Photoshop Tips for beginners

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Photoshop Tips for beginners

Postby Jameslong on Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:58 am

1. Hold down the spacebar and then click/drag to quickly move around your canvas while zoomed in.

2. Hold down the SHIFT to keep round marquees perfectly circular, rectangle marquees perfectly square, or free transform selections to scale.

3. Hold down SHIFT to draw straight lines, and move selections straight up/down/side-to-side.

4. Hold down ALT and move a selection to create an exact copy of that selection. Hold down SHIFT at the same time to move that copy straight up/down/side-to-side.

5. Use arrow keys to nudge a selection or layer one pixel at a time.

6. Click once with a brush and then SHIFT-click elsewhere to create a straight line.

7. Hold down SHIFT while using a selection tool to add to a current selection. Hold down ALT while using a selection tool to remove part of a current selection.

8. Hold down ALT while using a brush tool and then click to select a color on the canvas and place it into the foreground color slot. (thanks, geekblather, I forgot that one!)

9. Hold down ALT and click the line between 2 layers to apply the top layer (A) to the bottom layer (B). Colors/patterns/etc. on layer A will only show up where there is no transperancy on layer B. The effect is a more dynamic 'paste into' option.

memorize these hotkeys, if u please...

CTRL z (undo)
CTRL s (save)
CTRL a (select entire canvas)
CTRL j (copy selection onto a new layer)
CTRL - (zoom out)
CTRL = (zoom in)
SHIFT CTRL i (invert selection)
CTRL r (adds/removes rulers)
CTRL x (cut)
CTRL p (paste)

added-
(these are PS7-specific. They may not work in older versions of PS)

b (brush)
e (eraser)
g (paint bucket/gradient)
r (smudge)
p (pen)
m (marquee selection tool)
l (lasso selection tool)
w (magic wand selection tool)
v (move arrow tool)
d (changes foreground/background color slots to default black and white)
x (swaps foreground and background colors)
f (full screen)
tab (removes toolbars)
[ (brush size down)
] (brush size up)
q (quickmask ... pretty advanced stuff, but gives you a lot of flexibility when making selections i.e. gradients, airbrush, smudge, etc)
Last edited by Jameslong on Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:56 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Levi-chan on Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:08 pm

1.) Layers are your friends. Try experimenting with different blending modes with duplicated layers. You can end up with (cheap, but) satisfactory results.

2.) If you find layer masks daunting, there's always an option to make a selection by creating another layer, and brushing over your "selection", making the layer invisible, and Ctrl-clicking on it to get a highlight.

3.) Photoshop is very, very flexible. It gives you a smörgåsbord of ways to solve problems, if you familiarize yourself with it. When using it, get into the mindset that Photoshop is not a singular tool; rather, a toolbox.

4.) A big, fat chunk of how your finished work will look like will depend on how well it's composed. While mostly reliant on your artistic approach, you can download plugins that can help make the task easier.

One example is ColorImpact. This tool simplifies color decisions by limiting your palette to colors that "glue" with your theme.

DeepPaint kills the need for Corel Painter (it's a brush emulator).

Etc, etc.
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Postby Plothole on Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:38 pm

This tip isn't exclusive to PS, however... Saving often.
Trust me, you'll end up cursing yourself out if you don't.

Oh, and just to expand on a point above: Layers are practical.
Case in point: When coloring lineart, its a good idea to put said lineart on separate layer. This protects the lineart in case you mess up.
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Postby Derenge on Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:40 pm

Good tips up there, a couple I didn't even know. I would also go on to suggest that people learn the keys for the various tools. L for lasso and so on. I am not going to list them all out because I've an older version and they might have changed. Additionally holding shift and hitting the shortcut button will shift through the various tools that are under the same button, for instance the gradient tool and the fill tool are both on the same spot and both are linked to G. Holding shift and hitting G will toggle which tool you are using.
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Postby Geekblather on Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:54 pm

another useful one is to hold ALT and click a color. It's the same function as the eyedropper tool, without switching away from your brush or going back to the palette (useful if you do a lot of blending)
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Postby Jameslong on Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:16 am

ah that's one I meant to put on there, GeekB. I use ALT all the time when doing flats.

And I was going to put the tool hotkeys up, but they've changed a lot from ps5 to 7. "J" used to be airbrush, for instance... now there's no airbrush...

The thing is learning the tool hotkeys just requires you to hover the mouse and then use repetition to get it down. I seriously never had anyone tell me about the SHIFT/ALT/SPACE key shortcuts, but had to find them out myself.
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Postby Jameslong on Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:34 am

there we go... added the ALT eyedropper and a handful of others I just remembered this morning. It's weird... I use those hotkeys every day several times, but when I actually attempt to think of them I have trouble remembering. LOL

Thanks to everyone who's adding to it. I mainly just wanted to help folks with hotkeys as I think it really requires a good tutorial to demonstrate the relevence and how-to's of layers.
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Postby Geekblather on Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:41 pm

No problem. I'm actually a 2nd generation Photoshop geek. My dad used to work for a printing company, that got to use Photoshop 1.0, way back in the day, so I learned a lot of the shortcuts from him.

Also, the program will tell you a lot of the shortcuts, if you just poke around the menus a little bit.
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Postby VIIStar on Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:56 pm

To even make the shortcuts quicker, a mouse with thumb buttons saves time, if, like me, you don't have a tablet. i have one with two, and they're set to fill and poly lasso so i can toggle...
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Postby Fabio Ciccone on Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:14 pm

Painting tip:

Place the B/W drawing at the top layer and mark the layer as "Multiply". This means that, the lighter the color of the art on the layer is, more transparent it gets, so Black is Black and White is Transparent.

Then you do the colours in a layer above the top one. This means you keep your original B/W art separate, which gives you way more liberty.


You might also want to go to the Preferences menu (ctrl K) and set the History steps to 99. It uses more memory but is sure handful!
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Postby Jameslong on Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:25 pm

oh yeah, another tip: if you're used to using one type of cursor and it suddenly switches to the other type of cursor, double check to make sure you haven't accidentally hit the CAPS LOCK key as that will change them from one style to the other.

i nearly let out a cheer when i figured that one out. I'm sloppy with my CTRL-z sometimes and ...hit the wrong buttons...
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Postby Adobedragon on Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:19 pm

Just a big "thank you" for this thread. I'm still in the learning phase with Photoshop, as well as with comics and drawing.

Anyhoo, I'm way too mouse dependent...the keyboard shortcuts will help tremendously.

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Postby Jameslong on Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:23 pm

cool! glad i helped help someone. :)

If you have any questions, feel free to pm me any time. As long as it doesn't involve quantum physics, neurosurgery, or prepubescent love, I can probably help.
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Postby Mvmarcz on Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:10 pm

I always max my history out at 1000

I couldn't live without it

and don't forget snapshots in your history too...they're so useful
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Postby Guyford on Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:57 pm

Nice list of tips!

I wish I had learned the "memorize the hotkey" tip earlier. It only saves a few seconds each time, but it all adds up in the long run...
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Postby Warofwinds on Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:48 pm

Learn how to create ACTIONS for things you do very often. For me, I've created the action of "increase selection by 1 px," "duplicate background and set layer to multiply," "remove white fringe of layer," and "group new layer at 60% to layer beneath." My gawsh, a few simple commands with keyboard shortcuts saves me LOADS of time.

To make a new action, find your "action" tab and press the "record" button. Press the stop button when you've completed your action. Set a keyboard shortcut. AWESOME feature.
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Postby Mercury Hat on Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:22 am

Ctrl + D will deselect everything you have selected. ...that's all I have, I just started learning photoshop a week ago XD .
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Postby Jameslong on Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:36 am

warofwinds wrote:
To make a new action, find your "action" tab and press the "record" button. Press the stop button when you've completed your action. Set a keyboard shortcut. AWESOME feature.


whoa... there's one section of PS i've never delved into. Thanks! Sounds uber-useful.
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Postby Fabio Ciccone on Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:48 am

warofwinds wrote:Learn how to create ACTIONS for things you do very often. For me, I've created the action of "increase selection by 1 px," "duplicate background and set layer to multiply," "remove white fringe of layer," and "group new layer at 60% to layer beneath." My gawsh, a few simple commands with keyboard shortcuts saves me LOADS of time.

To make a new action, find your "action" tab and press the "record" button. Press the stop button when you've completed your action. Set a keyboard shortcut. AWESOME feature.


Speaking of keyboard shortcuts, a nice tip for those using a tablet is to create a shortcut to rotate the canvas. Very handy if you're like me and cannot draw a straight horizontal line :)
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Postby Adobedragon on Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:22 am

To make a new action, find your "action" tab and press the "record" button. Press the stop button when you've completed your action. Set a keyboard shortcut. AWESOME feature.


*Scurries off to find "action tab."* There it is! Neato-cheetos! Thanks!

Now if there was a just a "Draw buildings, cars, and all the other crap I hate drawing" tab. Hee.
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