PixelPerfect #111: Content-Aware Scaling and 3D Objects in Photoshop

Posted in Graphics, Podcasts on March 18, 2009

Photoshop Secrets: Learn how to use Content-Aware Scaling in Photoshop CS4, eliminating the need to use the clone tool when drawing items of focus closer to each other. Also, learn how to manipulate and create new 3D graphics using gradients.

Content-Aware Scaling
Bert demonstrates by using examples such as an image of three boats in the water, or an ocean-front image with two palm trees. To draw the items of focus closer to each other, Content-Aware Scaling is used, a process that eliminates redundant areas of an image.

Content-Aware Scaling gives you the same transformation handles as the other transform tools. However, when you pull the handles in, excess space in the background is removed and the items in focus come together in the proportions. Trim the image to apply final cropping touches.

This new method in Photoshop CS4 eliminates for the need of cloning to achieve the same result.

3D Objects
3D integration has been simplified and there is no longer a need for third party software. This feature is demonstrated with a 3D image of a bench layered onto a flat image of a deck, and step-by-step instructions on creating new 3D objects. There are many free 3D images offered online.

Once you have these 3D files, you can bring them into Photoshop for manipulation.

To apply a 3D object onto another flat image, take the following steps:
- Choose from the menu: 3D > New layer from 3D. Locate your file, and it will appear in the center of the screen.
- Manipulate the 3D file by rotating, scaling, rolling, and twisting - all functions available from the main toolbar.
- Apply different lighting to the bench to make the object appear naturally into the background.

You can also create new 3D objects. Bert shows us by creating a vase, using tones from a gradient that will determine the shape of the 3D areas. Bert advises to experiment with your gradients and tones when applying 3D effects. You can learn to make custom shapes, where dark areas become narrow portions in the object, and light areas become the wide portions of the object.

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Tags: Photoshop, Design, Revision3, PixelPerfect, DIY, How To