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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Free Video Tutorials

Free Video Tutorials from Watch and Learn Photoshop
Watch and Learn Photoshop is a source of quality affordable video Photoshop Tutorials.
Each week they release a free video tutorial, here I am going to list all the free video tutorials they provide for your Photoshopping pleasure.

Lighting Adjustments

Here’s a great technique for adjusting dark and light areas in your digital photographs. It’s quick, easy and best of all, it’s non destructive.

Sharpening Techniques
Here are two optional sharpening techniques to clean up those digital photographs. Option one can speed up your work flow, while option two offers greater control with a more obscure, yet powerful tool, the High Pass Filter.

Digital Color Photo Enhancement
Want to make your digital color photos come to life? This technique, used by the professionals, will give those photos the “pop” they need for web and for print…easy, quick, and fun!

Using Levels and Unsharp Mask
Don’t delete an over- or underexposed or blurry image until you try this tip. If you don’t have the benefit of professional lighting or fancy camera settings, sometimes your digital photos will come out too dark, too light or a little fuzzy. Photoshop to the rescue! Learn how to use Levels and Unsharp Mask to adjust the lighting and sharpness of a photograph.

Using Actions

If you find yourself repeating the same Photoshop keystrokes and commands over and over again, one image after another, then you need Actions! Teach Photoshop to remember each step of a repetitive series of steps and apply them automatically, stopping along the way when you need to add a custom touch. Watch this tip for an introduction to Actions, demonstrating how to record or save steps and apply those same steps to other images. Then kick back and take a break with the time you save.

Gradient Background and Drop Shadow
Ever wonder how to take an object from a photograph and make it stand out on its own? Sure, you can delete the background, but that just leaves a plain, flat background, which probably makes your object appear flat too. Learn a simple way to add richness and depth to an object’s appearance by adding a gradient background and a drop shadow.


In this tutorial, you will learn how properly use the liquefy filter in Photoshop CS2. This can be a very effective tool when editing your digital photography. Learn to create professional looking photos.

Vanishing Point

This is one of the most amazing things in Photoshop CS2 hands down! You will learn how to edit your photos with a brand new filter called Vanishing Point. Learn to use the plane tool to paint out objects and keep in scale with the photo, simply amazing.

Using Paths to Crop a Background

Want to separate an object in a photograph from all the clutter surrounding it? Paths are a great way to create a smooth, accurate selection around any object - no matter what’s in the background. This tip shows how to create a simple path around an object, convert the path to a selection and then mask out the background so the selected object becomes an independent image.

How to Size a Photo for the Web
When you need to resize a photo for the web, it’s important to preserve as much of the quality of the original image as possible. Maintain the highest image quality by following the steps in this tip. Learn to crop, change the resolution and resize a photo for the web, while minimizing the number of times it’s processed in Photoshop.

Water Drops

In this tutorial, you will learn how to add water droplets to your pics by using the Elliptical Marquee Tool and adding layer styles. Learn how to use blending options while working with layers to get a realistic water drop.


In this tutorial, you will learn how to take a digital photo and convert it into a realistic sketched drawing. You will learn how to give the effect of a hand drawn picture by using filters and layers.


In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a classic background image of ripples on water. Photoshop makes this easy and fun to create and you can use this on banners, webpages and splash pages.

Planet Eclipse

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create the illusion of a solar eclipse, or a planet out in space. This is a very popular effect and has been widely used in all media.

Map Burn

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create the look and feel of an old antique map. You can apply this effect to new maps and wow your friends and clients. You will learn to create the effect of burnt edges and yellowed paper.


In this tutorial, you will take a digital photograph of a person or layout and create a sci-fi looking laser blast. You will learn how to create colors using layers and blending modes. This is an exciting tutorial that will WOW your friends!


A new feature to Photoshop CS2 is the Warp control. Learn to take an image, and not only distort and transform, but now warp the image and still retain quality. Photoshop CS2 now lets us take image control beyond free transform.

Custom Watermark

Protect yourself with a custom digital watermark. Add that professional look to any digital picture and set yourself apart.

Wind Filter

This is a great effect using the color table and the wind filter. Take text or any object and apply a stunning effect that looks very professional.

Lens Correct

In this tutorial, you will learn how to correct photos within Photoshop using the new lens correction filter. Learn to adjust the perspective of your photo without re-taking the shot.

Gradient Mask Blur
In this tutorial, you will learn how to add a gradient mask to add a blur effect to the background in your photos. After this tutorial, your digital pics will be winning awards.

Blur Filters

Learn to use the new blur filters provided in Photoshop CS2. These new blur filters take your projects to a new level. In this tutorial, you will learn about the very exciting new blur filter called “Surface Blur” that will add a professional look to any digital photo.

Creating Realistic Ice
In this tutorial, Craig Campbell will demonstrate how to give a realistic ice texture to your shapes using Layer Styles.

Creating a Carpet Texture

In this tutorial, trainer Craig Campbell demonstrates how to create a fibrous carpet texture in just a few simple steps in Photoshop.

Bicubic Sharper

When resizing an image in Photoshop, if you use all the default settings, the image will end up with a little bit of a blur to it–hardly distinguishable, but it is there. In this tutorial, you will learn how to customize the way your image is resampled when you resize it in order to maintain the sharpness of the image.

3D Angled Text

Have you ever wanted a line of text to pop off the page? In this tip, Brian Harber shows a 3D angle effect that will make your text standout.

Red, Black and White
Who knows where the new style of a single-color (usually red) contrasted with black and white came from? Regardless, Brian Harber shows us in this video the various methods of capturing that vibrant red or other color while desaturating the rest.

Clear Skies

In this tip, Brian Harber explores the wide potential in sky replacement and subsequent color adjustment. If you’ve ever had a picture that you loved, but it was unfortunately very cloudy or dull, here’s an easy way to spice up that picture.

Making a Photo Old

There are lots of methods of aging a photo. Instead of just weathering and roughing it up, Brian Harber shows us the basic properties of old photo exposure, and how to achieve the same look in Photoshop. [High contrast, fuzziness, random shadow from flash; no true black; THEN add dust & scratches]

Photoshop CS2 - Designing with Photos” Preview

In this video tutorial, trainer Geoff Riggs demonstrates several different ways to convert an image to black and white using Photoshop CS2, and discusses the positives and negatives of each method.

11.What Is Cloning / Rubber Stamp

The Rubber Stamp concept is taken directly from the real world. The Palette Options make it a power tool.

Rubber Stamp Options

The difference between aligned and non-aligned is the thing to remember. It refers to the relationship between the cursor and the reference point.

Clone Align

Clone Align treats the reference point as a dance partner. They move together in a precise and constant relationship. No matter how many times the mouse is activated to stamp an image, the relationship never changes.

It is a wonderful tool for cleaning up backgrounds. It is probably the most popular Rubber Stamp option.

Clone Non-aligned

Clone Non-aligned treats the reference point as a fixed point on the image. Every time the rubber stamp is activated, the reference image is painted from the starting point.

I find this very awkward. This requires the action to be completed in one continuous mouse or pen motion. I would appreciate a keyboard modifier to hold the reference point while I relax my hand.

Retouching Using Clone Align

Taking a lint mark out of the background is a snap. To establish the Clone Align reference point, hold down the Alt-key and click the rubber stamp cursor in the target area indicated by the circle.

Choose your stamp size from the Brushes Palette. Click on the 17 pixel blurred edge brush. The blurred edge helps to feather-in the retouching.

Double clicking in the brush selection cell will open its dialog box. Look at this treasure chest window on your own.


Remove the lint mark with a stamping (spotting) action. Compared to the tedious use of spotone (a semi-poisonous dye), Cloning is a lot safer, faster, and more fun.

The background irregularity which you may see is a JPG artifact in the display image and not a bad retouching work.

From Snapshot and Saved

They are both straight forward variations on the basic stamping idea. Combined with Clone and Pattern, the results can be richly complex and painterly.

Take Snapshot is an option below Define Pattern under the Edit menu.

Impressionist Option

The Impressionist option was unimpressive. I found it labor intensive and frustrating. It inspired me to finding a more intuitive method. The process went as follows:

Duplicate your master image (drag the master negative/background to the New Layers icon). Apply the following filters to the work copy layer.

* Filter > Noise > Add Noise... value 8
* Filter > Blur > Motion Blur > Radius value 1

The effects were right but too much detail was lost. I played with the opacity settings on layers 1 and 2. I finally added a third layer for more detail.

The final look resulted from the combination of Filter effects and Layers opacity adjustments.

* Layer #3:
More Detail Layer at 50% opacity.

* Layer #2:
Work/Effects Layer at 72% opacity.

* Layer #1:
Background/Negative layer at 68% opacity.

Lets get into Filters and Plug-Ins next.

10.What is Fill / Paint Bucket

Fill tool

Fill is available either as an Edit Menu choice or as a Toolbox selection as seen in this sample.

Some Tools have keyboard shortcuts and some of them even have Shift-key modifiers.

The use of keyboard shortcuts are highly productive. Choose a few often used commands and learn their shortcuts. Add a few shortcuts each week.

Before long, shortcuts will become second nature. Some of the basic ones are universal to Windows, such as the following:

* Save:
* Cut:
* Paste:

Ctrl + S
Ctrl + X
Ctrl + V

Fill command

Fill can be applied to a selection, layer, or to a layer element(s). The default settings are Normal Mode, Opacity 100%, Fill with the Foreground color, as in the sample below.


Check select it to avoid the jaggies. Jaggies are the pixel stair-stepping which can be seen in any lines or edges which is off the true vertical or horizontal axes.

Tolerance Option

Tolerance setting ranges from 0 to 255. The 0 setting works fine with a smooth single color background. Enter a higher tolerance to select a broader range of colors.

Getting the proper Tolerance setting is like focusing a camera lens. Get close by over-setting and under-setting. Using intervals of 25 to 50. Then bracket by smaller intervals to zero-in on the target range.

Cursor placement can be critical when doing a broad range Fill. The actual Fill-range is determined by the exact cursor placement but it is difficult to click on the same spot each time when testing the Fill Tolerance setting.

It would be helpful if Photoshop provided a Repeat-Fill command. This would allow for a single-click-position to be used for multiple Tolerance range tests.

Until then, I offer two work-arounds. One is to use the magnified mode. The other is to create a new layer above the target layer. Place a cross hair marker on the new layer. Activate the target layer and fill using the cross hair as a guide.

Pattern Fill Option

Pattern option is ghosted until a pattern is defined. This can be seen in the previous sample.

Pattern Fill is a powerful tool allowing you to fill with any image element. The image can come from a clip-art or be custom-made. Even transparent areas can be part of the Pattern.


* Define a pattern image area using the rectangular marque (m key) tool.
* Set Define Pattern mode (Edit > Define Pattern).

Pattern is now available as an option under Paint Bucket Contents list as shown to the right.

Fill Menu Dialog Box

Choosing Edit > Fill from the menu selections opens a dialog box with different options than the Paint Bucket Palette. The drop down list offers more choices.

I use the Paint Bucket Palette most of the time because it is convenient and fast.

It also has the tolerance option not available in the Fill dialog box.

There will be some in-use Fill command examples in the Real World Examples Section. The next TOPic is Cloning/Rubber Stamp.

9.What Are Layers

Having access to channels is pretty amazing. Using layers is even more phenomenal. It allows you to do composite and prototype work with speed and ease. It creates a playground for the imagination.

There is no one-to-one comparison to layers in the traditional graphic arts technique. Cut-and-paste and the use of tracing paper are a crude comparison. A better comparison exists in the animation industry.

The technique used in cell animation comes close to suggesting the power of Layers.

Disney style animation scenes are created by stacking numerous layers of clear acetate sheets with artwork painted on them.

A Photoshop project can easily end up looking very similar. Look at the Layers sample to the left showing all the layers to a psd file.

An approach I use often utilizes the background layer as the negative. All of my active work is done on duplicates or other layers above the background.

One exception might be the Auto Levels (Image > Adjust > Auto Levels) command. It is a single step command which "properly adjusts" most photographic images.

The Display icon is the eye. Click on it to hide the layer. The layer becomes invisible and the eye icon also disappears.

The Active layer is indicated by the brush icon. Click on it to lock protect the layer. The layer will be visible but not changeable and the brush icon will disappear.

The chain icon indicates the link status of a layer. A linked layers can be merged, moved in unison, and other joint actions are possible. In the above example, Background Effect is linked to Background Color. If the Background Effect is moved, Background Color will match the move.

Three Layers Palette Buttons.

* Create Layer Mask
* Create New Layer
* Trashcan

Create Layers Mask

* Creates a mask over the entire layer which can then be modified for use.

Create New Layer

* Create a new layer by clicking on the Creates New Layer icon. A new layer will be created
above the active layer.

* Create a copy of a layer by dragging it to the Create New Layer icon. A duplicate layer will be created above the original layer.

* Create a copy of the active layer by clicking on the Create New Layer icon. A blank layer will be created above the active layer.


* Delete a layer by dragging it to the Trashcan icon.
* Delete an Active Layer by clicking on the Trashcan icon.

There will be some in-use Layers examples in the Real World Example Section. The next topic will be What is Fill/Paint Bucket.

8.What Are Masks

Traditionally a ruby lith, a transparent deep red material, was used as a mask. The mask covered and protected parts of an image. The masks were cut with an X-acto™ knife and the process was tedious, taxing, and tiresome.

With Photoshop this process has been simplified. Make a single or multiple Selections. Shifted Selection allows for adding to Selections. The resulting area outside the selection automatically becomes a mask.

Sometimes this outside/inside thing can get confusing. No problem, it is easy to reverse a mask. Inverse the selection (Shift+Ctrl+I).

Use the resulting mask, modify it, or even save it for later use. Eliminate any masks or Selections with Ctrl+D.

This is a much easier and faster process than making a new mask in the traditional X-acto™ method.

Save masks to the alpha channel. The Select > Save Select... opens the Save Selection dialog box.

Click OK and accept the default settings.

Click on the Channels tab to see the result. The new channel is inactive (no eye icon).

Notice that the Display box is missing the eye icon.

The mask shape is shown as a b/w mini icon with a #4 label. The mini mask icon shows the exact silhouette in black and white.

Activate the mask by clicking in the empty Display box. The eye icon appears and the red mask becomes visible over Stevie (see sample below).

The active mask color resembles the traditional ruby lith. Everything under the mask is protected.

All changes to the image will occur in the non-masked area, the wall behind Stevie. Multiple masks can be used and masks can also be affected by any of the modifiers which interact with the Selections tool. In this example, the wall is also masked but the mask has been modified by Feather (Selections > Feather... value 3).

Notice that the Channels Palette now shows two mask channels and the new mask icon even reflects the feathering.

The next topic is Layers.

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