The Secret Trees of Photoshop | Joseph Francis | Skillshare

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The Secret Trees of Photoshop

teacher avatar Joseph Francis, Check out my classes!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. There are TREES in Photoshop?

    • 2. So Where Are These Trees, Anyway?

    • 3. Working with Silhouettes

    • 4. Some Projects and Your Assignment

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About This Class


Lets find the trees hidden within Photoshop and see what we can do with them! At a couple of places in this class I use optional plugins you may not have Like Topaz Impression. or Alien Skin Exposure. Think of these as 'serving suggestions' to spark ideas.

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Joseph Francis

Check out my classes!


I started in New York at what is now called RGA Digital Studios, but was then called R/Greenberg Associates. I've worked at many of the top motion graphics and title design companies including yU+Co and Imaginary Forces, and with top creative directors including Kyle Cooper (Prologue).

Visit my LinkedIn profile here.

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1. There are TREES in Photoshop?: hidden inside photo shop is the ability to make trees. What people usually use them for is to make architectural visualisation illustrations, but maybe we can find some other use for them. 2. So Where Are These Trees, Anyway?: Let's have a look and see if we can find where these trees air located. Now. They used to be under edit. Fill in a sub menu there, but they've since been moved to filter. Render tree, and you'll see that if you do that, you're presented with a dialogue box, and you have the ability to vary all kinds of parameters on these trees, like the leave amount or the branch height. Let's make them branch closer to the ground, and there's a number of different kinds of trees oak trees, young Romania money even sure what that is exactly, um, shrub palm tree and let's go back to something like an elm tree. Now what's interesting about it is that it has thes advanced features, and you can do things like, uh, camera tilt, which, actually, it's supposed to make the tree look like it's tipping away from the cameras. If you're looking up at it from the ground and it's very tall, kind of subtle on this particular tree, you could also use custom color for leaves. You could edit that color. You can use a custom color for branches, and you can edit that color of course, also flat shading for leaves flat shading four branches. Now, to me, the tree is starting to get interesting looking because I don't find it that realistic the way that it works, you know, right out of the box. But so I actually like it when it's pushed more towards storybook illustrations and things like that. So let's see what that tree looks like now. The other thing that you can dio is if you have various plug ins like, for example, I'll just run through. A few of you may not necessarily have these or you may, but, um, I just want to run it through a couple of plug ins is for the fun of it. So you could do something like that like this. One of the things you could do with these is, especially if the tree had no leaves is do something that has kind of a Gothic or horror look to it. Um, let's see. You can do something like, let's see filter Topaz Impression. That's kind of nice. Sort of resembles painting. Let's see if it can do something interesting with this tree. So we have a bunch of different presets. Let's look at impressionistic. It may. Yeah, that's kind of interesting. It's sort of been like a illustrations been drawn and redrawn or painting. Let's see Edward Hopper style. They're calling that Monet so you could kind of treat them in this way. If you have access to that kind of plug in, you can also edit thes style said. Like the brush size is bigger and stroke rotation. So right now it's sort of been generated to look like a little bit like an illustration, and then I've put another illustration effect on top of that with just this plug in. So that's a possibility, and the other thing that you could do is you can composite thes over other things, and to do that, you need a good Alfa Channel. I'll show you how to do that. In the next video 3. Working with Silhouettes: So how do I get a clean Alfa Channel for these trees? One thing that I can do is create a new layer, and that layer is born with transparency. I'll turn off the background. You can see the checkerboards. Now I can double click on the background and turn it into a non background layer. And at that point I can throw it away. And now I just have a transparency layer. You can also, um, create images that air transparent, full of transparency. To start with next, I will go to filter render tree. And one of the things that I'm interested in is ah, sort of ah, scary silhouette. Maybe so I'll turn the leaves down, I'll turn the branch height up. That kind of wanted to be actually kind of imitating a certain tree in an illustration that that I saw that I'm gonna show you for my project. That's pretty good. Now it turns out that you can using these advanced methods in the tab here, flat shade, the leaves or flat shade, the branches. And so if you really wanted to silhouette, you could just custom color the branches and make them black. But Let's say that you didn't have that for whatever reason. And let's say that you had sort of the more you know that what it normally does with a tree . Since it's on a transparent background, you can lock the transparency, which is this little checkerboard over here. And once that's locked, you can't do anything outside of the transparency or Elstree what I mean. In other words, if you were to make a brush and paint with it, paint orange, that's really it's It happens to be a confetti brush, but you can see that I can't paint anywhere except within the within the within the Alfa Channel. So similarly, the fill works the same way. If I say it it, Phil and I feel with black. So I've created a silhouette that way as well. You can see that there's a lot of fine detail in these branches. They're actually quite nice, but it turns out that maybe if you weren't working with a silhouette, maybe you want a boulder silhouette and something that doesn't have such fine detail in it . So you could do something like this. You could say FX stroke, and then you could give yourself a black stroke around everything. We moved that out of the way, so you have a choice between center an outside and inside. So let's try. Let's try center and let's take that down to two pixels, one pixel so you can see that you can fatten up the branches if you needed to have them read better at, you know at a distance. One thing you might want to do with this is you could take these and use them as masks and take them into a three D computer graphics package and use them to cast tree shadows into a scene from unseen trees off camera. That could be quite nice. Another thing that you might want to do is take thes and put a white stroke around them rather than a black stroke. Now, because the white stroke is centered around the edges of these branches, it's encroaching on the very fine branches. But if I move that from centre back out to outside, you can see that now you have very fine branches and you have a white outline around the mall. Right now, it's, ah to pixel outline. Make it let me get five just so we can see it better. So now if you had another tree, a completely different tree, you might wanna make a copy of one or have have thumb and render them in such a way that now you have the, um you know, a bit of a separation between the branches. Five pixels is it's quite a bit. I did that just so you could see See the differences. But if I take that back down to 32 one, maybe two. So now you've got very fine white stroke around these branches and they let you separate one tree from the next tree without you can see there's an outline of it. The trunks overlap each other. They have a nice outlined to. So that's a possibility now is four as how you actually get a variety of trees. You can do that as well, so you could say filter, render tree. And you could say, Well, actually, there's this thing called arrangement and you can you can get them by number. And I'm actually not clear why they have these desperate point numbers in rather than just integers. But that's what they seem to dio so if you say there's one, and then you make a new layer could turn that layer off, make a new layer and say filter tree under render And then let's take that to to. So now you can see already that there is a difference in trees so you could accumulate a bunch of different trees that have different characteristics just so that they don't all seem the same. In the next video, I'm going to make a little project. 4. Some Projects and Your Assignment: let me try an experiment. I'm going to use alien skin, which you may not have, but you can use whatever tools you have at your disposal filter, alien skin, exposure X and vintage. And I'm just gonna use the presets. That's interesting. I like that. I like that. Let's see, looking on the sides here to see if there's anything I like, it's kind of interesting. I think I'm gonna choose from these black and white effects that have, hey, a kind of ah, distressed filter or or edge to them. This 1st 1 was kind of kind of interesting. Let's see, um, been yet sighs, Softness, sighs again, I like that and call it. We'll call that one of them. So I'm gonna set that aside and let's do another one file new and will work with a large one again. 2048 by 2048 and filter. Render tree and let's go for a big oak tree with low branches and plenty of leaves. So go with that now filter toe pez impression. - So let's try that and let's make the whole thing 12. That could be good, and now we'll add a stroke to it and we'll make it tree colored, and I'll set that one aside, and now we'll do one more. Roger Kipling wrote a bunch of stories called Just So Stories, and one of them was called The Cat that Walked by himself. And he illustrated these stories, and some of the illustrations are quite popular. You could see here's somebody who but if you can make it out cause it's a tiny picture, but somebody got the tattoo of it on their back. But if we let's see, here's a reasonably decent sized one. So here you can see, is the illustration that Roger Kipling made. So I thought maybe I would try something like this where I'm gonna have a cat, but I don't have a bunch of tree silhouettes receding into the distance. I'm not gonna try to copy it exactly, but you kind of get the idea. And so that's gonna be my final project. I look forward to seeing yours. You could do something really simple with a tree silhouette and make a coffee mug planet to be on a T shirt. Maybe have a poster idea. You could make illustrations using flat color trees that you enhance with pathways and hills and little castles and things like that. You can do anything you want, so I look forward to seeing what it is that you come up with.