Photoshop CS6 Crash Course
- 4 hours on-demand video
- 1 article
- 1 downloadable resource
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Understanding the Basics - goes over how to navigate the interface, basic shortcut keys, adding text, working with images, and other features to get you up and running as quickly as possible.
- Layers - shows you how to combine multiple images, resize them, split them apart, and add in color boxes.
- Selections - starts by showing how to remove simple images from a photograph and finishes by showing how to select out strands of hair and change the background.
- Color Correction - goes from simple corrections to in depth theory. It uses this theory to fix complicated photographs, change the color of a shirt from yellow to green, and even turn part of an image into black and white.
- Object Removal - isn't just about how to remove a pimple. It covers removing wires, large objects such as a fencepost, and even how to get rid of something like a date stamp when it is in front of a person's face.
- Beauty Retouching - I show you how to remove wrinkles, increase the size of an eye or decrease your nose size, how to smooth skin, what to do if you make a mistake, and how to fix problems such as bloodshot eyes.
- Compositing - you see how all of these individual tools we've learned along the way can actually be combined to accomplish just about anything, from merging together household goods to to removing a person from a photograph and putting someone else in that person's place.
- Wrap Up - shows how this is a solid grounding and while there's still plenty to learn, you now know enough to be dangerous.
- This course assumes no prior knowledge and starts with the very basics.
This course takes you from knowing nothing about Photoshop to having an incredibly good handle on the program in as little time as possible.
The three legs of Photoshop are:
* Color Correction
If you understand how to manipulate those three elements you can accomplish just about anything with Photoshop. This course starts by going over those concepts and then shows how to combine them for powerful results. Rather than showing you every single feature this course focuses on the features people actually use without boring you to tears on the other tools. The instructor Jeremy Shuback has taught over 150 000 people Photoshop and works as a professional designer. He uses Photoshop every day to create everything from billboards to photorealistic matte paintings for feature films. More importantly he understands that you don't want to spend 14 hours straight trying to learn Photoshop.
- Whether you're new to Photoshop or have been using it for years but were never quite comfortable with concepts such as layers, this course will get you up to speed.
When you first open Photoshop, there's an intimidating amount of windows, icons and tools. For now, let's simplify it down to just three.
- The Toolbar ( Window > Tools )
- The Main Canvas ( File > New... )
- The Layers Palette ( Window > Layers )
We'll get more complicated later, but for now let's make things as simple as possible.
If your Photoshop screen looks different then the one in the video, go to Window > Workspace > Essentials (Default) and then Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials and we'll both be on the same page.
In order to use Photoshop well, memorize the following shortcut keys:
Ctrl + : Zoom In
Ctrl - : Zoom Out
Spacebar : Pan Around
Ctrl + 0 : Fit to Screen
Ctrl + Z : Undo
Ctrl + A : Select all
Ctrl + C : Copy
Ctrl + V : Paste
Ctrl + X : Cut
F : Change Screen Mode
Tab : Solo Canvas
- Understanding the concept of Tools.
- How to move objects with the Move Tool.
- How to add text to an image with the Text Tool.
- Using the Options Bar.
- Adjusting text with the Character Panel.
- How to move around where the panels are docked.
- How to add an image to a blank canvas
- The tranform tool
- Constraining the proportions when tranforming using Shift
- Understanding the importance of modifiers keys in every tool: Shift, Alt, and Control
While this only deals with the transform tool, almost every tool can be improved and expanded on by using modifiers keys. For the transform tool, Shift constrains the proportions, Alt keeps the center point in the same place, and Control allows you to edit individual corners to create effects such as perspective.
However, no sane person first dipping into Photoshop is going to remember what the three modifier keys do for 40 different tools. It's much easier to just press one, see what happens, and if it's the wrong one just undo that action and try another. With practice, you'll get to know which modifier keys do what in every tool.
While a check box doesn't sound sexy, this is the most important on/off switch in the entire program. Knowing this opens up a world of possibility, and I'm always surprised how few people know about it.
In the option bar of the move tool, this auto select layer option lets you automatically select whatever layer your cursor is on top of.
Layers are one of the fundamental building blocks of Photoshop. To understand Photoshop, you need to understand layers. In short, each individual object in a document is called a layer.
- Understanding what a layer is
- Changing the opacity of a layer
- Changing the stacking order
- Turning the visibility of layers on and off
- Deleting Layers
- Duplicating Layers
- Smart Objects vs. Regular Layers
- Moving Images from one canvas to another
- An Introduction to the Rectangular Marquee Tool (aka Make-A-Square tool)
- Creating Smart Objects
- Creating Normal Layers
- Convert to Smart Object by right clicking in layer palette and pressing Convert to Smart Object
- Convert to Normal Layer by right clicking in layer palette and pressing Rasterize
Ctrl + T - Free Transform
Ctrl ~ - on a Mac to switch between different canvases
Ctrl Shift Tab - on a PC to switch between different canvases
Ctrl Alt Z - Step Back in History Window (aka Multiple Undo's at once)
Whenever using a tool, play with what happens when you:
- Right click and see a contextual menu
- Press Shift and click and drag
- Press Alt and click and drag
- Press Ctrl and click and drag
Don't bother memorizing what the modifiers do for every tool. Instead, just be aware that all of the modifier keys do something different in every tool. Try one. If it's the wrong one, hit Ctrl Z to undo, and try another one.
In Transform Mode, pressing Ctrl allows you to adjust individual corners. But memorizing that is entirely besides the point.
When you create an active region, only the pixels within that active region can be edited. If you press delete, only the pixels within the active region are deleted. You can only paint within that active region. If you use the move tool, it won't move the full layer, it will only move the active region. If you copy and paste, it will copy and paste the active region. Not the whole layer.
If something isn't working right, the first place to look is layers. Are you on the right layer? The second place to look is seeing if there's an active region selected.
To remove an active region go to Select > Deselect.
There are three main tools that let you create active regions.
The Rectangular Marquee let's you create active regions in the shape of squares.
The Lasso Tool works like a pair of scissors, letting you cut out an active region.
The Magic Wand creates an active region for everything that's the same color. Its options include Contiguous (is it touching) and Sample all Layers.
The Lasso Tool allows you to cut part of an image out.
To phrase that more technically, with the lasso tool you can create an active region in whatever shape you like.
Setting one layer between the background layer, and a duplicate of part of the background layer to make it appear as that in between layer is behind an object in the image.
The Magnetic Lasso Tool will automatically stick to any clear edge. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.
General techniques with the Lasso Tool:
- Hit Delete to undo the most recent points set by the lasso tool
- You can hold down spacebar to pan the canvas while using the lasso tool
- Start creating the active region in the middle of an object, not on the edge
- Never try to do a large area in one fell swoop
- Grow the active region by starting with one small section, and holding down shift to keep adding to it
The term 'active region' and 'selection' are interchangeable.
When Quick Select, the Magic Wand, and the Lasso Tool don't work, the next place to turn is Select > Color Range.
When the dialogue box appears, the cursor turns to an eye dropper when you're over the image. Click on the color you want to select and shift select if you want to select a couple. Keep it limited to no more than three colors.
In the dialogue box, everything that's white is part of the active region. Everything that's black is not.
You can adjust the Fuzziness (same as Tolerance when using the Magic Wand) to shift how much the white encompasses.
When making a difficult selection, often you'll need multiple copies of the same layer to make it work. On the first duplicate of the original layer you might have a rough color range applied. On another you might have a rough lasso tool cut out. On a third you might have a specific section. By combining them together, incredibly complex selections can emerge.
- An introduction to Color Correction
- Where to find the color correction options
- Color Adjustment Layers
- The Properties Panel
- Fixing contrast with Brightness / Contrast
- Fixing color casting with Color Balance
- Fixing the white and black points with Level's auto option
- Adjusting the opacity of a color adjustment layer
The three dimensions of color are value, chroma, and hue.
If the darks aren't completely black and/or the lights aren't completely white, there's a problem with value.
If the colors aren't vibrant or saturated enough, there's a problem with chroma.
If what's supposed to be red looks orange or there's some other variety of color casting, there's a problem with the hue.
In short, when fixing an image, the goal is to make the darkest point black, the lightest point white, and the mid point a nice neutral grey with no color casting taking place.
A deeper look into color theory, and showing Curves used on multiple images.
For a reminder of the complimentary hues, create a Color Balance Color Adjustment Layer. They are:
- Red to Cyan
- Green to Magenta
- Blue to Yellow
Every color in the Curves drop down at the top allows you to not only increase how prominent the color listed is by moving the midpoint on that color's curve, but also how prominent the complimentary color's prominence is. For instance, if after setting the black point, white point, and midpoint you want to make an image more yellow, you:
- Go to the drop down in the Curves dialogue box that reads RGB.
- Drop down to Blue.
- Shift the midpoint of that blue down a small amount by clicking on a point in the middle of that diagonal line and lowering it.
- Because yellow is the complimentary color of blue, yellow is added as blue is taken away.
Whenever you create a Color Adjustment Layer, the layer also has a blank white square. It's called a Mask, but don't worry about that. The white square allows you to paint on the canvas to decide where the color should actually be adjusted. Wherever that part of the layer is white, it gets adjusted. Wherever it's black is not.
The various options for a mask, such as Invert, can be found in the Properties panel.
Use X to switch the foreground and background colors.
While mostly serving to reinforce the concepts of the last video, this also shows how an active region can automatically become the mask of a color adjustment layer. Also, an introduction to the Refine Edge option, a powerful way to improve the quality of the active region's edge.
How to turn a section of your image black and white while leaving the rest in full color. Also, how to fix red eye, a review of the selection process with the magnetic lasso and refine selection, and adding in a Black & White Color Adjustment layer.
How to apply these color correction methods to fix the "business card" we've been dead set on creating from the start.
While not covered in this video, here's a run down of the subjects covered in this chapter.
- Color Adjustment Layers:
- Color Balance
- Black and White
In Curves, we covered:
- Adjusting the Auto settings
- Adjusting the RGB diagonal and the Red, Green, and Blue diagonals
We discussed painting on the black and white image in the Color Adjustment Layers to make what's being color corrected more targeted.
Also, we spent a bit of time discussing what the goals are when trying to fix an image's color, and how the three dimensions of color work together.
How to get rid of a pimple and other simple objects with the clone stamp.
- What is the Magnifying Glass (Zoom Tool)
- An introduction to the Clone Stamp
- With the clone stamp, alt click to sample the area to copy from, let go of the mouse, and then paste into whatever area you click on next
- Always do your corrections on a blank layer above the image layer. That way, if you make a mistake, you can erase it
A variety of keyboard shortcuts to help you while using any tool with a brush. That includes the clone stamp, the healing brush, the eraser, and the quick select tool, among others.
] to increase the size of a brush
[ to decrease the size of a brush
D to set the background and foreground color to the default, black and white
X to switch the foreground and background color
The most difficult thing to do when using the clone stamp is keeping nice edges. It's also what makes the difference between an image fix that works and one that looks like absolute garbage. Here's how to go about doing great fixes to images.
By using Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur on a duplicated layer, and then erasing out all of the parts that aren't skin, the skin can get a smoother look.
As a note, there are far more involved ways to do just about every element of beauty retouching, but this works as a basic starting point.
If a lot of red veins are popping up in the eyes, one way to fix that is by selecting the eyes, and then creating a Hue/Saturation Color Adjustment layer.
In the properties panel set the main drop down of what's getting adjusted to red, and then increase the lightness and possibly decrease the saturation.
Reiterating the tools and concepts already discussed by using them to combine two objects.
The hardest part of taking a person out of an image is figuring out what should go in his or her place. In this instance there was generic foliage to us. That's not always an availble luxury. If there's nothing to put in place of the person it becomes an incredibly advanced thing to try and attempt.
The goal of this class was to get you up and running in Photoshop as quickly and proficiently as possible. The tools touched on here are the ones most people actually use. This class purposefully left out all of the lesser used tools to not bog you down with needless information.
With that said, there are a couple of concepts that are absolutely worth learning after you master what was covered here. The major one is Masks. Beyond that: Channels, advanced brushes, vectors, and advanced photo retouching all come to mind.
It largely depends on what you need to do with the program. For most, what was covered here will be enough. For some, this will hopefully have been the sure footed grounding you needed to keep moving forward.