to saturate your images while driving opposing colors apart.  Lab mode is a very powerful editing mode but also a dangerous one as you can easily introduce unprintable colors and colors outside your monitors gamut.   In the Lab colorspace  many of the color adjustment tools work in a completely different way to those in the RGB colorspace.  The red, green and blue channels are replaced by the Lightness and the a (green as opposed to magenta) and b (blue as oppose to yellow) channels.  This method is relatively safe if used in moderation, you do not have to delve deeper into the complexities of the Lab mode.

  • Under the Edit menu convert your image into the Lab mode.
  • Create a curves adjustment layer. make sure your the grid has more detailed lines in it by alt/option clicking on the grid.
  • Select the a channel and move the top of the curve point to the left by either one or two  grid spaces, move the bottom of curve to the right by the same amount.
  • Repeat this procedure for the b channel.
  • Reduce the opacity of the adjustment layer to reduce the effect.
  • Flatten the image and convert back to the RGB colorspace.


It is very important that you convert your image back to the RGB colorspace before printing or sending out to the client.  You could also record the above as an action, but beware out of gamut colors (Shift+Apple+Y).


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Posted by on July 5, 2009 in Photoshop


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Dodge The Dodge Tool

Working non-destructively in Photoshop is central to effective retouching. One of the most destructive tools (or tool sets) in photoshop is the dodge and burn tools (the sponge tool is also very destructive tool and also to be avoided). I try to avoid these tools as much as possible and if I use them it would only be on a mask and never on the background layer. These tools are non too subtle that add noise and nasty artifacts. This was the case with CS3 and earlier versions, now however in CS4 things have improved dramatically with the protect tones option for these tools. I prefer to use the following method for burning and dodging :

  1. Add a new Layer with and fill it with 50% Grey.
  2. Change the blending mode to Soft Light.
  3. If you want to dodge or lighten the image set your foreground colour to white and use a soft brush (B) with  a low opacity (under 10%) to lighten the image.
  4. If you want to burn or darken the image set your foreground colour to black and use  a soft brush (B) with  a low opacity (under 10%) to darken  the image, you can do this on a different layer if you wish.
  5. You build up the burning and dodging effect by brushing repeatedly in the same area.
  6. You can change the opacity of these layers to reduce the effect, if you wish to increase the effect simply duplicate the layer.
  7. Painting with a 50% grey brush brings the image back to it’s original tonality.

DogeAnd Burn
This method can be very effective in reducing wrinkles in a subtle way by painting out the wrinkle gradually, using it in conjunction with a wacom tablet gives you better control of your brush strokes.

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Posted by on June 27, 2009 in Photoshop


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Hello world!

Hello world indeed, I feel like this might be like yelling in a deep dark forest. This is all new to me.  But I’ve started this blog to advertise my new website : Farlco Digital Imaging.  I work as what some people call a digital imaging technician.  I work with photoshop to enhance and retouch all manner of images.  This blog will discuss all things photoshop, such as tips and techniques.  I have been working with photoshop since version 4, it’s such a huge program with several ways of achieving the same thing, I am constantly learning in Photoshop, and with each new version several more techniques and tools to master.  This blog hopefully will be a platform to share, educate and create.

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Posted by on June 23, 2009 in Photoshop




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Posted by on May 27, 2009 in Uncategorized