Yes, this is yet another Photoshop screencast on the Internet. However, unlike other Photoshop eCourses, this little production cherry-picks and only covers the techniques that will get you up and running in an Internet heartbeat, or rather — up and arranging — your own pretty layouts and collages for your blogs and websites.
By the end of the 50 screencasts, you will have completed 5 hours of hands-on practice with several pretty blog post layouts under your belt. You’ll know the good stuff about brushes and patterns, and how powerful blend modes can be. You’ll also know how to create clipping masks and add borders and drop shadows as neat effects to your images. We’ll work with shapes, layer masks, and I’ll show you how I make selections with the pen tool. And, best of all, we’ll walk through numerous layout examples. Hey, these videos are best viewed full-screen in HD. Watch, do, study, practice, and enjoy!
The first thing we’ll do is take a quick tour of Adobe Photoshop. I’m going to work with CS6. If you’re planning to use an older version — no problem. However, please be aware that there might be some minor user interface differences. Since I’ve worked a lot with CS3, I’ve made an effort to make note of most of them. Although Photoshop CS6 has a lot of new features, I focused on techniques compatible with CS3, and I think it’s safe to assume that they’ll work fine in CS4 and CS5.
- toolbox, options, and panels
- photoshop preferences
- how to customize your workspace
- application window (cs6)
- change your UI colors (cs6)
Textbook and Recommended Readings
If you want more info about anything I cover in class, we have a textbook and you can download a free copy here. It’s called Photoshop CS6: The Missing Manual. If you like it and wish to own a physical copy, you have the option of buying it directly from Amazon. The pages I recommend below cover the techniques I show in the screencast, in great detail.
- 11-24 (getting started, basic stuff)
- pg. 25 (power of undo and preferences)
- pg. 29 (revert, preferences, share options)
And, if you’re using other versions of Photoshop, you might want to check out these free textbook alternatives: CS3, CS4, CS5.
If you’ve dabbled with Photoshop, you probably know many of the things we’ll cover today: cropping, resizing, changing the canvas size, opening a document, etc. So, you can skip some of the screencasts if the titles look familiar and come back to them later as necessary. If you want to use the same image that I’ll be using for many of the lessons, watch the first screencast or just download the image from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
- download images from Flickr
- create new document
- crop, resize, and duplicate documents
- edit canvas size
- minor image retouching
- add text and center
- save doc as psd
- save for the web
41-42, 44-45, 47-53, 59, 67, 75-79, 82, 84-85, 87, 92-93, 100, 106
Le Jardin @ BHL (via Miss Moss)
Today is all about text. We’ll download and install fonts, look at how we can create text, vertical type, and a few other exercises like how to use the type mask tool — all good stuff.
- download and install fonts
- point and paragraph texts
- character and paragraph panels
- vertical type tool
- type mask tool
93, 98, 582-586, 588-593, 599-602, 603-605, 612-616
Photoshop brushes are useful and fun. We can use them to paint and draw, obviously, but we can also use them to create labels, simple dots, and lines. You’ll learn how to set up your brushes and how to make them from scratch.
- how to install brushes
- brushes as labels
- dots and lines
- straight lines and spacing
- brush panel settings
- how to make your own brush
9, 516-517, 520, 527, 531
4.1 // Symbol Brushes, Misprinted Type, and some alternatives
Patterns can be used to create textures and seamless backgrounds. Today I’m going to show you how to create a seamless diagonal pattern and a seamless floral pattern. But, if you don’t want to make patterns, there are a lot of great patterns out there. I’ll show you how you can download and install them.
- how to make a seamless diagonal pattern
- download and install patterns
- how to create another seamless pattern
- a short note about layer groups
Line25 pixel patterns
Hey guys, before watching screencasts No.5.4 through 5.8, please take a break and make sure that you’ve covered the part on brushes. Also, please watch the screencasts about layer masks. Or, you can skip the following exercises and come back — totally up to you!
Changing a layer’s blending mode can have neat effects. They have the power to transform images and sometimes, the results can be dramatic. Other times, the results are simple — but those can be the coolest looks. For example, blend modes have their role in product collages in the form of the multiply blend mode. I’ll go through a demo in today’s screencast.
- what are blend modes?
- links to other resources
< 9 minutes
Butterflies of the British Isles (via BHL)
More about blend modes
Clipping masks are like stencils. They allow you to see one image through the outline of your chosen stencil. I’ll show you to make clipping masks and give you a couple of ideas about how you can use them in your projects.
- clipping mask examples
- ways to create clipping masks
< 20 minutes
Links + Resources
Wait a minute! Please go through the lessons in Day #4 and Day #11 before doing screencast 7.3.
When I first started playing with Photoshop, I only knew one kind of drop shadow — the thick fuzzy kind and I loved it. But thank goodness, I now know 4 kinds of drop shadows and I’m happy to share them with you and show you how each of them can be used to create a pretty image.
- how to apply drop shadows
- regular drop shadows
- warped drop shadows
- crisp and opaque drop shadows
- pattern drop shadows
Links + Resources
Correction for Screencast 8.2-8.3
In screencasts 8.2 – 8.3, I made some incorrect statements pertaining to the sharpness of a drop shadow in relation to the light source’s distance from an object. After more careful observations, I see that my statements are in fact wrong — please disregard them! So, while the Photoshop steps are correct, the relation to real life drop shadows is not. Hehe.
Today is all about outlines and borders. With the help of Photoshop, we can put a border around any object in our documents and I’ll show you 3 ways to do it.
- text stroke
- border basics
- solid borders
- gradient borders
- pattern borders
Links + Resources
9.3 No.1 and No.2 (via The Botanical Cabinet @BHL)
Shapes are vector-based elements that do not lose their quality when you change their size — they’re awesome and I’ll show you several easy ways to incorporate them into your projects. If you’re using an older version of Photoshop like CS3, please watch the second screencast comparing the CS3 and CS6 option panels (minor differences).
- CS3 vs. CS6 option panels
- how to create shapes
- how to create a custom shape
537, 550-553, 555, 562
< 35 minutes
Method and Craft
Layer masks are digital masking tape that allow us to hide parts of an image without damaging it. So, if we make a mistake, the original image is safe and sound. Whey are they popular? They’re great for removing — actually, hiding — backgrounds!
- how layer masks work
- background removal exercise
< 25 minutes
Now that we know how to use layer masks, I’ll show you a really efficient way to select parts of your image using the pen tool. In today’s screencast, we’re going to remove the background of the Le Jardin image again. But this time, we’ll use the pen tool to make an accurate selection of the background and then hide it with layers masks.
- convert point tool
- how to make selections
< 10 minutes
And, just like that, we’re at the last chapter. I’ve shared with you all the Photoshop knowledge that occupies my brain. What I know isn’t much, but it’s all I need to know, or rather, it’s all I want to know about Photoshop. But of course, you’re just getting started, and I’m guessing that you’re eager to learn more. No matter how you decide to continue your education, what matters is that you practice using your tools and in this case, your tool is Photoshop. Expertise in any subject requires time and effort, 10,000 hours, in fact…
Where to go from here
Lynda is an excellent resource. For just $25/month (about the price of a large pizza and a coke), you’ll get access to a bunch of Photoshop eCourses from beginning to intermediate to advanced/pro level. All the teachers at Lynda are legendary experts in their respective fields — they come from Google, Adobe, and even Hollywood. Also, Lynda adds new classes in a wide range of topics every week and as a member, you’ll have access to all of them — all 3000 ecourses and 100,000 professional quality video tutorials. I love Lynda and I’m a lifetime member. I enjoy the hell out of it, and I can’t recommend it enough. Some cool Photoshop courses: