Introduction to Photoshop: Basic Skills + 3 DIY Projects

Brit Morin, Founder & CEO of Brit + Co

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11 Lessons (57m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Creating Files in Photoshop

    • 3. Adjustment Layers

    • 4. Photoshop Tools - Part One

    • 5. Photoshop Tools - Part Two

    • 6. Customize a Serving Board

    • 7. Customize a Market Tote

    • 8. Turn Handwriting Into Font

    • 9. Make Your Own Holiday Card - Part One

    • 10. Make Your Own Holiday Card - Part Two

    • 11. Explore Design on Skillshare


Project Description

Learn the Basics of Photoshop and Complete 3 DIY Photo Projects

Introduction to Photoshop

  1. Set up your work file

    Open and name your working document.

    Set the document size and resolution. The lower the resolution, the smaller the file size will be.

    Choose a file type depending on the destination of the image. Will the document be published for web or in print?


Adjustment Layers and Tools

  1. Make color changes in Adjustment Layers

    Adjustment layers are used to create non-destructive photo edits. 

    Think of layers as sheets of tracing paper that are placed one on top of the other, with your background layer as the original sheet of tracing paper. Delete a layer and you’re taking away a layer of tracing paper.

    You can use these layers to adjust the color balance, brightness, and saturation of your photos. 

    To create an adjustment layer: select move tool (top arrow), go to “layer” in the menu bar, ans select “new adjustment layer".


Customize a Serving Board

  1. Set up your file

    Open a new document and name your file.

    Get into the practice of naming your document and specifying intentional dimensions.

    • Set the dimensions to fit your board (11" x 7" if you're using the one included in the kit).
    • Resolution should be at 300 pixels since this is a print job.


  2. Learn how to create and manipulate text

    Click on "Window" in the menu bar and select "Character" to activate the dialogue box for the type tool.

    Select the Text tool and type something like, "Say Cheese".

    Select the text using the move tool and then play with the settings in the Character dialogue box.

    tT: Font size (adjusts the size of the font)

    A/A: Leading (determines the amount of space between lines in a paragraph)

    V/A: Kerning (increases or decreases the spacing between certain pairs of etters, like AV, which look better if their boxes overlap slightly)

    VA: Tracking (spacing between characters in a line of text)

    T^: Vertical scale of text

    T>: Horizontal scale of text

    A (a/t): Sets the baseline shift (allows you to move selected characters or words above or below the fonts baseline)


    Play around the the tools in the character box until you get your phrase the way you want it.

    Make sure that your text is not overlapping with the edge of the canvas. If it is, some of it may be clipped (cut off) when you go to print it.

  3. Burn the text onto your serving board

    File + Save As + Name your file, Save as a Photoshop Document.

    Print your text and tape it to the serving board.

    Use your woodburning tools to trace the outline of the text (being careful not to hold the burning tools on the paper for so long that they catch fire)

    Remove the tape and paper and you're done!


Customize a Market Tote

  1. Create your documents

    Start by creating two documents, one to match the size of your transfer paper and one to match the size of your image.

    Since our tote is 11" x 14" and our transfer paper is 8.5" x 11", we're going to set our documents as follow:

    Document 1: 11" wide x 8.5" tall (to print horizontally)

    Document 2: 3" x 3" (so we can print six images per transfer sheet and twelve images per tote)


  2. Edit your images for print

    Go to file and open the photo you'd like to edit.

    • Copy the image (Command + A to select all and Command + C to copy).
    • Paste the image into the second document (3x3) (Command + V).
    • Use adjustment layers and tools to adjust the color and retouch the photo.
    • Once you're finished, flatten the layers by going to Layer > Flatten image.
    • Copy the image and paste into the first document (8.5x11).


    • At this point it would be helpful to turn on the grid. Go to View > Show > Grid.
    • Move the image so that you can fit six images onto the sheet, keeping in mind the size on the tote and spacing between photos.
    • Save the file as PSD and print on photo fabric transfer paper.
    • Repeat the process with the remaining six photos.
  3. Iron on all of your printed images

    Lay your first sheet of printed transfer paper image side down towards the top of your tote. Follow the Avery transfer paper instructions and iron on the first sheet before starting on the second. Avery recommends ironing for three minutes but we ironed for five minutes to be safe. After you're finished with the first sheet, arrange the second sheet and repeat the ironing process.  Then you're done!


Turn Handwriting Into Font

  1. Download iFont Maker app and get started!

    Download iFontmaker and the app will prompt you to complete the process of creating your own font!


Make Your Own Holiday Card

  1. Set up and edit your photo

    Create a new file to match the size of your holiday card and set the resolution to 300 pixels/inch.

    Create another document that is half the width of your holiday card. For example, our holiday card is 5x7" so our second document will be 5x3.5".

    Open your desired photo and copy it into the smaller document (5x3.5).

    Adjust the photo size by using Command + T and holding shift.

    Once you have the photo sized correctly, use the adjustment layers and tools to edit the color and retouch the photo.

    Flatten the image and then copy onto your card document.


  2. Design the light strands

    Use the pen tool to create the light strands.

    Click on the left hand side of the screen to lay down an anchor point.

    Click on the right hand side of the screen to lay down another anchor point while continuing to hold down your mouse.

    Hold and drag your mouse away from the anchor point to give the line a curve.

    Press enter and repeat process to create desired number of light strands.

    Use the rectangle and ellipse tool to create a light bulb.

    Then rasterize the rectangle and ellipse by selecting both layers, right clicking, and selecting "Rasterize".


    Fill bulb with desired color.

    Repeat process by copying bulb and placing along the light strand. Use transform (Command + T) to rotate the lights to fit on the strand.


  3. Add and edit text

    Select the text tool and type your message onto the document.

    Use the text tools learned in lesson 3 to adjust the text.

    Use the transform tools to rotate text into desired position.

    Once you're satisfied, save file as PSD and upload to a printer service for your new holiday cards!


Additional Resources

  • List of Photoshop tools.

    Tools are the main way you'll retouch and edit photos.

    Move: Somewhat self explanatory. Use the move tools to move objects and layers

    Lasso: Draw selections around specific areas of a photo. There are three types of lassos - lasso (free form), polygonal, and magnetic

    Magic wand: Used to select an area of a photo with the same color range. Adjust the tolerance to increase or decrease the sensitivity to changes in color

    Crop: Remove areas of the image or adjust and resize the image

    Eye dropper: Used to set the foreground color to whichever color you select within an image

    Spot healing: Used to remove scratches, blemishes, and other small imperfections from photos

    Brush: Paints image in the shape and color you select

    Clone: Copies a selected area to another area. Similar to the healing brush tool but without blending capabilities

    Paint bucket: Fills an area with the color selected

    Blur: Used to make areas blurry

    Dodge: Used to lighten specific areas of an image

    Pen: Creates paths that can be used to draw lines, clip sections, or select areas

    Text: Creates text

    Rectangle: Creates shapes

  • List of Layer Adjustments.

    Hue/saturation: adjusts the color and lightness of the image, makes colors more vivid

    Color balance: color corrects the overall mixture of colors

    Photo filter: changes your picture to have cooler or warmer tones (the "instagram" filter)

    Exposure: changes the tonal values

    Vibrance: adjusts the saturation so that clipping is minimized when you go to print, does not enhance skin tone colors - saturation does.

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