Photoshop Tips

Facebook Photoshop Friday Tips of the Week

July 2014 – Adding a Ragged Edge to Photo

June 2014 – Using Arrow Keys to Scroll

May 2014 – Alpha Channels for masking

April 2014 – Color Change

March 2014 – Using Actions

February 2014 – Sepia Tone a Photograph

December 2013 – Metallic Type

November 2013 -Transforming Drop Shadow

October 2013 – Using Guide lines

September 2013- Ten Great Tips You Ought to Know

August 2013 – Re-cropping 

June 2013- Burning and Dodging

April 2013- Using Masks

February 2013 – Reflection Text

January 2013 – Adding a Watermark to Photo

September 2012 – Create a Color Swirl Backgr0und

August 2012- Create a Copyright Bush

July 2o12 – Text on a Curve – Elements… Text on a circle – CS

June 2012- Layer Styles

May 2012 – Gradient Tool

April 2012- Drop Shadow

March 2012 – Typing around a shape

February 2012 – Rasterize Type

January 2012 – Black White Conversion  

December 2011 – Type tool

November 2011 – Adjustment Layers

October 2011 – Ruler Tool

September 2011 – The Crop tool

August 2011 – Brush Presets

March 2011 Advanced: Manipulating a Drop Shadow:

 Turn the Layer effect into its own layer by going to Layer>Layer Style>Create Layer. You can then tansform the shadow to fit the image.  (Ctl t).    The final step is to add a layer mask and  a white and black gradient to soften and fade the shadow.

December 2010 Advanced: Circular type.

draw Circle

In order to place text in circle you must first create that circular path. Using the elliptical marquee tool draw you circle. (to keep a perfect round circle hold down the shift key while dragging mouse.) Now the marching ants must become a work path.

define work path

Go to the path pallet (window >paths). At the bottom choose make work path from selection.

using the type tool

Now select the type tool. When placed on the circle work path the icon changes to one with a bent line. This will enable you to start to enter your text on the circular path.

Type on the circle

 

August 2010

Scrolling through fonts

Chosing the exact right font for a project can be challenging. Heres a tip to make that easier.

Make a textbox by clicking and draging the text tool to the size you want your text to fit. Then type your text. Click away to set the type.  (you know your type is set when the text appears in the layers pallet.) Then being sure that text layer is selected in the layers pallet and with the text tool selected, click in the font name on the menu bar. At this point you should be able to scroll through all your fonts using the arrow keys on the key board. Up arrow for going up through the list. Down arrow for going down. “Fontacize” till you find the right font for your project.

March 2010

Photoshop tip

1.To turn the locked background layer into a regular layer you can just double click on the icon in the layers pallet. A dialog box pops up and you can rename the layer.

2. If you ever find that Photoshop is not running correctly, it is usually easily fixed by resetting the prefrences to the default. To do this, press and hold the Ctrl-Alt-Shift (Mac- Command-option-Shift) as soon as you start Photoshop. A pop-up box appears asking if you would like to delete your settings file. By deleting that file you will be back to the Photoshop defaults.

 FEBRUARY, 2010

If you find that you are typing something over and over (like a copyright), you can create a custom brush. To to that, open a new blank document, type in the info you want to use. (to find the © sign hold down the alt key and type 0169 on the number key pad).he with the move tool select the type by clicking on the T icon in the layers pallet. When your selection is made (see the marching ants)go to Edit>Define Brushes and you will get a dialog box. Name your new brush and it will be added to your brush set.

OCTOBER 2009

 

For Beginners: Blending modes are found at the top of the layers pallet with a drop

photoshop tip down menu. The default mode is Normal. If you are looking for a special effect that is easy to do, sometimes a blending mode will give you the look you need. Be sure the layer you wish to affect is selected and visible (not hidden under other layers).  If you click on the drop down menu and chose the first option (dissolve), you can scroll through all the modes using the up/down arrow keys.  As soon as you click anywhere on the screen you can no longer scroll. For example, if you are importing scanned text with a white background, you can choose blending mode of Darken and the white background disappears.

Advanced:  

Sometimes you need a drop shadow that you can manipulate. If you use the blending options (fx symbol at bottom of pallet) to create your shadow it is limited. You can not move it or transform it.   However if you have it on its own layer then you can use it as you wish.  To make a blending option into its own layer go to Layers>Layer Styles>Create Layer.  Remember the layer must have an effect on it for this to work, and that layer must be selected.

SEPTEMBER

For Beginners:

If you need to move a selection or a layer just a little bit and find that the mouse control is too clumsy, you can nudge them. Use the arrow keys. Each direction will nudge the layer or selection one pixel at a time. Be sure that the move tool is the tool selected or the nudge will not work.

Advanced:

You can get some fun effects using the filter gallery. But after a while it starts to look “Photoshop Filtered”.  To create a unique look with the filters, try blending them. In the filter gallery you can create a new filter layer using the “new layer” icon on the bottom of the filter gallery dialog box.  You can add as many layers as you want.

AUGUST

For Beginners:

It is often said that most digital Photos can use some sharping. Most books advise doing that as a last step. However, if you have layers built up when you go to the unsharp mask filter you will only have the top layer to work on.   (filter>sharpen>unsharp mask).

In order to have a finished layer to sharpen you need to make a composite layer: (hold down shift/ctr/alt at the same time and then click the letter “e”). In Sharpening, a little goes a long way.  Amount: should be under 100%. Radius: I usually go about .50-.70 pixels. Threshold can be left alone. If you find that some areas are over sharpened, you can use a mask on that layer and paint out the over-sharpened areas with black.

Advanced:

A Layer Style can be made into its own layer. This is useful if, for example, you want to distort a drop shadow so that it looks like it is being cast by a specific light source. To make a drop shadow its own layer first select the layer you want to have a shadow (a separated object, perhaps). Go to the Layers Style icon on the bottom of the layers pallet (looks like a distorted letters fx).  From dialog box chose Drop Shadow checkbox. Use sliders to create your drop shadow. Click ok. Then with that layer still selected go to Layers on Menu, chose Layer Styles from the drop down menu. From the next dropdown menu chose Create a Layer (near the bottom). You will get a question box. Click ok. Now the drop shadow is on its own layer and can be transformed.

JULY

For Beginners:

This is exclusively for Elements Users. Because you can not put a mask on layers like you can in full Photoshop you have less control over your editing. There is a work-around to get a mask. Click on the layer you want to mask (or make a composite layer Shift/ctrl/alt with one hand then click letter “e”.) When layer is active go to edit>Define pattern.  When dialog box opens click ok. Now go to layers pallet. Click on adjustment layers (icon at top of pallet) and choose pattern. Your layer will show up now with a mask attached. You can delete the original layer or close the eye on it. Paint with black on the mask to hide parts of the layer. Paint with white to reveal the layer.

Advanced:

If you repeat some steps frequently, (standard resize for example of add a stroke). You can save time by using actions. If the actions window is not open go to windows>and check off actions. When actions opens, click on new set icon on bottom of pallet, (looks like a file folder) give it a name. Then click on new action (looks like a folded piece of paper) and name it. Then click Record. Red button on the action pallet is highlighted. All steps from there on will be recorded until you click stop (the blue square next to the red button).

Next time you need to do that procedure, open the action pallet, choose the set you named, click on the action, then click on the go button > next to red record button and sit back and let Photoshop do the work.

JUNE

For Beginners:

Whenever you wish to do cloning or healing on an image, use a blank layer. This nondestructive editing technique is a good practice to learn. By using a blank layer you have the ability to erase or mask if you go too far. You can rework the area without loosing the original. To use a blank layer click on the blank layer icon on the bottom of the layers pallet (top of layer palette if you use Elements), or go to Layers>New Layers.

Be sure the tool you are using (clone tool, healing brush etc.) has the box checked off in its tool bar that says, either Sample all Layers or This layer and below.

 

 

Advanced:

To remove a color cast quickly, go to the curves adjustment layer. Choose the Gray color picker (there are three eyedroppers available the gray is the middle one).  In your image, click on a neutral gray area. You may have to click around to find the correct gray area but once you find it, the color cast disappears and colors look correct. Also, it is definitely worth while to calibrate your monitor. Although you must purchase devises to do this, if you want to be able to send out your work and get best results it is necessary.

MAY

For Beginners:

The Keyboard shortcut for Transform is “Ctrl+t” When the handles appear around the object or layer to be transformed you can chose what method of transformation you want to use by right clicking inside the transformation box. If you hold down the control key while transforming you can skew or bypass the jump to grid rule. If you hold down the Shift Key while transforming, you will constrain the proportions and not distort your image.

Advanced:

Setting your color space and defining a profile for your files is important. The most common color spaces are sRGB IEC-1966-2.1, Adobe RGB, and ProPhoto RGB. To define your color space go to EDIT>Color Settings>drop down menu and chose your RGB color space. sRGB is the default setting and is the default setting of most cameras. This has, however, a limited color gamute. Higher end cameras can be set with the Adobe RGB color space which has a much wider gamute. ProPhoto RGB is the largest of the available color spaces. You should care that you file has a profile (which is added by photoshop via your color space). Files without a profile will not be consistent and you will not be able to control your color output.

APRIL

For Beginners:

Try using a blank layer when cloning. Click on the new layer icon on the layers pallet to get a new blank layer. Be sure it is the top layer. When you select your clone tool look to see if “all layers” is check off on the tool menu bar. Then begin to clone. Because you are cloning on a separate layer, all work done is not destructive and can be erased or masked if you go too far cloning.

Advanced:

To make a composite layer, (all layers put into one layer without flattening your file) use this keyboard shortcut. With the left hand hold down Shift/ctrl/alt then click the letter “e”. A new layer will pop up. This is useful if you want to have a finished layer on top to sharpen for example but you do not want to flatten your file because you may want to re-edit.

MARCH

For Beginners:

Keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time and energy. The most important one for me is the Brush size shortcut. Since so many tools in Photoshop use brushes it is a good one to learn. You can change bush size on the fly to the exact size you need visually. Just hold down the Bracket Keys (Next to “P” on keyboard). The Left Bracket makes the brush smaller, the right Bracket makes it larger.

Advanced:

Blending modes, (drop down arrow under layers on layers pallet) can be used for many kinds of special effects. If you have a white background that you want to lose (text imported to your image for example), put that layer’s blending mode to Darken. If you want to make the image appear inside the text, use Lighten. Be sure to use a thick bold font if you want to have the image come through the text. Remember, the layer you want the blending mode to affect should be on top of the others.

FEBRUARY

For Beginners:

Working with layers opens up the power of Photoshop. To work nondestructively layers are essential.  Try using layers when cloning with the stamp tool (clone tool).  Open a blank layer on top of the other layers. (use new layer icon on bottom of layer pallet {top of layer pallet in elements}).  Open the Clone Stamp tool. Be sure that “sample all layers” is checked off on the tool menu bar, and clone on this new layer. You can do this no matter which version of Photoshop you are using.

Advanced:

Use Curves to correct a color cast. Open a curves adjustment layer from the icon (fourth from the Left) on the bottom of the layers pallet. (Using an adjustment layer rather than using curves on the layer you are working on is nondestructive and allows later editing.)  Choose the midtone color picker below the histogram and click on a neutral gray area.  Keep clicking until the colors look right and the color cast is gone.

No amount of skilful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. – Edward Hopper

2. If you ever find that Photoshop is not running correctly, it is usually easily fixed by resetting the prefrences to the default. To do this, press and hold the Ctrl-Alt-Shift (Mac- Command-option-Shift) as soon as you start Photoshop. A pop-up box appears asking if you would like to delete your settings file. By deleting that file you will be back to the Photoshop defaults.

FEBRUARY 2010

If you find that you are typing something over and over (like a copyright), you can create a custom brush. To to that, open a new blank document, type in the info you want to use. (to find the © sign hold down the alt key and type 0169 on the number key pad).
he with the move tool select the type by clicking on the T icon in the layers pallet. When your selection is made (see the marching ants)go to Edit>Define Brushes and you will get a dialog box. Name your new brush and it will be added to your brush set.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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