Messing around with texturizing and displacement maps
Messing around with texturizing and displacement maps
That's Nice. Did you use a displacement map on your text? It looks like you did. It's amazing what a displacement map can do.
It quick and once you've done it a couple of times the process is easy to remember.
www.stpetersjax.org). It has been a fun learning process. I'm trying to learn to paint using photoshop. I getting better at landscapes from scratch mostly oceans and mountain scenes. I found it really difficult to create realistic looking water so I'm starting with large bodies and working my way down.
NAPP = National Association of Photoshop Professionals
The name is deceiving. Membership is open to anyone. The cost of membership is $99/yr and worth every penny. Membership gives you access to their site and 7 issues of Photoshop User magazine. Either one would be worth membership price alone. On their site you'll find a few hundred tutorials, reviews of products, discounts, a forum where some pretty sharp users can help you through a problem to mention a few. The magazine is an excellent resource for learning with How-to's, tutorials, reviews.
As a member you get a sharp discount on Layers magazine, about $20/yr. Again, worth every penny.
I've been a member for quite a while and wouldn't dream of dropping my membership.
What version of PS are you using?
I use CS3 as well. I broke down and got Lightroom 2 a couple weeks ago because I do photography as a hobby and Lightroom 2 is a better tool than ACR. Anyway, the reason I mention all that is that I wanted to see/use the Adjustment Brush. This is one cool tool. Adobe incorporated this into CS4 as well as Lightroom 2. This allows you to paint exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, clarity, sharpness and color into specific areas of your picture without using a mask. Say you want to sharpen an area. You just paint the area you specifically want and then adjust the sharpness slider to desired sharpness. There's an auto-mask check box that when checked looks at the color and texture of the area you start painting on and if you stray off of it limits your painting to the area you started on. Say you wanted to soften skin, you could lower the clarity to a negative value, auto-mask checked and start painting the skin. You safely soften only the skin even if you stray off the edge. TOO COOL. From what I understand, this is exactly how it works in CS4 as well.
Most people agree that the Dodge and Burn tools are pretty lame in CS3. In CS4 there's a check box about texture, maintain texture, or add texture, something like that. Anyway, you can dodge and burn and it looks good. There's a better way to dodge & burn in CS3 than using the normal dodge and burn tools but you wind up adding a couple adjustment layers but it does look good. These new tools in CS4 would be quicker though. But that adjustment brush is slick.
Do you have a student ID or a kid with one? If you do you can buy these products at http://www.academicsuperstore.com/ or https://www.journeyed.com/home.asp with huge savings. These are academic versions. They are identical to the retail version. When CS3 came out I got CS3 Design Premium for $599. I think retail was about $1800 or so. And it is identical. :eek:
Unless you upgrade, masks are essential. I really think they are essential anyway but I might be wrong. In CS3 and earlier versions, suppose you create an adjustment layer to brighten an image. Problem is, there's a part that didn't need brightening. You can apply a mask to block the extra brightness on that part. You definitely want to use masks. They are amazingly simple to understand and yet extremely powerful.
On the layers panel there is an icon at the bottom of the panel that when you click it will add a mask to the layer. There are only 2 colors on a mask, black and white. A very simple rule of masks is: Black conceals, white reveals.".
You want to do do something to just part of a layer. You make a change to the whole layer, slap a mask on it and paint with black or white on the mask to either reveal or conceal. Super easy and offers you a ton of flexibility.
On my brick wall I have 4 images. The brick wall was the background layer and each picture was on its own layer. The piece I used ( the boy, the porch, etc) was only a part of the original picture . The boy was actually standing near a farmhouse which looked to be sitting in a desert. Well, I just wanted the boy from the shot. I could have selected him from the original and just brought that over. But what if next week I decided I wanted part of the farm on the wall. I'd have a problem cuz I just brought the boy. Well, me being the genius I am, I anticipated that I might change my mind so I brought the whole picture over. The boy layer actually has the boy standing near the farm. The whole original picture. I just put a mask on it and painted white on the boy (reveal) and painted black on everything else (conceal). If I want to show the farm I just paint white on the mask over the farm and bingo, I've got the boy and farm on my brick wall. Believe me, SUPER EASY AND LOTS OF FLEXIBILITY.
I'll tell you a place you'll positively use masks and that is touching up portraits. Everybody wants perfect, smooth skin. So on an adjustment layer you choose your favorite method for smoothing out the skin. Problem is you've just smoothed out the hair, the eyes, the lips, everything, and that not what you wanted. Simple fix: Put a black mask over the layer (conceals all the smoothing you've applied) and just paint with white on the mask over the skin. Bingo: sharp hair, eyes,etc and smooth skin.
You say it's tough learning all the features. Man, is that an understatement. I was a programmer most of my career. I retired at 48 to be a stay at home dad. My wife makes a very good income and frankly, I was tired of the rat-race so I volunteered. We live in the states and my wife's job takes her to Europe one week a month or so. She likes it. Anyway, I digress. In my career I programmed in about 10 different languages. There was only one language, Assembly, that had a learning curve greater than Photoshop. But when you see what you can do with it, it makes it worth the effort.