How to Use Photoshop Blanket Brushes for Newborn Editing
It's super easy to give your newborn images a beautiful and professional polished look using the five different blanket brushes that are included in the Pretty Actions Luxe Newborn Workflow collection!
This extensive Photoshop Action collection makes editing newborn images a breeze (and really fun to edit too!). In this tutorial, I will show you how to use these five newborn blanket brushes to:
- achieve a blanket fill
- add hazy edges
- do a blanket fade
- complete a blanket to wall transition
- change the blanket color
Take a look! I bet you never thought it would be this easy to edit newborn photos!
First, open Photoshop and scroll down to the blanket brushes that were installed from the Luxe Newborn Collection. As you can see, there are five different brushes there to help make your newborn blankets and backgrounds look their very best!
1. Blanket Fill Brush
Let's go ahead and jump right in and start with blanket fill brush. Here's the image we are starting with:
As you can see in this image we have a gap in the blanket's area on the corner, and that happens quite often with newborn photography. With the blanket fill brush, this is a super simple fix.
I'm going to select the blanket fill action and press play and continue. Follow the prompts on your screen and press continue again. Okay, now I have my color picker box that pops up, and my color picker eye dropper tool is automatically selected here for me.
All I have to do is select a color within the blanket that you want to use. I like to use my eye dropper tool and kind of select a color very close to the edge - usually not right on the edge, because that usually is a bit too dark, but close to it.
Press okay and the action will play. You want to make sure your brush is selected. If you don't see it, just right click on your tool panel and brush tool. Also, make sure your brush opacity is set to 100% here.
You can make your brush larger or smaller by using the left and right bracket keys. I am going to use a large brush in this case, just to make it easier to paint over.
Okay, that looks quite nice and a super simple fix with this brush.
If you find that the color is not blending or matching well, its a simple fix. Just open your folder by clicking on the little triangle.
If you have Photoshop Elements, scroll to the bottom of your collection and you will run the open folder action. You will see a little color box labeled "Sample Blanket Color". Double click on it, and you can click around to change the color to make it match the blanket better.
The color I chose matched quite well, so I'm going to keep it as is, close it up, and flatten the image. Now lets move on to the next brush.
2. Hazy Edges Brush
For this next image I am going use the hazy edges brush. This action runs very similar to the previous action and is very specific to your image. Again, I will sample a color that I want to use when adding a nice, soft, hazy edge to this image. Since I will be painting around the edges, I think I want the color to be a little bit darker, so I am selecting from some of the shadows in the flokati rug.
A message will pop up stating "paint with a large soft white brush around the edges of the image to apply the haze". Make sure to use with a larger brush, to make this step easier and remember to make sure your opacity is set to 100%, then go ahead and paint around the edges of the image.
Let's say you make a mistake and accidentily paint over the baby or something else you didnt want to pain over. To fix that, go down to the color palette, bring black to the foreground color. With the brush and the layer mask still selected, just repaint over those areas where you made your mistake to remove the haze.
Tip: If you are having a hard time seeing where you have already painted, you can just press the blackslash key. Everything that shows as red has not been painted. Everything where you see the color showing through is where you have painted. Just press the backslash key again to make this guide go away.
The haze effect is very customizable. You can brush more to make the haze larger and come in more towards the center of the photo. You can also bring down the opacity of the action to remove some of the haze or bring it up to make it more distinct.
Here is the after image, very subtle and beautiful.
3. Blanket Fade Brush
For this next image, I am going to start with the blanket fill brush and then run the blanket fade over that for a nice natural transition.
So lets start with the blanket fill again. Select the blanket fill brush and follow the prompts as we did previously. I'm going to select somewhat of a lighter color, and make my brush smaller to fill in that corner.
It may look kind of obvious that you painted with a sharp edge there, so lower your opacity to about 30%, and just do one or two brush strokes, over that area just to kind of fade the enhancement. Tip: You can make your brush larger, lower the opacity and paint over the area until it looks more natural.
Now, lets use the blanket fade and paint over this area, which will provide a nice natural blur and fade to that transition. So, select the blanket fade brush and choose a matching color. Paint over the transition area and make sure to play around with the opacity to get the best look for your image. I set my opacity at 34% which provided a nice blend.
Here is the final image after using the brushes:
4. Blanket to Wall Transition Brush
Next, I will be using the blanket to wall fade brush which is a great action where you can just bring the wall color in and blend with your backdrop. Look at this starting image. You can see there is a gap between the blanket and the wall. Maybe your gap isn't quite as big, but you can probably still see that line - and the blanket to wall action will fix it very simply.
So, start by selecting blanket to wall transition and press play. Now, when choosing a color, you will want to select a nice light neutral tone from the backdrop, not a darker color that may show up on the backdrop on the bottom towards the crease. If you need to, you can always go back in and change the color later.
After you select your color, An instructional message will pop up "Paint with a soft white brush, make your first brush stroke medium sized at 100% opacity across where the blanket/wall intersect. Next, lower your brush opacity to 75% or lower if desired and enlargen your brush, for a soft haze over your first stroke". Press continue.
Make your brush around the size where you can cover the gap between the blanket and the wall and set your opacity at 100% to start. Now paint over the area where the blanket and wall intersect.
At this point the transition is pretty obvious, so what I'm going to do to blend it in is make my brush large and bring the opacity down. Start with a lower opacity and work your way up. I'm just clicking towards the top and bottom where I painted earlier.
Again, if you make any mistakes when painting or cover something you didn't want to cover, just bring black to the foreground color and just paint it off.
Here is the after image which looks quite nice. I use the blanket to wall transition action all the time and it works well with wood, flokati, or whatever I am using for my setup.
5. Blanket Color Change Brush
Now, lets look at the blanket color change action. I am going to use the first image again. This color change action will work on any color, but this image will demonstrate more of a dramatic change because the original image used a very light colored backdrop.
Lets start by selecting the blanket color change brush and press ok. You can literally go in and choose any color that you want to change your backdrop to. I'm thinking a soft green might be fun. Of course you can go in and change the color again if you decide the color you chose isn't working for your image.
Make sure to read the prompts that you are getting. This is really important! After you use this action to change your blanket color, you will need to flatten your image to retain that blanket color change.
Make sure the blanket color change brush is selected and the opacity is set to 100%. Then start painting the new color on your image. This will paint over and change the color of your image but will still keep the texture intact, so if you have a textured blanket, the texture will stay the same. It's really amazing -- and you can use this change color brush on blankets or anything, texture or no texture!
Tip: You will want to zoom in and make sure you're getting a nice crisp edge next to the baby. And you can use a larger brush when you are painting over the larger areas around baby.
After you have your blanket entirely filled in with the new color, you may decide the new color you chose is not really working. You can easily choose a new color by opening the folder and picking a different shade or an entirely new color. The color options are unlimited.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. The Luxe Newborn Workflow is an amazing collection of Photoshop Actions for newborn editing and these brushes are only a small piece of everything that is included in the set. YOU WILL LOVE IT!
If you are more of a visual learner, here is a video tutorial demonstrating these 5 blanket brushes: