Turn off the Clone Overlay

The Clone Overlay can be a great tool to align your clone but it can also be a major annoyance. To turn it off, go to Window > Clone Source and uncheck the Show Overlay box.

Photoshop in a Minute, solving your Photoshop annoyances 😉

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Half Moon Eye Enhancement

Nothing astronomical here, the half moon is referring to the light area of the eye directly across from the catchlight. It is caused by the light entering the eye and bouncing off the retina and reflecting back to the iris directly across from the catchlight. While it is not always visible, enhancing it gives the eye more depth. This is another Tool Preset you’ll want to make.

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Enhance a Catchlight

Catchlights in the eyes give a portrait that spark of life. But often, because of the angle of light, the intensity on one might be a bit dull, or barely visible. The quick and easy solution is to use the Dodge tool with a soft edge brush, Range – Highlights at 25% Opacity with Protect Tones unchecked. Then just stroke over the catchlight to bring it out. You will use this often so once you have it set the way you like, make a Tool Preset for the Dodge tool.


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Move Presest to New Version of Photoshop

When you upgrade to a new version of Photoshop, it would be nice if all your presets and brushes and action came over too. Maybe in a future version. For now you have to do it yourself. But fear not – it’s really easy! Go to Edit > Preset > Preset Manager in CS6 and in previous versions, go to Edit > Preset Manager and you can select all and save. Then go to the new version or different computer that you want to set up the same and from the Preset Manager, click on the load button and load them in. As for Actions, see the Loading Actions post.


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Load and Organize Brushes

Loading a brush set is easy with the Preset Manager and you can save time by organizing them too. Just go to Edit > Preset > Preset Manager in CS6 or Edit > Preset Manager in previous versions. By default, Brushes is the default Preset Type. Simply click the Load button and navigate to the brush set you want to load. To arrange the brushes, click on the first one and hold Shift to select a range or Ctrl/Cmd click to select random or just click and drag the brushes to arrange them. You can move the often used brushes to the top of the list.

The “Markers” are actually brushes, but are never used other than as a visual marker to separate different sets of brushes.

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Loading Actions

When a new version of Photoshop comes out, people want to know how to load their actions into the new version. Unfortunately, Photoshop does not automatically import them when you update, but it’s really easy. But first, if you don’t have the original action file (.atn), or if you made them yourself, you first need to save it from the older version of Photoshop. With Photoshop open, select the set, and you must select a set and only one at a time and go to the flyout menu of the Action Panel and select Save Actions. Repeat for each set. Also, save off your Tool Presets too as some actions rely on them to function.
And to load the actions, it’s as simple as dragging it on to Photoshop.

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Stroke Layer Style

Adding a simple layer style can separate images in a composite, and a simple stroke is a great way to do it. And nice sharp corners are a snap if you know the trick. Be sure to position the stroke inside the image.

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Clipping Mask

The clipping mask is a great way to populate a template. Most available templates use clipping masks. It gives you flexibility to “crop” your image. Be sure to have the “Auto Select” box in the option bar checked for the Move tool and select Layer in the dropdown, that way  you just have to click on the place holder to select it and make it the active layer. Now, when you drag your image into the template, it will be in the proper position to Clip it with a Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + G. To resize, use Free Transform (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and grab a corner handle and hold Shift to constrain proportion and not distort the image.

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Change the Color of Clothing

This is a little more advanced, you do need to know how o make your selection, but it’s a great way to change to color of clothing. This will not work for every color change, but with some changes to the blend mode you can get it to work most of the time. The great thing about it is you can see the color as soon as you make the change to the Solid Color adjustment layer with the Color Picker allowing you to get the color just right.

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Scrolling through Blend Modes

Blend modes can give some really cool effects, but it can be a pain to scroll through them, especially on a Mac. With a PC it’s easy. Just click in the Blend Mode box so the mode is highlighted and use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard. But that doesn’t work on a Mac. So what do you do? With the layer active, select the Move tool and hold the shift key and press the + (plus) or – (minus) key to flip through the blend modes. And this works for PC too.


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