Tag Archives: PHSH tutorial

Spot Brightening (PHSH Effect #12)

Spot Brightening is a very important skill to have. Sometimes – for whatever reason – an image will come out with a dark spot, or will have weird lighting. Spot-treating images can be an immensely helpful tool in your PHSH arsenal, especially with summer right around the corner, you know you always get that one Beach Day pic where there’s too many shadows.

And, like most of the other effects I’ve shown you, it’s secretly really easy once you know what to do.

I’m going to use the teaser image from last month, even though most of it is dark already. I think keeping the images consistent is helpful when needing to look back at the effects while you practice them. So, for simplicity sake, we’ll be using the Match image:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - Match OG Pic - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

Step 1: Start a new Work File/Document/Whatever-You-Want-to-Call-It in PHSH and drag/drop the image into it. Don’t forget to resize so it fits into your work space.

Step 2. Using the Elliptical Selection Tool, select the head of the match, and a bit of the flame.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - Selected Match Head - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

Step 3. With the head still selected, go up to Image – Adjustments – Brightness/Contrast

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - Image Adjustments Brightness/Contrast - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

Step 4. In the Brightness/Contrast box, slide the Brightness slider toward the right to brighten the selection. Sliding it in the opposite direction will make the selection darker.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - Brightness Dialogue Box - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

Step 4. Once you’re happy with the Brightness, click Okay to make the transformation stick to the picture – or, if you are in the Brightness/Contrast by accident, you can always Cancel to undo the change. (One of the great things PHSH has for most of the effects is the Live Preview, so while you’re playing with Brightness/Contrast, colours, etc. you can actively see what you’re changing on the image)

If, for instance, you need to make the selected area brighter than the slider will let you, you can hit ‘Okay’, stay on the selected area and then re-brighten it to whatever you need.

For instance, I brightened the picture at first to +64:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 64 Bright - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

But if I needed it brighter, I could go back in and:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 27+ Bright - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

And so on, and so forth, until my hearts’ content:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 91+ Brightened - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 45+ Brightened - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 150+ Brightened - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

You could basically do this until there is just a white hole in the middle of the picture.

Yep, that’s literally all there is to it.

I mean, there is another way you could do this – but that involves a hell of a lot more steps and Layer Masks – it just gets waaay too complicated. Which, truthfully, was the way I learned how to do it first before figuring out this easy way, and since these tutorials are here to make your lives easier, I’ll just refrain from sharing that overly-long pain-in-the-ass way.

Thank me later!

Aaand I don’t want you to get disappointed or anything, but this will be the last PHSH tutorial until October. Since I’ve started No. Mad. I’ll be focusing more on that for the next few months. Think of this time off as extra time for you to practice all the effects you’ve learned thus far.


Like the tutorial? Check out more here!

Opacity (PHSH Effect #11)

Now that we’ve begun to get into some of the harder/less beginner-type effects, it occurred to me: I never addressed one of the simplest effects you can use to up your Photoshop game: changing a pictures’ opacity.

This can be super helpful if you need to add a background to your image, or need to add layers of pictures upon pictures.

So let’s get into it:

Step 1. You’re gonna need some pictures.

Let’s say you want to add this

To the background of this:

Step 1 is to open both the pictures, and a new document/project for you to work on.

Step 2: Drag the images into your working document, as I showed you in the Intro.

Step 3. Resize them so they fit into the document.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Both Pics Opened - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Now, we’re actually first going to have to use a different technique. Because the foreground picture with the shell already has a sky background, we’re going to have to remove that. To see how to do this, you can go look back over this tutorial.

Actually, never mind – I’m going to be using an even simpler way.

We’ll still be using the Quick Selection tool, and selecting the shell and the sand.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Selected Shell and Sand - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Now, instead of going up to Selection and doing the Refined Edge stuff, we’re just gonna right-click, and click on Select Inverse.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Selected Inverse - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Go to the Erase tool, and erase the background.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Erasing Background - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

And boom! Don’t forget to go back to the Quick Select tool, right-click and Un-Select the selection so we can move on. This is basically a faster way to erase, so it’s great to have in your arsenal. (Especially if you’re doing collages, it will shave a lot of time from your work)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Erased Background - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Step 4. As you can see, the sunset picture doesn’t cover the entirety of the work file. This means we’re going to have to use another technique I already showed you: Content-Awareness Scaling.

For this picture, the Alpha 1 layer is going to be the sun, so it doesn’t get all stretched out.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - CAS Sunset - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - CAS w Shell - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Now that the sunset takes up the whole background, the shell looks out of place, and the sun is too low. So we’re going to drag the sunset picture up, until the shell is at the edge of the water.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Shell at Edge of Water - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Yes, we probably didn’t need to Content Awareness Scale the image as much as we did, since we just needed a bit more sky, but it’s always good to have too much of an image than too little. If you wanted to change the image location again, you would be able to.

Step 5. To make the Dark Background, we’re going to add a Colour Layer under the other two pictures.

Because this is the darker background, we’re going to use a dark grey.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Colour Layer Select - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Colour Layer Colour Selection - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Colour Layer UNDER - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Step 6. And now for the part you all came for: changing the Opacity of a picture.

The Opacity filter is in the Layers Panel, on the top right.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Click on the little drop-down arrow to change the opacity of a picture. This will make a picture appear more or less see-through.

Because we want to be able to see a bit of the background through the pictures, we’ll be lowering the opacity just a bit.

Make sure you’re changing the opacity of the correct layer.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Background Opacity Less - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Foreground Opacity Too Low - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Notice how if you make the Opacity of the Shell picture too low, the background pic will start to show through? This can be useful in collages, or if you need to overlap a bunch of pictures, but for this simple tutorial, it’s too much. I’m going to lower the Opacity to just 90, so that we get some of the dark grey of the background, without the harsh line of the sunset picture showing through.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Foreground Opacity Just Right - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Now, because the sand is a much lighter colour, you may choose to Burn the picture as well, if you really want to get it to match.

You don’t always end up with a similar to Burned effect, like in the Light background.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Light Background - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

It depends on the pictures themselves, mostly and what the colour schemes already are.

One good thing about adding the Colour Layer is that if you don’t like the background colour that is showing through, you can always change the colour to get the desired effect.

For example:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Red Background - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Changing the background colour to Red gives the picture a warmer feel

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - Blue Background - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

Whereas Blue gives a completely different vibe.

Play around with the colours and Opacity percents to see the different effects you can get.

Once you get the background colour you want, you’re done! Just be sure to save your work.

That wasn’t too hard, right? And you got to practice some other effect skills – see how the skills build on top of each other? Most pic manips will require some combination of the effects I’ve shown you, so it’s good to practice combining them to see what you can come up with, and which effects you like best.

Next month I’ll show you how to take this:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening Match OG Image - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip

and brighten a specific spot on an image, like this:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, pciture manip, photo manip


Like this tutorial? Check out more here!

Burning a Picture (PHSH Effect #10)

Happy New Year everybody!

I hope you all had a relaxing holiday season (or at least, had time to unwind now that it’s over) and are ready to dive head-first with me back into the tutorials.

To kick off the new year, I’ll be showing you how to use the Burn tool. It’s pretty straight forward, but if you need a quick refresher, go skim back over the Intro. It’s alright, I’ll wait.

…. You back? Good.

Okay, so using the Burn tool like I said is pretty straightforward, fortunately, this is one of the PHSH tools that’s aptly named. Using this tool will do exactly what the name implies: it’ll burn the picture.

If that sounds scary, I promise it’s really not that hard. You can control the intensity of the burn, so you don’t end up ruining the picture. Which is great, because sometimes, you just may want to go simple and say, darken the picture.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture -Burned Edge LIGHTEST

(Don’t mind the red background)

You could mess with the white balance or other picture exposure, but messing with those tends to be much more complicated.

Or, you may want to go for a more extreme manip, like actually making the picture appear to be burned:

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Burned Picture Done

Or you may need something in the middle. Regardless, it’s a very straight forward tool to use.

Let’s get started.

Today, we’ll be working with my I.D. pic, simply because I think it looks good burned. Pictures that tend to be darker and have lighter edges usually work better for this effect, but again, it depends how far you’re going.

 

Step 1.

Alright, so to start, you’re gonna need the un-touched picture.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - AterImber I.D. Picture w/ White Background

Once you have this in a Layer, you may want to change the background colour from white, just so it’s easier to see where the edges of the picture are, so you can be more precise.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Changed Background Colour

The colour of the background doesn’t really matter, especially since we can change it once you’re done, but I find it’s easier to work when you can see where the edge of the picture is.

 

Step 2.

Alright, now that we have the picture, we’ll want to select the Burn tool from the left side Tool Bar. It’s the picture of a hand in a C shape, directly under the Blur/Sharpen/Smudge tool.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Burn Tool Location

You may have to click on the box and manually select Burn from the drop-down menu. I believe the default image may be the Dodge tool, which looks like a lollipop.

 

Step 3.

Once you have the Burn tool selected, (and the layer you want to use the tool on selected), you’ll notice some options came up at the top of the application, in the same space where the Eraser options are.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Burn Tool Options

The drop-down menu with the circle in it is the brush size, similar to the Eraser, you can make it bigger or smaller by using the sliders. The Hardness slider underneath will determine how hard/feathered the edge of the tool will make. (These are both exactly the same as for the Eraser tool)

For example, if the Hardness is on 5%:

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Hardness 5%

Or 90%:

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Hardness 90%

 

For the burn tool, it works the same:

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Hardness Burn 90%

(90% Hardness)

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Hardness Burn 5%

(5% Hardness)

There’s also the option to change the Range. This will change the area of the picture you’re targeting. You can choose from either the Highlights, Mid-Lights or Shadows. I discovered that if you (for example) only target highlights, there will be a point where the image won’t get any darker. (I presume because it’s gotten rid of all the highlights)

When I was experimenting for the tutorial, as I did this, the picture didn’t get any greyer until after I changed what I was targeting. I recommend you play around with this, as it depends on the picture. I’ve tried changing the targeted areas in the past for other projects, and I saw no difference at all, as if the tool wasn’t working.

And the last option will be the Exposure. Next to the brush size, this is the most important part of using the Burn tool. The Exposure will determine how dark the section will get. I recommend not starting at 100, unless you want the entire picture to go near all black on your first go. I usually start small, and then up the Exposure depending on the look I was going for.

For the picture above with the burned-by-fire look, I used 100% Exposure on the edges. The rest of the picture, to just darken it, I used about 10-20.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - 100% Exposure Burn

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - 10% Exposure Burn

 

Step 4.

Now that you know the options, let’s show you how I did the Soft Burned or just darkened picture, and then the Burned By Fire picture.

So, for the Soft Burn, I kept the Exposure low, about on 10, and I feathered the edge of the brush. Because I rubbed the tool all over the entire picture, I don’t actually think the Hardness made a difference, but since I was being ‘soft’ it just seemed to go.

Okay, so, set the brush size to really big (I used 300-400), and (while keeping the Exposure low) click and drag the brush over the entire picture.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Light Burn First Line Drag

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Light Burn All Dragged

And boom! Soft Burned pic is done. Told you it was easy!

Now for the Burned By Fire picture, it’ll be the same thing. We can actually continue on from this picture, since it’s already burned.

 

For the Burned By Fire pic:

Now that we’ve got the whole thing looking a little singed, we’ll want to up the Exposure to about 50 and reduce the brush size (I reduced it to 130).

We’re going to just go around the edges of the picture now, similar to when we made a Border. You can leave the Hardness down at 4% for this as well. A lack of hard edge will make it look more realistic of a burn.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Burned Border Light

Now we’re going to do that again and again, until the border becomes almost black. So, keeping the stats where they are, continue to go around the edges until it becomes blackened.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Dark Grey

At this point (it took me about 10 go a-rounds to get it this dark) you should up the Hardness to about 40-50 as well. We’re going to be concentrating now on just getting the edges black, so we’ll need to contain the burn a bit more.

After changing the Hardness, keep going.

Also: don’t worry about making the outline too clean cut straight, it’s okay if it’s a bit of wobbly lines. Again, it adds to the realism of if the picture were burned, and we’ll be erasing the very edge of the photo after anyway. And, as you’re going, make sure to round the edges of the corners slightly.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Rounded Edges

After a few more go arounds, you may notice that the border isn’t getting any darker any longer. Mine wouldn’t get darker than this:

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - No More Dark

That’s because we’ve been burning with the Highlights selected. Now we can change to either the Midtones or the Shadows. I like going to Midtones and then to Shadows, just because I like to do them in order. Again, I’m not entirely sure at this point, but since we’re trying to replicate what I did, we gotta do it the same way, right? Right.

Okay, so after selecting Midtones and going around a few more times, mine stopped getting darker again at this point:

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Mindtone Burned

At this point, you need to switch to the Shadows, and then keep going until the edges turn all the way black.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Shadow Burn

Okay, now that we got the edges, I think you can tell, the all over burn job we did at the beginning no longer matches, does it?

No worries, we’re gonna go back over the entire picture now. We had to wait to see how dark the edges were going to get, juuust in case we messed up.

Remember: You can always make the picture more burned, but it’s harder to un-burn it.

Alright, so to go over the entire picture, change the hardness to softer, the brush size to bigger, and the Exposure back down to about 10. And, you may need to switch the Range back to Highlights. If you try to go back over the lighter part of the picture with the Range still on Shadows, it may not work.

You don’t want to make it too much darker, but it has to match the edges. Try to get it to look as realistic as possible.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Reburned All

Now, you could leave it like this, but, for a little extra realism, I like to erase the hard edge of the picture. How often have you seen a burned picture with perfectly intact edges?

Exactly.

Switch from the Burn tool to the Eraser tool, change the size of the brush again (smaller), and keep the hardness semi-low. (50-60-ish)

Now – carefully – erase the very edges of the picture, and make sure to round the corners a bit. Again, this erase job doesn’t have to be perfectly straight.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Burning a Picture - Erased Edges

And boom! That’s everything.

Don’t forget to take out/change the background so you can save the picture by itself, or drag it on over to whatever file you need it in!

This way of burning pictures does take longer (obviously) but depending on the look you’re going for, it’s also a more realistic effect.

You can pretty much use this burned technique on any photo. And of course, you can make the burned/blackened edges bigger or smaller if needed, so you can erase more of the picture for a more burned up effect.

Have fun practicing this technique until next month.


Like the tutorial? Check out more here!

Boarders (PHSH Effect #9)

*IMPORTANT*

Aside from my final Product Review (Dec. 13th), this is the last post of 2019!

I will be taking the final 3 weeks of the year and half of January off from posting. I should be back at it Jan. 17th with the first Throw Away Fic of the year. (The next PHSH tutorial will come either come Jan. 20th, or sometime in Feb. Keep an eye out on my Twitter account, as that’s where I announce new posts)

Whether you wanted to up your book cover game, or start your own merch shop, or just wanted to have some fun, I hope you’ve found these tutorials useful.


This is the very last PHSH Effect of 2019!

In honour of this time of the year, I thought I’d show you something that could help you spruce up the annual x-mas card. I’m talking about boarders, of course! You can make a boarder look like pretty much anything you want to, but in keeping with the holiday spirit, I’ll be showing you how to make a ‘snow-y’ boarder like the one below.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Boarder Done - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

It’s a lot simpler than it may look, I promise! And, once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably want to do them all the time for whatever you’re creating.

Step 1. Create a Solid Colour layer from the bottom of the Layers panel. It can be any colour you want. For simplicity, I’m making mine blue.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Solid Colour Layer - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Solid Colour Selected - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

 

Step 2. Click on the Layer Mask (the square of colour that’s closest to the Layer name) This is the part we’re working with, not the actual layer.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Layers Mask Selected - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Double click the Layer Mask square to bring up the Properties panel, then click on Invert. This will make the square go white (or black) – don’t worry! This is just to show it’s inverted. The Layer Mask square may be black now instead of white, too.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Properties Panel w/ Red Square - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

 

Step 4. Next, go to your Brush tool (left-side tool bar) and select one of the Creative Brushes from the bottom of the list. Because I want this boarder to look snow-y, I’m selecting a brush that looks somewhat like snow-flakes. (They’re just little dots, but still)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Brush Tool Selector Top - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation




Step 5. Once you find a brush you like, you can draw a square/boarder around the edges of the document. This is how you make the ‘boarder’ for the document. The colour you picked in Step 1 may appear through the lines you drew, that’s supposed to happen.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Blue Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Aaand it’s at this stage I realize I did the steps backward. (I’m human, okay? Sorry to shatter the illusion) So I changed the background colour to blue, and made my boarder off-white, so it looked more like snow. I also changed the size of my brush so you could see the ‘dots’ more clearly, instead of having it look like a solid line, so it more closely resembles snow.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Fixed Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Now, if you’re not doing snow, this is pretty much it, you can add whatever picture or text you want, or even go back and change the colour of the boarder or background.

If you want to stick with me and make this look like snow, it’s gonna take a while. This boarder looks fine, but doesn’t really look too snow-like. Since I’m using a dotted brush, now I’m going to add a bunch of dots (or ‘snow’) over more of the background, to make it look more like it’s snowing.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Beginning to Make Snow - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

After this is done, as I said above, then you can add any other pictures or text you like, and then that’s it! (Don’t forget to save your work.)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Finished Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation


Like this tutorial? Check out more here!

Changing Eye Colour (PHSH Effect #8)





Found the perfect royalty free image that fits your character, but they have the wrong coloured eyes? Tired of wading through endless ‘guy with beard’ pics trying to find the perfect one?

This tutorials’ for you!

This month, I’ll show you how to change any picture of a person, (or animal, or anything else with an iris) eye colour.

As I’m hoping you’ve picked up at this point in this series, these effects aren’t nearly as hard as one might think. There is more than one way to achieve this, but I’ll show you the easier way that I’ve found.

 

Alright, so to go from this:

to this:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Purple Eye - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Follow below:

 

Step 1. Open your image in Photoshop. Make a duplicate layer of it. (Just in case you mess up) For this tutorial, I’ll just be using the dog photo from above.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Duplicate Dog - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 2. Using the Eliptical Marque Tool, draw a circle around the iris (the part of the eye with colour).

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Iris Selected - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 3. Go to the top Menu bar and go to Select – Modify – Feather and set it to 10px. The circle you drew should get a tad smaller – don’t worry, it’s supposed to.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Select Modify Feather - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Feather 10px - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 4. Go back up to the top Menu and go to Layer – Create Clipping Mask

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Layers Create Clipping Mask - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 5. Once you did that, then go back up to Image, and this time go to Adjustments – Black and White, and make all the values 0.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Image Adjustments Black and White - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Black and White 0 - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 6. Now to actually change the eye colour. Go to the Layers panel, down at the bottom, and go to Solid Colour, and pick a colour. Literally any colour you want.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Layers, Solid Colour - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help, changing eye colour

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Solid Colour - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 7. If the colour goes outside the iris, that’s okay. If that happens, you can just use the Eraser tool and erase around the part that’s outside the eye. Also, if the colour is very clearly over the pupil, you can erase that part too, to make it look more realistic. Or, (sometimes) you can get away with changing the Opacity of the colour, so it’s not so obviously over the pupil.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Aaaand, that’s it! Yep, told you it was easy. Now you can delete the duplicated layer and don’t forget the most important step of all: Save!


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Removing a Background from an Image (PHSH Effect #7)





Like Removing a Foreground Object, removing the background from an image isn’t as hard as it may first appear.

We kind of already did this in the making a background transparent tutorial, too. But this one is different in that we’re not making the background transparent, we’re removing it completely so you could put another picture in the background. Admittedly, turning the background transparent and then just transplanting the new background may be easier, but it’s important to know both.

So, here we go!

I’m just going to use the same beach picture I used for the Removing a Foreground Object tutorial, because it’s a pretty clear-cut foreground/background object.

Step 1. Start with your image (in this case, the beach image).

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - Beach Coconut - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorials, photoshop effects

Working on the beach image layer, use the Quick Select Tool (in the left tool bar) and select the area you want to keep. In this case, it’d be the coconut.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - Quick Select Foreground Object - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorials

Step 2. In the Select menu (at the top of the screen), select Refine Edge. In the dialogue box that pops up, change Shift Edge to 10% and Contrast to 15%. In the Output Settings, (at the bottom of the dialogue box), change the output to a Layer Mask.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - Refine Edge Dialogue Box

Hit Okay, and boom! Background is gone!

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - Removed Background

Now that the background is removed, you can add whatever background to the image you want.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - New Background

Obviously this one doesn’t quite look like it belongs, because I left the shadow in the selection (which is the wrong colour of the sand), but you should get the gist. You can always change the lighting, add more effects, to touch it up to make it look like it belongs more than just copy/pasting it into another photo. (In fact, I recommend you do so it doesn’t look like it’s actually photoshop-ed)

But that’s it! Not too hard, right?

Next month, due to it being Halloween, I’ll be showing you how to add blood drops to borders, words, etc.


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Removing a Foreground Object (PHSH Effect #6)





Last month, I showed you how to make a transparent background, this month, I’ll show you how to remove a foreground object.

You’ll learn how to turn this:

To that.

Don’t worry, like most of the effects I’ve shown you so far, it’s very simple to do, and is an amazing time saver.




Step 1. To keep things simple, I’ll just use the same beach picture.

Step 2. Choose the Lasso tool, and draw a circle around the object you want to remove. Be sure to get a bit of the background into the selection.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Lasso Tool

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Lasso Selection

Step 3. Go up to Edit – Fill, and choose Content Aware from the drop-down.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Edit - Fill

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Content Aware Box

Click ‘Okay’ and the object should have disappeared, and now should be replaced with the background. Click back to the Lasso tool and Deselect, and you can now save your new foreground object removed picture.

And that’s it! Told you it was easy.

It does get a little trickier if there’s different parts to the background. For example, if you’re trying to remove multiple objects from a more complicated image, it may get ‘confused’ and remove an object in the sky by replacing it with ground, and an object on the ground with sky. This is slightly annoying, but you can always undo and redo this effect as many times as needed until you get the object out. I actually had this problem while I was working on my newest book (The Haunted Corpse) cover.

This was the original image:

The Haunted Corpse Original Picture

And this is my cover:

The Haunted Corpse Cover

I got the moon and birds out without much issue, but the lady standing to the very right of the castle was a different story. Because I’d replaced objects in the sky, every time I tried to replace her, it kept replacing her with clouds, instead of with trees. It took a while, but I finally got it. If that happens to you, I recommend removing the objects one at a time. So, remove an object from the image, save, re-open, remove the second object, save, etc. It takes longer, but it will keep photoshop from getting confused. (Hopefully)

Next month, I’ll show you the opposite, how to remove backgrounds from the image.


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Making a Transparent Background (PHSH Effect #5)





Alright, now that we’ve tackled some practical effects for pictures, it’s time to switch gears and show you how to edit the picture as a whole.

For this months’ tutorial, I’m going to show you how to change the background of a picture from the default white (or any other colour) to transparent. This is handy for, say, if you want to change the colour of the background, or if you’re making merch, and want the design to be available on an array of different coloured backgrounds.

This also comes in handy if you ever need to add a picture that has a background to your existing design. Instead of erasing around the foreground object, you can make the background transparent and then just place it. This can save you a lot of time. (Trust me)

Let’s get started.

First things first, you’re gonna need an image with a background you want to make transparent. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll just be using this:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Tutorial Pic

Simple, yes, but the steps are the same no matter how complicated an image is.

Step 1. Make a new Colour Layer. It can be whatever colour you want.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Colour Layer

Step 2. Switch back to the image, and select the Magic Eraser. Click on the white spaces of the image, and the white should disappear.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Magic Eraser Selection

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Clicked White Space

Step 3. Continue using the magic eraser on the image until all the white is gone.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Done White Space

Step 4. Now that the white is gone, all we have to do is delete the Colour Layer. Do this by clicking and dragging it down to the trash can on the bottom right side in the Layers Panel.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Dragged Arrow Deletion




Once you delete the Colour Layer, you’ll see the background of the image change to grey and white checkers, this now means the background is transparent. You can now save this layer as is and use it for whatever backgrounds you want. Whether it be solid colours, or actual pictures, your transparent pic is now ready to use.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Grey and White Checkers

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Trans Lavender

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Trans Yellow

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Trans Beach

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Check out next months’ tutorial, where I’ll show you how to do this magic:


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Warped Text (PHSH Effect #3)




In keeping with the theme from last month, we’ll be continuing with text manipulations (check out the basics here). Specifically, we’ll be going through the different kinds of Warping Text there is.

Now, there are 15 different options to warp text in PHSH, I’m going to go through all of them, but will try to keep it brief. You can play around with the settings yourself and see what you like best.

Like the Drop Shadow, Warping Text isn’t the hardest PHSH effect to learn, but can definitely come in handy.

Alright, let’s get into it.

Step 1: Make a new document/project. (Mine is 6in x 6in, for simplicity)

Step 2: Using the Type tool, add text to the document. For the sake of the tutorial, I’m going to just work with ‘warp text’. The Warp Text effect will work with whatever you type, so if you need to say add text to a book cover (or poster), it won’t matter.

To keep things basic, I’m also just going to stick with black text on a white background, and Times New Roman, but again, this effect will work with almost every font/colour/background.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Text In Box

Step 3: While still using the Type tool, right click in the text box, then select Warp Text from the options.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Right Clicked Mani Box

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Warp Text Box

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Warp Text Options

Step 4: From the Style drop-down menu, first warp option we’ll be using is the Arc. (If you’re using a different version of PHSH, the order of the effects may change, and/or you may not have all the effects listed)

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Arc Selection

Once you click on the Arc option, you’ll notice your text is well, arced. See those Bend, Horizontal Distortion and Vertical Distortion options? These are the things we’ll be using for all the effects in this dialogue box. And, depending on the values, they’ll change how the text looks.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Arc Default

 

For example, my default Bend value is +50. This made the text arc so wide that it’s now cut off from the document. To get it back on the document, I can either lessen the Bend value, or, I can click ‘Okay’ (if you’re happy with the warping done) and then I could easily just move the text layer over so it’s no longer off the edge of the document.

Because this is just a tutorial, I’ll ‘fix’ it by lessening the Bend. To do this, just click and drag the arrow along the line, and you should be able to see the text change with the changing Bend in real time.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Arc Bend Lessened

See how the text is getting less Arced? If you go past the 0 on the scale, it will begin to Arc down.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Arc Bend Inverted

Once you get the right Bend you need, you can move on to if you need to Horizontally or Vertically Distort the Warp. The Horizontal Distortion values will either squish, or enlarge one side of the text, while the Vertical Distortion will make the text look like it’s flying at, or away from you. (Like the scrolling text at the beginning of Star Wars).

I left the Bend at 0 for the following pictures so you can see each value by itself.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Vertical Distortion Big

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Vertical Distortion Inverted

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Horizontal Distortion Big

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Horizontal Distortion Inverted

Now that you know what these values do, you can use them in conjunction with each other.

The below pictures are the text with a Bend + Vertical and Bend + Horizontal Distortions.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Bend Vertical Distortion

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Bend Horizontal Distortion

That’s how those values act with the Arc Style. If we choose another Style from the drop-down, the options will remain the same, but the way the text is warped will change.

To keep things simple, I’m just going to go down the list in order, and show the effect with Bend only. The Horizontal and Vertical Distortions do the same thing for each, and I don’t want the pictures to get too repetitive.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Arc Lower Bend

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Arc Upper Bend

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Arch Bend

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Bulge Bend

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Shell

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Shell Upper




AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Flag

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Wave

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Fish

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Rise

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Fisheye

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Inflate

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Squeeze

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Twist

You can also change the options from being applied horizontally to vertically, at the top, just under the Style selection.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Warped Text - Arc Vert Style Bend

Feel free to play around with these on your own as needed, too. And, once you find a style of warping you like, don’t forget to save!

Next month I’ll be sticking with the text effects and show you how to make this:

AterImber.com - Books - First Try Promo Poster - Indie Author - Canadian Author

AterImber.com - Writing - Book Posters - The Haunted Corpse - Help Me Poster


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Drop Shadows (PHSH Effect #2)




Now that I’ve shown you how to scale an image without distorting it, I’m going to delve a bit into specifics with this effect: adding a Drop Shadow to text.

It’s not the fanciest or coolest (or hardest) effect you can make in PHSH, but you gotta walk before you can run, right?

Let’s get started.

Step 1 – Open PHSH and make a new document. For simplicity, I made my document 6in x 6in.

Step 2 – Going down to your Type tool, you’ll want to click and drag somewhere on your canvas to create a text box. Type whatever you want in the box. You’ll notice that when you create a Text box, it automatically makes the text a New Layer.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Text Box - PHSH Tutorial, book design, cover design

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Text Box w Words

Step 3 – To resize your Text box, click and drag one end of the box toward the words typed. Do this until the box is more or less the same size as the words.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Text Box Resized

Step 4 – You could also change the colour of your text, or the font and size you’re using in the top menu while you’re in the text box.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Font, Size and Colour Options

For this tutorial, I’m just going to keep things simple and leave the text black against a white background.

Step 5 – In the Layers panel (to the right) right-click on the Text Layer and select Blending Options from the menu.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Blending Options Right-Clicked

Step 6 – From the left-side menu in the Blending Options dialogue box, click on Drop Shadow.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Blending Options Dialogue Box

Step 7 – This is where it can get complicated, depending on what you need the Drop Shadow for. Since this is just a tutorial, I’ll try to keep this part as simple as possible.

Looking at the Drop Shadow options, these values are all the defaults for my computer. If yours is different that’s okay, because you often won’t be keeping the default values anyway.

It’s hard, but you can see the Drop Shadow effect applied between this picture and the last one.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Drop Shadow Default




Let’s go through the options:

Blend Mode – This will change how the effect looks. This I feel like has bigger impact on some of the other Blending Mode options, such as Colour Overlay. For Drop Shadows, I usually just leave the default Multiply setting.

Beside Blend Mode, you’ll notice there’s a colour swatch. Clicking on it will bring you to the Colour Picker, where you can change the colour of your shadow. This is helpful if you want to match the shadow to the background colour of your document.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Colour Change

Opacity – This changes how dark the shadow appears. If you want the shadow to be more transparent, lower this setting.

Angle – This changes how the shadow looks. For instance, the default angle 120 makes the shadow appear from the top left corner down. Playing around with the angle will change where the shadow appears. (I drastically changed the distance to better demonstrate the changing angles)

Also, I always uncheck the Use Global Light box that’s by the angle. If you’re adding a shadow to more then one piece of text, Use Global Light will change the angle, distance, etc. for all the text, not just the one you’re working on. This can be annoying if needing to add multiple text boxes. I would recommend getting in the habit of always un-checking this box.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle 120

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle -90

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle 90

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle 0

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle 180

There’s a little grey square to the right side of the options, this is a preview of where the shadow is. In case it’s hard to see on the document, you can use this preview to help you determine what works the best for your project.

Distance – This changes how far away from the text the shadow is. For better showing of the angle, I jacked the distance to 150. I usually don’t have the distance too far away from the words. Usually when I work with Drop Shadow, I leave it around 5-10. One thing I’ve noticed is depending on the size of the font, you may need to make the shadow distance greater, without it looking too far away from the words.

Spread – This changes how ‘thick’ the shadow looks. The higher the number, the thicker it gets.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Spread

Size – This changes how big the shadow actually is. Changing the size is great if you want to ‘soften’ the shadow, or make a shadow appear more like a fuzzy glow.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Size 5

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Size 16

AterImber.com - Writing - Books - The Haunted Corpse - Off the Books Poster

I changed the size of the Drop Shadow here to a higher number to give it that blurry/neon lighting effect. I also changed the colour from the black to red.

Contour – I’m not entirely sure what this does, to be honest. I believe it’s something similar to the angle the shadow is? I don’t really use this, unless a specific effect I’m Googling tells me to.

Noise – This will change how ‘smooth’ the edges of the shadow look. Remember white noise channels on old school T.V.s? This is essentially that. I usually leave this to the default 0. I’ve yet to have a need to add noise to a shadow.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Noise

Feel free to play around with these settings to get the desired shadow effect you want. When you’re done playing around with the settings, click the ‘Okay’ button on the side to apply the effect. If you need to change the effect after, just right-click on the layer again and head back into Blending Options. You’ll be able to edit the effects for as long as you keep the Layers separate. Once you flatten the image/save it as a PNG or JPEG file, you won’t be able to edit the effect, due to the fact the work was collapsed into one single layer. This is why I always save a PSD version (I usually label it ‘UnFlattned’) along with a flattened picture, just in case I need to go back and change something.


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