Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2     Class 3    Class 4     Class 5     Class 6     Class 7

Photo by Seemann on morgueFile.com

Photo by Seemann on morgueFile.com

Today we will look at:

  • Create a PDF form (upload the example on MyKangan)
  • Assessment – Portfolio of in-class work

PDF Form

Upload the file below and create form fields using Adobe Acrobat Pro. Make all blue text fields, the name and date active.

Next fill all the data in and save and upload the file to MyKangan.

Due Date: 20/9

Sample Task

Assessment – Portfolio

STEP 1: In Photoshop or Illustrator create a PDF portfolio page like the sample. Dim: 1024 px x 1645px x 150 ppi (resolution). (These dimensions are more a guideline and you can vary it if you have a different idea for your layout)

Include:

  • 6 images from previous classes and your own work
  • add descriptions of the images: what tools and techniques did you use?
  • place a banner of your own work on top
  • a title (Portfolio of Work)
  • your name
  • save the file as a Photoshop PDF or Illustrator PDF

STEP 2: Create text fields in Adobe Acrobat Pro and add descriptions to your work. The descriptions need to state what tools and functions you used.

STEP 3: Save the final PDF and upload to MyKangan.

See example of Portfolio:

Photoshop Portfolio

Photo by matthewbridges on morgueFile.com

Photo by matthewbridges on morgueFile.com

Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2     Class 3    Class 4     Class 5     Class 6     Class 7

Photo by hotblack on morgueFile.com
Photo by hotblack on morgueFile.com

Today we will look at:

  • Crop Tool
  • Image Adjustments:
    • Brightness/Contrast
    • Levels (Ctrl+L)
    • Curves (Ctrl+M)
    • Auto Tone (Shift+Ctrl+L)
    • Auto Contrast (Alt+Shift+Ctrl+L)
    • Auto Color (Shift+Ctrl+B
    • Vibrance
    • Hue/Saturation (Ctrl+U)
    • Photo Filter
    • Shadows/Highlights
  • Adjustment Layers
  • Tasks

Crop Tool

Follow the in-class instructions on how to use the Crop Tool or follow the tutorial below the image.

The crop tool works on two basic levels:

  • free-hand – simply select the crop tool (Shortcut C) [Visit Shortcutworld for more Photoshop Shortcutsand drag a window over your image. You can adjust the size of the crop selection by dragging the edges and corners. You can even rotate your crop selection (with CS4 or higher).
    Hit Enter to complete the crop action and accept the new size.
  • key in dimensions – after activating the crop tool enter the width: 500 (in px for web), the height: 600 (in px) and the resolution: 150 (72 is suitable for web)- the values need to be entered in the options bar (also called properties bar). See image below as an example. Next drag the crop window and press enter to except the change.
    Note that the window is restricted in its scale.
See the dimensions of the Crop Tool: 450px x 400px with 72ppi resolution.
See the dimensions of the Crop Tool: 450px x 400px with 72ppi resolution.

Cropping and Straightening Images in Photoshop Essentials

Cropping Tool in Photoshop Essentials

Brightness/Contrast

Follow the in-class demonstration. A nice and basic function, it allows you to change the brightness and correct the contrast. Move the slider to change the values.

Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast

Tick and untick the Preview box to observe the changes before accepting it.

Use the sliders. It is self explanatory.
Use the sliders. It is self explanatory.

Levels

With the Levels function you can adjust problems with tone (eg a photo that is very grey and does not show enough dark and light aspects) or colour related problems (eg too much blue).

The Short Cut: Ctrl+L (Cmd+L) or use: Image>Adjustments>Levels

Overview: follow my in-class introduction to how to use the Levels in simple steps. Use the attached photo by Matthew Bridges of the old house at a lake.

Photo by matthewbridges on morgueFile.com
Photo by matthewbridges on morgueFile.com
Image>Adjustments>Level
Image>Adjustments>Level

The easiest and most basic way to apply the Levels function is by moving the sliders for the highlight (white) and shadows (black) below the graph of the input levels inwards. Moving the highlight will brighten the image up and moving the shadow will darken the shadows.

This is a good basic function to start of with and it is useful for the majority of your photos, may they be basic shots or more sophisticated and at higher resolution.

Follow this tutorial to learn how to use the Level Adjustment more detailed and how to create an Adjustment Layer:

Fix Tone and Color with Levels in Photoshop – Photoshop Essentials

Improving Image Tone With Levels In Photoshop – Photoshop Essentials

Curves

Follow the in-class demonstration (shortcut: Ctrl+M or: Image>Adjustments>Curves). The Curves function is similar to the Level function, but the graph is a lot more visual and intuitive. You can manipulate it with your mouse.  See image:

Try the presets and see how it affects your image, and then manipulate the curve yourself.
Try the presets and see how it affects your image, and then manipulate the curve yourself.

Curves Tutorial on Photoshop Essentials

Auto Tone

The short cut is Shift+Ctrl+L (or: Image>Auto Tone). Follow the in-class demonstration. The Auto Tone function readjusts tonal settings in your image and in most cases this results in a crisper image with the click of a button. The Auto Tone option looks for the darkest and lightest points in an image and resets them to pure white and black, resulting in clearer tones.

Because  Auto Tone adjusts each color channel individually, it may remove color or introduce color casts.

Auto Contrast

Follow the in-class demonstration.

The short cut is Alt+Shift+Ctrl+L  (or: Image>Auto Contrast). Auto Contrast adjusts image contrast automatically, at the click of a button. Unlike Auto Tone it will not affect colours. It clips the shadow and highlight values in an image and then maps the remaining lightest and darkest pixels in the image to pure white and pure black . As a result the image will have lighter highlights anf darker shadows and a crisper contrast.

Auto Color

Follow the in-class demonstration.

The short cut is Shift+Ctrl+B  (or: Image>Auto Color)

Auto Color adjusts the contrast and color of an image. It is able to search images for shadows, midtones, and highlights. It then neutralizes the midtones using a target color of RGB 128 grey and clips the shadow and highlight pixels by 0.5%. Personally, and from experience it effects images less and Auto Contrast and Auto Tone bring more convincing changes in image quality.

Vibrance

Follow the in-class demonstration. Click: Image>Adjustments>Vibrance

As the name suggests this function will help you making a photo look more vibrant. Colours can be shown more intensely with higher saturation. It is easy to grasp this function, simply move the sliders to the right to increase vibrance or move them to the left to decrease vibrance.

Based on a photo by delboysafa from morgueFile.com
Based on a photo by delboysafa from morgueFile.com

Hue/Saturation

Follow the in-class demonstration.  (Ctrl+U or Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation)

Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer with a mask showing the original (yellow) below.
Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer with a mask showing the original (yellow) below.

Photo Filter

Photo Filter
Photo Filter

Follow the in-class demonstration. Press: Image>Adjustments>Photo Filter.

One of the best image adjustment options, you can select from a set of preset filters: use a warming filter to create a lighting sense that you would encounter indoors, in autumn (fall) or during a sunset when there are more yellow, orange and red colours around. Use a cool filter to create a typical outdoor setting or a winter atmosphere. You can tick the Color box and select your own colour or select a colour from the image itself (simply click on the part of the image).

You can also change the amount of density, more density results in a stronger impact of your filter. Find a level that you like – try to be more conservative and chose a little less density than you like for a print).

Shadows/Highlights

Follow the in-class demonstration. Click: Image>Adjustments>Shadows/Highlights.

With the shadows and highlights you can easily lighten up an underexposed, dark image. Use the functions sparsely to not overdo the changes, which can easily create an unrealistic look. The image shows the changes on a dark photo.

Based on photo by o0o0xmods0o0o from morgueFile.com
Based on photo by o0o0xmods0o0o from morgueFile.com

Use an Adjustment Layer

All the image adjustments that we have looked at above can be done directly to an image or in from of an adjustment layer. It is far better to create an adjustment layer, this allows you to create changes in form of a layer. You can always delete or hide the layer and your original image remains unaffected.

How do you create an adjustment layer?

With your original layer selected click on the Create a new fill or adjustment layer button and select what type of adjustment layer you want to create. Next do all the adjustments to it.

Alternatively you just click on the Adjustments tab and select the Adjustment Layer that you want to create.

(See image)

Create an Adjustment Layer
Create an Adjustment Layer

Task in Class

Perform these two tasks to show that you understood today’s class ( If you have missed this class you need to do this!!!)

  1. Use the image by Matthew Bridges (or select an alternative image). Use the crop tool and resize to 500px x 600px at 150ppi (resolution). Apply 6 different image adjustment layers and mask them off in strips (see examples of student work). Add titles to your strips.  E-mail the file to me as a PNG (not PSD) and keep a copy for yourself.
  2. In your second task I would like you to use Matthew Bridges’ image only. The photo is very grey and it looks foggy. I would like you to improve the image using any of the image adjustment functions that you have learnt about. When you are happy with the improved image e-mail me a PNG version of it (no need to crop the image).
    Create a before and after version of the image.

Student Submissions:

Work by Benan Ü
Work by Benan Ü
Work by Michael T
Work by Michael T
Work by Tristan S
Work by Tristan S
Work by Vlad K
Work by Vlad K
Work by Jo W
Work by Jo W
Work by Justin A
Work by Justin A

Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2     Class 3    Class 4     Class 5     Class 6

Today we will look at:

  • Custom Shape Tool
  • Layer Blending Options
  • Today’s Task

Custom Shape Tool

The Custom Shape Tool allows you to draw custom shapes. These are actually vector graphics, which is uncommon in Photoshop.

Custom Shapes and Custom Shape Icon
Custom Shapes and Custom Shape Icon

The Custom Shape Tool can be activated with the U shortcut and by scrolling through the shape tool options using Shift+U until the custom shape tool appears. Load all custom shapes in the options (in CS6 click on the cog or in earlier versions click on the arrow). Use any of the shapes that you like. I opted for the dog and the cat with a rounded rectangle in the background.

Draw shapes by dragging the cursor. Hold shift to keep the proportion.

Layer Blending Options

Double click around the name of the layer.
Double click around the name of the layer.

Activate the Layer Blending Options by double clicking next to the name of a layer (in the Layer Palette) in the high-lighted area (not the thumbnail). In class I will give an introduction to the various options. I want you to focus on the Stroke option. Click on the word (not just the tickbox) and change the colour of the outline.

Vary your line thickness on the different shapes.

Next click on the words Blending Options: Custom and reduce the Fill Opacity to 0%
Next click on the words Blending Options: Custom and reduce the Fill Opacity to 0%

Next click on the words Blending Options: Custom and reduce the Fill Opacity to 0% and vary the Fill Opacity with the different shapes.

Today’s Task

Create an image with shapes that have outlines and no or low Fill Opacity.

Suggested dimensions:

Web Preset, 800px(width) x 600px (height) 72ppi (resolution). Save your work for on-screen viewing, as JPEG or PNG.custom shapes 02

Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2     Class 3    Class 4     Class 5     Class 6

Today we will look at:

  • Creative Commons
  • Layer Blending Modes
  • Layer Masks
  • Gradient Tool and Layer Mask
  • Today’s Task

We will focus the majority of today’s time on you practicing Photoshop. After the completion of your tasks I will expect you to stay and practice more. Class time is the time when I will be able to assist and the time for you to experiment with the software.

So, today we will have fun and afterwards will have some more fun until the imaginary bell rings to announce the end of class.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons or the Creative Commons License relates to a way to distribute content, such as photos and other images for free. Last week’s sample photo of the Ameland geese by F Schouwenburg is under the Creative Commons License.

Source: Flickr - photographer: Frans Schouwenburg
Source: Flickr – photographer: Frans Schouwenburg

Creative Commons are generally used for non-commercial and educational purpose. If someone makes a profit with a product they should pay for the image they use.

Generally, the author, creator or owner of the content needs to be mentioned. So, in short, when using images from Creative Commons sources ensure that you mention the source of your image.

This can be done in various ways. One would be to place a tag underneath the image with the source as you see it done in this blog.

CConFlickR
Creative Commons on FlickR

There are different forms of Creative Commons and it pays to read the details beforehand. To the right is another example from FlickR:

Examples of Creative Commons Resources

Try out the Links to Creative Commons to the right of this post:

Your task: find a photo to suit the themes Urban environment and blue skies with each search and download the image. Include the meta data of the photographer and source of website with the photo.

Try this link for more Creative Commons information.

Layer Blending Modes

First start a new Photoshop document. Place one of your new photos into it. Place your second photo as well.

The Layer Blending Mode can be accessed through the Layers panel. A text box (Win) with the word Normal or a small button (Mac) indicate the Layer Blending Mode box.

Look at your layer blending mode with the top layer active. Try the layer blending modes below and see how amazingly easy Photoshop lets you change the appearance by creating a blend between two images.

Now click on this link and access the tutorial on Layers TV Episode 105 about how to use the Layer Blending Mode.

Layer Mask

If you completely watched the tutorial in the link above, you will already know how to create a layer mask and can proceed to the task for today.

Last week we looked at clipping masks and today we look at a layer mask. The process is very similar. Make a selection on your active layer and click on the Layer Mask button (add a layer mask) beneath the Layers panel. Your selection is still visible and the rest has disappeared.

You can also create a layer mask from a selection by going to the main menu: Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. (see image)

Layer_Mask

Alternatively (press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z) you can hide what you have selected: if you use the Layer Mask button press Alt at the same time to hide your selection with the Mask. You can do the same from the main menu: Layer>Layer Mask>Hide Selection.

While the layer mask is selected you will be in the mask mode. You can use the brush to add or take away from your layer mask. If you use the brush (while in mask mode) you can  make parts disappear by drawing with black as foreground colour. You can equally make things reappear by drawing with white as foreground colour.

Using Gradient Tool with Layer Mask

A good tool to use is the gradient tool with the layer mask. You can create a gradient mask that way, which means the image will gradually become invisible. See image below.

French Ancient City Banner
French Ancient City Banner – Source: Image Base – Free Stock Photography Click the image as a link.

You can see the gradient used on the right part of the image. This is how you do it:

  1. Create a new document (use dimensions below)
  2. Place an image and change size as you see fit (press Enter)
  3. Create a layer mask (click the layer mask button)
  4. Activate the gradient and drag from one part to another within the imageIf white is your foreground colour the image will become invisible in the direction of your dragging. If black was your foreground colour the image will be invisible on your first point and become visible in your dragging direction.

For a more detailed tutorial on how to use the Layer Mask in Photoshop go to: PhotoshopEssentials.com

Today’s Task

Create a banner for a website using two images that blend into each other (use Layer Blending Modes and Layer masks) with a title, either use your name or an imaginary title.

Image by Alvimann found on morgueFile.com
Image by Alvimann found on morgueFile.com
Image by Noboru found on morgueFile.com
Image by Noboru found on morgueFile.com
Urban Stories Banner by F.Viola
Urban Stories Banner by F.Viola

The images must suit the themes:

  • Urban environment
  • Blue Skies

Dimensions of banner: 980px(width) x 174px (height) 72ppi (resolution)

Task_New Document

Add a title to the banner, that preferably also blends with the background images. Save the file as a PNG file. Keep a copy of this file and the 2 images that you have used. Upload your work onto MyKangan.

Examples of Student Submissions:

Layer Blending  Masks Banner
Banner by Vlad K
Banner by Yong Wu
Banner by Yong W
Banner by Mike T
Banner by Mike T

Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2     Class 3     Class 4      Class 5     Class 6

Welcome to your third Photoshop class. Be honest: did you practice what you have learnt last week? Make sure to practice Photoshop as much as you can, preferably daily. If you create a habit and make it fun your learning curve will be steep. If you are to busy to practice every day, try more than once a week.

Only practice will help you learn!Photo by  BreonWarwick on morgueFile
Only practice will help you learn! Photo by BreonWarwick on morgueFile

Today we will look at:

  1. The Layer panel
  2. How to create a new layer
  3. How to move layers
  4. How to make a layer active
  5. How to hide and show a layer
  6. How to link layers
  7. How to group layers
  8. How to delete layers
  9. How to draw shapes
  10. How to create a clipping mask
  11. How to use the Gaussian Blur
  12. How to rasterize a layer
  13. How to merge two layers and
  14. How to flatten an image

You can see that we will be rather busy. You will also need to provide me with an image as a result.

If you already now all of the tasks above you can do this straight away –

Your Tasks for this class:

Task 1 – Start a new document – 700x500px at 150ppi (pixels/inch) resolution and background contents set to transparent. Create a clipping mask with a rounded rectangle (fill most of the document space and with a 40px radius) of a photo of geese in Ameland, inthe Netherlands by Frans Schouwenburg. The photo is available under Creative Commons agreement and can be found on Flickr.com. If you cannot open the file get it from here:

Geese in Ameland, Photo by Frans Schouwenburg
Geese in Ameland, Photo by Frans Schouwenburg

Create a Gaussian blur (7.4px) of the clipping mask and flatten the image. Save as a JPEG with this title: Class3_T1_Your_full_name.jpg (example: Class3_T1_Toni_Varsetti.jpg). Upload the file to MyKangan and keep a copy of the JPEG.

Task 2 – Use the same document from task 1 or start a new document – 700x500px at 150ppi (pixels/inch) resolution and background contents set to transparent. Type the initials of your name in Impact Regular 200pt. If you have not done so in task 1, download the image of the geese in Ameland (see Task 1 for link). Place the file in your document (File>Place). When excepting the size make sure that the image is larger than the initials. Finally create a clipping mask (the photos should only appear inside the text now). Save the file as a PNG with this title: Class3_T2_Your_full_name.png (example: Class3_T2_Toni_Varsetti.png). Upload the file to MyKangan and keep a copy of the PNG.

The Layer Panel

The ability to create layers is a central aspect of Photoshop. It works like a collage, you place one photo on top of another and the one on top covers up the photos below it.

Layers Panel - Source: The Graphic Designer's Digital Toolkit, Alan Wood, 5th Edition, 2011
Layers Panel – Source: The Graphic Designer’s Digital Toolkit, Alan Wood, 5th Edition, 2011
layer_drop_menu
Layer Drop Menu Click image to see larger version

The Layer palette is located in the bottom right-hand corner with a tab called LAYERS. There are two menu items you should be aware of in the drop down main menu: Layers and Window.

Click on Layers to see a lot of actions that you can perform with layers. (See image) You can perform these functions directly from the layers palette as well, by clicking on the Layer Options Tab (small icon in the top right of the layers palette).

Click on Window in the main menu and see Layers ticked. This is were you can activate the Layer palette if you cannot see it on your screen. (If you are using a Windows PC notice the shortcut F7? This allows you to activate or deactivate the layers palette.)

Please read all the options of the image of the Layers panel (above) before advancing.

How to create a new Layer

  • You can simply click on the small icon in the Layers panel that looks like a sheet of paper (too slow)
  • You click on the Layer tab in the menu bar: Layer>New>Layer (too slow) or
  • You use the short cut: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+N (Mac: command+shift+option+N) – Nice! This will immediately create a new layer on top of your active layer.
  • You can use this short cut: Ctrl+Shift+N. This will open a options panel before the layer is created.
Layers in Photoshop are like a Collage of images stuck on top of each other...
Layers in Photoshop are like a Collage of images stuck on top of each other… Monkey photo by deanjenkins and Green photo by omdur, both on morgueFile

How to move a Layer

  • Drag the layer in the layer panel into the new position. You can move it up (=on top of other layers in the workspace) or down (it will be partly hidden by layers above. This is an easy and intuitive way. You will need to sometimes move it right between two layers and wait for a dark line to appear before releasing the layer.
  • You can also use the shortcuts: Ctrl+[ (or Cmd+[ on Mac) to move the layer up and Ctrl+] (or Cmd+] on Mac) to move the layer down.
  • You can use the Menu bar:  Layer>Arrange>Bring Forward (or Backward)

How to make a Layer active or inactive

A layer needs to be active for you to be able to work with the artwork on the layer. Photoshop allows you to work on one layer at the time.

  • The active layer is high-lighted or shaded (generally it is the layer with the blue background and white text in the layers panel.)
  • To activate a layer simply click on the layer in the layer panel

If you want to select numerous layers hold the Ctrl button (Mac: Cmd) while selecting more layers.

How to hide and show a Layer

You can make the content of a layer invisible by clicking on the eye icon in the Layers panel. Clicking it again will make the content visible.

How to link Layers

Linking layers can be done by selecting numerous layers (with Ctrl) and then clicking on the chain symbol in the Layers panel.

How to group Layers

Group layers by selecting numerous layers and then either pressing Ctrl+G (Mac Cmd+G) or create a new group by clicking the Create a new group icon in the Layers panel (it looks like a folder) and drag any layer you want into it.

How to delete Layers

The easiest way is to select the layer and hit Backspace; this happens immediately.

If you are the old school type you might to simply drag the layer into the bin icon or click the bin icon and press enter to delete the layer.

How to draw Shapes

Using the Custom Shape Tool to draw a Rabbit - The rabbit is below the grass
Using the Custom Shape Tool to draw a Rabbit – The rabbit is below the grass

Before you draw a shape place an image in the document (File>Place). In the example I have placed a photo of grass (found on http://www.morguefile.com > Petersphoto)

There are several tools that allow you to draw shapes. They basically draw vector graphic shapes that are linked to a layer. Try the Rounded Rectangle Tool tool. (If the tool is not visible, hold down the Rectangle tool near the bottom of the toolbox.) The shortcut is U – and Shift+U allows you to scroll through the tools options (it should be the second.)

Draw a rounded rectangle with a 25px radius (drag to draw). You will notice that drawing a shape will create a new layer as a default!

Try the other drawing tools as well.

I chose the rabbit custom shape. To find it choose the custom shape tool, it looks like a blob, see the sample images! Then go into the options menu bar and select the down arrow next to the custom shape (most likely a black arrow). This will open all the different custom shapes. Next click on the small outward arrow head in the top right of the box you have just opened. Select all and Ok. This will open all the custom shapes that Photoshop comes with. The rabbit should be in the selection.

How to create a Clipping Mask

The grass layer has been turned into a clipping mask with the shape of the rabbit below.
The grass layer has been turned into a clipping mask with the shape of the rabbit below.

Keep only one shape layer and delete all the others.

Place an image in the workspace: File>Place. Make sure the image is larger in size than the shape on the layer below. Right-click on your image layer and select Create Clipping Mask.

Male sure that you do this to your image layer and that the image layer is on top!!!

Your image layer has been reduced to the shape of the shape layer below. 🙂

  • Try to move just the image by selecting the image layer.
  • Try to move just the shape layer.

What is the difference?

How to use the Gaussian Blur

Make sure your shape thumbnail on your shape layer is selected. Go to the menu bar: Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and enter 7.4px for the Radius.

You should be prompted if you want to rasterize the layer. Click yes.

How to merge two Layers

Select two layers (left click + Ctrl) then right click and select Merge Layers.

How to flatten an Image

Right click on any layer and select Flatten Image or press Ctrl+Shift+E (Cmd+Shft+E on Mac)

Tasks

This completes today’s tutorials, please perform the below tasks:

Task 1 – Start a new document – 700x500px at 150ppi (pixels/inch) resolution and background contents set to transparent. Create a clipping mask with a rounded rectangle (fill most of the document space and with a 40px radius) of a photo of geese in Ameland, inthe Netherlands by Frans Schouwenburg. The photo is available under Creative Commons agreement and can be found on Flickr.com. Create a Gaussian blur (7.4px) of the clipping mask and flatten the image. Save as a JPEG with this title: Class3_T1_Your_full_name.jpg (example: Class3_T1_Toni_Varsetti.jpg). Upload the file to MyKangan and keep a copy of the JPEG.

Actually – in class we ended up straying and did the grassy rabbit instead. I am happy with either. See image:

Grassy Rabbits
Grassy Rabbits

Task 2 – Use the same document from task 1 or start a new document – 700x500px at 150ppi (pixels/inch) resolution and background contents set to transparent. Type the initials of your name in Impact Regular 200pt. If you have not done so in task 1, download the image of the geese in Ameland (see Task 1 for link). Place the file in your document (File>Place). When excepting the size make sure that the image is larger than the initials. Finally create a clipping mask (the photos should only appear inside the text now). Save the file as a PNG with this title: Class3_T2_Your_full_name.png (example: Class3_T2_Toni_Varsetti.png). Upload the file to MyKangan and keep a copy of the PNG.

Example:

Initials
Initials

Here is a link to a Clipping Mask tutorial on SalinStudio.com

Student Submissions:

Yong - Clipping Mask
Yong – Clipping Mask
Justin Clipping Mask
Justin Clipping Mask

Link to all Classes     Class 1     Class 2     Class 3     Class 4      Class 5     Class 6

It is an exciting time to commence something new, so wear the badge Absolute Beginner with pride and get ready for a love affair with one of the best software packages of our time- welcome to Photoshop.

Photo by agathabrown on morgueFile
Photo by agathabrown on morgueFile

Suddenly life broke out in warm colors again, so young and beautiful that a lot of people couldn’t stand to look at it.

Quote from the film Absolute Beginners

We will work with Photoshop CS6 on a PC.

Today we will look at:

  1. The CS6 Workspace (overview)
  2. Ways to open an image
  3. Selection Tools
  4. Use of Hue/Saturation function (Image adjustment)
  5. Layer overview
  6. Perform a task

Feel free to ask questions throughout class and to slow me down at any time. It is important that you view the instructions on the overhead first and then try them out yourself.

The CS6 Workspace (overview)

workspace-overview-2

On your screen find the application bar, the menu bar, the options bar, the document window, the tools panel as well as the other panels or palettes.

Activity:  Click on Window in the menu bar. (Here are all the panels and palettes that you can activate or deactivate.) Click on Navigator and see the palette becoming active. Next drag the Navigator palette to the very left of the  workspace or document window. Do the same with the Character Palette (this one is a bit harder to find and I leave it up to you to figure it out).
Next select New Workspace from the workspace switcher menu, name your workspace and tick the 2 boxes.

You have just created a new workspace for yourself. To get back to the standard workspace layout select Reset Essentials from the workspace switcher menu. Changing the workspace to suit your need can speed up your work and is more fun.

Ways to open an image

First ensure that you use a good folder structure. Save your 20 or so images from your USB onto the PC that you are working on into a folder with a short, yet descriptive name, eg images.

Select File>Open – find your images folder and select the image that you want to open. Photoshop will open the image at the image pixel size and at the resolution of the file.

Open the images folder and have Photoshop open and accessible. Now drag the image into the Photoshop window.

Create a New Document in Photoshop and choose File>Place. Next place the image into the document.

There are other options, such as dragging an image directly from a webpage into the Photoshop window or selecting File>Open As Smart Object. Photoshop is a very versatile software package. The most important is to know a way that keeps the resolution high.

Selection Tools

The Selection Tools in Photoshop are one of many strong points of this package. We will work with this slow loading instructions from the Teacherlink site: Selection Tool Instructions

Below is an screen shot of the Selection drop menu with annotations:

Source: The Graphic Designer's Digital Toolkit, Alan Wood, 5th Edition, 2011
Source: The Graphic Designer’s Digital Toolkit, Alan Wood, 5th Edition, 2011
  • The Rectangular Marquee Tool (Short cut M) – This tool draws square (with the help of Shift) and rectangular selections (freehand). It is important to understand that you are actually not drawing as such, you are simply creating a selection and will be able to do something to that selection only and only on the current layer. Drag the image below into your Photoshop workspace and select a rectangular shapes. Press Ctrl + U and change the colour settings – just play with it. Keep the file active.
    Image Source: www.photoshopessentials.com
    Image Source: http://www.photoshopessentials.com

    Open this excellent tutorial on PhotoshopEssentials.com: Rectangular Marquee Tutorial

  • The Elliptical Marquee Tool (Short cut M) – This tool draws circlular selections (with the help of Shift) and elliptical selections (freehand). You can draw the ellipse or circle commencing from the centre by holding Alt (option for Mac) while you draw your selection. Visit this tutorial on PhotoshopEssentials.com to see a good example on how to use the Elliptical Marquee Tool.
    For this class select the red cylinder and change the colour as per instruction above.
  • The Lasso Tool (Short cut L). Basically you draw your selection freehand. It is an early Photoshop tool and has some good uses still (like creating a quick shadow underneath a vehicle with the help of Gaussian Blur). It requires a high level of mouse skills. Try to select the handshake with the Lasso tool and change the colour. Visit this tutorial on PhotoshopEssentials.com to see one good use of the Lasso Tool.

    Image Source: www.photoshopessentials.com
    Image Source: http://www.photoshopessentials.com
  • Polygonal Lasso Tool (Short cut L). You draw your selection by dropping points. It is an advanced version of the basic Lasso tool and can be very useful. It requires practice. Try the tutorial from PhotoshopEssentials.com: Polygonal Lasso Tool.
  • Magnetic Lasso Tool (Short cut L). You draw your selection by clicking once to select the outline of your object and then you simply follow along the outline and the tool does the rest for you. If a mistake occurs use Backspace to go back one step. It requires practice. Try the tutorial from PhotoshopEssentials.com: Magnetic Lasso Tool.
  • Magic Wand Tool (Short cut W). You make your selection by clicking in the field of what you want to select (eg inside the suit). The Magic Wand selects pixels based on tone and colour. You can change your selection criteria, for example by increasing tolerance your selection will be wider and less affected by tonal variations in the picture. That will result in a larger selection. If you bring the tolerance down it will result in a smaller selection, which means that changes in tone or colour will affect your selection earlier.
    Try the tutorial from PhotoshopEssentials.com: Magic Wand Tool.
  • Quick Selection Tool (Short cut W). This tool is extremely useful as a selection tool. It is similar to the Magic Wand, but it is more advanced and user friendly. You make your selection by clicking in the field of what you want to select (eg inside the suit). The Quick Selection Tool selects pixels based on tone and colour, but it also has the ability to detect similar textures in an image. As a result it is better at detecting the edges of an object.
    You can change your selection criteria by changing the size of your brush tip: increasing it will widen your selection and decreasing it will narrow your selection. For a more in detail description please look at this informative tutorial at PhotoshopEssentials.com: Quick Selection Tool.
  • How to add to or subtract from a selection
    Hold the shift key to add to an existing selection. Hold the Alt key to subtract from a selection. You will need to hold the key while adding or subtracting.

Use of Hue/Saturation function (Image adjustment)

This is a very quick intro to this function: Press Ctrl + U. 3 sliders allow you to change either the hue (the exact colour), the saturation (the amount of colour) and the lightness (the tone, lightness and darkness). You can also tick colorize to get a nice retro effect, it makes your selection monochromatic.

Layer overview

We will cover this in more detail in the next class. We basically will just have a look at the layers to get a broad understanding in class.

Perform a task – Important

Use the photos that you prepared for this class or simply copy the image of the gorgeous Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye below from the provided link and use it to apply your understanding of the Selection Tools. Select various parts using the different tools. Make sure to keep a copy of your final file in JPEG format and upload to MyKangan next week.

Source: http://obladoo.se
Source: http://obladoo.se
Example of applied changes
Example of applied changes

Student Submissions:

Work by Justin Anderson
Work by Justin Anderson

Link to all Classes     Class 2     Class 3     Class 4      Class 5     Class 6

Today’s Class

  • Introduction to Delivery Format
    • Looking at RAE
    • Looking at MyKangan
  • Introduction to the Content
  • In-class Task

Introduction to Delivery Format

This class will be delivered in 2 hour schedules every Monday morning . The content will be posted on this blog as well as on MyKangan. Tasks, discussions and research will be conducted inside the 2 hour slot and at home.

You are expected to work towards goals independently and to be able to operate as part of a team. In a work place you will sometimes be lucky to work with people that you easily get along with, but unfortunately you might often have to work with people that you might not easily get along with. A professional looks beyond this and finds ways to function in a professional environment with a range of personalities.

Assessments:

Important: You need to submit all your assessments on MyKangan. It is your responsibility to follow up due dates and access to MyKangan.

  1. Day 1 Task – this task is a simple comprehension task to establish student participation. (due: after the first class)
  2. Assessment 1 – Portfolio of Work (Interactive PDF)
  3. Assessment 2

RAE – Research and Exploration or Class of Federico

This blog will be or main form of contact. It will be accessible from anywhere as long as you have internet access.

Make sure to explore the links when you have some free time. The best learning is done by yourself exploring and questioning.

MyKangan

MyKangan is Kangan’s content delivery platform for all classes. You will find all the content on MyKangan and as stated before: you will submit your assessments here.

To access MyKangan please open Kangan’s student portal and click on MyKangan. Next find the class by unit title. This can be a bit hard to see, so make sure to know the unit titles.

I will run you through this in person.

This is also where you will submit your assessments. You will find hyperlinks with names such as Submit Assessment  1 here.

You can send messages to your teacher and you can leave comments as well. I am always open to suggestions, so please feel free to forward ideas about content or software that you would like to cover.

Introduction to Content

These units will be covered:

Please click on the link to view the Unit of Competency Text. Please look over the text and at least read through the Elements to get an idea what you will learn in this class.

The CS5 Workspace (overview)

Please open this Link –CS5 Overview– of a 10 page PDF file (from Adobe Systems Incorporated 2010) in a new window.

On your screen find the application bar, the menu bar, the options bar, the document window, the tools panel as well as the other panels or palettes.

Source: Steve-hamlin.com

Source: Steve-hamlin.com

Activity:  Click on Window in the menu bar. (Here are all the panels and palettes that you can activate or deactivate.) Click on Navigator and see the palette becoming active. Next drag the Navigator palette to the very left of the  workspace or document window. Do the same with the Character Palette (this one is a bit harder to find and I leave it up to you to figure it out).
Next select New Workspace from the workspace switcher menu, name your workspace and tick the 2 boxes.

You have just created a new workspace for yourself. To get back to the standard workspace layout select Reset Essentials from the workspace switcher menu. Changing the workspace to suit your need can speed up your work and is more fun.

In-class Task

I would like to emphasise how useful the Adobe TV site is:

Please activate this link to a Adobe TV Tutorial: How To Get Started with Photoshop CS6 – 10 Things Beginners Want to Know How to Do  It will give you an introduction to Photoshop CS6 by introducing 10 functions. By the way: the shortcuts given are for Mac and if you want to use them on your PCs you need to use the Ctrl function instead of the twirly symbol.

Please do not expect to understand everything, it is an introduction. Try it out with any image that you have.

Your task: manipulate an image of your choice while viewing the video. E-mail me a copy (JPEG) of the original image and a copy of the image that you have manipulated. I do not expect any big changes, just have some fun with it and next week we will work on it together.

Thank you!

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