Adobe Photoshop is one of the foremost developed image editing programs available. Its concepts and tools are some of the best designed by far. The program; however, is useless unless you are familiar with its features. That is where Blazedent's Photoshop tutorials come into play. With these tutorials we hope to help mold you into a fine tuned image editing machine. So crack open Photoshop to follow along as I introduce to you, the basics of Photoshop.
The tools window; as for any of the windows, can be accessed through the [WINDOWS] drop-down menu. The tools window in particular though is the most frequently used and the most helpful. By double clicking on the top blue part of the window, the tool bar can be shrunk in size. Most of the tools are noted by their icon. The icons in order from left to right continuing down each row, the dotted square is a square marquee tool used to select a certain area on a layer that you wish to edit and work with. The arrow is a mover tool used to move items. The loop icon is used as a lasso marquee tool that is similar to a pencil tool in the way it works. So on down the list of buttons; the best way to figure out how exactly they work and what they can be used for is through trial.
A big concept of Photoshop that is often overlooked or considered common knowledge are layers. Every image opened or created in Photoshop begins on a layer called Background. As you import other images into the graphic you are working on, Photoshop adds a new layer to the image. Even added text gets its own layer. Through using layers, one can easily edit certain parts of an image. Layers can also be helpful in coloring scanned art (as shown in the next tutorial).
Other ways they can be of use are with the show/hide option of different layers in order to take away or present their visibility without erasing them. One can also lock layers so that the can not accidentally edit them.
An important asset to Photoshop is the history window. Not only can you correct errors made to your images; but you can also take a look back to reference what you might have done to a layer of the image before so you can complete the task again or use it for another time. This window can also be found by clicking on [WINDOW > SHOW HISTORY].
When saving an image to be accessed in Photoshop at a later point; a user will save their image as a psd or pdd. This type of file keeps the image exactly like it is in Photoshop. Unlike Macromedia Fireworks or other image editing software, Photoshop does not have you export your image if you want it as a gif, jpg or bmp.
Most of the common editing features such as cut, copy and paste are located in the [EDIT] drop-down menu; however, Photoshop is unique in the fact that it moves it's crop, mode and color adjustments into a completely different drop-down menu titled [IMAGE]. In this menu you can edit your overall image's size, color format (grayscale, rgb, etc.) and you can even rotate your image canvas here. Familiarize yourself with the different abilities and if you're not sure what something does, try it out on a practice image.
That is a pretty good introduction to the overall run and feel of the program. In later tutorials, expect a more direct and more aimed lesson that will help in producing specific projects rather than just basic tools and window functions.
- Joseph Lookabaugh