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Day 30: Project, Strategies to Continue to Get Better

Lesson 45 from: 30 Days of Photoshop

Dave Cross

Day 30: Project, Strategies to Continue to Get Better

Lesson 45 from: 30 Days of Photoshop

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

45. Day 30: Project, Strategies to Continue to Get Better


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Overview of Days 1-15


Overview of Days 16-30


Preview of Content, Part 1 - Layers, Comps, Styles, Masks


Preview of Content, Part 2 - Smart Objects and Paths


Day 2


Day 1 Introduction


Day 1 Exploring Photoshop


Day 1 Realistic Expectations


Day 3


Day 2: Best Practices I Part One


Day 2 Best Practices I Part 2


Day 4


Day 3: Lay of the Land


Day 5


Day 4: Best Practices II – Working Non-Destructively


Day 6


Day 5: Layers I


Day 7


Day 6: Layers II


Day 8


Day 7: Layers III - Masks


Bonus Video: "Layers"


Bonus Video: "Vector Masks"


Day 9


Day 8: Getting Images In and Out


Day 10


Day 9: Resolution, File Size, Resizing


Bonus Video: "Free Transform - Warping"


Day 11


Day 10: Cropping (Straightening)


Day 12


Day 11: Adjusting


Day 13


Day 12: Smart Objects & Smart Filters I (Introduction)


Bonus Video: "Copying Smart Filters"


Day 14


Day 13: Smart Objects & Smart Filters II (More Advanced)


Day 15


Day 14: Retouching I (Replacing, Removing, Moving)


Day 16


Day 15: Retouching II (Fixing, Portrait Retouching)


Day 17


Day 16: Quiz & Review


Day 18


Day 17: Shapes, Paths, and Patterns


Day 19


Day 18: Selecting I


Day 20


Day 19: Selecting II (Compositing)


Bonus Video: "Green Screen"


Day 21


Day 20: Type


Day 22


Day 21: Color


Day 23


Day 22: Painting & Brush Options


Day 24


Day 23: Automation I (Built-In, Not So Obvious)


Day 25


Day 24: Automation II (Actions)


Bonus Video: "Actions"


Day 26


Day 25: Presets


Day 27


Day 26: Video


Day 28


Day 27: Finishing Touches


Bonus Video: "Sharpen"


Day 29


Day 28: Tips and Tricks


Day 30


Day 29: Quiz, Review, Projects


Day 31


Day 30: Project, Strategies to Continue to Get Better


Lesson Info

Day 30: Project, Strategies to Continue to Get Better

wow day thirty I don't know about you but I never thought the state would come now that's not entirely true as looking forward to the end so that you can now continue your journey of photoshopped that sound really hokey but you know what I mean continue explore him and trying new things and improving your skills and your productivity and all those good things now at the end of this lesson I'm gonna give you a few ideas for what I would call strategies to continue you're learning but for now let's look at a couple of projects we're talking about one of the projects that I'd like to give you as a way to kind of pull this stuff together and try some different things so first of all let's just look att another example or two things that we can do in photo shop to get your minds working a little bit now this is a raw file but we're going to pretend that it's not that it's just that's what I've got it's a photograph and I want to do something to it and someone says oh I need can you make an ...

eight by ten well let's just see if we can or not we go to image size and it tells me it's a two by four I want to keep the residents to forty so needless to say if I up the resolution really dramatically chances are it would not look great so here's what I'm going to consider doing I'm going to first of all let us uh I want to duplicate this image and we're going to make this one our background and we're going to keep the other one will drag it over in a second but you see why I'm doing this instead of just transforming this up when you free transformed something bigger the quality loses is lost very quickly whereas if you can do something with image size it's still gonna lose quality but it does a slightly better job so in this example I'm going to go into the image eyes command and say what I really like get to be is eight by its gonna make an eight by twelve okay so it's an eight by twelve and I haven't set on re sample automatic if I know I'm tryingto goto enlargement I can also do this but automatic these days pretty much does the same thing and cc I now have this preview which can show me it doesn't look great but that's okay because I'm gonna try to do something to help with that so now I have an eight by ten now don't let the screen display fool you because at this point it looks pretty good that's because we're at nineteen point eight percent zoom view so that might assume so far out it's like looking at a photograph from across the room and going that's nice and sharp then as you get close you go oh no it's not or it's like looking on the back of your camera and you take a photograph I'm sure you've had this happen where you look at the lcd and you go oh nailed it and then when you look at it later in the computer you think oh not quite this is the same idea so don't trust this view for anything other than is it the size that I want so we want to be able to do something to this to try and make it look a little better so first of all let's just drag over our original photograph and see the difference in size that's a pretty big enlargement to be able to make it that big and not lose any quality so that's why we're doing this is to see what can you do when all you have is one photograph and it's kind of small do you have any hope at all of creating something artistic and is that your client will be happy with your client friend daughter whatever so here's kind of the approach that I would take I'm gonna unlock this background layer option or halt double click on it actually didn't probably need do that because I'm going to convert to a smart object anyway which would effectively be the same thing that's all right and now I want to add a new layer below is you've seen me do numerous times I'd like to add a new layer below and fill it with white because eventually I'm gonna print this let's assume I am and therefore anything I do to this like faded out I want to see it on white instead of transparent so back to this layer and if we go back into one hundred percent view let's move our temporarily move this up here so you can see how vast a difference there is between the original size and the blown up wanted to see what I mean about losing some quality so we need to do something to this so it's not quite so unpleased into the eye so a suggestion would be to go to the filter menu and do our blur and I've been doing god simpler I could even try one of the other bowlers like iris blur that are now also smart uh actually I said iris blur but I really meant field blurred because that would give me a better result in this case this is very similar on the surface to gazi in blur but I think it does a better job of kind of holding details so it looks more like depth of field but for now we're just going to say yep that looks good if we look down here if we wanted to by the way and interesting sideline which I won't do in this case but we could potentially do in other cases is to create kind of ah boca effect which actually doesn't more damage than good in this case but if you had say a street that you wanted to put in the background you could actually create that even better feel of depth of field by playing with bulk of in this case I'm just gonna click okay notice by the way before I move away from this because I didn't talk about this when we touched on smart filters earlier that this is one of the newer filters and photo shop and I hope this is a preview of the future of filters but you notice with other filters I went to the filter menu and a little dialogue box open with a small preview in this case I went to the filter menu and shows field blur and it basically just changed the workspace and says here's the entire image is your preview so you don't have to worry about a small little preview you're actually it's changing in effect replacing the layers panel with the blur tools panel so once I'm happy with that I'm gonna click okay this will again be a smart object are smart filter and now at this point I can say well I want to continue to tweak this well that's interesting because what I was going to do was lower the blend the uh blending options of this filter but it appears as though that's hears me learning something on the fly is that even though blur gallery is now available as a smart filter apparently it doesn't give you the standard options of changing the opacity which I need to do so in this case guess what blur gallery ain't gonna work so that was interesting you saw me pick up some new information because previously tell you why that happened previous versions of force up with introduced those three new blur filters they weren't smart so all that was announced was hey guess what these air now smart filters and I have have obviously not tried that specific function so I just found out that's not gonna work interesting and as I've said before this is an example of why I don't endit thes lessons because I want you to see that this happens to everyone when you're working sometimes you discover something that you didn't either no in a good way like that's new I like that or oh that's kind of unusual I didn't expect that so that's what happens all right so I'm going to go back to the gods and blurred because I know this will give me the effect that I want of over blurry this is the thing I was just describing it was missing I don't know why so I want to lower the opacity so I get this kind of soft focus effect and my goal is to make this bigger photograph into a background image that you can see is there but you don't know is the fact that the quality is not as good because were first of all making a soft focus and then we could also go in and lower the opacity so it quite literally becomes just a little background element that is there and then we have our other photo left in the foreground now I deliberately really overdid the difference between the two this would look better perhaps if it was not quite so huge a difference but this idea of taking an image and saying well enlarge it and still kind of make it work by playing around with settings like deliberately softening it or making it semi see through this can also be an interesting trick if you take a photograph of you otherwise really like and it's the only version you have but the focus is a little off that case where I took what I thought was a really nice image of a landscape when I looked at it I realized I must have miss hit with my auto focus because it was a little off doing this kind of thing can also solve that problem the other possibility and I'm gonna go back here two hundred percent well maybe not one hundred so you can see maur let's hide this for a second is in addition to the whole gazi and blur kind of thing the other interesting option is this filter called oil paint and its purpose is to in effect turn your photograph into as if it was on oil painting and in the first version of this the's settings could go so high that it could look ridiculous really fast so you can see here that I'm getting over the top so I normally put thes up really high and then start teo pull back a bit and find a setting that kind of emulates some brush strokes but it can still see a little bit of detail in it so it looks like a painting but not over the top shine one I never go high on because it just generally tends to again look really poor with portrait of people this kind of thing where there's some highlights you often get that kind of effect remember though this is a filter so we would have the option of pulling that back a little bit if we wanted to in this case I'm gonna go somewhere around there and again I would still take this and lower the opacity down so we're just adding that kind of painterly effect so it looks like we're deliberately doing a painting here I'm not quite so happy about what it did to this part so I probably take my brush tool with black but set to probably like ten percent opacity because I want to just make this not quite so obvious so I want to paint and build up a bit of gray paint in here so I'm not making this what happened to her face quite look so intense so this is what's happening on my laywer masses just tiny little bits of gray remember on blair mask grey is a partial hidden partially visible kind of thing so bye building it up like this with a very low opacity it could be much more gradual if I put it to one hundred percent right away it's like whoa that just took it away completely so that's the idea of using a ten to twenty percent kind of ranges we can kind of paint in here I'm also trying to take advantage of my tablet which allows me to have some pressure sensitivity going on and probably add just a bit of stroke I like to always have my strokes inside because let me show you why that is by make it big see if it goes outside the corners get kind of rounded so I pray for I have that inside look and I don't know why I'm a sucker for drop shadows I was like you have a little tiny drop shot you don't fight make it really subtle and lower the opacity way back I just feel it just does a nice little separation and I lose me and since it is I would probably adds her name or something but the point of that little exercises what do you do if someone says well here's the photograph just make it bigger or just improve it well as we've seen before you I can make it bigger but something's got to give in this case what gives is quality so I don't want to have to if I'm going to make it this big that's my only choices make it that big and lose but equality so I deal with that by making it a background element now they said I want eight by ten photographs period mouth guess what this is what you're gonna get we can't work magic with photoshopped that's just the way things work is when you have a certain amount of pixel information then you try and make it much bigger photoshopped does its best attempt to full information in but not as good as we would like unfortunately but like I said in this case I did this I enlarged this by using image size rather than free transform I think you find if I had done free transformed the quality would not be as good as this even though we're we've lost a bit of quality I think of even worse if I did free transform okay so that's an example of a little project that we can do is all we have is one photograph now this is an example this is a stock photo but I want to show you ideas where if I say when I see something like that to me that opens up a world of possibilities because this could be either just a background the way it is putting things on top of it so sick a couple of photos on top or I could put this texture on top of a photograph or I could make it a mass so anytime use either cia photo obvious or seen opting to take a photo like that we talked about this a little bit earlier with we talked about finishing touches and finding texture everywhere that's why I love having a folder full of textures because it can be used in so many different ways so let's just take a quick look at this example let's say for the sake of argument that I wanted to use this photograph and I'm just going to go in and do a couple things to this I want to make it really that actually is pretty good right there let's just see what the sizes I want to be with me not that well maybe a little smaller let's go two thousand pixels wide okay and open that of course has always hoping as a smart object this is just a j peg I shouldn't say just a j peg that sounded insulting but what I mean by that is it's not camera raw and it's not a smart object as of yet because I just opened it the photo shop if I wanted to have more control instead of just opening his foolish up I could have in previous versions up to see see I could have forced it open in camera and of course in cc now I have the option of uh converting it to a smart filter and doing camera aw right from with inside photoshopped so let's see how I could use its we'll do this dragon drop between images or as I like to call it to make sure people get bright said of his dragon drop is drag wait pull down drop now it's showing me that I have two different color spaces in this case I'm not terribly concerned about that and I don't want this really want to see that warning anytime in photo shop I had to reset my preference is halfway through this class so some of these dollars boxes are appearing that they didn't before because the first time around is that okay fine don't show again now let me just add even though I clicked don't show again I wouldn't shocked if occasionally that hogwarts reappears because sometimes that happens all right so now I want to free transform this top layer down to the same size and I've hit free transformed but I can't see the handle so once again this is something talk about before commander control zero will show me the handle so I do free transform first and then fit in window second so it fits the handles in the window now I can scale it to fit in free with free transform I wantto hold down the shift key although it's less important with the texture and option are all too scale towards the center so now aiken reposition this and continue to scale it oy unintentionally moved that reference point from the center that's why that happened okay and now I put the view backto fit and window so now I have my sunset photo with this texture and again this is just to clarify or to remind you that this is kind of a thought process thing of now that I see this texture I didn't have any plan going in into this but I want to see what can I do with it so number one use it as a blend mode right away interesting uh what if I also lower the capacity or try some other blend mode not quite as interesting but still somewhat interesting or I could just say well what happens if I just for the other way around put this photo on top and change the bland motive it and I get a different similar but different effect so even just changing the order of layers when you're playing could make a difference or I could take this texture layer that I have selected all and copy it and now that I've copied it I could use it in certain ways such as adelaide or mask optional click on the layer mask to view it and paste right onto their so now I've got this effect let's add a layer below fill it with white so we can see okay in this case this effect is so subtle I can't really see it so I would use the levels I'm gonna have to go and get it because I remember earlier I changed my keyboard shortcut so I want to make sure okay this part of the reason let's think about this for a second say well why am I not seeing I should see the photograph a little better than this because I can see that there's enough grain here to be able to see so one thing we haven't really talked about throughout this class that I let me pause and taco this just for a second because it's related things we've talked about but it's kind of what do you do if something doesn't work I keep I have been saying repeatedly make sure you check this and you check that well clearly in this case I must have forgot to check something because something's not working so one of the ways you can troubleshoot in photo shop is do the checklist after the fact so normally I say well before you do something check but because I'm in the middle of experimenting and I move this layer up in that layer down there are a few things I would check in the first thing I look at is in the layers panel how is this set up and I look at this layer and even though has a layer mask oh it's an overlay mode when you put colors like this on top of white and hit over late you're not going to see much of anything so I go back to normal there we go right away now I'm getting a better result so a couple of other tips about troubleshooting since I'm on that mindset if you're having trouble where something isn't working in photo shop there's always a reason and the reason could be a simple as for example let's do this let's pretend I was working on something I made a little selection and then without thinking I zoomed in to the point where I don't see my selek ction and then I go to do anything else and either I'm applying menu is not working or I've got a new layer and I say let's uh paint with my paintbrush and nothing is happening that's weird or any tool I take my healing brush or any of the tools that I'm trying to add pixels it's not working for some reason but my look under the menus they're still mostly available so what's going on so one of my little troubleshooting tricks is if I can't figure out what's going on sometimes I would just zoom out of course I would see it but let's assume I didn't zoom out if I look into the select menu and I see that d select is an option that tells me I must have a selection somewhere and then you have to make decision do I want that or not so from a troubleshooting standpoint if you're zoomed in and you're like why is something not working one of the first places to check is under the select menu if it says d select then again this tells you that's probably part of the problem then you can decide should I d select or should I not in as I've said in other sessions the answer is often usually it depends maybe you want to keep this election just reminds you oh yeah I have a selection and you go and work on that area or you say oops I didn't mean to have a selection let me d select that so I can continue so that's a nice another kind of a troubleshooting thing the other thing that could happen is let's just uh safe that's a good argument that I start to treat pre transformed something and then without thinking I went to work somewhere else with the same kind of rule applies here if in this case if you look under menus and find that almost everything is great out that tells you something this also tells you a great deal if you see a checkmark ever that means you haven't committed or finalized that operation so in this case I was the middle of free transforming and forgot thought I'd finished but the fact that I can see a checkmark tells me oops I must have forgot to do that this would be the same as if I was the middle of editing type and I wanted to say why is something not working I need to say let's commit that get out of that on this case looks like I'm ready to go so I take my paint brush and I start to paint and I wonder why nothing is happening so I take a look out there it is d select so I start to paint and I'm like why oh I got the opacity really low okay start to paint and I'm deliberately doing a bunch of things in a row she conceive again what happens I'm going to paint what the heck why it that's because I'm painting on a layer which is covered up by this other layers have I hide this layer look I've done a whole bunch of painting so even in this case when I I was trying to troubleshoot and realize oh wait I had something selected I should d select hopefully that very next step you should looking okay now that I've done that let me do another quick check at my layers panel is it looking the way it's supposed to and I know I've been stressing this enough but to me this is the most common thing that I see when I teach for example hands on classes with twenty people every time a hand goes up like it's not working I walk over and the first thing I do is look at the layers panel and then if that's not it then I say do you have a selection there's there's usually a core of functions that are the cause of people's trouble and it's often because I don't wanna oversimplify but if you forget to check before you go to do something thes things were gonna happen photo shop has this long memory that will say the last time you left this you were on this layer or you had this tool set this way for example earlier I was painting on a mascot ten percent opacity well I didn't change it back so I went to use my paintbrush barely see it because it was still on ten percent capacity and even then when I put the opacity up I was on the wrong way so that's kind of our thought process hope thankfully we often have things like the history panel or multiple undoes to go you know what let's get back to this point and see where we're at continue working from there now something this just popped up here that's one of the newer options where you can rotate the views I hardly ever use that myself so I'm not sure why that's still showing up there because I don't want it to rotate it might be because I'm using my walk I'm tabling it has a touch capability and I'm kind of as I'm working I'm also using the touch options as well but I kind of got distracted there but I think in a good way because troubleshooting is a big part of what we want to do in photo shop when we run into a problem now let me keep on that theme a little bit because since we're at the end of our thirty days I don't want to keep adding new information but let's let me mention a couple more things about troubleshooting so with all the things we just saw do you have a selection are you in the middle of free transforming are in the correct layer is the layer hidden it's the blend mode something odd let's say you go through all those things and you still go to use a tool and it's just not working so let's pretend for the sake of argument that's happened right here where I'll have tea and simulate this because it's it's not the case but let's pretend that I'm on the correct layer I've got everything else I've made sure nothing is active and when I do this brushstroke it's still not working properly something is amiss in this case because I have something selected so let's pretend I did that and I didn't actually so we'll fake it let's let me just undo this and pretend that uh look I'm painting and nothing's happening so that's me faking but let's pretend that's happened so you've checked everything and you're like can't see any possible reason why this tool isn't working one of the simplest ways to very quickly determine whether this is a problem associated with this document or there's a greater issue with the tool itself like a tool setting or something even worse here's a simple solution make a new document and right away use that tool if you suddenly khun use the brush tool than that suggests there must have been something in that other document that was causing the brush not operate properly because soon so I made a new document I right back to square one as faras layers and selections all that happened or considered so let's look at it the other way if I am having a problem I make a new layer and as I try to paint nothing is happening then that tells me maybe there's a tool setting that's just wrong so I revisit my tool settings if they're all correct then it could be a greater problem one of things that happens occasionally in photo shop is tools just stop operating properly and for some reason and I'm sure there's a technical explanation that some engineer would be happy to share but I don't know what it is but the term that they use is that the preferences in photoshopped that determine how everything operate including tools have become corrupted which means something is not working properly so I won't actually do it but if we that was the case we can reset our preferences now I've talked about this in an earlier session we talked about this a little bit but just to reiterate if you reset your preferences it will hopefully fix this weirdness that's not working with a particular tool then you have to recognize it also puts all of your preference is back to the out of the box settings and that's why I talked about earlier maybe saving a set of your own preferences just in case but this kind of trouble shooting thing this is a very simple at least the process is simple might take you a while to kind of narrow down what the problem but if you're ever in a multilayer document and something is going to miss the first thing I usually do is make a new layer excuse me make a new document and do a quick test and if it works fine then it's something to do with the structure or the settings of my document if in that new document the tool I'm trying to use still doesn't work then that suggest there's either a tool setting that's wrong or it could be one of these weird my preferences have got corrupted kind of thing so I went off on a tangent there and officially this lesson day thirty is now going to be called trouble shooting and projects and strategies for continuing to learn because I didn't really intend to do that but I think it's a topic that's well worth talking about because one of the frustrations people have a photo shop is very often I get people asking me questions that are preface by why can't I do this or my favorite one why won't photo shop let me do what I want to do and the answer is well it's based on the settings layers capacity blend modes selection's all those things in our checklist and as I've said before the word checklist is important but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy you still have a lot of things to check but that's kind of the thought process you go through okay so way back when I was kind of experimenting with this and seeing all the various things that I could do well let's continue now so I've got this cool texture that I put into the mask which is kind of neat let's take this layer out of the equation for a second and add the texture back in and then change the blend mode of this two maybe multiply so now I've got let's zoom out a bit so we can see some interesting so now I have my original photograph with this texture in the mask and the same texture underneath it that's kind of interesting let's double click beside this and see do a quick little look at the blend if sliders to see what if I adjust either this layer so much underlying layer maybe this just a bit maybe let's split triangle now don't like that so just give that a shot to see what it looked like now this point aiken even go back if I wanted to and go back to kameron adjust these settings or even turn this whole thing into a smart object and then try some other thing on top of that so the sky's the limit but in risk of repeating myself for the four thousandth time it might only be three thirty two hundred I'm not sure I lost count but you've heard me say non destructive and flexible and all I think so many times but this is exactly what I think gives us some great possibilities sometimes very often of course you just want to open a photograph do some tweaks sharpen it print there enough do that but you still want to get better at that by taking advantage of techniques and presets and shortcuts and things like that to be more productive one of my goals is to help you to be bored I always aimed to be do things in a very productive way but not giving up the flexible creative side of structuring my documents so I can change my mind all right so I think that's all I want to do with this I just wanted to kind of show you if you come across an interesting texture some quick ways to kind of experiment with three or four variations from the same thing so let's first talk about some let's call it while I call strategies I hate to sound really like strategies but moving forward things we can do to continue to learn more things to get better at photo shop and then we'll wrap up but give you a little project you can walk through and try some things and particularly encourage youto go off on your own tangents and I'm gonna give you some photographs but you obviously include some of your own as well so let me tell you a quick little story back in the early days of photo shop like they should have brought this and I still have in my office over here a book that was written one of the first photoshopped books ever written by bert mon roi and um I just forgot the other author's name I do apologize but it was for photoshopped too and it was bird is a genius first of all let's just get that out there so he was showing pretty amazing things but for the most part the book was here's how photoshopped works because there was either the manual or nothing because that was pre internet everything else then at photoshopped two point five this book came out called the photoshopped wow book and again I still have it somewhere which I could show you because it's all dog eared and posted noted and everything else and it became my go to book it was the first at the time it was the first book that didn't just regurgitate the manual it said here's some pretty neat things you could do like here's how you make it look like you're putting a flag up on rocks or you're adding a cash shadow that wasn't there and all these kind of really interesting creative fast so for the longest time I learned a lot from that book but I'll sort of share with you my progression of where I got two with that so you can see how this relates to what we're talking about so what I would do is I put through the book and go oh that's a need effect now I didn't have the exact same images there's so I'd find ones that will hopefully fairly similar and I would follow the steps very very clear carefully so step to now do this step three steps seven step nine step ten and might say now fill that with black step eleven change it to this so I would go through and I would follow exactly what they said and at the end for the most part my images would look very much like the ones in the book and I'd be pretty happy until I realized after a while of doing this that I was getting really good at following instructions that wasn't necessarily taking it the next level of going but why is that happening so if the book said filled with black eyed filled with black and move on to the next step and after a while I suddenly realized that if I want to something on my own I still wasn't quite sure what to do because I didn't have that understanding of what was happening so I developed this sort of strategy and this is what I'm leading up to is I think something that you want to consider doing there's a ton now of video tutorials and youtube and and great classes on creative live and other places and magazines and all kinds of place where you can find a tutorial but whatever that tutorial is if it tells you step one two three four five through whatever it is say ten steps here's what I suggest you do the first time that your try it follow the steps exactly as they say to do it and hopefully then you will get the result that is expected because you follow those steps very specifically once you do you pat yourself on the back of a good I did that but again that's just proving that you successfully interpreted instructions and followed them so then I would go back and start again and the second time every time there's a step that says something like filled with black filled with white or do this or inverted or gives some instruction with very specific settings ask yourself why why are they saying filled with black what happen if I filled with white so whatever that step is you do in operation and you go fill with white undo filled with black undo fill with gray undo and each time between those undoes I'm looking at the result on my sweet and going okay and sometimes I'll tuggle back and forth and go fill with black undo fill with white undo filled with black and you do that several times and you start to see and for me I found I had other people say exactly the same thing that the little light bulbs started getting a little brighter above my head I'm like oh so if I fill with black that's masking and all of a sudden it's like oh okay so then the next time we want to do something it made more sense so to review you follow the tutorial exactly the way it says the first time the second time you go through and do a few little tangents but still kind of end up back where where the tutorial was leading to and then third time you change up some images and go off on extreme tangents say okay it said do this I'm gonna see what happens if I go this direction and what will help you go off on those tangents without having a redo all of your work is two again back to our same story set yourself up with this whole non destructive editable kind of way of working that way you can go down a road of ten steps and you saw me do this and several examples where I tried a bunch of things that went no I don't like it and could easily come back because I didn't have to start all over again so that's that's kind of the strategy out say where you can learn a lot from any tutorial I mentioned this in previous lesson that even if you think to yourself well I would never do that I don't ever make a pattern out of brick walls or I never make a logo that's polished gold or whatever it might be to it anyway because we talked about that last time the the fact that you're going through a tutorial and trying things that still another thing that you put a feather in your cap and go ok I got that toe work great thie other thing that I would say from a reality standpoint I'm a big proponent of experimenting as you've seen where you say let's see what happens if I do this and that's why number a number of times I've just gone off on some path without any plan in mind which means right in front of your eyes you saw me do something that just didn't look very good at all and I did that deliberately because I have this beef with certain companies that make certain big photography editing software programs that when you saw there devon see their demonstrations at events it works perfectly every time and I'm like yeah I wonder about that so I have this feeling that they very carefully picked their photographs and make it look perfectly so that's why I kind of go the other way and say you know what let's just try it and see what happens but what I'm leading up to is the hole try it and see but here's the challenge that that people face and I this hit home with me of well a few years ago I was talking to someone or I guess I was actually teaching at a seminar and I kept saying just try this and just experiment and at the end of the day someone came up and said that was a great class really learned a lot but there's only one thing I would say and that is you kept saying just experiment and her comment was enough time to experiment and my job I just got to get things done and I thought that's a really good point and I should address that in future workshop because I don't want anyone to think that I mean you got plenty of time on your hands just go off and play for hours at a time cannot be great if you could so now when I say just experiment I would quickly add for seven seconds then people are going to say what how do you experiment for seven seconds well what I mean by that is let's say for the sake of argument that you're doing something in photo shop and every time you're doing a particular function you use gazi and blur because that's what you do you've used it a lot you're comfortable with it well what I would suggest is on that one time take seven seconds ago wait let me try motion blur average blur some other blur iris blur look at the results see if you like it or not if you don't undo and continue the way you normally do with gaussian blur but every time you go off into that quick little and it might not be seven seconds it might be fourteen but you know what I'm what I'm saying is not hours at a time take a few minutes go off try little thing come back you still meet your deadline you still get the end result done but each time you go off and try that little thing you're adding something into that mental toolbox ago that was actually kind of need not for this project but for another time I might consider using that if I want to create ah better look the depth the fetal or whatever it might be so experimenting for hours and hours is great but even experimenting for a few moments is going to help you uh also I really believe and I'm an advocate of using keyboard shortcuts and I know some people just by nature say I don't like keyboard shortcuts or I can't remember them I think there's a couple of reasons for that one of them is for many people it's a mental block kind of thing you're just used to not using keyboard shortcuts uh but the other thing is there's a bunch of them toe learn in photo shop so like we said right from the beginning don't go into this with the goal of learning every keyboard shortcut because the chances are either won't or it'll take you a long time I consider myself pretty good at most shortcuts when I'm teaching I try toe hold back from using them to too much because I want you to see what's going on but when I'm working away in photo shop my fingers are flying there in fact the interesting part of to me of shortcuts is if you ask me in the hallway somewhere what's the keyboard shortcut for something in photo shop I might remember but the chances are if I had a keyboard there I go and my fingers would go that's what it is because it's like muscle memory my fingers no shortcuts so I always tell people this in order to become more productive at photoshopped learning things like shortcuts and creating tool presets and all those things we talked about it actually will slow you down at first because it takes a while to learn how to do these things so for example let's look over here so I am working when I think oh wait there's a what what's that single key thing I compressed to get a tool and you think I came or what it is so you look over at the tool and you go oh it's you soh then you move away from it go back to whatever tool you're on and press you okay that's there so that's an example where it took me it actually slowed me down a bit because I had to go and say what is that shortcut but then every time you force yourself to press it it gets into that muscle memory and it starts become mohr second nature and again do you need to use keyboard shortcuts definitely not but are they worth using because it'll speed up your life you bet they are but again not learning for thousand shortcuts or whatever and someone once figured how many shortcuts there are in for a shot I can remember but it's a lot but the ones you use and remember you can even say you know what I don't use that shortcut I'd like to use that because to me it would make better sense to use a shortcut for this function so you can do that at a short cut kind of function to get make life a whole lot easier so that's just a few ideas to keep you going any time you're looking at you see anything that you like you like the work people have done look at something and sometimes office is hard to tell but at times you've kind of got that looks to me like a layer of another layer and if you're a photographer combining your camera I have this expression that's like photoshopped plus camera equals unlimited creativity because taking photos with the intent of doing something in photo shop is really one of my favorite things to do and we talked about this a whole lot more and one of my other creative life classes which was photoshopped creativity where that's one were made brushes out of smoke and did all kinds of things including a photo shoot for the purpose of using photo shop but the point is it opens up such a world of possibilities if you think of photo shop is more than just a well I'll tweet this a little bit it could do so many more interesting things all right so for your kind of closing end of semester project or whatever it is I want to give you a little bit of a challenge because um a number of years ago I was in hawaii and we went to this luau type thing and have this whole cool ceremony but it would have been kind of rainy so end up with this what I thought was a really cool photo of a guy blowing through the seashell with his torch but I couldn't get to an angle quick enough where I didn't have such a horrible background so I would like to put him on a better background like maybe this one so what I'm going to suggest to you is you go through this kind of process is it all right here is my background for now I'm just gonna open it as a smart object so that I can continue to edit it and then go back and get our other guy and do the multiple ways we do it let's just do it this way place in photoshopped of course how you do this is completely up to you but I want teo also get him in there size looks fine and at this point we need to make a selection you can see I've deliberately chosen one that's not going to be quite so easy because while there's definite edges in some places there's some tiny ledges and there's also flame that's semisi through so how would you do something like that and I'm not going to show you I'm not going to go through the steps but I will give you some little hints including think about our key concepts that I keep knocking into your head like end up with and do things in pieces so for example trying to select his arm and the flame with same function would be a challenge so why not think of that separately I want to end up with ah look where it looks like he actually was blowing this shell on that background I've also provided you with a couple of other images that you could decide to do something with the sunset and this a flower that you might incorporate in here or you might put him on a different background and try and change his color tone so it's kind of a compositing project I suppose but really the purpose of it is to pull it all together to say I need to do things like make selections effectively and use layers and adjustment layers on masking you could also add some text to it if you want maybe when you're finished at a board around the whole thing and what I would encourage you to do is to of course save your version as a psd file and then make us much smaller version and we'll have an opportunity to where you khun we'll talk about this during our live hangouts more the place you would already know by now where to put this so weaken look at it and have one final kind of get together and compare notes and talk about things and answer some final questions so wow thirty days of photo shop you know when the folks of creative lives said to me at first hey dave but we have this idea based on other suggestions I've given them some ideas of things I want to teach they said how about thirty days of photo shop and at first I was like oh yeah that'll that's great idea and I got to say it's been even better than I expected because having the ability to share with you over the course of thirty one hour videos while including the couple we did live the all this information but also have the boat interaction so you could have some notes to read and a few bonus videos and also take part in our live q and a sessions I think I hope you've had the same experience I did I've really enjoyed it and I hope you'll check out some other classes on creative life and thanks again good luck with the rest of your photo shop journey thanks again for joining me

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

30 Days of Photoshop - Bonus PDF Supplements
Homework Files
Q&A Check In with Dave Cross

Ratings and Reviews

Melinda Wong

Very good teaching. I really liked how clear Dave was with everything, the order he taught the material, and I thought the stories were very helpful. I REALLY wanted to understand photoshop and extremely thankful for his wisdom and knowledge. Thank you so much! This is what was holding me back from getting my photography started! :) It just seemed so intimidating and now I have a greater understanding.

a Creativelive Student

I'm a beginner and have found that the information Dave gives is great, although a little to fast at times. I'd like to buy the course but am curious. If I purchase can I watch it and pause it and rewind it? That would be extremely important to me. Thanks for a great service CreativeLive...

a Creativelive Student

Lots of information! Initially I thought I'd just watch the free version as I already have several Creativelive videos on Photoshop but I really like how the classes are broken into subjects and shorter, 1 hour sessions-it will make reviewing much easier! I love Dave's teaching style-he covers everything very well. (Plus the fact that he's Canadian, eh?) :D Thanks for offering such a great course! I'd would love to see Dave do a similar one on Illustrator.

Student Work