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Photoshop CC Logo  How to use Vanishing Point in Photoshop CC

A free Photoshop tutorial from the worlds best Adobe trainers!




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Selection – Quick select tool
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Selections > Quick Select.jpg.
Choose the Quick Select tool.
From the top app bar select a Brush size of 20 and hardness of 95%.

Make sure Auto Enhance is checked (the Quick Select tool will work more quickly with Auto Enhance off, but will give a rougher end result).

Note: If you start painting with the Quick Select tool on the driftwood it will move ahead selecting the areas of similar tone and colour. As you get to the edge of the driftwood it may have trouble as the sand is too close in tone and colour. Follow the next steps to ‘train’ the Quick Select tool which areas to ignore.
Click once on the driftwood, hold down Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) on your keyboard (the tool will now have a - in the centre).
Click and hold your mouse button and paint around the outside of the driftwood area – this will ‘train’ the tool. Then release the mouse button and release Option/Alt.
Now click and drag your tool around on the driftwood and it will select the driftwood and ignore the sand.
Your selection should include the wood and exclude all sand.

Depth of field (using auto-align and auto-blend layers)
File > Script > Load Files into Stack.
Click Browse and go to Photoshop Exercise Files > Depth of field and select all of the images.

Select all of the layers by clicking the top layer in the Layers Panel, holding shift, then clicking the bottom layer in the Layers Panel.
Edit > Auto-Align Layers.

Use the Auto setting and click OK. This will use the main elements of the images to line up all the layers.
Edit > Auto-blend Layers.

Choose: Stack Images and check the box with ‘Seamless tones and Colors’.

Click OK.
Photoshop will pick the areas with the sharpest focus from each of the layers, and mask out the parts that are out of focus, to create an image with a flat depth of field.

Use the Crop tool to get a nice straight image. Or you could use that process in photomerge advanced and fill this with using the content aware. (Edit > Fill > use: content aware)

Adjustment layers
The Adjustment Panel allows you to make changes to the layer (such as Hue and Saturation, Colour Balance, Levels etc.) that can later be edited or removed.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Layer Adjustments 1.jpg.
Window > Adjustments.

You can click on any of the icons in the Adjustment Panel to create an Adjustment Layer (I’ve started with Color Balance).

The Adjustment Panel will change to settings specific to that adjustment. You can play with the settings to get the best result. Clicking the Eye icon at the bottom of the panel will turn the preview of that adjustment on or off.

You will see the adjustment appear as a new layer in your Layers Panel. Each new adjustment that you perform will appear as another new layer.

Note: You can go back at any time and edit the adjustment by right clicking on the layer in the Layers Panel and choosing Edit Adjustment.
Smart filters
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Filters > Woman on Wall.jpg.
Right Click the layer ‘Background’ and Duplicate.
Rename the layer ‘Filters’.
Choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

Note: Smart Filters turns your layer into a Smart Object, like a protective bubble around it. This makes the filters nondestructive and allows you to come back and alter your filter settings later.
Choose Filter > Filter Gallery.

Play with the filters.
You can add more than one filter at a time by clicking the small at the bottom right of the pop up window.

Click OK when you’re finished.
Note: The layers panel has the filters as a separate piece allowing you to turn on and adjust the filters by double clicking the words Filter Gallery.

Smart filter - Using gaussian blur (to create a soft glow)
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur.jpg.
Choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

Adjust the Blur settings. For this example we are going to use a radius of 20 – this will look too blurry to start with (see below) but we will knock it back next.

In your Layers Panel double click on the Blending Options icon .
Under Mode choose one of the contrast blending modes: Overlay/Soft Light/Hard Light/Vivid Light/Linear Light/Pin Light/Hard light. For this image Overlay or Soft Light will work best (I’ve chosen Overlay).
Reduce the Opacity to make the effect less obvious.

Click OK.
Note: You can turn the eye on and off for a before and after view.
Before: After:

Advanced filters – Using motion blur (to create movement)
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Filters > Blur > Motion Blur.psd.
In the Layers Panel click on the ‘motion blur’ layer.
Choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.

Play with the slider to adjust the amount of blur.
Click OK.
Note: You can turn the eye on and off for a before and after view.


Note: We have applied a mask to the layer so the face isn’t affected by the motion blur filter.
Advanced filters - Using unsharp mask (to sharpen an image)
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Filters > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.jpg.
Choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.

You will need to play with the settings depending on the image.
For this image: Amount = 150%. Radius = around 7 (determined by the resolution of your image E.g a high resolution image will need a higher radius). Threshold = 4 (most images will need a threshold of 4. If you make the threshold too high you will not see any sharpening.)

Click OK.
Note: If you oversharpen you can reduce it: in your Layers Panel. Double click on the Blending Options icon and reduce the opacity. You can turn the eye on/off for a before and after view.

Filters - Shake reduction
Photoshop CC introduced a ‘shake reduction’ filter to automatically reduce image blurring caused by camera motion. If necessary, you can adjust advanced settings to further sharpen the image. The Shake Reduction filter can reduce blurring resulting from several types of camera motion; including linear motion, arc-shaped motion, rotational motion, and zigzag motion.
The camera shake reduction feature works best with:
• Indoor or outdoor images captured using a lens with a long focal length
• Indoor images of a static scene taken with a slow shutter speed and no flash
In addition, shake reduction can help sharpen blurred text in images affected by camera motion.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Sharpen > Shake_reduction.jpg
Choose Filter > Sharpen > Shake reduction.

3. Adjust the blur trace settings until you find a suitable solution.
Before: After:

Filters - Smart sharpen (which includes Radial Filter)
The Smart Sharpening tool enhances the definition of edges in an image. The degree of sharpening needed varies depending on the quality of the digital camera or scanner.
Note: Sharpening cannot correct a severely blurred image.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Sharpen > Motel_blurred.jpg
Choose Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen

Adjust the smart sharpen settings until you see more definition in the edges of the image.
Tip: you can drag out the ‘Smart Sharpen’ box to view your preview larger. Also, if you want to quickly preview the results grab and move the image in the preview box and it will toggle between the original and your latest setting.
Play with the Gaussian, lens and motion settings. You can also control what you want to sharpen in the shadow and highlighted areas.

• Gaussian Blur: will reduce the overall blurring
• Lens Blur: useful if ‘you’ moved rather than the object. Smart sharpen lens blur settings will act slightly different to accommodate for this.
• Motion Blur: useful if ‘the object’ moved rather than the camera. You can also change the angle of the motion with the circular icon on the right.
• Shadow/Highlight: perfect for tweaking the amount of sharpening that occurs in the shadows and highlights. ie Noise occurs in the darker areas so you can adjust the amount of sharpening in the shadows to help reduce some of the noise showing through.


Filters - Blur gallery
The Blur gallery is a new set of blur tools. NOTE: They don’t work with smart layers.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Blur > Masked bird.psd
Choose Filter > Blur to bring up the blur gallery: field blur / Iris blur / Tilt-shift
Adjust the blur with either slider or circle that appears on the image

This applies a uniform blur throughout the image.
Add more pins allows blurs targeted to specific areas.
Add a second pin over the tree, and dial back the bur around the tree.

In addition to blurs, you can also add a light bokeh, increase the colourfulness of the bokeh, and determine which luminance levels are affected.
Note: While in the blur gallery, panels are available to open and close.

Filters - Tilt shift
1. File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Blur > Blur - Tilt Shift.psd

2. Choose Filter > Blur > Tilt shift
3. Adjust the blur as below. Hold down shift to keep the lines horizontal. Press okay.

Tip: Great for using on a model shot where you can see the full body. We can control the blur slightly E.g. giving a very subtle blur at the feet area etc.
Layer modes
Sometimes masking isn’t actually needed. Try this trick and save yourself hours of time.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Colour Range > Colour Range.jpg.
Select > Select All.

Edit > Copy.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Colour Range > Background.jpg.
Edit > Copy.
You will now have two layers in your Layers Panel.

In your Layers Panel, click normal and experiment with the different layer blending modes.

To scroll through the layer modes (in this example I’ve chosen Hard Light):
PC: Choose any layer mode and use the up and down keys on your keyboard.
Mac: Make sure you have the Move Tool selected, hold shift and use the + & - keys on your keyboard to scroll through.
Note: Using a layer mode can save a lot of time and sometimes gives you a better result than creating a mask. This method works well with glass and water.

Select colour range
In our example above the lime has lost it’s green. We’ll use a Color Range selection to select just the green from the Colour Range.jpg image and copy and paste it into our Background.jpg image.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Colour Range > Colour Range.jpg.
Choose Select > Color Range...

Click in the green part of the lime and adjust the Fuzziness until you get most of the lime’s green selected.

Choose OK.
Edit > Copy.
Move to the Background image & choose Edit > Paste.
Using the move tool, move the lime into place.
Note: You might experiment with lowering the layer’s opacity to get the green to blend with the image a little better.

Advanced masking – Channel masks
Channel masks are a great way to select some of the more impossible selections. Like grass & hair.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Masking Advanced > palmtree_new.jpg.
File > Open > Photoshop Exercise Files > Masking Advanced > Background 1.jpg.
Have the Channel Mask 1.jpg visible.
Make sure you can see your channels panel (Window > Channels).

Decide on which channel has the most contrast between the background and foreground. Do this by click on the words ‘Red’, ‘Green’ & ‘Blue.
Note: In this case it’s the blue channel.
Duplicate the Blue channel by right clicking it (PC) or Ctrl clicking (Mac).

Name it ‘My Temporary Mask’ and click OK.

Turn off the eyes on all the layers except the new mask layer ‘My Temporary Mask’.

Note: The goal now is to get a good contrast between black & white around the edges of your object. To do this we can use a couple of options. Levels, the Paint Brush and the Quick selection tool can be handy.
Image > Adjustments > Levels. Play with the levels until you get a good contrast. You will have to experiment as every image will be different. Then click OK.

Note: Now we can use the Brush Tool to paint in some of the white parts of the tree that aren’t meant to be white.
Choose the Brush Tool .
Make sure your foreground colour is black.
Choose a suitable brush size and hardness.

Zoom in and paint out the white parts in the middle of the tree.
Note: If you leave these white areas in the middle of the tree trunk they will become holes in the mask. Make sure the trunk is completely black as per the screen shot below.

Choose the Load Channel as Selection button at the bottom of the Channels Panel

Your background is now selected.
Invert your selection. Selection > Inverse.

Choose the RGB option at the top of the Channel list.

Note: That’s it for our ‘My Temporary Mask’ channel. It’s of no more use.
Switch back to your layers panel (Window > Layers).
You can’t add a mask to a layer named ‘Background’ because they are locked by default (a photoshop’ism!)
Double click the words Background in the layers panel and rename it ‘Palm’.

Choose the Add Layer Mask button from the bottom of the Layers Panel. Note: This will give you your mask.

Choose your Move tool .
Click and drag your tree from the middle of the screen up into the Background 1.jpg tab.

The image will change to the Background 1.jpg image. Keep holding your mouse down and move the tree to the centre of the Background.


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