dekePod

Deke's Techniques 428: Auto-Blending Different Depths-of-Field in Photoshop

Blending Different Depths of Field in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Emperor Photoshopus Dekian shows you how to blend two different depths of field, taken from a museum display case at the Roman Baths in the aptly named Bath, England. The result is the in-focus revelation of both the text in the display, and the coins that are the real focus of the exhibit. Tangentially, it will also make clear Deke's love of all things Ancient Rome.

In the video, you'll see how Deke uses Photoshop's ability to stack and blend layers to mix the important information from this placard, that was placed at the back of the display case:

Text in focus

 

With this detail from Phillip and Otacilia's coins that were mounted on wires coming to the front of the glass:

Coins in focus

 

To create this composite, in which all the important details are in focus (and some atmospheric bits still retain their original depth of field:

A blend of two depths of field make all the salient information in focus

Check out the video to see how Emperor Deke fine-tunes the process (and thereby saves you some trial-and-error of your own). And if you'd like to check out other treasures from the museum of Deke's Techniques, you can get a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke. Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 622: Masking with Photoshop's Pen Tool

Deke's Techniques 622: Masking with Photoshop's Pen Tool

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke demonstrates how meticulously mask a sweet shark using the precision of the Pen tool in Photoshop.

The story begins with a night dive in Maldives which was overrun with nurse sharks and stingrays (not to mention divers). We were assured by our guides on the Carpe Vita that this would be a night dive not to miss. Basically, we descended 60-70 feet, hooked in to avoid being swept off by the current, and just let the creatures swim around us.

Thus this photo that Deke took, while he was more or less tethered to the rocks and while he was forgetting much of what he learned from Hergen in the making of their Underwater Photography: Wide Angle course. The coral is over exposed and the focus is a bit off the main subject.

Shark the dark

No matter, Deke may still be learning how to balance currents, sharks, stingrays, scuba gear, photo gear, my total anxiety with night dives, and being underwater, but he's got unassailable command of Photoshop. Armed with the pen tool and some color fills, he gets very close to the effect he was looking for in the first place.

Shark with a Pen tool path to mask the background


If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's got a follow-up movie in which he shows you how he uses a second masked layer to make brightness and contrast changes to enhance the effect.

Deke's Techniques, useful around the world and under the sea. Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 620: Making Multicolored Vignettes in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 620: Making Multicolored Vignettes in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to create a flexible multi-color vignette in Photoshop. Now, while there are a few different ways to create vignettes, this particular project calls for a specialized approach---adding a multi-colored gradient in the form of a well-feathered vector-based shape layer.

This technique allows for the addition of custom colors (something Camera Raw would not provide) and the application of the vignette to only the visible part of the image (without having to crop or flatten anything).

He starts with this composite of the boys that he created in last week's episode.

McClelland lads on Segway split screen

Then, he adds a gradient fill layer with custom colors that match the elements of the photo: green in the upper right to match the foliage, red across the bottom to match the driveway, and blue in the upper left to make that blown-out sky actually blue:

Custom gradient fill layer in Photoshop

Next, he carves out a vignette by converting that layer to a shape layer: an ellipse subtracted from the center of the colors.

A vignette created with an elliptical shape layer

Finally, he feathers the ellipse-shaped hole (which is essentially an incorporated vector mask) and changes the blend mode and opacity.

A vignette created by feathering an ellipse

If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie in which he adds a pixel-based layer mask to that vector-based shape layer in order to remove the vignette colors from his children's extremities.

Arms and feet masked from a vignette

Deke's Techniques, custom coloring the corners of your world! Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 619: Creating a Vector-Based Gradient Mask in Photoshop

Creating a Vector-Based Gradient Mask in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke tackles the old split-screen dilemma with a completely flexible approach. Rather than create a static gradient layer mask between two images of his equally beloved sons, he creates an imminently flexible and editable mask (with a convenient feather setting) using vectors.

So, when both of your sons display the same amount of dogged determination, you don't have to choose. You can draw a vector between images of each, and using vectors (that can be reconsidered at will depending on the flailing gestures of each son) create a split-screen effect that can be readjusted. Like so:

A vector mask gives you more split-screen flexibility.

 

I have to say this was so effective, my mom thought they were the same photo (oh, like I'd let these guys obtain two gyro-segways, Mom.)

Deke's Techniques, finding ways to split your loyalties gracefully! Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 618: Healing with a Pattern in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 618: Healing with a Pattern in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to put that repeating pattern background from last week into actual use---in the service of muting a busy backdrop that detracts from the image's model. And this technique allows you to do the whole thing without a smidgeon of masking.

He starts with this image from our friends at Dreamstime.com, with a lovely model who's got enough cool detail happening that she doesn't need a totally distracting yet not nearly as interesting forest scene behind her:

A lovely model with a distracting background from Dreamstime.com

He then adds a green version of the Clouds pattern that he's been showing you how to make in the previous few episodes:

Green repeating clouds pattern created in Photohsop

And eventually, with some relatively painless (compared to masking) painting, a shift of the Opacity slider, and a tweak to the Blend Mode, he arrives at this far less distracting backdrop:

A muted background created with the Clouds filter in Photoshop

With nary a masking task in sight.

Deke's Techniques, making sure you shine without some forest interfering with your awesomeness.
  Read more » 

. Tagged with: