Easily Install Photoshop Pre-sets – All in One Place

I wrote this tutorial one day after reading another online tutorial for installing brushes via the Adobe files on one’s C-drive.  That way works great, cut and dry!  But, it adds to the program’s size and, eventually, this can really slow down the loading and performance of the PS program.

Did You Know…?

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I want to show you all, once and for all, how easy it is to load presets into Photoshop.  This method works for all presets, is semi-permanent and takes very little space on your hard drive.  It’s called the ‘Preset Manager’.

(Note:  I use CS6.  It’s possible that you don’t see all the presets listed in CS6 in Elements.  It is my understanding you can access some others by clicking on ‘More’ in Layer styles/effects.  This may not be correct, so, the best I can do is tell you to Google installing these.  Sorry!)

We already know that a ‘pre-set’ is a brush, style, pattern, color palette, shape, etc.  What better way to deal with these than through the Preset Manager(PM).  You can access the PM by going to Edit>Presets>Preset Manager.

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Or, you can access it by going to any of the preset tools and clicking on the tiny icon at the top on the right.

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The Preset Manager

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This is where all the action takes place.   I have my ‘brush’ manager open.  It’s getting full!  LOL

Now, obviously, as with the tutorial that inspired me to write this one, you can drop the individual presets into their perspective folders in Adobe’s files on your hard drive.  They are inside the program and will be until you manually remove them from that folder.  Follow this path, or one similar, on your pc:  C:Program Files (x86)AdobeAdobe Photoshop CS6Presets.  But, this adds them to the program ‘permanently’, in a way that makes it load slower.  (If you have too many loaded this way, when you try to change or ‘Re-set’ a preset, often, the entire list/menu isn’t viewable.)  I would only recommend doing this for special presets that you use all the time – as in every day.  By adding them to the PM, they stay in the program until you remove them, but, they don’t count near as much, if anything, against the program as far as taking up space and taking longer to load.

Check out the options you have with the PM:

If you want to load a new preset:

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A window will open, then, navigate to the preset you want on your hard drive.

If you want to save an assortment of presets you frequently use, click on the ‘Save Set’ button.  (I save the ‘best of’ certain brushes, like ‘clouds’, for example, into one set for frequent use – making sure the designer’s name is on the individual preset for crediting, then, I label the set accordingly and save):

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First, click on the preset you want to save.  If there are multiple presets, like if you just created a set of 24 gorgeous rose brushes, you need to click on the first preset, then, hold down the Shift key and click on the last preset you want.  All of the presets in between should be highlighted, too.  Or, you can hold Ctrl/Command and click on each preset, one at a time.  Either way, when you have selected all the presets you wish to save, click on the ‘Save Set’ button. (Some buttons will appear ‘grayed-out’ until you select at least one of the presets.)  Navigate to the place on your hard drive where you want to save and name it something catchy. Be sure to include your name or initials in the title!   Click Save.

Similarly, to Rename or Delete a preset, or presets, highlight the specific preset(s) and click on the appropriate button:

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WHEN YOU DELETE A PRESET FROM THE PRESET MANAGER IT DOES NOT GO AWAY FOREVER!  It is just no longer in your manager.  If you need it again, go through the steps to ‘Load’ it again.

When you are done with all your presetting, click ‘Done’.

I use the term ‘preset’ throughout this tutorial.  Replace it with whatever you like – Brush, Style, Custom Shape, etc.  The same PM can be used for any and all presets, except Actions.  Here’s how!  At the top of the PM is a drop down menu.

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You can go to any of the other presets via the same manager.  (Exception:  Actions – no PM.)

So!  Any time you want to know how to load a brush or a pattern, maybe, the only thing you need to remember is the Preset Manager.  You don’t even have to reboot PS when you add a preset via the PM!  Jus’ keep on goin’!  LOL

Any time I can find a way to expedite the actions I perform with Photoshop, it is good.  Keystroke shortcuts are real helpful in performing many tasks quickly.  We haven’t learned any new one’s lately, so, how about this one?

Key-Stroke Shortcut

Ctrl/Cmd>’E’

This keystroke shortcut is one you can use to merge selected layers together.  Say, you are working on a layout and you have created the textured background.  With all the blending modes and adjustments, like Levels and Color Balance, often, when done, you may want to merge those layers together.  This can save space in the Layers Palette for the rest of the layout.  There are other ways to Merge – right-click and select Merge Layers, Flatten, Merge Down, Convert to Smart Object, etc.  This shortcut allows you to select multiple layers (hold Ctrl/Cmd and click on each layer you want to include in merge), then, hold Ctrl/Cmd and hit ‘E’.  Takes care of that!  LOL

I hope these things help you!  If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will respond ASAP.

Thank you so much for your visit!

Su

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Freebie PS Brushes and a Tutorial

A good Tuesday to you!  ‘Tis a little out of the norm for me, but, I had something to share with ya’ll.  I saw a design I really liked somewhere over the weekend.  I wish I had saved the link or something.  Anyway, it was several ‘floral ornaments’, so they are called, grouped together, for a really nice page embellishment.   So, I got the idea of creating some brushes of these ornaments for use in my scrap work and I thought I would share them with you all.  The designs came from Snap2Objects.com.

Click on the Preview if you would like to go snag these Vectors for yourself.  If you don’t know, Vectors, like .AI or .EPS file formats, will open in Photoshop.  They’re all Adobe.  (Directions below.)

  These would look nice behind a photo, as an element, or even as a background design.  You could create a pattern from them, as well.  The uses are only as limited as your imagination!  The ones I saw were ‘grunged’, but, I wanted to leave these ‘un-grunged’ to allow for different looks.  You can always grunge them up after you stamp them, right?  I’ll even show you how, if you want.  LOL  Here we go!

Download, unzip and install the brushes.  These were made in CS6.  What other programs they work in, I don’t know.  I’m sorry.  Open a new document at the size you would like the element to be.  I like 800-1500px, depending on the element.  Make it 300dpi, RGB, 8-bit, Transparent.  You can put a color background if you like.  That won’t matter.  We’ll just be using this to create the element.

Select a brush of your choice from the download and change the size to the size of your document, maybe a slight bit smaller.  These brushes are 1800-1900pxs, so, they are kind of large.  Choosing the color you would like, ‘stamp’ the ornament onto the page, on a New Layer.  You may have to stamp more than once, so, don’t lift the brush until you get the results.  Or, you can just copy the Layer until you get the desired strength.  Here is what mine looks like:

That’s it!  If you want it to look a little grungey, click on the Eraser tool, then, select a different brush from the set.  Lower the size down to about ‘one/fourth(1/4)’ the size of your element.  I set mine to 500px.  Set the Opacity down low, like to 10-30%, as in the settings in the image above, then, ‘stamp’ over the element in a few random spots to get the desired degree of grunginess.  Go as intense or as subtle as you like with the erasure/grunginess.  It’s whatever you like.  You can leave it with out grunging it up if you prefer.  Here is what I got:

I put mine on a white background for display purposes, but, you can leave yours transparent.  Save it as a .PNG file and there ya go!  A new element to embellish a page or design.

Another cool thing you can do is to save the embellishment as a Pattern.  Make sure you have selected the Layer with the design on it.  Go to ‘Edit’>’Define Pattern’.  When the text box pops up, give it a name and hit ‘OK’.

If you’ve left the size at your element size, like my 1200px, the pattern will be rather large.  Either reduce the size of the element before you Define the Pattern or just lower the ‘Scale’ of the Pattern down when you go to apply it.  If you want a scrapbook-sized paper, for example, create a New Document the size and with whatever settings you need for your paper.  Click on the ‘Create Layer Adjustment’ icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette.

When the drop-down list opens, select Pattern.

 The Pattern you just ‘Defined and Saved’ should be the one that opens.  If not, click on the tiny arrow on the right side of the visible pattern in the Pattern selection box and select your Pattern from the list.

 Adjust the Scale of the Pattern and Move it around where you like at this time, then, click on ‘OK’.  Here is mine. I created a Layer just beneath my Pattern and filled it with color.

So, there you have it.  One brush set, several different uses!

Here is an embellishment that is sort of what I saw and wanted to make:

Or, they could be used as a Tag:

Click on the preview above to download the brushes.  I put the circular matte in the file, too, in case you might want that.  I did not include the .PNGS as they were uber ‘weighty’ – 15mbs average.  With 7 of them, that would make the folder to download humongous!  LOL  If you need them, I will provide them for you – no problem.  Please leave me a comment and I will zip them up and send you a link.  You could also go to Snap2Objects and download the ornaments there, since they did originate there.  When you open the .AI file in Photoshop, they’ll be in .PNG format and right at 3000px on the long side.  All you have to do is click ‘OK’.  This, or something similar, is what you will see, :

You would have to separate them for individual use.  If you use the Vectors, be sure you follow their Terms and link to Snap2Objects.com – not me.

I want to thank you for stopping by.  I hope the brushes and this tutorial will come in handy for you!

Soon, Miss Edna and I start giving you a new freebie for the month of November.  That will start the second Monday of the month, the 12th, I believe.  I have some more things to share with you, but, they can wait.  It’s late and I need to go to sleep!  LOL

Until next time,

SMILE!!

Blessings,

Su

Mask Tutorial and a Link for Coding

Hi, everyone!  I have a couple of things I want to share with you today.  They are a mish-mash of topics, but, all should come in handy.  Shall we get started?  M’kay!

First up is a series of posts, “31 Days of Coding Basics”, to help you with some of the simpler codes you can use on your own blog or on others, like in the comments section.  This series is on This Bold Girl.com.  Coding is all of the Greek, or Swahili, I’m not sure which, that allows you to create some cool stuff on your blog or website.  It’s really ‘html’!  LOL  For instance, you can add a bold heading to each sub-section of a post if you are posting on several topics, as I often do (See Below).  You can add a link to a comment you make on someone else’s blog.  You can create lists, breaks, emphasis and italicization.  The last two are useful for me since these attributes don’t exist as options on the ‘visual’ page I post on here at WP.

None of the posts/instructions are very long or tedious.  Rather, you may just learn something quickly and easily.  Gwen, the ‘Bold Girl’, writes a good tutorial!  Give it a shot and see!  I know I was envious of those folks who could place links in their comments on other folks’ blogs.  Now, I can do it!  There may be a trick in there that you can use!

Look at the sub-title just below.  I used code to get it like that.

Key-Stroke Shortcut

Next up, I want to show you something.  It is kind of a keystroke, only different.  LOL  If you use Masks in Photoshop, this is a cool tip!  Say, you are extracting an item from an image.  I almost always apply a Mask to the image I am going to extract from.  This gives me the ability to change things and clean things up more easily.  It keeps your image ‘non-destructive.  Then, I begin selecting the item with the Quick Selection Tool, getting up close to the edges as possible.  When you are satisfied with the selecting, click on the ‘Add Layer Mask’ button at the bottom of the Layers Palette.  This should isolate your item.  If, instead, you’ve masked over the image in error, just switch the masking to the item by clicking on Select>Inverse, then, add the Mask.  (Whichever area you Mask, either the background or the circle, the selected area will remain visible, while the remaining area ‘disappears’, when the Mask button is clicked.)

Here is the tip!  If you would like to check the Mask to be sure there aren’t any places missing or ragged-looking, press ‘Alt(Options-Mac)’ and click on the Mask in the Layers Palette.  The Mask will be completely visible.  This is priceless on difficult images.  You can brush over any areas that you need to, then, simple do the same keystroke to return your image mode.  Or, just click somewhere on the mask’s Layer itself and the image reappears.

Here is a simple image I whipped up to show you how to do this.  I want to isolate the circle to use elsewhere.

Select the circle with the Quick Selection Tool.  Add the Mask.  Then, press ‘Alt'(Options-Mac)’ and click on the Mask in the Layers Palette.  You should see this:

Remember, White Reveals, Black Conceals.  The Layers Palette looks like this:

When you get the Mask cleaned up, and you are satisfied, simply click the same Keystroke or click anywhere on the grey part of the Layer.  This is the result:

(Though it is hard to see, the PS background pattern is showing all around the circle.  I can now save it as a .PNG file.)

When I get the Mask work done, I can right-click on the Mask and select ‘Apply Layer Mask’.

And, here is my newly extracted circle!

Being able to tweek the Mask is a perfect way to see what you may have missed while selecting.  My eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, so, this helps me bunches!  Because Masks are editable, you can make changes by going over any areas with the opposite colors: black-conceals or white-reveals.

I think this will do for today.  I have some more things to share, so, watch for them.  Until then,

SMILE!

Hugs,

Su

“The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out” – Freebie and Tut

Greetings, All!  I’m back to share a little more gross-ness with ya for the spooky holidays coming up!  If you saw the QP’s for this month’s freebie, “Goth-n-Gore”, last week, one of them had a dirt background with grub worms crawling throughout.  I meant to include just the background in the kit, but, I forgot it.  So, I am going to go ya one better!  I will give it to you here, plus, I’ll show you how I made it, complete with resources!

Here is a preview of the QP’s from last week’s post:

Click on image to visit post.

Here is a preview of the ‘dirt’ texture I made:

The ‘grubs’ are from an ‘.ASL’ file from Sonarpos at DeviantArt.   Here is a preview of what it looks like:

Here is a zip of the texture and the pattern:

http://www.suruha.com/download/su_oct12/su_DirtWorms.zip

And, finally, the tutorial for the wormy-dirt background!

1 – In Photoshop, open the 3600X3600px ‘Dirt Texture’ from above.  Load the ‘.PAT’, Pattern, file.

2 – Create a ‘New File Document’ at 3600X3600px, 300DPI, RGB, Transparent Background.  Copy and paste the ‘Dirt Texture’ into this ‘new doc’.

3 – Create a ‘New Layer’ in the Layers Palette and fill it with the ‘Worm’ pattern.  I increased the ‘Size’ of the pattern to 200% for a better look.  This pattern is not seamless, but, since we are only showing several of the worms, it won’t matter.  Just avoid any ‘lines’ where the patterns don’t match.

4 – Slip the ‘Worm’ layer down underneath the ‘Dirt Texture’.

5 – Add a Layer Mask to the ‘Dirt Texture’ layer.

(A Layer Mask is white when you first apply it.  The image it is fully visible.  By painting over it with black, it ‘erases’ those parts of the Dirt Texture the mask is on.  This allows the image/pattern beneath to show through.  The beauty of masks is that, if you mess up, simply paint back over the area with white and start again!)

6 – Lower the Opacity of the ‘Dirt’ layer enough to see the Worms underneath.

7 – Click on the Mask to activate it.  With a soft brush, using black, ‘paint over’ several of the worms to expose them.  I lowered the ‘opacity’ of my brush to 15% to let the worms peek through gradually.  Brush over the lighter areas more than the darker areas, following the highlights and shading of the worm pattern.  You can vary the strokes to achieve a more random look.  It will appear as though the ‘worms’ are coming through the soil.

8 – Raise the Opacity of the Dirt Texture layer back to 100%.

9 – Add any enhancements or adjustments to the overall image, merge the layers and save!  That’s it!

Finally, here is one background I made if you don’t want to make this yourself.  Click on image to save it full size.  It is 3600x3600px @ 1.6mb.

I hope you understand my directions.  If not, post a comment and I will get back to you.  Have fun!

Hugs,

Su

 

Introducing New FreeSpirit Blog Features

With everything that has been going on, it has been a while since I wrote on the Photoshop aspect of design and creativity.  As my new domain comes into fruition, I will introduce more Photoshop-related content, especially as it applies to digi-scrapping and other digi-art.  As it is, now, I spend about half of my time with digital scrapbooking and the rest on digital art.  I like to try photo-manipulation tutorials, with an emphasis on learning techniques.  In this manner, I feel, I have learned more about this program than any other means.  At Digital Whisper I focused the challenges on a tutorial that showed how to use some PS feature or technique that, once learned, can be used for any application – not just the final image of the tutorial.  Jumping in, following the instructions(tuts), getting a first-hand knowledge of the technique, is the best way to learn anything.  With Photoshop, it is almost a requirement.

There are several key elements I want to focus on with the PS-related content.  One is just to get across to the readers more PS content for other design purposes, other than digital scrapbooking, like digi-art, web/blog design, etc.  The other thing I want is to share tips that can make any design work/play run smoother.  One can easily create an action, for instance, that automates any repetitive task we use frequently, such as image resizing or preparing a preview for the web.  You know.  Those mundane, yet, necessary tasks we spend a great deal of time doing.  There are key shortcuts one can pick up to cut down on steps to accomplish most anything!  There are issues that come up that, with awareness, can be diverted or downplayed.  For example, how many times have you tried to click on a certain menu item, only to discover it ‘greyed-out’, with no idea why.  This one is common when learning PS!

I want to introduce a feature, here, that I hope to make a regular thing – “Did you know…?”  Sometimes, I run across some neat little tid-bit of info that has the potential to help with design.  There are some I want to share and, hopefully, readers will share some of the jewels they find.  Eventually, there may be a wealth of valuable tips and ideas that will inspire anyone.  So, here is the first in what will hopefully become many.

Did You Know…?

You can open and use ‘vectors’ in Photoshop.  The ‘.ai’ and ‘.eps’ file extensions are vector images, as opposed to ‘pixel’ images.  Any time you zoom in real close to an image in PS, you can clearly see the image is made up of tine little squares – pixels.  The process is called ‘rasterization’, thus, pixel-based images are referred to as ‘rasters’.  Vectors are points, lines, curves and polygons on an algebraic grid.  Vectors exist in a mathematical space, as opposed to the more literal space that pixels exist in.  As a result, there aren’t any pixel edges or other quirks to restrict in the size of the image.  You can enlarge a pixel image and it will look horrendous.  With vectors, size is not an issue.

Having bored you with all that, when you open a vector image in PS, you will see something like this:

As the box is titled, PS has to ‘rasterize’ the vector in order for the program to be able to use it.  All you have to do is hit ‘OK’ and the image will open in raster form that you can work with.  I use this opportunity to open the image as more of what I want.  I usually work in RGB color mode, so, I go ahead and change that in the little box.

I also prefer 300ppi resolution, so, I change that here, too.

This will obviously change the image size, so, pay heed to the new size.  If it is a single image, realize how it will appear at the new size.  Is it entirely too large?  Reduce the numbers until you end up with a size that you can work with.

If, on the other hand, the image is compiled of smaller images, you may want to keep the large size.  When you have the size at an acceptable level, click ‘OK’.  Here is the outcome, the rasterized version of the vector I used.

And, here is the image all prettied up for you.  Feel free to use for PU.  Click on the image, then, right-click to save.  Thank you to CraftsmanSpace.com for this image!  If you’ve never visited them, you really should.  Check out their resources, like this free pattern I used for this post.

So, whatcha think?  Adding the ability to incorporate vectors into one’s design opens all kinds of possibilities, eh?

I’m not through with you, yet!  LOL  There’s more!  In addition to adding this new feature to my blog, I also want to implement another little pet project in here – ‘key-stroke shortcuts’.  Wait!  Before you decide they are just not for you and that you just don’t have the time, etc., read on, please.  I have a lousy memory!  My short-term memory is useless!  LOL  And, if you folks are like me, you tend to go with what you know, rather than trying to learn a whole new way of doing things.  You don’t have to!  By learning ‘key-stroke shortcuts’ my way, it is a breeze!  All I do is learn one at a time!  That’s it!

Key-Stroke Shortcut – Copy Layer

As I learn PS, there are certain things I find that I do all the time!  Ever copy a layer?  You know, create an exact duplicate of a layer just above the existing layer for whatever reason.  I do it every day.  As with many other things in PS, there are several ways of accomplishing this.  I used to go to the top menu bar, click on ‘Layer’, go to ‘Duplicate Layer’, then, when the box pops up, click ‘OK’.  Bah!  ‘Ctrl/Cmd(Mac)’+’J’.  Done!  Two keys!  In the new CS6, you can duplicate entire groups with one click of these two keys!  If you only want to copy one part of another layer, select that part with any of he ‘selection’ tools in the ‘Tools Palette’.  Then, when you hit ‘Ctrl/Cmd(Mac)’+’J’, only that part of the layer will copy.   It is so easy!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I intend to post one ‘key-stroke shortcut’ a week or so.  By adding a new one every so often, getting accustomed to using each, soon, you’ll see a marked increase in productivity.  Try out each new key-stroke.  See how easy it is.  Open an image and play.  Familiarize yourself with typing the required keys so that it becomes automatic for you.  You know.  Take it for a spin.  Kick the tires!   By performing some action whilst learning something new, it stays in your memory far better!  Your time spent on a project will lessen with each new stroke you add to your arsenal of knowledge.  C’mon!  Give it a whirl with me!  I already have a nice little list of strokes I have learned and use all the time.  I can’t imagine going back to my old ways!  LOL  I will give you those, then, we’ll go on to learn others.

So, there it is.  This is where I plan on taking things with the new blog.  I still plan on offering the monthly freebie kit that Miss Edna and I do together each month.  Scrapbooking is a big part of my digital design life.  However, by learning to use Photoshop in new and better ways, it is adding to my experience, thus, my expertise, when it comes to creating any kind of new designs – hopefully.  I hope you like and can benefit from the new added features.  If you ever have any questions or something to add, just leave me a comment.  I will act on it asap!

An article I found online gives some of the best-known shortcuts, with images!  We’ll learn them all!

http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/photoshop-secret-shortcuts

Sign up for my RSS Feed, in the right side bar.  Every time I post, you’ll get an e-mail of that post!  Easy-peasy and you don’t miss a word!  LOL

Until next time…

Hugs,

Su

Some content absorbed and interpretted from: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/32597/whats-the-difference-between-pixels-and-vectors/