20 Photoshop Tips for incredible artworks

Photoshop includes a huge number of tools, and here we expose some of its less well-known features and reveal new ways to use some familiar favourites

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16. Work in depth Even if you don't have the Extended versions of Photoshop, you can still incorporate renders from 3D applications. Most of them can output separate channels, which you can use as masks to make selective adjustments. Some 3D programs can also render depth maps which Photoshop can apply to 2D images.

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17. Noise is neat It can be tough to achieve a silky smooth transition of shades when you work with subtle gradients – so apply a little Noise.

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18. New layers from old One handy shortcut that is less used than it could be is Cmd/Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E (CS3 or higher), which creates a new layer with all existing visible layers merged into it.

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19. Cloud the picture Apply the Render Clouds filter as a mask to make your design less uniform.

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20. Channel your creativity Channels are mostly used to store commonly used selections, but they can also hold information that is beyond the capabilities of four-colour printing, including metallic and fluorescent spot colours. With a little practice and patience, you can selectively add inks to the CMYK set to produce absolutely stunning effects.

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Mark Mayers and Fabio Sasso

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