PHOTOSHOP SKILLS IN THIS TUTORIAL:
- Placing & Transforming objects
- Creating objects with clear backgrounds
- Nik Color Efex Pro 4 plugin: Colorize
- Layer Masks
- Rectangular Marquee Tool
- Quick Selection Tool
- Saving files in different formats
- Disabling layers for quick comparisons
- Merging everything visible into a new layer
- Nik Color Efex Pro 4 plugin: Detail Extractor
- Renaming Layers
- Creating & re-editing Smart Objects
- Adaptive Wide Angle
- Zooming with keyboard hotkeys
- Layer Opacity
As we’re buried in the house remodel I can usually close my eyes and visualize well enough to make decisions about what item to choose. When it came time to choose a bedroom door I just couldn’t seem to do it. I’ve been completely tortured by this decision, pining over 2 choices for about a month and a half now. I finally gave up and decided it was time to put it on screen.
The first thing I needed to do was grab some raw materials. I went back in my folder of house pictures, pulled out a couple different angles of my bedroom, then did a Google Image Search and got pictures of both door slabs and a handle that looks a lot like the handles I already bought. Normally I would never condone going online and saving someone’s picture for any type of professional use, it’s copyright infringement. In this case, I’m not using it professionally and all I saved were PR photos from the company, pictures they intend to share and spread to advertise their product.
Next in Photoshop, I open the picture of the first door
Next, using the Nik Color Efex Pro 4 plugin for Photoshop, I used the Colorize feature to turn the door to a chocolate color like I want to paint it and pump the strength all the way up
This is how that turned out
Next we hit C for Crop or click the toolbar button. If you’re using Photoshop 13 (CS6) or Creative Suite (CC) you have the option to save the cropped pixels to uncrop later.
Because of the colorizing, the accent lines have faded into the background, so I’m going to remove them with a Layer Mask. Click the button at the bottom of the layers panel to start a new layer mask.
Next, take the Rectangular Marquee Tool by clicking it on the toolbar or pressing M on the keyboard. Check your background and foreground colors. Areas in the layer mask in white is being allowed to pass through the layer. You want to set black to the background by hitting X on the keyboard to swap foreground colors. Then just drag out rectangles. If you miss the mark slightly just move the rectangle around with your keyboard arrows. When and area is selected, press CONTROL+BACKSPACE on the keyboard to fill layer mask in the selected area with the background color. Once it is blacked out in the layer mask it no longer appears.
Next, I need a door handle. I found a picture pretty similar to the handle I already bought. Open it then take the Quick Selection Tool by hitting W on the keyboard. Drag an area around whatever you want to keep, in this case the door handle.
With the area selected, simply hit the layer mask button and a new layer mask will pop up only allowing the selected area to show through. With no image data in that area, the background is now clear so we can use it in the next step.
This file was originally a jpg and if it gets saved as a jpg it will come back with a white background. We need to either save it as a Photoshop file (PSD), TIFF, or the smaller file size option, PNG. Either hit CONTROL+SHIFT+S or File > Save As
Back to the original tab with the door, we will hit File > Place and insert the door handle pic we just made. See how the clear background interacts with the layers below it.
Once placed, you will need to resize the new object (door handle). You don’t want a ridiculously shaped handle, so hold down SHIFT on the keyboard as you resize the object and it will lock the height:width ratio. Place it where you want and hit ENTER. If you don’t get it quite right just hit CONTROL+T to TRANSFORM the object again. For fine tune moves you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move it around.
Once you have the door the way you want it,save it and close it out.
Once again we hit FILE > PLACE and insert the door picture into our room
Drag the door into the area you want it then start pulling the edges. To warp the perspective so it’s not flat, hold down CONTROL on the keyboard as you drag a corner.
Next, repeat the process with the 2nd door
Keep in mind how top layers interact with the layers below them. Since the second door was a real picture it shows the trim casing around the door. Grab the layer and drag it so it is under the first door, then you can resize the first door to fit inside the trim.
Now it’s as easy as turning off the top layer by clicking the eyeball.
Since the only difference between the 2 doors is the vertical line, and from this perspective it would be hidden behind the closet wall, I decided to see what it would look like if it were opened.
At this point it’s FINALLY apparent to me that I like the Berkley the best but this is an expensive and permanent decision, I don’t want to rush into it. Before we even bought the house I built the house in Sims 3 to help pick colors & lay out furniture and I’ve been updating it as the remodel has progressed. Let’s see what the door looks like in my Sims house. It’s on my PS3 so I had to take the screen shot with my cell phone. This causes me to not have a square picture, so we’re going to use a new CS6 feature, Adaptive Wide Angle. You can reach this from the filter menu or by hitting CONTROL+SHIFT+A
Select Perspective and use the preview window to be precise. If you can’t see well enough, press CTRL+PLUS to zoom in and CTRL+MINUS to zoom out. Draw the most accurate line you can, it matters.
Once the line has been drawn it will appear light blue to show that it is unfixed. Right click it and select either vertical or horizontal. Vertical lines will appear purple and horizontal lines show up yellow. Keep repeating this process until you’ve done all 4 edges. Once you’re done straightening the perspective use the scale slider to zoom in and delete the wasted edges then hit OK.
Crop the black out and you have a square screen shot.
I want to see SOME walls but the game will only let me put them up or down. I have to take a 2nd picture with the walls down, repeat the Adaptive Wide Angle process, then place the second pic as an object over the first one. Use your Opacity Slider and bring the top layer down to around 50-75% so you can see through it. Lay it down in the right spot then turn the opacity back up to 100%. Add a layer mask and start painting black over the areas you want to block. Do this by clicking the Brush tool on the toolbar or hitting “B” on the keyboard. To see what you have brushed out, hit the BACKSLASH key and it will bring up the layer mask on the screen in red.
Merge everything visible into a new layer by hitting CRTL+ALT+SHIFT+E then rename the layer by double-clicking the text. Pick a good description, you’ll appreciate it later when you want to make changes and need to find the right layer.
Right-click the layer and Convert to Smart Object. This will allow you to go back in and make changes to the layer
You can identify a Smart Object by the symbol in the bottom right corner of the layer preview
Next I took it back into Nik Color Efex Pro 4 and used Detail Extractor. Because this layer is a Smart Object you can go back into these settings and tweak them later.
PLACE door #1
PLACE door #1
This got me thinking….. Why stop at just the door? I know how the room lays out in my head, I drew it on paper months ago. I know exactly what size the closet needed to be to fit the furniture before the walls ever came down. I built it in The Sims. It’s time for a real picture.