Stuart over at Ebony & Pearl photography (great photographer check out their website) gave me a couple of great studio shots to retouch, giving me free reign to play around with as I saw fit, cheers Stuart!. This particular shot I decided to give a grittier look to…..
Category Archives: Photoshop
In this tutorial I will use the brush I created in the previous tutorial to tattoo someone. The image of the bloke who will be my victim can be found on sxc.hu – 493495_92373417 – if you wish to follow along.
1. Open the image and duplicate it, convert to black and white (by whatever means you wish) and increase its contrast a little, save this file in a .psd format on your desktop. This file is what you are going use as a displacement map. A displacement map uses the tones in a grayscale image to distort the pixels of a target to match the contours of the source image.
2. Go back to the original and create a new blank layer above the background.
3. Select the cross brush as created in the tutorial below and paint onto this layer. Position and scale into position.
4. Next select Filter> Distort> Displace, in the resulting dialog box I set both the horizontal and vertical scale to 5 leaving the other option to their defaults. The is no preview with this dialog so you will have to experiment with different settings depending on your image and its resolution, but generally I find a displacement scale of 5 to 10 works well.
5. When you hit ok navigate to the black & whit image you created in step 1 and chose it.
6. In order to blend the tattoo even further it is necessary to experiment with blending modes, which ones you will choose is not set in stone as it depends on what you are blending and to what. I duplicated the layer twice applied a colour blending mode at 55% opacity to the bottom layer, a 60% overlay blending mode to the middle layer, and a 30% mulitply blending mode to the top layer.The colour, overlay, multiply and hard light blending modes work best when trying to blend layers like this.
Creating custom brushes is quite simple in photoshop and in this tutorial I will show you how to define a custom brush and in the second part how to use that brush in conjunction with the displacement map function to apply a tattoo to an image.
Any image or part thereof can be converted into a custom brush in photoshop. Brushes are very similar to masks and the maxim that applies to masks applies to bushes also – black conceals, white reveals – and shades in between have varying degrees of opacity. You don’t necessarily have to use a grayscale image to define a brush preset, once you define a brush preset on a colour image it will automatically be saved as a grayscale bush. In order to control the luminosity of certain parts of your brush I recommend that you convert your image to Black and White first, in that way you can decide what shade of gray (thus opacity) each colour will have. The source for my brush is from http://www.sxc.hu – image ID 412079. The aim is to convert the image on the left to the black and white version on the right.
1. Using the pen tool I traced around the outline of the cross and converted it into a selection (Command click on the path in the paths palette) I then inverted it (Command I) the selection and filled it with white (Command delete). You don’t have to use the pen tool for this, any selection method is fine.
2. I carefully selected the four corners where the the circle of the cross meets the vertical and horizontal branches of the cross and filled these with white.
3. I examined the three channels to select the one with the most contrast -duplicated this channel (red) and then inverted it.
4. Using the apply image command (Image> Apply Image) I applied the red channel to the image using the colour burn blending mode, then again using the screen mode and once again using the overlay mode.
5. You should then have a image similar to the one on the right. Then it’s simply a case of selecting the canvas (Command A) and Edit> Define Brush Preset.. when you name your brush and hit ok your brush will be saved along with your other brushes (the last on the list). Note your brush will be saved at the same pixel size as your document. Increasing the size of your bush when you are applying it will have a detrimental effect on the quality (softness) of the brush.
The floods throughout Ireland in late 2009 provided many a snapper ( pros hate being called this – try it sometime ) with some great subject matter for some amazing “snaps” . It brought to mind a plug-in for photoshop I came across a number of years ago from http://www.flamingpear.com, oddly enough called Flood (they have a number of other plug-ins of varying usefulness, I say varying but I mean you’ll probably use them once ). Like many a plug-in they provide a trial period of a month , thankfully in the case of Flood with no annoying watermarks overlaid on your image. Of course you could do this yourself in Photoshop but sometimes it is easier and quicker to use existing plug-ins, there are no awards for re-inventing the wheel. The plug-in allows you to do all of the adjustments in one easy to use dialog box.
So here is my effort ( I did this about 3 years ago ) The image I chose is one of Áras an Uachtaráin , the official residence of our President…….
Give it a try…
One of the services I provide at Farlco Digital Imaging is the restoration of old and not so old photographs. The level of restoration can vary quite a bit depending on your requirements and the state of the original. Each image presents different challenges, there could be tears or rips in the photo or strong discoloration. This example on the face of it looks quite simple but I spent a couple of hours on it. For more details check out my website www.farlco.com.
This week I was trawling through the images on sxc.hu again looking for images that I could possibly enhance (there are many), I found this one, which when viewed on it’s own looked fine, well exposed etc. Even so, I felt it was a little flat and might look better with a slightly edgier more contrasty look. Hope you agree!While I was at it I did a little skin smoothing and a general retouch…….
Farlco Digital Imaging is now officially open for business! I offer a wide range of professional photo editing services, check out my website – www.farlco.com – for examples and descriptions of these services. Along with photoshop tips and tricks, I will also post examples on this blog of the type of work I can do for you and your clients….
Occasionally I trawl through various stock image sites looking for images that I can adjust and improve on in Photoshop, indeed many of the samples on my website come from this source. Of course on many of the more professional stock sites the images have already been optimized, but www.sxc.hu is a free stock image site – so many of the images have not been adjusted, I found this image on this site , and thought it could do with the with the strong red cast being reduced, while I was at it I would do some retouching – some blemish removal, skin softening etc. Stock sites are a great source for finding images to retouch, particularly faces – asking your wife/girlfriend/friend/significant other could you use their image as an example of retouching and blemish removal is a can of worms I for one want to steer clear of – we all are imperfect, but none of us like this to be pointed out!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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).
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 :
- Add a new Layer with and fill it with 50% Grey.
- Change the blending mode to Soft Light.
- 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.
- 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.
- You build up the burning and dodging effect by brushing repeatedly in the same area.
- You can change the opacity of these layers to reduce the effect, if you wish to increase the effect simply duplicate the layer.
- Painting with a 50% grey brush brings the image back to it’s original tonality.
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.