Photoshop Tutorial #1: A Few of the Basics

Photoshop has become a key design and artists’ tool that is used for various projects from picture modification to picture fabrication. Photoshop is a very detailed and element filled application that gives a lot of power to artists wishing to turn an ordinary photograph into a new picture that has yet to be seen. From this tutorial, you should gather the basics of Photoshop and how to get started with your own new image.

1. Beginning of a new image

Beginning a new image is the first step in using Photoshop. For beginners, this is even simple for you. To start, click on ‘File’ and then on ‘New’. You will then be given a clean working box in which to begin creating your first new image. Pressing Ctrl+K will bring up the preferences box in which you can change the ‘Redo’ command to something you will remember so you can undo last actions when you have made a mistake or want to start over.

2. The wonderful world of layers

The layers in your image contain the various images that actually make up your image. For instance you can start with an eaten apple, add a new layer to represent the stem and leaf, add a new layer that makes the apple look whole, and replace again to show the apple eaten. It is quite interesting the things you can do by adding layers to an image. Clicking the ‘New Layer’ button will create a new layer which should be done for each part of your image. You don’t want to ever do an entire image on one layer because if you ever want to change something you won’t be able to.

3. Selection, selection, selection

The selection tool is one of the most important in Photoshop. With this tool you can select an area of your image and the application will interpret the selection as the area you wish to work on. To add a selection, simply hold down shift and drag until you have selected your entire area. In order to make a perfect square, start dragging and then hold down shift. Pressing Ctrl+D will remove the selection. For a circular shape like an oval selection, click the selection tool and then choose ‘Ellipse’. To move your selection, click inside the area of the image and drag it where you want it. If you hold the ‘Alt’ key when making a selection it will omit that area from your selection.

4. Special effects professional style

You can add special effects to your image with a few tools. On the layers list choose the layer you wish to work on. Right-click the layer you wish and select ‘Blending options’. Adding a ‘Drop Shadow’ will create a shadow effect cast by that layer onto the lower layers. Using ‘Bevel and Emboss’ will create a cubed effect of your image in which the center of the image is raised with sloping sides. You can also change the texture of your image as well as add a “stroke” or outline to make your image stick out.