30 Days of Photoshop Day Ten – Cropping and Resizing

I started two online tutorial series’ at once way back in April and I’ve slowly been working my way through both of these tutorials online. They’re both basic tutorials for anyone who wants to learn how to use Photoshop.

I also enjoy sharing these tutorials for anyone interested in Adobe software and anyone who is looking to start somewhere at a basic level. So I review these courses for beginners and anyone else who wants to do them!

The Phlearn series is one of my favourites and today we’ll be looking at resizing and cropping with tutor Aaron Nace. You can find all the source files for this tutorial right here and the videos are all online here.

In this tutorial, Aaron is introducing us to the power of the crop tool and how to use the content-aware option to alter our images. If you’re already familiar with the crop tool, you may not have seen the other options available with this tool such as resizing in inches and changing the scale of your image by using preset dimensions.

Here is the image we are going to be working with:

Using the content-aware option inside the crop tool, we are going to extend the top of this image first like this:

Edited by Darkside Creative

And changing the image by cropping the sides like this:

Edited by Darkside Creative

How awesome is that? This is all done using the content-aware tool and no other editing. With simple images like this one, the content-aware tool is very useful. But you cannot use the content-aware tool on complex images that have complex backgrounds. Even with this simple image, you can begin to see that the content-aware tool has replicated pixels in the image to create the “extra” segments we added. With further editing, however, you could definitely improve on this if you wanted to make the image look more realistic.

Let me know what you think about this tutorial in the comments. I will be doing a full assessment of the entire series upon completion so that’s definitely something I am looking forward to doing!

Until tomorrow’s post, stay safe out there and keep creating.

If you like my Photoshop posts, you can check out more of them right here.

And while you’re there, why not consider following me which you can do here.

Thanks for your support!

Adobe Adobe Photoshop

30 Days of Photoshop Adjustment Layers – Day Four

Today in our 30 Days of Photoshop series, Aaron is going to be showing us all about Adjustment Layers and what they are used for.

I am quite familiar with adjustment layers myself, but this is a wonderfully detailed tutorial for beginners without any prior knowledge. Aaron has structured the tutorial in such a way that you begin from the very foundation of an image and work you way up through all the different adjustment layers.

Using a sample image that is already provided, you will enhance the image using the majority of the adjustment layers to take a picture from washed out and average like this:

Source Phlearn

… to this which is the image I created with all of the edits applied from using adjustment layers:

Edited by Darkside Creative

It really is quite amazing when you look at the before and after images. The colours are changed, the sky really pops, and the picture looks so much more vibrant.

To get this effect, Aaron combines the topics learned in previous tutorials such as layers and layer masks and then continues on with adjustment layers and layer masks. We used masks for most of the effects in the above-edited image, including inverted adjustment layer masks. Inverted adjustment layer masks is a powerful technique that allows you to control exactly where you want your adjustment to show in your image.

We’ll continue on through to lesson five in my next photoshop tutorial and I can’t wait to review it!

Until then, stay safe everyone and keep creating!

If you like my Photoshop posts, you can check out more of them right here.

And while you’re there, why not consider following me which you can do here.

The Power of the Brush Tool in Photoshop – Phlearn Tutorial Review Part I

As noted in a previous post, I’ve come across a “hitch in the road” so-to-speak where I’ve had to stop working on a tutorial review. It’s annoying and frustrating when your creative process is stopped in its tracks.

But I have decided to use this as an opportunity to write and learn more about brushes and custom settings in Photoshop.

Please note that this tutorial is not free like the other tutorials I have featured on the site. I subscribe to Phlearn, and it’s honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done in terms of learning.

The tutorial I am doing now is very in-depth, and I have come to learn that Aaron Nace is an exceptional tutor. Not only are his lessons interesting and detailed, but he provides everything you want in a learning environment. There are no steps left out or uncovered. And therefore, there are no frustrations for the student to experience. This is what a great tutor should do for their students.

If you’re interested in the tutorial I am currently working through, here are the details:

The Amazing Power of the Brush Tool in Photoshop

From painting beautiful visual effects to making perfect cutouts of a subject, the Brush Tool can do it all. Learn how to create and load custom Photoshop brushes to add realistic rain, snow, and smoke effects to any photo. You’ll even learn how to paint in natural hair detail when placing a subject into a new background.

Best of all, our entire library of over 35 Photoshop brushes is included in this tutorial!

  • 26 Sample Images
  • 35 Photoshop Brushes

As there is so much to cover, it might take me a day or two to complete it, but I’ll be making my final review comments in part two of this tutorial.

For now, I hope everyone is continuing to practice social distancing and keeping safe!

If you like my Photoshop posts, you can check out more of them right here.

And while you’re there, why not consider following me which you can do here.


When a Tutorial Doesn’t Work

For the first in a really long time, I had to stop a tutorial I was working on because the instructions weren’t written in-depth enough to continue. I have found that with older tutorials (dating back to 2008) this seems to be the case.

There are two very important things to remember if you’re going to learn from a tutorial. The first thing is making sure the tutorial is detailed enough to take you from the beginning to completion. The second is to make sure the tutorial has all of the assets you need to complete it.

I did not listen to my own advice with this tutorial, and now I cannot complete it. At first, I thought it might just be me and that I am just not following along correctly. But then I checked the comment section and sure enough, a lot of people had the same problem with the tutorial. It was not detailed enough and did not explain everything step-by-step to finish it.

I think it would be easy for a tutor to forget that they already know what they’re creating, they know the steps inside out. And therefore, when they are writing out the tutorial, they forget one little detail that can impact the process immensely.

If you are going to teach, you must first be the student. In other words, put yourself into the student’s position, don’t think like a tutor. Think like someone who doesn’t know a thing and then write.

With video tutorials, this issue doesn’t exist. Which is why I prefer video over text explanations and tutorials. When someone creates the same thing in a video, it is tough to miss a step because you are actually creating the art as you go. If you miss an action, you’ll know because something won’t work or won’t look the way it should.

So before I can finish the tutorial I had chosen to do, I must learn one step first and that is how to correctly create custom brushes in Photoshop. I have created brushes before but I didn’t have any problems like I had yesterday. So I will come back to this tutorial once I have looked at Phlearn’s more detailed video on how to create custom brushes.

I don’t like to leave things undone. Which is why I am going to learn from a thorough tutorial and return so I can finish it and critique it for you all.

Until then, stay safe and keep creating!



My Star Wars Gifs and Edits

30 Days of Photoshop File Types, Opening and Editing in Photoshop – Day Two

On the first day of this 30 day Photoshop series, tutor Aaron Nace went over the various tools, settings and options of the Photoshop interface. You can read all about that here.

On day two Aaron introduced us to Opening, Editing and Saving in Photoshop by using a fairly easy example. As easy as this looks in theory, this particular exercise could or might feel a little full-on for people completely new to Photoshop. And Aaron did mention that there was a lot to learn in this lesson.

Here’s a condensed step-by-step of what’s included in day two:

We learned how to open two different files to use in the same image edit. For the sake of brevity, I will refer to anything to do with images, graphics, or edits as image edit

Image one:

Source – Phlearn

Image two:

Source – Phlearn

We removed the tree entirely from the image and then blended the first image of the sky into the second image to give the edited image a “darker feeling” to it.

Edit one:

Edited by Darkside Creative

And then Aaron explained the difference and importance of different file types such as JPG, PSD and PNG. We then saved different versions of our edit into these three different file types.

Aaron explained the importance of the PNG image format for transparent images and why transparent images are so easy to use. We then re-added the tree, separated the tree from the rest of the image and saved it as a separate transparent image:

Edit by Darkside Creative

And finally, Aaron explained how easy it is to remove an object, re-add it and/or place it into a different position in the image altogether:

Edited by Darkside Creative

Here’s the link to the video clip of Day Two if you want to check it out and there is also a text version of the entire lesson if you’d prefer to read what was taught rather than watch.

I can’t express how much fun this is, learning and relearning and creating. If you’re looking for something to keep you occupied during lock down, learning Photoshop with Aaron Nace is a great place to start.

I’ll be continuing this series in my next couple of posts so stay tuned, keep safe my friends and keep creating!