- Lesson Details
In week three, you will continue exploring the last two of “The 5 Major Tools”: Selection Tools and Image Adjustments. You will have a chance to practice along with instructor Chris Legaspi to get familiar with those features. By the end of this lesson, you will have a great fundamental understanding of Photoshop.
Throughout this course, you’ll have access to the NMA community for feedback and critiques to improve your work as you progress.
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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.
it's a very very important feature in Photoshop. It
basically allows you to edit and manipulate and adjust
whatever image, drawing, painting, or photography you have in
Photoshop. So whether you're painting or drawing your own
comps for your own artwork, whether you're editing
photography that you shot or even you might be editing the
slides of your own artwork, this is the menu, the toolset that
you're going to be going to to do all of the fine-tuning, all
of the adjustments to make your pictures, your artwork, your
photography even better, even sharper. So we're going to look
at - there's only really three major tools we're going to look at
in the image adjustments menu and we're only going to touch
on a few of the things you can do. Obviously with practice
you'll be able to expand your vocabulary and be able to
experiment with what you can do. But let's touch on a few of
the key points or a few of the main tools in the image
adjustments menu. Okay, the image adjustments menu, there's
a few ways to access them. One is from the file menu and the
other is down here actually in your layer. So let's take a
look at the file menu. So you go to image, scroll down to
adjustments and then it opens up this submenu here. Now,
there's a lot of stuff here and to be honest I don't use
about 80% of this. Remember Photoshop is one of those
things that's incredibly robust. So we're only going to
focus on what's the most useful and
the most useful for me our first hue saturation,
and levels and also curves.
So those are the three main tools I use over and over
again. Some of these other features are quite useful as
well like color balance, for example, but let's take a look
at the three main ones that are going to be the most useful to
let's take a look at hue saturation. So if I click on
hue saturation and if you notice the hotkey - whoops
let me X out of that. The hotkey is command U or the
So you go to image, adjust, hue saturation and it brings up
option window here. And these three sliders is where you can
control all the things you can do. Obviously for us painters out
there we know that hue saturation and lightness also
known as brightness
is what color it is, how saturated or how gray a color
is, and the value of a color. So you can adjust
the entire image or even parts of the image. Remember last - in
the last lesson we went over selection tools. So you can - you
can see the possibilities if you combine selection tools
with image adjustments, especially hue saturation. And
we'll look at an assignment that can help you with that.
So just real quick example, how we can use this. Obviously with
a blank canvas not going to help us much.
So let's say we draw,
draw an object.
Some kind of graphic shape that looks like a heart or an apple.
So one thing we could do
is call up image adjustments, hue/saturation, and then we
could begin to play with the parameters. So what's happening
here is this - as I move the hue slider you can see it changing
hue. As I move the saturation slider you can see it go greyer
or more saturated, as I move brightness you can see light or
dark and this action is only affecting
whatever is on this layer. So if I had more than one object,
it would be on this layer. So keep in mind that whatever you
have on the layer is what will be affected whenever you do the hue
So if I want to turn it from a orange apple into like more of
a greeny like Granny Smith apple. There you go.
There you go,
Maybe drop the saturation a little bit and it maybe dark
in a little bit
and boom. There you go. So you see how we went from a red
apple to a green apple.
So maybe by using
image adjust and that's just one way you can use it. So I'm
gonna go ahead and undo that.
You can see if you - remember if you bring up history you can
see it on the stack hue/saturation. I just click
above to undo it. Another thing you could do
is use the
image adjust layers, layer adjustments.
So let me duplicate this first. And you want to get in the
habit of duplicating something if you're going to do some type
of adjustment or any operation. There's just a good habit. That
way I have the original version and this will give me a clean
duplicate that I can experiment with. So let's say I have this
apple on my layer and I want to use an adjustment layer. So I go
down here to this, sort of this circle, half circle looking
thing. A circle that's half black, half white. And if I
click on it and you notice it brings up almost the entire
of the file menu, image adjustments. You see that?
They're very similar.
So down here you have hue saturation as well.
So I can do the same exact thing. Now
this layer menu has a slight different function than image
What the layer judgment does, it'll operate on whatever's
below it on the on the layer stack. So right now I have a
copy, the original, and a fresh white background. Just a plain
white background. Now, this one is blanked out so it won't
affect it. So whatever is visible would be affected. So
for example, if I wanted to turn my apple green, like we did
previous, I switch the hue, everything looks okay. Only the
apple seems to be affected. When I switch saturation everything
still seems good. Now watch what happens when I change the
darkness. Notice I affect the apple, yes.
But I also
affect what's below it on the stack, which is also the
background. So you may not want that. And for sure I don't, I
just I only want to affect the apple. So there's a couple ways
to do that, one is with the mask. So it's X that out there.
adjustment, layer adjustment, has a alpha mask as a layer mask.
So what we can do is to simply draw a mask that affects only -
we can simply draw a mask based on the shape of
the object or mark we're trying to effect and one way we
can do that is by selecting the object. We can use the magic
wand selection tool, which is W.
You see that or conversely we can simply hold command and
click on the layer and it draws the selection for you. Let me
go through that again. So whole command and click on the layer
that has the object that you want to affect or use the magic
wand tool. Now when I
have the selection active I can go to my mask and remember
layer mask, alpha mask are only affected by pure black and pure
white and also greys but in this case, I want pure black.
So I'm just going to double click on that.
So what that does is it drew a mask. So now whatever is
in white on the mask, you see that will be affected by the
See it affects the background but not the red apple. So I
don't want that. What I want to do simply invert the mask. So
one way to do that is simply to invert and I like to use the
hotkey command I. So make sure your mask is selected.
See the white box drawn around the mask, see that white
box? Make sure it's on the mask and then hit command I,
boom, that will invert the mask. So now
the alpha will only affect what's within the mask and
right now that's our apple. That's what we want.
So that's really cool.
So now I can make my apple as dark as I want but not affect
the plain white background.
That's pretty cool.
And there's also a clipping mask, which is a very powerful
feature. So let me show you that real quick. Let's say I
have two things, I have - I'm
going to name the layer
apple one - oh excuse me,
apple two and
I've got apple one and I got apple two. to
So let's say I want I only want to make apple to green. Now I
could just go to image adjust
and do the thing
which would be great. But what if you know, I want to use the
layer mask and the advantage of the layer mask is that you can
constantly adjust it. So check this out. Remember I can bring
up hue saturation.
See if I bring up the layer mask so they're both going to
be affected including the white background. Right? But the
great thing about layer mask is that I can change it at any
time, right? It's still active because it's a layer
adjustment. It's an adjustment that happens to be on a layer, it's a
very powerful feature.
So that's one way to work. But if I only want to affect apple
number two, and my hue set saturation, image adjustment,
layer adjustment is right above it, another thing I could do
besides drawing a mask of apple number two, which is what we did
in the last step, we could also do what's called a clipping
mask. And clipping mask is a feature in the layers menu in a feature in the layers menu
Photoshop. All you have to do
is hold the alt key and hover your mouse in between the two
layers at the line. See this fine black line right here? Now
if I hold alt notice the icon changes from my hand to this
kind of down arrow looking thing. And that's called a clip
mask. So if I hold alt and hover over the line, then I
click, boom. You see what happened? This layer and see how
the icon changes from a down arrow here, the layer, the icon
layer. So what that does is now this hue saturation layer
adjustment, basically, this layer is only affecting the
apple. And you can do that with any layer. You can clip it to
whatever's beneath. Now this layer becomes what's known as
the parent. This becomes a child.
And that's just another way to affect only certain items or
only affect what's beneath the image adjustment layer and not
affect what's beneath it in the layer stack. In other words not
affect this apple, the apple I want to stay red and the plain
Now and the advantage to this versus using the file menu is
now let's say oh the apple's green, but what if I want to make it
more of like a yellowy apple? Well, the layer is still
active. Let's see how you can change it at any time. So you
And you can even turn it off, turn it back on. And it doesn't
affect - remember non-destructive is typically the best way to
work. In other words don't affect your original or don't
operate on your original marks, artwork, your pixels. Make
a copy and try to use layers to do non-destructive
or keep the original as original as possible.
So that's just a brief look at hue saturation and how to use
it. Now I went over about five different things that seem like
a lot besides the hue saturation adjustment and
its function itself, but don't worry about the specific little
details, oh like clipping mask, alpha mask, should I use the
menu? Should I use - I don't know. Well,
what will happen is that you will find
the - whatever is most comfortable to you at the
moment, you'll be able to use it. So that will come with
practice but we'll review throughout this lesson. We'll
review, review, review the different steps. So don't get
too intimidated. It looks crazy and there's a lot of stuff I
know if it's your first time, but don't worry. We'll review
it. You'll see it many many times throughout this lesson.
And once you play with it, once maybe twice, you'll have it. So
don't get too caught up in the steps. This is meant to be just
a brief overview and a few ways that you can actually apply
oh and there's one more thing I wanted to note with hue
a lot of times in Photoshop
it's really common for artists
with a greyscale tonal or black and white artwork, black and
white comps, black and white drawings, black and white
digital paintings. It's a very common practice but then we can
use our image adjustments, actually colorize or transform
the black and white image, the greyscale image, into a color
image. So for example, if we want our grey apples looking
things here to turn color well, we can call up image Well, we can call up image
adjustment. So I'll go to image adjust hue saturation. Okay,
and this time I'm using the image menu. So this operation
will be permanent. I won't be able to change it. Although I
will be able to edit it in history or undo it. So the
thing I wanted to note, remember we have hue saturation and
lightness. The thing I wanted to note here is this button
called colorize. If you look on the lower right there's a
button called colorize right above preview and preview just
means you'll see it, you'll see the changes live on your
So if you want to change a black and white or greyscale
object into a colored object, I like to use hue saturation, call
up the hue sat menu then click colorize. Boom. Now, it kind of
defaults to this kind of reddish color. Now I can play
with saturation and notice I can call that up. Maybe let's
make into like a red delicious Washington apple, those are like
the super red, dark red ones. I like those, very tasty.
There you go.
So I turned a grey apple into a red apple and then I could do
the same thing with this lighter gray apple. This time
we're going to use the image adjustment. So go to
hue saturation, then I'm going to clip it to apple number two
here because I don't want to affect apple number one.
Remember hold alt to clip. There you go. Basically locking
this action only to the layer beneath it or to the
parent what it's clipped to. Now this also has colorize see down here
And now I can turn this into a green or yellowy green Granny
So you see that?
So that's just a quick look at the colorize button on hue
saturation. Very useful tool if you working in grayscale.
Okay, the next set of tools going to look at will affect
the contrast. So obviously contrast is really important
when we're making artwork when we draw and paint
traditionally. We want our work to have
contrast, it makes our work more dramatic and more
interesting and we of course we want to have control of the
contrast. And in Photoshop it gives you incredible control, it's
very very very powerful. Now, there's three main ways that I
like to adjust contrast and they're all in the image
adjustment menus. The first is levels, second is curves, and the
third is the brightness contrast option. So let's take
a look at those now.
Okay, so brightness contrast or adjusting the contrast.
What I'm gonna do is
kind of paint
a little generic apple here
using some of the tools that we covered.
Little generic apple here.
And let me adjust the background a little bit.
And let me give my thing a little cast shadow.
And don't worry too much about
the steps you're seeing here. We'll have plenty of time to
review and you'll have plenty of time to do your own
creations, your own original
Okay, so I have a little apple and, you know, kind of a
nice scene here
let's say - let's do this. Let's say in my little scene
everything is kind of like in this -
kind of this like middle grey kind of right. Kind of real
little bit flat, obviously. So one thing we
could do is -
one thing we could do is adjust the contrast. So if I go to
image, adjust, now the - first let's go over levels and curves.
Now they're roughly about the same. Let's try levels first
and the shortcut is command L. So levels to me is a very
powerful way to adjust contrast. So one thing you
is that when you call up levels you notice these three
sliders so the the left slider -
oh, I see. It's only affecting what's beneath it.
let me merge my work here.
Okay, so now we're ready. So if I go to image, adjust levels, you
notice these three different sliders here.
The one on the left,
if you move it to the right it'll compress the distance
between light and dark. So things tend to get darker. The
one on the left will compress the distance between light and
dark. So things will tend to get brighter and then the
middle slider you can either go darker by moving towards the right
or brighter, less contrast on the left. So what I like to do
is typically start with the middle and let's say I want
more contrast I'll slide over to the right. If I want things to
go brighter I'll select this guy to the left, see that
highlight gets brighter? And then if I want the shadows to
get a little bit darker, I'll slide the left slider to the
right and then play with the middle again. So you
see how it's compressing distance between light and dark,
basically giving yourself more contrast, less room. Which is
what contrast is. So now it's nice and contrasty.
So hit okay.
two, then I'll compare it.
So there's the original
and then here's the one that's been adjusted with levels. So you
see the difference? And I'm going to write that. Yes
there's a text tool so we'll cover that
in other assignments.
And let me shrink this apple so I can have room for two.
Okay, so that's levels.
Let's take this apple
and now we'll use curves. So I've made a duplicate here. I'll
call this apple 3.
If I go to image, adjustment, curves.
So curves works a lot like levels.
Except it's a curved graph. So if you move this anchor
closer things will tend to get darker. Kind of like you saw
If this slider things will tend to get brighter.
From right to left. But what you can do is so first I'm
going to compress the distance and then I'm going to fine-tune
the value of here
changing the value of the shadow to be a little bit
darker by pulling the curve down. Then I could change the
value of the highlights to go brighter by pulling this curve
up. So you can see curved is very powerful.
And you have really a lot of control, you can insert more
points here and find fine-tune the curve if you so desire, but
I usually just use one or two points.
Like that, so it's already kind of dark.
See how I'm just making a beautiful nice and contrasty.
So I'll just hit okay,
And we'll call this curves.
Remember command T brings up your transform control, it's a quick
way to transform things, in this case I use scale.
So that was levels, that was curves, and the last way is
Now what I like about brightness contrast and it's
under image, adjustment, brightness contrast is that
it's just only two sliders very quick, very simple, you know,
make it a little bit darker, turn up the contrast. And you
almost get almost the same result, but you don't have fine
control over the light's, that's the only problem here.
So almost the same result right? Contrasty, real quick
let's write that down.
Call this apple four.
And here's the original.
So you see how we are able to adjust the contrast three
different ways. So remember in Photoshop, there's really
multiple ways to do the same thing, which is partly why it's
so big and so robust. So this is a great way to just simplify
the available tools into what's necessary.
One way I look at it is that
if I want something really quick and fast, I'll call up
brightness contrast. If I want fine-tuning I'll call up
curves. If I want fine-tuning of the darks and the lights, just
the darks and the lights, I'll use levels. So for me probably,
you know eight out of ten times I'll just quickly go to
brightness contrast and then the other two times or three
times maybe twice I'll use levels and one out of ten times
I'll use curves. It really depends on what you're doing.
So play with all three remember brightness, contrast probably
the most simplest way and you could call them up at any time
here. And remember you could also
call them up down here. So let's say
I have a have another apple and I want to just the contrast.
Remember all the image adjustments are on a layer
menu. So let me bring that on screen here so you can see it
All right, so I go to right here.
See brightness contrast is here under layer adjustments. So is
levels, so is curves. So let's say I want to affect the
levels of apple number five.
Remember first you have to clip it or make a mask, but I like
to clip. So hold alt to clip.
So now we have
levels image layer adjustment on a layer. I'm going to
increase the contrast in my apple, fine-tune both the lights
and the darks.
See that really quick really sharp. And also I wanted to
bring this up to this bottom row is a quick way to just
lighten or darken. See right now it's at like a nice middle
tone. If I want to just quickly boom darken everything just
make that slider. Let's say I want to lighten what I have,
it's a little too dark for my taste. I'm just going to
lighten what I have first and that's what this bottom slider.
So that's pretty cool.
So going to use that and then I'm going to further compress
and adjust the contrast. Boom. Boom. Boom.
So that's more naturalistic. I like that.
And you see because it's
on a layer instead of operating directly using the
file menu image adjust now I can turn it off, I can
tweak it some more if I want to, let's say it's too dark make it and say it's too dark make it
brighter. It's too bright, make a dark. So that's the
advantage of the layer adjustment but it does the exact same
thing as the file menu. So whatever is comfortable for you
the time. If you want maximum control and editability
eight out of ten times I'll use the layer adjustment versus image
But they both work and you'll find ways to make both very
useful for you.
Now the final thing I want to make note of is that if you go
to image and mode at the very top, there's this like submenu.
of all these things they look - they can look really
confusing. Typically you almost always work with eight bits
Most of my files, my professional illustrations,
digital illustrations have all been eight bit channel.
So if you see it
other than eight bits
you might want to change it because most files that you use
that you bring in Photoshop will be with eight bits channel.
And also most files you use will be in either RGB or greyscale. These
other modes, image modes, index color, CMYK, lab next Colour seemed like odd lab
I'm not really a hundred percent sure how how they work
or why they work because I never use them. So either RGB
which will be color or greyscale which is pure black
and white. And you can always change it any time. For example
right now we're all in this RGB mode. But we're working
If we want to transform it into a greyscale document, meaning
eliminate the color, we could do that with image mode, greyscale.
And you can switch back and forth. So just a note on
this mode menu. Keep an eye for the channel and keep an eye
that you're in the right mode. So for example, if you're
working on a file, let's say let's take this file for
Let's say you're working on a file.
Let's say you're working on a file and
you're working on a black and white drawing or maybe a black
and white piece of digital art that you made or that you're
making and you're like, okay now it's time to add color.
Chris did that thing with the image adjust hue saturation and
the colorized button. Let me try that. So go to image
adjust. Oh what's going on? It's not available. Wait a
minute. That's grey. Let try it here. Oh, shoot layer
adjustments are grey too, what's going on? Oh, no, what
happened? Well, most likely you're probably in a greyscale
file. One clue is if you look at your color window, notice my
color menu window, no color.
Right? Just this black-and-white grey scale slider. So if I go
to image mode up there, it is locked in the greyscale. So
that's why I wanted to make a note of that. You may
be - you may have or you may be working in greyscale mode or
you may open a greyscale mode document or piece of artwork or
photography. So keep that in mind that if color isn't
available here color window or your image adjustments aren't
available. It's because you're working In greyscale mode. So
remember quickly just go from greyscale down to RGB color
boom and it'll ask you to flatten. I typically don't
So just keep that in mind that
you want to be working. I typically work nine out of ten
times in RGB mode. I really just don't see a need to work
in greyscale because it's so easy to
to colorize or to decolorize. So for example, let's say I'm
working in this kind of pinky document, right?
All I have to do is call up a layer adjustment hue saturation
window and then put it at the top of the stack, boom, drop it
down. So you see there's a couple different ways to do
things, to adjust the contrast, to adjust the value, even to
adjust the color.
And there's a couple different ways to apply your adjustments.
So again, don't get too intimidated. We went over a lot
of steps here. You saw me do a few things we'll review
everything that you saw several times and you'll be able to
practice as well. One last image adjust I want to take a look
at or introduce is color balance. So color balance is a
lot of fun. It's very very useful. You probably won't be
using it too often. I pretty much use hue saturation nine out
of ten times, but this one is great for fine tuning. So let's
take a look at color balance real quick.
Alright, so I have a little apple here. Let's say I want to
change my apple to red, remember click colorize
and we can we can play around with it.
You see how powerful this menu is. I almost take it for
Okay, I got this reddish apple. So one thing I could do
is go to image adjust, color balance. Now what color balance
does wow, take a look at got three sliders here and you can
affect not only
the hue but you can affect different areas. For example,
the shadow, the mid-tone, and the highlights. So this is pretty
powerful. Let's just take a look at it quickly. The three
sliders - right now it's set to tone, balance, and mid-tones. Three
sliders are red, green, and blue, or cyan, magenta, yellow,
And if I want to make this apple and say I want to make it
even redder just crank it up to red, even pinker crank it up
the magenta, even lick warmer. So move the yellow or more of a
violet. So you see how it's changing? It's very very powerful and
that's just mid-tones. Let's try highlights. So let's say I
want to make my highlight more of a yellow. Wow. Look at that.
Look at that. That's cool.
That's really neat so you can fine-tune the colors. And let's
say I want to get my shadow a little bit cooler, little bit
bluer. Look at that. Wow, look at how powerful that is, that's amazing. So you
can have a lot of fun with this. Obviously we're only
going to - I just showed you a quick way to use it,
but you can see the power, how you can fine tune the color of
your mid tones. You can fine tune the color of your
highlights and even your shadow, so this is incredibly
powerful menu. This is the one advantage this tool has
over hue saturation. So definitely experiment,
definitely play around. You're going to love it. Once you get
comfortable with it play with it once or twice. It's going to
be one of the
great assets in your Photoshop toolkit.
Okay, so that was all of the image adjustments that I use
99.9% of the time
And that pretty much wraps up all of the major tools. So
again, we just went over briefly what they are, how they
work, and some ways you can use them. So you definitely want to
experiment on your own, review this as often as possible.
Probably this series or these major tools, this lesson you'll
want to review over and over until you get comfortable
because it only really is only going to take one time for you
to get comfortable. So that's pretty cool. But review that's pretty cool. But review
this as much as you can, as much as you need to and then start
to experiment and play and just get your practice and
Transcription not available.
file. Remember it's command N or file, new.
So just go to file, new.
DPI 200 pixels per inch and eight inches wide by ten
inches high, just standard copy paper size. There you go,
and I'm going to untab it.
Then I'm going to hit F2 to change screen mode.
Going to use spacebar to center it and then zoom
to make my file bigger
on the screen. Alright, first we're going to make a set of
shapes using marquees and friskets. So we're going to make a gets so we're going to make a
and then start with the marquee or the box selection. And the
hotkey is M. So I'm just going to make a row of boxes and
rectangles. Big boxes.
And then fill them in with a shape.
Or excuse with a color. Just plain black in this case.
little box. Remember
is deselect. So command D deselects. Also I'm going to
command T to rotate.
You can also transform
like this whole row a little bit narrower.
So there you go. Just a set of boxes of various size.
And rotating the boxes we made. Next let's play with the next. Let's play with the
elliptical marquee or the round marquee. We'll make a
series of circles, big circles, little circles. In
this case I use the shift key
to add to my selection.
Make a series of ovals
of various sizes.
Also can rotate our ovals. Obviously if you rotate a
circle it's not going to do much.
You can but you won't see it.
So it has to be more of an oval shape.
Or like an egg in this case.
And notice I'm using marquee to select the set of objects
that I want to transform and rotate. So set of squares, set of
ovals and circles.
Next are the freeform shapes, so
starting with my lasso. Remember the hotkey is L.
Just make a series of shapes.
Kind of just draw kind of like this amoeba like things.
Looks like a Matisse cut out a little bit.
And make shapes that you can also transform and rotate.
Next is the polygon lasso.
Remember it's click and drag, so click to touch down, make a
point, and then drag to move it and then to close, let's say
make a point here, but I want to close it from here to here,
Creates a nice shape. Click, move, click, move, click, move, click,
move, click, move, click, move, click, move, and then double tap
And obviously the polygon lasso is great for making really
or not organic but nice hard-edged geometric selections
And let's make some shapes that
we can rotate and transform.
Okay, that was a polygon lasso.
Next let's make some compound shapes.
So first I'm going to make a picture frame, which is
well let's make a picture frame.
Start with a
fill it with dark. Now what I'm going to do is
make some corners. So I'm going to hold -
what I'm going to do is
make my marquee
to a perfect square and then I'm going to hold shift so that
squares at each corner so four perfect squares at the corner
of a perfect square, then I'm going to fill them with black.
See that? Now I'm going to cut out the center of the frame
by making a marquee inside and then back spacing
to cut out. So cut out a perfect picture frame.
Next what if I want to make a donut?
So I'm going to go to my circular marquee,
make a perfect circle,
and this time we're going to add like little tiny little
sprinkle bumps. Maybe this donut has a,
I don't know has like pieces of nuts or something, Oreo cookie,
right, kind of dangling on it.
So just remember to hold shift to make multiple marquees while
Now I'm just going to cut out the whole simply use circular
or round marquee. Just make a nice little hole. And remember
when the marquee is active, when you see the marching ants as
long as your cursor is inside and you see this kind of arrow
icon, you can actually move the marquee around.
And then I'm just going to hold back space, boom. I got my
little weird looking doughnut.
And the last thing I want to make is some kind of wrench.
Some kind of double ended wrench. So first I'm going to
make the -
the handle, the long handle part of the wrench.
Just make a long rectangle.
Then I'm going to take the circle
kind of make a perfect circle. And just going to eyeball it,
moving my marquee. Just kind of eyeball it till its center
and then fill it with black.
Next I'm going to cut out
grip with a
rectangular marquee, just hit backspace. Boom.
And then at the back and we're going to add the
circular part again.
Make a perfect circle. Move it around till it's about center.
Fill it with
a color. Then I'm going to grab my
polygon lasso and cut out some kind of hexagon shape and this
one is freeform.
So it's kind of sloppy but - whoops.
Just hit backspace.
Remember polygon lasso gives you real crisp sharp edges, and
there's our little
wrench made simply with marquee tools and selection tools.
All right, so let's crack open a photo. So I have one of my
This is a figure shot.
All right. So first I want to mask out our figure and and his
shadow as well from the background. Let's do that. So
duplicate the layer, remember click and drag to duplicate.
And we don't need this right now.
So let's hit F to change the screen mode, zoom and pan. You're
going to be using a lot of zoom and pan here. So what I like to
do is make a rough mask first and then clean it up, tighten it
I like to pretty much use lasso. You can also use marquees. So
let's just use lasso. For an organic figure like this I
just like to use lasso and with the tablet it gives you great
Actually, I'm -
yeah, I'll use the -
I'll include the cast shadow.
and now I got a little hole. So now what I'm gonna do is use polygon
lasso, zoom in to get all the detail, and then I'm going to
use shift and alt to cut in and add. So if I want to cut in to a
mask or a selection, I hold alt. So I'm going to take my
polygon lasso tool and I'm holding alt right now the whole
time as the tool is active.
And just going to cut into his hair a little bit here.
I'm not going to make up perfectly tight mask. It would
take a lot longer than it needs to. So you see that? Boom, just
cut out that section.
So let's just kind of go through. I'll make it as clean
as I can. Obviously you
can make it as tight as you want, make the selection as
tight as you want. And of course we can always fine tune
it as well at any time because we're not going to actually
destroy this image. Right? We're going to use masking of course.
Masking is much cleaner because it's non-destructive.
So whenever possible you want to use non-destructive methods.
Keep our original artwork, our original images, the original
And you can see how zoom and pan will quickly become - you'll
quickly become very comfortable with zooming and panning,
Because you'll use it every time you open Photoshop.
So we're going to go a little faster here. My mask is going
to be a little bit rougher.
And typically when I do clean up like this, I don't try to
get too ambitious. You see how I stop,
like I don't do that. I didn't do this entire side at once. I
kind of do a little bit at a time. So like this whole
section. I'm only going to do this section, this section, and
then this section. Watch instead doing the entire open section.
So first just, you know, cut out the top.
Remember double click to close. Now cut out the right side
where his leg is.
Not even going to go to his foot then cut out the left side.
Remember everytime you touch on the tablet, you're going to make an
anchor point. So that's what I want.
it hasn't happened to me yet. This might have happened to
you. Let's say
you try to cut in here and then you say all right well Chris
cut in here. I remember how to do it. I reviewed the lesson so
I got to hold alt so okay I'm holding alt and I'm going to
click and I go oh crap. Oh crap. What happened to all my
work? Oh no. So this might have happened to you.
In that case what happened is you touched down on the screen
without holding alt so you can just simply do an undo, control Z.
In this case I had two steps. So I go a step backwards or
remember it's always in your -
it's always in your history under just move history up
until your work appears.
So remember if you touch down, whoops, and the selection goes
away, it means you weren't holding alt. So you got to hold
alt or shift in this case if you want to add.
And I'm going through this kind of fast. I don't want to spend
too much time with this but with practice you'll you'll get
the hang it probably after like your
second or third masking task you'll have it down.
You'll be pro level. It's actually really quite simple
the moment you start to play with it. That's all you gotta
do is just like - it's like when you learn how to draw, you
know, or learn how to paint it didn't come easy.
You know, you didn't get it right away, or maybe you did
regardless you you practice and reviewed.
Oops. Now, here's a thing that happened.
You might have - this occurred to you it - what happened was I
double clicked here on accident and it connected to the
starting point which was here. So I don't want that. You can
just simply hit undo.
Or let's say you're like oh crap what do I do now? Well,
you can keep going,
keep going effect. You can even like
just cut out that messy section. I don't really know
what's happening there so I'm just going to cut out the whole
section, right, holding alt cut. Now I'm going to add the hair
back by holding shift. So just going to hold shift and start
inside the mask and I don't have to press and hold shift
and just make sure shift is held when I do my first click
and I'm going to add to the mask. Boom. You see how it
added to that section?
So don't worry if your mask goes too big or too small, you
can adjust the mask at any time. That's the - that's really
the bread and butter of this entire thing. That's the main
core takeaway is that you can edit - you have unlimited edits
with the software. It's wonderful. All right let's look at
our mask. It's pretty good. It could be cleaner, could be
worse. Here's a little section I forgot.
All right. So now with my layer or excuse me with the mask
active, I'm going to click this button and then boom, it'll draw
alpha mask, and boom the background is - so I just turned
off the original which was the background layer.
that's how I mask out a character, in this case a figure,
from the background. Now, I'm going to change the color of
the background and I'm going to adjust the contrast of the
So I'm going to call up a hue saturation image adjustment
or layer adjustment. Excuse me. Works exactly like the file
menu. Of course now, I'm going to change the background from a
little bit. Right now it's kind of bluey. Let's make it
warm color, let's see how that looks.
Wow, look at that.
Let's make it a yellow. How about that? Looks kind of
Whoa, turn the saturation. That's kind of cool to. Make it a
little bit darker. Whoa. It's like he's in a cave now. It's
like in a brown cave or something. Look at that. Pretty
Okay, so I just changed the color of the background but notice
it didn't affect my foreground character because it's it's
masked out. You see how
messed up - I could also drop in, you know, I could have just did
this, just filled the layer with a flat color. But you know, I
wanted that gradation that's already-existing so I just use
the hue saturation.
Now I'm going to change the contrast of the character
little bit. Let's say I want to see a little bit of the shadow,
right? There's a lot of shadow. Let's say I took this picture.
There's a lot of shadow. Let's say I want to see more of the
shadow detail. So I'm going to bring up -
well, there's lots of things we can do. Let's try levels.
remember right now, so for example if I want to adjust the
levels of the shadow, but I don't want to mess with the
background, look it's also changing the background. Which
you may want. But in this case, I don't want it. So what I'm
going to do is remember, I got to clip. So hold alt and then
clip to the layer I want to effect, which is the layer right here.
I'm going to name it. I'm going to call it
figure in foreground.
And now my layer adjustment, in this case levels, is clipped
right at that little icon. You can unclip at anytime.
See how it affects the background, now it only affects the
And in this case I'm going to really turn up the
brightness of the shadow, just make it a little bit
brighter, you know.
Pretty dramatic, right?
So now my levels are only affecting the shadow and the
last thing I want to do let's say I want to make my character
a little bit more pink. Right now it's kind of in this
orange tone, say for whatever reason
want to change this
color temperature. I'm going to call up a hue saturation and
I'm also going to clip it because I don't want to affect
what's beneath the figure in the foreground, just the figure
itself. And just going to play with the hue to bring it a
little bit more pink. Just a hue, turn up the saturation a little bit. and saturation a little bit
There. See that before and after.
So making some changes there. And finally the last thing I and finally the last thing I
want to do is add a little bit of texture. So,
you know the background's a little bit flat. If I want to
add a little bit of texture to the background what I could do
make a new layer.
I'm going to bring up my texture brush that I just made
and I'm going to color pick a color kind of it's already in
the background. In this case I'm just going to hold alt to bring
up eyedropper. It's also over here.
And I'm going to bring up my texture brush. I'm going to
start with remember it already has some transfer. I'm going to
lower the opacity even more. Let's say 80%. a say 80%
Add a little bit of texture.
Pretty cool, huh?
Little bit of texture there.
And let's say
I want some of this darker color to have some texture too
or a little bit up here. So I'm going to call it this color.
And let's say I want to bring some of this foreground color.
I'm going to make a new layer and
just add a little bit of this foreground color. I color
pick the - our figure's color. Let's put in the foreground.
And what I'm going to do is I'm going to erase using my
some of that and then I'm going to turn down the opacity so
it's a little bit more subtle.
I'm going to keep this one like that. So now the background has a
little bit of texture. I'm just going to merge these two
layers. So command E to merge down. So now I have texture.
So that's pretty much my assignment there. Now I can
also clean up my mask using texture brush. Remember this
mask was made using
selection tools and notice, you know, I went quickly. So you
see some of the blue showing through so what I could do is
just take a texture brush,
operate on the mask with either black or white. In this case black
and this kind of will
make some of the
work underneath show through a little better. You see that?
Just takes out some of that blue, but now we're bringing in
really what's underneath and I don't know if I want that.
And we'll take my soft airbrush and really just fine-tune this
until I get rid of some of that white and you know this
step isn't 100% necessary. But if you want a tight mask
that's another way to do it using a brush set to black or
white right. And you can see how different texture brushes can
come into play.
Okay, and that was
masking out the figure, masking out the foreground image, and
using various layer adjustments and other tools to create
texture and color changes.
Free to try
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