Thursday, April 30, 2009

Learn The Basics Of Photoshop

Ready to get your feet wet with the basics of Photoshop? Here’s where you get familiar with the Photoshop environment — the desktop, menus, and panels. We also introduce the key tools and explain what each one does.


Photoshop has such an abundance of tools — and so many ways to use those tools here we will cover how to get started on Photoshop and how to view and navigate your image window. Here’s also where we give you all the important details about the o’mighty Adobe Bridge and how to customize your workspace and preference settings.

Lesson overview

Open Photoshop files.

Investigating the Menu bar.

Select and use some of the tools in the Tools panel.

Set options for a selected tool using the options bar.

Use various methods to zoom in and out on an image.

Select, rearrange, and use panels.

Choose commands in panel and context menus.

Open and use a panel docked in the panel well.

Undo actions to correct mistakes or to make different choices.

Customize the workspace.

As you work with Photoshop, you’ll find out that you can often accomplish the same task several ways. To make the best use of the extensive editing capabilities in Photoshop, you must first learn to navigate the work area.

When you launch Photoshop, the desktop workspace, shown in Figure bellow appears. Like the real-world desktop where your keyboard and monitor reside, the Photoshop desktop is a place for you to put all the images you’re working with.

photoshop interface

Starting Photoshop and opening a file:

Let’s start Adobe Photoshop and reset the default preferences.

1.On the desktop, double-click the Adobe Photoshop icon to start Adobe Photoshop and then immediately hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS) to reset the default settings.


2.When prompted, click Yes to confirm that you want to delete the Photoshop Settings file.

3.Choose File > Open, and navigate to the folder where your files are stored.

4.Select the file and click Open.


The hot_rod.jpg file opens in its own window, this window is called the image window. In this file,an image of a Hot Rod car has been enhanced.


5.Choose File > Close, or click the close button on the title bar of the image window. (Do not close Photoshop.)close

Opening a file with Adobe Bridge:

As we said earlier in Photoshop you can accomplish the same task in different ways, in the previous exercise you used the Open command to open a file.

Now you’ll open another file using Adobe Bridge, a visual file browser that helps you out to find the image file that you need.

1.Click the Launch Bridge button in the application bar. If you’re prompted to enable the Photoshop extension in Bridge, click OK.


Adobe Bridge opens, displaying a collection of panels, menus, and buttons.


2.From the Folders panel in the upper-left corner, browse to the directory where you have stored your file.

3.Select the folder, and choose File > Add To Favorites. Adding files,folders, application icons, and other assets that you use often to the Favorites panel lets you access them quickly.


4.Select the Favorites tab to open the panel, and click the folder you just added to open it.Then, in the Content panel, double-click the folder.


Thumbnail previews of the folder contents appear in the Content panel.

5.Double-click the file thumbnail in the Content panel to open the file,or select the thumbnail and choose File > Open. the file that you chose opens in Photoshop. Leave Bridge open you’ll use it to locate and open files later.

Adobe Bridge is much more than a convenient visual interface for opening files. You’ll have the chance to learn more about the many features and functions of Adobe Bridge in latter tutorials.

Selecting and using a tool from the Tools panel:

Photoshop provides an integrated set of tools for producing sophisticated graphics for print, web, and mobile viewing.

The Tools panel the long, narrow panel on the far left side of the work area contains selection tools, painting and editing tools, foreground and background color selection boxes, and viewing tools. In Photoshop Extended, it also includes 3D tools.


Let’s start by using the Zoom tool, which appears also in many other Adobe applications,including Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat.

1.Click the double-arrow button just above the Tools panel to toggle to a double column view. Click the arrow again to return to a single-column Tools panel and use your screen space more efficiently.toolbox

2.Examine the status bar at the bottom of the work area (Windows) or image window (Mac OS), and notice the percentage listed on the far left. This represents the current enlargement view of the image, or zoom level.


A. Zoom level B. Status bar

3.Move the pointer over the Tools panel and hover it over the magnifying-glass icon until a tool tip appears. The tool tip displays the tool’s name (Zoom tool) and keyboard shortcut (Z).zoomtool

4.Click the Zoom tool in the Tools panel or press Z to select it.


5.Move the pointer over the image window. The pointer now looks like a tiny magnifying glass with a plus sign (+) in the center of the glass.


6.Click anywhere in the image window.

The image enlarges to a preset percentage level, which replaces the previous value in the status bar. The location you clicked when you used the Zoom tool is centered in the enlarged view. If you click again, the zoom advances to the next preset level, up to a maximum of 3200%.

7.Hold down the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Mac OS) so that the Zoom tool pointer appears with a minus sign (-) in the center of the magnifying glass, and then click anywhere in the image. Then release the Alt or Option key. Now the view zooms out to a lower preset magnification, so that you can see more of the image, but in less detail.

8.Using the Zoom tool, drag a rectangle to enclose the area of the image that includes the headlight.


The image enlarges so that the area you enclosed in your rectangle now fills the entire image window. You have now used three methods with the Zoom tool to change the magnification in the image window: clicking, holding down a keyboard modifier while clicking,and dragging to define a magnification area. Many of the other tools in the Tools panel can be used with keyboard combinations, as well.


Selecting and using a hidden tool:

Photoshop has many tools you can use to edit image files, but you will probably work with only a few of them at a time. The Tools panel arranges some of the tools in groups, with only one tool shown for each group. The other tools in the group are hidden behind that tool.

A small triangle in the lower-right corner of a button is your clue that other tools are available but hidden under that tool.


1.Position the pointer over the second tool from the top in the Tools panel until the tool tip appears. The tool tip identifies the Rectangular Marquee tool with the keyboard shortcut M. Select that tool.

2.Select the Elliptical Marquee tool,which is hidden behind the Rectangular Marquee tool, using one of the following methods:

• Press and hold the mouse button over the Rectangular Marquee tool to open the pop-up list of hidden tools, and select the Elliptical Marquee tool.
• Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the tool button in the Tools panel to cycle through the hidden marquee tools until the Elliptical Marquee tool is selected.
• Press Shift+M, which switches between the Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools.

3.Move the pointer over the image window, to the first headlight. When the Elliptical Marquee tool is selected, the pointer becomes cross hairs (+).

4.Drag the pointer down and to the right to draw an ellipse around the headlight, and then release the mouse button. An animated dashed line indicates that the area inside it is selected. When you select an area, it becomes the only editable area of the image.The area outside the selection is protected.


5.Move the pointer inside your elliptical selection so that the pointer appears as an arrow with a small rectangle.


6.Drag the selection so that it is accurately centered over the headlight.


When you drag the selection, only the selection border moves, not pixels in the image. When you want to move the pixels in the image, you’ll need to use a different technique. You’ll learn more about making different kinds of selections and moving the selection contents latter.

Using keyboard combinations with tool actions:

Many tools can operate under certain constraints. You usually activate these modes by holding down specific keyboard keys as you move the tool with the mouse. Some tools have modes that you choose in the options bar.

The next task is to make a fresh start at selecting the headlight. This time, you’ll use a keyboard combination that constrains the elliptical selection to a circle that you’ll draw from the center outward instead of from the outside inward.

1.Make sure that the Elliptical Marquee tool is still selected to deactivate the current selection do one of the following steps:

• In the image window, click anywhere outside the selected area.
• Choose Select > Deselect.
• Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D (Windows) or Command+D (Mac OS).

2.Position the pointer in the center of the headlight.

3.Press Alt+Shift (Windows) or Option+Shift(Mac OS) and drag outward from the center of the headlight until the circle completely encloses the headlight. The Shift key constrains the ellipse to a perfect circle.


4.Carefully release first the mouse button and then the keyboard keys.

If you are not satisfied with the selection circle, you can move it: Place the pointer inside the circle and drag, or click outside the selection circle to deselect it and then try again.

Note: If you accidentally release the Alt or Option key prematurely, the tool reverts to its normal behavior (drawing from the edge). If, however,you haven’t yet released the mouse button, you can just press the key down again, and the selection changes back. If you have released the mouse button, simply start again at Step 1.

Adding to the selection:

As we said before in Photoshop you can use different tools to achive the same result. If you want detailed selections without too much effort, here’s the perfect tool for the task so next we are going to use the Magnetic Lasso tool to add to the current selection.

1.Position the pointer over the Lasso tool which is located under the Rectangular Marquee tool press and hold the mouse button to open the pop-up list of hidden tools.


2.Select the Magnetic Lasso tool and move the pointer over the image window, to the second headlight press the shift key notice that a small plus sign appears this means that now you can add another selection.

This tool lets you make more detailed selections, particularly of specific objects in an image, without requiring too much effort. You don’t have to keep the mouse button held down when drawing either –click once to start, drag close to the object edge, then double-click to end.Note that the tool automatically places ‘anchor points’ as you draw to keep the selection in place.


If the area you are tracing is too indistinct and low in contrast for Photoshop to find an edge itself, you can click the mouse to force an anchor point to be placed. The default setting in the Options bar is fine most of the time,

Tip:Fast pan and zoom You can use the Pan and Zoom shortcuts to move the image around while still in mid-selection.

3.Repeat the second step for the other 2 remaining headlights.

Applying a change to a selected area:

Normally, you’d change the area within the selection. But in order to spotlight the headlight, you’ll want to darken the rest of the image, not the area inside the current selection. To protect that area, you’ll invert the selection, so that everything but the headlight is selected in the image.

1.Choose Select > Inverse.


Although the animated selection border around the headlight looks the same, notice that a similar border appears all around the edges of the image. Now the rest of the image is selected and can be edited, while the area within the circle is not selected. The unselected area (the headlight) cannot be changed while the selection is active.


1. Selected (editable) area
2. Unselected (protected)area

Tip: The keyboard shortcut for this command, Ctrl+Shift+I(Windows) or Command+Shift+I(Mac OS) appears by the command name in the Select menu. In the future, you can just press that keyboard combination to invert a selection.

2.Click the Curves icon in the Adjustments panel to add a Curves adjustment layer. The Curves panel opens.

selection33.In the Curves panel, drag the control point in the upper-right corner of the graph straight across to the left until the Input value is approximately 204. The Output value should remain 255. As you drag, highlights are brightened in the selected area of the image.


As you drag, highlights are brightened in the selected area of the image.

4.Adjust the Input value up or down until you are satisfied with the results.

5.In the Layers panel, examine the Curves adjustment layer. (If the Layers panel
isn’t open, click its tab or choose Window > Layers.)


Adjustment layers let you make changes to your image, such as adjusting the brightness of the highlights in this car, without affecting the actual pixels. Because you’ve used an adjustment layer, you can always return to the original image by hiding or deleting the adjustment layer—and you can edit the adjustment layer at any time.

6.Do one of the following:

• If you want to save your changes, choose File > Save and then choose File >Close.
• If you want to revert to the unaltered version of the file, choose File > Close and click No or Don’t Save when you are asked if you want to save your changes.
• To save your changes without affecting the original file, choose File > Save

As, and then either rename the file or save it to a different folder on your computer, and click OK. Then choose File > Close.

You don’t have to deselect, because closing the file cancels the selection.

Zooming and scrolling with the Navigator panel:

The Navigator panel is another speedy way to make large changes in the zoom level, especially when the exact percentage of magnification is unimportant.It’s also a great way to scroll around in an image, because the thumbnail shows you exactly what part of the image appears in the image window.

To open the Navigator panel, choose Window > Navigator.The slider under the image thumbnail in the Navigator panel enlarges the image when you drag it to the right (toward the large mountain icon) and reduces it when you drag to the left.

navigatorThe red rectangular outline represents the area of the image that appears in the image window. When you zoom in far enough that the image window shows only part of the image, you can drag the red outline around the thumbnail area to see other areas of the image.

This is also an excellent way to verify which part of an image you’re working on when you work at very high zoom levels.


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blended learning

In this short tutorial, I will show you how to restore color to a bland image using Layer Effects in Photoshop antioxidant blend.

The basic idea of this tutorial is to show you how to make elegant scenes out of dull images and show you how to enhance color using layer styles.

You will be transforming this image:


Before we begin, you can use the image in the first step, however, if u want the original larger image you can download it here.

Step 1:

Open the image:

Step 2:

Getting the proper lighting and exposing blackened areas:

Copy the layer. Go to the Layer menu, click on Add Layer Mask, you get two options, choose Reveal All. A layer mask will get created.

After you have done this, change the layer effect to Linear Dodge. This will over brighten the image. However, it will brighten the left area of the original image completely, this part was very dark in the original image, we can salvage this.

Step 3:

To get rid of the extra brightness, we will use the layer mask and the eraser, why use the layer mask? this way, if you make a mistake, you can just delete the layer mask and create a new one without damaging any content on the layer itself. Choose a very large brush size with Hardness at 40% and set the eraser opacity to 50%. Look at the images below and follow removing the white spots, step by step:

Step 4:

Create a new layer. Take the color [#99CCCC] and spread it over the layer using the paint bucket tool. Change the layer effect to Saturation. This will brighten up all the colors.

I hope this tutorial was easy to understand. Feel free to leave me questions if there are any.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

summer camps card

Step 1

Start by creating a new file (File > New, CTR+N), make it 700 pixels wide and 880 pixels high:

Step 2

In this step we are going to reproduce a very simple background. We’ll use the Gradient Tool (G) for this. Create a new Layer (Layer > New > Layer, CTR+SHIFT+N) on top of the first Layer, and name the Layer ‘Background’. Set up the following Gradient (please note the locations of the squares):

Drag it from bottom to top (Holding SHIFT will help you doing it vertical) and you should end up with something like this:

Step 3:

Now you’ll add some texture to this background. Create a new Layer and name it ‘Texture’. You can download the texture here, on Move the texture to the layer you just created, and set Blending Mode on Overlay and Fill to 30%.

Step 4:

Now create a new Layer (CTR+SHIFT+N), name it Background Lighting and select the Brush Tool (B). Select a big soft edged Brush with a low opacity (Master Diameter: around 200-500px, Hardness: 0px, Opacity around 10-25%)), or a random soft grunge Brush around the same size (I chose the latter). You can download an excellent soft grunge brushset from here on Shanebobs Deviantart. Load the brushes by clicking the small arrow in the Brush toolbar, then again on another small arrow (which is pointed to the right), and then ‘Load Brushes’. Browse to the location where you downloaded them and open them.

Start brushing the middle with white (#FFFFFF) and the corners with black (#000000), and you might have varation in your Brush Sizes (When brushing: to increase your Brush Size, use ], to decrease use [ ). You should end up like this:

Step 5:

Now that the background is growing decent, it is time to add some details. Create a new layer on top (by now you should know the hotkeys ;-) ) and name it ‘Twirls’. Time to use another excellent brush set: My Arabesque Set from Luizalenora. Download it, and load it in Photoshop, and brush some ‘twirls’ in the middle. I used the 368px and 400px sized ones which can be found relatively in the beginning of the brush set. You should have something like this:

Step 6

Now it is time to add some sunrays to the picture. Create a new Layer and name it ‘Sunrays’. Another brush set will be used (don’t worry, we’ll use even more sets). However, we could recreate this effect easily using the Polar Coordinates filter, but we’ll use the fast way - brushes - here. Download the Risingsun Brushes, from JavierZhX. Load it into photoshop. Brush in the middle, using the following brush (with 100% opacity and #ffa700 as color):

First, remove the lower rays of the sunray using the Eraser Tool (E) (as shown in the picture below). Don’t forget to erase! Then duplicate the Layer 2 times (Layer > Duplicate Layer, CTR+J ). Below you can see the position of the sunrays:

Step 7

Now select the lowest Layer of the 3 ‘Sunrays’ Layers (if you did everything right this layer is called ‘Sunrays’). Set the Fill of this Layer to 60%. Then apply the Gaussian Blur Filter (Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur), using the following settings:

Now select the middle Layer of the 3 ‘Sunrays’ Layers (called ‘Sunrays Copy’), and set the Fill of this layer to 60%. You should now have something like this:

Step 8

Maybe you were already wondering where the last ‘Sunray’ layer was for. Select this layer (’Sunrays Copy 2′) and set the Layer’s Blending Mode to Overlay and the Fill to 80%. Now make a selection of this layer, by doing CTR+Left Mouse on the Layer (or Select > Load Selection > Ok):

Hit D to reset the Fore- and Background colors to black and white, then X to swap these colors. Select a white to black Radial Gradient (G):

Drag the Gradient from the middle of your Sunrays to the top. Since the Layers Blending Mode was already on Overlay you should end up with something similar to this:

Step 9

No sunrays without a sun. Create a new Layer and name it ‘Sun’. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), and use a fixed size of 385 x 385px:

Draw a circle somewhat above the middle and fill it with #ffa100 (Right Mouse on selection and Fill > Color… > Select Color > Ok or with the Paint Bucket Tool (G) ). Duplicate this Layer (Layer > Duplicate or CTR + J ).

Step 10

Oooh.. step 10 already.. Great, now the same trick is used as with the sunrays. Select the lowest Layer of the sun Layers (’Sun’) and apply Gausian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur):

Now you should have something like this:

Step 11

Hmm.. the sun is already looking nice but can have something more. We’ll add some details! Create a new Layer and name it ‘Sun2′. Time for the next Brush set (Whaaaat.. another one!). Download the Vector Brush Set the from JavierZhX. Load it into Photoshop and Brush once using the following Brush (300px, color:#ffcd00):

Brush in the middle of the sun you already have. We use the same trick as in step 9 and 10: duplicate the layer, and use a 8px Gaussian Blur for the lowest layer. You’ll should now have something like this:

Step 12

This is the last step of the background, after this the background is finished. Create a new Layer and name it ‘Splat’. Make sure that the Foreground color is white. Now we’ll use the last brush set. Download the Spazz Splatter Set from Spazz24. Load them into Photoshop. Now Brush with random brushes from that set somewhat below the middle, untill you got something that looks similair to this:

Step 14

Ah, you did like step 13, aint it? Let’s continu with the real work! You got 12 Layers now, and it might be a good idea to group them. So either create a new group (Call it ‘BG’ for example) and move your the layers in, or select all the 12 layers and hit CTR + G. The next Layers and steps will be in another new group (I called it House & Palmtrees).

Step 15

For the following step(s) we need 2 stock photo’s. One is from my old school, and one from a palmtree. I’ll save you the pains of tracing and cutting them out: You can download the (transparent) .psd here and here, or just click the thumbnails below and ‘Save As’ the big picture for the .png.

Now open the downloaded pictures. Make sure the ‘House’ picture is placed in the new Group (House & Palmtree), and move it in the middle. Name it’s Layer ‘House’. Put the palmtrees in a new Layer called ‘Palmtrees’, and place them next to the house, as shown below:

Step 16

Now we are going to add some more emphasis on these pictures. Right-click to the ‘House’ Layer, Blending Options. Use Stroke:

Paste the Layer Style of the ‘House’ Layer to the ‘Palmtrees’ Layer: Right Click on the ‘House’ Layer, and click ‘Copy Layer Style’. Then Right Click on the ‘Palmtrees’ Layer and Paste Layer Style. Easy, isn’t it?

Step 17

The contrast and brightness of the two pictures need some adjusting. Now CTR+Click the ‘House’ Layer Thumbnail (Or Select > Load Selection > ok) so that the ‘House’ is selected and add a new Curves Adjustment Layer:

Move the curve like this:

Do the same for the ‘Palmtrees’ Layer, having a curve like this:

Step 18

In a new group (I called it Front) create a new Layer (I called it Front_Brush). Brush with a small sized splatter Brush (The Brushes from step 12), using the Brushtool (B), on the bottomside of the ‘House’. Use Different Opacities with a red color (for example: #8b1a09), untill you have something like this:

Step 19

Now CTR+Click the Layer Thumbnail of the Front_Brush Layer so that it is selected and add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer, using the following settings (Shadows and Highlights are on default settings):

Step 20

Create a new Layer and call it ‘Front_Stars’. Now take the Star Brush (it is in the standard Brush Set), the color you choose here is not important since that will be overrided by the Blending Options we’ll use later. Start Brushing at the same location as in Step 18, and make sure the brushed ’stars’ are in different sizes. Like this:

Step 21:

We are going to give our stars a really nice color. Right-Click on the ‘Front_Stars’ Layer, Blending Options, and add the following Blending options:

Duplicate this Layer, the Blending Options are copied along. Select the ‘Front_Stars’ Layer (this is the bottom one of the ‘Stars’ Layers), and apply Gaussian Blur of 8px (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur). Now you should have something like this:

Step 22:

The party poster is pretty far now, but we could additionally add some text! For this we need one custom font which can be download from Hurricane. Place it in your dir:\windows\fonts\ folder to install it. Of course you are free to choose your own text, but I don’t think something as winterparty would fit well ;)!

I created a new Group and called it Fonts Header. All the following layers will be in this Group.

Now we don’t start with the first layer, but we’ll first make the fonts, since we need that for the rest (you’ll see). Now insert your text somewhat in the middle of the image. I used 3 Textlayers for this, the middle text uses the Font Gill Sans MT Bold 88pt, the other two are Hurricane 48pt:

Step 23

It looks okay, but we need some more color. Let’s add the following blending options:

You learned to copy Layer Styles in an earlier step, so it should be easy to copy it to the other Text Layers Now. For the two smaller fonts (Hurricane), i unchecked the Blending Option ‘Inner Glow’, by collapsing the ‘Fx Button’ and hiding the ‘Eye’:

Step 24

Create a new Layer and call it White_Font_BG. Set it’s fill to 75%. This Layer must be underneath all Font Layers. Now with some twirled brushes from the My Arabesque Set we used earlier, Brush first some twirls in white. Use different Brushes from the My Arabesque Set for this.

Now, the most areas just beneath the text need to be white: Select the font layers by CTR+Click on one of the Font Layers Thumbnails, extend the selection by 5px (Select > Modify > Extend) and fill this using Right Mouse > Fill > Color (#FFFFFF). You should apply fill in the White_Font_BG Layer ofcourse. Do this for all the Font Layers. Cover up the remaining holes with a standard white Brush, so that the area under the fonts is white. Hide the Font Layers and you should have something like this:

It is more clear what is done with the ‘Stroke’ that is added in step 25:

Step 25

This is the final step: add the following Blending Options to the White_Font_Bg Layer:

Now Unhide the Font Layers again. Congratulations! You finished this tutorial. The outcome is shown in the top. I hope this tutorial gave some insight in how resources like brushes, textures, pictures and fonts can be used to create a great party poster!

Download the .PSD file here.


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