Aug 14, 2010

Photoshop Tutorials - Just Remember

If this is your first time running a tut on Ideas to Creations, please read this post!

First off, my tuts are on a Creative Commons Licence: BY NC. Mention who hooked you up, and non-commercial use, however you are free to share it and make derivations of it ("derived from davdalx's Ideas to Creations" including a link here would be appreciated).
Second, I'm using Photoshop CS4. If I should stumble upon anything that isn't supported in previous versions (to my knowledge) I will write something
on it and include an alternative method if possible.

So, just 3 major points I'd like to make right now!

If you've read my tuts on Digital Bubble and so on, you'd know I like to make a point of reminding my readers to skim through an entire tutorial before actually doing it. It gives you a sense of what's coming when you're actually doing it and you won't be caught off when I say something like "Refer to Layer 02" when you habitually merged it to the background and lost it in the history states, and have to start over. Or you end up having to stop a tut because your version of Photoshop does not support a feature I mention.

The fact that Photoshop is so flexible and, well, sometimes quite complicated, you'll find that various people have various ways of doing various things. Simply put, there's tons of ways to pull of the same effect in Photoshop. Tons! You may find one that more flexible than another but takes more work, or one that quick but cannot be adjusted later. There's methods that involve creating tens of layers while others will keep everything at a minimum.

So, as you delve into my Photoshop tutorials, I'd like you to just remember that this is neither the best method nor is it the quickest, it's just the way I would do certain things or, in certain cases, the way I've come to understand them. If you believe there's a faster or easier way to take on a certain step/process, by all means DO IT! If my method works for you, take it but don't stick with it completely. There could be another way out there.

I mean, just look at this image:
There's our image of a dark unidentifiable figure in the foreground and a blue "sky" plus some clouds. Both layers pallet screenshots on the left will produce the same image. Here's the difference:
Person 1 decided that the best way to go about it was to use an existing image to create the figure then use a blue solid as the sky, then create the clouds layer and use the same mask on it. This means he can easily change the color of the blue if he should ever need to.

Person 2 decided that the best way to go about it is to use magic wand to select the sky, invert the selection and create a layer mask on the actual image, then create the clouds layer and clip it to the liberty... I mean the figure's layer.

Note that person 1's method is more flexible since he can easily change the sky to whatever color he wants, however Person 2's method is much faster.

Basically, they've both achieved the same thing but using different processes, which also affects how many changes they can make later on, if any.

Similarly, Person 1 could decide to use a Hue/Saturation adjustment set to 'Colorize' to give an image a yellow look, while Person 2 could use a Solid Color Fill set to 'Color' and a suitable color applied. Both images would look exactly the same, and both offer a fairly easy method of changing the color! At this point, it's up to you as to which method would be easier!

The methods demonstrated in these tutorials are various processes that have been cut up and brought together. In other words, each step of each tutorial can be used in other situations. I must insist, EXPERIMENT with each step. Should I give a process like "Create a new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and set Brightness to +20 and Contrast to -10", take note and question why they're going in different directions of zero.
What happens if I set Brightness to  +20 and Contrast to +20 as well? Also, what does "Use Legacy" do?

And finally the ultimate question: How can I use this differently from what the tutorial states?

Experimentation is what makes you better at Photoshop and every other software out there... actually, in EVERYTHING!! So mess around. Remember there's always the Undo button and Photoshop's History states go back 20 steps by default. That's a lot!!

Having that said and out of the way, enjoy working with Photoshop and see you on the other side. And also, should you know a really good way or faster or more flexible method to pull off something, drop a comment at the bottom of the tut!


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