image-49 (Demo)
image-50 (Demo)

Simple reasons why we use Photoshop 2/2

This quick guide is a combination of lesson sheets you may want to have by your side when using Photoshop. This is part 2 out of 2 on Photoshop’s lesson sheets. Check here the part 1!

Layer options

The potential and options of layers are often underestimated. 

  • Layer masks are enabling to realize changes in a non-destructive way;
  • Smart objects are also a way to have an image containing non destructive changes.
  • Gradient layers masks helps to create smooth transitions;
  • Layer styles make adding shadows, contours, etc. possible;
  • Flatten layers is an option to save space;
  • Blend modes can prove themselves very useful. However, they do need to be tested in order to really understand what it does. 

Examples of blend modes: 

  • multiply: grey values appear darker underneath and 50% more; 
  • screen: it is kind of the opposite; 
  • overlay: the values at 50% does nothing; black becomes darker and whiter; white becomes 100%white

Crops

Here are some fun facts about crops:

  • It is possible to show the golden spiral.
  • Non-destructive crops are usually preferred. But not to save file sizes. Once the image is cropped with these non-destructive methods, it can still be revealed completely (e.g. image → reveal all).
  • Canvas can be added to an image by dragging out. The tool canvas size can also be used to be more precise than just dragging out. (e.g. image → canvas size)
  • Perspective crop tool enables to transform the perspective of an image while cropping.

Transform

The “transform” tool can be accessed by “edit” → “free transform” or “ctrl”+”T”. This tool has multiple sub-tool and therefore uses. 

  • Straighten an Image:
    • Using the crop tool with a ruler.
    • Using another ruler, alone.
  • Content Aware Scale (accessible in the edit menu) enables to resize as wanted with a smart tool.
  • Puppet Warp can be considered as a magic tool! Indeed, it can help to bend an arm, a plant or anything. (This tool is also accessible in the edit menu.)
  • Perspective Warp is a very interesting tool that will help to rotate objects or change the perspective in your photo. However, this tool does not work if the graphic card of the computer used for photoshop cannot be used by photoshop. This option is to check in the parameters.

Type Tools

Type tools are related to adding text in your project. 2 tools exist in photoshop:

  • Type tool to add text in the file as a vector based image, which means mathematically calculated vectors that can be resized as it pleases. 
  • Area type tool to add an area in which text can be added. It is also a vector based image and can be resized and changed if needed.

In any case, the type of the font, the spacing, colors, etc. can be modified anytime.

Wanting to change the font, it is possible to choose the class (i.e. sans serif or others) or even choose similar fonts.

As already specified for both type tools, the free transform tool enables to scale the text or text area wanted.

Guide & Grids

Guides and Grids tools seem easy but they are too useful to be ignored.

Here are some helpful tips:

1 Displaying rulers with “view” → “rulers” or “ctrl” + “R”

The ruler displayed can be modified going to: “edit” → “preferences” → “units & rulers”. This is also a way to replace the 0 reference of the rulers. They can be moved also by double clicking on the ruler.  

2 Guide view with “view” → “new guide” 

Some basic information to know about the Guide fonctionnement: 

  • The orientation of a guide can be flipped by clicking on “alt”.  
  • Clearing the guide can be done with “view” → “clear guide comment”. 
  • Moving the guide is possible with the move tool active.
  • A guide can be locked through the “view” menu.
  • Snapping objects to the guide helps to place them with a higher precision. 
  • Adding a guide layout (with “view” → “add guide layout”) created a layout with a specific number of columns or/and rows. “Ctrl” + “;” enables to hide this newly formed layout. Maintaining “alt” enables reset. Finally, the appearance or color of the layout can be changed by doing “edit” → “preferences” →  “guides, grid & slices”. 
  • Smart Guides can be shown in “view” → “show” → “smart guides”. It helps to position content and can also be changed by doing “edit” → “preferences” →  “guides, grid & slices”. “Alt” + click + move enables then to duplicate an element. 

3 Showing the Grid with “view” → “show” → “grid” 

This feature is very flexible. And even if it is not a huge feature, it is a very helpful ones.

Snapping objects to the grid is similarly possible as for the guides. The path to activate this is: “view” → “snap to” → “grid”.

Changing the preferences for the grid is doable through 2 ways:

  • “edit” → “preferences” → “guides, grid & slices”
  • “edit” → “preferences” → “units & rulers” to create a certain number of columns for example. This is especially interesting for working on different Adobe softwares (e.g. 4 columns: 1 for indesign and 3 for photoshop works). The width of a document can even be measured in columns and not inches. In that case, it is possible to visualize this thanks to “view” → “new guide layouts” → “4 columns”.

Creative Clouds Library

1 A library (“window” → “library”) enables access to assets saved in all the different Adobe applications and software. 

A new one can be created from a document. It will contain all the colors, layer styles, designs, brushes, etc. that are used for this specific document and/or project.
After it has been created, a library can be shared through a public link allowing downloads or through the “collaboration” option. This last option requires to invite specifically the collaborators. However, with this option, every change from any Adobe platform or collaborator will be registered and the library itself will be updated.

2 Saving files in Photoshop

  • Files can be saved to any of the formats seen in the previous blog. As an example, it can be saved for pro-print shops to the TIFF format that may not decept layers.
  • Quick exports are enabled through quick access. This will be by default to export as PNG but it can be changed depending on the preferred users’ extension (in “export preferences”).
  • Once a file is first saved as .PSD, an automatic recovery every 10 min will proceed by default. This behaviour can be modified through “edit” → “preferences” → “file handling” → “auto save”.

⇒ And of course… Last but not least… Updating the app is a non dispensable option in order to appreciate the complete experience of Photoshop, Adobe and the Creative Cloud suite!

Have you learned anything?
do not hesitate to check our previous blog for the part 1!

Have a very good day and good luck on your next creation!

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