Photo Editing on the Cheap
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Photo Editing on the Cheap

The Pixelmator Crash Course. Because Photoshop is way too expensive.
4.1 (232 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
22,757 students enrolled
Created by Jeremy Shuback
Last updated 4/2013
Price: Free
  • 44 mins on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of the course you'll be able to take objects out of photos, isolate sections of photos, as well as insert objects into other photographs.
View Curriculum
  • You will need to buy a copy of Pixelmator for $15.

If you're looking to learn how to edit photos, but don't want to shell out the money for Photoshop, Pixelmator is a fantastic alternative.

This course covers:

  • Basic Color Correction
  • How to take Objects out of an Image
  • Isolating Parts of an Image
  • Working with Layers
  • Working with Selection

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is intended for those who need to do light photo editing on a fairly regular basis.
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Curriculum For This Course
Introduction to Pixelmator
1 Lecture 01:56
Pixelmator is the best cheap alternative to Photoshop on a Mac aimed at people who aren't power users, and just need to do light photo editing. The goal of this course is to get you quickly started with a good handle on how to use the program.
Why Pixelmator
Finding Your Images
2 Lectures 04:01
Short answer -  and Creative Commons Images are fantastic if you know where to look and properly quote your source.
Where to Find Free Images Online

While this mostly goes over quoting your source on Wordpress, it also applies to just about any web page using the same techniques. 

How to find the original Flickr Photo URL and User from a Static Flickr Image URL/Permalink 

The key phrase to enter into the URL is[##########]

Always Quote Your Source
The Basics
8 Lectures 09:18
We start with the incredibly easy, with the hopes that this should be fairly easy to figure out.
Opening an Image

This is one of those tasks that can be done with plenty of free tools, and if all you ever need to do is crop and resize,  or  probably are all you'll need. 
Cropping and Resizing

Keep it as a PXM (pixelmator file format) if you plan to keep working on the image.
TIFF if you want full quality and plan to hand the image off to someone else.
For final web output once you're done:
JPG at a quality of 60 for a good compromise between size and quality
PNG with transparency if you need transparencies.

For more shortcuts, check out: 

But that's more than you should try to memorize all at once.

Basic Shortcuts

These are the very basics, and also all you'll need for 90% of all images.
Basic Color Correcting

How to make an image black and white only.
Black and White

How to add text to an image.
Adding Text

If this is all you need to do, a more intuitive tool than Pixelmator for this is Pixlr Express
It's so simple, it's not even worth telling you how to use it, as I'm sure you can figure it out on your own.
Multiple Images in One
Selection and Layers
7 Lectures 11:13
From this point forward, we're covering topics that Pixelmator does a much better job with than any of the online tools. Anything that involves selection, is prime territory for this program. Stick with me. It's worth it.
Selecting Basic Shapes

Please drop a comment or question if anything in this lecture or future lectures are confusing. 
Using the marquee, wand, and lasso tools to create active regions is the key to manipulating any image. 
In short - 
Step one) Create an active region using one of the selection tools.
Step two) Do something with that active region (change its color, copy it into a new image, etc.)
Step three) Repeat until everything is perfect.
I'll be going through different ways of creating active regions and what you can do with them once they're created, but it's important to understand the concept of active regions and how that's the foundation of image editing.
Isolating a Simple Object

Here's where it all starts coming together.

If this is your first foray into image editing, it's probably a good idea to watch this lecture and the previous lecture a couple of times as they are fairly content dense. Then practice, practice, practice.

Removing a Simple Background

The hope is that this reinforces the material in the previous two lectures by showing a more involved example.
Cutting Out Complex Shapes

To learn more about layers, here are a few links:
For a much deeper look at understanding layers, check out my class: - all of the concepts of Photoshop apply to Pixelmator as well in this case.

Or at this point, you're on strong enough ground that I'm betting you can learn a thing or two by simply Googling It  and watching a few more of the videos until it clicks. Make sure you understand layers before you go forward.

A Brief Look at Layers

Knowing how to make advanced selections is very important for getting more powerful results in Pixelmator.
Going Deeper with Complicated Images

This is continuing the principals of how to get advanced selections. Understanding and getting good at this is incredibly important if you want to avoid that ransom note cut out look. And to be clear, that is something you want to avoid.
Advanced Selection
Removing Out Parts of an Image
6 Lectures 17:01
Shifting gears, another one of Pixelmator's strengths is in photo correcting. We're going to build up more and more complicated examples with each lecture in this section.
Removing Simple Objects

This reviews a similar concept to the previous lecture with the hopes of reinforcing it.
Simple Healing

It's important to note, doing a good job at this takes a lot of practice. I make it look easy, and that's simply not fair as I've been practicing this for about 14 years. Expect to struggle with this technique the first few times, and then hopefully build your skills. Don't get frustrated if it's a lot harder for you to pull this off as that's only natural. Give it time.
Background Extension

We're using an extreme example of perspective distortion in this image, but it's possible you have an image that's only slightly distorted perspective-wise. It's always good to make sure it looks completely professional and polished when you post it.
Fixing Perspective

We've reached the holy grail of image correction. Anything more intense and involved than this is probably best left to a program like Photoshop, and would take so much practice that your best bet is to just hire someone talented to do it for you. If you need very serious image editing on a rare occasion there's a good chance it's not worth the time investment learning the skill themselves.

However, if you are looking to take your skills to the next level and will be editing on a regular basis, this is a good time to check out my far more in depth course The Photoshop CS6 Crash Course. With over 3,000 students and over 70 five star reviews, it's a great way to save a year of frustration and jump right into using the program like a pro.

Removing a Person

If you are looking to take your skills to the next level and will be editing on a regular basis, this is a good time to check out my far more in depth course The Photoshop CS6 Crash Course and join over 3,000 people that have learned how to use Photoshop through it.
Removing a Shadow
Example Files and Wrap Up
2 Lectures 01:40
Source Images

In Conclusion
About the Instructor
Jeremy Shuback
4.5 Average rating
860 Reviews
34,362 Students
3 Courses
Animation Director

Jeremy Shuback is an Animation Director who's directed over a hundred shorts in the last ten years. His shorts have been featured in the WSJ, CNN, NPR, WaPo, and many other places. In 2016 he directed, Shaboom! an animated children's series and currently he's directing an educational series about the basics of the religion Judaism.

On the side, he strives to create absurdly good courses. He's flown to hundreds of cities to teach classes on design and on marketing.

For more about him and his work, head to his website.