Room Design Tips & Tricks

Several of us have run out of space in our numbers. Delete anything you no longer need, and make sure you are backing up your work to a USB or Google Drive account.

Today we will learn several tips & tricks that will help with our room design project.
We will download very large images (at least 2MP) and remove the images from their backgrounds using the pen tool.

Angle of View

When downloading images, consider the point of view from which the image was chosen.
For example, this couch would look great against the back wall:

while this couch would work better against a side wall:

If you have to choose between an image that is your ideal color, or one that has been taken from the perfect angle, choose the perfect angle. Trying to fake the perfect angle with Photoshop’s perspective tool will give you something like this (notice how we should be able to see the side of the armrest):

Changing Color

On the other hand, it is very easy to change the color of an object in Photoshop.
In the example below, I will change the color of the couch:

Use the pen tool to path out the part of the object with the color you would like to change, and paste it onto a new layer.
Then go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation and adjust the sliders until you are happy with the result.
Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.17.30 PM

See how well that works?

Adding Color

Hue/Saturation will not work for anything that is white, gray, or black, since those colors are desaturated and technically have no hue.
Luckily, it is very simple to add color to a neutral object.
We will paint the white walls in the image below using the Color Balance effect:

Use the pen tool to path out the part of the object with the color you would like to change, and paste it onto a new layer. Then go to Image -> Adjustments -> Color Balance and adjust the sliders until you are happy with the result.

In this case, I have dragged the cyan slider as far as it will go, but the wall colors are not as intense as I would like them to be:

In such a case, we may need to apply the Color Balance effect more than once.
Simply hit “OK,” then go to the top of the screen, and once again go to Image -> Adjustments -> Color Balance:

This is what the walls look like after a second round:
cyan 2

Review of how to use the pen tool to path out images

  • Go to the “paths” window.
    (It is probably hidden under the layers palette. Make sure you switch over to the “paths” window,
    or you will draw a colored shape with the pen tool instead of a path!)
    Click the “create new path” button. new_path_icon
  • Go to the toolbar on the left side of the screen. Select the pen tool. pen_tool
    Outline shape you want to lighten.
    Important difference from Illustrator: You will need to hold down on the “Alt” key
    whenever you click a tangent point to make the second half of the tangent line disappear:
  • Once you have closed your shape by clicking on the first point, go back to the paths window.
    Right click on the path you have created, and click “make selection.”
    Feather the selection by 1pixel (this will soften the edges of your selection).
    You can tell that the couch has been selected because it is surrounded by dotted lines:
  • Control + click to copy your selection. Control + click to paste your selection.
  • Go back to the “layers” window.
    Make your original layer invisible to make sure you have successfully separated out your object.
  • Save your image as a Photoshop file. This will allow you to go back later if you distort the object in your room.
    (You don’t want to have to path out your image all over again!)
  • Here is a preview of what the couch will look like in the room:

Today we will:

  • Post a minimum of 15 images we may use in our room design project (if you have not done so already).
    These images should cover the following things: architectural details, color, floor materials and coverings, windows and window coverings, lighting, furniture, art and accessories.
  • Use the pen tool to path to separate images you may want to use in your room from their backgrounds.
    Save these files as both a .PSD and a .PNG (NOT a PDF), and post the before and after files to your blog.
  • DO NOT TRY TO BUILD YOUR ROOM. This will force you to save your pathed out images in their original files.

Here is the blank room file. I am only including it for the purpose of testing whether or not the images you have downloaded are large enough to work. You should be pathing out images (and saving the pathed out images) in the original, separate image files.


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