Category: Adobe Class in a Book

At first I found this chapter a struggle, a bit complicated for the end result.  Once I had had a chat with Ian about it the use of the pen tool started to make sense.  The selection process was ok, if a little fiddly but once done I just created a new layer and used the layer copy option.  this then allowed the saucer to be moved over the background.  I then had to use the pen tool again to make the curve, and then trying to keep understanding the book, i managed to cut out the star – but again the book was worded wrong, so made it a lot harder than it needed to be.  The last part was to make the copyright text and drop that into the final image and we are done.

The pen tool once i got the hand of it, and used it a bit more, helped me loads with a process in the movie poster – so not all a bad thing in the end.  Another tool that i liked a lot was the free transform tool, used it that often I can even remember the short cut lol (CTRL+T) used it to rotate the saucer and also keeping ‘shift’ pressed kept the thing in scale.

Final psd


For this chapter we had to make a lable for a bottle of Olive Oil, to help us we had to use the ruler feature to help posttioning the text, I have used the ruler before but never got it to work right, but on this chapter it was a bigger problem.  My problem was when ever I use the ruler it would stick numbers up across and down the page, fine, but the book would say postion text at 3.5″ in, but on my display this would stick the text no where near the right spot, so I just had to add each dimension to the edge of MY image and got it right.  I found the ‘warping point tool’ very useful tbh, and it will help me with the poster as i have simular text that will need playing with.   Overall a nice chapter, not too much new stuff but using old friends again, so was quite enjoyable.

Also compleated the extra credit task, by just editing the smart image and changing the size to 32FL Ounces

Final psd   Extra Credit psd

This chapter is the chapter I have been waiting for, how to make some badly taken photo look a thousand times better.  In this chapter you used 5 different images with a different selection of tools.  This made the task fly past, as it was like 5 mini challenges instead of one big problem like Chapter 5.

The first image (well a block of 3) was a white temple, it was a group of photos taken at different angles and with different exposure so the ‘white balance’ was wrong.  This was a good test to make the image look better, between a combination of chanding the cloud effect the sharpeness of the gold cross and changing the overall white balance it was a nice little task, at the end of the day I was trying to make the image look like it was taken on a sunny day, not the cloudy one.  With changing the white balance it made the clouds look ‘fluffy’ and this gave the image more contrast.  A neat feature was the ability to play with one image and then apply your changes to a group of images, this was a nice touch – a simple synchronize box in the ‘camera raw screen’

The next image to get the PS treatment was a portrait of a Mum and Son, here we changed the shadows and highlights of the background, bringing them to life, so they became a focal point not just a blare, and the best one ever, had to remove the red eye from the child.  This was quite a simple job, selected the ‘red eye’ tool, then select the size of the pupil and amount you want to darken the image.  Clicked on each eye on the red and the eye becomes normal – the most common failure in a digital image, fixed in 10 secs, fantastic

On this house we had to copy and move a window and remove the christmas weath, this photo caused me the most trouble, the vanishing point tool and grid….. omg how annoying was it not to get it to line up to get the grid.  Move that point in a bit, move that point out until you got the grid… then only for the book to give you the wrong instructions???  It tells you to select the window, then press ALT and then Shift and move the window and the vanishing point grid will keep the image in scale… yer right, all that would happen was you moved the marquee down but no window…..  So I pluggen my mouse in and after a few goes and a mistake I held the ALT and Shift down at the same time and hay presto one moving scaling window, how hard was that.  Using the same tool you then selected a bit of the building moved it down over the wreath and then using the ‘transform tool’ you got some handles that allowed you to stretch the image – nice touch, again the book was wrong, but as I was still in a tizz about the window I tried it that way and it worked.

The old temple with nobbly knees 😉  The columns are slightly out of shape, the ‘lens correction’ tool is great, you just move the distortion slider and you can have some fun, but you have to make them look straight 😉  One thing thou, this tool has a lot options so is very difficult to use for the first timer, but playing with each option and you can get so fun results.

If i’m honest here these 2 tools we used here did nowt for my eyes, but you use the ‘auto bleed and auto align tools’.  I guess the idea is any main features in either photo is aligned with the other photo so the wine glass and the house for instance in this photo.  The finished image did look good, but so did the first 2 before you started, just seemed to be layered wrong, so if you removed one layer you got a simular effect – but like I said my eyes might be shot 😉

As a conclusion i did find the chapter quite fun and did like the way you used different tools on each photo, and some of the experimenting you could do was good fun

Final Church psd          Final Portrait psd           Final House psd          Final Temple psd       Final Wine glass psd

This chapter I found very time consuming and very long winded.  The whole idea of making a mask is a great idea and this chapter could have been handled by the writers in a much less over powering way, instead of the very fast tempo approach.

The ability to be able to create a mask of image is a fantastic feature, as it allows you to save time by allowing you to come back to the selection atbig plus if you are making lots of changes.  With this chapter making the mask was a quite simple selection, just used the quick mask tool, and then inverted the image then made it a layer.

Once the mask was made you had to refine it, by removing any plants etc from the buddha, this was done using a combination of the quick selection tool and the lasso tool.  This was the part that took an age to do.  Once you got into it thou it was not too bad, esp when you found out you could add to the original mask as well as take away from it – so was able to get a near perfect buddha.

The next stage was quite easy, moving the temple layer so to re-postion it in the image, adding a filter (water) to the image to give it a strange look, but once the paper had been added to the top and bottom of the image, recoloured to a lovely purple it started to blend in.

Adding the text was a neat feature, just made the text box layer, and then placed it ontop of the original paper so allowing the ‘sand’ colour to come through – before i changed the colour.  Then it was just a case of sticking my name on the bottom and it was done.  In the end I did find it a good chapter, just the buddha part took to long to do.


After re-doing this chapter for a second time, I found it a lot easier to do, now I know some shortcuts, and found the use of masks very useful indeed – and the trick of how to do the text colour has also come in use.

Final psd

Now if that image does not make you want to go on holiday, i don’t know what does 🙂

The bridge function is now getting second nature, the ability to just browse adobe files while still in PS is great, and then the ability to view 2 or more images side by side by using the ‘arrange documents’ button is great.  So once the ‘beach’ image is dragged onto the ‘pineapple’ image it shows up behind the ‘pineapple’ as both layers are ‘viewable’, so we just click the little ‘eye’ next to the pineapple and we can now only see the beach layer.

The next job was to stick a white border around the beech image, so with the beech layer selected the stroke style is applied.  As we needed a white border the colour picker was changed to white.  Once this was done all layers are switched back on, but the beech is back behind the pineapple, and as we needed this on top as in the final image, the layers have to be arranged.  Just click on the beech thumbnail and with the left button on the mouse pressed just move it up and drop it between pineapple and flower layer.

Now the beech image shows up on top of the pineapple but behind the flower and postage stamp

Still not getting the love to book that holiday….. time to give the postcard the wow effect, but little by little.

First was to make the postage stamp ;lighter’, this is done my just changing the ‘Opacity’ of the postage layer, dropped the figure down to 25% to get a very light stamp.  That pineapple is still not doing it, so it needs to be more vibrant, like it fell of a tree.  Making sure the other layers are unselected select and pressing ‘CTRL’ and left mouse you get an option menu up, and then select Duplicate Layer.  Using this new copy layer, change to blending from the overview menu, this blends the copy layer and the original pineapple layers giving a more vibrant look – if im honest I did not see much change, but the booke says it does do the book must be right? right?

Need to move that beech layer, so selecting the beech layer and unselecting the flower we can use a tool called ‘free transform’.  This sticks a box around the image, and by holding down the shift button at the same time as you drag a corner in, this makes sure both dimensions change at the same time, the image is reduced by about 50% and then rotated slightly.  To get the final postion the flower layer is made viewable again and then the beech image is rotated until the right edge of the beech is just covered by the bottom petal.

Time to add some colour to the background, this is done by making sure the background layer is selected and then hitting the ‘new layer button’ at the bottom of the layers window – this is an easier wasy than doing the new layer route from the main menu that runs along the top of the screen.  This new layer is called clouds,  using the forground colour icon from the bottom of the tools menu, select a ‘sky’ colour.  Then making sure the cloud layer is still the active layer using the filter menu the effect cloud is selected from the render menu, and bang nice tropical sky appear’s behind the other layers.

Now need to add some text, making sure the ‘Hawaii’ layer is visable, and then ‘select’ from the main menu followed by deselect layers, this makes sure no layers are active.  Using the foreground colour selector get a ‘grassy’ green colour 🙂  Selecting the ‘Horizontal Type Tool’ and then clicking on the image just below the ‘H’ of Hawaii the words Island Paradise are typed.  This new word can be repostioned to line it up.   The next few stages are to add a bit more colour to the text and add a little shadowing to the other images

just sticking up the end link for the moment

Chapter 4 Final Image

This chapter is all about selection tools, introducing some familuar ones and some new ones (well ones I choose not to use in a past life)

We started with a image containing 7 items, and by the end 6 of the items would be moved and placed on or around the cutting board.  The first item to get moved was a Tomato, this was selected using (imo is the best tool) the quick selection tool.  With this I just moved it into the red and clicked and the tool just selected the whole tomato.  I then moved it onto the cutting board using the ‘move tool’.

The next tool that got a work out was the ‘elliptical marquee tool’, this was just dragged across the bowl of olives, and hitting the sapcebar at the same time to keep the shape.  This was moved differently to the first item, this was just moved by moving the cursor across the selected bowl and then pressing Ctrl you can move the bowl to the selected area on the chopping board.  A nice ability was the ability to move the item either 1px at a time or 10px at a time, this gives you a more precise ability in placing the object

The next bit was quite clever also, selected an image moved it and then changed the colour by just selecting image – adjustments – invert.  Very nice effect, like a sort of negative.  Then I needed 2 more of the same image but slightly bigger each time, uselly when you try to enlarge an object you run the risk of changing the shape, but just holding down the shift key while you re-sized the image kept the new image to the same shape as it got bigger – ok doing this on a laptop was interesting, but long boney fingers for the win.

Now my fav tool, the ‘magic wand tool’, you just click on the item and by some magic only the wanted image is selected.  Ok not by magic, but al long as your image is darker than the background it works very well, you can stick a rectangular marquee around the image to help with the selection process

The next tool to play with is the ‘lasso tools’  tbh i’m not a fan of these and what they can do can be done by other tools, I had to cut a carrot out so due to the shape the lasso tools work ok, but as its on a darker background I just used the ‘quick selection tool’ much quicker and easier.  Once this was cut out we had to rotate the image and place it on the cutting board.

Not used this tool before and tbh now I have used it I don’t know why, as ok its use is not often, but its so easy and precise to cut out a strange shape, esp when the object is on a two tone background, where something like the magic wand would struggle finding the edge.  You just move your pointer around the object, dont need to hold anything but the image is surrounded by a lasso as you move, then when your done just double click and your done, very nice

To finish of the new image I just cropped it using the ‘crop tool’ was meant to leave some of the ‘cut out image marks’ but I was able to cut out very close to what I needed so no need to use any ‘paint’ or ‘clone’ tools.  The next part was to make the image look like it was meant to be like this all the time, so I played with the edge of the images and applied a soft drop shadow to each of the new layers.

One thing i noticed was when i saved my layers i was left with a black logo in the layer window – there was not one in the book, so im guessing it shows its on a black background? or something?

Have to say this chapter was much easier to follow and work with than Chapter 2, a couple of the short cuts where fun on a laptop, felt like i needed an extra finger or at least the ability to bend it a different way 🙂

Finished Chapter 3 PSD

I have used some of these fetures before but some are quite new to me and tbh did not enjoy it.  Not sure on the reason for saying that but found some of the procedures a little long winded for a very small change in the image.  The task was enjoyable and some of the features are sweet, esp likes the way you can change the colour of a part of a photo – like the girls hat from red to green.  Can now understand how they ‘touch-up’ things in magazines now – not saying I could do it but at least i know how now 😉

The ‘healing brush’ is a nice feature did nt know what it did before as i had always used the clone brush tool in the past, very impressed in the end result.  Liked the way you get the whole area to sort of blend in, nit like clone when you have to be much more careful to what and were you click

One part i just could not see any difference was the ‘unsharp mask filter’, if i changed the Radius to say 50 then yes it made a massive difference – made the image more vibrante – very much like a LED TV picture.  Have fell foul to the ‘saving the image for printing’ before now, have set and designed basic brochures using Adobe InDesign (don’t ask me how, but i could work myself around the problem – self taught ftw), but have then sent the brochure to print only to receive the proof back and it look nothing like it was meant lol

My finished image, saved ready for 4-colour printing 🙂

Final psd

Beginning the Journey

Well today was the start of all things new, have never used Photoshop before… well thats not true, I have ‘used’ it to cut a shape out but thats it.  So today was good, the Lesson guide in the book Adobe Photoshop CS4 was very simple to understand and its says it takes 90 mins to complete, you could complete it twice in that time scale if im honest.

The main advantage this book has over simular books (have used ‘teach’ yourself books before) is it treats you as a complete novice, even to the point of telling you how access files you will need – this is a massive plus in my books as it tells you the correct route to get the required result, not the ‘oh look i did it route’.

This first lesson, introduces the user to all the menus and some simple commands, which once known will speed up the process – for this old dog that has to be a bonus.  You start with a simple image and by the end of it you have changed the balance of colour of the photo while keeping the original selected part how it started.

The above image we had to select the headlight and then using the ‘curve’ button play with the numbers to get an effect we liked.  Mine shows the headlight on full beam while the rest of the image was darkened

I found the first lesson very easy to get going and was nice to understand what I was trying to do, instead of just knowing that that effect did that result.

Adobe PSD Version