Thursday, 17 August 2017

Old Venice Effect in Photoshop

Today you are going to learn how to apply an old Venice effect using Photoshop. This effect is often used to make a photo look old, but have a different and unique look to it. I use this often for out of town vacation pictures and pictures of old buildings. This is a great and fun tutorial to learn so that you can make any photo look old and add more drama to your work.

Let’s get started on make your photos look old with the Venice effect in Photoshop.

Step one. The first thing that you need to do is to open your image that you want to apply the effect to in Photoshop. I like to use old buildings and things that are meant to have the old look to them. Some of my photos of recent things just don’t look too good when I make them look old. They seem like they are too fake if you know what I mean.

Step Two. Now you need to make a new layer in Photoshop, and fill the entire layer with the color that simulates the color of sepia photos. It does not have to be exact, as long as you get the same color. It looks like a yellowish brown if that makes sense.

Step Three. Now that you have the solid background, go to Filter, down to Noise, and over to Add Noise. You will want to keep the noise to around 3-4% depending on the quality of your image. After you have the desired amount of noise, click OK on the noise window, and we need to bring the effect down. So, on the keyboard, you can press Ctrl+Shift+F to bring up the window to fade the effect. Bring it down enough so that you just see the noise in the color.

Step Four. Now we need to a little bit of the Sponge effect to the image. To do this go to Filter, down to Artistic, and over to Sponge. Inside of the Sponge window, you will want to adjust the sponge effect to your liking and hit OK when you are done. Now you need to fade the effect by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F on the keyboard and fade the sponge effect so that you can see more of the noise than the sponge.

Step Five. This is where you need to find an image of a crinkled piece of paper. You can scan one if you can’t find one on the web, but open that image as a new layer in your Photoshop project. You need to then desaturate the image and set the opacity of the paper image to around 30-40%. You also need to set the blending option of the paper layer to Overlay.

Step Six. Now we are ready to see our image as an old photo. To do this move your image that you want to look old to the very top of your layers so that it is on top. Now all that you need to do is to change the blending mode of that image to Overlay. Now you should have a finished image that looks old and looks great.

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Monday, 14 August 2017

Making Colors Pop with Photoshop

Make Your Dull Photos Come to Life

Sometimes you can get just the right moment, with just the right lighting, but it still seems like something is missing in your photo. The picture isn’t as vibrant as you would like, perhaps. Here is a great way to really make the colors in your photos pop using adobe Photoshop.

The first thing you need to do is open your picture in the Edit mode of Photoshop. At this point make any corrections to your photo, such as cropping, color correction, and removing flaws. Many people go to “temperature” under the quick fix menu to warm up their photos, but hold off on that step for right now.

Now right click on your background layer, under the layers bar on the right. Select “duplicate layer”. You can name this layer whatever you want. I just leave it as background copy. Right under the word Layers is a drop down menu that should say normal. Click on it and choose overlay. The colors and contrast should immediately pop. This is usually too vivid but it is easy to find just the right level. Simply click on the opacity drop down menu and move the slider until you have just the right amount of pop. I usually keep it around 30 to 50 percent.

Once you have the level set where it looks best you can right click on your background layer and choose merge visible. This makes it possible for you to save your picture as a .jpeg file and do more editing to your photo.

This technique works great on portraits because it really makes the eye color stand out. It also works well in pictures with bright colors. It does darken your photos a bit, so if your picture is dark, to begin with here is a tip. Before you create an overlay layer, create a screen layer. You follow the same steps but instead of choosing overlay you choose screen. This dramatically brightens your pictures. You can then repeat the process with an overlay. Once you get started you can try any combination of screen and overlay and play around with the opacity. This will really add some crisp color and vibrancy to dull photos. The look is also very modern, which I like.

Adobe Photoshop is a great tool for enhancing your photos. You can learn more tips by reading articles, watching video tutorials, and experimenting with it yourself. Hope this helps you polish your skills!

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Friday, 11 August 2017

Resources for Photoshop Brushes on the Internet

Photoshop brushes are incredible tools for various purposes. The most basic brushes on Photoshop, such as the history brush or paint brush, can help you with numerous types of graphic design and editing tasks with your project. However, there are a number of third-party plug-ins that offer many other types of stylistic choices.

A simple Google search with the terms, “Photoshop brushes” will render you some excellent results. Some of these brushes are available completely free, while others are offered for purchase.

My first Google result was a site called Brusheezy. It’s slogan reads, “Stupid name. Cool brushes.” And they are right. They offer many different types of free brushes such as the grunge brush, which has the effect of a faded text on cement look. Others include the splatter brush and the lace brush. They can be found at

Another site worth noting is This website also offers free Photoshop brushes that are available for download.

The web is full of resources when it comes to Photoshop tools, particularly brushes. New ones are literally being developed every day. There are other ways to find these tools, besides Google.

Blogs are a useful resource, as many creative professionals now have their own blogs and update them frequently. In my searching, I found one particularly useful from Elite By Design.

Another incredible and valuable source of information comes from Adobe. Adobe’s website is full of useful tutorials and resources. They provide links to third-party distributors and offer their own products as well. They have a good resource for brushes too. Just check out Photoshop Support.

If you’re not familiar with forums, try checking them out online. Many forums offer advice, resources and links to provide people with the best possible information and tools the internet has to offer.

Another great website to check out is They have professional writers on staff to write about every topic imaginable, including graphics software. Most of the links that they provide are for Sue’s Brushes. The brushes were created by Sue Chastain, staff writer.

In addition to, there are sites like and others that have great advice from professionals in the graphics industry. They provide some very good advice to those seeking brushes and other tools.

Another way to obtain brushes for Photoshop is to create them yourself. This is only recommended for experienced developers of course. A good resource for this is Bittbox. There is a wonderful article on creating brushes in there.

Another really great website to look into is Easy Elements. This website is great for artists and professionals seeking help in graphic design, as it has great tutorials and advice articles.

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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Draw Pansy Clipart in Photoshop

My most favorite graphics are always the flowers. In large part, they’re my favorite because they look like they should be so difficult to create – and yet, if you know the tools to use, they’re actually very easy.

This guide will help you create colorful, lovely pansy clipart in Photoshop. You won’t need any special plugins, filters, shapes, or anything else. What you will need is Adobe Photoshop, version 7 or higher. This tutorial is being written using Photoshop CS3, so some tools may be located in different spots if you’re using an older version of the software – but they’re all there, I promise.

Drawing Pansy Clipart – The Steps

  1. New Canvas – Open Photoshop, create a new canvas (File, New) that is sized about 500 x 500 pixels, in RGB mode, with a white background.
  2. Set Colors – Your basic colors can be anything that you like. I’m going with a standard purple pansy, so have set my foreground color to hex #9b8695 and my background color to #836a7f.
  3. Circle Shape – Use your circle shape tool (it’s very, very important that you use the circle shape, not the marquee – if you don’t see the circle shape tool, right-click your square shape tool and select the circle from the list) and draw a circle on your canvas. This is the start of a petal. DO NOT rasterize this layer yet.
  4. Warp Transform – We’re going to make our petal look a bit more like a pansy petal using the warp transform tool. Click “Edit”, choose “Transform Path”, and then click “Warp”. The transformation handles you get on this tool are different than any other transform you’ve seen in Photoshop – and with good reason. You can move every single handle, as well as the individual squares in the grid, in any direction that you want.

What we’re going for is a basic petal that is pointed (sort-of) at the bottom, and wider and flatter at the top. See Illustration 01 for reference.

  1. Duplicate & Rotate – With our basic petal made, we want to make 4 more petals. A pansy has a total of 5 petals, with the one at the center top being the one in the very back. So, right-click your petal’s layer (still don’t rasterize!) and choose “Duplicate Layer”. Repeat this 4 times, so that you have 5 petal layers.

Now, click “Edit”, choose “Transform Path”, and select “Rotate”. Going through your petal layers, set your two top-side petals first, and rotate the two bottom petals last. This way, all your petals are in the right order (starting at top center, each petal goes in front of the next one to the bottom petals). Reference Illustration 01 – a stroke has been added to the petals early, just to let you see how they’re laid out.

When you have situated all of the petals, right-click each petal layer and choose “Rasterize Layer”.

  1. Stroke & Color Overlay – This step is really quick and easy. First, select your first petal (the top, center one) and go to your layer styles – “Layer, Layer Styles” – and choose “Color Overlay”. Set the overlay to your background color so that your top center petal is darker than the others.

Before you click OK, go to the “Stroke” setting. Set the color of your stroke to black, and the size of 1 pixel. Then, click OK. Now, go through the rest of your petals and apply the same stroke setting.

  1. Petal Second Color – Pansies have these really pretty darker areas on their lower petals that usually match the color of that top, center one. Go into your custom shapes and pick up your raindrop shape. Draw it out long and thin, using your background color, and then transform it to echo the angle of your petal. Then, duplicate the rain drop 3 times and apply it to each of your lower four petals.

When these are drawn, rasterize the layers and apply the same stroke setting that you did on the full petals in the last step.

Reference Illustration 02.

  1. Draw Flower’s Center – What would a flower be without a pretty yellow center? Use a bright yellow and your circle shape tool to draw an oval in the center of your pansy. Rasterize the layer, and apply the same stroke that we’ve been using. Reference Illustration 02.
  2. Draw Stem – Our flowers are nearly done. At this point, you may need to resize the petals so that there is actually room for a stem and leaves. To make life easy, click the very top layer in your layer palette, hold your shift key down, and then click on the layer right above your background layer. This will highlight all of the “art” layers. Then, right-click and choose “Merge Layers”.

Now, we’re going to make a stem. Grab your square shape tool and draw a long, thin rectangle behind your petals in a green color. Do not rasterize this layer yet. Instead, go to “Edit”, “Transform Path”, and choose the “Warp” tool again. We want the stem to ripple just a little bit, instead of looking like a straight line drawn in green crayon.

Finally, rasterize the stem and then apply (yet again!) the stroke setting we’ve been using. Reference Illustration 03.

  1. Add Leaves – Our very last step is to add a pair of leaves to our pretty pansies. Just use your custom shape tool and use any of the leaves that come included with Photoshop for this. Use the same green as you used for the stem, and rasterize the leaves once they’re drawn so you can add the stroke setting for the last time.

You can easily change the color of your pansy by going back into your Layer Styles (Layer, Layer Styles) and choosing “Color Overlay”. Set the color, and then change the mode to “Color” or “Hue” to quickly change the petals without having to re-draw your flower.

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Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Basic Tools of Photoshop CS2

So you’re new to Adobe Photoshop and you don’t know how to use it? Not a problem. This tutorial will teach you the Basics of it and what each option does. The most commonly used tools in Photoshop are located on the Toolbar on the side.

On the toolbar are following tools and what they are used for.

Rectangular Marquee: You use this to change to different types of marquees. By doing this, you will click and hold the little black arrow on the right bottom corner. This can be used for several things, but a lot of people use it to select certain areas of graphics and fill it with different colors, or patterns.
Move: This is used to move around your text or image on your document.
Lasso Marquee: You use this to make different shapes, and to cut out a picture.
The Magic Wand: This is to select a certain area of your document.
Crop: Common Sense. You use this to crop and resize your document,
Slice Select: You don’t use this tool a lot. This tool is used to cut your images in half. Most commonly use for designing website layouts,
Red Eye Removal: You use this to remove red eye.
Brush: Used to put brushes onto your images,
Clone Stamp/Pattern Stamp: This is used to stamp your images with patterns or pictures,
History Brush/Art History Brush: Shows your brush history, you don’t use this a lot.
Eraser: You use this to erase things off your images.
Paint bucket:you use this to fill your layers with different colors
Blur: Used to blur and add special effects to your images.
Dodge/Burn: Dodge will make things lighter and Burn will make things darker
Text Tool: You use this to put text on your document.
Pen: Very similar to the pencil tool. This is not a commonly used tool.
Eyedropper:Chooses a color in the graphic
Zoom: Zooms in and out of the graphic

Underneath the tools, there is the Color Palette which is where you choose your Background color and your Foreground Color. Underneath the Color Palette is the Layer Masking Tools, which is used to cut out images. The small three icons under the Layer Masking Tools are used to make your screen to different sizes such as Full Size. Lastly, the bottom icon is used to transfer your work into Image Ready.

Everything is pretty much easy and common sense. The Help option on Photoshop also helps a lot if you ever get stuck with a problem.

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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Tutorial on Photoshop for Beginners

Anyone who’s browsed the internet enough has heard of Photoshop. It has the largest use on the internet. From movie poster to simple photo enhancements, you can make them all in Photoshop. What people don’t know is how easily one can achieve the most magnificent effects.

Make Photoshop more to your liking. Customize the keyboard according to your preferences. If you use a lot of color correction and light enhancement tools, set them to your preferences. You could set this in Edit>Keyboard Shortcuts. This will make you work faster.

Photoshop has a lot of windows and these windows can be moved around. Clean up your workspace and work with only the windows you want. You can even save your workspace. This can be done in Window>Workspace>Save Workspace. Apart from this, there are a lot of default workspaces available.

Photoshop is a layer-based software. Naming these layers and the groups they’re in, makes working faster.

USE gradients everywhere! But use them sensibly. Gradients give the feeling of depth, specular and light & shade. Making your text, logo, illustration etc., look and feel more realistic and even glossy.

Custom brushes and brush packs are available in scores on the web for free. These come in very handy to just decorate photos or enhance your illustrations. Also, there are about a 100 options for brushes themselves in the “brushes window” available in Window>brushes (F5). Just toying around with this window will create some really cool effects. Scattering and fading brush strokes in themselves make cool textures that can be used in backgrounds.

The blur, more precisely the “Gaussian blur”, can be an extremely helpful tool. Blur is used to create foreground focus, they’re used to make things mystical and you can do some crazy stuff by blurring out text and distorting it.

Layer blending and blending options
Blending options allow you to stylize a layer uniformly. It allows you to provide the same effect to all the elements of a single layer. You can provide a drop shadow, outer glow etc., to a particular layer. Find the dialogue box in Layer>Layer Styles>Blending Options.
Layer blending allows you to burn, screen, overlay, dodge, add, subtract and multiply image data. This controls how elements in a layer are affected by a painting or an editing tool.

By using these simple tricks you can decrease the time you spend on a file, you can create and design smarter and even invent your own methods of “photoshopping” images. These are some simple things that can redefine how you work with Photoshop. Simply toying around with these options will give you infinite ideas to do much more creative work. These are tricks all Photoshop gurus will vouch for.

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Sunday, 30 July 2017

How to Remove Freckles in Photoshop

If you have freckles, you know how everyone tells you how “cute” they are, but when you want to evolve from being “cute”, you can follow this tutorial for a simple way to remove freckles in Photoshop by using a blur filter.

Step one
Open the image you want to remove freckles from in Photoshop. You can do this by going to the File menu within Photoshop and choosing File->Open. Now find the freckle image on your hard drive and you’ll be ready to start to remove freckles from your image in Photoshop.

Step two
Duplicate the background layer by utilizing the hotkey Control + Shift + J, a rename box will pop up. Name this layer “blur layer” and click OK to duplicate your freckle layer in Photoshop. Now we can start to remove the freckles in Photoshop with a blur filter.

Step three
With the new layer selected, go to Filter->Blur->Smart blur. A dialog box will pop up in photoshop, just click “OK” with the default settings, as they should be fine to remove freckles in Photoshop.

Step four
With your blur layer still selected, create a layer mask on your new blurred layer by finding the button at the bottom of the layers palette that looks like a rectangle with a white circle on it. Click it and a white box should appear next to your blur layer in your layers palette.

Step five
Fill the white box with black by using the fill tool, selecting the color black in your colors palette and clicking directly on the white box in the layers palette. Now the box should be black, and your blur layer should be invisible (the blur should go away from the image).

Step six
Now select the brush tool and select white as your foreground color. Start to paint over the freckles on the image, and your layer mask will start to reappear in the areas that you paint. Don’t paint over eyes or other places that you don’t wish to blur, just the freckles. Go slowly and carefully until you have removed all the freckles from your image in Photoshop.

echo $variable;

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