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Top Photoshop Tips & Tricks

Posted By: eCom Scotland

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With the latest release of Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 making its way onto our systems here at eCom, the design team decided to take a break and share some of their top tips for creating content in Adobe Photoshop CC – 2014 Edition. 

Here at eCom we work with images on a daily basis. Occasionally we receive images with incorrect colour balance and exposure and sometimes they may be off level. One of our go to tools for quickly solving basic photo issues is Adobe Camera Raw.

Adobe Camera Raw is a brilliant non-destructive tool for correcting everyday issues relating to exposure and lens correction. If an image has lost detail, due to shadows for example, this can often be resolved simply by using the shadows slider to lighten up and recover the detail. One of our favourite features of Camera Raw is the ability to quickly level images using its ‘Upright’ feature. This tool will analyse an image, giving perfectly level images every time.

For anyone who has previously used Adobe Lightroom, it will take no time to get to grips with Camera Raw as the principles are very similar. To access this awesome feature, you have a couple of options.

First, you can have an image automatically load in Camera Raw, or load it as a filter. To have an image automatically load in Camera Raw simply go to Edit > Preferences > File Handling > Camera Raw Preferences.  Under the drop downs for JPEG and TIFF handling – ensure ‘Automatically Open All Supported JPEGs’ and ‘Automatically Open All Supported TIFFs’ are selected.

The second option, and the team’s favourite, is to use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter. Firstly, ensure the image layer has been converted for smart filters (Filter > Convert for Smart Filters). You can then use the ‘Camera Raw Filter’ option. This is great feature as you have the freedom to make further changes non-destructively and turn on/off the filter if you later change your mind.

Introduced in Photoshop CS5, and continually improved since, is the Content Aware suite of tools including Fill, Patch and Move. Today, we are going to be looking specifically at Content Aware Fill.

The Content Aware Fill tool is great when you want to ‘invent pixels’ – i.e. fill a space where there is no original content. We’ve found it works best for patterns and content where there isn’t too much complex detail, i.e. it usually works great when filling sky, grass, or water scenes. The team has also found it useful when creating browser frame mock-ups and manipulating text, as it’s a great way to remove text on an image and replace it with a plain background.

The tool can be accessed on flat (rasterised) layers. The quickest method is to make your selection, ensuring the layer is unlocked, and hit shift and backspace on your keyboard. A pop up will appear. To use Content Aware fill, simply select ‘Content Aware’ from the drop down ‘Use’ menu. Alternatively, the tool can be accessed from the ‘Edit’ menu.

There you have it, two of the design team’s favourite Photoshop CC 2014 tools.  This post is one of a series of posts from the eCom design team. Be sure to keep an eye out for future posts about Photoshop and the Creative Cloud.


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