Praxismodul II

Before we start

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Get the class material

In the Base Folder in Class-Files you’ll find a folder called • starter-files. In there are all the files you’ll need for starting. The finished PSDs are in the folder final-files-2021 for reference.


For handing in your Files please create a folder with your name in the base Folder Home-Assignments and put all your files into it.

Create one of each:
Chair, book, bag, sweater (or shirt or suit), screen, self made (card, box or magazine)

Save as jpg in your home assignment folder.


Why and how?

The aim of a good mockup is to let you present a design, etc. in an almost realistic situation so you and others can see how it would look later on in the process (after printing, production,…).

Preparing your mockup so you can exchange your design easily in the process is a big time saver and enables you to also try out and present different variations of one design easily.



In this Module I’ll try to build up on different examples. In every example there will be bits of new knowledge that we’ll apply to our process.

I suggest you start by watching the example videos and work along as you watch and if you find something confusing or want to know more about it go to the Know How section at the end of this page and also take a note so you can ask questions in class.

01 – Chair

In this example we’ll be working on recolouring and or adding patterns to this chair.

First we’ll have a look at how to select an element and create a mask that we’ll fine tune.

I’ll show you how to use the original chair image to set up layers for adding light and shadow.

And we’ll learn how to extract the shadow from the original image. Even creating a transparent one for png export.

Know How:

Masks & Clipping Masks
Blend Modes
Curve Adjustments

Chair Videos

02 – Book

We’ll get to know a few more things like the Lens Correction and how to use Content Aware Fill or the Patch Tool to repair parts or cover up parts in our starting image.

To add our Cover we use a Smart Object so we can exchange the cover of our book easily.

Know How:

Smart Objects
Gradient Tool

Book Videos

03 – Bag

Sometimes we need to make quick mockups and don’t have time for fancy photography. It’s still possible to create nice looking images. Like this one with a bag. Shot quickly in the Multi Media Studio we’ll straighten it out with the liquify tool. And then practice and fine tune our Layer setup for Light and Shadow.

Bag Videos

04 – Round Objects

Not all is flat, so we need to know how to wrap things around others and adapt surfaces to make our mockup look realistic.

For this we’ll use the Free Transform and Warp tool and then add shadow and light with our layer method.

I’ll show you a trick on how to get better color results and we’ll be adding water drops with the Liquify Filter and High Pass.

In the end we’ll use the Displacement Filter to simulate the slight shift in optics the drops would produce.

Know How:

High Pass and Blend Modes
Displacement Filter

Can Videos

05 – Pullover, Suit or T-Shirt

In the case of more bent and overall wavy things like the suit on the model it’s better to go for some Liquify filter to bend your mockup manually.

Both have in common, that they use several copies of the mockup smart object for different areas like arms, legs, etc.

For more structured things like this Pullover we need the displacement filter to also add some of the structure to our mockup.

For things just in between like structured, wobbly T-shirts you can try both approaches: Displacement and/or Liquify to see what better suits the purpose of the particular file.

Know How:

Smart Objects
Displacement Filter

Pullover Video

06 – Screens

07 – Self made Textures and Forms

Here I’ll show you how you can quite quickly make up your own “3D” Mockups with basic geometric elements in Photoshop (with a little Help from Illustrator).

Based on what we’ve learnt so far you should now have a good understanding of how light and shadow can be added to Scenes and Elements. After you watch the magazine and the box example try to figure out on your own how you would approach something like this:



Know How


Clipping Masks

Image Size vs. Canvas Size

Selection Tools

Smart Objects

Smart Objects (SOs) are files within a file in Photoshop.
They can either be linked or embedded.

The SO is saved inside the parent file.


The SO is linked to a file on your hard disk.


With SOs you can:

  • Perform nondestructive transforms
  • Work with vector data
  • Apply non destructive filters
  • Have multiple instances of one SO
  • Apply non destructive adjustments

Creating Smart Objects:
Smart objects are either automatically created by dragging a file into Photoshop. If you just drag and drop it will become embedded. If you press the Option (Alt) key, it will be linked.
Or you right-click on layer(s) and choose “Convert to Smart Object”.

Curve Adjustments


Blend Modes

We all have surely used them already but do we really know what exactly they are doing? Knowing your Blend Modes will let you work more freely and it will be less Photoshop telling you what looks good but more the other way round.

Blendmodes change the colours of underlying layers according to the lightness and colour values of the layer the blend mode is applied to.

The most important ones are these three groups:




High Pass


There are a lot of ways to add noise. One of my favourite is to add noise to a layer on top of everything and then blend it with Linear Light, Overlay or Soft Light.

The advantage is that you can still work on everything underneath → the noise layer is completely non-destructive.

The end effect looks something like this.


with noise layer

How to create it:

Start with an empty layer on top and fill it with neutral grey (RGB 128 128 128). A quick way to do this is to press Shift + ⌫ which opens the Fill Dialouge where you’ll choose 50% Gray.

Also make sure to have Mode: Normal and Opacity 100%.

You’ve now got a grey layer, yay! Put it into Blend Mode “Linear Light”. It will become invisible, because, remember, neutral gray has no effect in the Blend Modes that do both lightening and darkning.

No we’ll apply some noise to this layer. The nicest noise you’ll get by applying Filter → Blur Gallery → Field Blur. This is a bit of a workaround as we don’t really care about the blur but we’ll only use the Noise settings.

Make sure a little bit of blur is applied. How much does not matter, we are blurring a uniformly grey layer anyway.

Now you can adjust the noise sliders on the bottom right until you’re sattisfied with the amount of noise. Zoom in to 100% but also have a look at the whole image while you set these. Once you’re finished hit OK.

You can now fine tune by taking you Noise layers Fill value down a bit to make your noise less strong


With Displacements you can create everything from just a slight grainy offset to crazy glitch effects.

Displacement works on the basis of greyscale information in one image (Displacement Map) to stretch and move pixels in another. Where your Displacement Map image is dark, pixels in your working image will be moved one way; where your Displacement Map image is bright, pixels in your working image will be moved the other way.

Displacement with noise

Adding noise layer on top for texture

Displacement with paper as texture with high pass filter

Use this for:

  • roughening up smooth edges
  • glitchy effects
  • semi fake mapping images onto uneven surfaces
    (cloth, bags, tshirts, paper)
  • wavy effects
  • experimenting with your own painted images as Displacement Map