I wrote these Photoshop Tips for programmers who don’t necessarily do much if any graphic design work. This is for those that are concerned with function rather than fashion. This post is for the software programmers and system administrators that make utility sites that rival those of the html 1.0 sites of the 1990’s that didn’t have the capabilities of supporting modern day code. And yet are still being made today. Knock it off.
Do us all a favor and get yourself a single app Adobe license and try these Photoshop Tips out. If not for yourself then for the users of your utilities that are forced to stare at your functional yet lifeless creations.
Sorry if that last bit sounded harsh… Moving on…
Photoshop Tips Using Layers & Clipping Masks
Masking images in Photoshop is a very useful design option that has many, many uses. Masks can be used for creating multiple graphics of the same shape. They can be used to create breath taking title graphics as well as impressive images with layered effects.
Creating masked images in Photoshop is a simple process. It’s up to the designer to provide the creativity and vision to create truly impressive graphical pieces.
So here we go. First off you’re going to need to pick the medium you wish to mask. In this image, I’m using a sliced red onion image, but this can be anything you want.
As you can see I typed in the text I wanted to mask under the red onion layer. This could also be an image or shape or anything else that you would choose to mask.
The image on the layer above will be masking whatever is below it.
Right-click on the top layer and choose “Create Clipping Mask”. This will mask the layer below it and lock it.
Now you want to select the layer you wish to mask and right click on it. Select the option, “Create Clipping Mask”. You’ll see your mask appear and in the layers palette, you’ll now notice an arrow pointing down signifying the masked layer.
Like I said easy stuff, but many handy and impressive looking Photoshop effects can be created with masks.
Photoshop Tips Using Gradients & Clipping Masks
This is something that is also easy, but impressive if you’re running low on graphic ideas. Create a text layer and mask it with a gradient. Once this is done you can adjust the gradient until you have just the look you are going for. Blending options such as a drop shadow and possibly an outer glow can give you a rather superhero effect that is sharp and takes almost no time to do.
Repeat the clipping mask step from above with the gradient layer above your text.
Using Photoshop Actions To Automate Repetitive Tasks
Say you have a folder with 100 images in it that need to be re-sized and have a watermark added. Doing this one at a time would take you all day, but with the use of actions in Photoshop this repetitive task is as simple as editing one image with just a few extra steps. Follow the Photoshop Tutorials & Tips below then have yourself a beer.
- Open your actions pallet. If you don’t see it in your window tabs go to Window > Action
- Click the, “Create New Actions”, tab. (It’s the one at the bottom that looks like a post-it note.) Name your action something that makes sense to you. If you’re resizing images call it something like resize.
- Once you’ve created your action and named it hit the round record button at the bottom. You’ll know it’s recording your action when it turns red.
- Apply whatever effects you wish to your images. You will see them recorded in the Actions pallet as you finish with your selections.
- When you’ve finished adding effects, resizing, adding text, etc to your project hit the stop button at the bottom of the Actions pallet.
- When the box below pops up select your action from the drop-down list at the top.
- Choose the folder you wish to batch from the source option.
- Select the folder where you want these new images to go. Hit ok and go get some coffee. Depending on the size and difficulty of your action these images should be batched in no time.
Please make use of these Photoshop Tips. Please, please, please use them if you do not possess any graphic design acumen. Make your awesome utilities look as good as they work.
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