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Create your reference in photoshop tutorial for begginers with advanced method

Discussion in 'Digital Airbrush Tutorials' started by huskystafford, Feb 10, 2018.


  1. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    This is turning out great, I really like that youre keeping it simple enough I can follow it, but giving links to the points of interest on why you would do it diferent normally or how you can grow your skill in that area
  2. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    I am trying to not overflow new users with to much info.
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  3. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    This is awesome Husky. I’ve never used Photoshop, I don’t even have it on my Mac. But I can totally see the benefit of why you’re saying. I’ll be following and looking into obtaining photoshop. Thanks for starting this thread, I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  4. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    Rename the original skull layer to: original
    We do this as a good habit so we don't get confused when we are working on project with multiple pictures and many layers. We will organize our workflow a little.

    Select Layer 1(original skulls picture), press on the picture with left mouse button, layer needs to be highlighted like seen on the picture after you done your clicking on it
    slika 1.jpg

    rename that layer to: original
    We do that with double left clicking on text next to our thumbnail of our original layer.
    slika 2.jpg

    Text: Layer 1 get selected
    slika 3.jpg

    and we change that text to: original. Press enter when you changed text to: original
    slika 4.jpg


    We are organizing our workflow so later we will not have issues of finding stuff which we need. That's why we will create folder and name it Backup files. We will put that original skull inside of that folder.

    Press on icon: Create new group
    slika 5.jpg

    we get:
    slika 6.jpg

    rename Group 1 to Backup files. You rename the same way like you renamed layer 1 to original. Double click on text: Group 1, put your own text named : Backup files and press enter.
    slika 7.jpg


    Now drag layer named: original and drop it to our folder named: Backup files
    Left mouse click and hold layer: original and drag it to: Backup files folder and release your left mouse click. You will notice original layer is more on the right side then other layers. That is the sign the layer is in the folder.
    slika 8.jpg


    Because we are obsessed with organization we will do the final touch. Righ click on folder: Backup files. And pick Red. Red for color. Red for don't touch, don't delete. You can pick other colors, but we will pick red.
    slika 9.jpg

    We got folder and all files in that folder colored in red
    slika 10.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  5. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    press on that little arrow next to folder name
    slika 11.jpg

    we closed that folder, cause we don't need it for now.
    slika 12.jpg


    press on that eye on the left side of our Folder named: Backup files, so we hide files in that folder. We do that, cause we don't need that files for now.
    slika 13.jpg

    we get this:
    slika 14.jpg

    That was the last painfull and booring thing before we start making our manipulation.
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  6. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    If you got crapy computer or you are working with big files photoshop can become very slow. There are many factors which can slow down photoshop like for example:
    Lots of layers, high number of history states(photoshop remembers what you done and you can go back- even 500 steps, probably even more), how fast is your scratch disk(disk which photoshop uses as it would be ram) and bunch of other stuff. If I would have slow computer and I would noticed that photoshop is getting slower, I would delete that folder which we are using for saving our originals. But I would save originals on my disk. I would also change settings for my history states to 20, I don't need any more.

    If you are interested in optimizing your photoshop you can read here:
    https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/optimize-photoshop-cc-performance.html
    https://petapixel.com/2015/08/18/how-to-optimize-photoshop-for-your-computer/
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  7. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    usefull info: Photoshop has option that you can set shortcuts for each command. And under menus there are many shortcuts which are already assigned. You can modify them if you wanna, you can customize it to your own needs. But we will not talk about shortcuts, cause whenever I was watching some tutorial, ''teachers'' were using bunch of shortcuts and they were overflowing my mind with bunch of them while I was not ready to accept all that new info. So we will go easy, noob friendly mouse clicking way, but I will post list of shortcuts , so if you feel you wanna use them go ahead.

    shortcuts for windows and mac users:
    https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/default-keyboard-shortcuts.html
    https://www.creativebloq.com/photoshop/photoshop-shortcuts-1012966
    https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/customizing-keyboard-shortcuts.html


    For the stuff we will do now,we need to see a lot of canvas(place around our document).If you don't see it
    you will need to select zoom tool, then hold alt while you have zoom tool and click few times. Document will look smaller and you will get place around your document. You can zoom in if you went to far. Look at commands:

    So we learned: zoom tool + alt + left mouse click = zoom out
    zoom tool+ left mouse click = zoom in


    After you done with zooming select move tool, just so you will be able to move picture later.

    slika 1.jpg

    Now left click on: Layer 1 copy
    We will resize those skulls and if needed we will rename that layer later. We learned how to rename layers and groups(I call them folders), so no need to do this now.

    Left click on: Layer 1 copy and layer will be highlighted. When layer is highlighted means, we can modify and work only on that layer. Even if bunch of layers are under or over the selected one. Working layer is highlighted one.
    slika 2.jpg

    Now go to: Edit/transform/scale and click on it
    slika 3.jpg

    We get this:
    slika 4.jpg

    Hot to do the pull and let go:
    slika 5.jpg

    cursor needs to change to this when you in the corner of skull picture and you would like to pull the picture to resize it:
    slika 6.jpg
    I needed to make this photo from mobile,cause screen shoot didn't wont to screen capture that cursor.


    When you done this:
    slika 7.jpg

    Move to the center of skull picture, tool will automatically change to move tool and pull with left mouse picture to center of your document, and let go left mouse when you done
    slika 8.jpg

    double click with left mouse to confirm changes. We get this:
    slika 9.jpg

    Our picture is transformed. We need to optimize this, cause when we resized picture we moved parts of picture out of our document, but it is still there. It is just not visible. And cause we don't wanna slow down our photoshop or computer we will do optimization which is rather simple.
    Here is a picture what we did when we resized that skulls and where that parts of pictures are hidden.
    slika 10.jpg


    Our picture looks bigger now, but it si not better quality. Quality is the same like before. But when needed we can always use few tricks to make picture sharper. I don't plan this tutorial in advance so I never know where it will go. The plan was to teach you guys how to do masking. If we will need sharpening, we will use it.

    Tools for sharpening are under: Filter/Sharpen
    more info about sharpening can be found here:
    https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/adjusting-image-sharpness-blur.html
    https://helpx.adobe.com/au/photoshop/how-to/photoshop-sharpen-photos.html
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  8. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    o optimize your skull layer need to be highlighted(selected) and go to:

    Select/All left mouse click on it
    slika 1.jpg

    our picture is selected in the size of our document
    slika 2.jpg

    now go to : image/crop
    slika 3.jpg


    Our picture and documents are optimized now.

    Now go to: Select/Deselect
    slika 4.jpg

    We are done. We deselected picture in our document, so we can do other stuff now.
    slika 5.jpg
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  9. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    It's going to take me like two or three evenings to get through this when I try it. You probably could do it when not creating a tutorial in like 10 minutes.
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  10. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    What we gonna do:

    We will create another layer. Photoshop will put that layer on top of our skull layer which is called: Layer 1
    slika 1.jpg

    We will drag and drop that new layer under skull layer: Layer 1
    slika 2.jpg

    we will rename that new layer with name: Red color
    slika 3.jpg

    we will then fill that layer with red color
    slika 4.jpg


    we get this:
    pick color option
    slika 5.jpg


    pick bright red color
    slika 6.jpg


    hit ok
    slika 7.jpg

    we get this:
    slika 8.jpg

    explanation: We colored our layer to red color. But we can't see red color, cause we got skull layer on top of red layer. But we can see in Layers panel we did colored it to red.

    Now rename skull layer named : Layer 1 to Skull

    Our layer: Red color is selected now. We need to select Layer 1 copy layer(that is the layer with skulls). Click on that layer. And that layer become highlited. Now double click on text of that layer and rename it to Skull. Press enter when you changed your text.

    check pictures
    slika 9.jpg

    slika 10.jpg
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  11. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    slika 11.jpg
    we are ready to start masking
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  12. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    I forgot to mention why we made red colored layer. Cause skull picture is mainly of white and black color, we put under that layer color which is totally different then white or black. So we will be able to better see what is hapening while we work. Usually you have some background under the layer you mask, so you don't need to do that. But I decided to start masking, just so I don't bore you to death. That's why I needed something under skull layer and red color is perfect for that(you can put light blue if you wanna, or whatever you like ). You will see everything what is happening.
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  13. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    Very usefull shortcuts when masking to speed up your masking process:
    zoom in:''ctrl'' + ''Num +''
    zoom out:''ctrl'' + ''Num -''
    (there is bunch of ways how to zoom in and out,google it :p)
    swap color:x this is the same as: Switch Foreground/Background colors: X
    hand tool: H(you move with this one across your picture when you are zoomed in-very handy)
    Default Foreground/Background colors: D

    usefull when you are used to photoshop a little:
    Decrease Brush Size [
    Increase Brush Size ]
    Decrease Brush Hardness {
    Increase Brush Hardness }

    here is a link for pc and mac users if something doesn't work like it need to. Maybe I made a mistake, or I have a custom schortcut. Check it out:
    https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/default-keyboard-shortcuts.html

    add layer mask
    slika 1.jpg

    here is our mask
    slika 2.jpg

    pick brush tool
    slika 3.jpg

    right click on our picture(doesn't matter where you click, it just need to be somewhere on our picture)
    pick big size of your brush: I picked 500px
    and Hardness: 100%

    to confirm what you picked you can click enter(return mac users I think)

    We need big brush and hard brush cause we will hide all stuff around our skull in the middle, and it will be faster this way
    slika 4.jpg

    Here is our big brush. I made a picture with my mobile, cause for some reason my comp doesn't wont to screen shoot brush...
    slika 5.jpg


    Now I will start brushing all around the skull which is in the middle. I will not come close to the edges of our middle skull, I will just hide bigger parts.
    Look at the picture for explanation. I colored for you in red color, so you will see exactly where I am going to brush.
    slika 6.jpg

    I am brushing with black color when my mask is selected. I started from left side of our picture. I will move slowly to the right. Look at the mask thumbnail, you can see changes
    slika 7.jpg


    I am brushing some more moving to the ride side of our picture
    slika 8.jpg


    I am brushing some more and working to my goal: to brush all around that skull in the middle
    slika 9.jpg

    more brushing almost there
    slika 10.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
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  14. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    damn I made a mistake. I wen't with my brush over the skull...
    slika 11.jpg

    Nothing to worry about. Swap your color from black to white by clicking to swap color icon or pressing x and brush with white so the hiding part is unhiden
    slika 12.jpg

    I brushed with white color on my mask and here are results:
    slika 13.jpg
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  15. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    We used big hard brush so we hide fast all the big parts of picture. The next step is to pick smaller brush and softer one, cause we will work close to skull and we wanna preserve softness of the edges on that skull. Zoom in , zoom out and hand tool is very handy here when you do close up work.
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  16. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    I already mentioned before we begun masking ,we are using opacity 100% and flow 100%. But if you forgot, here is a screen shoot,where you see those settings
    slika 1.jpg

    We will change opacity now,when we will do detailed work on skull.
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  17. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    I had a little break from this screenshooting so I don't die bored to death, probably just liek you if you read this stuff :D

    So what is next? W will gonna zoom real close nex to the skull, doesn't matter where, we just need to make the whole thing bigger on our screen so we can brush our mask easier.

    This schortcuts are now a must if you wanna mask an object very fast:
    size of the brush - check list of schortcuts - you need that so you get better control when you work fast
    hardness of the brush - check list of schortcuts - you need that so you can make soft or hard edges very fast
    hand tool H - you need this to move fast on your picture
    brush tool B - you need this to get brush after you moved around your picture to reposition yourself
    change foreground to background color
    zoom in and zoom out: don't need to explain this one, you just need it :D
    opacity: check list of schortcuts- you need that so you can chose fast how much color you put on your mask(you can do this also with mouse no harm done- little slower)

    I am working this with wacom(pressure sensitive tablet), so I don't know all schortcuts. Check the ones which you need as soon you get used to a new ones. Learn first hand tool, and when you get a hang of it, learn another one and so on....


    I will zoom here:
    slika 1.jpg

    I will use hard brush opacity 100 and soft brush opacity 20. Hard brush will be for hiding stuff around the skull. soft brush will be for hiding stuff right next to the skull
    slika 2.jpg

    pick your mask and pick brush and pick black color
    slika 3.jpg

    right click on picture, pick hardness 100, size of brush 90(you can chose the size you prefer more), opacity 100
    slika 4.jpg

    size 90 brush looks like this on my monitor(picture taken with my crapy mobile phone):
    slika 5.jpg

    start brushing with hard brush. Don't go over the skull, just close to it. The part on the skull we will do with softer brush and lower opacity.
    slika 6.jpg

    keep brushing
    slika 7.jpg

    keep brushing
    slika 8.jpg

    Don't worry if you accidentaly brushed over the skull. Remember when I made mistake before and I just changed color to white so i told photoshop to show the part which I hiden with black color? If you made a mistake, pick white color brush over and you will correct your mistake. Then select black color and do what you wonted before you made a mistake.


    Now I have 2 choises. I need to decide if we hona use hand tool for moving around so we learn this schortcut first or we will use changing brush opacity and hardness first. I think hand tool- tool for movement is easier so we will do the easiest way. We will use hand tool to move aroudn the skull so we can brush all around the skull with hard brush, and when we finish that, we will change our brush to soft one and we will make final adjustments. That is the ,moment when magic will hapen.

    Use hand tool and brush tool to swith betwen moving and brushing. Move fast(at start this will be hard, but when you get used to it, you will be production machine!). When you satisfied with position change to brush. Brush away and when you done use hand tool again to move. And repaet that process all around the skull.

    here we go:
    slika 9.jpg

    moving and brushing
    slika 10.jpg
  18. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    going around the skull and brushing
    slika 11.jpg

    i am on the right side of skull already. This is going fast with 100 opacity hard brush
    slika 12.jpg

    brushing
    slika 13.jpg

    I will zoom out so you can see better what is happening
    slika 14.jpg

    zoom in and continuing brushing
    slika 15.jpg

    almost there
    slika 16.jpg

    that's it, done with hardness 100 opacity 100 airbrush
    slika 17.jpg

    zoom out so you can see end result
    slika 18.jpg


    We will do eyes later down the road. For now we prepared our skull for detailed masking. We used hard brush with high opacity to hide all background. We could do that faster, but we went slower, so you can understand all stuff which are happening. When you do this all the time, this is going fast and it isn't so complicated like it looks in my amateriush tutorial.
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  19. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Out of interest why not simply crop out the centre skull, then on that image use a background eraser to remove the background black or clone tool to replicate the image onto another layer on the iage you place it on then zoom in and clean or smudge the edges, masking seems a bit full on and a lot of work since it seems you go back and do more edge work anyway :), more useful for really hard to remove backgrounds or in pics where the bg remover also removes what you don't want but then zooming in or changing ya brush size sorts that, but love ya detailed explanation of the process, many here no doubt would find it helpful and no doubt find more info on photoshop useful. :)
  20. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    Cause I am trying to make tutorial about masking. How to use eraser, lasso, wand tool and similar ones is easy to find everywhere. But to learn someone who is rather unfamiliar how to mask is quite a challenge. I am trying to see if I can make nice noob friendly tutorial about masking. And if they learn masking I think they can do anything with masks :)

    edit: and cause Masking changed my photoshop understanding. I almost gave up with photoshop bunch of years ago, but then I push the last effort to learn masking. And from then I love Photoshop and I love masking :)
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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