The Photoshop Clouds filter

cloudsHave you ever tried the Clouds filter in Photoshop? You may not have noticed it since it is buried a little deep in the menus. I recommend that you give it a try. Cloud images come in handy when you are creating a collage or retouching an image in Photoshop. In celebration of Photoshop’s 25th birthday, I thought I’d share a little history.

The person who created this little bit of Photoshop magic is Mark Hamburg, currently a Fellow at Adobe, and I was lucky enough to witness it. Over 20 years ago I was writing a little book called Design Essentials, the first book published by Adobe Press. It was full of tutorials on design and illustration techniques for Illustrator and Photoshop. Mark Hamburg came into my office and my co-worker, Russell Brown joined us. He showed us how to create clouds in Photoshop in about 7-8 steps. We were awestruck and, of course, wanted to try it ourselves. I asked Mark to repeat it so I could write down the steps and put the technique into my book. I came to work the next day all ready to write up the new “clouds technique” for the book. When I walked into my office there was a small floppy disc wedged into my keyboard with a sticky note attached to it that said, “Clouds filter.” Mark had made his technique into a filter and it still lives in Photoshop today.

Here is how to use the Clouds filter in Photoshop.

  1. Open a new document or layer.
  2. Set your foreground and background colors. In part of the example above, I used a background color of white and a foreground color of a teal blue.
  3. Choose Filter > Render > Clouds.
  4. The clouds are created randomly so you can keep applying the filter over and over until you get the clouds that you like. The shortcut for reapplying a filter is Command (Ctrl) + F.
  5. To get more contrast between your clouds, try Option (Alt) + Command (Ctrl) + F.

For more information about using Photoshop Filters, here are some great tutorials:

Basic photography questions explained

01-26Ever wonder why your photos turn out too dark or too light? Or how to set up your camera to get crisp action shots? Or how to get that cool effect of having the background of your photo being soft and blurry with the foreground object being sharp and in focus? The Creative Cloud Learn team is experimenting with short videos about photography. They are part of a larger set of tutorials for Novice Photographers. These are totally worth checking out if you are just learning about digital photography:

Be sure to give us feedback on what you think of the tutorials and what other questions or topics you’d like us to cover.

Basic digital photography tutorials

photog-noviceAre you wanting to learn more about digital photography? This is a good place to start: Photography Tutorials. There are some very basic  2-minute tutorials here for novice photographers who are just getting started. If you are a total beginner and just want to learn a few really basic skills, check these out:

Learn the pen tool by playing a game

project-nimbus-1Having trouble learning to master the pen tool in Illustrator, Photoshop, or Flash? We’ve got just the thing! Get started learning pen tool basics by playing the Pen Tool Game. This cute and clever game let’s you practice drawing both straight and curved lines. If bezier curves have got you stumped, give this a try. Its fun! And you’ll be helping a wayward little space traveler named Weber find his way home.

Hint: drawing curved lines scores more points than straight ones.

Find the right tutorial faster with Adobe’s new Search

Search-2Adobe’s learning search has not been the greatest. We’ve wanted to fix it for a really long time and we’re really excited about our new redesign of tutorial search.

There are almost 1000 Creative Cloud app tutorials on Adobe.com, but they’re often too hard to find. This summer, the Learn team built a totally new tutorial search experience to help you get what you need faster. It just went live yesterday.

Here are some of the improvements:

  • Search is now available on every tutorial page.
  • Search results are totally redesigned to help you decide which tutorial works the best for you. On the results page you’ll find a whole new look.
  • Each search result includes:
    • tutorial description
    • tutorial type:  video, text, hands-on, game
    • duration:  length of the tutorial or time to complete a hands-on project
    • apps covered
    • user level

Take a look:

SearchTry it out for yourself!

Are you a Lightroom beginner?

080213Here’s a friendly place to get your questions about Lightroom answered. Adobe has just launched the Lightroom for Beginners forum. It’s chock full of great info on how to get started. There are also lots of friendly people there who are waiting to answer your questions, no matter how basic.

Are you a Photoshop Beginner? There’s a friendly place for you too. Check out the Photoshop for Beginners forum.

Learn Creative Cloud by playing a game

blogpost01Here’s something interesting! Looks like these folks are trying to make a learning game for Creative Cloud. Click here if you want to learn more.