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Photoshop Basics

Photoshop Basics

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Published by Bobanz

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Published by: Bobanz on Jun 15, 2009
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07/17/2014

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Table of Contents:
1. Basics…1LayersToolkitFiltersLayer ModesLayer Masks2. Improving Color…6Color BalanceLevelsCurves3. Retouching…8Clone & HealSmooth & Soften4. Sharpen…12SharpenUnsharp MaskHigh Pass5. Light…13Screen/Multiply6. Art & ExperimentRed EyeSpecial Effects© 2004 George Chen.
All rights reserved. All leftsignored. All images arecopyright George Chenunless otherwise noted.
 
Tips, Tricks, and Basics
(or, Photoshop in a hat
)
George Chen 
1. Basics: Layers
Photoshop is a layers based graphics program. What does that mean? It means thatPhotoshop gives you the ability to divide your artwork up into layers, so you can isolatewhat you do to an image. See the following image:See how each layer on the Layers Palette marks off a different part of a picture. Theeye icon on the left of each layer makes the layers visible or invisible. Observe.
 
See how by making layer 5 invisible, the dark blue becomes invisible. Layers mayseem tedious at first, but once you get the hang of them, you’ll be able to see howhelpful they are.
1. Basics: Toolkit
In Photoshop and all Adobe programs, you have a toolkit/toolbar for easy access to allyour tools. In Photoshop 7, it looks like the image on the right. Note how most of the tools have a small arrow at the bottom. Selecting that arrow will bring up more tools.Quickly, here are the tools and their functions, going left to right:Marquee Tool: Selection of items for deletion or moving Move Tool: Self explanatoryLasso Tool: Select a portion of an item to manipulateMagic Wand: Auto select a portion of an image with the same colorCrop Tool: Self explanatoryExacto Knife: Cut shapesHeal Tool: Used with cloning toolBrush Tool: For painting Clone Tool: Clones portions of the image to place elsewhereHistory Brush: Reverses last action in certain parts of the imageEraser: Self explanatoryGradient Tool: Self explanatoryBlur Tool: Self explanatoryDodge Tool: Lighten a certain areaPath selection tool: Select paths drawn by the penText Tool: Self explanatoryPen Tool: Draw paths, curves, etc.Polygon Tool: Draw vector shapesNotes Tool: Make notesEyedropper: Selects color on an imageHand Tool: Move objectsZoom Tool: Self-explanatoryColor selection: Color on top (blue) is foreground, Color on bottom (white) isbackgroundThe rest of the menu you really don’t need to know. We will only be using about 10 of  these tools frequently.
1. Basics: Filters
Filters are fun, fast ways to get exciting effects, however, novices often overuse them.Therefore, try to limit your usage of filters, and blend them into the imageappropriately. We’ll be using filters later, especially in enhancing images, so right now this will be a quick introduction. Note that there are far too many filters for me to giveyou examples of each, just experiment with them when you have free time. When weget to modes you’ll be able to see ways in which you can blend your filtered layers toget better effects, as well as playing with their transparency.
 
Now for the filters menu. Notehow the filters are divided intosections, and within eachsection, the filters are listed.Some filters create whole newimages while others only modify the image that you are working on. Once again, experiment with them to see what they can do.Often, these filters will havepreview images so you can see the result before you apply thefilter. Warning, some of thesefilters use up a lot of memory,especially on large images. Thismeans that they will slow thecomputer down and maysometimes freeze it. Watch whatyou’re doing carefully, and saveoften.
1. Basics: Modes
Modes are ways in which layers canbe placed on top of each other tocreate some pretty interesting eThe modes menu is found on the topof the layers palette (in this image itsays ‘Normal’). There are severalmodes you can chose from, some of  the most common ones aredemonstrated below.ffects.
(credit: PhotoshopGuru)
Note: One of the best things to do with Modes is use them in combination with transparency (opacity). Thus you can minimize the effect as needed. Often, a layermode at full opacity provides too harsh of an image. So, what can you do with layersmodes? Here’s a sample:

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