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Photoshop Tricks, Part 2

Part 2 covers how to make a photograph look like a painting, create a seamless fractal tiled image, to use Adobe Dimensions with Photoshop, and how to retouch a drop shadow you've added to an image. (From Inside Photoshop CS, Sams, ISBN: 0672326442.)

Author Info:
By: Sams Publishing
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 35
September 15, 2004
  1. · Photoshop Tricks, Part 2
  2. · More Fun with Pseudo-Painting
  3. · The Minimize Command and the Spatter Effect
  4. · Trick 6: Creating Organic-Looking Objects Using Photoshop Filters
  5. · Trick 7: Creating a Bronze Guy
  6. · Trick 8: Creating Images Using Adobe Dimensions with Photoshop CS
  7. · Remove the Background
  8. · Adding Elements to the Composition
  9. · Trick 9: Coping with a Horrific Photo
  10. · Trick 10: Fixing a Chopped-Off Drop Shadow

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Photoshop Tricks, Part 2 - Remove the Background
(Page 7 of 10 )

Getting the Vase out of Its Background

You are going to leave the vase right there in its little window while you remove the background and embellish the image window with modest yet tasteful creations of your own. I'm not being smart here; I'm honestly trying to take the scare out of image creation.

In the following steps, you will remove the background, pull out a couple of guides, and create a ledge for the vase.

Creating a Ledge for the Vase
  1. Open the vase.tif file from the Examples\Chap24 folder on the companion CD. On the Layers palette, double-click on the Background title, and rename the layer vase. Click on OK to apply the change. Right-click (Macintosh: hold Ctrl and click) the title bar of the document, and choose Canvas Size. In the Canvas Size dialog box, leave the middle anchor selected, and type 800 (pixels) for Width and 600 (pixels) for Height. Press W for the Magic Wand tool, and with Tolerance set at 32, click on the white background color. Choose Select, Modify, Expand and enter a value of 1 (pixels). Click on OK. Press Delete (Backspace) to clear the white background. Press Ctrl(Command)+D to deselect. Press Ctrl(Command)+R to display the rulers in the image window. This is the only way to add guides to the image window.

  2. At the bottom of the Layers palette, Ctrl(Command)+click the Create a new layer icon (when you use the Ctrl(Command) key, Photoshop will create the new layer below the vase layer). Double-click the Layer 1 title, and rename this layer Ledge. Press Enter (Return) to apply the new name. Drag a horizontal guide out from the ruler at the top and then a vertical guide out from the ruler on the left side so they intersect about a screen inch to the left and middle of the vase.

  1. Create a horizontal shape using the Polygonal Lasso tool, and use the View, Snap command to keep the tool right on the guide until you make a diagonal selection segment at the left, as shown in Figure 24.50. After you've created it, color it R:130, G:134, B:226. Then create a vertical part to the ledge (also shown in Figure 24.50), and fill it with R:243, G:197, B:144. Deselect the selection.

  2. With the Move tool (press V), drag the guides back into the rulers, and then press Ctrl(Command)+R to hide the rulers.

  3. With the Gradient tool, set the foreground color to R:0, G:51, B:124, and click on the background color to set it to R:255, G:211, B:123. Ctrl(Command)+click on the Create a new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to create a layer below the Ledge layer. Rename this new layer Sky. Make sure you're in Linear mode, with the Foreground to Background color gradient chosen from the Options bar. Hold the Shift key to constrain the gradient to vertical, and drag vertically in the image window, starting about 2 screen inches from the top of the window and ending at about 2 screen inches from the bottom of the window (see Figure 24.51).


Figure 24.50 Create a primitive ledge using colors that complement the base.


Figure 24.51 Create a sunset for the image by using the right colors and the Gradient tool in Linear mode.

  1. Click the Ledge layer to make it the active layer. With the Magic Wand tool, click the vertical, peach-colored ledge area on the Ledge layer. Create an alpha channel by clicking the Create new channel icon at the bottom of the Channels palette. Click on the Alpha 1 channel you just created to make it active.

Insider - Depending on your settings, the channel you create may be filled completely with black, or it may be filled completely with white. Don't worry. Either way, the following steps will work regardless of the initial fill color.

  1. Choose Filter, Render, Clouds filter to create a fractal pattern in the selected area in the alpha channel (see Figure 24.52). Return to the RGB view of the image. Do this on the Layers palette by clicking on the Ledge layer to make it the active layer. The selection marquee should still be visible.


Figure 24.52 Create a texture that can then be applied to the peach side of the ledge in the design.

  1. Choose Filter, Render, Lighting Effects, as you've done previously in this chapter. Set the Texture Channel to Alpha 1, and set the Height to about 12. Make sure the Light type is Directional and that the exposure is correct by twiddling with the point at the end of the source light; move it toward or away from the light origin in the proxy window until the colors in the proxy window match the colors in the document window. Click on OK to apply the Lighting Effects, and you now have a stucco ledge wall in the image. Press Ctrl(Command)+D to deselect.

  2. Click the vase layer to make it the active layer, and then with the Move tool (press V), drag the vase to the right of the image window.

  3. Save your work to your hard disk as Vase.psd, and keep the file open. We both need a breather!

Adding some accents to the image, such as a moon and a shadow for the vase, would be cool. Again, creating these effects is not hard stuff.

This chapter is from Inside Photoshop CS, by Gary Bouton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.

Buy this book now.

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