What’s On the Screen?
The screen in Photoshop can look quite scary at first, there is so much going on!
Below is a picture of the screen with the different areas. You can add/remove palette
groupings to tailor it for your needs. I recommend having the undo and layers palettes
open (as shown).
(where the picture goes)
USING THE TOOLBOX
The toolbox contains many tools used for creating and editing images. Many of the
tools are grouped together according to their function. For this reason, some of the
tools are hidden in the group.
Viewing tools under a grouping
Click on a tool with the left mouse button
Hold down the mouse and a box will appear revealing the other tools in that
Continue to hold the mouse and drag it to the tool you want then release
Example, if you click and hold the mouse on the Marquee tools box, you will see the
following tools under that grouping – or you can right click on it.
Marquee tool (M): This tool is used to select/cut different parts of an image.
Move tool (V): Used to move images or selected pieces of an image.
Lasso tool (L): Used to select specific parts of an image.
Magic wand tool (W): Used to select specific parts of an image.
Brush tool (B): Used for painting in Photoshop. Also, can be used to add color to the old
History Brush Tool (Y): Basically works like undo in Word.
Eraser tool (E): Used to erase part of an images.
Paint Bucket Tool (G): Used to fill image/selection with any color.
Blur Tool (R): Used to blur an image or a small part of an image.
Dodge Tool (O): Dodge tool used to modify pictures/images.
Direct Selection Tool (A): Used to direct select a specific part of a shape.
Type Tool (T): Used to add text to your image.
Add Anchor Point Tool: Used when editing a shape.
Rounded Rectangle Tool (U): Used to draw shapes.
Eyedropper Tool (I): Used to select any color from an image just by clicking on it.
Zoom Tool (Z): Used to zoom in and out.
Edit in Standard Mode (Q): Goes to standard mode.
Edit in Quick Mask Mode (Q): Goes to quick mask mode.
Standard Screen Mode (F): Goes to standard screen mode.
Full Screen Mode (F): Goes to full screen mode.
Jump to ImageReady (Ctrl-Shift-M): Used to transform work created in Photoshop to
Introduction: The basics – Selection Tools 1
The two sets of basic selection tools are found of your toolbar
They are the ones circled below
Right clicking on each of the two selection tool button will reveal even more types of
selection tools that fall within that category
The first tool in the basic shape selection tools is the circle selection tool. Right click
on the first selection tool button and select the circle tools
Click on your image, hold down your
mouse button and drag your mouse
across the image. You will see that it
makes the outline of a circle as you
drag, when you are satisfied with
your shape, let go of the mouse
button and you will have a selection
Your selection should look like the
one on the right.
Now, you can do many thing with
your new selection. The most used
tools with the selection tool is the
"Paint bucket tool" This tool is circled below in red, click on the paint bucket tool.
You can now click inside your circle selection to fill it with a desired colour.
Here are some more examples of ways to fill your selection:
Paint brush tool:
Paint bucket tool:
You can use these 3 tools "circle, square and line" to make many kinds of selections.
Now lets begin to learn about some of the features of the selection tools. Right click
again on your basic selection tools button the reveal the 4 types of selection tools.
Select the Square selection tool
Now, you already know how to make your selection, but you are probably wondering
how you can make your "Square Selection" an actual square, instead of a rectangle. To
make your selection a perfect square, just hold the shift button while you drag (this
works the same to make the ellipse a circle).
Go ahead and try it:
Now, keep your perfect square selection, and get
out your circle selection tool
You are now going to learn how to subtract from your
current selection. Take out your circle tools, hold the Alt
button and drag into your selection, let go of the mouse
button and you will see that your new circle selection has
subtracted a portion of your square selection.
Now, you know how to subtract from your selection, but
what about adding to it?
Well, adding to your selection is just as simple, this
time hold the Shift button as you drag into your
selection and you will see that it adds your new
selection to your current one.
Introduction: The basics – Selection Tools 2
This is the second tutorial on the selection tools. In the first tutorial you learned the
basics of making your selections with your "basic" selection tools. You will now go
over the many options that you can use when using these basic selection tools.
Select any of the 4 basic selection tool type: square, circle or Single Column
When you select one of these tools you will notice that a set of options appear at the
top of your screen, they look like this:
The first in the many options is the style option.
Select "Constrained Aspect Ratio" style
What this style does is set your width and height to any ratio that you want. When you
input a value, any square that you make will have the exact ration that you enter. For
example if you input a ration of 1/1 your rectangle would obviously be a perfect
Select the last style from the drop down menu called "fixed size"
What the fixed size option does is allow you to input the exact size that you want your
rectangle to be. Input whatever value you want and simply click on your image, not
need to drag with this option.
Example of a 64x64 square:
And of course the Normal style allows you to make any kind of rectangular selection
that you want.
The next option of the toolbar is "Feather"
Feather is a way to "blur" the edges of your selection. This option is usually used to
Input a feather of 5 pixels and make a selection
Then you will in your selection you will see that the last 5 pixels of the perimeter of
the rectangle have been blurred. The higher the feather value, the more of the square is
Photoshop 1: Basic Photoshop Techniques - Shapes
This tutorial will show you how to create shapes in Photoshop.
Shapes are easy to create in Photoshop. The process is not obvious, though.
1. Go to file and new. The following box will come up;
Choose the name for
You can choose the
page size – or make it
your self (custom)
How wide the picture will
be (you can change the
units to cm or mm)
Choose RGB colour to
create a colour picture
A good resolution is
about 80 PPI (pixels per
inch) for most work
How high the picture will be
(you can change the units to
cm or mm)
Once all the settings are as you wish, click on OK.
2. Choose the selection tool (marquee) and draw a
shape. (TIP: hold down shift using the ellipse
3. Choose Edit,Stroke. This will bring up the Stroke dialog box. Choose the colour
and thickness of the line. After choosing Selections, None you'll be left with your
Of course, you could choose to fill the circle with a colour or draw different shapes.
The fill tool. You can choose the colour by double clicking
Above is the shape with two selections. First select the circle shape then added a
TIP: You can add to or subtract from selections by holding down the SHIFT or ALT
Then fill the whole selection with black. You can apply a Gaussian Blur (Filters, Blur,
Gaussian) then use Image, Adjust, Levels to smooth out the circle and round the
Once you have the shape you want you can add an effect (like the chrome effect) and
lettering to create a logo.
Photoshop 2: Drop Shadows
Here's another fairly easy yet not-so-obvious process... Drop shadows.
1. Go to file and new. Choose the settings you want (15cm x 15cm) and click on OK.
2. Choose the colour you wish your text to be (lightercolours work better), the click on
the text tool
3. Choose the settings you want in the top toolbar (font, size etc)
4. Click on the workspace where you want your text to start and type in the text you
5. In the layers palette drag the text layer to add layer icon.
It's the one circled in red (note: it might be at the top of the
6. Click this layer to make it active. CTRL-click to select
the text. Change to the default (black foreground/white
background) colours by clicking on the small black and
white squares below and to the left of the
foreground/background colour swatches. Use ALT-Backspace to fill the text with
black. (Make sure that Preserve Transparency is off in the layer palette)
Note: Many filters won't work with the Preserve Transparency option turned on
Choose Filters, Blur, Gaussian Blur and enter a value that gives you the blur you want.
If unsure, try the number 3.0
The shadow layer should resemble this;
7. In the layers palette drag the shadow layer below the text layer. Make sure the
shadow layer is active and, on the image, hold down the CTRL key and use the mouse
to position the shadow where you want it.
The final image (with an added layer style: Layers / layer style – then add a bevel of
Photoshop 3: Colouring Line Art
This tutorial will show you how to put colour on a line art.
1. Go to file and then open. Search in the student dropbox in X:DTMr Miller and
find the file ‘Dragon_blank.psd’
2. Double click on "background" layer and name it "lineart", then click OK.
3. Use the magic wand tool
and click on the body area.
4. Go to Layer, new, layer. Call it body (or something else
5. Change foreground colour to the colour you want the body
and use the fill tool
to shade the
6. Click on the line art layer again.
Now use the magic wand tool again
on a different area, then create a
new layer, then fill it using
whatever colour you want.
7. Keep repeating this process until
it is all coloured.
8. The layers palette will now be
really full of many layers. Click on
one of the layers at the top, then go
to; Layer / merge down
This will add the layer you selected and the layer below it. If you keep doing that until
you are happy with the layer palette. NOTE: do not merge the line art layer.
HINT: keep different things and different colours in separate layers.
If you have some problems because some areas are not filled with colour you can
always pick the Brush Tool , and brush on it to fill.
REMEMBER : just fill colour on a new layer, DO NOT fill colour on "Line art"
Photoshop 4: Shading and Shadowing
This tutorial is really useful to practise shading and shadowing on your picture.
1. Open the image you used for the last tutorial (or you can open X:DTMr
2. Choose a light source, anywhere you like, I will describe the detail you must
remember below :
3. You are going to use the Dodge Tool
(make picture lighter) and Burn Tool
(make picture darker). Follow the rule on the previous picture and start shading!
(a) First, pick Burn Tool
, choose big size brush, about 60px
Shade the rear of body
Continue shading on areas where aren't light (for better accuracy zoom in and use a
(b) Then pick Dodge Tool
, option :
Remember; follow the rule!
Shading on areas that need lightening....
4. Pick the Elliptical Marquee Tool
change foreground colour to Black (NOTE:
there is no colour change on your drawing
yet, you have only selected the tools)
(a) Create a new layer and put it under all of
(b) Draw a small elipse at bottom of subject :
(c) Press ALT+BACKSPACE at the Same time
to fill the selection with Black.
5. Do another, smaller ellipse (on a new layer)
around the foot following step 4
The end result;
Photoshop 5: Layers
This tutorial takes several pictures and shows you what you can do with them on
different layers. These include;
• Moving a layer (independent of anything else)
• Changing the colour of a layer
• Changing the size of a layer
• Changing the opacity of a layer
Working With Layers In Photoshop
One of Photoshop's most powerful features is the
use of layers. Each layer in a Photoshop document
is a separate image which can be edited apart from
any other layer. A layer can be envisioned as an
image on a sheet of clear material. Together, all the
layers form a stack of images:
1. Open the file Rev_Counter.jpg in the Student dropbox X:DepartmentsDesign
2. Use the magic wand tool to select the background, then use the eraser (try a large
brush size) to delete it.
3. Open the file Gear_stick.jpg in the Student dropbox X:DepartmentsDesign
4. Open the file
Austin_Martin.jpg in the
5. Use the move tool and drag
the rev counter and the gear
stick pictures across to car
picture (once you’ve done this
they should all now be in the
6. In the layers pallet rename each layer to something sensible.
7. Make sure they are in the order shown above;
1. Rev Counter on top
2. Then Gear stick
3. Then Car on the bottom
If they are not drag them to the correct place.
8. You can turn layer visibility on and off and completely change the appearance of an
image without permanently affecting the picture. The eye icon to the left of each layer
controls its visibility. A layer is made visible or hidden by clicking its eye icon (below
left). The result is the same Photoshop document shown previously with the exception
that one of its layers has been hidden revealing the picture or background underneath.
9. Click the Rev Counter layer to
activate it. When this is selected you
can only change this layer and no
other. Move it to the left middle side.
10. Click the Gear stick layer to
activate it. Using the move tool,
make it fill the whole area. You
should be left with this:
Remember the car is still there, just
hidden behind the gear stick (if you
hide the gear stick you will see the
11. Click the Rev Counter layer to activate it. Now change the Opacity (in the layer
pallet) to about 50%
Change the opacity here
12. Click the Gear stick layer to activate it. Now change the Opacity (in the layer
pallet) to about 18%.
It should now look like this:
Photoshop 6: Picture Editing and Combining
1. Open the file stickman.jpg in X:Subjects and
2. Use the magic wand tool
down shift to add selections).
to select his boots (hint: hold
3. Choose a colour in the pallete and use the fill tool
the colour of his boots.
to fill in
- Remember the top colour is the foreground colour.
4. Colour in both boots, his axe and face using the same method.
5. To change the colour of his bag is more difficult as it is a variation of green colours.
You need to adjust the tolerance (click the magic wand tool, then look at the toolbar
near the top of the screen. Adjust the tolerance to around 75 – or see what works best
for you. Once selected, use the fill tool like before.
6. Use the magic wand tool and click on the white background,
use the magic eraser tool on the background and you should
up with a grey and white checkered background - this means
nothing isin the background.
7. Open up mountain.jpg and rock.jpg in X:Subjects and
TechnologyPhotoshop. Make sure
rock.jpg is in the foreground.
8. Use the Magnetic lasso tool
draw around the rock as best you can (the
longer and more careful you are at this
the better the results will be). If you need
to add extra bits use the polygonal lasso
and hold down shift. To take
away hold down alt.
9. Use the move tool
and drag the selected rock across to the mountain picture.
You can resize it by dragging the corners. To rotate it go to ImageTransformFree
Tranform. Once you have it where you want it PRESS ENTER.
10. Drag across the stickman using the move tool onto the mountain picture and resize
him as desired. You should end up with something a little like below – but you can
chose the sizes and positions.
Remember; if you want
to save anything save it as
a Photoshop file (.psd) if
you want to change it
later. If you’ve finished
with it, save it as a .jpg
Open up another copy of stickman.jpg Try dressing him differently – as a child, or
give him long hair. Use the same methods as before and drag that person across to
join the other man in the picture. You could make a whole family go for an outing.
Photoshop 7: Other Effects
Step 1: Create a 200 pixel by 100pixel blank document and
fill the background layer with white. Create a new layer on top
and select it. Then, using the marquee or shape tools, design an
oval shape filled with black as in the figure to the left.
Step 2: With the pill button layer still selected in the layers
palette, click on Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow in the
menu and duplicate the settings on the left. You can, of course,
alter the settings to your own personal taste later, but DON'T
exit the layer style dialogs until the end of step 7.
Step 3: Now progress onto the inner glow subsection and
enter the settings shown here. This will add a little shading to
the underside of the metal pill and help solidify its presence.
Step 4: This is where most of the magic happens! Go to the
Bevel and Emboss settings and enter the settings on the left.
The gloss contour applied is not included as default with
Photoshop, so click on the curve itself and create a duplicate of
mine. Don't get too obsessive trying to produce an exact match
- its not that critical.
Optional: If you want to change the look of your metal, this
is one of the main places to do it. The Depth setting can be
varied to sharpen or soften the lighting by increasing and
decreasing the value. Likewise, playing around with the gloss
contour can help tighten effects around curves, or make them
appear softer. Finally, increasing the size and soften settings
can make the metal appear smoother or shinier, but only up to
a point - overdo it and you'll lose the effect totally!
Step 5: Now progress onto the contour subsection and alter
the curve into the one on the left (again, its a custom one not
included with Photoshop). You can try playing around with
this setting if you like, but the effects are unpredictable and
best left alone.
Step 6: For our penultimate step, go to the satin section and
enter these settings. This will reflect some of the light to the
bottom of the metal pill. Leave this step out and you'll end up
with decidedly one-sided lighting. The contour this time is,
thankfully, included with Photoshop as standard and named
'Cone - Inverted'.
Step 7: We can now bring all our work together by going into
the Colour Overlay dialog and entering the settings. Press OK
to exit the layer effects dialog and admire your work!
Step 8: Et Voila! A metallic pill button awaits your further
attention and usage. You can, of course, go for more complex
metals using the Texture Overlay feature, but I'll leave the
experimentation up to you...
Variations: Don't be afraid to play around a lot with this
effect, as it is very powerful! By varying step 7 you can, for
example, create bronze buttons, or even shiny gold ones. Have
Saving a file
If you need to workon a file later, save it as a Photoshop file - .psd
If you’ve finished it, you can save it as a .jpg file (note jpg files are compressed and do
not save things like layers)
Scanning in a file
When you scan in a file you must state several things;
- Size (e.g. A3)
- Quality (Dots per inch or DPI). The higher the DPI the better quality it is, but also
the larger the file is – you must balance the two.
- Colour – do you need black and white, grey scale or colour? (colour takes up more
Once you’ve decided everything, you must choose where to save it, and then scan it in.
Note: In school you must press the # key to transfer it to the network (Scans Room 16
Use a new layer whenever you do something different. It makes it easy to view (as
you can hide layers) easier to change and easier to delete objects. You can also always
merge them together later on.
Healing brush / Patch tool
Brush tool / Pencil tool
Clone stamp / Pattern stamp
Fill / Gradient tool
Blur / Sharpen / Smudge
Dodge / Burn / Sponge tools
Path / Direct selection tool
Turns on/off all palettes X
Switch palette colours
Makes tool bigger or smaller