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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