Quick Photo Manip Tips and Tricks

11 min read

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nikkidoodlesx3's avatar
Photo Manipulation Week

For the last week, I've reached out to you guys to find out what kind of tutorials you would be most interested in seeing! Once I collected the topics, I reached out to as many artists that I could find that were advanced in those topics to help write a "mini" tutorial full of tips and tricks for you guys.

"Overall Painted Look"


"My techniques is pretty much simple and the soft painted look can be achieved quite easily. What I do is:

Using a spot healing brush I remove spots, if any from the skin.
Then use a mixer brush over it using the following values:
Wet: 17%, Load: 15%, Mix: 17%, Flow: 18%, which not only smoothens the skin but also softens it.

At the end of it all, I dodge and burn wherever necessary. Alternatively, I use a white brush of low opacity somewhere between 30-35% and paint over the highlights, then apply a Gaussian blur of 15-16 pixels. and for the shadows I go over them with a much lower opacity with a black brush of around 5-8%.

In the end I would like to tell to any one who would read it that this is just one of the many ways of achieving this kind of effect."



"I try to focus firstly on a more broad lighting of the overall picture. I locate where my light source comes from, then start thinking about how it will effect other elements in the scene. I use a lot of clipping masks, which I paint with black and white (black on normal mode and white on overlay or soft light). Some times I will use multiply for shadows instead of normal mode, but only if I'm adding color to the darkness, as black on normal mode will act the same as on multiply anyway.

I also paint again with black and white over the whole image including the ones I put in the image, so the paint is on both the objects and background, I think this helps the light look like it's on everything equally. So this is a new layer over all the layers.

Try not to over complicate things with multiple light sources.

Be observant to lighting around you and even other peoples work.

Remember to add shadows !

Take advantage and experiment with different blending modes such as overlay, color dodge, multiply ect."

"Color Adjustments & Sharpness"


Color Adjustments
For me personally, my favorite tool when it comes to adding color to the overall image (or even individual stocks to help blend to the background) is the color balance tool. It's important to remember if your using the color balance tool that you switch between the highlights, midtones, and shadows, because adding separate colors to each will make your image pop a lot more. I find that certain colors go better together then others, but you can play around to see what you like. You can also use straight up the color adjustments, I personally don't use those too frequently. Sometimes when I'm still not happy with how the colors turned out, I will use a soft brush, with the layer on soft light, and just paint in some colors or I will also use the gradient tool until I am happy with the results.
There are a few ways you can go about adding sharpness to your image. A lot of people just use the sharpen options that Photoshop or any other program gives you, but I find that doing that can add a lot of pixelated noise to your image, so I avoid that tool at all cost.  I find that 90% of the time, I am able to sharpen images just using different color adjustments (especially using the Black & White tool feature). Another very common way to add sharpness to an image is by using the High Pass tool, which is located in Filter>Other>High Pass . To use the high pass tool, you create a duplicate layer of the image you want sharpened, go to high pass and choose as high or low as you want, personally I tend to stay on the lower end of the spectrum where the image edges (edges of object or model) look the most crisp.) and then just make sure you set that layer to overlay.

"Painting Hair"


Please click image for a larger view!

For the remainder of the topics you guys sent me, I found some helpful tutorials you can take a look at!


Simple tip for blending by sara-hel blending backgrounds tutorial by ladynaevia Photomanipulation Tutorial  on blending by tamaraR:thumb95966684:


"Perspective and Depth of Field"

"That Perfect Rainy Scene"

.:The Rain Tutorial:. by Morteque Rain Tutorial by Lady-Tima Rain Photoshop Tutorial: Part 2 by thundybear Rain and fire photomanip PS by peewee1002:thumb523736985:

There are tons of amazing tutorials out there for you guys, free, and right here on DA! Please go check them out, they are there to help you! www.deviantart.com/browse/all/…

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Mocris's avatar
Great! Thank you! :heart:
CapnDeek373's avatar
Great article. AHt I really need to do (if I ever get some extra money) is get a new Wacom tablet.
My old one works with my new computer, but I can't get updated softwear to match,
so I'm unable to get that thick and thin stroke according to pressure when I use my stylus.
That's what I miss the most.
tamaraR's avatar
Oh not even online with a new driver? By getting rid of the old one and replacing it with a new downloaded drive from the site?
CapnDeek373's avatar
I tried. There's no driver for my old table that's compatible with the new comp.
Not too worried. I'll get a new table one of these days.
In the meantime, it works just enough to get by for now.
FrostAlexis's avatar
Wow, that's very informative. I know a lot of people including myself, who really appreciate the tips. 
My fave is the lighting tips by haleydesigns.deviantart.com/
TheOwl68's avatar
Wonderful information, especially the step-by-step tutorials, thank you!
msfowle's avatar
Amazing collection! :clap: :love: :clap: Thank you for sharing! :heart:
lauraypablo's avatar
really nice and usefull journal, thank you so much!!!:heart:
marphilhearts's avatar
Very detailed and helpful!!! Thanks so much for these great tips and suggestions!
ShortCircuit123's avatar
Lovely tips and tricks!
tamaraR's avatar
Great article. :iconthankyoupart1plz::iconthankyoupart2plz::iconthankyoupart3plz: for featuring my tutorial :heart:
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