Jun 26, 2014

The Amazing Power of Focus Area Selections in Photoshop CC 2014

Adobe Releases Photoshop CC 2014

Adobe just released updates to Photoshop CC free for all CC subscribers. The new update is simply given a date to help you identify the updated software. The updates, Photoshop CC 2014 is even more powerful and the new tools they added will help you work faster and more precisely in Photoshop.

In today’s episode, we will show you the amazing power of focus area selections in photoshop cc 2014 as well as new Type Tools. We are also throwing in one of our old favorites – Content Aware Scale with Skin Tone Protection.

We will be combining these tools and techniques to create a quick mockup of a swimwear advertisement.

How to use Focus Area Selections

Focus Area Selections are all new to Photoshop CC 2014 and the results are pretty impressive. Focus Area Select will figure out what is in focus based on how much detail is present in your image. From there you can choose to make selections out of the in focus area. The tool is equipped with Advanced Features that make it much more accurate and reliable.

Cutting your subject out of their background is easier than ever – as long as they are in focus and your background is not.

in this episode we show you how to use the new Focus Area Selections to cut out our subject from her background and add type behind her.

Enhanced Type Tool

The type tool in Photoshop CC 2014 has seen some updates as well. With the addition of TypeKit, Adobe gives you access to many new fonts as well as the ability to acquire more fonts (for a fee).

One of the big enhancements to the Type tool is instant font previews. Simple hover over fonts in the drop down list and your type will change to reflect the new font selections. This is incredibly useful if you are unsure of what font will look best over your image.

We have found that keeping your font size on the smaller end will help with your computer’s performance. For instance we noticed some lag with using large files and font sizes over 500pt. Not a big deal, just something to keep in mind.

Content Aware Scale

Content Aware Scale is not new to Photoshop CC 2014 but it is a hidden gem for those who don’t already know about it. Content Aware Scale will allow you to stretch your image while keeping detail in tact. This tools is perfect when you have a subject against an out of focus background.

In this episode we show you how to protect skin tones as you scale, keeping your subject from being scaled with the background.

Final Thoughts

Overall we are impressed with the new releases in Photoshop CC 2014. The added tools seem to be very useable and were not that predictable. Adobe is really doing a good job with their new CC platform and we can’t wait to see what they do in the future.


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image

    great feature, also love the new blur gallery with the Path Blur. Like how you can see recent brushes you use also. Don’t like that they got rid of Flash and most of my extensions don’t work anymore until they get updated, which some already have.;

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    Cory Barnes

    Do you have to have maverick to get this update? I can’t seem to get it.

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    Collins Robert

    Cory. The chances are that you cant get PS CC 2014 because you are trying to update PS CC. PS CC 2014 is a new program. You need to go to your creative cloud app.

  • user image

    When running 2014 for the first time it will ask if you want to bring in your presets, answer yes. However, you may not get the pulgins (like Nik and Topaz). Copy them over from Photoshop CC (or previous version) into the plugin folder of CC2014. I noticed that my Flypaper paper textures don’t work even though I used the Adobe Extension manager to install them. There is no Window > Extension menu.

  • user image

    Loved this one, and did a screen capture to play around with it. Of course, without the original, it didn’t work quite as well, but it was still fun. Your videos are getting better and better! Hope you notice my small addition, hehe.

  • user image

    Loved this one, and did a screen capture to play around with it. Of course, without the original, it didn’t work quite as well, but it was still fun. Your videos are getting better and better! Hope you notice my small addition, hehe.

  • user image

    Maybe that image gives you an idea for another tutorial. I think it should be more subtle now. 🙂

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    Ian Allen Elkins

    i have to agree with everyone. for a long time i wish the images could be downloaded for the free episodes as well. it would really help with fine tuning our skills as we could directly compare our before and afters like we do with the pro tutorials. its extremely hard to find a decent unedited portrait online to follow along with. PLEASE start including the stock images for free tutorials as well!! thanks Aaron!

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    David Couillard

    Great tutorial Aaron! I really like how the idea gives the whole image a dimension effect. I’ve used it for an images I worked on for a client. Thanks a lot!

  • user image

    I love the idea of the type tool and the preview you get by just hovering over the different fonts …. however I just wanted to know if I was missing something as my text does not change while hovering. Any ideas what I have missed?

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    Jay B

    I have a request for an episode. I’m doing a lot of real estate/architecture photography now and maybe you can show some photoshop techniques that go along with that.

  • user image

    This was a very classy example of the Content Aware Scale. However, I need to know how it can be applied to a background with a “dressed” model. I tried it on an image for my work and it doesn’t work with clothing. She was wearing jeans. Her flesh and hair stayed put, but her legs were stretching with the background. Is there a way to apply CAS in this instance?