How to create a tree in photoshop
How to Add Realistic Trees to Photos in One Click With Photoshop
By Saikat Basu
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One of Adobe Photoshop's lesser-known filters can help you create your own trees. Let's see how this works and the creative uses you can put it to.Image Credit: Yaruta/Depositphotos
Sometimes photographing beautiful landscape photos isn't enough. You may just need to add a few trees of your own to make it prettier. One of the more amazing Adobe Photoshop filters lets you create more than 30 types of trees! And it even lets you do more than just plant the trees in an image.
The ability to add trees to a photo has existed since Adobe Photoshop CC came out in 2013. Earlier it was a Pattern Fill and now it has been shifted under the Filter menu. But the creative uses are open to where your imagination takes you. You can add a tree to a new blank image or make it part of a photo.
- Create or open your document in Photoshop. Create a new layer called "Trees" or any other name.
- Go to Filters> Render >Tree to open the Tree Dialog box.
- Go to the dropdown on the Basic tab > Base Tree Type and choose from the examples available.
- Use the options to customize the look of the tree. Click OK when you have settled on the look of the tree.
Size and move the tree layer so that it fits the naturally into the image. The Tree Dialog box is a powerful bundle of customization features. For instance, you can mimic the season in the background photo with light direction, the number of leaves, the color of leaves, and the size of the foliage.
According to Adobe, these are natural looking trees and not mere cliparts. She also provides a PDF with complete visual details of each tree type available in the filter.
Use that knowledge and the Random option in the dialog box to create a "forest" of your own. Or, make it part of a garden planting plan and see the end result. The Tree is definitely one of the more interesting filters you can find in Photoshop.
Image Credit: Yaruta/Depositphotos
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- Adobe Photoshop
- Image Editing Tips
About The Author
Saikat Basu (1526 Articles Published)
Saikat Basu is the Deputy Editor for Internet, Windows, and Productivity. After removing the grime of an MBA and a ten year long marketing career, he is now passionate about helping others improve their storytelling skills. He looks out for the missing Oxford comma and hates bad screenshots. But Photography, Photoshop, and Productivity ideas soothe his soul.
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How to Create Trees in Photoshop, Part 1
One of the more surprising features in the latest update to Photoshop CC is its newfound ability to create trees. You’re able to pick from 22 different varieties, and to control many aspects of their appearance including the amount of leaf cover, the color of the leaves and the lighting direction. To a limited extent, you’re also able to set the angle of view.
The tree generator is a curious enhancement, with a live preview showing some but by no means all of the available effects. Despite its quirks, it’s an excellent way of adding foliage to your montages. In the first part of this tutorial, we’ll see how to use the settings to control the effect; in Part 2, we’ll go on to see how to make the tree look more like it belongs in this environment.
The starting scene
This is the environment we’ll work with. It’s a view of London’s Houses of Parliament, and it’s just crying out for some natural enhancement. We’ll plant a tree to replace that yellow traffic bollard on the right.
Make a new layer
It may sound obvious, but before you start building trees, you should make a new layer for them to sit on. Otherwise, your tree will be burned into the background layer, and you won’t be able to either move it or adjust it easily. Choose Layer > New > Layer, and call the layer Tree so you can identify it easily later.
Open the Tree dialog box
The Tree dialog box is well hidden. To access it, choose Edit > Fill, then choose Pattern from the Contents/Use pop-up menu at the top of the window. A Scripted Patterns pop-up will appear at the bottom; choose Tree from the bottom of the list. Click OK to continue.
The tree dialog box
Here’s how the dialog box looks when you first open it. You’ll see a rendering of your tree in the large preview panel. Sadly, this is only a partially live preview, as we’ll see; that’s because it takes a while for Photoshop to generate each new tree, and it only does that when you press the OK button.
Choose your tree
You can select your tree type from the pop-up list, and there are 22 varieties in all—everything from oaks to palms. You don’t need to make a final choice at this stage, as it’s easy to switch between tree types on the fly. I’ve chosen an Elm, as it’s appropriate to London.
Adjust the light and angle
The lighting on the background image is coming from the right of the picture, as can be seen from the fact that the building facing us is in shadow, and from the shadows cast by the bollard and the railings. So drag the Light Direction slider to the right to match. You won’t see any corresponding change on the large preview. Instead, the only indicator is the position of the sun on the small gray icon within the preview area. The same goes for adjusting the Camera Tilt position: only the icon changes, not the preview.
Choose your season
Dragging the Leaves Amount slider will move the tree from summer (with a value of 100) to winter (with a value of 0). As you drag the slider, you can see the number of leaves changing in the main preview. Pick a setting that looks attractive to you.
Check the two tick boxes to set custom colors for both the leaves and the branches. Default green and brown will be used initially, but if you click the swatches you’ll open the standard Color Picker, from which you can choose any colors you like. Go for a dazzling pink if you want an artificial-looking tree, but for general purposes you’ll probably want to leave these options unchecked.
There are checkboxes to set flat leaf and branch shading for more stylized trees, and to add noise if you want. At the bottom, there’s a Randomize Shapes checkbox. Ticking this will produce a slightly different shaped tree each time you click the OK button. A better method is to drag the slider to alter the Arrangement value, which will produce different shapes each time; the difference now is that if you find a shape you like, you can reproduce it exactly by typing in its number value.
The finished result
Here’s the tree as generated on the image. You ca
n see how the lighting is now appropriately from the side, and it’s tilted forward slightly to match the angle of view of the scene. But this is just the first stage of the process. It’s not a bad tree, but it needs a little work: the leaves are too highly saturated, the bark isn’t very convincing, and it doesn’t cast a shadow on the ground. In part 2, we’ll look at how to address both of these issues.
- in Graphics , How-Tos by Steve Caplin
- April 7, 2014
How to make trees in Photoshop
01 of 05
How to Make Trees in Photoshop
If there's one thing I just love about Photoshop, it's that it's so rich and feature-packed that you'll miss things. Did you know that Photoshop CC introduced the Tree filter and that it was moved in the CC 2014 release to the Filter menu? You didn't? Me too. Now, thanks to Adobe Photoshop Evangelist Juilianne Kost, I now know where the tree filter is.
In this How To, we'll look at using the Tree Filter in Photoshop and some of the very neat things you can do with it. Let's start.
02 of 05
How to Create a Tree in Photoshop
The first thing you need to do is create a new Photoshop document and add a layer called Tree. This ensures that you have more control over your tree once it has been created.
With the tree layer selected select Filters > Render > Tree to open the Tree Filter dialog box.
03 of 05
How to Use the Tree Filter Dialog Box
When it opens, the Tree Filter dialog box shown above can be a bit intimidating. Let's look at the dialog box:
- Base Tree Type: You can select 34 tree types from this list. Each element contains a small image of a tree. If you'd like to see a larger version of the trees, Julianne Kost has made a pdf access to you of the trees. Let me choose Oak. Light Direction: This slider sets the directions in degrees and the light hits the tree.
- Camera Tilt: This slider allows you to change the camera angle for your tree. Let's choose 7.
- Number of Leaves: You can go for a winter look - 0 goes away - to full saturation by setting it to 100. The default is 41 and I'm fine with that.
- Leaves Size: This slider will allow you to go from buds - 0 - to full summer foliage - 200 - by moving the slider or entering a value. I chose 100.
- Branches Height: This slider determines how far up the tree trunk the branches start from. A value of 70 starts branches close to the ground, and a maximum of 300 places them at the crown of the tree. I went with the default 124.
- Branches Thickness: This slider lets you have some fun. A value of 0 results in a tree with no chest, and a maximum value of 200 results in a rather majestic ancient oak tree. I went with the value 150.
- Default sheets: Deselect and you can create your own tree using one of the 16 sheet types in the drop-down list that lights up.
- The colors and shading are self-evident.
- Location: The layout slider will allow you to "customize" the shape of your tree. Values range from 1 to 100. I went with a value of 45.
When you're happy, press Good .
04 of 05
How to manipulate a Photoshop tree
Now that you have a tree, what's next? If you are planning to create a grove or even a forest of trees, the next step is to convert the tree into an aSmart object.
Smart Objects allow for non-destructive editing in Photoshop. For example, if you're going to scale your tree down, accept the changes, and then scale the object to a slightly larger size, your tree will sprout jagged pixels and turn fuzzy because all you were doing was to make the pixels bigger. Here's how to turn a tree into a Smart Object:
Open the Layers panel and r click on your tree layer. Select C onvert to Smart Objec t in the context menu that appears. When you do this, your layer now has a small Smart Object icon in its thumbnail. If you double click on the icon, your tree will open in a separate .psb document. This is an intelligent object.
Close the .psb file to return to the main .psd file and scale your tree. From here you can make copies of the Smart Object and scale and move them around to create multiple trees.
05 of 05
How to Create Fall Foliage with the Tree Tree Filter
When you really think about it, creating fall foliage is very similar to autumn... the leaves change color. In this example, I created a Maple Tree and selected Use custom color for leaves . I clicked once on the Color Chip to open the Color Picker and select Orange from the list. When you close the Color Picker, the tree leaves the color changing. If you're an absolute purist, open up an image containing trees lighting up their fall foliage, a color swatch that grabs your attention and use that instead.
How to make trees in Photoshop
How to make trees in Photoshop
If there's one thing we just love about Photoshop, it's that it's so rich and packed with features that you're missing out on something. Did you know that Photoshop CC introduced the Tree filter in the Filter menu? You didn't? Let's take a look at this handy filter in Photoshop.
In this tutorial, we'll look at using the tree filter in Photoshop and some really useful things you can do with it. Let's start.
How to create a tree in Photoshop
The first thing you need to do is create a new Photoshop document and add a layer named Tree. This ensures that you can further manipulate your tree after it has been created
With the tree layer selected, select Filters > Rendering > Tree, to open the dialog box Tree Filter .
When it opens, the tree filter dialog can be a little intimidating. Let's walk through the dialog box:
- Base Tree Type: This drop-down list lists 34 tree types that you can choose from. Each item contains a small image of a tree. If you'd like to see a larger version of the trees, Julianne Kost has provided a PDF of the trees available to you. Let's choose Oak .
- Light Direction: This slider sets the direction of the light, in degrees, on the tree.
- Number of Leaves: You can switch to the winter look - 0 leaves - to full bushiness by setting the value to 100 . The default is 70 .
- Leaves Size: This slider allows you to go from buds - 0 - to full summer foliage - 200 - by moving the slider or entering a value. In this tutorial we use 100 .
- Branch Height: This slider controls how far up the tree trunk the branches start. A value of 70 launches branches close to the ground, and a maximum of 300 places them in the canopy of the tree. In this tutorial, we use the value 124 .
- Branch Thickness: This slider lets you have some fun. A value of 0 results in a tree without a trunk, and a maximum value of 200 results in a rather majestic old oak tree. In this tutorial, we use the value 150.
- Default leaves: deselect and you can create your own tree using one of the 16 types of leaves in the pop-up menu that lights up.
When you are happy, choose OK .
How to manipulate a tree Photoshop
Now that you have a tree, what's next? If you are planning to create a grove or even a forest of trees, your next step is to transform your tree into smart object .
Smart Objects allow non-destructive editing in Photoshop. For example, if you want to shrink your tree, accept the change, and then scale the object to a slightly larger size, your tree will sprout jagged pixels and become blurry because all you've done is make the pixels bigger. Here's how to turn a tree into a Smart Object :
Open the Layers panel and right-click layer Wood» . and select Convert to Smart Object from the resulting context menu.
When you do this, a small smart object icon will appear on your layer thumbnail. If you double-click this icon, your tree will open in a separate .psb document. This is a smart object.
If you have opened Smart Object , close the .psb file to return to the main .psd file. Now you can scale, duplicate and even move your trees.
How to Create Fall Foliage Using Photoshop's Tree Filter
When you really think about it, creating fall foliage is very much like autumn itself, the leaves change color. In this example, we will create a maple tree and select Use custom color for leaves .
First, let's create a new tree filter by going to the menu Filters > Render > Tree, to open a dialog box Tree Filter .
On the Basic tab , select the desired options for the base tree.
Select " Advanced " tab to change color settings etc.
Select " Use custom color for leaves" .
Under Use custom color for leaves Check the color box next to " Custom Leaf Color", to activate the color palette.
Select a color for the fall foliage, eg orange, and press OK .
If you're a total purist, open up an image of trees in their fall foliage, pick a color that grabs your attention, and use it.