When I first started using Photoshop I was mainly interested in learning how to apply filters to my images. I wanted to change the image drastically through photo editing with very little effort and or skill. It’s easy to be satisfied with the default filters. Nevertheless, once you learn the ropes with masks, filters and blending modes the editing options open up tremendously. Check out the following video tutorials to learn key skills that will help the average novice expand their Photoshop knowledge. This will allow the editor to act purposefully, instead of hoping for a happy accident.
Today’s topic covers three of my favorite Adobe Photoshop CS4 basic layer treatments. We will see why it can be dangerous and destructive to use the eraser tool, and learn how to use layer masks to hide parts of an image instead. Then we will learn when to use a clipping mask instead of a layer mask. Once you have a handle on masks we will begin to learn how the Filter Gallery works. Filters can be fun and add that something extra our images need. Use filters with caution because it is easy to go overboard on these. Once Filters have been introduced we will learn about blending modes and how to modify filters this way to create a brand new look. These six tutorials will help you figure out how layer masks, filters and blending modes work. The next step is to use some of your own layers and learn by doing.
Let’s begin by exploring an important question, “What is a layer?” Tyler Olsen is going to give us the scoop.
Sweet I’m glad we all know what I mean by “layer,” because this lesson is all about layers and what to do with them. Eventually it will be important to learn more tools, but for now lets learn how Photoshop works. When we do this we can learn what to do, and what not to do. The next tutorial introducing the importance of using layer masks.
The Moral of this lesson is avoid using the eraser tool. Additionally, always copy your background layer and use a layer mask on the copy when selectively editing pixel visibility on a given layer. Now that you have learned how to apply layer masks there are no excuses for: (a) deleting data or (b) using destructive editing tools like the eraser tool. In the next video tutorial learn why you might want to use a clipping mask instead of a layer mask.
Photoshop: Clipping masks vs Layer masks | Iceflow Studios
Personally I would use Illustrator to do this kind of type effect because Photoshop is not the best program to edit type with. However, if you wanted to create an image within the constraints of lettering (like in the video above) a clipping mask is a good way to achieve this effect. Masking is helpful in advanced photo edits, especially when we get into filters. Filters became a lot easier when the Filter Gallery was designed.
Photoshop Tutorial: The Filter Gallery
Who doesn’t love the Filter Gallery? Now don’t get me wrong, there are more filters other than these to use, but these are the main preset filter settings. Each filter can be viewed on a layer and editing modes can be altered when each layer is selected. A new filter layer can be added so that multiple filters can be viewed at once to create a brand new effect. When you select the layers and visibility of each filter layer that you like the best, make sure you are sure before you click “OK.” It is difficult to go back once you’ve gone too far forward. After you set one filter gallery for every new layer you can click [Command + F] and the last filter gallery settings will apply to it. I will discuss more filter options in a future post.
Blending modes are brilliant, they can help tone down a filter gallery edit. Ideally multiply, screen, or overlay will give the image a new look when the original image is blended with the filter gallery layer. Richard Harrington says in this tutorial if you want to save time and go through all the blending modes avoiding clicking on each one individually; then: click the move tool hot key [v] and then click [shift] & [+] or [shift] & [-] to move through the different blending modes. Cool trick!
Richard Harrington sums it up quite nicely in this last tutorial. In the beginning, remember it is all about moderation, try not to make your images scream “I’ve been edited with Photoshop!” If you can make your filters and blending modes look as if they belong together than you are on the right track to becoming a photo editor.
Adobe Photoshop Lessons:
Understanding Layers; Navigating the layers palette (if it’s not there go to “Window” and make sure “Layers” is checked), and learn how the order of layers effects the way they appear to the editor.
Don’t Erase! Mask Instead! | IS; Masking is a non destructive way to edit layers. To use a mask I can click on it and activate the brush tool (& make sure I have my default (B&W) foreground & background swatches). When I paint on this mask in black the content in my layer disappears, however if I paint in white the content comes back. If you erase with the eraser tool on a layer then the data will be lost forever, and is therefore a destructive editing tool that should be avoided.
Clipping Mask vs Layer Mask | IS; If an artist wanted to put an image into a block of text to create a unique type they could use the clipping mask technique (I personally recommend doing this action in Adobe Illustrator).
The Filter Gallery; Includes the following sub-categories Artistic, Brush Strokes, Distort, Sketch, Stylize & Texture. The “new layer” icon actually means a new filter in the Filter Gallery. This allows the editor to stack filters on top of one another. It’s important not to over do it, take enough time to decide how you want it to look before selecting “OK.”
Blending Modes; main modes are Multiply, Screen, or Overlay. I usually pick the one I like the best and make sure none of the options in that blending section fit better. Then I settle on the one blending mode that will work the best for the image at hand.
Filters & Blending Modes; learn how to use filters on various layers and apply blending modes on top layers to create dramatic lighting and other blending effects. Think about how to use filters and blending modes well together.
Today I am writing to anyone who is new to the Adobe world, and who is interested in learning how to use Photoshop. I have been using Photoshop for about 15 years and am fairly efficient at using the program. There is always more to learn, which is my favorite part about it. In my town the schools are mostly using Photoshop CS4, therefore most of my footwork has been directed to that version of the program. However, I have been using CS6 for the past year. I am still learning the main differences, so far I know that CS6 looks sexier, but I’m not sure how much has actually changed.
If you would like to learn how to use Photoshop and begin feeling comfortable with the user interface, tools, palettes, other features, and saving then check out the following 29 page Photoshop CS4 tutorial. This guide has 15 key sections that a beginner should read, ideally prior to getting on a computer. Most of the tutorials available for learning how to use Photoshop are online in video form. I really like video tutorials because I am a visual learner, and with Photoshop up on your computer it is easy to follow along with most tutorials. Granted some tutorials are much better than others, either with simplicity, audio quality, effectiveness, length, etc. I have devoted some time into picking out some well done tutorials that will help beginners learn the basics of Photoshop.
Learning Photoshop can be fun, tedious at times, and overall frustrating in the beginning. As a Photoshop enthusiast I encourage you to stick with it. The learning curve is very manageable, I promise. The User Interface (UI) can take a while to get used to. If you are unfamiliar with the UI of Photoshop CS4 please watch:
Interface & Workspaces
Now that you are familiar with the UI of Photoshop it’s important to review tools and pallets. the following video is an introduction to tools and the usefulness of the icons on the tool bar. These tools are called: move, marquee, lasso, magic wand, crop, eyedropper | healing brush, brush, clone stamp, history brush, paint bucket, eraser, dodge, burn | type, pen, path selection, custom shape | hand, zoom, quick mask, as well was background and foreground swatches.
I’ve always been a shortcut key and hot key person. This means instead of using the mouse or track pad to change a setting, select a tool, or make a simple command, I generally use keyboard combinations. For example to save on a Mac [command+s] = save; [command+z] = undo once; [command + alt + z] undo again. It’s not important to master this but it is nice to have a shortcut guide. I found a nice index of photoshop shortcuts HERE.
For a more in-depth tutorial on how to use photoshop tools pallette check out this 30 minute youtube video:
Photoshop 101: Basics! Learn about the Tools Palette !!!
After you have been introduced to tool basics and are familiar with the interface of the Photoshop program you are using; the next best thing to learn is how to go back. This next video tutorial is about how to undo once, undo up to 20 times, and to introduce the history pallet.
Photoshop CS4 Undo, Revert, and History Palette
The history panel can be a somewhat in-depth tool, which has potential to save you when you make silly semi permanent mistakes. I don’t particularly use it very often, nevertheless I can see when it would prove to be a useful skill for a beginners tool box.
There you have it, zooming is my friend, especially when you are placing a large image into a working psd file. To do this go to File –> Place. It is much easier to resize a large image when to can see all of it, so zooming out before editing can be very helpful.
That’s all I have for now. Next time we will learn how to use Filters, Blending Modes, and Masks.
Adobe Photoshop Lessons:
User Interface | UI; the key things to know are: Main Menu (File, Edit, Image, Layer, Select, Filter, View, Window, and Help); Toolbar, Palettes (Window -> layers, Window -> adjustments, etc.), Image, & Image name
Workspace; set to essentials, the way Photoshop looks when it loads and the placement of palettes and toolbars when you edit with it.
Toolbar; marquee, move, lasso, polygonal lasso, magnetic lasso, magic wand, quick selection, crop, slice, healing brush, brush, clone stamp, art history brush, erase, paint bucket, gradient, blur, direct selection, type, pen, rectangle, eye dropper, hand, magnifying, rotate view, color boxes, & modes.
Undo; [command+Z] = undo once; [command+alt+Z] = undo again; Or go to edit in the menu and select undo.
History Palette; keeps track of what you do in Photoshop, default set to keep track of 20 actions. This is why it is not possible to go all the way back to 75 steps, for example, when we clone stamp repeatedly in an area for a while and try to go back before we started to clone stamp.
Zooming; [command+=] zoom in & [command+-] zoom out
There are a few ways to make custom chalkboard paint and create fun DIY signs, objects, organizers .. the list goes on an on. The following tutorials are linked to the images in this post. They will help open your eyes to the wonderful world of chalkboard ideas for your home. I encourage craft lovers to explore several ideas from others on how to make custom chalkboard paint, and what to DO with it.
1) Chalkboard Wall
Non-sanded grout + Latex paint in any color + Mixing cup or bucket + Brush or roller + Drill w/ paint mixer attachment = Chalkboard Wall Paint
2) Chalkboard Paint with Any Color
1/2 cup acrylic paint + 1 tablespoon unsanded grout + mixing cup or bowl + spoon + paint brush+ object or board you plan to paint on = Colorful DIY Chalkboard Paint
Once you choose the recipe to use and get the materials together, it is time to get creative. The Gallery below has some of my favorite DIY chalkboard ideas from pinterest. From what I have seen the sky is the limit on creative chalkboard ideas. ^_^
Check out more fun chalkboard DIY craft ideas on pinterest! To see the sites I drew these ideas from look below. *NOTE: hover your mouse over the link to see the title, which will refer to the topic of chalkboard paint craft ideas and tutorials from the www and will open in a new tab.
I’d like to thank the following domains for this awesome chalkboard paint ideas:
I was a craft lover and a nature wanderer growing up. I remember some of my favorite craft projects as a child began with gathering natural items on a hike. When we returned to the house I would create art with rocks, twigs, flowers, etc. I have been exploring DIY craft ideas that combine nature and craft time, to inspire future projects with kids. Click the pictures in the index below to go to the corresponding craft tutorial page:
1) Flower Texture Art
Construction paper + Oil Pastels + Wild flowers + glue = Flower Landscape
2) Maple Seed & Twig Art
Maple Seeds + Twigs + Paint + Hot Glue = Cute Nature creatures ie: Dragon Flies
White cement glue + Stones + Non-drying clay + Coffee stirrers + Paintbrushes = Rock AniPals
12) Flower Pound on Fabric
1 yard of white or off-white 100% cotton fabric + Alum + Washing Soda + Clean Bucket + Water + Old wooden cutting board + Iron + Ironing board + Scissors + Wax Paper + Masking Tape + Hammer + Flowers + Fine Tip Permanent Marking Pen or Fabric Pen = Custom Natural T-shirt Design
13) Hammered leaf and flower prints
flowers/ leaves + watercolor paper + selection of hammers + hard work surface + paper towels + scissors + a pen + tweezers/ toothpicks + tape + acrylic finishing spray = Natural prints on watercolor paper
14) Natural Candle Holder
Pressed Leaves or Flowers + Votive Cup + Tissue Paper + Decoupage Solution + Foam Brushes = Glowing Leaves
15) Whootastic Pinecone Owls
3 Open Pinecones + White craft stuffing + 1 sheet of brown felt + Large goggly eyes + Scissors + Hot Glue + A stick = Pinecone Owls
16) Andy Goldsworthy for Kids
assortment of leaves + glue + canvas = Leaf Mosaic
17) Autumn Crowns
duct tape + brown paper grocery bags + scissors + colorful mix of leaves, flowers, & misc. embellishments = Natural Crown
18) Printing with leaves
assortment of leaves + paint/ ink + paper = nature print
19) Twig & Bead Trees
paper beads + twigs + string + scissors + handsaw + drill w/ tiny bit + large-eyed needle = Handmade tree ornament
I would like to introduce you all to the positive realm of tealesworld. I am truly inspired by the world around me; by nature, love, acceptance, kindness, art, learning, and educating. I believe that we all have the power to live life in the state of mind that we choose. We create our own destinies and all experiences, no matter if they are good or bad, lead us towards personal growth. I have made more than 1000 . . . NO a billion mistakes in my life, and I wouldn’t take a single one of them back. We learn so much about our selves by where we have been and what we have survived. It’s difficult to remember that our pain is one side of a coin, and our joy is the other. We need both of these things in our lives, our experience is an extension of our very essence. That being said, here is a blog that is built to share my joy, adventure, and fruitful elements one might take away from everyday life . . . with you.
Shared, Inspirational Pictures & Quotes
View more inspirational images on Live, Love & Inspire’s facebook page. We all need to hear positive and inspirational feedback, this page is where I keep the reminders that I am blessed, and I am living the life I want to live.
Today is a beautiful new day, a day of wonder. I feel the need to be here in the present moment. Although I can’t get this feeling–dread and excitement for the future–out of my gut. I am embarking on a journey that is unimaginable, and my lovely journey as an adolescent making her way through college is coming to a close. My professional career awaits me. I have very few hurtles to jump over before I become the person I was always meant to be.
My future is untold, for I see that a move and drastic change is so near. I know that I have the stuff I need to get to where I want to go. For now I just need patience, to forge a path that will lead me to success. I will create two courses for myself that I will build upon for years. For now I need two things for my foreseeable future. I need to create an electronic portfolio of all my projects, and I need to create a website to hold artifacts that I will create in the future. A layout, if you will, for me to place multiple forms of media in a show case for future employers.
I look forward to my future, and wonder what it might hold. I know my fight is worth everything, and the battle is only just beginning
I dream to teach technology to the youth, to help people make statements using multimedia presentations. One great strength of video projects is that they speak to visual and auditory learners. I love to see collaboration where people come together to design a creative simulation, that can communicate with it’s target audience with ease. For example, if students were aiming to reach out to their peers and the youth in their community about drugs. They might simulate a movie that aspires teens to stay or become CLEAN.
“Drugs: Abuse and Recovery” is a hook, and will be used within a documentary on the topic: teenage drug abuse. This video feed is only the simulation of drugs used in our society. Yes this is a simulation of drugs, all effects have been created without the use of any drugs, or infringing on any level of sobriety. The film is incomplete, and will be part of a documentary that will be modified by and for Hannah Buck’s senior video project. I worked with Buck in College to help her create this Drug Prevention Video project. She aspires to show her final video in the Durango 9R Public Schools for the purpose of showing a modernized teen drug prevention and awareness video.