22 May 2009

Photo shop / Illustrator CS3 / CS4 Tips

1] When working with multiple layers, it’s useful to work without collapsing the layers – this allows you to make changes easily and edit on the fly. However this can yield complicated files that are difficult to keep track of unless you’re meticulous about naming layers. To find a layer quickly, select the Move tool, hold down Cmd/Ctrl and click on the area you wish to modify. The layer will then be highlighted in the window.
Richard Tilbury

You can modify the texture of any 3D layer by double clicking the sub-layer icon. This will open a child-document which can be edited using Photoshop’s tools. In order to update the changes on the 3D model, save the file and it will automatically update on the 3D model. To overwrite the original texture on your hard drive in Photoshop CS3, go to Layer > 3D Layers > Replace Textures. If you have Poser 7, you can export content using Content Exporter, a free public beta download: tinyurl.com/c78tf3. Photoshop Extended also supports other common 3D interchange formats, including KMZ (Google Earth/Sketchup), U3D (Acrobat 3D), 3DS (3D Studio) and DAE (Collada).
- Mark Mayers

It’s essential to pay close attention to the light sources at all times. It helps to make the scene more realistic.
- Paul Cowley

Drawing in shadows requires a little thought: in Step 13 you need to draw onto the levels adjustment layer mask using a small, soft-edged brush loaded with white. Set the brush opacity to 15%. In order to draw shadow you’ll need to Cmd/Ctrl + click the casting goo layer to create a selection, press Shift + Cmd/ Ctrl + I to invert the selection, then paint in the shadow. Repeat this process to add shadows to the rest of the goo layers.
- James Davies

Adjustment layers are a great way of making corrections to your work without affecting the original layer. Any colour adjustments you make in the adjustment layer applies to all the layers below that particular layer. You can turn this correction on or off simply by clicking on the Eye icon in the Layers palette. Combining different adjustment layers can create some great effects, especially when applying filters to the layer masks.
- Vince Fraser

Add a new layer above the placed image and label it ‘Background’. Now start adding your symbols by dragging their thumbnails onto the artboard. Use the grid, re-size and snap them into position – select shapes that match the underlying colour for best results. Vary their size and rotate and flip them as you work to avoid repetition.
- Mark Mayers

If you intend to get your work actually screen-printed then a few things are worth considering. Colours: The more colours you have the more screens you’ll need, which adds to the cost. Halftone: To achieve a greyscale or fullcolour effect, the printers use the halftone method, which prints lots of different-sized one-colour dots at different angles. Artwork: Screenprinters prefer to receive a greyscale image rather than you attempting to halftone (as in this tutorial) yourself. They will create the halftone from the grey channel.
- James Davies

Use Cmd/Ctrl+Y in Illustrator to show only path outlines, making it easier to work with overlapping shapes. Objects further away usually becomes more brighter and less detailed. Switching into the tools you can do with Shift + {toolkey}. You can press Alt/Opt while using the lasso tool to use the polygonal version so you don’t have to switch them.
- David Fuhrer

Light doesn’t bend as such, but if you look at reference images on the Internet you’ll see that where you have a strong light source, it appears to bend around objects, blurring them slightly. Try to use this principle, applying a small Gaussian blur to objects in direct proximity to your light source to help sell the idea of light distorting their appearance.
- Sam Hampton-Smith

Want to make your own printable stencils? Follow steps 5 to 11 on your chosen image, then delete the default channels – leaving only the three you created. Add type to the channels to indicate colour and also some thick registration marks. Now use the fly-out menu at the top of the channels palette and select Split Channels – this will generate three separate files. Print them out on card, or get them laminated, then use a scalpel to cut out the black areas including the registration ticks and you’re ready to go.
- Mark Mayers

Instead of using markers and pens to create a dripping effect, try getting some watered-down black paint and putting a small amount onto paper. Grab a straw and gently blow the paint around the paper. Hey presto – drips.
- Craig Shields

You can use any kind of stock image that is blurred to create the same sort of lighting and colours that the Nebula stock has. Just make sure you set the layers’ blending modes to Screen and take the saturation up all the way.
- Craig Shields

13] Double-click on the Pencil tool to bring up the options for adjusting preferences such as Fidelity and Smoothness. It’s important to experiment with different setting until you find one that feels appropriate. Practice drawing abstract shapes, which overlap in the image. By adjusting the transparencies of these overlaid objects, you can add dimension to the shade.
- Patrick Auletto

A good way to sharpen up a digital illustration is to use the High Pass filter (Filters > Other > High Pass). Duplicate the image layer and apply the filter with an amount of 0.3 to 0.7, depending on the picture quality. Set the blending mode to Hard Light and adjust the opacity for the best result.
- Sakke Soini

If your document is CMYK you will have to ensure the black you create is a ‘rich’ black made up of four colours e.g C = 100, M = 100, Y= 100, K = 100 – otherwise the blending mode will not translate properly.

If you find adding the inner glow leaves a line of fill colour around the edge of the shape, add a small white stroke to it. As we are removing the white with the screen blending mode, it will disappear.
- James Arnott

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