A Quick Start with Photoshop Basics. Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular photo editing software. This software has a user friendly interface, which allows you to perform basic photo editing.
However, one do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on buying Photoshop for just do some photo editing. Adobe Photoshop offers much more! Did you know that Photoshop is used by professionals to create matte paintings.
Matte painting are the paintings used to form the background layers in films like Van Helsing, Lord of the Rings, etc.
Yes my friend, the backgrounds used in LOTR series are all detailed matte paintings done by professional artists in photo editing software’s, and not a film set.
With Photoshop you can do graphic design, you can create business cards, greeting cards, do compositing, unwrap UV textures (am I getting too technical here?). Unwrapping UV texture is like taking a 3D model from a software and opening it in Photoshop and then painting it in Photoshop. Well, in short Photoshop is a multi-purpose tool, and once you understand the basics of Photoshop, you can exploit this software in many many ways. There are various ways to learn how to use Photoshop.
Fast Way to Learn Photoshop
You can download video tutorials on Photoshop, or download other tutorials which contains instructions and screenshots of Photoshop software, that help you understand the various features and settings in Photoshop.
However, in my opinion the best way to understand and learn how to use Photoshop is just to start playing around with the software and if you get stuck somewhere, then hit the F1 key for help and search on the topic on which you are stuck. For example, if you want to import multiple images in Photoshop, but don’t know how to, then just press F1 key and search for Photoshop help by typing ‘importing images’.
Few search results will appear in front of you, click on the relevant search result and read the stepwise instructions provided in the tutorial, and follow it to import multiple images. Yes, learning Photoshop is quite easy and this is one of the fastest way to learn how to use adobe Photoshop.
How to Use Adobe Photoshop?
To learn Photoshop, what do you need? You need some previous experience of using paintbrush (yeah, the old free software that is in accessories programs tab of windows), and the Photoshop software. You can download the free trial version of old Photoshop CS any version, or borrow from a friend any old version of Photoshop 7, 8, anything will do.
Before using this software, here are some pre-photoshop tips – Photoshop can slow down your machine, hence you need a good graphics card and 1-2 GB of RAM capacity. So, install Photoshop trial or old version, and use these tips to check the various features and tools in Photoshop.
Opening Photoshop Basics
Guessing the first thing you want to do with Photoshop is edit some pictures. (May be edit your picture, to remove pimples from your face, and crop it to put it as a profile pic on Facebook?) You can simply drag and drop the picture you want to edit, or use the import option and specify the path of the image. You can also import multiple images selecting many images from a folder, and dragging and dropping your selection into Photoshop software.
Understanding and Using Layers
Now that you got a picture, you will need to use tools and settings to change the picture. The first thing you need to do is unlock the layer of the image. On the bottom right side of the software, there is a floating box of layers. On that your image will be displayed as a layer. Unlock this layer, so that you can edit this picture.
Remember, that you always need to keep layers unlocked in Photoshop to work on them. You can select the hue/saturation or brightness/contrast options which you select from a drop box in the menu bar. Play around with the light and colour settings. You can work in multiple layers in the Photoshop easily, and there are many setting and features.
Here, is something for you to try out. Create a new layer which will be a tiny option on the bottom right side of layers floating box. Lock your original image layer. Then on the new layer (make sure it’s unlocked), use the text option from the tool bar on the left side. Then select the text layers and text option and start typing on your workspace.
This way you can add text on your picture. But, wait, not just that, you can go on adding anything you like this way in layers. For example, bottom layer of a red carpet event with the main celebrities, then middle layer of your smiling face picture overlapped on the head of the hero/heroine of the movie, next top layer of fan A drooling, next top layer of fan B swooning, next top layer of fan C asking autograph, to layer infinity…
I hope, now you understand the ‘power of layers in Photoshop’. Play with settings like opacity, normal, screen, multiply with layers. These options you will find on the layers box, just below the there tabs of layers, channels and paths. Level 3 is using tools in Photoshop.
Playing with the Toolbar
One of the aspect which distinguishes Photoshop from other photo editing software’s, are the tool options of Photoshop. On the left side of Photoshop software the toolbar is located. Here are some tips, before we start looking at the tool options in Photoshop. If you can’t find the toolbar, layers or other floating windows in Photoshop, then go to the windows options on the menu bar and click on default, all the windows will get arranged to their default places. You can also click on the individual options like layers box, colour palette, toolbar, etc. if you like.
There are many tools options in Photoshop. The basic ones are rectangular, crop, eraser, pen, zoom, eyedropper, hand, brush, move, text, etc. You can learn the keyboard shortcuts of all these tools, just hover the mouse cursor on tools and the shortcut will get