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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.