Archive for July, 2010

In this tutorial I’ll show you a trick that every photo-montage artist must have in his or her toolbox. Every photoshop professional must be able to achieve this trick easily. So ..open the door without key ( key is lost…sorry).
Here is this nice picture I’ll use in this tutorial:

And I’ll use this little puppy for an extra touch to our photomontage:

Puppy picture courtesy by: GettiyImage.com, thanks!

Step 1: Use rectangular marquee to select door

Use the rectangular marquee to draw a selection to include just the door, not the frame, and once you have the selection cut it in a new layer using shift-ctrl-J or click on layer menu and from the down list menu select New-Layer via cut as shown below:

Step 2 Use free transform tool

Make sure your new layer is selected ( is highlighted in blue) and with the Free transform tool ( Ctrl + T ) hold  Ctrl-Alt_Shift while dragging the top left corner handle to get a true perspective distortion, release Ctrl-Alt-Shift then use the center handle to make the door narrowed as shown below:

Step 3 Fill in the blank!

Now we need to fill with black color the white space between the door frame and the door itself, so get the bucket tool ( make sure your foreground color is set to black and the background layer is activated) click in the area and fill with black.

Easy enough we have our door open with our spare key!!

Step 4 Nice magic touch!

Now we can add our little puppy to the scene, make sure the puppy layer is between the background layer and the door layer, put the puppy image in place, resize if necessary and your photo-montage is ready for publish!!

Here is our final image, hope you like it.

If you want to walk an extra mile on this tutorial, you can incorporate a door background to fill the black space, just use the rectangular marquee tool to select the visible portion of  the black background then copy and paste into your new image and resize as necessary  and there you have a nice and more realistic looking picture.


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Occasionally I will post in this blog websites where you can find very useful stuff. This opportunity I will share with you three interesting Microsoft sites where you can download free and reliable antivirus, free scan and fix your computer site and finally free professional software, yeap ! free of charge from Microsoft, but the only requirement is that you must be registered as student in a  high education institute or high school, so check it out to see  if your school is listed or qualify,there is  support in different languages..so..why not to give a try?? good luck and hope you enjoy this free stuff.




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In this tutorial I will show you how easily you can improve someone’s skin in a photo without blurring out important image details, such as the person’s eyes and mouth . in this case I’m going to use a photo that I needed to do some work before I used it to create a magazine front cover (Vanidades en español).

Here’s the image I’ll be working with in this tutorial.

The original picture

It’s a nice photo, but it would probably look even better if we softened her skin a little. Here’s how she’ll look like when we’re done with this tutorial,big difference ah?

The final image result with a fresh nice looking skin and green eyes

Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer

With my image newly opened in Photoshop, I can see in my Layers palette that I currently have one layer, the Background layer, which contains my original image.Now, create a copy of your background image , to do that  use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J Mac).If I look again in my Layers palette, I can see that I now have the copy, which Photoshop has automatically named “Layer 1”, above the original Background layer:

Step 2: Change The Blend Mode Of “Layer 1” to “Overlay”

With “Layer 1” selected in the Layers palette (the currently selected layer is highlighted in blue), go up to the layer blend mode option in the top left corner of the Layers palette. It’s the drop-down box that’s currently set to “Normal”. Click on the small down-pointing arrow to the right of the word “Normal”, which brings up a list of all the different layer blend modes we have to choose from, and select Overlay from the list:

As soon as you change the blend mode to Overlay, you’ll see a big increase in contrast and color saturation in your image:

Step 3: Apply The “High Pass” Filter To “Layer 1”

To smooth and soften the woman’s skin, we’re going to use Photoshop’s High Pass filter. To access the High Pass filter, make sure you still have “Layer 1” selected, then go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Other down near the bottom of the list, and then select High Pass:

This brings up the High Pass filter’s dialog box, which is made up of a large preview area and a single option, Radius, down at the bottom. The High Pass filter looks for details in an image, such as the edges around people, objects, and so on. The reason why it’s so effective at image sharpening is because it allows us to sharpen only the edges in an image while leaving everything else untouched.

To do that, begin dragging the slider at the bottom of the dialog box to the right until you have your Radius value set to somewhere around  4 or 5 pixels. If you’re using a high resolution image, try a higher setting somewhere around 9-10 pixels. As you drag the slider towards the right, if you keep an eye on the preview area in the dialog box, you’ll see more and more areas of the image become affected by the filter, starting with only the finest details and then gradually expanding to include more and more of the photo. If we were sharpening the image, we would want to stick to a very low Radius value to target only the edges themselves, but for our softening effect, we need to go a bit higher:

Click OK when you’re done to exit out of the dialog box. If I look at my image now in the document window, it looks like I’ve gone way too far with my image sharpening.

Step 4: Invert “Layer 1”

So far, we’ve used the High Pass filter to sharpen all the edge details in the image, but what we really want to do is smooth and soften everything that is not an edge detail, like the woman’s skin. In other words, we want the opposite of what we currently have. We want to soften all the non-detail areas while leaving the edges alone. To do that, all we need to do is invert the layer!

With “Layer 1” still selected, go up to the Image menu at the top of the screen, choose Adjustments, and then choose Invert, or for a faster way, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+I (Win) / Command+I (Mac):

Once you’ve inverted “Layer 1”, take a look at your image in the document window. A moment ago, the image was suffering from an extreme amount of sharpening, but now everything appears soft and blurred-out. That is, everything except the important details in the image. The woman’s eyes and mouth are slightly blurred out, but nowhere near the extent of her skin:

Step 5: Lower The Opacity Of “Layer 1” To Fine-Tune The Amount Of Skin Softening

We need to do is lower the opacity of “Layer 1”. Go up to the Opacity option in the top right corner of the Layers palette. You’ll see the word “Opacity” and that it’s currently set to a full 100%. Click on the right-pointing arrow, which brings up a small slider bar, and simply lower the opacity of “Layer 1” until the smoothing looks more natural. There’s no set amount to lower it to since it will depend on your image, so just keep an eye on your image in the document window as you drag the slider. I’m going to lower my opacity down to about 80%,your value may be different.

Step 6: Add A Layer Mask To “Layer 1”

To completely remove any softening from the important details in the woman’s face, I’ll need to use a layer mask. To add a layer mask, again make sure “Layer 1” is selected and then click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Step 7: Select The Brush Tool

We’re going to paint on the layer mask, and for that, we need the Brush Tool, so either grab it from the Tools palette or press the letter B on your keyboard to select it with the keyboard shortcut:

Step 8: Set Your Foreground Color To Black

Since we need to paint with black, we’ll need to set our Foreground color to black, since the Brush Tool paints with whichever color we have our Foreground color currently set to. By default, whenever we have a layer mask selected (which we currently do), Photoshop sets the Foreground color to white, while setting the Background color to black. We can easily swap them by pressing the letter X on the keyboard. As we can see in the Foreground and Background color swatches near the bottom of the Tools palette, we now have black as our Foreground color (the top left square) and white has become our Background color (bottom right square):

Step 9: Paint Over The Details In The Face To Hide The Softening Effect

With our Brush Tool selected and black as our Foreground color, we can now paint away the softening effect over any areas where we don’t want it. Painting with black on the layer mask doesn’t actually “remove” the effect, it simply hides it from view. If we change our minds later and want to bring the effect back in areas where we’ve hidden it, all we’d need to do is paint with white over those areas to reveal the effect once again.

Using a small, soft-edged brush, I’ll paint over the woman’s eyes and mouth to completely hide the softening effect from those areas. You can change the size of your brush at any time by pressing the left bracket key on your keyboard to make the brush smaller or the right bracket key to make it larger.

I’ll continue painting away any softening effect over her mouth, and maybe over the bottom of her nose and her eyebrows as well. If we look at the layer mask thumbnail, we can see all the areas where I’ve painted with black:

Step 10: Paint Away The Effect From The Rest Of The Image

As I mentioned a moment ago, you don’t have to limit the softening effect to only the skin if you like how the effect looks when applied to the entire photo. But if you do want to limit the softening and smoothing to just the person’s skin, simply use your Brush Tool and with black still as your Foreground color, paint over everything in the photo except for the person’s skin.

To walk an extra mile on this tutorial, you can retouch the image eyes, select from color picker the following values:

Select a soft brush and set the opacity from 12 to 20% and apply the brush over the image’s eyes setting the appropriate size for the brush and that’s it.

Here is the final image of the magazine front cover! Typography is another tutorial that later on I’ll show you how to select the right colors and fonts to create amazing magazines covers!!

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If you are a serious about web site design, then you need to set up your web testing environment in your computer for local testing. Although you can test your pages directly in your web server, is a good practice to test your pages locally and when everything  seems to be working ,then you can launch your live site for public view.

We need to install the following :

  • Apache server
  • PHP to create dynamic web pages
  • My SQL  database.

It’s not easy to install Apache web server in your computer and it gets harder if you want to add PHP and My SQL, but thanks to Apache friends, life is easier than ever because we need just to install XAMPP in our computer.

To install XAMPP we need just to download and extract the files and that’s it and the best of all is that it’s completely free of charge for life, sounds good doesn’t it?.

Just make sure to copy the XAMPP folder to the C: drive.

Upon completion of installation, the XAMPP Control Panel will open (if not, click Start » All Programs » Apache Friends » XAMPP » XAMPP Control Panel). This tool lets you start and stop the various servers installed as part of XAMPP.

  1. Start Apache and MySQL by clicking on the “Start” buttons next to each item. If prompted by Windows Firewall, click the button labeled “Unblock”.
  2. Go to http://localhost/. If you are directed to a page with the XAMPP logo, your installation was successful. Congratulations!

You can add or change the files in C:\xampp\htdocs to change what you see at http://localhost/ on any local web browser. You may need to delete index.php in that directory to stop the server from automatically redirecting you to the XAMPP configuration interface.

I hope you find  this tutorial useful.

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