- Lesson details
In this series, instructor Chris Legaspi shows you how to use Adobe Photoshop as an artist. This second lesson in the series will go over what Chris refers to as, “The 5 Major Tools.” These include: Layers, Keyboard Shortcuts, Custom Brushes, Selection Tools, and Images Adjustments. Chris will go over each of these tools in-depth, and will later give you a chance to practice what you’ve learned through multiple assignments. The lesson will conclude with Chris completing each assignment, allowing you to compare your work with his.
Hardware and Software
- Macbook Pro 13″
- Wacom Bamboo, Intuos or Cintiq Tablet
- Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Corel Painter, Manga Studio or Procreate
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going to start to get into the meat of Photoshop and we're
going to talk about what I call the five major tools, what I
think are the most powerful and the most useful tools in
Photoshop so that you can get started making art in the
So make sure your Photoshop is fired up and let's get started.
to do the second lesson in the digital art series and we're
going to focus today on what I call the five major tools. Now
Photoshop is actually an incredibly robust, rich, and
in-depth piece of software. It can do quite a bit, quite
a tremendous amount of work, it's very very powerful and it's
very very deep and complex. But today what I want to show
you is what I considered the most important tools, the most
basic fundamental tools of all the tools available in
Photoshop. And these are the tools you'll be using over and
over and over and over and over and over and over again.
Probably each time you crack open the software you're going
to be using these five tools. That's why I think it's very
very important that we cover these tools and you become
familiar with them first and once you get familiar with
these tools, of course, you'll be able to expand your
vocabulary with the software as you learn more tools, more
options, more different ways to do things and personally
myself I've been using Photoshop professionally for
since the beginning, almost two decades now
and to be honest about 95% of the software I don't use and
probably haven't used. So that's why I think these five major
tools is going to be a great starting place for you. Not
only start to learn Photoshop and begin to actually using it,
get comfortable with it, and you'll be amazed by just how
quickly you'll be able to learn these five basic tools. So
before we begin, let's quickly review some of the major
features of the software, kind of review what we covered
in the previous lesson, so I'm going to do a quick overview of
the software so you know what to look for, know how to
open a file and then we'll begin with the lesson.
Okay. So here we have Photoshop and just to quickly review the
parts of Photoshop that we want to pay attention to, again this
is incredibly complex and robust piece of software. So I
want you to start focusing on the key things that you'll be
using. So the first key elements to look at
are at the very top is the file menu.
Again, just beneath that in the software itself is the options menu,
this long strip. To the left is your tool or your tools, your
toolbar, your tool strip.
Over on the right here are your layer, excuse me, your menu
windows. That's very powerful. And over in the middle is your
canvas and here I already
have a canvas open so I'm going to close this now.
And then just quickly review how to open or create a new
file. So I'm going to go up to the file menu. File, new.
And then when you get to these options just focus actually in
the center the dimensions, so width, height, and, resolution. Now
typical resolution that that I like to work with is eight by ten at
300dpi. This is just a nice basic resolution. Nice
basic canvas size that you can use for multiple purposes and I
chose eight by ten inches because because I'm old school.
Eight by ten is the size of a piece of paper if you want to
print this out on a piece of copy paper, eight and a half by
11, this will fit perfectly on that.
So once you get width, height, and your resolution is set,
just click okay.
And boom you have a brand new file. And of course, you can
drag your file off the tab or you can tab it back here.
That's one of the features in Photoshop, basically tabbing,
locking your document or you can move it around. And don't
forget you can also zoom in and out
and pan as with the space bar. Z for Zoom pan for the
spacebar. Okay. That was a brief overview of the software and what
to look for once you have the software open. Now we're going
to get into the five major tools. So remember Photoshop is
a huge and deep and complex piece of software. These are
going to be the five tools that you'll probably be using over and
over and over again. So definitely we're going to focus
on these today. And I want to first go over what the five
tools are and then we'll go into detail into each one. So
first, the first major tool is the layers. And remember layers
are these guys on the right. Excuse me. It's this window here
on the right. We'll explore that into in detail.
The second major tool is control Z and control Z is one
of the edit tools so we'll explore the edit menu and the
various functions and powerful features involved there. Edit
menus right above here and the file menu and we'll explore
these in detail.
The next major tool is Photoshop custom brushes. So
this is a very powerful feature in Photoshop and the custom
brushes can be found here in your layer -
excuse me, your menu windows. Brush and brush presets so
we'll explore this menu. A lot of stuff here. A lot of various
uses, very powerful feature in Photoshop.
The second major tool that you'll be using over and over
again are these selection tools. And selection tools is a very
powerful feature. Selection tools can be found in the file
menu here. Also, the actual tools themselves are in your
toolbar, specifically = these top two marquee and lasso.
So we'll explore those in detail.
And the final major tool are the image adjustments. These
are probably one of my favorite features of Photoshop, the
ability to adjust your artwork on the fly so fast, so quick. And
image adjustments can be found up here in the file menu as
well under image and adjustments and I'll show you
how to use some of the image adjustments that I like and how
to use them.
with layers. Now layers is super powerful, super deep, and
super complex. So what I want to do first is kind of
give you an overview of what to look for when you have your
layers window open and just some of the key features, the
key tools in the layers window itself that you'll be using
over and over again. Okay. So layers is over here on your
menu window. It's one of the most important menu windows in
the previous lesson we talked about the key menu windows that
I like to use and probably you'll be using as well.
And if your layers isn't available or isn't visible you
can simply go to window
in your file menu and go to layers. Now here a default
shortcut is F7.
So if I
press F7 on my keyboard, it should bring it back
and also too don't forget that tab is the keyboard shortcut
for hiding your tools and your menu windows. So if you don't
your layers or any menu windows, you might want to just
check tab, make sure it's not hidden.
Okay, so when we have layers open, there's a lot of stuff
here, looks pretty complex. But remember the key things to look
for are first the -
I'll make a new layer here. First is at the top, this
bar at the left with the drop-down is called the blend
modes. Over on the right you have opacity and fill you have
some menu options here. We'll get into those briefly,
specifically this alpha lock and layer lock.
And then you have the layers themselves, the layer window
itself, in the middle. And below you have some more of these
layer functions here in these submenus. So these are very
powerful as well. So these are the key areas to look for.
Now the key functions, we touched on these briefly in the
previous lesson. So the major functions that you'll be doing
over and over again with layers so you want to get
familiar with them, is to first make a new layer, next delete a
layer, third is to duplicate, and fourth is to move a layer. The
layer order. All right, so first to make a new layer,
there's two ways to do that. One is with this
this button on the bottom layers menu. I use these buttons
quite a bit. So you want to get familiar with them. This button
on the right next to the trash can is the new layer
button. So you can just click that
or you can go under layer, new, new layer up in the file menu
and there's a default shortcut for that as well.
So if you become familiar with the shortcuts, you can start to
use those as well.
And that was shift command new here that was defaulted. So
that's one way to make a new layer, two ways to make layer,
either with the button, the shortcut, which is also in the
The next is to delete a layer. The way I like to do it is by
dragging a layer to the trashcan. So see this menu
item on the far right, this little button, trash can
button. So if I take a layer,
click hold, I'm holding on the screen on the tablet and then
just drag it down just like a mouse. You would drag your
layer down to the trash can, boom.
And you can also delete a layer by using
the delete key or backspace. So just press delete key and boom
the layer's gone. Press delete key that layer's gone, I can make a
And then the next function that we want to become familiar with
is duplicating. So once you have a new layer, all you have
to do is simply click, hold, and drag a layer
to the new layer button and then boom it creates a copy. So
these are both blank. So I'll show you what it looks like.
When you have a copy, let's say I write something. We'll call
it layer one, now if I have a take that layer one I duplicate it
by dragging it to the new layer button, click, hold, and drag and
then boom now I have a copy and then I can
move it, transform it, rotate it, do various functions with it. So
I'm just going to delete that.
Now the next thing you would want to do is change their
order. So let's say I have two layers here, I'll call this bottom
Okay. So now this bottom one
is above layer two. But what if I want the purple layer one above
layer two? So what I can do is either click and hold and drag
layer one above to where I want it. So now layer one, the purple
version, is above the yellowy version.
Or you can do the inverse and
drag the layer above, drag it beneath. So depends on what
you're more familiar with and more comfortable with but the
key is you can change the layer order at any time by simply
click, hold, and drag. So it's a very powerful feature.
So I'm just going to do a group select and group delete.
And one of the things I like about layers is that it works
in a lot of ways exactly like tracing paper or vellum,
perhaps if you've draw architectural drawings before
you lay over sheet of tracing paper or vellum and you can
keep drawing on top of that and
also you can
put down tracing paper over a photo or a drawing and trace
over that so it works exactly the same way. But of course
because it's digital you can make as many layers as you want, you can
make as many copies as you want, you can
copy a drawing you already have in one layer and duplicate it.
So it's almost like having transparent xerox copies, for
example. Or you can take a drawing or a painting that
you've scanned in or photographed, you can put a layer
on it and treat it like a sheet of tracing paper and then trace
on that fresh clean layer. So if you kind of get confused or
stuck just remember layers work almost exactly like tracing
paper and also an animators might be familiar with the
thin paper with the light box underneath you can see the
drawing. So it works a lot like that.
So don't get too intimidated when you're working with
layers. Remember they're digital
unlimited, super powerful tracing paper. That's one way
I like to look at it.
and finally, the last thing that we want to cover with
layers is simply
making items visible and invisible.
So here I have some objects.
Okay, so I have a series of three objects on three layers,
basically three sheets of digital tracing paper on top of
each other. Now, what if I say for example, if I want to
see what the yellow looks like, one thing I could do is
just click this eye button and this eye is for visibility. So
when you see this eye and you want to test what a layer looks
like with it being turned off, you can quickly just drop
So that's another. Of course I can change the
order of these as well.
So remember that the eye is for visibility.
Okay, so that was a brief overview of the layer
functions. Now, let's get a little deeper and talk about
some of the more subtle and powerful features in layers.
All right. First thing I want to do is
talk about opacity and fill. So I use these quite a bit. So
let's say for example, I have a -
I have this kind of
little painting going here
and let's take another example. The cast shadow. the the cash shadow.
So let's say I have an object and sort of a cast shadow, right,
on the object. But the cast shadow is little too dark.
I want -
let's say I want some of this green to show through and my cast
shadow. My my purple triangle object. So one thing I could do
is play with opacity and to do that once a layer is active,
make sure the layer is active, and the way to tell the layer is
active is that it will be highlighted. So notice as I
click through my layers the highlight color changes, so
just to make sure that you're working on the right layer.
Okay. So one powerful use of opacity would be to lower paucity would be To to lower
the opacity for example of this cast shadow so that you can see
some of the green coming in and you can also lighten the value.
So make sure you have your layer selected and you want to
make sure that it's highlighted. So notice as I click around the so notice as I click around the
various layers become highlighted. So definitely keep
that in mind as you work with your layers.
As you start to get more comfortable with layers, you'll
probably build up several layers of layers, right, you
you'll have a few to work with so you definitely
periodically want to scan with your eye the layers menu to
make sure that the right layer that you're using is
highlighted. Because sometimes in the menu window itself, the
layer you'll be highlighted or that you're actually operating
on may be hidden. So you definitely want to periodically
scan with your eye and one way you'll find out as you use
Photoshop is that you'll be doing operations and you
probably won't see any changes on your screen probably because
one thing that you definitely may not realize is that the
layer that you wanted to be working on was inactive. So you
won't see any result. So definitely keep that as one of
your habits and as you start to play with Photoshop is
to make sure that the right layer, the exact layer that you
want is highlighted. I've done that many many times and you
probably will as well at home as you go through this but
as you become more experienced, you'll quickly learn how
to scan that, make sure your layer is active.
All right, so I got my layer active. I can even rename it.
That's one thing you can do. I'll just call this shadow.
I like to name things personally to make sure that I
can quickly glance over and I know which layer is active. So
I have shadow here. So for now I just go to opacity and click
the drop-down and
I like to move the slider. So that's 10%.
That's 50%. And you notice how it changes and updates on the
fly. This is incredibly powerful, right? This would be
really tough to do with real tracing paper.
So I like it right about there at 37%. You can even
type in numerically. So let's just say 35 for example
enter. So now this shadow layer
is at 35 percent opacity. So some of the green shows through
and you can bring it back at any time or test any time. This
is one of the things I like to do with layers is to once I
make, once I paint an object or make a mark I can test it how
subtle to make it with opacity.
Now fill works almost exactly the same way. So let's take the
same shadow layer and drop the fill. So works almost the same
to me when I use fill, I use it in conjunction with vector
objects, which are these guys here. We may not get to these
in this lesson. It's a little bit more advanced but they work
just like lasso and selection tools. So we'll touch on those in
this lesson. And also fill works with text very well.
And layer effects, when we get to layer effects. So we'll
touch on this briefly as well. But I would generally
just keep fill on the back of your mind for now, mainly focus
and use opacity when you're starting out.
Now over on the left is what we call the blend mode.
And these are a very very powerful feature. Now we'll go
over these in detail in a minute. First I want to
quickly drop down to some of the options down here and what
Over at the bottom row of these various tools here, first you
have these layer effects and you have lots of cool layer
effects. Here typically stroke, drop shadow, and glows are some
things that I like to use a lot. This button is the alpha
channel and we'll explore that as well. It's a very powerful
feature for masking
parts of your artwork or your image.
This button here our
image adjustment layers, very powerful feature. They work
just like image adjustments up here in the file menu, but
they are their own layer and we'll definitely use those as
well. These are layer groups.
New layer and delete layer.
So one quick way to organize starting from the right is the
layer group. So for example, you can take two layers and
highlight them both. I like to hold shift and click to
highlight multiple layers. So in this case, I only want layer
two, which is I'm going to name it purple triangle.
And its shadow, so if I hold shift and select purple
triangle and shadow, do multiple selection. And then I can click
this button group and it groups them together.
So that's very useful to organize your layers. So if you
have multiple layers for one object, let's say I had a third
thing which would be
like a triangle
highlight for example.
That's when groups become handy. It's really helps to
keep you organized.
And you can also
I'm going to delete this group.
And make sure if you delete a group but you liked its
contents make sure you do a group only when that menu pops
up. You can also just click the button, this folder button, to
create a group. I'll call it
triangle, just name the group.
And then you can manually drag the layers you want inside the
So that's great for staying organized there.
And what's cool about a group, once objects are in a group
you can select a group move tool, which is up here at the
very top where the shortcut is V and now you can move
whatever artwork or images are in the group. In this case
it's the triangle and the shadow. So that's a pretty cool
feature of groups.
The next on the left are image adjustments. So we'll explore
these when we get to image adjustments. That's one of the
five major tools, but they work exactly like image adjustments,
but these create its own layer. So I'll just quickly drop down
you don't want all this stuff. So you see how when I select
hue saturation, it created a layer of an adjustment and
we'll explore those as well later in this lesson.
Next is alpha masking
and we'll explore that next but I want to touch on first layer
effects. So one way to use layer effects, and layer layer effects, and
they're quite a bit of
options. So for example, let's say the most when you click
this effects button, which are layer effects, a bunch of
different options will come up,. Stroke, shadow, glow. One of the
or two of the most common things that I use are stroke,
drop shadow, and outer glow. So for example, let's select
So now my purple
object which is the purple triangle
with stroke active - and this is layer style that affects, brings
up this layer style menu. And now with stroke in each of
these on the left, these styles they have various options on
the right. So stroke, one of the options on stroke is size. You
can change the size. You can change its position,
basically center of the object outside. I typically use
outside if I want to just drop a quick stroke, you can play
with the blend mode. You can play with the opacity of course
and you can also change its color. So just click this box
here it brings up this color picker this hue cube and I can
change it from a pure black stroke to maybe more violet
stroke or blue stroke, whatever color fits. It's just one
powerful feature of layer style is stroke. And another one that
I like to use is drop shadow.
So if I go to layer style and go to drop shadow again, it'll
call up the layer style menu. I could also add layer styles
from within this submenu, like outer glow for example, just
by clicking the checkbox. So I'm going to go to activate
drop shadow. Click it, highlight it to select it. On the right
now I have some options here. I can play with the angle. I'm
going to uncheck use global light.
Play with the angle, make the mode normal, blend mode. We'll
talk about opacity in a minute.
And you see how distance -
actually we'll draw
the shadow, notice the shadow I can play with the angle.
That's really powerful, instant drop shadow. I can
change its hardness with spread. We change its size,
amount, how soft or how hard it is with size.
Also, of course play with its opacity and its color as well.
So if you don't like pure black shadow, you can change its
And you can also add various options in here as well. Like
outer glow, inner glow. I use outer glow quite a bit as well
just to quickly get a let's say one of the glowy purple effect.
Change that to blend mode to normal.
And you see the purple glow starting to appear you can
change its softness with these various options. So you definitely
want to play with these options
within the layer styles.
Now there's a lot more to the layer styles. We just briefly
touched on it here.
I would recommend just experiment. These are some of
the things in Photoshop like I was mentioning, the 95% of
things that you probably never use. If, you know, you want to
get deeper in Photoshop definitely play with the layer
styles. They can become very powerful. But the ones I showed
you today, drop shadow, stroke, outer glow, you can see how they
become - quickly become - very useful when you're painting and
composing things within Photoshop itself.
So one of the tools that has multi uses that you'll be using
a lot and it applies to various tools and features in Photoshop
as well is also known as alpha masking and masking is just a
way to like cover, hide, or blend parts of a painting or an
object or whatever you're working on and in a lot of ways
it's like masking with airbrush. So one example
would be to take like if you're doing a tight arc
using airbrush or traditional paint, you want to create like
a mask or some kind of template or cut out like you want to cut
out a perfect circle and so you spray inside and
whatever the cardboard is covering is masked out. That's -
it works almost exactly the same way but because it's
digital, of course, it's more robust and more powerful and
much easier and simpler to use. So let's explore masking
So masking has
a lot of different uses. One way I like to use masking is if I'm
editing something I just paint it or just drop down or a
piece of photography. You'll be using masking quite a bit when
you're editing photography.
So for example, what if I want to cut out a circular chunk out
of this triangle?
Like erase the top, right?
Well, obviously I could erase, just select eraser with a hard
edge brush, and just erase the top. So that's just erasing an
arc out of my triangle.
I may not want that because what if I erase but I'm like,
I don't really like that arc. I want to change it. I want a
square shape. So now what happened is the original
purple triangle that we painted is destroyed. It's no longer
there. So that's where masking comes in. So for example, I
I'm going to restore the triangle there. So one thing I
could do is with the purple triangle I could take this
button here. Make sure the layer is selected. Right? It's
highlighted, it's active. Click this mask button, layer mask. Now
there's a mask on the channel. And what masking
does is it will hide or blend and to activate it we use black
and white. So make sure that when you're working with your
mask, not only is it selected the mask itself, you might see
a white box around the mask itself. And that's this white
box here. Notice if I
click the layer itself, the layer gets the white box now.
So now the layer is active is what I'm operating on. Now here
the mask is what I'm operating on. So make sure the black box
or the mask itself has the white box on it and you can
activate simply by clicking and also masking works by painting
black and white if you paint black it'll be transparent and
the layer underneath will show through. If you paint white it
will become opaque again. I'll show you that quickly.
Now notice when my mask is active my colors default to
black and white. So you see that? If my mask, now the layer's
active. See how the colors are back to colors?
Mask is active, white boxes around the mask. Black and white
because masking only uses black and white. There's no color. So
for example, if I want to cut out or erase out or mask out an
ark out of this triangle first, I make sure to change my color
to black and one way
is to either use color
or use this guy use the hue cube. What I like to do is use
a shortcut which is default, D for default meaning black and white
and X will switch. So notice I had black already in the
background, foreground background. So now X is in the
foreground, I'm using it. Just quick way to get pure
black and pure white and now I can simply mask out
using black and what if I -
so if I like it I can keep it
and that's great. I can move forward, I was able to
accomplish what I wanted but let's say for example, I make a
mark and I go oh, I didn't like that that's ugly. So now all I
have to do is to correct my mark or bring back the purple
triangle is by to switch from black to white. So again, I'm
going to hit X to swap colors. Pure white is already in the
background. So now whatever I brush white you see how it
And notice the the amount changes there. So that's pretty
cool. The amount of black and white.
So you see how if I can switch from black and white,
bring it back. And one cool thing I like to do with masking
is to use soft brushes and gradient tool. So, for example,
I can call up one of my soft airbrushy brushes.
And instead of using a hard edge brush I can use
a soft brush to get cool
almost a gradient effect. You see that? Really cool and subtle
and that's with the mask now, of course I can bring it back
with white. So you see that, you can create a cool gradient just
by using the mask. Just one of the many uses of masking.
Now masking is just one of those things that you'll be
doing over and over again. So if it's intimidating at first,
if you get lost at first, don't worry about it. Just make sure
masking kind of works like an eraser. It's a lot like an
eraser that you can undo and redo at any time you want. It's
basically I think the technical term is non-destructive. So
think of it as an eraser you can erase out a drawing or
painting on a layer or photo and still keep the original
layer fresh, keep the pixels or the image fresh. So kind of
think of it that way, as non-destructive erasing. And
you'll definitely want to play with it. Just keep - make sure
you keep the key points in mind that the layer is active that,
the mask is active. Remember look for the white box around
the mask and make sure that you're using pure black and
pure white. And one way to quickly get to pure black and pure
white is with the hotkeys D for default, default colors, black
and white, and X will swap foreground and background. So
just keep those key things in mind. Don't get too
intimidated. Remember it's a way to erase without destroying
And that's kind of what we did here. I kind of erased the top
Notice here, the wrong thing was active. I made a mark, a
brush mark the wrong thing was active in creating this crazy
result. So my layer wasn't active. So I'm going to open my
history and undo those until - there we go. Now my - now the
mask is active and can begin to operate the mask.
Okay, the last thing that we want to cover in terms of
layers are blend modes. Now blend modes are extremely
powerful, you may or may not use them as often. And again, it's
incredibly robust as you'll see there's - there's a bunch of
blend modes and again most of them in 20 years I've barely
used most of them. I'm only going to show you the ones that
I think are most helpful, especially now as you're
starting to use Photoshop and that you'll be using quite a
bit in your in your digital art.
All right, so layers and
What I'm doing now is making a very crude and simple apple,
just so I can show you a couple of ways we can use
Okay. So here's a quick demonstration of blend modes,
and I just painted a crude little apple.
There you go apple.
A monochrome apple. So let's look at the blend
modes real quick. You'll find that over here at the top right
next to opacity.
And there's a lot - my God. Look at this. Whoo! Look
at this big old list. Now you're probably thinking oh my
God, that is crazy. That's a lot of options and I agree.
Probably most of these I
I never use and most of them I barely use. So let me show you
the ones that I think you'll be using, which I think are pretty
useful to start out with. The first is near the top is
Second near the top again second from the top is screen,
right below screen is color dodge, and the next one you'll
be using probably is either overlay or soft light. I'll
explore those quickly. Now blend modes is an incredibly
complex topic and like you saw there's a bunch there probably
won't use them. The ones we're going to cover today we're
just going to go over them briefly and you're only going
to see maybe one or two uses for them and they are
incredibly robust and useful things. So just keep them on
the back of your mind for now, but try to remember that what
you see here is only the tip of the iceberg for what you Of the iceberg for what's you
can do layer - blending modes and layers with.
All right. So one way that I like to use
the first blend mode of multiply is to create shadows. Now
multiply - what multiply does is darken. So for example, if I
have an apple here, right and I want to draw a shadow on the
one thing I could do is select the apple color
and maybe, you know do like a grade slightly darker version
of it, maybe slightly cooler. And here I'm using my color
menu to adjust the color. These HSB sliders.
Now I'm going to make a new menu - or new layer excuse me -
right above apple. I'm going to call it shadow.
And then I'm going to change the mode to multiply and you'll see
what that looks like. So now I have this fairly light color.
Here's what the color looks like.
I'm going to paint directly on
and notice what it does. It looks
pretty close to the Apple color,
it works. The color works, the value works. That's because
this color is being -
the blending mode multiplies being applied to it. I'll show
you what it looks like when you take it off. So back to normal,
now normal you see, you notice the color. Now, it's definitely
not the wrong color, first of all it's too bright, number 64.
It should be darker than the apple, of course, because it's
But once you change it to multiply, a lighter color
That's what multiply does. It kind of multiplies the value of
the color. And then it applies it to whatever is underneath in.
So in this case this purpley shadow is above this reddish
apple and the multiply creates this darkening effect. So
that's one way to use multiply.
The next one is screen. So screen is great because it does
the exact opposite of multiply, it lightens. So I made a new
layer. I'm going to call this light.
And what I'm going to do
is change the mode to screen so here it's already set to screen
and sort of in the upper middle, screen right beneath lighten.
What screen does is it lightens. So I'm going to select for example,
I'm going to select the color of the apple. What I want to do is
make a slightly -
same brightness, I'm gonna drop the opacity because we know that
colors tend to lose saturation as they get brighter and I'm
going to shift it towards the warm yellow light.
I'm just going to do that but then I'm going to brush it on
under light under on a screen mode and see what that looks
like. And while it creates a very bright
looking light side, edge is little too hard for my taste.
I'll show you what it looks like when you take screen off.
And notice now the color's totally yellow so screen and s
little bit darker than what we want. So screen lightens since
Now if I want the edge to be a little bit softer, I could
erase using a soft airbrush.
And I'm going to play with the
opacity of this brush so it gets a really soft kind of light edge.
She just just a blend it a little more.
bring some of that back.
That's the lighter part of the apple using screen mode.
The next is color dodge. So
I'm going to call make a new layer and call this highlight.
So what if I want to highlight right here, right apples are
fairly reflective. So what I'm gonna do is make a new layer,
call it highlight, and then set the mode to color dodge so
color dodge you may have heard the term. It basically makes
things very very bright very very quickly. It's a very
powerful tool. So you want to be very careful. So what I'm
going to do
take the color of the apple in light so I just color picked
it and I'm going to play with the temperature a little bit,
maybe shift it towards a little bit warmer, little bit darker.
with color dodge act - with the layer set to color dodge
blending mode, I'm just going to brush where I think the
highlight should be. And wow look how bright that got.
Look at that.
Now, let's see what it looks like without color dodge. Now
look at that. You don't even see it. That's the color right
there. I just turned off the light layer. Notice it's darker
than the light layer in value. But the moment you change
the mode boom becomes very very bright.
And this what I like to do with dodge highlights is take the
layer and play with the opacity. Once I brush it in like that I
play with the opacity so you can make your highlight
subtle or you can make it more sharp, more obvious.
That's one thing you can do with blending modes combined
with opacity. So very powerful stuff there.
The next item that I use quite a bit is overlay.
So I'm going to make a new layer set to overlay. Now
overlay is interesting because it works kind of like screen and
kind of like multiply. I t can darken and it can lighten and
depending on the brightness of the color you use but what I
like overlay for is because it gives you color variation, a
little bit of color accidents. So for example, I'm going to
turn this highlight off, turn this light layer off. So here's my
light layer, you know, it's set to screen mode. Change the
mode to normal. And the color is is pretty cool.
Here is a little bit warmer. When it's set to screen, right when it's set to screen, right
it gets brighter, but not as interesting, right a little bit
color wise dull. So one thing I can do is I'm going to color
pick that same color, turn it back to normal mode so I can
pick the color.
I'm going to make a new layer. I'll call this light as well.
This is going to be set to overlay, which is near the
bottom. Well, it's near the center overlay and what I'm gonna do is I'm
going to brush it exact same color and see what the results
It's not really showing so what I can do is
change the temperature a little bit.
So notice it's showing up.
Now it's showing up a little bit but not enough. So I'm
going to just my color again
to like a green.
Adjust my color again to a blue.
so because the object itself
is very bright,
the overlay brightness not working. So I'm going to turn
the apple down in terms of brightness. Okay, now we can
see the overlay.
So I'm going to color pick the same color, like color pick the
color the apple. Make it a little bit brighter, a little
bit less saturated, change the temperature. And now I should
get a nice,
look at that, look at that. It got brighter, but also added
cool color variation. Notice when I turn it back to normal
the other color isn't as intense. So I like overlay
to get color accidents. A lot of times what I'll do is I'll use
the gradient tool. I like to use circular gradient and we'll
explore these as well and just use a circular gradient set to
transparency. And now we have a soft gradient and then change
it to overlay so that it's closer to the color I want.
then I'm going to drop the opacity so it Blends a little
bit to make it a little bit more subtle and then add my
light on top of that. So now it's much more interesting to
see that the color becomes much more interesting because this
overlay layer. So that's one way to use overlay. It's very
And these other items below overlay, soft light, hard light,
these all in this group work about the same way. So you
definitely want to experiment. Again blending modes is one of
those things where it's definitely
experimental. You're going to have to just try it, there's
way too many combinations here for one video. So I would say,
you know, play with the basics and then once you get
comfortable with the basics overlay multiply screen and
dodge, then you can start to see, you know, what is does
a hard light highlight look like? What does a overlay shadow
look like? So those things you definitely want to play with as
you get more comfortable using Photoshop and the blend modes.
layers is probably the most powerful feature in Photoshop
because then how cool is it to have unlimited tracing
papers that have all these incredible features. So it's
very very cool. Very powerful. The more you use Photoshop you're
going to fall in love with layers and you'll become more
familiar with using them and become more efficient. Now what
we're going to look at now is what I call control Z or the
various editing options and to me this is arguably the second
most powerful feature in Photoshop.
All right, so edit, menu, and control Z. So
control Z is obviously a famous keyboard shortcut and what that
does is undo. So for example,
if I hit command and - well, it's command Z on a mac, if I hit
command Z now undo the O and if I command Z again it will
redo and that's a setting that set in to
keyboard shortcuts we'll also explore but this feature
alone to me is probably
arguably the biggest advantage to using digital is
the unlimited edits. Just the fact you can make a new layer
and call it -
and then decide later oh, I don't like that. I'll just undo
or hide it. That to me is powerful. So the ability to
edit, to undo, Ctrl Z, and to use layers is really what makes
digital software, Photoshop so powerful and so much fun to use
and so useful to artists.
So that was ctrl-z. Now you can also use history, that's why I like
history. So you see history
will save various actions. This is kind of like edit, undo.
So let's explore
the edit menu.
Now there's a lot of stuff here under this menu. The ones that
we're going to cover today are transform and free transform.
Brush preset, brush pen we'll cover that as well later with
brushes. So that's another useful thing and the other is
keyboard shortcut. So this is a very powerful feature. So let's
quickly take a look at quick keyboard shortcuts.
So keyboard shortcuts is just something that I think every
Photoshop user should become familiar with because it just
makes you more efficient. Now, you don't have to make keyboard
shortcuts or hotkeys, but I think it's a great way to
use the software because it just makes you so much faster
and efficient. I personally think that keeping your hand on
your artwork, your drawing hand, as much as possible is
definitely going to make you more efficient and faster.
That's why I like to use my off hand
with the keyboard to activate the various menu options and
keyboard shortcuts is where we begin to create shortcuts for
So keyboard shortcuts, you'll see in this menu you'll be
able to access the various menus in the file menu.
There's a lot of stuff here.
I'm just going to change two quickly. So I think
very important hotkeys to have. Personally I like to change
control Z or command Z to step backward and step backward is
step backward in history and I'll show you what that is in a
second. So first I'm going to take
command Z is defaulted to undo redo, which is good that's
definitely what we want but to change it step backward I'm
just going to click under shortcut, just click with my
mouse and notice it becomes active. And now I'm just going
to select the hot key I want, just command Z.
And then it'll give me a warning it's already used. That's
fine. I'm just going to hit accept.
And then step forward is shift Z,
shift command Z.
And I'm going to hit okay and I'll show you what that looks
like. So it's undo
key. I'm going to open history
and then when I hit command Z
notice it goes up the history or steps backwards in history.
That's the setting, step backwards. Just goes through the
history. So instead of undoing one one step and then being
able to redo it, I like to go through several steps. It's
just personal preference. I think it's very useful.
And then if you do shift command Z,
you can step forward. And shift command Z was already preset to
step forward. So that's one powerful way that you can use
edit, undo, redo, and step step forward, step backward.
So you definitely want to play with that whether you like undo,
redo, or step backward. It's up to you.
The next thing we want to use in the
edit menu is transform. I use transform quite a bit
and I'll show you what that looks like.
So for example if I have a box or square, just a little rough
square that I have now, then I go to new layer. I'm going
to make like a purple
Just a couple of little primitive objects.
Okay, so transform, now if I activate transform you can
either do edit, transform.
And there's varies options scale, rotate, skew, distort perspective,
warp, all this stuff.
What I like to do is
use command T. So if I go to edit and drop down to the -
notice command T is a shortcut for free transform. So what I'm
going to do is hit command T to activate transform, make sure
my layer's selected.
And now what it does is it draws a transform box around my
object. See even if it's a - for example, if it's a circle and
draws a box around the pixels of that object. So going back
to my box, now I have command T. Now I can pull these points to
transform or change the shape. For example, I can make the box
I can make the box stretch horizontally by pulling these
two points. Very powerful stretching, resizing.
With my pen inside the box I can move, so works just like
If I go to the corner, I can quickly expand, contract, scale
up, scale down under any corner.
And if I go to the corner, but off the dot, you'll see the
curved mark. I can begin to rotate.
So very powerful tool and whatever you - whenever you make
a transform. Let's say I want to stretch it and then rotate
it. All you have to do is once you make the transform, hit
enter and boom. Now it's done and then I can move it, pan it,
zoom in, resize, play with it.
And of course if I don't like it I can just undo
or step backwards in this case, the hot key is set.
If I'm experimenting with transforms, I'd like to
duplicate the layer. And this is a good practice. As you become
more familiar with Photoshop you'll probably start to
experiment with things. One best practice that I recommend is
whenever you try to do a new operation or do something new
you may not be familiar with or you just want to experiment
just to see what it looks like, get in the habit of duplicating
your layer and that's very easy to do by dragging your existing
layer to the new layer window to duplicate it or use the
hotkey but then once you have you duplicate layer you can
can transform and operate on it and even if you don't like it
or if you have to delete it, you still have the original
underneath. So again very powerful feature.
All right. So, for example, I have this layer, this circle, so
I'm going to duplicate it, make a copy of it, and I'm going to
hit the transform tool and I'm going to turn it from a circle
into an oval.
See if I like that. And if I want to rotate it
maybe this way.
And if you hold shift you can rotate.
It locks to within 15 degrees. It's pretty useful.
Like that. So let's say oh, I don't really like that.
I don't want to mess with the undo so you can just delete it.
And then boom, the fresh one is back.
And one cool thing I want to show you too is the scale
transform. So remember if you pull on the points you can
scale, free form scale, but if you hold shift what it does it
locks to the original aspect. So if you hold shift it does
what's called the uniform scale.
So if you want to make something bigger and keep it
uniform and tight, hold down shift and there you go.
And one last thing about transforms is the
the submenu. So remember when you have your object selected,
you're on the layer that you want to operate on - I'm going to
duplicate this just in case. I'm going to hit command T to
activate the transform box. Now if I hold control and click
inside the box, I'll activate this submenu and this is a
powerful sub menu. This menu works exactly like edit,
transform. Right here. See these look familiar? They're
going to be here as well. So hold command t, hold Ctrl and
click within the box submenu. Now, there's lots of different
stuff we can do we can flip it.
We can rotate it.
But what I like to do
skew, distort, perspective, and warp. These are ways to just
kind of warp and distort your object. So for example, if I
hit skew and then I pull these points now I can skew the
triangle, keep the base where it is and just kind of skew it, any
of these points along the top or on the sides.
So that's skew
I like warp a lot. So one thing warp does is it creates the
option to curve. That's what I use it for. If I want to add a
curve to a straight or more or less straight object I use
So I took my triangle, turn it to a curved triangle. That was
warp, transform, warp. See the difference? Curved.
perspective, distort. You probably won't be using that
that much. Perspective is great for if you want to match
perspective in a painting or drawing.
And distort sort of does this freeform thing. So probably
won't be using those that much. Just keep in mind that there is
more options by holding control. You definitely want to
play with these options, but for sure, I think you'll really
will get a lot of use out of free transform.
Also before I forget I want to show one last hotkey that I
think is a must-have for any Photoshop user and that's the
So flip canvas is under image, adjust and we make a hot key by
going to edit, keyboard shortcuts.
Under keyboard shortcut scroll to image and click that arrow
to bring the drop down. This arrow will open up image file.
You can also double-click.
So notice the arrow change direction, it drops down, and now
you have all these other options to go scroll down from
image to adjustments. Here's adjustments. Now you want to go
all the way down to image rotation and then you have the
various options. Flip canvas horizontal, flip canvas vertical,
clockwise counterclockwise. So what I like to do is set flip
canvas horizontal hotkey. In this case I'm going to use F1 or
and it's giving me a warning it's already in use. I don't
care. I don't really use whatever that is. So I just hit
accept. Flip canvas vertical will be F3. So again this
one's already used, just hit accept. And you can set these
keys to whatever is comfortable. I just like F3, F4.
clockwise I'm going to go shift F3 and counterclockwise shift
And again the warning's okay, just hit accept. Now I'm going
to hit okay.
There's a lot more keyboard shortcuts that I like to use
but definitely flip canvas is the one you want to have. So
now I have the hotkey for flip canvas. So if I just do F2,
it'll flip it horizontal. So this is great if you're
checking your drawing, of course, you know, obviously if
you have like a
head or a figure drawing and you want to check your
right, now you can boom, flip canvas. It's exactly like
looking in a mirror.
So again, you'll probably notice that I really treat this
as an old-school traditional tool even though it's fancy
digital tool attached to a computer. Flip canvas is exactly
like looking in a mirror. So whenever I draw or paint boom,
I put a mirror of my face, see it backwards, zooming in and
out, you know, it's like walking away. So pretty much
everything I'm showing you here is
a way to mimic traditional methods.
Flip canvas is very powerful. And of course flip canvas
vertical, just like turning your drawing or your painting upside
And then we have the option of
of clockwise, counterclockwise as well. Just various ways to
flip your canvas and check your image.
Oh and also too I wanted to show you, you can also merge
layers by going to this menu here
and say merge layer, merge down, and the hotkey's command E. So
now the drawing of the head - see the drawing on the head- was its
own layer. Now can merge it down either from the drop down menu,
upper right drop-down menu, or the hot key shortcut command E.
You also do what's called merge visible.
So if you want to merge everything you see three
Go to the drop-down and do merge, visible.
Now everything's on one layer.
You can also do
a flattened image and it'll flatten everything. So just
quickly going back to layers and you can see how each one of
these tools I'm showing you will work with each other, image
adjustments will work with one tool, brushes will work with
another tool, blending modes work with layers and image
adjustments and so on. So just you know, just keep in mind
that there's a lot of stuff that we can do here, a lot of
different ways we can go. What I'm showing, you know,
just sort of just sort of getting your feet wet, getting you
up and going, but you definitely want - the more you get
comfortable the more you want to play and explore the various
combinations. That was a brief overview of the layers and the
edit menu, which I think are number one, number two most
powerful features in Photoshop. The third and the next major
tool that we're going to get into is brushes. So brushes is
incredibly powerful, but it's also incredibly robust, it's deep,
its complex. There's a lot of stuff in brushes. So I'm just
going to kind of go over what I think are important.
What will help you to get started right away. But by
no means is going to be a cover, everything you can do with
brushes. Brushes is a fairly new feature in Photoshop and
arguably it's what makes Photoshop stand out from the
other software and what makes it so powerful, so interesting,
and what makes it so useful to a traditional artist. So imagine
when you're drawing or painting you not only have the Ting you not only have the
brushes you have, the brushes at the store, the brushes you can
order online, but now you can actually create, download, use
almost an infinite range of brushes. So this is a very
exciting feature and we're going to go into detail now
feature in Photoshop and it's also one of the most unique
features because custom brush technology is only available or
at least was began in Photoshop. Now brushes are very very
powerful. Very very useful. You going to have a lot of fun
using them and you're probably going to be using them for
almost every project you do.
But brushes are also extremely complex. The depth and the scale
of it is massive. So in this lesson, we're only going to
touch on a few of the key points to brushes, the ones that
I think are most useful and are most helpful to help you get
started and definitely if you want to learn more or as you
start to acquire these first basic tools, you definitely
want to keep exploring. But brushes are powerful and they
can be in an entire 10, 20, 30 hour course on its own. But today
we're just going to cover some of the key aspects. So first
let's review quickly - a quick overview of the brush menu
windows. All right, so just quickly let's take a look at
the brush menu windows in the things that we need to pay
attention to when we're using brushes. So here my layers, my
menu windows, are tabbed together. So I'm just going to pull out
brush and brush presets and tab them together.
And remember the tab groups you just click and drag on the name
and you can move them around.
Now the key things to look at
the brush menu window there's a lot of complex stuff here. But
the first thing you want to look at or look to is over here
on the middle right, you have these crosshairs. And the
crosshairs you can manipulate the shape of the brush. You can
rotate it and you can pinch it at these handles here.
Next is the hardness and that controls how hard and how
soft. Spacing controls the spaces in between the marks and
of course below you'll notice the thumbnail change and that's
called the stroke thumbnail. So this will tell you what the
brush looks like, spacing creates spaces as you can see, hardness
makes it hard or soft and airbrushing as you can see.
The next thing over here on the left are these various
controls. There's a lot of controls here, they do a lot,
but we're only going to cover three of the main controls that
I think are the most useful.
And remember that to activate the control, the sub menu, just
click the name. Click the name to, you know, for example shape
dynamics. If you want to adjust the color dynamics click the
name. Because if you click the checkbox, for example, if you
want to go to texture, if you just click the text box the
menu won't change. So remember it's the name. The checkbox
makes it active or inactive. So the name actually displays the subname.
So that's the brush window. Also you want to keep
your eye on the options menu bar, which is usually locked to
the top. Of course, you can pull that off as well. So these
options menu bar will give you opacity control, which is - we're
going to be using quite a bit.
Also size is up here as well. But I like to use the hotkeys
for the size and the hotkeys are brackets, bracket right and
Okay in the brush control menu window remember we had those
long list of subcontrols, of of these options on the left.
Now we're only going to look at four of these key options that
I think are the most useful
and these are brush tip shape,
shape dynamics, scattering,
Now we're going to begin with the brush tip shape control.
Okay so tip shape is a very powerful control. It's very
simple, very easy to use. So the first thing that I like to do
I like to use tip shape for, is to change the shape of the
brush and to do that you grab these handles. Now what I like
to do is pinch these handles in and you notice it also - you can
do it numerically. Notice that number of roundness change. So
I like to pinch the handles till I get like maybe like a
20% roundness, basically looks like a flat brush.
And you also want to rotate the angle to 90 degrees or to
negative 90 but something vertically up and down and
pinch it to about 20% and what this does - and we'll test it
this brush out here - is this creates a flat brush. And
you can adjust the size here or this handle but I like to use
the keyboard shortcut of the bracket, bracket right makes it
bigger, bracket left smaller. And now this brush
see how that creates a nice beautiful flat brush. So that's
a really powerful way to make a flat brush. Otherwise if it's
perfectly square or round, a hundred percent roundness, you
just get this kind of round mark. Now the next control that's
very useful is hardness and hardness creates airbrush. So
here's what the
mark looks like.
I'm going to zoom in a little bit here. Here's what normal
ordinary brush mark looks like hundred percent roundness.
At 0% hardness,
look at that little bit softer. See the edge?
See the edge there? Change it back to a hundred percent
hardness. So this you can play with the how fuzzy or how soft
the brush is with the hardness control.
And this brush I'm using is just ordinary hard round, that's what
the name of it. Plain old hard rounds. It's a default
and the last useful control is spacing. So here's
1% spacing, it's all the way
to the left on the slider.
But look what happens when I go to like, let's say a
and you can move the slider or add the numerix. Here's a
150%, basically creates spaces between the
marks in this case. The shape of the brush is just a
hard round. It's basically a dot, a circle. So create spaces.
So you definitely want to experiment with the number of
spacing you can make. In this case you can make field of
polka dots. But spacing becomes useful when we get to It's useful when we get to
texture, which we'll do next, later in this lesson.
Okay. So those are the three major controls in brush tip
Oh and before we leave the tip shape menu, make sure that your
spacing has this checkbox marked. Id you turn it off the
you kind of lose control of the spacing. So it creates kind of
this weird uncontrollable effect and the thumbnail goes
crazy and you don't see a slider. So if you crack open
this this menu and you don't see the slider for spacing,
make sure it's checked, that checkbox is checked. So now you
have full control.
Okay, the next brush control we look at is shape dynamics. And
this one is very very useful and this shape dynamics works
with a lot of the various brush controls, as you'll see that we
played with tip shape, but tip shape combined with these
various controls will create the unlimited effects and
brushes that you'll be able to use. So let's take a look at
shape dynamics. All right, so I'm going to activate the shape
dynamics menu by clicking on the name.
Now there's - right now there's three sliders here that are
active, three sub controls. Size jitter, angle jitter, and
Now let's first take a look at size jitter, now within each
slider as you can see each sub control you have a control,
your sub drop down menu. Now to begin playing with shape
dynamics we want to change the control to size to pen pressure
and that'll activate minimum diameter, so it'll activate this
other control. So first, I'll turn it off. You can see
nothing's active, right? If I go to pen pressure now minimum
diameter becomes available and look what happened to the
thumbnail. Remember to keep your eye on the stroke
thumbnail. So you know what your brush looks like and look
what happened to the thumbnail? It created this thick or thin, you
see that? Beautiful thick or thin it's almost like a pen or
a pencil or any other traditional type mark.
That's a beautiful control, let's take a look at what that looks
like. So here's a
look at that and the pen pressure control using the
tablet allows me to get thicker marks when I press hard and as
I let go thinner marks, you see that? Thick to thin back to thin
by controlling pen pressure. So light pressure thin mark,
hard pressure thicker mark. That's a beautiful way to simulate
thick or thin. And notice if we turn it off, right, we don't have
that option available. So just the plain old big ugly round
mark. So if you want thick or thin if you want this mimic, the
traditional brush look which I love, you definitely want to
experiment or use shape dynamics, size jitter set to pen
pressure control. Remember the key is the control, so don't
forget pen pressure control. Okay, and also as you can see,
you can adjust the diameter of this - of the pinching, of the
thick or thin
all the way up to full minimum full diameter down to zero.
But let's keep it at zero to get that thick or thin. And also
note that depending on your hardware, your setup. You might
see a little triangle here. It looks like - it looks like this.
I'm going to draw it here.
So if you open Photoshop and you want to start playing with
your custom brushes and then you go to your shape dynamics
menu, and none of this is active. The size jitter isn't
active, it's inactive you can't use it and there's a little
triangle warning here,
what that means is that it's a hardware issue that
either your tablet's not connected correctly or tablet
driver's not there or it's incompatible version, could be a Paddle version you could be a
lot of things. If you open this brush menu and the controls are
inactive, you can't activate them by touching on them or
clicking on them it's most likely a hardware or some
kind of compatibility issue. The best thing to do would
probably be to troubleshoot the hardware, but this would be the
first place to look so make sure that your hardware is
dialed in and if you see that warning don't worry it has
nothing to do with Photoshop, has nothing to do with you
personally,, it's just a matter of the hardware
compatibility. So definitely troubleshoot that first before
you move on okay and continuing with shape dynamics,
the other useful control I use is angle jitter.
When I set angle jitter to direction, not pen pressure, and
I'll show you what that looks like. And let's rotate a little
bit here. So what we're going to do is turn the
size jitter off. I'm going to go back to the tip shape menu
and I'm going to pinch
my handles here to give me like
a flat shape brush. Now remember this flat brush we
made? Let's get rid of that. Remember this flat - nice flat
brush we made? Now the problem with this flat brush -
or not the problem but one way to make the flat brush even
more useful, more realistic is to combine it
with shape dynamics. So notice now when I go left to right, it
looks nice and flat, gives me a nice big flat broad mark. But if
I go up and down,
it doesn't change. It actually she becomes a little bit
slimmer right because of the shape of the brush. So what I
can do is go to shape dynamics, go down to angle jitter, turn
the control to direction,
and now if I go up or down
you see that? The shape of the brush actually follows the
direction of my stroke.
So you see that? Before it only goes left to right but up and
down it was nice and thin. Now up and down angles. It's a very
useful feature. So I like to combine angle jitter set to
direction. Make sure the control is set to the
direction. There's a lot of different controls here. To be
honest I barely use any of these if at all, I strictly use
direction 99% of the time so make sure that is active. So you've
got to keep your eye on control. I know it can be
complex but with practice you'll learn that you got to
keep your eye on these various drop down menus to make sure
that the brush is fully functional and you have full
control of the brush.
Okay, next we're going to look at the scattering control and
scattering is how we get cool textural effects. Alright, so
activate scattering, clicking on the name. Now scattering
creates - there's two various controls that we need to look
at in scattering. The first is the - is the amount of scatter,
which is this top bar. So you can slide - use the slider to
increase it. There's also a control but to be honest, I
barely use that control. There's also count. So count is
how much, how much of the brush mark will appear as you make
your mark, the brush shape will appear. Now notice the
stroke thumbnail you're not really seeing too much change
and the reason is is that we need to add spaces. So where is
space that's in tip shape. So tip shape we go back to tip
shape, now we're going to increase the spacing.
And what that'll do is we need a little bit of space between
the brush marks, the brush shapes, so that we can create
some kind of scattering. So I'm going to increase the spacing
to like 150%, go back to scattering. percent go back to scattering
Now when I click scattered look what happens? See that?
See the brushes start to scatter or move apart.
So I'm going to set this top one. There's a both axis,
meaning that it will go not just up and down, but it'll go
left to right.
So in this case, I'll click both axis up and down, left to
right, X and Y axis. Right now I'm going to play with the count. So right
now count is set to one, what happens? Oh look at that. Jumps
up to two, that jumps up to three, four.
So there's lots of dots there. Let's play with three. So
here's the brush.
This creates kind of this kind of bumpy texture. Now because
the shape of the brush is boring, it's a boring circle.
It doesn't look like much texture. So what we're going to
do, let's grab a brush that has a little bit more textural
shape to it. And here's a perfect example,
a leaf brush. Now this leaf brush,
This leaf brush here, brush is also defaulted into
Photoshop. But this one just happens to already have
scatter control. So I'm going to turn those off,
So let's say
I have a leaf brush
and we'll talk about making your own custom brush shapes in
a moment. So I have a leaf brush and you know it has
So just basically makes a leaf shape stroke. Now if I give it
a little bit of spacing, right, now I can kind of create some
kind of leafy texture, which is great.
But let's combine that with scattering, see what that looks
like. So I'll take my textural looking brush, add some chiral looking brush add some
spacing. Now I'm going to go to scattering and then I'm going
to increase the amount of scatter. So look at that. Look
at the thumbnail change. I'm going to go to both axis just
for fun. See what that does.
And now I'm going to increase the count.
Okay to like a three and now look what happens.
Now I can create kind of this randomy mark very quickly.
Now, what I'm doing is just some pressing and I'm just kind
of gliding it across, you know, so it creates kind of a
A random leaf texture that
you can get very easily with scatter control. Obviously you
can do this manually, right? You can just go dot dot dot dot dot
dot dot dot dot, you know, as you can see how quick and
how powerful this can be if you're let's say painting a field were let's say painting a field
of leaves on a landscape for example.
So that's a quick control of scatter.
And also too with scatter what I like to do with scatter is I like
to combine scatter with shape dynamics and
I like to turn the minimum diameter
down a little bit so that some brushes get smaller. And what I
like to do is
take the angle jitter and just move it to like 50% and notice
how the brushes turn,
the shapes turn so this is going to give me a really
randomy look so you see that? So looks much more natural, more
random. So this is a great way to get kind of those happy
accidents that we like to get in traditional media and we
can get this control with scatter combined with shape
dynamics, the angle jitter. Remember angle jitter was what
we use to make our brush follow us. So that's why I don't need
the control to follow, which is direction. I just turn
the control off. What I do need is it - for it to rotate and
that's angle jitter.
All right. Next we're going to use transfer and the transfer
control is very useful for creating blending and almost
paintbrush like effects. Alright, so going back to our
brush menu window. Let's go ahead and activate transfer. So
click on the name transfer and look what happened to the
thumbnail. That's because the thumbnail,
the brush has transfer applied and the main controls that we
look at it and transfer is a opacity jitter.
And opacity jitter what I like to do is I like to
set opacity jitter all the way down to zero,
meaning that it will go
to transparent, which is what transfer does, it makes - it
controls the opacity of your brush, and then I like to set
the control to pen pressure.
And look at what happens to the thumbnail. Well first let's
turn it off. So here's a brush.
Hard edge, no transfer. Now when I turn transfer on, look what
happens to the brush? Now it gets a lot softer
as I release the pressure. Remember the control is set to
pen pressure. So light pressure is transparent, but press hard I
get harder pressure, my lighter pressure as I come up. So
it's a beautiful control.
Very useful and you can see how this can be useful when you're
blending. See that?
So transfer is one of my favorite tools when I want to
And what I like to do like, I like to combine
so I like to turn my hardness all the way down to create that
soft airbrush look and combined with transfer and now we get
beautiful soft airbrushing marks. Look at that. You can
just press down and overlap to get darkness, make it more opaque,
right, because if you turn it off, we have an airbrush
it's fairly soft
it's still really bold and
chunk. But when we turn transfer on now the brush gets
more way more softer, especially as we press lighter
so you can see how you can create beautiful blended marks
and gradations. And also you can play with the amount of
transparency with minimum, this minimum slider can make it
fully opaque or zero percent transparent. So I like to keep
it at zero so I don't mess with the minimum control, but
the control must be set to pen pressure for this to be active.
And again, this is one of those things where you might see a
warning symbol here if your hardware is not set up
properly. So keep that in mind. If you see the arrow here it's
most likely a hardware problem. So transfer was the last of
these sub controls. Let's take a look at the options menu.
There's a couple things we can use the options menu for. You.
definitely want to keep your eye on.
So for example, the thing that I look at the options menu for
Also size and these other controls, flow. I rarely use
This button here actually turns on transfer. So it's a pretty
turns on your transfer control. Notice on the brush window
transfer becomes active. But let's take a look at opacity
and why that's important. So
right now this brush is 100% pure black, hundred percent pure black a
100% opacity. So let's say if I want to blend
and I want a hard edge, look what I like to do is drop the
opacity and you can use the slider but you can also use
So for example if I go to 50,
right now we have
the same mark but 50% opacity. I can go to 20.
Go to 10.
And I'm using the number keys. One equals 10, two equals 20, three equals 30,
and so on. Zero is back to 100. So you can see how for hundred so you can see how for
example if we have a brush set to 40% opacity we can
kind of blend, we can get more of this hard-edged blend, kind
of like a Leyendecker where
if you set it to 20, you can just simply layer
and get your gradations.
Now what I like to do is combine
with 0% hardness, basically a super soft airbrush and this is
a hundred percent. Now I combine it with opacity. So
let's say if I really want a soft mark I'll drop the
opacity let's say to 50, now look at how soft and subtle that mark
is then I can keep adding, keep adding, keep adding, right?
Make a beautiful soft gradation. You can see the
difference between these two, right? So one has - one is a hard
with opacity. One is a soft airbrush combined with transfer
and opacity. So if you want the smoothest softest airbrushed
look you definitely want
0% hardness or a soft brush combined with transfer and then
play - also play with the opacity controls. That's why you want
to get familiar with the numeric keys. You can quickly
go from 100 fully opaque to like 50%, to even 10%. See that?
That's a great way to get gradation. And that's why I
think keeping your eye on the options menu is useful. You're
probably most likely going to only use the hotkeys to
activate the opacity.
Alright, so the last thing we're going to explore in the
brush menu is actually how to make a custom brush. So this to
me is the bread and butter of photoshops brush controls.
It's probably the most powerful feature and it's a
feature unique to Photoshop, only Photoshop software offers
this and it's extremely powerful and once you start to
explore it and get comfortable with it you are going to a lot
of fun because with this custom brush feature, you'll be able
to make virtually any brush you need, you can match any effect
that you want with custom brushes. And, you know, for me, I
like to mimic traditional media. Pencils, charcoals, and oil
painting brushes and we can do all of that with our custom
brush controls. So now let's take a look at how to let's take a look at how to
make some of the brushes. Again this menu or this feature is
incredibly deep. We can spend hundreds of hours on making
custom brushes. So I'm only going to go over a few ideas
that, few of the basics to get you started and I think these
would be the most useful and the most helpful to get you started
playing with custom brushes and making your own set of custom
All right, so there's really only two ways to make a custom
The first is to
make your own custom shape and we'll explore that now and the
second is to actually grab a picture. We can actually take
photographs and turn them into brushes. That's really
Alright first let's take a look at how to make a custom shape
and turn it into a brush. So for example, let's say remember
this leaf brushl this Leaf brush was created,
this leave brush we were playing with, this leaf brush
was created using this exact process. Let's take a look at
So first what I like to do is make a new document. And for
this one I'm going to set the DPI to 72 pixels per inch
and then the height and width to be 500 by 500 pixels and
what this does it will create a perfectly square document and
what we're going to use to make custom shapes.
There's lots of ways to make custom shapes. One thing I like
to do is just take the lasso tool.
For example, we'll make our own leaf brush.
So I just took the lasso tool and basically kind of drew a
brush. Now I'm going to fill it. Make a new layer. Fill it
with pure black because brushes need pure black and pure white
to read. So a hundred percent black, hundred percent white, and
remember that D is a quick hotkey,
stands for default to go from pure black pure white
and what we can do now that we have a shape that I drew on my
new perfectly square document. So I'm going to go to edit
and then define brush preset.
And this pop-up I can name it whatever I want. I can just call it
leaf test. And what that does it it will make the brush
appear at the bottom of my stack. You see that how it
appeared at the bottom my brush preset stack. So let's try that
brush out now.
So here's my leaf brush that I just made.
Now you may notice will when you make a stroke has a cool
texture, but doesn't feel like leaves. Well, that's because we
need to go to our -
remember we need to go to our tip shape controls to first set
up the spacing,
right, give us a little bit of space.
That's what it looks like. But the last thing is scattering to
give us that full naturalistic look. So I'm going to go to
Going to go to count.
And I'm also going to go to shape dynamics
and make the brush rotate by moving the angle jitter slider
up a bit.
So now now I can kind of get more of a naturalistic look. Can
turn on size jitter.
So you see that? Create pretty cool texture with that and of course
you can play with the various parameters of the scattering to
get the look you want.
With practice you'll be able to
really become familiar with this menu. So that was just a
custom leaf brush that I made.
One thing I like to do is make textural brush, my own custom
textural brush with textual shape. So for example, if I
want to make a sort of a square or a hard edge texture brush
one thing I like to do is it's just
fill my brush making document here with a bunch of like
squares. So what I have is the rectangular marquee
and I'm just filling it with a bunch of squares. Just kind of
give me this randomy
I'm going to fill it with black. Remember you want to
hold shift. So draw your marquee,
let it go to create square or triangle then hold shift to
add. Notice the plus mark can add to it.
Alright, so this shape looks like a big old, an Atari game
kind of, an 8-bit Atari game. So what we're going to do is I'm
going to go to edit,
define brush preset,
and then call it
square texture one.
Now it's at the bottom of my stack.
there's no scatter. Scatter is what gives it that natural
texture look. So first go to tip shape, give it some spacing.
Go to shape dynamics. Let's play with the
size jitter a little bit.
Let's go to angle jitter.
make it rotate a little bit. Now we're going to go to
scattering and then we're going to play with the count and the
The amount of scatter, how far it scatters, oh let's play
with both axis, looks pretty good. And then count, controls
the amount of scatter. So here's what it looks like.
So you can see how this kind of feels like
concrete stone or burlap. So you can definitely play with the
parameters. So if you combine scattering
with transfer you can get really cool layered texture looks,
that's a beautiful feature and that brush all came about
because I made first this like little random abstract
patterns. You can make almost any pattern. I'll make a few
more just to show you the possibilities. Look how beautiful
that looks. And don't forget to, once you have a brush you like -
let's say I like this brush. I've made these various
I like this texturey reversion of it. So what I'm going to do
is go to my presets and now I'm going to go to these upper
right drop down menu. Remember all the menu windows have this
upper right, and then I'm going to go down to new brush presets
actually the very first one. And what that does and we'll call
it square texture what that does and notice how it appears
and it comes at the bottom of my stack
and now this brush is saved and ready for me to use so remember
when I first created it it just made this kind of
texture brush, but without any of the sub controls, right? No
scattering. No spacing. Now with the controls it's all - the
controls that I set they're all saved as a brush preset.
What I can do is just delete this first one and I forgot to
do that with the leaf brush as you can see. So don't forget
that you want to - once you get a brush that you like you
definitely want to save it so that it appears in your
stack and it's ready for you to use.
Alright next I'm just going to make exact opposite. I'm going
to make a circle, like roundish kind of marks.
So I'll just grab my circle marquee
and, you know, just draw a bunch of circles, ovals.
It's just give me this nice random e kind of texture.
Remember when we turn - start turn scattering on it'll kind
of go really random and organic-looking which is what
Okay, so there's a bunch of bunch of circles and ovals.
Going to fill it with black, remember pure black and pure
And deselect the selection or control D. Now I got a cool
randomy circle pattern.
Go to edit, define brush preset.
It's here in my stack.
Right? But not that useful yet until we turn on our control.
So go to brush.
I'm going to turn on transfer a little bit here. I'm going to
go to tip shape first. Give me some more spacing. Remember we
need spacing. I'm going to go to shape dynamics play, with the
size jitter a little bit, also play with the angle.
Next go to scattering, play with the amount, the distance, and the
count, how many.
Let's see what that looks like.
So this has a nice
kind of curved round feeling
and there's a little too many ovals, kind of creates a little
bit of a rough edge.
But let's try, let's try something new here.
I want to take out some of the ovals. I'm just going to make a
brand new pattern only with circles.
And I'm holding shift, shift not only gives me perfect circle,
one of the things this is useful for is like
if you're painting some kind of animal skin,
these kind of random dots are very useful for that.
All right. So there's a dot pattern. Go back to define brush
preset. Ok. That's my new dot pattern and I didn't like the
first one. So I'm going to delete that. I'm going to hold
alt click delete there.
Now, I've got my dot pattern here.
And then I'm going to go to all the controls and turn on the
Angle J=jitter turn on the scattering. Let's try both x's
and look at that. Look at the thumbnail go crazy. I love that
look. So let's - now let's take a look at what this looks like.
Oh, that's much better. So you see how that kind of creates
this splattery look. I love that. Beautiful. Oh, I really
like this brush so I'm going to save it. So go to brush
presets, drop down menu, very top of the drop-down says new
brush preset. Boom. Now it's here in my stack so I don't
need this other one.
I'm going to delete that.
And this is the brush that I have down ready for me to use
with all the controls that I set and compare it to the first
square brush. So you can see how you get two unique textures,
right? Square blocky texture, round spotty texture, beautiful
effects all by the simple use of creating custom brushes.
Look how simple and easy that was. Very very powerful. And you
can see with experimentation you can create an infinite
range of looks, textures, and marks by making your own custom
brushes that you capture.
That's a wonderful feature that you'll be using every time. So
don't get too intimidated. Just remember to keep practicing,
keep playing with it because it's so so powerful.
All right, so you can see how just with that alone you can
make an almost infinite range of brushes. You'll - you can
probably spend hours, days, weeks playing with that custom brush
feature, making your own shapes, turning into texture brushes,
turning into paint brushes or whatever effect you want to
recreate. So definitely play with that. Now, let's look at
one other way, which is another powerful way to do it is by
taking photographs and turning them into brushes. Okay so I'm
going to take a photograph, turn it into a brush. And what I
think this is useful for is for making stamps.
Like for example this first brush here.
Remember this leaf brush that we played with is pretty much,
it looked like it was a picture of a leaf and someone turned it into
a brush and what that does is it creates a stamp or a pretty
accurate looking mark that looks exactly like a
photographic picture. So that we can do
in Photoshop. So first I'm going to open a picture that I
want to make a stamp. So I downloaded a picture off the
And this is just a tree.
So just a tree I grabbed from the internet. Now what if
I want to make a tree brush,
so it's very simple to do so first luckily this picture
has no background because what we have to do is we have to
extract the tree
from this image because that's all I want. I don't want the
sky or the grass. So luckily there's nothing behind it and
the sky is fairly clear. So first, let's turn it into a
black and white image.
So I'm going to - to do that there's lots of ways to do
that. What I like to do is image adjust hue saturation and the
hotkey for this is command U, command U to bring up hue make a menu to bring up Hue
saturation, and I'm just going to hue saturation, which is
color. Boom. All the way down. Boom. Now we have pure black and
Next is we want to increase the contrast little bit. So
remember we want to get as close to black and white as
possible. There's still plenty of greys here, which is fine.
Greys can make nice effects on brushes as well. So what I'm
going to do is first turn up the brightness contrast. Let's
see what that does. And I pulled up a layer adjustment menu here
so I can play with them.
So turn up the brightness, turn up the contrast. So it looks
I like that there
So it looks pretty good.
I'll show you what it looks like when you turn it off and
you can do that with a layer, image adjustment layer
adjustment here. Can do the same thing up here, but this
gives you that control that it's on its own layer.
So it looks pretty good. So what I'm gonna do is
I'm going to merge that so now we have pure black and white
and I just want to extract the tree so I'm going to draw a
selection or a marquee
And we can even make the brush here because luckily this thing
is working. So one thing I could do is draw a perfectly
square marquee to do that.
Select your marquee too,l hold shift and we do a perfect
And we're gonna try to get as close to the grass or the base of the
tree as possible, the trunk. Now the marquee needs to be
moved. So while the marquee tool is active
I just move my cursor inside and I can literally move and
drag the cursor around so that's what I'm doing here.
And what I'm trying to do is just a perfect square, I'm trying to
fit the tree inside and get as much of the trunk as possible.
So this is a really nice - this photograph was really handy and
convenient. They don't always work this easy, but luckily
this one does. All right. So now I got a perfect square
marquee around my photograph that I adjusted for more
contrast and no color.
So with my marquee all I need to do is go to edit, define
brush preset. Remember, all you need is a marquee to draw to
have a brush preset available to you, define brush preset. So
define brush preset. I'm going to just call it
tree one. You don't have to name it but let's call it tree
number one and then boom now the tree appears in my stack
and look what I have here. Now I have my own.
Boom. Perfect tree stamp, isn't that amazing?
Look at that. And of course, you can imagine how useful this
tool can be. Not just by making trees, obviously now if I want
to, you know, maybe if I'm working on a painting or a comp
or a thumbnail for a landscape painting and I want
forest in my landscape. Look at that. Look at that. Instant
forest and that was with my stamp brush set to a few of the
controls. Remember turn on spacing, turn on scattering.
Now. I have instant forest brush. Look at that, that's
amazing. Very powerful and all came from a straight-up
photographs. That's a wonderful way to make a stamp. And I often
do this with people. You can take a picture of a person and
make a people brush through the exact same process. Doesn't have
to be a tree.
And remember we can save
this brush by doing a new brush preset and boom. There's my new
tree brush. I can delete this first one.
Now I'm good to go.
So that's how you make a stamp kind of brush.
Next is we want to make a texture brush
from photo, this
exact same process. So what I'll do is I downloaded a piece
of like rusted metal texture
from the internet.
And this thing is cool. I like - I like what's happening here.
This kind of plate. Let's say I want to recreate this plate as
use it as a - not only just as a stamp but as a texture.
Actually we can do both, I can use this section as a texture,
use this section as a stamp. So for example, there's a couple
ways we can do this. We can grab the marquee.
Remember a perfect square is what we need. But now the brush,
the thing is this picture needs a little bit more work, right?
This is little bit rotated. So what I'm going to do
is I'm actually going to bring this in 2
square document that I already made. So remember that document.
So I'm just going to drag
in here, so I don't need this anymore.
I'm going to make a copy because I'm going to play with
it. Remember it's good practice
to duplicate the layer before you do any operations.
So this one needs to be scaled a little bit.
So Ctrl T is the way I like to scale
to bring up the handles.
Now I'm going to rotate it
so it kind of fits in my square.
Actually, I can even make it a perfect square
by using the transform tool.
Trying to get it to fit inside here.
It's not a perfect square, but that's okay.
All right. Look at that.
So for this again same thing. The tree, let's first through the tree, let's first
eliminate the color
then let's adjust the contrast. So brightness contrast.
I can also use level. I really like
brightness contrast, it's simple.
Alright, so we got a nice pattern here. I'm going to
And what I'm going to do now is I'm going to
erase out some of these edges. Let me see if I can make this a
I'm going to take an airbrush.
I'll take an airbrush eraser
and I'm going to erase some of these edges because if I save it
it'll become really - if I define this as a preset it'll become too
Just going to
some of the edges and you'll see why that's important.
Because I don't want it to become too
hard edge,, it won't feel and look natural, which is kind of what
And this brush is
boring. It needs a little more texture.
Texture brushes are good because they give you that more
of that organic look so notice I switch to that texture brush
I just made as an eraser, looks much more interesting, right?
Okay. So there's that little metal plate, rusted metal plate.
Now I'm going to go to edit, define brush preset.
And now we brush is locked and ready to go, appears in my
stack and boom. Now I got a perfect plate. Now you see I
still have that hard edge. That's kind of what I wanted to
avoid. You may - you may want it you may not but definitely
can avoid that.
Let's turn us spacing a little bit here.
This beautiful metal brush. We can avoid that by
playing with the outer edge. And I'll show you what that looks
like now, how we can avoid that. But this is another way of
making a texture brush
by using a photo instead of a custom shape.
So one thing I could do, let's say let's take a look at
different area. So I like this section here. Look at this
beautiful random kind of texture happening there.
I like that stuff there. Let's say this one right here. This
will make a really cool texture brush, but we got to get rid of
that outer edge. So there's a couple ways to do. One
would be to erase. First let's process this a little bit so
bring up hue, saturation
to eliminate the color. Bring up brightness, contrast to increase
This time I made a little bit darker. So I'm going to merge
that. Hotkey's command E to merge the two layers, merge down. So
one thing I could do now is
first I'm going to do is I'm going to use a mask instead of erasing.
I'm going to use an alpha mask.
And remember alpha mask is affected by pure black and pure
And in this case I'm going to grab that textured brush. It was
working quite nicely and brush pure black
and just kind of get rid of that edge.
Give myself a little bit of space.
You see that?
And let's see what the circle brush looks like. I'm going to
brush some of it back with circle. I think I like that
Circle brush. Yeah, look at the cool effects when you combine
Now I can even add some softness to it with an
So bring back a soft airbrush, with transfer set on. Remember
transfer gives you the softest possible are brush and I'm just
going to go around and soften the edges just around the edge
not the inside.
Kind of give it a little bit of softness and
you see that?
Okay. So now
I like this and remember this is all an alpha mask. If I turn
off the mask, I'm going to hold shift and click, see still
there. So that's why I chose to use the mask instead of
erasing. So now I'm going to go to edit, define brush preset, and
there it is. Now it's in my stack.
And she's ready to go. Look at that beautiful randomly. Cool,
almost looks like outer space like the moon or Mars texture.
It's really cool. And of course we can combine it
other controls. Need spacing of course first.
And now we get all kinds of very cool
We can even use this as a
sort of a drawing brush. That's one thing I like to do.
And then turn on transfer. Now we have a nice
textural brush we can blend. So you see that?
Combined with transfer
you can use this to blend instead of using a soft
airbrush you can get nice beautiful texture. That all came
from a photograph.
And the last thing we need to know about the
brush controls is rearranging our brush presets. Remember
once we have our brushes,
once we make a custom brush, they appear at the bottom of
the stack. But let's say you want - you want them at the top
or a different location. Let's say you want your, you know,
this dottie brush further at the top so you have more
access to it. So all you have to do is go to the drop down menu,
go to preset manager,
and now you can just drag them up,
or move them around. You can rearrange the order any way
you like now.
This, with this menu and you can also delete a brush, you click
on a brush, you can say delete or hold alt and click and it
will delete the brush for you.
Okay, so now my brushes that I moved are further at the top of
Okay, so that's the preset manager.
You won't be using that too often until you get a bunch of
custom brushes and you get really familiar. That's when
you'll start to play with the arrangement, but pretty much
you won't be using it that often.
Okay, so that was the major features of the custom brush.
Now that you've seen actually how to make your own custom brush
whether with custom shapes or photography, you can see the
massive potential you can see, you know, the infinite things
you can do. now you can make a brush of any picture you want.
You can take a picture of your friends, your dog, your cat, your
house, whatever, turn into a brush, turn into a stamp, play
till infinity. So definitely once you get familiar with this
menu, review this video over again so you can get familiar
with the menu, play around with the custom brushes, and then
start to create your own brush presets, create your own texture
brushes, create your own paint brushes, and then you'll really
be able to
use the full power of the software. But
this is just a little overview of its potential now, you know,
so definitely get out there and practice and make as many
brushes as you need for your project.
tools. So selections is basically how we draw
selections, also known in traditional media as friskets
or masking. This is how we do it and Photoshop has a very
robust selection set of selection tool. So let's take a
look at that now. Okay, the first of the selection tools
well there's three basic tools, there's - well actually
there's two. The two basic selection tools are the
marquee and the lasso. Marquee draws shapes lasso is
freeform. So shape or freeform. Let's first take a
look at marquee or shape selection. Now
the hotkey or shortcut is M and right now it's set to it right now it's set to
square. So square draws, obviously square marquis.
If you hold shift you can draw a perfect square.
And also shift will add to the shape. Notice how the marquee is
adding to the shape.
Now if you want to subtract, to do the opposite, you hold alt
and that's how you cut in to your shape. You see that?
comes in different shapes. So if I click and hold, notice it
opens up the sub menu. You have elliptical, row, and column. I
don't really use row and column to be honest but I do use
elliptical. Let's click on that. And elliptical draws out
circles or ellipses. Again ellipse, ellipses are freeform.
So draw a perfect circle
and again shift adds
to your selection. While alt subtracts. And notice the icon
changed from minus to plus, you see that? Alt minus, shift plus.
That's how you draw a selection. And this is useful
as you saw when we made our custom brushes for making weird
shapes. It's very useful for selecting and we'll take a look
at that example next, actually how we use that.
So that was the marquee tool.
Now, let's take a look at the lasso. So lasso, the hotkey is
L and it's over here on the left. And there's two forms of
lasso. So there's the free form lasso and the polygon.
what lasso does is basically creates a free-form frisket or
mask or shape or selection around an object or just in
this case I can just draw a shape by literally drawing on
my tablet here create any beautiful random organic
the polygon lasso tool is quite unique because it creates
polygon shapes. And to do that you click, drag, drag your point,
click down to lock in that point.
Click, drag, click, drag, click, drag, click, drag, click, drag, and
you can see how it creates geometric shapes. Remember the
the freeform lasso, creates freeform shapes. Polygon lasso
creates straight-edged polygonal shapes by clicking,
dragging, and holding. And when you want to close your
polygon, you can just double-click and then it closes
to the starting point.
And what I like to do is to have polygon lasso.
And then I like to hold shift, then I can draw a really
around the shape or I can cut into it with alt and will show
an example of how this is useful in a moment.
You see that?
I can fill it in. Let's say I want to cut out - let's say I want to cut
out a perfect square or circle. I can just go to marquee.
Move the marquee - remember when the marquee tool is active, a
selection is active, you just pull your cursor inside and you
can drag the selection, then I can just the backspace or
delete, create a perfect circle cut out.
Or I can continue
to draw freeform shapes and cut out of this black shape that I
made or it can of course at anytime add to the shape. So
this is using lassos to make random shapes. The real use of
lassos and selection tools is when you combine it with
Okay, so what I like to use lasso tools and selection
tools for the most is when working with photography. So
let's open some pictures up.
Actually, let's bring up
the tree again,
so remember when we made the brush we used a marquee
to lasso up the brush but what if I want to -
let's say for example that
I want to separate foreground from background.
So in this case the background is fairly blank, but let's say
we want to change the color of the sky. So one thing we could
do is first I'm going to duplicate my image here, my
and then I'm going to draw a lasso.
I'm going to start with the polygon lasso and just do like a
around the tree.
Right double click to close and I have a selection around
the tree. So now what I can do if I want to be more precise,
so for example, if I want to really come in and cut out the
grass, so I'm going to select my polygonal lasso tool. In
this case I want to subtract from the mask right? So I'm
going to hold alt and
I'm going to start somewhere point here in the middle and
now I can get really tight on the grass. You see that I'm
zooming in. Remember Z to zoom in and then every time I click
I make an anchor point.
So now I'm really tight on the grass.
And then I'm going to bring the cursor over close to my
starting point. That's why I started in the middle because I
knew I was going to finish here and then double-click. Now it's
subtracted the mask. You see that like on the other side I
still haven't subtracted it, but here it's been subtracted.
And that's using the polygon lasso tool.
If you use the organic freeform lasso, so let's say I'm going formula. So let's say I'm going
to hold alt to track. Notice the icon changed to a minus sign.
Let's say now I can just kind of
randomly cut out the leaf texture.
So you see that?
See that that's one good use of the lasso tool.
The freeform lasso tool. So in other words, I like to think of
organic. If I want to be really precise with my selections, my
masking I'll use polygon lasso and zoom in. If I want more
random and organic look I'll use the freeform. And it's also
true when using man-made objects. Obviously, if you're
cutting out like a piece of architecture or a house or a
building that has straight edges, you definitely want to
use polygon lasso.
So again, I'm going to cut out
the field of grass
I don't have to be too precise, right? Obviously, it's grass.
Double click to close and now I really tight master
selection. Don't worry about the selection that goes outside
of the document bounds. We don't have to worry about that. So now I can
literally make a really tight selection around this tree.
So I'm just going to keep going.
Let me speed up a little bit here. So I'm going to cut out
right, cut out the trunk same on this end, cut out the trunk.
So here's a good example of plus and minus. So let's say
I cut out the trunk and this branch but let's say oh I want
to keep those leaves. What do I do? Well, you can add them
by easily holding shift. So now hold shift and then switch my
lasso tool to draw a random shape. So now see how it adds
back to it?
You can - like for example, let's say
oh I cut - I want this little nugget of - I want these pixels
right here. So you can just kind of -
just hold shift and add, you know, if I want this set of
just hold shift and you can add to your selection. I want this
little branch here.
So if you make a mistake, or if you cut too deep into your
selection, don't worry because you can always change it.
So I'm going back to my lasso.
And just kind of got to go a little bit quicker here.
This won't be a perfect mask job as you'll see when we cut
the sky. That's what I'm trying to do is separate the tree and the
ground in the photograph from the sky.
I'm trying to go quickly. There's a bunch of different
ways to do this and there's a few more precise ways using the
Just a good example of - just a nice basic simple It's just a nice basic simple
example of using selections. I want some of that inside of the
inside of the tree.
Just cutting out some of these little holes and spaces.
Okay as a super quick and - quick and dirty, quick and fast mask
that I made.
But once I have a mask I can do lots of things.
For example, I can do cut and paste. I can do
command C to copy,
command V to paste.
Now I have my tree on its own layer. You see that?
That's really useful.
See the tree has no sky now.
I could turn that selection to a mask. And I lost my selection. So
to bring it back I can just go to history
and there it is right there.
Now because this mask took quite a bit of labor to make, I
want to save it. So one way you can make a mask,
or save your mask, is with channels.
Remember channels is one of the
submenus that I don't use too often
but it's quite useful.
So go over to channels. And that's window,
channels up in the middle.
And I'll often keep channels along with -
I'll tab group it next to history layers.
So when I have a selection active I'll have to do is click
this button and creates a brand new alpha channel. That's this
square button with the black circle inside and there's -
I can name it. If I click on it you can see that it draws a
selection. So what this does let's say my mask turns off
or I deselect it, command D to deselect. Now, you know if I
want to do some work on this tree, and I go oh
where's my mask that took me five minutes to make, all I have
to do is go to channels.
And then it's control or command and click then it draws
the perfect selection that you already saved. It's a very
You can also do select,
save selection, and it'll do practically the same thing. It
creates a new channel right here, creates a brand new
channel. So that was select, save selection.
So now I can do
command C, command V, paste my tree. And there's my tree with
no sky. Right now the background is blank. So what I'm gonna do is
make a new layer.
And I'm going to just paint the sky a flat blue.
Because I have that perfect cut out with the brush that I made
a lasso around. And you can also -
if let's say oh I like the tree and the grass but I don't like
So what I'll do is I will draw a mask, make a selection.
And then I'll go to - I'll duplicate the layer and then I'll make an
like so and what that does is it'll mask out the background and
remember alpha mask is kind of like an eraser but it preserves
the pixels. It's a non-destructive.
It erases or makes transparent the sky because I drew a mask
around the tree but the pixels are still there if I need them.
There's a mask and I have my original underneath. So what I
do is take my original and duplicate that and now I'm
going to bring up image adjustment. So go to hue
saturation, let's say I want more colorful sky. So I turn
up the saturation, a little bit of a darker sky, more purple
sky. So you see that? You see how it affects the background?
Say I want just a strange red sky, right, and notice the old
sky's showing through because you know, I didn't properly mask
out the tree, but you can see how powerful this can get when
you combine photography with selection tools.
We can keep going here. Let's say
I like what I did with
the sky so I'm going to merge the adjustment layer with the
duplicated background image, so it's control E,
So I like the sky and notice when I turned the top layer
off, which is just the masked out tree, but it adjusted the
entire thing. But because
my tree with a mask on it is above, right, it's covering up
what's beneath. So only the sky shows through. Let's say I want
to change the color of the ground. So what I can do is
hold command, click on my mask. Remember it'll draw the
selection for me just like we did with the channel.
You can do also do it with channels.
Click on the mask
and make sure you go back to RGB when you're playing with
And then what I'm gonna do is I'm going to duplicate this,
right, and I only want the grass not the tree to be
selected. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to
take my lasso and do a subtractive - I'm going to hold
alt to subtract and just boom cut out the trees. You see that?
That selection now, that selection is only on the grass election is only on the grass
and I'm going to keep fine-tuning it.
Like that. Now I only have a selection around the grass. Now
I can also save this as a channel. So go to channel, boom.
There it is. I'll just call it grass. Don't have to name it,
but I'm going to name it and now it's active.
So now what I'm going to do is replace this, delete, and
use a brand new mask. Now this mask only has the grass as you
can see, right? So it's only the grass. Here it was the tree
and the grass. Now this is only the grass and now because this
I can use this to adjust
the color of the grass. I'm going to start by adjusting its
color. So I'll bring up my image adjustment or
command U. Hue saturation. And let's play with the hue. Turn
the grass to more blue. You see the grass? Turn the grass to more
purple and you see how it's only affecting the grass.
That's because it's been masked out, as long as this mask is
So that's the power of using selection. So let's say I make
it more of a reddish brownie grass.
All right. So I like that, maybe a little bit
So you see that, just the grass. This is the original
photo with the original grass. This is the grass that I
adjusted using a mask that I made from a selection. So you
can see how you can combine selections with image
adjustments to do virtually almost any operation using
Okay, one final example.
We can use the lasso tool to cut out a man-made object or to
affect man-made objects.
So I'm going to open a picture of a house so I just grab this
off the internet here, just a random picture of a house. So
if I want to for example
work on just the house itself, but leave the background,
of course polygon lesson would be the best tool. So go to
polygon lasso, the hotkey is L and if it's not active remember,
you can click and hold to activate the other sub tools or
hold shift and hit the hot key, which is L. And notice the tool
So go to polygon lasso.
I could start at any point. So I start at the corner of the
roof and click, drag, corner. Little
overhanging object and notice that beautiful straight edge it
makes is really great for for this kind of work for
man-made objects, architectural objects, especially.
So now I'm just cutting out the house using my perfectly
straight polygon lasso tool.
Now in this case I'm going to do a command C, command V, and cut and
So now, you know, I can do all sorts of things with this. If I
want I can even,
you know, cut out the windows and so on.
You know, I can use a mask. Instead of erasing I can use a instead of erasing I can use a
mask. This mask is inverted. So just going to be a command I.
Anytime a mask is -
a selection is active, so for example, I'm going to cut out
this window, the white part of this window, using my
polygon lasso tool. Remember double click to close. Every
time a selection is active it's also known as the marching
ants, you see these little, ants going do, do do around here.
If that's active, if you click this button
the alpha mask button, boom. It'll draw the mask to the
shape that's active, to the selections active. But
unfortunately, this one is has been drawn reversed because I
want the window to be transparent, not the house. Just
hit command I
and that inverts the mask. So it's still there, but now it's
inverted and you know, we can brush
whatever we want underneath and do all sorts of things. We
paint over it, paint beneath it, do all sorts of things, combine
it with layers and so on.
We can even make a house brush if we wanted. Now remember
before we made a brush, a stamp, with a house. So that's just
one of the many uses of selection tools and one of the
ways that I like to use it the most is when working with
Okay. So that was a brief look at selection tools. You'll
probably be using selection tools, as you can see, every time
you crack open Photoshop,. You're going to need to select you're going to need to select
some part of your canvas, some part of your painting or
drawing or especially your photo as you just saw, so you definitely
want to get familiar with selection tools. They take a
little bit of practice. Just keep in mind that the marqee is
there drawing big shapes either square or round
lasso tool is there more precise shapes, more precise
selections. So lots of different options. Play around
with them. Once you use them a few times you'll definitely
become very comfortable with them because you'll be using
them every time you use Photoshop.
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1. Lesson Overview35sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Introduction to the 5 Major Tools6m 58s
3. Layers46m 56s
4. Undo/Keyboard Shortcuts20m 22s
5. Brushes59m 49s
6. Selection Tools24m 7s
7. Image Adjustments40m 44s
8. Assignment1m 54s
9. Chris' Approach to the Assignment: Part 140m 32s
10. Chris' Approach to the Assignment: Part 213m 3s