Article

6 Top Tips for working in Photoshop

Photoshop is one of these programs that you just use for everything, so much so that you start assuming everyone else uses it then you get frustrated when they try to do something in any other program…

Article

After Hours returns in 2012 for Series 5

NetGameRadio is proud to present After Hours series 5 Saturday Nights from March 3rd. Join Bench, Josh, and the netGameRadio staff as they play some games and talk the latest goss in the gaming world…

Article

6 backing tracks to my life

If you’re like me though, there’s certain songs that stand out above the rest. You remember the moments you first heard them…

Article

The new Office Look

So it’s been a while since I actually took the time to take some decent photos of my office…

Article

Call of Duty Experience $1mil Comp

Monash’s Computer Games Boot Camp 2011 will be the setting for the Australian qualifiers for Activision’s Call of Duty Experience Tournament, bragging a $1,000,000 prize for the winners…

Article

Portal 2 Soundtrack : Volume 2 is out

Game soundtrack lovers or just Portal fans (I should just say gamers) should get up and get in on the action of the latest Portal 2 Soundtrack Volume release…

Article

Computer Games Boot Camp is on again for 2011

Monash University is set to kick of its Computer Games Boot Camp (CGBC), the biggest event on any high-school gamer’s calendar…

Article

Ubercharged Team Fortress 2 now Free 2 Play

Valve’s Team Fortress 2 is on Day 4 of it’s Uber Update has finally introduced us to the Medic, oh and is also now totally free 2 play forever and ever.

Article

After Effects : The Must have Plugins

The weapon of choice for Motion Graphic Designers and Visual Effects artists, After Effects has been my “home away from home”. Countless hours spent and long nights rendering out in the best quality I can fathom. It’s a great piece of software on its own, however where it really comes into the realm of professional post-production is with the array of plugins available for it…

Article

Bookmark Rundown

Looking at what’s worth bookmarking, for this the first… the top places for any Motion Graphics Designer…

Article

After Hours Series 3

After Hours Series 3 explodes onto the airwaves Saturday Nights from 10pm. Join myself, Josh, and the nGR boys (and girls) for a night on the town…

Article

Pure Pwnage finds its way to ABC2

I remember going through the latter half of school watching Pure Pwnage, the antics of Jeremy (teh_pwnerer), Kyle and FPS Doug filling the computer screen…

Article

Black Ops PC looks grim

After gamers got all up-in-arms about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, being shipped without the possibility of dedicated servers…

Article

Call of Duty : Black Ops Multiplayer Teaser

As an avid Call Of Duty Fan from way back when you could count the titles on one hand…

Article

Rest in Peace Toni ‘cyx’ Daniloski (Mousesports)

Toni (cyx) Daniloski, one of the world’s best cyberathletes playing for mousesports, has tragically died after complications from a car accident yesterday in Frankfurt, Germany…

Article

X|Media|Lab: Film X-tended

Media Heavyweights flocked into the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne today for X|Media|Lab’s Pro-Day Conference, Film X-tended…

Article

Monash Computer Games Boot Camp kicks off

Monash’s Computer Games Boot Camp has kicked off for 2010, seeing over 700 high-school students flock onto the campus at Clayton, Victoria…

Article

Strap up for 2010′s Boot Camp

Monash University is at it once again with what is fast becoming the biggest Video Game related Conference in Australia…

Article

Status Report on R18+

98.2%. That’s how many of the 59,678 submissions to the Discussion Paper were Pro 18+…

Article

SMH gives choice: pro-filter or pro-rape

Sydney Morning Herald appears to of only just gotten its head out of the sand, with a story released yesterday using the Japanese game…

Article

After Hours Returns for Series 2

ZOMG Can it be possible? Yes it is. After Hours is returning for Series 2 here in 2010…

Article

After Hours FINAL EPISODE

This Saturday November 7th kick back to to Bench, Josh, and the nGR crew on the final episode of netGameRadio’s After Hours for the season, an unscripted, unrehearsed and totally chaotic show where anything goes…

Article

Digital Distribution Summit Wrap-up

BMW Edge at Federation Square, Melbourne, was the setting for the Digital Distribution Summit held on September 22nd 2009. Presented by Film Victoria, and featuring a lineup that included some of the leading names in the games industry, the DDS was a one-day conference that aimed to present invaluable market insight, networking, and discussion in regards to Digital Distribution and it’s effects on not only developers, but publishers and retailers as well…

Article

GameDamage releases a new Trailer

Australian produced videogame television show “GameDamage” have released a new trailer for their upcoming series…

Article

DICE VIP CounterStrike 1.6 National Cup

This weekend has seen Melbourne’s CounterStrike 1.6 LAN scene erupt with the DICE VIP National Cup, just weeks after the Plan B1G CounterStrike Source Nationals…

Article

Midway sold to Warner Bros. for $33 Mil.

For a long time Midway Games Inc. has been circling the bankruptcy drainpipe as it filed for Chapter 11 earlier in the year…

Article

Plan B1G National Cup

The Australian Counter-Strike scene saw the Plan B1G National Cup take place this weekend. In the wake of the collapse of Anything Interactive, B1G League stepped in with little time to arrange the new competition as flights were booked, dates were set, and the community was prepared for an epic showdown…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Amsterdam’s Power Supply was under threat because of the development of Killzone 2…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Nintendo will be releasing their MotinPlus snap-on attachment for Wii remotes on June 8th…

Article

2009 Wacom Expo featuring Intuos 4

Over 4 years in production, finally Wacom has released their next Graphics Tablet, and already I want to have its babies. It’s just that awesome…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

County Police Departments are angered by Grand Theft Auto mods providing authentic depictions of real police vehicles within their county…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Microsoft’s UK head of Xbox Neil Thompson has stated that they see downloadble content and Xbox Live as a ‘complementary’ addition to boxed product…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is complete, and ready to be released worldwide on April 24th according to Atari…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

It seems like my favourite topic has continued to crop up into the spotlight once again…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Now i know i try to avoid being opinionated when presenting the news each week, but this next story i can’t help myself…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

The Economic Crisis has dealt all lines of the economy a serious blow, including the Royal Air Force who…

Article

Australian Gamer

Every week at least 20,000 listeners will hear the voices of what some have called “comic genius” and “the Roy and H.G of Australian gaming”…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

In America the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that the anti-video game legislation, passed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, is unconstitutional…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Activision is threatening to sue Electronic Arts over the publishing rights to Double Fine’s action game, Brutal Legend…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Epic Games, known for the Unreal series, has found itself in an awkward position….

Article

6 Top Tips for working in Photoshop

February 15, 2013

Photoshop is one of these programs that you just use for everything, so much so that you start assuming everyone else uses it then you get frustrated when they try to do something in any other program where you would just go into Photoshop and have it done in 5 minutes. Need to shrink a graphic, Photoshop; need to make a document, Photoshop; making a video, well you probably should use Photoshop. If it’s not your go-to program for, well….life, then perhaps you’re not doing it right.

I am by no means an expert, but it seems I’m always asked how I did certain things, and while there’s not enough time to go into the nuts and bolts of everything, here’s a few tips that make my workflow and Photoshop experience a lot better.

6. Use, and continue to use, GuideGuide

http://www.guideguide.me/

There’s the link now you don’t have an excuse. In a previous article I talked about the Must Have Plugins for After Effects, and while there’s not as many that I use in Photoshop, GuideGuide is essential. Providing an additional panel, GuideGuide enables you to create guides with specific settings. When nothing is selected, GuideGuide has the option to create guides for margins, as well as columns or rows, with padding and margins. Using the Marquee or lasso you can lay out an area which then GuideGuide will work within. This is primarily useful for working in web as you can layout margin lines per pixel with relative ease. It also can detect the center of your document, or selection. Additionally it adapts to any measurement so it’s just as useful in specifying inches or millimeters in print work. It appears in your history panel as one action rather than each guide creation being a separate one so you can easily undo if you make a mistake, and the panel itself has a clear guides button rather than trying to navigate the menus.

5. Stop using Bevel or the Layer Effects in their default mode

Bevel is a cheap way to try and make things look 3D. Unless you have a specific way you plan on using it, don’t. It makes anything look tacky. Take the time to explore the settings it has available, and research how to best use it, then and only then do you have permission to attempt to apply it to anything.

4. Use more than one monitor and have all your panels visible

The more screen space the better. It’s better to be able to see all that you’re working on than to have it covered by panels and have only a small space to work. In Photoshop I have only my layers panel and tools on my primary screen that i work on, to the left is all my other panels, and to my right is the Navigator and Properties panel. Why have all the panels on the one screen when some of them you rarely use? Even if you are not using them, you’re learning where they are, getting exposed to the layout of the panel, and occasionally you’ll notice a setting or two. Spread that across months and you’ve learned where all your panels are, and probably have a general idea how half of them work, not including the ones you use on a day-to-day basis. I may not need my brush panel, but when working if I come across a moment that I need to use it, I don’t need to go looking for it, I know where it is and a general idea of how to use it. The easier it is to get to your panels, the quicker your workflow will be.

3. Layer Mask instead of erasing

If you’re not already doing this then you should start today. Raster layers is what Photoshop is all about, as much as I can do total vector projects in it, raster has all the effects, and can use more of the features of Photoshop. However raster is also destructible, so when you rub a piece out with the eraser, the only way to get it back is to re-import that asset if it’s from a source file, or peddle back through your history to undo what you did. Neither of those scenarios is ideal. Instead of erasing, use Layer Masks. And I mean for everything. It makes it easier to refine your erasing, it lets you do effects on your alpha channel for that layer, and it’s non-destructive. The great thing about layer masks is you can use them on groups of layers just by adding it to the folder in the layers panel. This allows erasing without having to merge layers, enabling you to cycle through contents, adjust if need be, and that mask is continuously applied.

2. Learn your hotkeys

Off the top of your head what does “F” do as a shortcut? What about “X” or “D”? You need to learn your hotkeys, especially how they work with modifiers (Alt, Ctrl, Shift, and combinations of them).

Here’s a few you should really know.

  • “F” cycles Screen modes from standard to full screen with menu bar to full screen with black background. If you’re working on something and want to preview it on black then cycling screen modes is the easiest, it makes it easy to grab assets, colors, etc from another window and then quickly go full screen on the window you’re working in.
  • “D” resets your foreground and background to black and white respectfully. This is best used in combination with the next hotkey.
  • “X” swaps your foreground and background. Working with colors you can swap between two main colors you’re working with, or using “D” you can quickly grab either black or white if you’re adding a gradient, vignette, or using either to lighten/darken a layer with various blending modes.
  • “Shift” cycles the tools different options, meaning for “M” it cycle the various marquees, “L” the various lasso types, “A” letting you either select a full vector path or shape or just a point.
  • “Ctrl+Shift+F” will give the option to Fade and/or change the blending mode of the last action you did, this is very useful as it applies to Filters as well, enabling you an opportunity to add them to a layer and dictate how much even though it’s destructive.

1. Learn how to use High Pass

High Pass is a Filter located under the “Other” menu. It pulls out contrasting areas in the selected layer and exports purely that on neutral gray. Basically it creates a pseudo bump-map for the selected layer. You have the option to select the radius that it uses to detect the edges and contrasting sections. Remember as a filter it’s destructive, so either duplicate the layer or use “Ctrl+Shift+F” to Fade and change the blending mode. There are two major ways High Pass can be used. To create contrast and make thing pop, or to soften and add diffusion.

Using a small radius and then applying the “Overlay” blend mode will make the layer contrast more.

Using a slightly larger radius then Inverting the High Pass layer then using “Overlay” or “Soft Light” will soften the tones, such as to smooth out skin bumps or to add a diffusion look.