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Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Hey everyone! It's been raining here all night long, and it's STILL raining as I type. Very unusual for Texas. Unfortunately, today is the day that I have to run errands, so I'll just be looking like a wet cat. Yesterday, I was awaiting a painting by Mary Ann, and I literally saw the post man out the window of my office. I was BESIDE MYSELF in excitement. Unfortunately, Mr. Post Man rang the doorbell and ran away as quickly as in, before I could even get to the door. Le sigh. I've been saving my excitement for this painting all throughout the weekend, and I think I can wait until today to get it. You can bet I'll be carrying a giant umbrella to protect it!

I have exciting news!! I finally finished a Photoshop tutorial that I've been talking about for a while now. I realized that I had to break this tutorial in two or three sections, because I don't want it to be a monstrous tutorial, a.k.a boring and confusing. You tell me if this helps you at all. Keep in mind, this is very basic. This is the finished image we'll end up with by the end of the tutorials. Look familiar?
Let's begin, shall we?

Okay, when you're opening a document in Photoshop and realize you don't have the correct windows up, don't freak out like I used to. Just go to Window and make sure you have the following checked: Adjustments, ColorLayers, Application Bar, Options, and Tools. You can choose whichever settings work best for you, but I like to see these in my sidebar.

If you mess up like I do, here's how to undo:

You can also go to Edit--Step Forward or Edit--Step Backward to go forward or backward a step.

On to the fun stuff:

1. Go to File--New to make a new document.

2. Add settings for your document. I like to keep my in inches. If you're doing print material, make sure your resolution is either 150 pixels/inch or 300 pixels/inch. The higher the resolution, the higher the quality (clarity) your print will be. If I'm printing an 8.5" x 11" document, I usually set the resolution at 150. On the other hand, if I'm doing a web document that needs to quickly load, I set my resolution at 96. After you have your settings, press Enter.

3. You can drag your newly opened document anywhere you'd like on the screen. Just click and drag on the gray bar above the document. Notice the gray area around my document. I clicked and dragged on the bottom right hand corner of the document to do this.

4. Open the folder containing your photo, and click and drag it into your Photoshop file. Easy peasy.

*If an X doesn't appear on your image, disregard steps 5 and 6.

5. See that X that appears over my photo? This means that you need to "place your photo" by just pressing Enter. After you press Enter, the X will disappear.

6. I don't know too much about smart objects yet, but since I still need to learn more about them, I just rasterize my photo so that I can resize and edit it. Do this by going to Layer--Rasterize--Smart Object.

 7. To create the shape for your tape, you have a make a new layer. Imagine placing sheets of paper on top of one another to make a single stack of paper. This is how layers work in Photoshop. You can always move one layer on top of another, delete it, or add new layers. Go to Layer--New to add a new layer.

a) You can make the shape of your tape in a variety of ways, but I usually just use the Rectangle Marquee Tool.

b) After you select the rectangle tool by clicking on it, just click and drag on the location where you want your tape. Don't worry if you get a weird placement. We can easily move and resize it later.

c) Notice that when we added the new layer, it appears on the right toolbar. You move one layer on top of or under another layer by clicking and dragging it up (to be on top) or down (to be below). You can also freeze a particular layer by clicking the box directly to the left of the layer. This will either make your layer disappear or reappear. The layer you are currently working on will always be highlighted in blue. To select multiple layers, click on the layers while holding down command (Mac) or control (PC).

8. Now that you have your outline for the tape, you can choose a color for the tape. Do this by selecting the Foreground Color. Once you select it, a box will appear that allows you to choose the color of your dreams. :) I guess the color of my dreams was black that day.

9. To add the color to your tape, use the Paint Bucket Tool (a) and click inside your outline.

10. If you like to be see-through like me, you can change the opacity (a) of your color.

11. To make your tape look torn, you can use the Rectangle Marquee Tool (a), the Polygonal Lasso Tool (b), and the Eraser Tool (c). It doesn't matter if you use all or one of the tools. These are the ones I generally use to get the tape to my preference.

12. Next, resize your tape. To do this quickly, simply right click the tape to make sure the layer is selected, and press command t for the Mac. If you're using a PC, use control t.

13. Remember when I said in step 7c that the layer you're currently working on will be in blue? To quickly find the layer you're working on (whenever you start working with TONS of layers), right click your image, and Photoshop will tell you. In this case, my tape layer is Layer 1.

14. Now I want to make a copy of Layer 1 so that I can have tape for the bottom of the image. Do this by right clicking the layer in your right sidebar, and click Duplicate Layer (a). To move your new layer of tape down to the bottom of the image, make sure your Move Tool (b) is selected on your left sidebar, and click and drag your tape down. I used the eraser tool and command t to make my bottom piece of tape look like that.

Phew. Seriously, guys. I hope this helped those of you that want to learn the basics. Let me know if this helps, if you were confused, etc. I'll have the remaining tutorials up probably this week and maybe next week.

Also, I know many of you are much better at Photoshop than I am. Sooo, if you'd like to share any other shortcuts or  easier ways of doing things, I would love to hear! :)

Happy Tuesday! I'm off to go run around in the rain.


Anonymous said...

This is sooo helpful!! I downloaded a trial of photoshop a while back {because I'm too cheap to buy it...} and I had NO idea what I was doing and pretty much went into tizzy. But this was really great! Thank!

Bekuh said...

What a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing Danie!

Inés said...

This tutorial is absolutely perfect, Danie! A real step by step guide, perfect to me...actually, I need a ADDING TAPE TO IMAGES FOR DUMMIES...but this one will do...
Thank you for your lovely comment, sweetie!

Big hugs!

Gertrude from said...

This tutorial was absolutely helpful,and I believe that you should keep on with this column cause we all need little secrets no matter how good we can be at Photoshop!!Danie is our teacher!!Thank you!!

Danie at Pasadya said...

Abby: Yay, I'm so glad it helped! Yeah, I didn't take the plunge into buying Photoshop until my senior year. I had NO idea what I was doing before then. I hate the thought of having to buy something if I don't know what to do with it, so I know what you mean.

Bekuh: Thanks dear!

Ines: So glad to hear it's helping a bit, Ines. :) I was going to illustrate every single step at first, and then it became monstrous, ha! Just let me know if I can explain anything further. I was thinking I might do a video for the Photoshop tutorials that are more complicated, but we'll see. I always love having something to go back and reference in a step by step guide. Oh, and you're so welcome! I hope you're past the flu by now!

Gertrude: You're so kind! There's so much I need to learn in Photoshop, but I figured I might as well share my method anyway. If you have any tips also, let me know! I always love to learn little things I wish I had known. :) Thank you so much for your encouragement!

Holly said...

Great tutorial Danie! So in depth. This must have taken quite some time to prepare. Your readers clearly appreciate your hard work. Surely lots of people will benefit from these tutorials :) Looking forward to future posts xx.

sheislikethat said...

This is awesome! It must have taken a lot of work, so thank you so much!

Have you considered putting this tutorial and all the following ones on a separate page, in one place, so I can refer to it again and again?

Danie at Pasadya said...

Holly: Thank you! I think the main reason it took me such a while is because I was fighting my perfectionism problem. I need to stop doing stuff like that because nothing will EVER be perfect! Thank you so much for your kind words, as always. I"m looking forward to posting more!

Rosa: Thanks, lovely! You're so very welcome. Oh!! Yes, definitely. Clay and I are actually still working not the new layout of this blog, and everything will be in categories / series when we're finished. Hopefully that will help!

Unknown said...

I will use this everywhere! Thanks for sharing! Love your blog.

Danie at Pasadya said...

Gabrielle, that makes me so happy! I SERIOUSLY need to finish the remainder of the tutorial. Can't wait to check out your blog, and thank you so much for dropping by!

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