12.04.2013

Tools In Photoshop

Photoshop CS5 Tools & Features
By now, you know how to compose a good photo. So what?
(http://www.theimediasite.co.uk/unit1_learning_zone_tool_panel.html)
Maybe now that you can compose pictures better, you would like start to learning how to manipulate the images that you have taken. Before you are able to create well done manipulations, you need to know how to use the tools that you will be using to create the manipulations. Below is the toolbar from Photoshop CS5 with all of the extensions that are included. The tools that are circled are the tools that will be most commonly used and they include:
  • Lasso Tool
  • Pen Tool
  • Clone Tool
  • Spot Healing Tool
  • Burn Tool
  • Dodge Tool
  • Magic Eraser Tool

Other tools that will be occasionally used are:
  • Hue & Saturation
  • Free Transform
  • Clipping Mask


Lasso Tool: What is it?
The lasso tool is one of the selection tools available with CS5. When using the lasso tool you begin by selecting the tool and then you select one point around the object you wish to select and continue selecting around the image until you reach the point where you originally started. Depending on the reason you are selecting the image, you may need to refine the edges to remove the small border now around the object. Edge refining will be covered in later on, when needed. You can find it on the toolbar by looking for an image of a lasso, like the one seen below.


Pen Tool: What is it?
The pen tool is another one of the selection tools available with CS5. In some ways this tool is easier to use than the lasso, but your choice of tool depends on what your own preference is.. When using the pen tool you begin by selecting the tool and then much like the lasso tool, you select a point around the object that you would like to start with. and continue to select points around the object until you reach the point that you originally started at. One way that this tool is a bit easier is that it shows each point that you click on. You can find it on the toolbar by looking an image of an old fashioned pen tip, like the one seen below.


Clone Tool: What is it?
The clone tool is very similar to another tool in photoshop, the spot healing tool. The difference is that with the clone tool, you are actually covering an area of an image with another image. This is used more often with markings on clothing or paper, objects within the background that distract from the object and even distracting areas of the scenery. You can find it on the toolbar by looking for an image of a stamp, like the one seen below.


Spot Healing Tool: What is it?
The spot healing brush is very similar to the tool seen above, the clone tool. The major difference is that instead of covering an area of an image with another piece of the image, Photoshop is determining which part of the picture would be best to pull from, but it is also important to remember that this tool is meant to be used on small spots and not a large area of the image. Most often this is used with the touch-up of portrait (removing blemishes). You can find it on the toolbar by looking for an image of a bandaid with an arc of dot above it, like the one seen below.


Burn Tool: What is it?
The burn tool is used when you want to change the lighting in a particular area to add darkness, instead of the entire image. When using the burn tool you begin by selecting the tool, the size of the brush you wish to use (the amount of area that will be covered with one click, and the amount of exposure that the brush has (how dark. you want the amount of area covered with one click). Often it is common to confuse this tool with it’s opposite, the dodge tool. One way to remember the difference is that if you burn something it generally will leave a darkened mark on the object. You can find it on the toolbar by looking an image of a grayish-white hand forming an ‘O’, like the one seen below.


Dodge Tool: What is it?
The dodge tool is used when you want to change the lighting in a particular area to increase the light, instead of the entire image. When using the dodge tool you begin by selecting the tool, the size of the brush you wish to use (the amount of area that will be covered with one click, and the amount of exposure that the brush has (how light. you want the amount of area covered with one click). Often it is common to confuse this tool with it’s opposite, the burn tool. You can find it on the toolbar by looking an image of a ball head pin, or what some might say resembles a lollipop, like the one seen below.


Magic Eraser Tool: What is it?
The magic eraser tool is a tool that can either save you time, or be a time consumer. This tool will erase only pixels that are very similar in color. Most often this is usful if you are trying to remove a background from an object that is a different color than the object. If the tool erases parts of the object then you may need to erase the sections that you do not want included by using the regular eraser first and separating the object from what you are trying to erase. If the magic eraser is still deleting parts of the image that are not supposed to be deleted then you will need to use the regular eraser for the entire thing. You can find it on the toolbar by looking for an image of an eraser with a star shaped burst above it, like the one seen below.


Hue & Saturation:
The hue and saturation tool is often used when you want to change the color of an object, the amount of color vs. black & white within the object, and the lightness or darkness of the object. To access the Hue/Saturation menu, you go to the image menu and go down until you see Adjustments, and then when the Adjustments menu opens, select Hue/Saturation. Another way to select the hue/saturation menu is the hit Ctrl U on a pc, or Cmnd U on a mac. The menu should look like the one below. The box that pops up is also shown below.
Transform:
Transform is used in many ways to distort pictures. The most common form of transform is called free transform and is what is used when you want to re-size or rotate a picture. When free transform is selected, there will be a solid border around each edge (or in a square or rectangle, if the image is not a square or rectangular shape) and there will be small squares at each corner and often in the middle of the edge. The boxes on the corners are how you change the sizes and if you do not hold down the shift key, you will cause the picture to become unproportional. With transform you can also distort and warp your pictures. Distorting your picture is when you stretch the image in all directions or in any direction. Perspective is when you change the perspective of an object. Lastly is warp. Warping an object is when you manipulate the actual shape of the object to include bending the object over itself.
Layer Mask:
Lastly is the layer mask tool.that is important to know how to use. Layer masks are used to hide portions of the an image in a layer. It makes things a lot easier to go back and change mistakes later, than having to redo the entire piece. The first step is to create the layer mask, by locating and hitting the layer mask button located on the bottom of the toolbar that is commonly on the right hand side of the window, shown below in a blue rectangle. When looking at the toolbar, you have to find the button on the bottom of the toolbar that shows a circle inside of a rectangle, highlighted by a blue circle below.
The layer mask is one of the more complex tools, because, odds are that you will not do every step correctly on your first try.
When you first click the button to apply a layer mask, it will seem as if nothing has changed on your picture, but if you look at your layers menu, you will notice that there is now a white box next to the image that you added a layer mask to. If you no longer see the image that the layer mask was added to, that means that the layer was created with black instead of white. Why does it matter?  The reason that it matters is that in Photoshop, the layer mask only recognizes three colors: white, black, and gray. When the layer mask is white, the image will be 100% visible, when the layer mask is black the image will be 100% transparent or invisible, and when the layer mask is a shade of gray it means that the image is not 100% visible or 100% transparent. With gray, the closer to white that you are, the more visible the image will be, compared to when the gray is closer to black and more transparent. To enable the layer mask, you would select the paintbrush tool, shown  below.

Before you begin to use the paintbrush it is important to ensure that the paint color is black because having it white, will add white onto the already existing white, while adding black would in a way, erase the white and the painted part of the image seem to be erased. If you accidentally remove a part of the picture, Don’t Worry. By switching to using white paint, Photoshop will reveal the ‘erased’ portions of the picture. Continue to use the two different colors until you reach the desired look. Another reason that this tool is a lot more helpful is that your edits are never permanent and can always be changed in a layer mask.

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