Photoshop Professor Notes - Volumes 1 - 5
A Photoshop Master Class for Photographers, Graphic Designers, Multimedia Production Technicians and anyone else
This is Volume1 through 5 in my “Photoshop - Beginners to Intermediate” series. I have developed this series over many years of teaching at both the College and University levels in a variety of departments including the Multimedia Program, Graphic Design Program, the Fashion Program, and the Creative Photography Programs both daytime and evening diploma and certificate programs. This course in Adobe Photoshop starts right at the very beginning assuming that the learner has no experience in using the application.
Photoshop Professor Notes - Volume 1
Setting Photoshop up for Success - Mastering the Photoshop Document, the Workspace, Essential Settings and Much More ...
Lecture 1: Navigating the Document Window
Knowing how to effectively and efficiently navigate around your image files (the document window) will allow you to zoom in and zoom out and focus on specific areas of interest in your images.
Lecture 2: Setting Up Our Preferences
Setting Photoshop up for success allows us to fine tune how the application performs. Photoshop is factory set for very generic purposes and not set up for photography.
Lecture 3: Setting Up Photoshop’s Colour Settings
Changing these default factory settings will allow your images to look clearer, cleaner and more vibrant in ways your friends, family and coworker’s images won’t because they aren’t aware of these issues.
Lecture 4: Creating a New Document
There are a number of ways to create new documents and knowing these little secrets will allow you to create your masterpieces faster like creating a new image file with the same attributes as your currently open file.
Lecture 5: Arranging Panels and Groups
Learning how to arrange and then rearrange Photoshop’s Panels and Panel Groups allows you to work on your images with less clutter in the application’s interface.
Lecture 6: Creating a Custom Workspace
Learning to modify Photoshop’s workspace so that only the tools and panels that you use most frequently are showing can help you work more efficiently.
Lecture 7: Learn how to use the Colour Head’s Up Display (HUD)
The Colour Head’s Up Display is just a fancy name for a really cool way to select existing colours in your image. Why is this important you ask? Well, for one thing, if you ever want to type some text over your image and you want to use a colour that already is in your image, using the HUD is quick and easy to do.
Lecture 8: An Introduction to File Size and Resolution
File size and resolution can be one of the biggest hurdles to wrap your head around for the average person. Getting a handle on this topic can greatly assist you if you ever wanted to create a montage or collage of any kind where you bring one or more images together for a birthday or anniversary collage.
Photoshop Professor Notes - Volume 2
Creating Great Selections ...
This is Volume 2 of 5 in my “Photoshop - Beginners to Intermediate” series. I have developed this series over many years of teaching at both the College and University levels in a variety of departments including the Multimedia Program, Graphic Design Program, the Fashion Program, and the Creative Photography Programs both daytime and evening diploma and certificate programs.
First of all, why would you ever need to make a selection? Well, if you have ever wanted to make a change in your image on a specific part of the image, one of the easiest ways to do that is with a selection. You see, selections allow you to isolate areas that you want to make a change in and protect the other areas from that change. Learning how to use all of the selection tools properly will allow you to make these changes to your images so your viewers won’t know you did anything to your image.
Lecture 1: The Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee Tools
Knowing how to use these selection tools will assist you in making great selections. Have you ever wanted to make a selection of a square object in your image(s) but were not successful? Knowing how to modify the Rectangle Marquee selection in order to create a perfect square is just one thing you’ll learn in this volume. have you ever wanted to enhance or modify the moon (or any other circular object) in one of your images? Knowing how to modify the Elliptical Marquee selection tool will allow you to make these changes in an undetectable way to your viewers.
Lecture 2: The 3 Lasso Style Selection Tools
Probably one of the most often used selection tools is the Lasso Tool. The main Lasso Tool is what we call a “free hand style” drawing tool. Just click and drag around the area that you want to change. But what if you wanted to select an object that has straight lines and curved lines? Or what if your hands are not as steady as you would like but you still need to make a selection - try the magnetic lasso tool.
Lecture 3: The Selection Brush and the Magic Wand Tools
The Selection Brush is relatively new to Photoshop. Not everybody fully understands how to use this selection tool, but you will. the Magic Wand Tool is probably the absolute most used selection tool in Photoshop. In this lecture I will show you how to fully use it for amazing results.
Lecture 4: Adding to and subtracting from a Selection
What if your selections are not perfect on the first attempt and you need to add some more to the selection or take away some of it. This lecture will teach how to modify your selections by adding some more to your current selection or by taking away some of the stray areas that should not be part of the selection.
Lecture 5: Modifying your Selections
More on modifying your selections. Creating that transitional edge between the part that is selected and the part that you want to protect from your changes is critical to making believable enhancements. What if your selection is the right shape but it is too large or too small. You will learn how to manage these situations with your selections in this lecture.
Lecture 6: The Refine Edge Feature
Years ago we had this great feature in Photoshop called the Extract Tool which would allow us to extract say a person from an image so we place that person in another image easily. Well, that tool has been replaced by the Refine Edge Tool and it is really amazing to use. As it’s name indicates, it allows you great flexibility in refining the edges of your selections.
Lecture 7: Making Selections Based on Colour
A quick and easy way to make selections in your images can be to base that selection on colour. In this lecture you will learn how to say, select a blouse or pair of slacks in order to change their colour or brightness making that selected object either darker or lighter.
Lecture 8: Select and Fill in Just One Click
The paint bucket tool has had a bit of a facelift in recent versions of Photoshop and understanding how and when to properly use this selection tool in what you will learn in this lecture.
Photoshop Professor Notes - Volume 3
Understanding Layers ...
This is Volume 3 of 5 in my “Photoshop - Beginners to Intermediate” series. I have developed this series over many years of teaching at both the College and University levels in a variety of departments including the Multimedia Program, Graphic Design Program, the Fashion Program, and the Creative Photography Programs both daytime and evening diploma and certificate programs.
As a fundamental concept of Photoshop since version 3 (not CS3 but version 3), Layers are probably one of the most flexible ways to work in Photoshop as far as editing our images is concerned.
Lecture 1: Let’s look at some Layers - An Overview of Layers
If you don’t already know what Layers are in Photoshop, this lecture will enlighten you to the fact that Layers are an integral part of any photoshop image and are used extensively in creating collages, montages and in scrapbooking projects. For example, if you wanted to type some text in your image, such as “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations”, you would do this on a separate layer from the image itself.
Lecture 2: An In-depth look at Layers
In this lecture we explain what the different kinds of layer there are in Photoshop. As mentioned in Lecture 1, there are Type Layers as well as Adjustment Layers. Along with Adjustment Layers come Layer Masks. Layer masks help you hide portions of a layer.
Lecture 3: Creating New Layers
As with anything in Photoshop, there are approximately half a dozen ways to do something as this goes for getting new Layers into your image. Depending on what you are working on, you’ll want to choose one of the many ways there are to get that new layer into your image file.
Lecture 4: Drag ’n Drop and Copy ‘n Paste Layer Contents
These are two methods used to bring parts of other images into your main image. They both have their pros and cons and understanding which method to use with the task at hand is really important. You’ll learn all of the ins and outs here.
Lecture 5: Layer Groups
When you are working on a project that includes many layers in your image file, things can get a bit messy and disorganized but with Layer Groups we can keep a handle on this.
Lecture 6: Adjustment Layers
Since you already kind of understand what Layers in Photoshop are, then moving on to adjustable layers should be a smooth transition. If you performed an adjustment to a normal layer and for example say you made a change to lighten the image using Levels, then these adjustments would be permanent because you made the adjustment to the actual pixels in that layer. If you used Adjustment Layers, which are basically mathematical calculations floating above your image, then you could go back and make more changes for as many times as you wish. Nothing is permanent with Adjustment Layers.
Lecture 7: layer Styles
Layer Styles are the cool effects that you can apply to aspects of your image. say for example you did create that text I mentioned earlier, “Happy Birthday”. Well with Layer Styles you could add a drop shadow and a stroke to that text. There are others that can be applied as well and ... just like so many other things in Photoshop, these layer Styles are completely editable forever and a day.
Lecture 8: Layer Masks
Layer Masks are very very cool. They offer a way to hide and show portions of a layer or for that matter a complete layer. All adjustment layers come with white layer masks by default. You paint with black on that Layer Mask to hide portions. Unlike using the Eraser tool which permanently removes the pixels, painting with black on layer masks only temporarily hides those pixels because you can just as easily paint back over that area with white to reveal those pixels again.
Lecture 9: Layer Opacity and Fill Settings
Learning the differences between these two settings will make a large difference in your approach to designing your layouts in Photoshop. When I ask students if they know the difference between the two or to explain the differences, they go blank. It’s not difficult and once explained, it makes perfect sense. This is one of those topics that is better explained visually than with words.
Photoshop Professor Notes - Volume 4
Colour Corrections and Dynamic Range ...
This is Volume 4 of 5 in my “Photoshop - Beginners to Intermediate” series. I have developed this series over many years of teaching at both the College and University levels in a variety of departments including the Multimedia Program, Graphic Design Program, the Fashion Program, and the Creative Photography Programs both daytime and evening diploma and certificate programs.
Lecture 1: Understanding Auto Tone, Auto Contrast and Auto Colour
This lecture introduces the basic “Auto” image correction features available in Photoshop and compares and contrasts them with an explanation of what each are doing.
Lecture 2: The Colour Balance Feature and Hue/Saturation
There are many ways, methods and features in photoshop that allow you to change colours in your image. In this lecture we discuss two of the most commonly used approaches and in using them as adjustment layers, we can always go back and make any changes we feel are necessary.
Lecture 3: Using Photo Filters
This approach to changing colours is one of the forgotten methods. Using actual Photo Filters over a camera’s lens was one of the only ways film photographers could change colours in their images with out getting into the colour darkroom. Not many went into a colour darkroom and left that task to the darkroom technicians.
Also, using these filters over a lens affected the entire image whereas in Photoshop with the use of Adjustment layers, we can affect certain ares of our image and leave the rest unchanged.
Lecture 4: Using Levels, Colour Balance and Hue/Saturation
In this lecture we use a variety of approaches on images to make colour changes to our images in order to enhance them so the look more like what our mind’s eye saw when we first thought about taking the image in the first place.
Lecture 5: Using Levels to Adjust Mid-Tones
This lecture adds to all of the previous methods and techniques discussed. Adjusting the mid-tones to either lighten or darken the individual red, green or blue channels or components of an image can make some amazing results.
Photoshop Professor Notes - Volume 5
Retouching and Repairing Your Images ...
This is Volume 5 of 5 in my “Photoshop - Beginners to Intermediate” series. I have developed this series over many years of teaching at both the College and University levels in a variety of departments including the Multimedia Program, Graphic Design Program, the Fashion Program, and the Creative Photography Programs both daytime and evening diploma and certificate programs.
Lecture 1: Clone Stamp, Patch, Healing & Spot Healing Brush & Red Eye Removal Tool
Knowing how to properly use Photoshop’s retouching tools is essential to making your images look realistic when you are done. When viewers look at you images you want them to ask the question; “Was Photoshop used on this image?” as opposed to making the statement; “Photoshop was used to make this image!”. If you have ever had a great image of a family photo where everyone in the picture was smiling and had their eyes open except for that one person and you wished you knew how to fix that in Photoshop, then this lecture is for you.
Lecture 2: Modifying Your Brushes
When using most of the retouching tools in Photoshop you will notice that they are brush based. that means that the tool is a brush and the effect you wish to apply is done so in a painting manner. For example in the previous lecture description I mention about possibly replacing some’s closed eye for an open one. Using the Clone Stamp Tool, which is a brush, you can sample form one image and paint into another image. Learning how to modify your brushes will allow you to paint in a more organic fashion which will leave you with a more realistic end result.
Lecture 3: Understanding the Dust & Scratches Filter
Understanding how this filter works can save you lots and lots of time when trying to clean up old images that may have been scanned in and given to you to work on. We all have these old images. Some are colour and some would be black & white and if they have been sitting in a shoe box for the past 20 years or so, chance they will have dust embedded into them and the easiest way to clean them up is using this filter.
Lecture 4: Using the History Brush and the History Panel for Creative Work
So moving forward and building upon the last lecture, we can further enhance our image using the History Brush and the History Panel. You can do some pretty amazing things with this technique and I encourage you to do so.
Lecture 5: Using the Straighten Tool and Content-Aware to Fix Images
Using the Straighten tool is very straight forward but until you are shown that it exists and how to use it, you may be spending too much time using other methods to get that horizon to line up properly. The Content-Aware feature is just plain magic. This tool, when used properly, will assist you in ridding your images of unwanted objects with three clicks of a mouse button. Okay, maybe four.
Lecture 6: Understanding the Vanishing Point Filter
This is truly one Photoshop’s under used and misunderstood Filters. It’s not really a filter in the traditional sense - it’s more like a tool and it is very useful. It allows you to clone in perspective. What does that mean? You know how when you use the Clone Tool to clone say along the side of a building to clean something up. If you start from the front and work your way backwards, the clone job doesn’t look very real because the size of the clone brush stays the same from front to back but in reality it should get smaller as it travels towards the back - this filter will allow you to clone in perspective.
Lecture 7: Bonus Lecture - Finalizing the Panorama ...
In this final lecture we go over many of the previously discussed tools and techniques and add in more techniques in order to bring it all together. If the light has not already gone on, I am hoping that this will do the trick.