Category Archives: Photoshop

40 Stunning Wood Backgrounds

Wood backgrounds have become very popular as a theme or background for websites and various other applications. Designers prefer these attractive backgrounds for their websites as they are both beautiful and sophisticated. Wood patterns have been used for a number of different purposes for a very long time. But, their popularity has increased greatly over the recent years with people looking for these backgrounds for a number of different purposes. You can add a touch of nature to your applications by using these wood backgrounds. Check out the following collection that includes some of the most stunning wood backgrounds. Continue reading 40 Stunning Wood Backgrounds

Make Photoshop Fast and Improve Its Performance

Finding ways to make Adobe Photoshop fast on a slow computer?? Say goodbye to a slow Photoshop with this Performance & optimization guide.

Make Photoshop Fast

In this guide, I will show you how to optimize Adobe Photoshop CS5, but the steps are almost same for other CS versions, from CS3-CS6.

Let’s Make Photoshop Fast

  1. Open your Photoshop & from top menu, go to Edit> Preferences >General or press Ctrl+K

    Open Photoshop Preferences
    Open Photoshop Preferences
  2. Now in the Preferences window, choose Performance from the left menu.
Choose Performance in Photoshop Preferences
Choose Performance in Photoshop Preferences

Here you’ll see 4 sections: Memory Usage, History & Cache, Scratch Disks & GPU Settings. Let’s discuss these settings one by one.

Memory Usage

This is the single best way to make your Photoshop fast, real fast. Drag the slider full towards right to let Photoshop use as much RAM as is available to it.

Photoshop can use a maximum of 3.2 GB of RAM for 64-Bit OS & 1.6 GB RAM for 32-Bit OS.

If say you’ve got, say 4 GB RAM, then don’t allocate 3.2 GB to Photoshop, or then it will slow down other processes. Choose your RAM allocation accordingly.

Optimize Photoshop Memory Usage
Optimize Photoshop Memory Usage

I’ve 8GB RAM, so I can happily give Photoshop 3.2 GB 😉

History & Cache

History States is like the number of Undo’s allowed per image. The ones you access from History Palette or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Z. The default is 20, that means you cannot do more than 20 undo’s for an image.

If you’ve got some real low RAM (say <2 GB), bring History States down to 5-10 to make Photoshop fast.

Optimize Photoshop History States
Optimize Photoshop History States

If you have more than 2 GB RAM, then it’s your personal choice, on how many undo’s you think may be required by you per image, as for me, I think 20 are good enough.

Cache Levels is the number of Caches Photoshop should make for an image, the highest being 8. More is the number of caches, more RAM Photoshop will require.

Optimize Photoshop Cache Levels
Optimize Photoshop Cache Levels

For users with low RAM (say <2 GB), keep Cache Level in range of 2-4. For me, 8 would be best. This won’t help you much in making Photoshop fast, but if it’s already very slow & crawling, this might be handy.

Cache Tile Size is the amount of data Photoshop will process at a time. Obviously, more is the size, more RAM it will require.

Optimize Photoshop Cache Tile Size
Optimize Photoshop Cache Tile Size

So if you’ve got low RAM (say <2 GB), keep it as default (128 K), or move higher if your RAM allows you to. 1028 K is good enough for me 😉

Scratch Disks

If you ever run out of RAM, Photoshop allows you to use free disk space on your Hard Disk to temporarily store its files, just like Virtual Memory.By default, Photoshop chooses your primary hard disk (generally C:\ Drive), but it will slow down your system performance.

Optimize Photoshop Scratch Disks
Optimize Photoshop Scratch Disks

Choose any other drive that has a lot of free space. Avoid selecting external hard disks. If you think one drive doesn’t have as much free space, you can select 2 or more drives too.

1 GB is minimum required by Photoshop, but if you can provide more space, the better it is to make Photoshop fast. As for me, I’ve given Photoshop D:\ Drive with ~300 GB free space, hell yea I love Photoshop 😉

GPU Settings

Photoshop automatically detects your graphic card & if it’s compatible with OpenGL, Photoshop will allow you to enable OpenGL. Tick Enable OpenGL Drawing if Photoshop allows you to, this will allow 3D features & more.

Photoshop GPU Settings
Photoshop GPU Settings

Un-tick it to make Photoshop fast.

If you have a very good GPU, click on Advanced Settings button, select Advanced mode & tick Vertical Sync & Anti-Alias Guides & Paths.

Photoshop OpenGL Advanced Settings
Photoshop OpenGL Advanced Settings

I don’t have a good enough Graphic Card, so I will leave the Advanced Settings untouched.

Final

Congoz..!! You’ve made all settings that could significantly make your Photoshop fast & improve performance. Click OK in the Preferences window & restart your Photoshop for changes to take effect.

Did you make your Photoshop fast with these optimization tips? Have some thoughts or doubts in mind? Leave ’em in the comments below 😉

Photoshop: Change Background of Image (with Video)

Use Photoshop to Change Background of any Image…
 

Have a good photograph but its background isn’t what you want it to be, huh?? No problems, TrickVilla is here to help you change background in photoshop of any image 😉

Steps to Change Background in Photoshop

1. Open your image (the one for which you want to change background) in Adobe Photoshop. I will use this (supposedly cute) homemade Android model I made for the tutorial.

Photoshop change background of image
Android Model

2. Now, right-click the background layer & choose Layer from Background. In the New Layer dialog box, click OK to convert your background layer into a new Layer for us to work upon.

Convert Background to Layer
Convert Background to Layer

3. Now we gotta select our subject, i.e. the main person or object in the photo, like the cute Android in this picture. You can use various tools in Photoshop for selecting the subject, like Quick Selection Tool, Magic Wand, Marquee or Lasso Tool.

Select subject to change background
Select subject to change background

Tip: Amazing Photoshop Selection Technique (Video Tutorial also Included)

4. With your selection tool still selected (no matter which one), right-click on your selection & choose Layer via Cut. This will make 2 layers, one has just your selection in it, while the other only has the background.

Cut Photoshop Selection to new Layer
Cut Selection to new Layer

5. Now it’s simple, just select your background layer & press Delete key on your keyboard to delete it. Now drag & drop your desired background image on top of your current image in Photoshop & it will automatically load into a new layer.

6. Drag this new Background Layer below your selected subject’s layer & that’s it folks! You’ve got a new background for your subject 😀

Final Android with Changed Background in Photoshop
Final Android with Changed Background

Do some tweaking around if required & don’t forget to comment below about our tutorial on how to change background in Photoshop… 😉

Video Tutorial to Change Photoshop Background

Photoshop Selection Technique Tutorial (with Video)

Learn how to Select a subject in Photoshop the easy way…
 

Selecting a part of any image, can be considered as the building block of image editing, and no doubt Adobe Photoshop takes this seriously. There exist 9 unique Photoshop selection tools for easy photo editing.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the most widely used selection tool of Photoshop CS3+, namely Quick Selection Tool. Along with Refine Edges feature, this photoshop selection tool can select almost any type of object in an image.

Photoshop Selection Tutorial

1. Open your desired image in Photoshop. I will use the image shown below in this tutorial with Adobe Photoshop CS4.

image for photoshop selection tutorial
image for photoshop selection tutorial

2. Now, right-click the background layer & choose Layer from Background. In the New Layer dialog box, click OK to convert your background layer into a new Layer for us to work upon.

Convert Background to Layer
Convert Background to Layer

3. In this tutorial, I will be selecting the cute dog. Now, choose Quick Selection Tool from the tool palette on left of Photoshop, or press W.

Choose Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop
Choose Quick Selection Tool

4. From the settings bar at top (below menu bar), choose Add to Selection brush type, select a suitable size for your brush, keep Hardness at maximum & Spacing at lowest. Also, check Auto-Enhance & Sample All Layers checkboxes.
(Refer Screenshot)

Quick Selection Tool Settings
Quick Selection Tool Settings

Tip: Small Brush Size enhances accuracy.

5. Now simply click & drag your cursor over the part of image that you want to select (the dog in our case). This amazing  Photoshop Selection Tool will automatically try to find edges to give you the best selection around your subject.

Rough Selection in Photoshop
Make a Rough Selection around Subject

No need to be very accurate right now, just make a very rough selection around your subject, we can eliminate the non-required parts of the image from our selection later.

6. Now that you have covered each part of your subject in the selection, we will eliminate the extra area that we do not want in our selection. For this, press & hold Alt button and click on such non-required area to subtract it from your selection.

You might want to Zoom in to effectively subtract non-required area.

Accurate Selection in Photoshop
A More Accurate Selection

Tip: Press Open Square Bracket ([) to decrease & Closed Square Bracket (]) to increase brush size while selecting.

7. If you zoom in, you will find that your selection has jagged edges. No worries, with the quick selection tool still selected, right-click on your selection & choose Refine Edges…

Refine Edge in Photoshop
Open Refine Edge

8. In View Mode section, click on View to bring a drop-down menu & choose On White or press W. This will bring your selected subject on a white background, so you can easily see the edges & fix them.

Select On White in Refine Edge
Select On White in Refine Edge

9. Now in the Adjust Edge section, adjust the Smooth slider to smoothen the edges of your Photoshop selection. Use the Contrast slider to increase the contrast of the edges so that they don’t look feathered & blurry.

Adjust Edge Settings in Refine Edge
Adjust Edge Settings in Refine Edge

Tip: Feather will fade in the edges, while Shift Edge will shift the edges of your selection a little away from what you originally selected. So, it’s recommended that you do not touch these settings. Also, leave alone the Edge Detection section.

10. In the Output section, click the Output To drop down menu & select where you’d like to export your final refined selection. Choose Selection to get the output back in your original layer.

Choose Output in Refine Edge
Choose Output in Refine Edge

11. So here is what your final selection around the subject will look like.

Photoshop Selection Tutorial Result
Photoshop Selection Tutorial Result

Go ahead and do whatever you want to, with that selected subject. You can change its background, or put it into another image & so on.

Did you try out our Photoshop Selection Tutorial? How well did it go? Share in the comments below 😉

Photoshop Selection Tutorial Video

[Review] How to choose & buy a Digital Camera

These days, those old film cameras are virtually obsolete, and for good reason. Digital cameras make it possible to do much more with photography than you ever before dreamt possible.

What’s more is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your hands on a high-quality digital camera. As a matter of fact, there are so many types, brands, and price points on the market that just deciding between your options can be quite the task.

digital camera

 

Need some help making your next purchase? Here are some pointers for how to choose the right digital camera:

Budget

Digital cameras can cost anywhere from less than a hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Therefore, setting a budget should be your first priority, as your budget will greatly narrow the gap where your options for the right DigiCam lie.

Megapixels

A megapixel is one million pixels. A pixel is a unit that “records” the color and light it “sees” whenever you snap a photo, in order to contribute to the overall picture.

android shot by 5.1 Megapixel digital Camera

It takes millions of pixels to create a single image, and the more pixels you camera uses, the more detailed (clearer and more realistic) your photos will be. Digital cameras may come with anywhere from one to over twenty megapixels.

The number of megapixels you need depends on the size of the photos you plan on producing – the larger the photos, the more megapixels you will want.

Zoom

The greater your zoom, the better your pictures will be at a distance. Optical zoom can range greatly from camera to camera, so be sure to take note of zoom, and evaluate how important it is to you in your digital camera purchase.

digital zoom vs optical zoom
digital zoom vs optical zoom

Always look for Optical Zoom, digital zoom is insignificant as it bursts your pixels & degrades picture quality. Besides, images can be easily zoomed digitally, via your PC.

Optical Zoom v/s Megapixels

No doubt Megapixels are a decisive point in choosing the right digital camera, but Quality matters more than Quantity does.

Optical Zoom decides quality of each pixel.

If a camera has 10 megapixels but these pixels are of low quality, then a 7 Megapixel camera with good quality pixels can be better.

A camera with 10 Megapixels & Optical Zoom 5x, may be better than a camera with 8 Megapixels & optical zoom of 3x.

DSLR v/s point and shoot

DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) cameras are larger, more expensive, feature changeable lenses, that allow the user to manually adjust the settings, have faster shutter speeds, and can generate professional-quality photos (given you know what you are doing).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Point and shoot cameras are smaller, lighter-weight, less expensive, and easier to use than DSLR cameras. However, your options are slightly limited when it comes to picture quality and settings.

If you are an amateur in photography, go for a Digital point-and-shoot camera. However, once you know the art, try your hands on a complex, black & ugly DSLR 😉

Lens quality

The lens quality is fundamental to the quality of your photos. Read online reviews to discover which cameras and brands offer the highest quality lenses.

Stick to reputable camera manufacturers, rather than electronics manufacturers that just so happen to make cameras, too. Go for a Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Kodak has gone Bankrupt :p

Camera Lens

Modes

Digital cameras have many on-board modes that allow for some variety in photo-taking, before you ever even get to using the editing software, from video mode to panoramic mode. Size up a camera’s mode options before making your decision.

Here you have a great start for things to consider before you purchase a new digital camera. Keep these factors in mind when creating your must-have list, and then shop around for the camera best suited for you.

About The Author:

Rosendo Guetierrez is an amateur photographer who enjoys cell phone cameras, digital cameras, and old-fashioned cameras to create different effects. He also specializes in photos recovery and helps others who have lost image files.