How to Delete All Hidden Layers at Once in Adobe Photoshop

by Jay Hilgert
on July 30, 2015

Does your Photoshop document have what seems to be a million layers that are all turned off? Instead of deleting them one by one, you can save a lot of time by deleting them all at the same time! This simple feature is often missed by many professionals, but it is really much easier than I ever expected it to be. I’m not sure about later┬áversions, but I know this is possible in both Photoshop CS6 and below…

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How To Recreate Icons using Photoshop Paths

by Jake Rocheleau
on July 23, 2015

There’s a lot to learn when first making icons in Photoshop. The Pen tool is a necessity but it comes with so many alternative tools and techniques that it can take months to really understand. I wrote a brief guide to the PS pen tool as an introduction but never went into pragmatic detail.

featured ps icon vectors

For this guide I want to cover how to trace existing icons using the Photoshop pen tool. This allows you to create vector shapes without worrying about the actual creative process. It’s 100% technical where you learn how to manipulate a path with certain curves and connections.

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How To Create a Baseline Grid Pattern in Photoshop

by Jake Rocheleau
on June 24, 2015

The best designers will admit that grids are vital to any project. Whether you’re designing for print or the web, grids offer structure that can either be followed or ignored. Most people think of grid systems like 960GS where you create long columns across the full width of the page.

But there is another grid related to typography known as the baseline. It typically adds a new grid line every X number of pixels based on the website’s line height. As you can imagine, this would be exhausting to manually create by hand.

baseline typography style

Instead it’s better to create a pattern for your baseline and fill it onto a new layer. In this guide I’ll show you how to create a quick baseline pattern and apply it to your own mockup.

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The Difference Between Layer Masks & Clipping Masks in Photoshop

by Jake Rocheleau
on May 22, 2015

Adobe Photoshop is one of the more complicated programs because it can be used for a wide array of purposes. But once you nail down the fundamental tools it becomes a lot easier to envision how you might create certain effects in future work.

layer clipping mask featured

One of the confusing ideas that often trips new users is the difference between a layer mask and a clipping mask. They behave similarly but should be used for different purposes.

This guide will cover the basics of both layer masks & clipping masks while demonstrating how you might use them in real-world projects. Both should be useful at different times and if you want to master Photoshop then you’ll need to understand these crucial differences.

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How To Use Photoshop Adjustment Layers

by Jake Rocheleau
on April 13, 2015

Most people who are familiar with photo editing should know about image adjustments. These are used to affect a photo’s levels in light & color. The only problem with using typical adjustments is that they can damage an image’s pixels permanently.

preview adjustment layers photoshop

This brief how-to will explain the benefits of using an adjustment layer instead of a typical adjustment. Non-destructive workflow is crucial to becoming a master of Photoshop. We’ll be using many of the same tools and interfaces but they’ll be applied onto a separate layer rather than directly onto the image itself.

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Basic Shape Manipulation Techniques in Photoshop CS6

by Jake Rocheleau
on March 27, 2015

Adobe Photoshop has come a long way since it was originally released in 1990. While Adobe has put out their latest “monthly subscription” suite of Creative Cloud, many designers choose to stick with the last iteration of CS6.

The CS6 pack is still incredibly powerful and there’s not much of a difference from CS6 to CC. However going back in time there is a tremendous difference between CS6 and CS2 or CS3. So it’s worth getting up to speed with all the new tools and techniques for the CS6/CC collection.

photoshop cs6 splash shapes

This how-to guide will focus on how to manipulate shapes in Photoshop CS6. The options bar has some new tools and there are brand new techniques for creating shapes at manual width/height values. If you’re using either CS6 or CC then these tips will dramatically improve your workflow.

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How To Level the Horizon Line using Photoshop

by Jake Rocheleau
on March 16, 2015

Great photography is hard to locate and even harder to capture yourself. So whenever you can obtain a beautiful photo it’s often better to fix problems with the shot digitally instead of trying to capture another one.

A common problem with landscape photography is a slanted horizon line. Landscapes can be useful for any number of projects like photo compositing, digital painting, banners, backgrounds, or even 2D/3D rendering. The horizon line sets the perspective of the landscape and is a very important piece to the photo.

featured horizon line leveling photoshop

In this quick tip I’ll demonstrate how Photoshop users can hastily level the horizon line of any photograph. This can work even with shots of people, animals, or objects, as long as there is a horizon or some type of “straight” object somewhere in the shot.

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Trace Existing Icons to Create New Shapes in Photoshop

by Jake Rocheleau
on February 19, 2015

Icon design is one of the most tricky fields of digital design. It often requires some understanding of composition and other art fundamentals like symmetry, lighting, and color. The best way to learn icon design is by studying under the best of the best. Unfortunately they probably don’t have time to teach you so it’s important to learn how to practice on your own.

In this how-to guide I want to explain the basics of tracing existing icons using Photoshop. This requires some knowledge of the pen tool because you need to edit paths and anchor points according to existing shapes. But everyone has to start somewhere so I highly recommend using the pen tool at every opportunity.

ios camera icon trace path shape

I’ll demonstrate how to trace the camera icon found in Apple’s iOS 8 SMS app. This uses a flat design style which is traditional and great for beginners.

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Create Non-Destructive Filters using Smart Objects in Photoshop

by Jake Rocheleau
on January 26, 2015

We all know about the tremendous benefits of Photoshop. It offers a solution for editing photos, designing logos, mocking up websites, and refining vector graphics all in one location. But while Photoshop can handle a number of different tasks it is most well-renowned for photography editing. Every graphic designer or photographer can find dozens of tools directly related to enhancing and retouching images.

For this post I’d like to demonstrate how to create smart filters applied onto any digital image. Smart filters behave just like regular filters but are more fluid and flexible in long-term work. Not every project has a need for smart filters, but understanding how to use them properly is yet another tool worth adding into your graphic editing tool belt.

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The Basics of Photoshop Quick Masking

by Jake Rocheleau
on January 19, 2015

Selecting and rendering objects from their background can be a difficult skill to master. Nobody is inherently born with an understanding of Photoshop – it takes years of practice and lots of screw-ups to become even remotely good. Yet it seems that rendering and selecting an object always remains one of the most difficult tasks to incorporate into regular workflow.

photoshop featured quick mask preview

In the past I covered a method of selecting objects using the Photoshop pen tool. Although it’s always an option, the pen tool is traditionally considered to be the most complicated method. Excellent for advanced users but not perfect in every situation.

For this post I’ll cover how to get into quick masking with Photoshop by creating selections around objects. Much like the pen tool, quick masking will feel a little wonky at first. But stick with it and soon you’ll be rendering out images like it’s nobody’s business.

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