Blog & Journal


How to Use Plug-Ins to Create Lifelike Images

John Miller October 4, 2017

Photoshop’s clever design means that it’s perfect for adding on different elements and filters to create capabilities that the program itself can’t provide. While plugins tend to be of less use to photographers and you’re a digital artist creating lifelike images in Photoshop takes a lot more than the standard brushes. The right plugins add texture, depth, lighting, filters and more which can help master your workflow and get the most from Photoshop. The thing is with installation etc. that it can be complicated which is why being able to outsource photo editing is often the better choice.

Lighting Plugins

Some of the most popular and effective plugins are those that adjust the tone, brightness, and quality of lighting in an image. With manual editing, this can mean playing with curves, levels, brightness and more for hours at a time while plugins may make this a “one-click” edit. If you’re not sure, these are what you need to outsource photo editing to someone who does. Lighting makes your image, and adding different lighting effects can change the entire feel of an image.


One of the oldest and most popular plugins creates an HDR image from your original. This is a contrasted, highly detailed image that is more eye-catching than a standard edit because it’s crisper. While this isn’t necessarily a required plugin, it’s a good option to have if clients want their image life-size so most outsource photo editors can do HDR.


Probably the most important image plugin has to be one that allows you to focus and re-sharpen without your picture getting degraded or noisy. Many photographers who edit themselves rather than outsource photo editing are guilty of over-sharpening which is why this plugin is so essential for clear images. Often over sharpening can cause the image to become grainy and noisy which takes away from the image itself. The key with using plugins like this knows which ones you want since there are those that can adjust everything from depth of field to re-sharpening a blurred image. Those who outsource photo editing usually leave this to the professionals rather than risking making a mess of their image.


If there’s one thing that makes an image lifelike it’s the feeling that you could touch the subject. Making something seem 3D is tricky, especially as a photographer where you’re very aware of your 2D medium. The most creative of these plugins let you control shadow from the inside, curl edges, add texture, and even adjust folds and perspective. It’s also probably one of the most funs since it has so much you can do. When creating lifelike images having a 3D feel is by far the most important.


One of the primary advantages of Photoshop is layers and masking. Without having those, you’re often risking editing an image and making a mess that you can’t fix and then being forced to start from scratch. Masking tools allow you to replace part of an image with something else or simply to delete it – perfect for unwanted backgrounds or if you want to change the color of the background. Outsource photo editing means that rather than having to do this yourself you could also just tell them and it’s done without having to look through the tons of different plugins which offer this.

Plugins are just like any other Photoshop tool, you just have to install them and add yourself, but that can be time-consuming, and you also risk ruining your Photoshop program if it’s done incorrectly. Instead of that, try outsourcing photo editing to a company like Back Office Pro, so you’re not wasting your time or money and can get back to creating beautiful images.

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