No designer worth their money wouldn’t know how to use Adobe Photoshop. The software is a widely-recommended tool for designers and artists alike—and for good reason. Photoshop is an all-in-one program that lets designers do everything they’d need. Fans call it “powerful”, and we have to agree. With Photoshop, designers get to unleash their creativity with complete precision. The program’s tools allow designers to be as accurate as they want, as well as have full control over the final design.
But before you reach this level of mastery, you, of course, have to start somewhere. So if you’re new to the world of Photoshop, then this article is for you. Read on to learn more about the best Photoshop tricks that can help you master the program.
Best Photoshop Tricks to Help in Your Multimedia Arts Journey
Learning Adobe Photoshop can be regarded as one of the first steps a designer must complete if they want to specialize in multimedia arts. It’s often the gateway for other software under Adobe’s slate, and for the practice of design in general.
This quick Photoshop guide for students can help you learn the ropes of the program.
1. Use these life-saving selection tools.
When editing, you will likely encounter the need to trace the uneven edges of an image in order to separate objects from their backgrounds. Doing this plainly by hand can get ugly and cost you too much time. Thankfully, Photoshop just has the right tools to assist you.
First up is the Magnetic Lasso, a selection tool that allows users to trace and outline the exact part of an image they want to edit and separate from the rest of the image. This is quite fool-proof and beginner-friendly as the Magnetic Lasso tool automatically detects the edges of an object. This will work best in an image with bold contrast between an object and its background—plus points if the edges are well-defined.
To access this great tool, click and hold on to the Lasso tool until a fly-out menu appears. Select the last option with a small magnet on the icon—that one is the Magnetic Lasso. After selection, go back to your image and place your mouse on the edge of the part you want to edit. Click your mouse once, release it, and go over the edges of the object you wish to select. For better visuals, this functions exactly like cutting something out using scissors.
Another selection tool you can tinker with is the Magic Wand tool. This one is best used to replace solid-colored backgrounds. To use this second tool, select it from the tools panel (pick the one that looks like a magic wand—you can’t miss it!) and click on the part of the image you wish to alter. Don’t forget to toggle the “Add to Selection” option on the top bar (find the icon of two squares). This is crucial so you can move forward with changing the tones and colors of your selected area.
2. Remove imperfections and fine lines with these tools.
One of Photoshop’s main uses is to remove any kind of imperfections in photos. There are multiple tools you can select to help you with this.
First is the Spot Healing Brush, which arguably is the tool that Photoshop is most known for. Use this tool to erase some unwanted features in your work. Take, for example, an old photo of your younger, acne-prone self. With the Spot Healing Brush, you can erase these little imperfections on your face—at least on the image you’re editing! To use, select the tool and place the brush over the area you want to edit. Make sure that your brush is bigger than the blemish.
What makes this tool so handy and beginner-friendly is how Photoshop automatically samples from around the retouched area to color match your image.
Another tool you can use to beautify an image is the Dodge tool. This one is known to lighten pixels, making it ideal for fixing “tired eyes” in images. When using the Dodge Tool, choose a soft brush by going to the Range setting in the menu bar’s pull-down, choosing highlights, and setting the Exposure to around 20%. When you’re ready, carefully brush over the eye area of your image. With this tool, a few strokes are enough. (Because if you overdo it, the image might look over-manipulated.)
Lastly, the basic Blur tool can also help you remove a few fine lines. This tool can remove small wrinkles around the eyes or mouth by blurring them. Just like the Dodge tool, try not to overdo your editing since it will leave you with an over-edited face.
3. Know your layers.
Learning about layers is perhaps one of the most confusing parts of Photoshop. To help you better understand them, let’s discuss their different features one by one.
To start, you should always perform destructive edits on new layers. Adjustment layers allow you to edit the image without making any changes to the original material. The edits exist as a separate file, so you can always revert to the image’s initial version without any harm or change.
When you open an image for editing, it will always appear as the Background layer. In order to preserve that image, make a copy of it by choosing Layer > New > Layer from Background. The identical copy should appear on top of the Background layer.
Another thing to learn about layers is the layer masks. Some users regard this as one of the most powerful tools in the software. Layer masks can be a portion of a layer. They can also be applied to as many layers as needed.
If you want to fix the eye area of your given image, you can select this area only using a layer mask. For any additional tasks, you can match them with additional layer masks. Editing with masks makes it easier to stay organized when editing, making your process much smoother than normal.
Go Beyond These Best Photoshop Tricks When You Learn Design and Illustration at CIIT
Learning the best Photoshop tricks will not only get you through the hardest of design classes. The discipline that Photoshop offers can also open more opportunities for you to learn animation, video editing, infographics, and so much more.
If you want to master the versatile program that is Photoshop and explore other aspects of design and illustration, you should try your hand at multimedia arts. By enrolling in the Bachelor of Multimedia Arts program at CIIT Philippines, you can learn the latest trends in the industry, taught by leading expert practitioners that will bring out the designer within you.
Prepare for a bright future shaped by digital technology. Know more about the BMMA coursework today! Interested but not yet at the college level? No problem! Start early with your design journey by exploring our Media and Visual Arts senior high school track.
Perhaps you want to learn Photoshop without committing to a multimedia arts degree. You don’t need to be a full-time student to master the art and science of this Adobe program! Explore the Specialist courses in Digital Illustration and Character Design that we offer for folks who prefer short-term, focused learning. You can even go above and beyond with our 3D Animation, Advanced Motion Graphics, and Game Design short courses! The sky truly is the limit here at CIIT.