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Category — Photoshop

Hard to believe I ever looked like this

Because I never did look like this, honest!

For some reason, back in 1999, I found it amusing to shave my head with Photoshop, add a moustache and goatee and insert a bit of ear and nostril jewellry. The peace symbol tat is true to my sentiments, but I don’t really have one of those, either.

The JPEG showed up in a rummaging search for old files on some zip disks. Remember zip drives? 20 MB of storage on each disk. Ooooooo!

May 12, 2010   1 Comment

Pixel Bender plugin for Photoshop


The plugin is free from Adobe and I finally got it installed after weeks of dealing with a crashing Extension Manager CS4. It turned out to be a conflict with the Safari AdBlock that came with Safari 3. Upgrading to Safari 4 solves the problem. So does removing Safari AdBlock from this folder: Library/Input Managers

Anyway, once installed, the Pixel Bender plugin gives you a dozen slider-modifiable filter effects… the funhouse mirror sort of stuff we all know and love. Above, I have my head stuck into the CircleSplash effect.

June 9, 2009   No Comments

Dodge and Burn with Overlay mode


Overexposed background needs burning in… actually, a lot of the foreground does too. But and overall Burn in removes detail in some areas that need to be brought back with non-destructive dodging.


Create a Dodge and Burn adjustment layer by option-clicking on the new adjustment layer button and setting the layer to Overlay mode. Check the Fill with overlay neutral button to fill the adjustment layer with 50 % grey (neutral to Overlay mode). Paint in black with a soft brush set to a low opacity to burn. Paint with white to dodge.

May 21, 2009   No Comments

Photoshop CS4 Content-Aware Scaling


What could work better than a demonstration? Above: an original shot that is 425 pixels wide. Below, the same shot, same width, but “Content-Aware” scaled to reduce the size of the unimportant bits, keeping the subject matter unscaled.


You can do the same thing without Photoshop. See my entry on Rsizr.

In Photoshop, the key to controlling what gets scaled and what does not lies in the creation pf an alpha channel to protect certain area. White is protected, black will scale. Use the button in the toolbar to select your alpha channel when you use Edit >Content-Aware Scaling.

May 21, 2009   No Comments

The curious tiltshift effect


This is a fake tiltshift effect, done on a normal photo I took in Quebec City. You can make your own online (for free) using tiltshiftmaker.com (Thanks for the link, Brian.) You can click the image to see a larger version.

See how it tends to make things look like miniatures? The fake-it process works better on some photos than others, but it’s strange, isn’t it?

Here is the same shot, unprocessed.


I first became aware of tiltshift photography when Sam Javanrouh began experimenting with it. The real camera effect is stronger than the fake one …especially in the hands of a photographer like Sam.

Here is the effect at work in video… [Read more →]

April 3, 2009   No Comments

There are MUCH better Photoshop books

One of the reasons I love the public library is that I can check out books like this one before I waste money on them. The information inside is not wrong, but it’s the kind of uninspiring textbook that makes interesting subjects dull. The examples shown are lame, the exercises plodding. Get a better book, if you want to discover how much fun Photoshop can be.

October 10, 2008   No Comments

Quebec City panorama

I can put 4 shots together in Photoshop easily enough, but the small width of the column makes a disappointing display. The Zoomifier technique (below) at least offers a closer look.

Here’s another link to show you the full effect of a big, wide image in a separate window.

September 20, 2008   2 Comments

Free Test Image

This is a small crop from a test image you can download from Getty Images. It’s free.

August 20, 2008   No Comments

Weird Photoshop powers

This snapshot from my iSight camera is one of those “take my word for it” illustrations. You won’t have any trouble believing that Photoshop put in the lettering, but if I had posted the image as the 33Mb Quicktime movie that I generated from Photoshop, you would have heard a drum loop that I embedded in the file. What’s more, I could have exported it in many other formats, including Flash FLV.

Why would I ever want to do this? I have no idea. But it’s something that Photoshop CS3 extended can do, so I had to experiment with it. The application can also be used to edit video and import and rotate 3D models! More experiments to come.

Unbelievers can grab that big Photoshop-made Quicktime movie here. It’s not really worth the download time, though.

June 14, 2008   1 Comment

Free Photoshop plugins

I just came across this link and want to keep it handy. May as well share it at the same time.

November 14, 2006   Comments Off on Free Photoshop plugins