Category Archives Photoshop

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.

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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 PlanetPhotoshop.com, 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.

3D_Logosm

sample_3sm

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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.

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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.

atlanta

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.

Hi Gang:
Just a quickie: We’ve got Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Photoshop Product Manager, as a call-in guest on our 1:30 PM EDT free Photoshop CS5 Webinar, and he’s going to be talking about Adobe’s JDI (Just Do It) initiative to enhance and improve existing features in Photoshop to make our daily lives easier (and there are a TON of JDI’s in CS5).

Here’s the link where you can watch us live, and we’ll be taking your questions on the air. Also, please help us spread the word about today’s show—everybody’s invited—it’s all free—and I hope to see you in our live Q&A forum where you can post questions. See you then!

P.S. We’re giving away another free upgrade to CS5 on today’s show, so don’t miss it!

cs5up

Hi everybody. :)

After three days of doing two live Photoshop CS5 seminars a day with the NAPP crew, and fielding thousands of questions from viewers, I wanted to address a few of them here, but I also wanted to address one upgrade topic in particular, that’s starting to wear on me a bit. Here goes:

Q. I just got Photoshop CS4—-how can Adobe already be bringing out CS5?
A. Adobe released Photoshop CS4 back in September of 2008. It’s April of 2010.

Q. Yeah, but I just bought it recently.
A. Why’d you wait so long?

Q. I dunno.
A. Neither do I. I know you want to blame Adobe, but the fact that you waited this long isn’t Adobe’s fault.

Q. I know. But it seems like CS4 just came out.
A. That’s because you waited so long to upgrade. But I have a question; How long do you think Adobe should wait between upgrades? Two years? Three years? Personally, I don’t want to wait two years to get the new features I want. In fact, I want them now (if they had more frequent updates, I’d be all over it, because I can always choose not to upgrade, right?).

Q. Well, since I just got it, do I have to pay for the CS5 upgrade now, too?
A. That depends on your definition of “just got it.” Does that mean you “just got it” last week? Last month? Three months ago? If you really just bought it (in the past 30 days), I can tell what I’d do. I’d call Adobe Customer Service and ask them if they’ll move you up to CS5. You never know what they might do for you until you ask. Maybe you fall under some “internal grandfather clause,” that’s not publicly stated because of the broad definition of “just.” (Wink Wink).

Q. Well, what if I have Photoshop CS2. Can I upgrade all the way to CS5?
A. Yup.

Q. Are you sure?
A. No. But I do believe Adobe’s policy is that you can upgrade from three versions back.

Q. Why aren’t you sure?
A. I don’t work in Adobe’s Customer Service Dept.

Q. Are they sure?
A. I’m not sure.

Q. Can we change the topic?
A. No.

Q. I have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Can I upgrade to Photoshop CS5?
A. No.

Q. I have Microsoft Office. Can I upgrade to CS5?
A. I believe Adobe does let you upgrade from MS Office to Photoshop CS5.

Q. Really?
A. No.

Q. Rats! You had me there for a minute.
A. I know.

Q. I saw that the upgrade costs $199 for a standard Photoshop CS5 upgrade. Why so much?
A. Adobe has the right to charge whatever it wants for its upgrades just like we have the right to buy them or not. By the way, how would you feel if people told you that you should charge less/make less per hour/job, etc.? You’d probably tell ’em “Hey, this is what my work is worth. If you don’t want it, try someone else with a lesser skills.”

Q. So, do you think the Photoshop CS5 upgrade is worth it?
A. Absolutely!!!! I think it’s the most important upgrade Adobe has released in years, and because so much of it either makes you faster, helps you get your work done easier, or replaces a load of expensive plug-ins that we’d normally have to buy, I think it’s worth every penny and then some.

Q. Do NAPP members get a discount?
A. Yup. 15% off individual upgrades, full suite upgrades, and apply even if you’re buying the full product from scratch.

Q. Yeah, but what if I’m not in the U.S.?
A. This time we were able to get a number of International discounts on Adobe upgrades as well, so it’s not just the US (which we’re really thrilled about).

Q. Yeah, but I just bought CS4!
A. Oh boy. Here we go again. ;-)

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