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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 86 of 118

Rendering Trees


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 86 of 118

Rendering Trees


Lesson Info

Rendering Trees

So when we look at this photograph here. This was a photograph I took in a place called Grinter Farm. There is like, I don't even know, how many acres of sunflowers. It's unbelievable. I go there every September with one of my photo buddies in Kansas. It's just littered like from here all the way back to here and then beyond that. That's all sunflowers. It's epic. But, look at the tree back there. It's gross, it's not very epic. It needs some pruning. It needs some trimming. So what I did with this image is I made a color fill back there to fill in that area. I used data that was all over the image. You can say I used parts of this side, pulled it over here, used some of this color, dropped it over there. To cover up this tree. And then I went into Photoshop and I rendered my own. To make it a little bit more a beautiful tree that would be there instead of the tree that was there before. Which is just gnarly. And it makes world of difference. If you see the whole, I'm giving you a litt...

le small kind of thumbnail of this 'cause this is one of my portfolio images that I really really treasure. So I'm not going to give you the whole thing 'cause then, you know, whatever you would do with it. Print it, steal it, call it your own. Just kidding. I'm giving you a very small snippet of this but the larger image is available on my 500px portfolio. You can see the whole image, it just looks great with that rendered tree in the background. You can practically, you can use even the tree rendering as a very practical application if it's used successfully. So to render a tree, I'm just going to add a new layer. I'm going to go to filter, I'm going to go to render, and I'm going to go to tree. Picture frames and flames, I just kind of stay away from them. The flames look like motorcycle flames, you know? Like the ones that they print the stickers on. Yeah, just doesn't look that great. But rendering trees you get access, you could be like a green thumb in Photoshop. You get access to all kinds of different trees. So here's an oak. You want a redwood? OK, we can put a redwood in Kansas City. Why not? You kinda have to know the area you're in in order to put the tree in there. Maple works out pretty well, we've got a lot of maple trees around there. Maple tree works very well especially if we're doing things like silhouetting and things like that. You have to kind of assess where you're going to put it. Where the light source is coming from and where you want it to be. So for me, this light source being on this side is probably not gonna be good idea. But that's why we have our light source here, the light direction. If I move this over the light starts to change on that tree. If I bring it over to this side, the light will hit from this side of the tree. And if I look at the amount of leaves that are on that tree. Is it fall? Or is it more like our flourishing summers where you can't see anything through trees? Let's go somewhere right in between. We want to see some branches in there. Leaf size, how big are those leaves that are on that tree? Go right about there. That should work. The branches height? How high do the branches come up? (laughter) Again, it's not Dr. Seuss, it's Kansas City, so we'll just drop this down a little bit. Down to about here. And then the branch thickness will also cover basically the trunk thickness as well. So something like this is going to be a little too thick for a tree that's going to be that small. Put that right down there and we're good to go. Maybe right about there we'd be good to go. Now the shapes. The shape of the leaves, the shape of the tree. Move this over and it's going to start changing the shape and altering the shape of that tree. Even down to the branches dangling down there. This is crazy. You can randomize the shapes. You know it just kind of randomly makes a random selection for you. Move this over. If you press the randomized shapes you're getting whatever it gives you. You can make your own arrangement by pressing down here. If you turn default leaves off. You can add what types of leaves you want to that tree. So you want a maple tree that has palm trees leaves, cool. I'm just going to put default leaves 'cause it's a maple tree. And our advanced settings, you can adjust the tilt of the camera. You can use your own custom color for the leaves. Maybe I want it to be autumn. Now the leaves are autumn colored. I can use my own color for the branches. I want those branches to be... Actually you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to use a custom color for this. For some reason it's not showing a preview here, it usually would but that's OK. It's probably has something to do with my video card. I'm going to make these a darker color. Darker green. The reason why I'm doing this is I want this to look like a silhouette back there. I want it to look a little bit darker. So something like that would be fine. You can adjust the shading that happens on those leaves. So if that regular shading they have there doesn't look right then you can adjust these settings and enhance the contrast of those leaves. The lightness to darkness between the leaves. The flat shading of the branches. Leaves rotation. I mean there's all kinds of things you can do with rendering these trees. So I'm just going to press OK on this. And it's going to render a big tree. It's going to be very big for your canvas. And that's OK, we have command and control T, we can press shift and alt. That will make it small from the center. And we can put that tree somewhere in the background, like right there. Press enter and zoom in back there 'cause now what we need to do is brush with a mask. Press B for our brush tool. Make that smaller and then just TSH TSH TSH TSH. You gotta make noise when you do it to, part of it. (laughter) And there we go. If it doesn't quite fit the way you want it to, shockingly enough if you drop the opacity here, it will start to kind of blend in a little bit better. This seems counterintuitive that you would drop the opacity of that tree to see what's happening underneath it but it does start to blend in a little bit better. And here we have everything that applies now to all of our other layers like clipping masks, or any other effects that we want to do this, we can stack right on to the top of this. So if I liked what Photoshop gave me from the tree that I rendered but it's not exactly what I want, I can make a curves adjustment layer on top of it. Press alt or option, click in between, and now I can alter the look of that tree with the curves adjustment layer. Make it look darker so it looks more like a silhouette with just a very little bit of that color shining through back there. About right there. That opacity is a little high. Drop the opacity again to blend in a little bit better. And there we have successfully rendered a tree that actually looks pretty darn good. The stem of it might be a little bit too high, the trunk might be a little bit too high. If we go ahead and move that tree down. Press V for the move tool. And just press the down arrow, until it gets right about there. Then we brush on there. Control and space bar to zoom in. That's probably a little bit more accurate to what we would see from that far away of a distance. So you can legitimately render a tree in your images is what I'm getting at here. You have to be pretty smart about it. You can't do it all the time. You've got to assess the situation and after you've assessed the situation decide whether the tree that you added is better than the one that was there before. And did you add the same type of tree. Because as I've said before, and if you need justification for this, technically speaking, if I went out to Grinter's Farm with a set of hedge trimmers that I could maybe clean up his tree for him, and then go back and take my picture. But I don't have that ability. And I wouldn't want to it's a big tree.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!