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PHOTOSHOP TOOLS, TECHNIQUES, AND SHORTCUTS

TOOLS, TECHNIQUES & SHORTCUTS
Objectives:
To become familiar with Photoshop’s key:
Keyboard Shortcuts, Tools, and Techniques

To understand the key differences in implementation between identical DIP effects in Photoshop 7…CS4 versus Photoshop Elements To gain proficiency in the execution of Digital Image Processing methods by the efficient use of shortcuts, tools, and techniques

REAL PHOTOSHOP VERSUS ELEMENTS
Points of Similarity:
Keyboard Shortcuts Palettes Tools

REAL PHOTOSHOP VERSUS ELEMENTS
Irritating Points of Difference:
No layer masks per se, so they have to be awkwardly simulated by using a NOP Adjustment Layer as a Clipping Mask Elements uses the Selection Brush Tool as an inferior replacement for Photoshop's Quick Mask. You are better off simply creating, editing, and saving selections as the layer mask of an invisible Adjustment Layer. A number of the corresponding tools and palettes simply have more (and more advanced) features in real Photoshop

REAL PHOTOSHOP VERSUS ELEMENTS
Seriously Missing Power User Tools:
Curves Channels (plus all related tools, layers, and palettes) Layer Groups 16 and 32 bit capabilities Pen Tool and Paths Palette Macros Lens Correction Filter/Lens Blur Color Balance Color Range Select Patch Tool Advanced Color Management No automation capabilities No customized tool presets, keyboard shortcuts, and menus Smart Objects Vanishing Point Tool HDR capabilities CMYK and LAB color modes

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101

In Photoshop, a Grayscale Image (or mask) is the same creature as a Selection or a Channel dressed in different clothes

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
Here is a Grayscale Mask (e.g.: an Adjustment Layer Mask). The rule for masks is that: “Black conceals, White reveals”

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
If we use this Grayscale Mask with a solid red image and a white background, the resultant picture would be as shown below:

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
Here is the side-by-side comparison of the image and the mask. Do you see how the mask works? Remember: “Black conceals, White reveals”

White reveals (or selects) at 100%

Gray reveals or conceals based on the gray level (tonality)

Black conceals (or hides) at 100%

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
Here is a picture of a young girl. Let us use our mask with this picture and a white background. The resulting image is shown on the next slide

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
Here is the picture of the young girl seen through the mask with a white background.

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
Here is the side-by-side comparison of the image and the mask. Do you see how the mask works? Remember: “Black conceals, White reveals”

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
Now let’s invert the mask (i.e.: black becomes white and vice versa). The inverted mask is shown below:

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
Here is the picture of the young girl seen through the inverted mask with a white background.

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101
Here is the side-by-side comparison of the image and the mask. Do you see how the mask works? Remember: “Black conceals, White reveals”

PHOTOSHOP EPIPHANY 101

WHY DO WE NEED LAYER MASKS?
Layer Masks are essential in preserving full pixel information yet allowing the transparency of portions of that information – Note that in the previous mask examples no pixel information in the red layer, the white background, or the image of the young girl was lost, it was simply hidden (or displayed) as needed This is critical in the event that the pixels may later need to be selectively shown and/or hidden

SO WHAT IS A CLIPPING MASK
(AND WHY SHOULD WE EVEN CARE?)

In our Understanding Digital Image Processing tutorial, we defined Masks as: “Masks provide a

way of protecting areas of a picture from enhancement or editing changes. Masks are standard grayscale images and, as such, they can be painted, edited, filtered and erased just like other pictures. The black portion of a mask is the protected/hidden area and the white portion of a mask is the editable/visible area. Gray areas in a mask correspond to variable editability/visibility.”

SO WHAT IS A CLIPPING MASK
(AND WHY SHOULD WE EVEN CARE?)
Here is a simple mask associated with a layer. Note how the mask defines what parts of the final image are shown and at what intensity.
Resulting Image Layers Palette

Note how the layer mask defines which portions of the “top” layer are shown. Remember that: “Black conceals, White reveals.”

SO WHAT IS A CLIPPING MASK
(AND WHY SHOULD WE EVEN CARE?)
The prior image is a perfectly legitimate Elements layer mask and it can even be edited in Elements. So why do we have a problem? The problem is that this digital image cannot be created in Elements!! Elements DOES NOT allow creating layer masks for “regular” layers, even though it allows editing them and allows creating layer masks for Adjustment Layers. So why is this the case? Because Adobe corporation has to have some artificial way of justifying the exorbitant price differential between real Photoshop and Elements. So what can we do about this? We have to simulate a “regular” layer mask by using a Clipping Mask.

SO WHAT IS A CLIPPING MASK
(AND WHY SHOULD WE EVEN CARE?)
Here is how we must simulate the effect of a layer mask for the top-most regular layer named “top”.
Resulting Image
Regular layer “top” is clipped by Adjustment Layer “top” solely to allow layer mask association.

Layers Palette

Note how the layer mask defines which portions of the “top” layer are shown. Remember that: “Black conceals, White reveals.”

SO WHAT IS A CLIPPING MASK
(AND WHY SHOULD WE EVEN CARE?)

So a “Clipping Mask” is an Adjustment Layer that is below another layer whose sole purpose is to allow the Adjustment Layer’s layer mask to “clip” the pixels in the layers above. It is an extremely confusing, artificial, and awkward way of doing things but it must be done this way to allow the use of regular layer masks in Photoshop Elements. NOTE: We define a layer as having a clipping mask layer below it via the <CTRL>-G keys.

SO WHAT IS A CLIPPING MASK
(AND WHY SHOULD WE EVEN CARE?)

Having swallowed that bitter pill, we are now at liberty to move forward and explore how we may do DIP in both Photoshop 7…CS4 and Photoshop Elements.

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Tool Shortcuts)
B: Brush Tool D: Default Foreground & Background Colors J: Healing Brushes (Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush) L: Lasso Tools (Lasso, Magnetic Lasso, Polygonal Lasso) M: Marquee Tools (Rectangular, Elliptical) S: Stamp Tools (Clone, Pattern) W: Magic Wand X: Switch Foreground/Background Colors <CTRL>: Temporarily invokes the Move Tool <SPACEBAR>: Temporarily invokes the Hand Tool
NOTE: Recommend unchecking Use Shift Key for Tool Switch under Edit ->

Preferences -> General

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Image Size/Navigation Shortcuts)

<CTRL>-"-": Zoom out <CTRL>-=: Zoom in <CTRL>-0: Fill available window <CTRL>-<ALT>-0: Actual pixels (i.e.: 100%) <CTRL>-<SPACEBAR>-<DRAG>: Zoom in on dragged area <SPACEBAR>: Temporarily invokes the Hand Tool <HOME>: Moves to upper left corner <END>: Moves to lower right corner <PAGEUP>: Moves up one window <PAGEDOWN>: Moves down one window <CTRL>-<PAGEUP>: Moves right one window <CTRL>-<PAGEDOWN>: Moves left one window

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Brush Tool Active) 1...9: Set Opacity 10...90% 0: Set Opacity 100% [: Decrease brush size ]: Increase brush size <SHIFT>-[: Decrease brush hardness

(100%,75%,50%,25%,0) <SHIFT>-]: Increase brush hardness (0,25%,50%,75%,100%) <ALT>: Temporarily invoke eyedropper pixel sampler

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Selection Related Shortcuts)
<CTRL>-D: Deselect <CTRL>-H: Hide "marching ants" <CTRL>-<SHIFT>-I: Select inverse <CTRL>-<ALT>-D: Feather selection <SHIFT>-<CLICK>: Add to current selection <ALT>-<CLICK>: Subtract from current selection <ARROW>-<UP|DOWN|LEFT|RIGHT>: Moves active selection up/down/left/right 1
pixel

<SHIFT>-<ARROW>-<UP|DOWN|LEFT|RIGHT>: Moves active selection
up/down/left/right 10 pixels repeated) Before Selection Process:

<CTRL>-<ALT>-<DRAG>: Moves floating copy of current selection (can be
<CLICK>-<ALT>-<DRAG> will center selection on starting point <CLICK>-<ALT><CLICK>-<SHIFT>-<DRAG> will constrain selection to circle/square <CLICK>-<SHIFT>-

During Selection Process:
<SPACEBAR>-<DRAG> will move entire selection while selection is being made <SPACEBAR><CLICK>-<ALT>-<DRAG> will (re)center selection on starting point <CLICK>-<ALT>(re)center <CLICK>-<SHIFT>-<DRAG> will constrain selection to circle/square <CLICK>-<SHIFT>-

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Layer Related Shortcuts)

<CTRL>-J: Copy selection into new layer
or create new layer from active layer if no selection <CTRL>-<ALT>-<SHIFT>-E: Merge visible layers into new layer above current position

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Cut-and-Paste Shortcuts)

<CTRL>-A: Select all <CTRL>-C: Copy
<CTRL>-V: Paste

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Mask Related Shortcuts)

<CTRL>-<CLICK>: on a mask icon loads
it as a selection

<ALT>-<CLICK>: on a mask icon loads it
for view/modification <SHIFT>-<CLICK>: on a mask icon disables it \: when a mask is active brings up the mask selection view <CTRL>-I: inverts a mask if it is active

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Clipping Mask Related Shortcuts)

<CTRL>-G: Group currently active layer
with previous layer

<CTRL>-<SHIFT>-G: Ungroup currently
active layer

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Mouse Actions) <CLICK>: on a value field and then use <UP|DOWN>-<ARROW> to increase/decrease
field values

<CLICK>-<DRAG>: in name field area of Layers
Palette moves the layer <DOUBLECLICK>: on a layer name to rename it Scrubber Controls: mouse cursor will change to a hand when over a text field to the left of numeric fields - can <CLICK>-<DRAG> left/right to increase/decrease field value

ESSENTIAL KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
(Other Shortcuts)
<CTRL>-S: Save current file <CTRL>-K: Brings up Preferences Dialog <CTRL>-Z: Undo (<CTRL>-<ALT>-Z in Photoshop) <CTRL>-T: Free transform <ALT>: with other keys typically inverts meaning <ALT>: Allows RESET on dialog boxes <SHIFT>: with other keys typically augments or
constrains meaning

<SHIFT>-<BACKSPACE>: Brings up Fill Layer Dialog

SHORTCUTS TIP

Don't try to learn all of the shortcuts at once; take them one-by-one. One effective way to learn shortcuts is to learn them by functional area. For example, learn the shortcuts related to the Brush Tool by working on a number of images with the Brush Tool. It is true that there are a LOT of shortcuts, but then there is a LOT to Photoshop/Elements. The bottom line is that the time spent in learning shortcuts will be amply repaid in later time saved.

KEY TOOLS/TECHNIQUES BY DIP FUNCTIONAL AREA
SELECTION
INITIAL SELECTION:
Rectangular Marquee:
Allows defining a rectangular (or square) selection area

Elliptical Marquee:
Allows defining an elliptical (or circular) selection area

Lasso:
Allows selection via tracing cursor moves

Polygonal Lasso:
Allows selection via a series of connected straight lines

Magic Wand:
Performs automatic selection based on similarly colored pixels. Allows defining a tolerance, contiguous/non-contiguous/, all layers, etc. When it’s hot; it’s hot. Best for initial selections.

Quick Selection Tool:
Performs automatic selection based on the areas painted over. Sometimes works, sometimes … Best for initial selections.

Selection Brush:
Elements’ answer to Photoshop’s Quick Mask. Allows defining a selection by painting over it.

KEY TOOLS/TECHNIQUES BY DIP FUNCTIONAL AREA
SELECTION
SELECTION REFINEMENT:
Mask Painting:
The process of modifying a Grayscale Mask to modify its selection characteristics. Offers a variety of image views along with full access to both selection modification tools and image modification tools.

Refine Edge:
Allows smoothing, Feathering, and Contracting/Expanding a current selection.

Modify:
Multi-selection tool to refine an existing selection.

Feather:
Typically defines the degree of smoothness of a selection’s edge. Helps to ensure that selected areas blend seamlessly into other areas.

KEY TOOLS/TECHNIQUES BY DIP FUNCTIONAL AREA
REPAIR
Spot Healing Brush:
Used to repair minor blemishes (e.g.: pimples, lipstick smudges, lint, etc.) When you paint over the area you want to repair, the Spot Healing Brush automatically searches the surrounding areas and blends them into the spot you're brushing.

Healing Brush:
Used to repair larger areas. You tell the Healing Brush the area of your photo to use as a source to blend in to the painted area. You should be careful when using the Healing Brush when abrupt tonal transitions are found in the target area; this can usually be resolved by selecting out the area to be repaired.

Clone Stamp:
Paints over a target area based on a predefined source area. Offers more control than the Healing Brush.

KEY TOOLS/TECHNIQUES BY DIP FUNCTIONAL AREA
ADJUSTMENT LAYERS
Levels:
Allows non-destructive contrast/exposure/color area adjustment

Hue/Saturation/Gradient:
Allows non-destructive hue/saturation/luminosity area adjustment

Photo Filter:
Allows non-destructive area adjustment using a variety of standard photo filters or a custom defined color

Solid Color:
Allows non-destructive area solid color fill

THE ART OF SELECTION
Most of the real work in Photoshop revolves around making and refining selections. Learning to make selections quickly and accurately in Photoshop is an essential skill. If you are inept at making selections, then you will labor for hours in Photoshop to perform relatively simple tasks and spend most of that time making and refining selections. Unfortunately, the Photoshop 7…CS4 offers far more powerful tools (e.g.: paths, Color Range, Channel analysis & mixing) for selections than does Elements. Since this tutorial restricts itself to tools/techniques available in both Photoshop 7…CS4 and Elements, we will not cover some of the methods mentioned above. The next several slide given some tips that may assist you in making selections more quickly and effectively.

SELECTION TIPS
If a selection takes more than a few minutes to complete, then save it with a meaningful name in case it will be needed later (Exception: If you are creating an Adjustment Layer with a selection active, then the selection is automatically added as a layer mask.) Select (typically) with a 0 feather for the highest accuracy. You can always feather later but you can't "unfeather". For most selections, a feather of 3-7 pixels seems to work quite well. Use the automated selection tools (i.e.: Magnetic Lasso, Magic Wand, and Quick Selection Tool) for initial selection. Use mask painting and the selection refinement tools (e.g.: Refine Edge, Modify) for refinement. Don't forget that you can <RIGHT>-<CLICK> within an image/selection and bring up a context sensitive menu that often avoids having to use the Main Menu.

SELECTION TIPS
Rather than save a selection via Select -> Save Selection..., save it as a hidden (i.e.: not visible Adjustment Layer mask). It will then be readily visible in the layer stack and can be viewed, recalled, and edited at any time. You can select non-transparent pixels by <CTRL>-<CLICK>ing on the layer thumbnail Don't forget that the "marching ants" are only an approximation and show only those pixels selected at 50% and above. When refining a selection as a layer mask, using the \ key for mask mode or directly viewing the mask is far preferable to the ant army. Often you can best make a selection by first selecting the inverse and then inverting it. For example, if you have an individual dressed in clothes of many colors standing against a blank wall and you want to select the individual, it would probably be a good strategy to simply select the wall (since it is of a single, consistent color) and then invert your selection.

SELECTION TIPS
If you spend a fair amount of time performing Photoshop selection operations, then consider investing in a graphics tablet. The initial monetary investment will be repaid many times over in the speed and efficiency of making and refining selections. One convenient way of making selections directly using an Adjustment Layer layer mask is to create a H/S Adjustment Layer and fill the mask with black. Set the Adjustment Layer values to Saturation = -100, Lightness = +100 and then begin painting directly on the mask. Don’t forget that in refining a selection via Mask Painting that you may apply any of Photoshop’s filters, special effects, etc. to assist you in refining the mask/selection. For example, you can use Gaussian Blur to produce the equivalent of feathering.

SELECTION TIPS
When refining a selection via Mask Painting, you would typically alternate between:
Using a normal view to see the direct effect of modifying the mask/selection and Using a mask view (\ key) to view the effects in terms of mask areas and their opacity NOTE: Typically, viewing the mask directly (via <ALT>-<CLICK> on the layer mask icon) is used for final cleanup (e.g.: ensuring that all black mask areas are truly black) NOTE: You can immediately view the image difference made by the mask by executing <SHIFT>-<CLICK> on the layer mask icon multiple times

SELECTION QUIZ
Now that we know all about selections, let’s try a short quiz. For each of the numbered squares (1...6) on the next slide, select the centered central object (and ONLY the centered central object). You can check out your selection accuracy via CTRL-J after the selection is made and then viewing just the selection by <ALT>-<CLICK>ing on the new layer's eyeball icon. The answers are given on the slide following the quiz images, but please try to solve the quiz (i.e.: make the selection in Photoshop/Elements) first. NOTE: The images shown on the quiz slide is available as a .jpg download from this site.

SELECTION QUIZ
Select the centered object in each of the numbered (1…6) white squares below

SELECTION QUIZ ANSWERS
NO PEEKING AHEAD ALLOWED!!
1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6.

Use the Magic Wand (W) and click on the center object. Use the Magic Wand (W), make sure "Contiguous" is checked, and click on the white area. Use the Selection area. Brush to paint away the number 2 and the area outside the block. When everything is selected EXCEPT the center oval, select the inverse via <CTRL>-<SHIFT>-I. <CTRL>- <SHIFT>The same technique as used in 2 should work well. Make sure that the Magic Wand has a relatively low tolerance (e.g.: 9). This works because the surrounding background is completely uniform (i.e.: solid white). background The center object (rectangle) is well defined but the colors and tones do not separate easily from the square in which it is contained. The best selection strategy here would probably be to zoom in on the center rectangle and then select it with the Rectangular Marquee Tool. Again we have an object (central rectangle) that is not well differentiated from its background (solid white). differentiated Use the same strategy as in 4 above, that is, zoom in and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool. the This selection employs a little obfuscation. The key is in remembering that (as we stated earlier) a selection is remembering nothing more than a Grayscale Mask. If you consider the contents of white square 6 without the number 6, then you should realize that the central image already is a selection (in the form of a Grayscale Mask)!! All we selection have to do is to remove everything outside white square 6 along with the number 6 itself by painting these areas white. We do this as follows:
1. 2. 3.

Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select an area just inside white square 6 and then select the inverse white Fill this inverse area with white and deselect Use the Brush Tool to paint over the number 6 with white We have now transformed the image in to a Grayscale Mask. Our challenge now is to convert it to a selection. challenge We do this as follows:

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Copy the newly created Grayscale Mask to the clipboard (<CTRL>-A, <CTRL>-C) <CTRL>- <CTRL>Create a new Levels Adjustment Layer Activate and view the newly created Levels Adjustment Layer's layer mask by <ALT>-<CLICK>ing on it layer <ALT>Copy the contents of the clipboard to the new Levels Adjustment Layer's layer mask via <CTRL>-V <CTRL>Invert the layer mask via <CTRL>-I since the object, itself, is black <CTRL>Deselect via <CTRL>-D <CTRL>NOTE: To convert the layer mask to a selection, <CTRL>-<CLICK> on its icon <CTRL>If you saw this one coming, then move to the head of the class;-) class;-

QUESTIONS?