Tips on Rendering different Surfaces in Photoshop


Brian Sum

This thread is mainly for general info for beginning students that are still struggling to understand how to render different surfaces, how light reflects and bounces on certain materials and things of that nature. I know when I first started drawing seriously,before being trained it was pretty tough and hard for me to translate anything that into Photoshop that I was starting to learn on just paper. And I’m sure we could all learn a bit from everyone to try and grow, even if you’re an established artist you know?

But for just some basic info what are 3 good tips to remember or more if you want to list more, on rendering different surfaces in Photoshop?


Where to even start? Well for me it’s mostly cuttng out parts of images to fit onto other documents or images. The main issue I find is getting clean cutouts from my selections as there are always stray pixels and unwanted bits of the background that come with the cutouts.

A quick way to fix this is to Ctrl click on the cutouts layer thumbnail in your layers palette, which will select the whole cutout in your document, Then go to Select>Modify and click on Contract. Set the number of pixels to contract (try low at 1 or 2 pixels first) and the cutout object will shrink into its border by that amount of pixels. Then go to Select>Inverse and hit Delete to get rid of the pixels laying outside of the selection.