Me again, taibhrigh, Sylum’s Resident Artist. Today I’m here to talk about 5 quick tips for Photoshop. If you are using one of the other tools some of this information should be adaptable.
Layers Are Your Friends
A layer can be just about anything in photoshop –from a background to text. If you are going to modify something on an image layer –say removing an earring or changing the contrast– make a copy of that layer (and rename it because “person copy 1” and “person copy 2” won’t help you identify why you made the copy, but “person earring removed” will).
Why layers? Because once you go to far along with your change on the layer you really can’t go back (especially if you’ve closed the file). Even if you have your edit history tracking.
Also, overlays, patterns, etc are easier to manipulate on their own layer.
Never Merge or Flatten Unless You Are ABSOLUTELY Sure
Especially the “Flatten” option. This literally merges all lays, including text, into one single layer –text will no longer be editable. Once this is done and you close the file, you are not getting the layers back.
And then if you are absolutely sure, click “save as” and save the file as a new version, then flatten and save.
Round not Square
Use solid round brushes at 100% fill and opacity to remove background from around the part of an image you want to keep. Yes, a pixel is a square, a human body is not. Yes, the round brush may take a little longer, especially if you are doing close detail removal. But, the round brush will keep you from turning the person into noticeable pixels (jagged edges) –especially around the face.
If you are having problems seeing if you have removed enough of the background, try creating a new layer that is underneath the layer you are modifying. Make this new layer a solid, bright color that is not in the image.
Overlay and Soft Light with Layers
Are both a quick way to change a shirt color or add a background pattern. These layers can be kept at 100% opacity and fill or lessened to whatever you think works best for what you are trying to accomplish.
This is the spaces between letters in a font. This is what will help make your text a little more readable. In photoshop you have two ways to increase and decrease this space. Sometimes you will need to use both. Sometimes you are going to decrease one but might increase the either. The “VA” on the character palette will change the kerning for all words/letters selected. The “V/A” (sometimes there will also be a little arrow under the “A” that’s pointed towards the “V”) is the option to change the kerning just between the two letters between the cursor.
Cursive fonts may even be set to negative kernings to make the letters actually connect correctly.
Questions? Leave them below.