Archive | February, 2011

TOP TEN THINGS I WISH I’D LEARNED ABOUT PHOTOSHOP AT THE VERY BEGINNING: a tale of embarrassment and strife

2 Feb

I would just like to start by saying that it is not the fault of my schooling so much as the fault of everyone for not specifically handing me a sheet of paper with these things written on it. If there were a contest for who could forget verbal instructions the fastest, I would totally… what were we talking about?

  1. Press F once and the image will float in the middle of a sea of grey, and you can see where things outside the border are going without having to zoom way out. Press F again and the grey becomes black. Press F again and you return to the default. Also, you can right-click the grey to change said grey to a different colour, if for example your image would contrast best against white or fluorescent beige or something.PRESS F ONCE

    PRESS F TWICE

    PRESS F ONCE, RIGHT-CLICK THE BACKGROUND AND GET READY TO HAVE YOUR BRAIN LITERALLY EXPLODE

  2. Layer masks. I missed this when my instructor explained it and wasted SO MUCH TIME for years. Instead of throwing out pieces of your layer, you can make the selection and then click the little vector mask button at the bottom of the layer panel (a circle in a square) and it will crop the layer for you into a mask in the shape of your selection. Okay. Stop laughing at me.(You can apply a layer mask to a group as well! Suddenly it’s almost like you’re using a program that isn’t the worst)
  3. Command+click the layer thumbnail to make a selection around the layer.
  4. Command+delete to fill a selection with your foreground colour. Alt+delete to fill a selection with your background colour. (ultra-newbies: foreground and background refers to the two colours in your toolbar)
  5. HOWEVER, since photoshop hates sunshine, there will likely be an obnoxious little line around the selection that didn’t get covered by your new colour. So if you need your shit to look perfect, Color Overlay in the Layer Properties is the way to go.
  6. Window-Paragraph and Window-Character if you’re working with type. That’s where all the really wonderful type adjustment tools are hiding. But don’t look for tab adjustment tools to make hanging indents or other such FRIVOLITIES, because you’re never going to find them. I know. I’m sorry.
  7. And… this isn’t really Photoshop specific, but I see y’all there on the internet with your text graphics and your complete disregards for typographic standards. ALT-LEFT or ALT-RIGHT between letters so they don’t look l ike th i s . IT MATTERS.
  8. Window-Actions. AND, File-Automate-Batch… It will save your life.
  9. In the end, it’s almost always worth it to take the time to use the pen tool to crop shit out, instead of faking it with the lasso tool or what have you.
  10. Filter-Liquify and Filter-Blur-Surface Blur are good tools for the self-conscious types. Solid colour layers and gradient maps with different blending modes can also give your picture flattering colours. But like… moderation.

That’s all I got. If you actually get something out of this and want clarification, don’t hesitate to ask!