Tag Archives: photoshop

Sunsets (PHSH Effect #27)

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I was going to say I chose to do a sunset so we could get over our winter blues, but we actually had a pretty mild winter where I am, so not too sure how well that works. Whether or not you also had a mild winter, learning to make a sunset effect in Photoshop can still be fun!

This tutorial is one of the simpler ones, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice, and might pick it up faster than some of the others!

For this tutorial, it’s going to really help you out if you choose an image that’s almost a sunset, anyway. I initially tried this effect myself (as well as some Youtube tutorials) using a picture that had high-noon sun lighting and it just did not work. At all. I’ll show you that disaster at the end of the tutorial, so you can see.

Now normally, I’d consider using a picture that’s already close to what you want to achieve as ‘cheating’ – if you were going to just use the pre-made picture as-is, you might as well go all the way and just find a full sunset picture – but seeing the difference between the high-noon picture and the one I ended up using was so drastic, I’m giving it a pass. (Also because I couldn’t figure out how to make it work on the high-noon picture)

This is the picture I ended up using:

Step 1

After re-sizing your picture to fit your new work document, you’ll want to make a Gradient Layer.

You’re going to have to create your own sunset colour gradient for your image. The specific colours you use will heavily depend on the colours your image already has. If you don’t pick colours that are already somewhat close, it won’t tint the image correctly and will end up looking very fake.

You’ll want to use 4 sunset colours, and then the last colour you’ll need to make light grey.

For my image, these are the colours I used:

1st: Pale Yellow: Colour Code #fffac4

2nd Brighter Yellow: Colour Code #fcf38d

3rd Pale Orange: Colour Code #ffbb5b

4th Brighter Orange: Colour Code #ff8b2e

If you plan on using this effect often, feel free to Save this Gradient by giving it a name and then pressing the New button to add it to your Gradient Presets.

Once you have the correct colours, you’ll want to click on the colour bar to make one of those pointer things show up on the top of the bar, and then change it’s Opacity to 75%. Or, you can just drag the pointer that’s already at the top on the left side (over the pale yellow) over until it’s over the Pale Orange and change that ones Opacity.

You’ll also want to change the Opacity of the pointer that’s over the Grey to about 30%.

Once you’ve changed those Opactities, click the Okay button.

Then once you’re back in the Gradient Fill dialogue box, change the Style to Radial, change the Angle to 130 and change the Scale to between 120-135, depending on what works best with your image. (Mine was 135)

 

Step 2

Now we’re going to change the Brightness of the picture. To do this, go back to the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer at the bottom of the Layers Panel and select Brightness/Contrast from the menu.

In the Panel that pops up, you’ll either want to slide the Brightness slider down or just replace the value by typing in -26.

After you successfully lower the Brightness, just click on the double arrows at the top right-hand side of the panel to close it.

 

Step 3

Now we’re going to add a filtered look to the whole picture. To do this, we’re going to add 2 Solid Colour Layers.

To make the 1st Colour Layer, go back down to the Create New Fill/Adjustment Layer at the bottom of the Layers Panel and click on Solid Colour.

The first colour we’re going to pick is going to be a darker colour. For my image, I had to choose a shade of Brown (#644503), however in one of the tutorials I saw on Youtube, the person made this colour a pinky Red. This will depend entirely on the image you chose.

If you find it easier, feel free to use the colours I’m using in this tutorial, and then once you’ve gone through all the steps, go back and see if changing the colours will make the image look better/more realistic.

The next colour layer we’re going to add is going to be a bright colour. For my image, I found a bright Orange (#ff7200) worked well. The Youtube tutorial person made this colour a pale yellow.

 

Step 4

Now that we’ve got both the colour layers, it’s time to incorporate them into the image!

Still being on your bright colour layer, change the Opacity to 35% and change the Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Next, go back to your darker colour (Brown) layer and change it’s Opacity to 27%, and then change this one’s Blend Mode to Vivid Light.

 

Step 5

At this point, you should see your image looking sunset-y. If you don’t and you’ve been following the tutorial colours, don’t worry. You might just have to change the colours to suite your own image.

For this step, we’re going to go back to the Gradient layer, and change it’s Blend Mode to Hard Light.

It doesn’t look like my image colour changed because I already had the Gradient layer’s Blend Mode to Hard Light. If it was on Normal (like yours should be), this should be what it looks like:

 

Step 6

Can you believe we’re already at the last step? Yep, it’s true!

The last thing you need to do is drag your darker colour (Brown) layer so it’s sitting underneath the Gradient layer.

To do this, just click on the layer in the Layer’s Menu and then drag it until it’s under the Gradient layer. Once it’s in the right place, take your finger off the mouse button.

Once you’ve got the darker colour under the Gradient, all you need to do is save because this effect is now done! Don’t forget to save both a PHSH file (.psd) and a picture file (.png, .jpeg, etc.), this way you can go back if you need to adjust something and/or to just play around with colours or layers later.

Also, as promised, here are my failed attempts at creating a sunset on a picture with high-noon lighting.

First, the original picture:

And now the first failed attempt. This attempt was the one I did by following a Youtube tutorial.

And this is the failed attempt from after I changed colours to see if that would help.

The 2nd attempt was closer, but no matter how I tweaked the colours – whether making them more red, more orange or more yellow – I just couldn’t make it work with the lighting. No matter what I did, it just kept looking fake/edited. I also had to add the sun to the image, and I feel like that also contributed to the failure of it.

So yeah, in case you didn’t know: just because I make these tutorials doesn’t mean I don’t also still fail at making effects! This is why I always try to remind you guys not to feel bad or get down on yourselves if you try an effect and it doesn’t work. There are many factors that go into making an effect work – the picture you choose, your version of Photoshop, and sometimes I swear just if you’re having a lucky day.

Keep practicing and fiddling around and you should get it eventually!

Also I don’t remember if I’ve ever said, but if you guys ever have questions about any of the effects I share, please feel free to reach out and ask! The whole reason I started this tutorial series was to help people (mainly indie authors) and it wouldn’t be very helpful if you found the tutorial confusing, or come away with more questions than answers.


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

Scars (PHSH Effect #26)

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Important: This is the 4th last article for 2023. I’ll be taking the last half of December and first half of January off from posting.

I’ll be back January 12th, 2024 with the first short story of the new year! (The first article will go up January 15th)


This month, I’ll be showing you guys how to add a scar to a picture. That’s right, I’m bringing you yet another ‘creepy’ tutorial to perfect just in time for Halloween!

As with most other tutorials, this one may seem complicated at first, but once we break it down, it’s actually not too hard to execute. And, like all the other tutorials: it’s fun!

Let’s get started.

Step 1

As always, Step 0 is to open a new PHSH document and to pick a base picture. Because this is a… let’s call it ‘dark’ tutorial, a picture that matches will make the effect look better. Look for something where a person is screaming, in some kind of pain or otherwise terrified.

I for example, found this one.

Feel free to use this same image, or one you find yourself. The steps should be the same, with maybe just a slight tweak of colours depending on the base picture. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that.

Once you find a picture you like, you’ll need to decide where you want the scar to be. On my picture, I’m going to put it on the left side of her forehead. After you decide on the placement, we’ll be drawing the scar.

To do this, first you’ll need to set the Foreground Colour to a faded red. #984A48 will work for the tutorial.

 

Step 2

Once the Foreground Colour is set, create a New Layer, then go over to your Brush Tool. With the Brush Tool selected, go up to the Brush Settings at the top and change Mode to Dissolve.

You’ll also want to change Flow to 50% and leave Opacity at 100%.

Once you’ve changed the Flow, you’ll want to also change the Size of your brush. The size of the brush will be the width of your scar, so make sure you choose one that isn’t too thick or too thin. 6 Pixels should work for today. But once you have the technique down, you can always experiment with different sized brushes to see how the different sized wounds look.

You can leave the Hardness of the brush at 100%. (Or, if it’s not currently set at 100, change it to that)

Now that we’ve got the brush set up, it’s time to make the cut!

Draw a line where you want the scar to appear on your model. Don’t forget that human faces (or bodies) aren’t completely flat, so your scar shape should reflect that.

For example, if you’re drawing the scar on the person’s cheek, the line should follow the curve of the cheek bone.

If you don’t like how your mark comes out, erase it and try again until you’re happy with it. This is why we’re drawing on the New Layer we made and not directly on the model picture.

You can also zoom in on your picture (using the CTRL and + buttons) if needed to help you get the shape you want. (To zoom back out, it’s CTRL – )

 

Step 3

Next, we’re going to draw over the mark again, but with an altered Brush. This time, change your Brush Mode back to Normal, double the brush Size (if you used 6px, make it 12px) make the Opacity 50% and change the Flow to 100%.

You also do not need to trace over the previous line perfectly! Having it a little skewed will help with the end effect. Scars are never perfect, right?

 

Step 4

In the Layer’s Menu, right-click on the scar layer and open Blending Options. Once opened, check-mark Bevel & Emboss to apply the style to the layer.

Once you apply the effect, click on it to open the options. We’ll be changing them to make the scar more life-like.

You’ll also want to apply the Contour and Texture boxes by check-marking the boxes next to them.

Now we’re going to start changing the Bevel & Emboss options. To start, change:

– Style to Inner Bevel

– Technique to Smooth

– Depth to about 285%

– Size to 5px

And Soften to 0px

 

After making these changes, your scar should look like a welt with a nasty line in the middle.

You can also change the Direction and Angle if needed, though 120 should work for a face. You’ll want to change these values depending on the lighting the picture you chose has.

Once you’re happy with how the scar looks, click “Ok” to apply the changes.

 

Step 5

Next we’re going to use the Smudge tool to get rid of any pixelated edges on our darker line.

Set the Strength to 50% and smudge the edges very lightly. We need just enough smudging to get rid of the pixelation. If you smudge it too much, the mark will end up looking more like a smear than a scar.

If needed, you can zoom in closer to help you complete this step.

 

Step 6

After you’re done smudging, make a duplicate of the model layer. The easiest way to do this is to hold down the ALT button on your keyboard while clicking and dragging the model layer in the Layer’s Panel.

If you were zoomed in on the scar to smudge, you can also go ahead and zoom back out now.

Once you’ve made the duplicate, you’re going to Merge the scar layer with it. To do this select both layers (hold down CTRL and then click on each layer) then right-click and select Merge Layers from the drop-down menu.

The option Merge Layers shouldn’t be greyed out if you have both selected. My option is greyed out because my computer is dumb sometimes and won’t show a click drop-down menu when I want it to. The picture above is my options while only having 1 layer selected.

 

Step 7

Now that the layers are merged, go to the Layers Panel and change the Opacity for the layer. You’ll want something fairly sheer so the scar looks faded. Something around 10% should work. For my picture, I made the Opacity 18%.

If you want the scar to look more pronounced, change the opacity to something higher.

Here’s how my scar looked when I changed the Opacity to 30%.

And this is what it looked like at 60%.

As you can see, the higher the Opacity is, the more pronounced the red is but that’s the reason it will start to look fake if it’s too bright.

If you think the dark line in the center of the scar still looks too pixelated, you can go ahead and use the Blur tool on it to smooth it out. Just like with the Smudge tool, you’ll want to do this carefully.

Though it is Halloween, so if you wanted to, you could throw subtly out the window and go in the complete opposite direction.

It all depends on the look you’re trying to achieve.

That’s it for this tutorial! Don’t forget to save your file both as a PHSH file so you can continue to practice and as a picture (JPEG, PNG, etc.) so you can share it with your friends and family.


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

Pointy Teeth (PHSH Effect #22)

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Now you can transform yourself into a vampire – just in time for Halloween! 🧛‍♂️

Step 1

Find yourself a picture that has a nice, clear view of the teeth. I was lucky enough to find one that already has a few pointed teeth on it.

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This is the picture I’ll be using. I’d like to note, your picture doesn’t have to already have pointed teeth, just a clear view of teeth, as this will make it a lot easier to attach the points will be making.

Once you have your picture, go ahead and open PHSH, and start a new project. Then, bring your picture onto it.

 

Step 2

Now that you’re ready to start, make a New Layer, and call it whatever you want. For the purposes of the tutorial, I’ll call this layer Tooth Outline.

On the new layer you just created, use your Brush Tool, and make an outline of what you want the pointed tooth to look like. Do this in a colour that is as close to the tooth colour as you can.

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To get the colour of the tooth, you can click on Colour Swatches in the left-hand side Tool Panel, then when the Colour Picker pops up, click on the part of the tooth you want to use the colour from.

 

Step 3

Once you’re happy with your outline, use the Pen Tool, and trace around the entirety of the tooth. Make sure you get both the pointed part you drew, and the tooth that was already there.

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After making the outline, go to the Paths section (one of the tabs in the Layers Panel), and turn it into a Selection by pressing CTRL while you click on the Work Path layer. You’ll know you’ve successfully Selected the outline when the line turns to a dotted, flashing line.

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Step 4

Now that you have the outline selected, make another New Layer. This layer, we’re going to fill in the rest of the tooth’s colour, so you may want to rename it to something appropriate, like Tooth Colour.

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Renaming your layers isn’t necessary – the effect will still turn out if you don’t name them – but I find it’s easier to keep track of which layer is which when you rename them. If that’s not your thing though, you can go ahead and disregard the renaming part of the steps.

 

Step 5

Once you have the entire tooth filled in, and it matches the colours of the tooth that’s already there, you can go ahead and Deselect the outline. (To do this, you can go to the Rectangular Marquee Tool (the tool directly under the Mouse in the left-hand Tools Panel), and right-click on the selection, then pick Deselect from the drop-down menu that appears.

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After you’ve deselected the outline, make another new layer. This layer is going to be the highlight for the tooth. Go back to your Brush tool, and use a very light white colour, then use that colour and paint a highlight down one side of the tooth.

You may have to change the size of the brush, so the highlight doesn’t look too out-of-place.

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Step 6

Once you’re happy with the highlight you made, you can switch back to the Tooth Colour layer. Next, go up to Filter – Blur – Gaussain Blur, and apply it to the layer.

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You’ll want to use something small, around 0.4 – so that it helps blend the colours, without making the tooth look like it’s fuzzy/blurry.

After you’ve applied that to your layer, go ahead and zoom out, to check out your handiwork from a not super close angle.

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Hopefully, the pointed part of the tooth will look like it’s part of the original.

If not, you may have to go back to the Tooth Colour layer and match more of the original tooth colours to the point.

Or, you may just need more practice!

But, not to worry – this is the last PHSH tutorial for the year, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice before the next one!

This was actually the 2nd tooth I vampire-ized on this picture. I used this one for the tutorial instead of the first, because I felt like this one turned out better.

What do you think?

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Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

Glitter (PHSH Effect #20)

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This article was written 21.11.25, please excuse any reference/joke that’s no longer applicable.


Now that it’s summer and we’re finally getting to go back outside in the nice weather, the timing couldn’t be more perfect to pivot away from the ‘depressing’ rain effect I showed you last time, and show you how to make something much ‘happier’: Glitter!

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Also, Pride is this month, so it seemed extra fitting, albeit a little cliché.

Let’s get started!

Step 1

First step for this effect, is you’ll need to find a Glitter Texture picture, and have a picture you want to add glitter to. For simplicity, I’m going to be doing this tutorial with a picture of an eye, and apply the glitter to look like eye shadow.

That said, you can definitely use this technique to add glitter in more fantasy-based pictures, if needed. (I’ll show you an example at the end of the tutorial)

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this yet or not, but if you haven’t found a good royalty-free website to get pictures from (unfortunately you can’t just use Google-d pictures for book covers), Pixabay and Pexels are great websites.

Once you have both pictures, open a new PHSH project, and place both the glitter, and base picture into it, and resize if necessary. Then, (if needed), drag the glitter layer so it’s on top of the base picture.

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You can also change the glitter layer’s Opacity so you can see the base picture through the layer.

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Step 2

Once you have your pictures set, we’re going to use the Eraser tool to erase parts of the glitter picture we don’t need. Using a pretty big sized brush, and a high percent of Hardness, start erasing the parts of the glitter picture you don’t need.

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In my case, this would be everything except for the part of the picture that’s covering the upper eyelid.

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Step 3

Once you’ve erased everything on the glitter layer you don’t need, you can go ahead and change it’s Opacity back to 100%.

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While still in the Layers panel, go over to the Blend Mode (which is the drop-down menu directly to the left of the Opacity), and change it from Normal to Overlay, or Screen. Use whichever one looks best with the picture you have. In my case, I used Overlay.

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Step 4

Once this is done, go ahead and clean up the edges of the glitter layer, if needed. You can also slightly lower the Opacity if you need to. Depending on your image, I wouldn’t make it too low, though, since you want the glitter to be seen over the picture.

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And there you have it! A simple way to add glitter to most pictures.

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Obviously, this is a pretty simple way to show you how to add glitter to something. However, the steps are almost exactly the same, even if you, for example, wanted to make a vampire/give a person glittery skin.

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For this image, I started with the exact same steps as above, but I ended up lowering the Opacity a little more, and, I also right-clicked on the glitter layer and used the Warp function to give it a slightly ‘bent’ appearance, so it would look more like it was attached to the girl’s skin.

Warping the glitter layer is an optional step. I’ve found it tends to only work with certain images, while on others, you can’t tell at all that it was used.

But go ahead and play around to see what works best for you.

You’ll want to get pretty good at applying glitter to images, because the next tutorial I’m gonna be showing you is an effect that just so happens to pair well with this one:


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of them here!

Make It Rain! (PHSH Effect #18)

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Welcome to the first Photoshop tutorial of the new year!

I hope you’re well rested and ready to tackle the 5 new effects I’ll be showing you throughout this year.

First of which, will be this cool rain effect!

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Now, obviously, this effect will look best on a photo that looks like it would have rain on it, like in the picture above. That said, you can use this effect on any picture, though it might not look as realistic over a sunny day.

This effect, like many of the others I’ve shown you, isn’t that complicated once you break it down, and, is actually pretty easy.

Let’s get into it!

Step 1.

To start, pick a picture you’d like to make it rain on. It can be any image you want, but, as said above, this effect will look better on certain images than others.

Once you have your picture picked out, create a New Layer (you can do this by using the New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel). Next, we’re going to fill the new layer with the colour black. You can do this one of two ways: you can either go up to Edit – Fill, and then select Black and click Okay, or, you can use your Paint Bucket and dump black onto the layer.

Either way, the layer should be completely black.

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You can also rename the new layer to something you’ll remember what it is, like ‘Rain’ – naming your layers is always helpful when working, but especially important the more you start working on more complicated projects.

 

Step 2

Once the layer is filled with black, go up to Filter – Noise – Add Noise. In the dialogue box that comes up, you can fill in the following values:

Amount of Percent: 25%

Distribution Mode: Gaussian

And, make sure the Monochromatic box is checked.

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Once this is done, click Okay to add the Noise. At this point, the black layer should have white speckles all over it – like the ‘fuzz’ that used to show up on an old TV when you went to a channel you didn’t get.

 

Step 3

Now that you’ve added noise, you’ll need to go back to Edit – Transform – Scale. Then, in the Width/Height values that appear in the top menu (on the same line used to change a Brush size/hardness), change the values to either 200/200 or 400/400, depending on the size of your document.

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Alternatively, you can just click and drag the layer’s bottom corner to make it larger, in the exact same way you scale a picture to fit your document/work size. The layer doesn’t have to be specifically that big, just make sure it’s slightly bigger than your work area.

Once you resize, the Noise/dots should (slightly) resemble falling snow.

This is to ensure a more realistic look – because rain is coming down from the sky, if you take a picture when it’s raining, the drops won’t be perfectly lined up with the top/sides of your picture – the rain began way above the scope of your lens. This helps ensure there are ‘half’ raindrops.

 

Step 4.

Now we’ve got our rain the correct size, we’ll need to make our picture/image viewable through it!

To do this, go to the Layers panel, and click on the Blend Mode drop down menu, and select Screen. This should allow you to see your image through the Noise layer.

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If this doesn’t work, make sure your Noise layer is on top of your image layer in the Layers panel. If it’s listed underneath your image, just drag it above, so it’s the first layer in the list.

 

Step 5.

Next, to make those dots look more like falling rain. To do this, go back up to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur.

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The values you input here will depend upon the image you’re using, as well as what you want the final image to look like. If for example, you want it to look like it is heavily raining on your image, you’ll want to go with a more dramatic angle, and a larger distance.

On the other hand, if you want there to be light rain, you can go with a less dramatic angle, and a smaller distance, as I did in the image.

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That said, I’ve noticed a Distance of 75 seems to be the lowest that works while still looking like ‘rain’. Go ahead and play around with both values until you’re happy with what it looks like, though.

Once you’re happy with what your rain looks like, click Okay.

If you really want an image to look stormy, I also recommend using this Noise/Motion Blur effect more than once, with varying Distance/Angle attributes, so it will give the impression of a much heavier rain fall.

 

And that’s it!

If you notice your image has become too bright after applying the Rain, you can go ahead and either try lowering the Rain layer’s Opacity, or, you can go to the Adjustments panel (should be sitting on top of the Layers panel), and click on the Brightness/Contrast option, and change those values until you’re happy with them.

Once you’re totally happy with what your rain looks like, don’t forget to Save both a PHSH file (.psd), and a JPEG, or PNG of your work! Saving a PHSH file will allow you to go back in and make changes if you ever need to, without having to start all over.

And, while this effect isn’t too time consuming, or hard, it still sucks to have to start from scratch when wanting to change a Photoshop project.

Go ahead and practice this effect until you become comfortable with it, because in April, I’ll be keeping with this rainy theme, and showing you how to make Puddles:

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Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

Making a GIF (PHSH Effect #16)

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Don’t be scared! Making a GIF is not nearly as complicated as you may think!

Well, okay, that’s not technically true. It can actually get complicated, but that’s completely dependant on what you want to GIF. Don’t worry though, because this is just a tutorial, I’ll be keeping things simple, and you can always practice and work your way up to complicated later.

In the interest in keeping things simple, I’ll just show you how to make the GIF I teased in the last tutorial.

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Also, real quick, ‘GIF’ stands for Graphics Interchange Format. So, the proper pronunciation is to say it with a hard ‘g’ sound, not with a ‘j’ sound. Now that you know what it stands for, I hope you will start saying it correctly, because now you don’t have an excuse. (Unless you say ‘jraphics’, but I’m gonna go ahead and assume you don’t)

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!

Step 1.

First things first, set up a new document/work file in Photoshop, and make it whatever dimensions you want. Then, using the Type tool, type some words for us to GIF, and make sure you type them all on different layers. Since I’m showing you the GIF I teased last time, I typed out This is a GIF on 4 separate layers. But it can be any text you want. (Or it can even be a picture, but we’ll get to that later)

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Step 2.

Next, go up to Window (in the top menu with File) and click on Timeline from the drop-down menu.

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Once you click on that, you should see a banner come up on the bottom of the window, this is called the Timeline. There should be 1 ‘frame’ with your layers already in it that popped up as well.

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Step 3.

Now that you have the Timeline open, you have to place each layer onto different frames. This is actually much simpler than it may sound. First step, is to take them off the first frame. To do this, simply go over to your Layers Panel, and hide the layers you don’t want visible in the first frame. (Click on the eye beside the layer to hide it)

The only thing visible in the first frame should be the word This.

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Step 4.

Now we have to make more frames. To do this, click on the Duplicate Frame button in the timeline. It is the button that looks like the New Layers button.

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To make this the 2nd frame, we are going to hide the This layer, and un-hide the is layer. You do this in the exact way you did to hide all the layers, but the hidden layer won’t have an eye next it. That’s okay, just click in the little square, and the eye and layer will appear, making the layer un-hidden.

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Continue to duplicate, and hide/un-hide layers until you have 1 frame for each layer. If you get confused, look at the frames – you should be able to see in the frame preview that there is only 1 word in each frame.

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Step 5.

Now that we have all the frames correct, we can check how the GIF looks. To do this, click on the 1st frame (to start the GIF from the beginning), and then click the Play button in the Timeline. Your frames should then ‘play’, and you can see if you need to fix/change anything.

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Step 6.

If you think your GIF is moving too slowly (or too fast), you can change the speed by clicking on the arrow that’s under the frame, next to the time, and then select the time you think will work best for you. Keep playing with it until you find a speed you need, and to check the speed, just Play the frames again until it looks right for your needs. (For the most part, I’ve found the default of 0.5 seconds to be sufficient)

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Now that you’ve got the timing right, you may want to change the Loop type as well, so that it continuously plays, instead of just playing once. In the Timeframe box, under the frames, there should be a Loop dropdown. Click on the drop-down menu, and select Forever from the list. This will make your GIF play in a continuous loop, well… forever. (If the default is already Forever, you can ignore this step)

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Step 7.

Now that you’ve completed your GIF, it’s time to save. But wait!

You can not save a GIF in the same way you’ve been doing (Flattening then saving as a PNG/JPEG). Well, okay, actually you can save it like that, but then it won’t play.

If you want to save the GIF to actually play, you’ll have to go up to File, then find Save For Web in the drop-down.

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In the dialogue box that comes up, make sure GIF is selected as the format, and leave everything else the default.

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Then, click the Save button on the bottom of the box, and then from there you can give the file a name and save it to wherever you need to, like any other file.

And there you have it! You now know how to make a GIF! I told you it wasn’t that hard. And the cool thing is the steps are exactly the same no matter what you’re doing.

So, say you want to make a picture move. Let’s say you want to make a rocket ship take off.

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The steps are exactly the same, except instead of using text, we’re moving a picture. And, it takes more frames. Also, because it’s just one picture (minus the booster flames), all I’m doing is moving the picture slightly between frames, so it appears to be flying.

Here’s what the PHSH work file looks like:

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Each time I moved the rocket, I placed a Guideline where the nose was, so I’d know how much to move it in the next frame. You can see here that I also changed the play speed twice. In the first few frames, it’s set at 0.2 seconds, and then after the ‘booster’ (flames) comes out the bottom, I changed it to 0.1 second, so it appears like the rocket sped up.

Go ahead and play with this technique – it is one of the more fun ones. You guys have until October to keep yourselves busy with GIF making, after which, I’ll be showing you how to create:

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Changing Eye/Skin Colour (PHSH Effect #15)

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I know, I know, ‘you’re revisiting effects already? Does that mean you’re out of ideas?’ No, no it doesn’t. There’s no need to worry, I just thought I’d revisit this one, because I actually discovered an easier/more effective way to change someone’s eye colour, and this technique can be used to change the colour of more than just eyes! You can also do skin colour, hair, and pretty much whatever else you want!

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For this tutorial, we’ll be using the below black and white picture of an eye, but feel free to use any picture you like. Since you’re just starting, I’d recommending choosing a black and white picture to practice with, but note that this technique does work on pre-coloured pictures as well.

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Step 1:

Okay, by now you should know Step 0 is to always open a new work file, and to place your picture onto the document. After this, go over to the bottom of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side, and click on the button that’s under the Colour Swatches.

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Step 2:

Once you clicked that, go to your Paintbrush, and change the size/hardness of it, then begin to paint over the part of the picture you want to change the colour of. (In this case, it’s the iris) When you begin painting, it may turn red-ish/orange, don’t worry! This happens just to show you the part you’re painting. It won’t stay orange after you’re done this step.

For eyes, I like to try to get the size of the paint brush as close to the size of the iris as I can, so that I can paint with just one click, so the edges aren’t ‘bumpy’. Also, don’t worry about painting over the pupil for this step. We can clean up the paint later.

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Step 3:

Now that you’ve painted over the entire part you want to change, click the button under the Colour Swatches again, and you’ll notice the red goes away, and there should now be a slow-flashing dotted line around your image – this is showing that you’ve selected it.

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Step 4:

Go up to Select – Invert, this will now select the part you painted, instead of the part outside of that. (Don’t ask me why it defaults to selecting everything you didn’t paint, I have no idea)

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Okay, at this point, you can now change the colour by one of two ways:

Way #1:

Step 5:

With the iris still selected, go to the bottom of the Layers Panel, and go to where you’d make a colour a background, and select Solid Colour from the menu.

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Step 6:

After selecting the colour you want, at the top of the Layers Panel, there should be a box next to the Opacity drop-down that says Normal. Click on that to bring down a drop-down menu, and then select either Screen or Overlay from the menu. (Use whichever one makes the colour look the best)

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OR

Way #2:

Step 5:

Now that the part you want to change colours is selected, go to the top of your Layers Panel, and you should see a panel sitting on top with tabs in it, that are labelled Adjustments, Color, and Swatches. Click on the Adjustments tab, and then click on Hue/Saturation from the pictures listed. Hue/Saturation looks like a colour picker, and is beside the thing that looks like scales.

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Step 6:

After clicking Hue/Saturation, a panel should pop out, with different sliders on it. To change the iris colour, you can play with the Hue and Saturation sliders, until you find a colour you like. If you find that the colour is too subtle, (even with the Saturation on full), try checking the Colourize box at the bottom of the panel. This may help.

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(Back to both ways)

Step 7:

Once you have a colour you like, go to your Eraser tool, and erase the pupil, and if there is colour outside the edges/area you want to be coloured, erase that, too. If you used the Solid Colour method, you may get a dialogue box that comes up that says something about rasterizing the layer, or that it won’t be editable anymore, just click ‘okay’.

Once you have the edges/pupil all cleaned up, you’re done and ready to save!

I wouldn’t say this technique is easier than the other one, but this one is a lot more versatile, and as I said above, can be used on more than just eyes. It also makes it look more realistic, in my opinion. Once you’re happy with the pupil, why don’t you try to colourize the skin colour as well?

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Go ahead and play around with this effect, to see how it works best for your needs – the next tutorial will be coming Aug. 30th, so you’ll have plenty of time to master this one!

Next time, I’ll be showing you how to make a GIF! Oh, yes.

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Blood Drips (PHSH Effect #13)

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A quick disclaimer:

While this tutorial isn’t too realistic (we’re not adding this effect to a person or animal), I still want to say that if seeing blood makes you nauseous, faint or is in any way triggering for you, please skip this tutorial, or continue with caution.

The purpose of these tutorials is to be helpful, not to negatively affect a persons’ health or cause anyone any harm.


This is the last PHSH tutorial for 2020, so please feel free to check out the other tutorials while you wait for the next one, which will be coming some time next year.

Keep an eye on my Twitter account for posting updates and anouncements!


Since we’re in October now, I thought what better PHSH effect to teach you then to add blood drips to an image?

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It also just so happened to work out that this is the 13th tutorial – it’s like it was meant to be!

As with most of these other tutorials, it isn’t actually that hard, once you know how to do it. There’s just a few very precise steps you need to follow. And, as always, practice makes perfect, so the more times you do it, the better you’ll get!

Let’s get into it.

Step 1:

This will either work on text or an image, but for the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to stick with a plain text layer. The technique is the same whether you’re doing a basic picture or something more complicated, so it’s best to start simple, and work your way up.

Starting with Step 1, which is opening a new document, and adding some type/a word to a layer. To keep with today’s theme, I’m just going to type Halloween. The colour doesn’t matter, but it may look more realistic to use a closer-to-blood colour.

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Step 2:

Using your brush tool (and a shade of red), hold down SHIFT and make vertical lines coming out of the ends of the words. (Holding down SHIFT will make the lines perfectly straight) You’ll also want to vary the length of the lines and the size of the brush you use, so it looks more realistic.

Tip: Before you use the brush tool on your Type Layer, you may get a dialogue box that says something like ‘you must rasterize this layer before proceeding, and it will no longer be editable as a Type Layer’. Just click ‘Okay’. This just means you can’t use the type tool to edit the layer anymore, but that’s okay. If you mess up you can always delete this layer and make a new Type layer.

Or if you like, you can paint the lines/drips in a new blank layer, so you don’t mess up the text.

Example:

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Compared to:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Varying Length and Size - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

See the difference? The varied length and size already is starting to look like blood!

Step 3:

Now that you have your lines, we’re gonna go up to Filter – Liquify.

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You may get a dialogue box that says something like ‘Liquify supports hardware acceleration to improve performance. Verify that ‘Use Graphics Processor’ is enabled in Performance Preferences.’ Just click okay, and then once it opens, set the following values in the Tool Options panel on the right hand side:

Brush Size: 40

Brush Density: 25

Brush Pressure: 48

Brush Rate: 28

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The lines you made may show up by themselves in the Liquify panel, this is okay! It’s just because I painted them in a different layer than the Type Layer, just in case I needed to change something.

This technique will work whether they’re attached to the word or not.

Step 4:

Now that you’ve set the Tool Options, select the Pucker tool from the left side menu, and drag it down the line you made, stopping just short of the end. Do this for all the lines you made. To do this step, we don’t need to keep the lines perfectly straight, because blood doesn’t drip in a perfectly straight line. So, try your best to make the lines look a bit ‘wiggly’ or just non-straight.

You may also have to hold the brush an extra second above the bottom, just so this part is the most puckered. (You can also change the Brush Size if needed)

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Step 5:

Now to make the actual blood droplets, use the Bloat Tool (directly underneath the Pucker Tool) and hold on the ends (or wherever you want blood drops) until you get the desired blood drop size.

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Repeat on all the lines, and then once you’re done, click Okay. If you need to, you can always re-pucker parts of the lines, or if you accidentally puckered part of the line too much, you can use the Bloat Tool to make it more even.

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Step 6:

This is looking pretty good, but they’re still not quite as realistic as they could be. So now, we’re just going to add a simple Drop Shadow to the layer.

If you need help in doing this, head back on over to my Drop Shadow tutorial.

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Be sure to un-check the box marked Use Global Light, and then play with the Distance, Spread and Size until it looks right for your document. You can also change the Opacity to 100%, and the shadow Colour by clicking on the colour square, and selecting a new colour.

I’m going to make the new colour a darker shade of red, instead of pure black.

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Once you’re happy with how the drop shadow looks, click Okay.

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If you did the blood drips on a separate layer like I did, then you will also have to add a Drop Shadow to the word Halloween (or whatever word you typed), because as you can see right now, it looks a bit odd to have a drop shadow on the blood, and not on the word.

These next few steps are optional, but I feel it helps take things a step further, and makes the effect look better. However, this completely depends on what you’re adding blood drips to, so it may not be needed. This is why I always suggest playing around with the effects, so you find what works best for you. That said, this is a Halloween themed tutorial, so I think the extra steps below help add that extra ‘creepy’ vibe.

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Step 7:

We’re going to go back into the Blending Options, and this time we’re going to click Bevel and Emboss.

Set the Levels to the settings below:

Inner Bevel

Technique: Smooth

Depth: 590

Up

Size: 10

Soften: 7

Shading:

Angle: 120, 30

Highlight Mode: Hard Light, Opacity: 63

Shadow Mode: Overlay, Opacity: 80

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Bevel and Emboss Halloween - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

Then set the Contour to the below:

Gaussian (Round one that looks like a hill)

Range: 0

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Step 8:

And finally, we’re going to add a Gradient Overlay, with the below settings:

Soft Light

Opacity: 24

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And add it to the Type layer as well:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Gradient Overlay Halloween - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

And to add just that little extra ‘oomph’ to the image, I’m going to change the background colour to black, so the red colour really pops.

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As always, don’t forget to save your work! (Both as a PHSH file, and as a JPEG/PNG)

Then you can use the image to show your friends, and keeping the photoshop file is always a must, just in case you forget how some of the steps, or if the picture file somehow gets corrupt, or you need to quickly go back and change something.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Finished Effect Black Background - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

And ta-da! That’s it. Not too hard, eh? I would suggest to practice this technique with different text, and then once you feel comfortable, to move on to actual pictures. Since this is the last tutorial of the year, you’ll have lots of time to practice!


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Spot Brightening (PHSH Effect #12)

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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.


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Opacity (PHSH Effect #11)

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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


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