Category Archives Photoshop

Calendar for friday on white background. Isolated 3D image

Yup, I just popped open another fresh can of wholesome Friday goodness. Here’s what’s inside:

10 Things That Will Do More For Your Photography…
I thought this short article was really well written, and there’s some great thought-provoking and inspiring stuff it in for the market we’re dealing with now. Well worth a stop by over at Lighting-Essentials.  (Here’s the link). Also, while you’re there, don’t miss his article: “You know that guy…I hate that guy. Am I somehow more successful now?” You will love it (or really, really, not. Gene, make sure you read this one!). Here’s the link .

Preparing Your Prints for Framing
I ran across a free PDF from Epson on how to prep your prints for framing. Some great info here (and it’s free). Here’s the link.

Are you comin’ to see me in Atlanta?
I hope so. I’m there on Friday, May 28th (just two weeks from now), with my “Photoshop for Photographers Tour” and I’m including some of the new CS5 stuff in my tour, so I hope you’ll make it by. It’s $99 for the full day ($79 for NAPP members), and includes my step-by-step workbook. You can sign up right here (seating is limited).

Jeff Revell in the Washington Examiner
My buddy Jeff Revell wound up getting interviewed in the Washington Examiner. If you’ve got a sec, go check ol’ Jeffy out (here’s the link).

Attention Drobo Users: Seagate 750GB Hard Drives for $39.99 each
If you’ve got a Drobo and want to add some extra storage on the cheap, TigerDirect has Seagate 750GB ATA internal drives that slide-right in to a Drobo for $39.99 each (after a $20 mail-in rebate). Amazing! A regular Drobo holds up to four of these, so if you’ve got one you can jump up to 3-terabytes for only $120. Insane! Here’s the link. (Right now I’m in the middle of moving all my archival backup for my photography to two Drobo S units, which have five drive bays each. This morning Terry told me had two-terabyte drives on sale for $90 each (of course, they’re already sold out), so you can have 10-terabytes of storage per Drobo unit for just $450. That’s sick! P.S. I can’t live without my Drobos). More about the Drobo S once the switch is complete. Here’s a link for info on the Drobo S in the meantime.

Free Photoshop CS5 Webinar at 3:00 pm Today for NAPP Members Only
If you’re a NAPP member, Matt Kloskowski and Dave Cross are hosting a free Photoshop CS5 Training Webinar called “The Best of Photoshop User’s Tips & Tricks” (This is different than our recent free public Webinars, because this is training rather than just demoing the new features). Plus, they’ll be answering your questions live as well. Just go to the NAPP member Website, and you’ll find the link to the free Webinar. It’s at 3:00 pm today so don’t miss it.

If you’re into Sports photography….
Check out my buddy Matt Lange’s blog, and his great story about his photo of the Saint’s Jeremy Shocky (that totally should have been an SI cover!). Great story, and a great shot (while you’re there, check out his MTV video clip, too.). Here’s the link.

Join Matt Kloskowski at Peachpit’s Photo Club
My DtownTV co-host (and all-around cool guy), Matt Kloskowski is this month’s special guest at Peachpit’s Photo Club, and he’ll be talking about his photography, Photoshop, and other cool stuff next Tuesday, the 18th. It’s free, and you can register right here.

Want to see some really cool stuff?
I just absolutely love this automotive HDR image by NAPP member Victor Caroli (it was chosen as “Image of the Week” over at NAPP). Here’s the link. Also, Larry Becker turned me on to the Photoshop retouching and illustration work T.C. de Hoyos, a Utah-based NAPP member. This guy has some really cool stuff, too (here’s the link).

That’s it for today, folks
It’s great to be back in the saddle again. I have lots of great stuff coming up soon, including a new “Photography Challenge” and hopefully I get to share some of it with you next week. Hope you all have a fun, relaxing, weekend. Hug the kids! :)


Hey folks. As you know, Scott is taking a break this week. But that doesn’t mean we’re not doing everything in our power to welcome him back next week with a full plate :) (sorry Scott). One of the things on his plate is a special (free) Photoshop CS5 Extended Live webinar that you’re invited to join.

Along with Scott (and some great Photoshop tips), there will be experts from Adobe, Dell, and NVIDIA there to answer any hardware and other related questions. It could get geeky and it could get techie, but if you’ve had questions about video cards, 64-bit power, and how to best configure your computer for Photoshop then this will be the place to get them answered.

Since Photoshop CS5 has been released our live webinars have been a huge hit so don’t miss this one next Wednesday, May 12 at 1pm (EDT). You can find out more info and register for the free webinar right here.

That’s right! CS5 IS FINALLY HERE!! If you pre-ordered, you should be getting your copy any day.

If you can’t wait, go HERE and download the trial to play around, I mean work with, the new software.

And, don’t forget… NAPP has their completely FREE Learning Center for you right here (You don’t even have to be a NAPP member!). For those who are NAPP members, you get a 15% DISCOUNT on purchases through the Adobe store. Log into your account at and look in the Discounts section to take advantage of it!

And if you’re a Kelby Training Online subscriber, you can check out all of the latest full classes on CS5 (Photoshop Power Session & Crash Course, HDR, Channels & Masks, 3D, Camera Raw, & much much more!) right here. And if you’re not a subscriber but would like to be, you can get all the details and sign up here.

TGIF much? ;)


So with all the excitement surrounding the pending release of Photoshop CS5 and the rest of the Creative Suite I feel it incumbent upon me to talk a bit about 3D in Photoshop because, like anything new or different, there are always divided opinions. Do I really need 3D? What will it do for me as a photographer or as a designer? Why is it in Extended and not Standard? Why is 3D even in Photoshop? While I cannot answer all of these questions I will at least start with that last question.

Why 3D in Photoshop? I think a better question is why did it take so long to get 3D in Photoshop? To answer this let is first look at where 3D started in Photoshop and where it’s going. Look around the world right now. 3D is everywhere. Movies, TV and print advertising, web, everywhere and for the longest time 3D effects were only the domain of those using really involved and expensive 3D applications. Plus the amount of training involved was enough to make almost everyone run for the hills. So 3D remained to those few who endured and learned there way through it. Which was great. However most of the design world was using Photoshop and to get 3D in Photoshop you would have to render a 3D object out of its native application then import into Photoshop without the ability to edit in 3D. Which was a lot of work and not very practical. Then Photoshop CS3 burst on the scene and boasted new 3D features. While I was very excited about this I was soon disappointed as I discovered that the CS3 3D features only allowed you to work with existing 3D art created elsewhere. Making the previously mentioned scenario a bit more feasible, but again this was only for someone already using another 3D application with Photoshop.

Then there was the release of Photoshop CS4, being on the beta program for this version I remember talking to Russell Brown from Adobe at Photoshop World and he was hinting to me that Photoshop has some added 3D features including primitive shapes, 3D lights, and 3D Postcards. Along with some new panels and features the 3D workspace was growing but was still missing one thing. I remember asking Russell about 3D text. Because to me that is what Photoshop users, especially designers would love to have. Well let’s just say I got the short answer and it was left to that. However, despite the lack of 3D text I ventured to explore the newest CS4 3D features and discovered a new world of possibilities. Though greatly limited compared to a full 3D app it a huge leap from what was available in CS3. So after a lot of experimenting I discovered some really interesting techniques. At was thrilled at the direction 3D in Photoshop was headed but there was still plenty of room to grow.

Enter Photoshop CS5. While Photoshop CS5 boasts a number of truly remarkable features, the 3D features have taken another giant, quantum leap forward with the addition of a great new feature called Repoussé. Which, among many things, allows you to create 3D text, but more on that later. For now back to our question. Why 3D in Photoshop? One reason perhaps is because it can. What I mean is technology. Working in 3D in any application is processor intensive. It will chew up RAM in a hurry. I am not kidding! So you can imagine older machines would have been crashing all the time and no one would have liked that. So, as machines have become more powerful and more affordable, the software continues to as well.

Another reason is perhaps because it is the next logical step. As I mentioned earlier 3D is everywhere and to be able to create seemingly complex 3D art all in Photoshop is a huge plus for the Photoshop designer. One last reason is just because users want it. They want to be able to create 3D without knowing 3D. Sounds weird but what I mean is that while having pre-existing knowledge of 3D is a big help, the way they have developed Repoussé in Photoshop will have you creating 3D text or shapes in minutes complete with lighting and reflections, textures, etc. Added to the fact that you are already in Photoshop. Which will allow you combine all the other features Photoshop has to offer.

My answer to why 3D is in Photoshop: Why not?

So What is Repoussé?

I can only imagine the number of different ways this is going to mispronounced. It has a been a running joke here in the office as well. It is actually pronounced reh-poo-zay and comes from a French term meaning ‘formed in relief.’ Which is the practice of hammering a sheet of metal from behind to form a relief sculpture on the other side. Now how did such a name come to describe a new 3D feature in Photoshop? Well about a month ago I was actually out in San Jose at the Adobe HQ building meeting with some of the 3D engineers and some of the Photoshop product managers and finally asked this very question. It just so happened I was talking to the very man who came up with the name. He said when they first started building this feature they were developing a tool that would allow you to attach internal constraint objects to a 3D surface and then push and pull those constraints to form a relief on the textured surface, hence Repoussé. When all was said and done there were considerably more new features than just doing Repoussé, however the name stuck and now we have cool 3D tools with the fancy French name. The best part, all the Repoussé features are conveniently located in a single window.


Despite this peculiar nomenclature, I feel Repoussé is a game changer for 3D in Photoshop as we know it. While CS4 gave us some pretty cool 3D tools, CS5 has made that giant leap forward and among many other things we can now create and modify 3D text entirely inside Photoshop. How cool is that!!

Below is a video that I have done to just give you a quick look at the possibilities with Repoussé.

Other Photoshop 3D Q&A’s:

Is 3D in Standard & Extended versions of Photoshop?

It is only in the Extended version of Photoshop. I wish I had an answer why but it is what it is.

Can you animate 3D in Photoshop?

Yes actually you can. When you have a 3D layer selected. Open the Animation panel and look at the properties for that layer and you will see some 3D properties you can animate using keyframe based animation.

I use Illustrator to create 3D text then bring onto Photoshop. Do I not have to do this anymore?

Nope. You can do it all inside Photoshop if you want. You can certainly continue using Illustrator for that, but why?

Will I need a faster machine to accommodate these new 3D features?

As I mentioned, 3D is very processor intensive so if you are working on an older machine with a slower processor, you will get some lag over time. Though a complete new system is not required. You can do no wrong by at least getting more RAM and more hard disk space.

Do I need any special training for the new 3D features?

Not as much as you think. The features are pretty intuitive, but sometimes just being shown something once can help you pick it up pretty quickly. You can find new 3D tuts over at, and I have a new course over at the Kelby Training website: Mastering 3D in Photoshop CS5. Whether you are new to 3D or been playing with it for a while, this course will have you up to speed in a hurry. Check it out!!

Dig Deeper

As a parting thought I would just like to say that when you get your copy of Photoshop CS5 Extended. I want you to do one thing: EXPERIMENT!! I know I say that a lot but that is the only way to really come up with something cool and original. At the very least it’s a way to get familiar with the features beyond what the manual says or what a tutorial shows you. Really push the software to the edge. What I have discovered is that if Photoshop isn’t crashing while you are experimenting then you aren’t pushing it enough. Well that may not actually be the case. It could just be buggy, but the point is to really see what these features can do and what the thresholds are. You never will know until you try.

Also do not be discouraged. 3D in Photoshop is still a new concept and for many people it’s a brand new concept so be bold, be creative, and be patient! 3D can be time-consuming but the rewards speak for themselves. Here are just a few samples of what I have playing around with using Repoussé in CS5. Hopefully this will give you a good idea of being able to do so much with so little.




Well that’s it. I hope you are as excited about 3D in Photoshop as I am!

Stay tuned, there is more to come.

Corey Barker

Experiment. Have Fun. Be Creative.


For quite a few years now at my live seminars I’ve been saying that one of the challenges with learning new techniques in Photoshop is that we are creatures of habit. We tend to do things the way we always have, because, well, we just do.

In an effort to figure out how to our Photoshop habits are formed I went looking for more information on habits, and found the following (interestingly enough on a blog by Ian Newby-Clark called “Creatures of Habit”).

“As creatures, we have needs. We need to eat, and so we eat. As rather intelligent and social creatures, we like to chat with one another, and so we do. We take turns and finish our conversations gracefully. And there are dozens and dozens more behaviors that are just as complicated, if not more so. How on Earth do we get all of this done?

That’s where habits come in. Habits help us through our day. When we are doing something that is habitual, we are not engaged in the task in the same way as when we are doing something that is not habitual. Just as an example, consider making breakfast in your own kitchen on any given weekday. Next time you do it, watch how effortlessly it happens. It’s not exactly like an out-of-body experience, but it’s close. Your movements through the kitchen are stereotyped. You grab the milk out of the fridge, turn toward the counter and give the door that little nudge you with your foot that you know it needs. If something is on your mind, you might not notice that you’re sitting at the table and munching on your second piece of toast until you’re halfway through it. Now, compare that to getting breakfast at a friend’s house. Maybe you’re dog sitting (you’re so nice!) Where’s the milk? The bread? Oh my goodness, so complicated!”

So true, right? At home we do things almost unconsciously, to some degree “going through the motions”.

I think for many of us, working in Photoshop (or that other program that starts with L) is the same. We open a photo and immediately go into our habitual methods of cloning, brightening, fixing or editing. Unfortunately, sometimes that may mean that we are missing out on methods that are faster, easier, more accurate or more flexible because these “new” techniques involve change.

Here’s an example: for years I’ve been preaching the non-destructive workflow idea, using layers and making merged copies rather than flattening. I would keep my layers and then press Command-Option-Shift E (PC: Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E) to make a merged copy, giving me the equivalent of a flattened layer but with all the layers below. Problem is, if you need to make any changes to the underlying layers you have to delete the merged layer and make a new one once you’ve made that changed. It works fine, and it’s definitely better that flattening.

So that’s been a habit of mine. Almost happens without thinking sometimes.

Then the other day it struck me that it would be much easier better faster more efficient to use a Smart Object. (In case you’ve been hiding under a rock – or Photoshop 7 – Smart Objects have been around the last few versions of Photoshop). So I tried taking multiple layers and making them into a Smart Object before continuing to edit. (Insert Angels singing sound here). Wow! So much simpler, and yet it took me a while (and some effort) to break my old habit and try this.

(Here’s a tutorial I recorded for the NAPP site, complete with one of my traditional goofy endings)

So the point is, where the pressure’s on to get something done, we tend to go with the tried-and-true ways: our habits. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, I encourage you – neigh, I challenge you – to try some of the new features of Photoshop (or even existing tools and techniques that you’ve never tried). Maybe you’ll find some great timesavers that will become part of your new work habits…until the next version of Photoshop comes along. Then maybe it’ll be time to break those habits and develop some new ones.


I’m bringing my “Photoshop for Digital Photographers” Tour to Atlanta on Friday, May 28th and I hope you can join me for the day.

I haven’t been to Atlanta in a few years (well, with a seminar anyway. I fly Delta, so it seems like I’m in Atlanta every other week), so I’m really looking forward to coming to town (and sneaking over to The Varsity for a greasy burger).

We have limited seating, so if you want to come and learn all the latest stuff (I’ll be adding in some CS5 stuff along the way), you can sign up  for just $99 for the full day, including the step-by-step workbook (NAPP members come for only $79). Here’s the link with all the details.

Hope I’ll get to meet you in person in Atlanta.