This is a primer tutorial for Photoshop. Remember, this tutorial does not in anyway be a replacement to an actual Photoshop class but only as guide to use some of its functions.
This primer is a starting point for anyone who wanted to add effect like beam shots, explosions and other things in their photos (dedicated to people who like to make stories from their figures and gunplas).
In this lesson you will get to know the basic interface of Photoshop, its’ tools and some of its’ basic panels.
Daunting, isn’t? 😛
This is a typical screen in Photoshop, as you can see here I’ve already opened one of my work files to show what its like when working in one. Take note of the labeled items in the screenshot.
- Tool palette: contains the tools to create, navigate or manipulate an image
- Option bar: showing additional controls for a tool and its’ contents will change accordingly to any tools selected from the tool palette
- Panels area: a collapsible area to hide and show panels. Out of all the panels, I’ll only focus one the Navigator, Layer, Color/Swatch and Text panels.
- Document window: the image that you’re working with.
- Collapsible panels: other settings and panels.
Located at the left-side of the screen is the tool palette. In Photoshop, it is best that you familiar yourselves with this. To see the names of the tool in question, move you mouse pointer/cursor to the icon, a tooltip will appear and displays the name of the tool along with its’ shortcut key.
Notice that most of the tool icons in this palette showing a small triangular arrow on its’ lower right, that is tool flyout/switcher button. It allows you to switch to a different yet related tool. Try to click on one tool with the switcher longer than usual to change. To change back, repeat the process and click on the particular tool.
Located at the right-side of the screen are the panels.
- Navigator/Info panel: for showing the overall view and information of the document.
- Color panel: choose either from the Swatches/Color slider/Styles
- Layer panel: the most important panel, you can organize and set each layers with a specific effect.
- Collapsible panel: this for the other panels available, for now we won’t be using it.
Layers in Photoshop acts as transparent plastic sheets where you put elements of your work together. Be it an imported picture, drawing or text.
Lets look a very basic layer set up:
In Photoshop, it is best to always verified that you’ve selected the correct layer before doing anything. An active layer will be highlighted in blue as shown in the above illustration.
As shown above, we see simple scenery of a land and a few clouds, but…
… it is actually consist of several layers. With layers, it is easy to adjust and managed the composition of the image and adding effects to any particular layers.
And that’s some of the basics of Photoshop, next we’ll try to get know and use some of its basic tools in doing a simple image with an effect.