How to Use a Clipping Mask in Photoshop

So what is a Clipping Mask?  A Clipping Mask is basically a way to “clip” a photo to make it fit into a particular shape.  It actually does not even need to be a photo or image, it could also be brushes, fonts, or any layer you want to fit into a particular space.

First, we started with a window image with a transparent background and put it on top of a white background.

Then, we made a rectangle the same shape as the opening of the window behind the doors and put the layer under the window layer.

We took a picture of lightning and put it in a layer above the rectangle layer, but below the window layer.

Right-click on the lightning layer to bring up the layer menu.  Click “Create a Clipping Mask”.  This will then clip the lightning to fit into the rectangle layer.

That’s it!  It’s that easy!

A Review of Adobe Creative Cloud CS6

Recently, I upgraded to the new Adobe Creative Cloud CS6.  I find this to be one of the best upgrades Adobe has done, especially with the addition of the Cloud.  I wanted to share with you some of the cool new features that are included with the new version!

What is Creative Cloud?

Adobe® Creative Cloud™ is the digital hub that lets you download and install every Adobe Creative Suite® 6 application; access online services for file sharing, collaboration, and publishing; and benefit from new apps and features as soon as they’re released — giving you the freedom to create anything you can imagine. (Adobe)

Memberships

Adobe now gives you the ability to have membership, which are $49.99 a month with a year contract.  I don’t know about you, but this a great idea for people and businesses that cannot afford the price sticker on the full creative suite software which was usually around $1800.  Then, when Adobe updated, you would have to purchase the updated software.  Not with the new memberships!  Adobe gives you full access to all updates!

The Cloud

Now you can share files quickly and easily with the new Creative Cloud!  Share files between computers, with clients, or with other team members!  Adobe gives you 20GB of free Cloud space, which is more than enough to store a few projects at a time!  The Cloud also gives you the ability to download the software, anytime and anywhere!  There are tons of new programs that are now available to you as a Cloud member!  Plus, if you want to buy some of the new apps that are available, Adobe will give you a month of the Cloud for free!  The Cloud membership also gives you free hosting for up to 5 websites! With all of these great new features, Adobe Creative Cloud CS6 practically pays for itself!

New Photoshop Features

This is in no way a comprehensive list of all of the new features Photoshop CS6 has to offer, but here are a few that make design life a bit easier!  First, the crop tool is much different, but much more efficient.  Have you ever cropped something the wrong way or need to resize the crop, but in previous version you had to undo and start over?  Photoshop CS6 gives you a crop tool that you can maneuver over and over again until you have the desired crop.  Great update!  Next, Photoshop itself has gotten a facelift! It is now a very dark gray, which in my opinion makes it easier to work on because of the contrast with the white art board.  Also, all of the menus are compact, giving you more room to work on your projects!  You can still go back to the old Essentials tab if you feel the need to.

There are tons of new features between all of the updated Adobe programs, but hopefully this shows you why I have made the switch so quickly to the new Adobe Creative Cloud CS6.  Not ready for the cloud? Adobe still gives you the ability to download the software without the Cloud!  Happy designing!

3D Text Effects with Photoshop and Illustrator

I came across this excellent tutorial yesterday on how to make 3D Text Effect using Photoshop and Illustrator.  So I decided for this weeks tutorial, to let the good folks at Our Tuts to show you how its done!  This tutorial will give you some practice on the basic uses of the two programs.

Below is what I came up with after looking at the tutorial.  Read through the tutorial and come up with your own design with the tools that they give you!

If you need any help, give me a shout! Have fun!

Create a cool 3D text using Photoshop and Illustrator

10 Best Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners

A Comprehensive Introduction to the Type Tool

Who doesn’t know the Type Tool? This is maybe one of the most powerful and useful tools of Photoshop. We’ve all used it at least once, but do you know all its potential? That’s why I decided to write a comprehensive guide about Photoshop’s Type tool, including do’s and don’ts of the most important features of this tool.

Master Photoshop Selection Tools in Under 30 Minutes

In this article I’ll explain some of the different and powerful selection tools that are available in Photoshop. This guide is aimed at beginners, but can hopefully provide a few extra pointers for more advanced users. Personally I find it very easy to get stuck using only one selection tool, when it can be beneficial to experiment with several in your work.

Getting Started with Photoshop

Photoshop and Fireworks are two of the most commonly used tools in the web designer’s arsenal. From the preparation of initial design comps to generating optimized graphics for a web page, most web designers rely heavily on these two programs.

Photoshop For Beginners: The Power of Layers

Photoshop power core: layers. It’s like to ask: how does Photoshop work? The answer is: with layers. Once understood this concept, everything in Photoshop will be more clear.

Photoshop 101: How To Use The Free Transform Tool

The free transform tool can be daunting if you don’t know how to use it. The tool has a lot of hidden options that make it quite powerful. In this tutorial we will be manipulating a simple square to show you the basics and then we will move on to a real life application.

Photoshop’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide

The Pen Tool makes appearances across almost the entire Adobe product range. Its function and behavior varies depending on the application, but by mastering it youll find you work quicker, smoother and with better results. This guide will give you a comprehensive basis for working with the Pen Tool in Photoshop.

How to Create a Mirror Image in Photoshop (Beginner)

Have you wanted to use an image, but it’s facing the wrong way, or it’s pointing left and you need it to point right?  Here is an easy way to flip the picture horizontally in Photoshop.

Installing and Using Brushes in Photoshop

Here is a simple tutorial to show you how to install and use brushes in Photoshop.  There are so many great free brushes that you can download to amplify your designs!

Using the Clone Tool- Photoshop

Ever see an imperfection you want to get rid of in a picture, or is there something you want to take out of the picture?  The clone tool in Photoshop is one of the best tools to make a photo look the way you want it to.

How to Feather Edges in Photoshop

Feathering, in Photoshop, is to gradually soften the edges of a photo until it becomes transparent.  In this tutorial, you will learn the basics of feathering.

Using the Clone Tool- Photoshop

Ever see an imperfection you want to get rid of in a picture, or is there something you want to take out of the picture?  The clone tool in Photoshop is one of the best tools to make a photo look the way you want it to.

Let’s start with a picture of the St. John’s River and the Main Street Bridge.  I want to get rid of the boat that is on the left side of the bridge.  (Get Picture to follow along)

Locate the Clone Tool in the Tools window (it looks like a rubber stamp).

 

Before you start using the Clone Tool, you want to make sure you have the right brush size. I chose a 30px 0% hardness brush. The size will depend on the detail and the size of your picture.

Now its time to use the Clone Tool.  Chose a spot right above the boat, so that the Clone Tool will pick up that area that looks the most like the area surrounding the boat.  Press and hold the Alt key and left click your mouse, then release both.  This will tell the Clone Tool where to clone from.  Now position the Clone Tool over the boat and start dragging the Clone Tool over the boat.

Drag the Clone Tool over the entire area of the boat.  It’s gone!  Remember this is a beginner tutorial so, depending on your picture, this may take a smaller brush and smaller strokes. You may also chose to sample from a different area of the picture as well.

Below is the pictured cleaned up, I took out the window glare with the Clone Tool.

That’s it!  Play with the Clone Tool on different pictures!  The possibilities are endless!

Intro to Photoshop Layer Styles

This is a very basic intro to layer styles.

What are Layer Styles?  Simply put, it is a combination of layer effects such as Drop Shadow, Bevel, or stroke.

There are so many different combinations of layer styles, and I only go over a few in this tutorial.  Feel free to play around with each effect as we go to get your own results.

Here is where we start, a plain background with simple text.  Now, let’s get into the fun stuff!

First, we want to give it some depth by putting a drop shadow on the text.  Double click the text layer on the bottom right of your Photoshop screen and the layer style box with pop up.  Click on Drop Shadow, and play with the settings until you get the result you want.  Below are the settings we chose.

Next, we will put a Bevel and Emboss on the text layer.  We chose a Pillow Emboss and softened the edges, but chose the style you like the most!

Next, we want to change the color of the text, but we want to do it from the layer styles dialog box.  We chose the same color as the background, you will see why as the tutorial goes along.

 

Next, to make the letters pop more, we want to put a stroke on it (or color outline).  We chose a color that really made the text pop off the background, but chose your favorite!

Now that the text layer styles are completed, let’s play with the background a bit.  We chose some brushes to make the background shapes.  If you want to do the same, make sure to put the different brushes and colors into their own layers.  If you do not, you will not be able to put layer styles on them. For the yellow boxes, we wanted them to not be a bold, so in the Blending Options: Custom, we set the Opacity to 76%.    (You can find the drop shadow box brushes here to download and use for the tutorial!  To install the brushes, please refer to our tutorial on Installing and Using Photoshop Brushes!)

We wanted more!  We put an inner shadow on the green boxes.  (We had also put an Outer Glow on the purple boxes prior. Try it on your own!)

To make the orange boxes stand out more, we put a Bevel and Emboss on them and played with the settings until we got the desired effect.

That’s it!  How easy!  Here is our finished product!

Send us a link to your finished product in the comment box below!

Installing and Using Brushes in Photoshop

Here is a simple tutorial to show you how to install and use brushes in Photoshop.  There are so many great free brushes that you can download to amplify your designs!

I found some great cloud brushes from QBrushes, so I will use those in this Tutorial.

First thing you want to do is download the brushes from the website:

Make sure to click the “Open” option, so that you can see the contents of the folder you are downloading. Then click “Ok”.

The folder will open and you will be able to click on the item(s) and right click to copy.

Once you have the brushes copied, go to your “Start” button and right click to find “Explore”.  Scroll down and click on “Program Files” then click “Adobe”.  Find the Photoshop folder of the version you are currently using (i.e Adobe Photoshop CS5) and open it.  Click “Presets” then “Brushes” and paste the cloud brushes you copied earlier into that folder.

To use your Photoshop brushes: Open Photoshop, click the brush icon in your Tools bar on the left side of your screen.  At the top of your Photoshop screen, you will see a drop down menu.  Click the drop down menu, and in the drop down box, click the right arrow (on the top right side of the box) to see the full list of brushes.  Click on the name of the brushes you downloaded, and they are ready to use!

Here are the Photoshop brushes in action!

Congrats!  You now know how to install and use Photoshop brushes!

How to Create a Mirror Image in Photoshop (Beginner)

Have you wanted to use an image, but it’s facing the wrong way, or it’s pointing left and you need it to point right?  Here is an easy way to flip the picture horizontally in Photoshop.

Start with the picture you want to use.  I have chosen a picture of presents to be festive for the holidays!  I have also taken out the background for ease of use.

 

Next, you want to create a new board.  I made it 3 in x 3 in, but you can make it any size you want, as long as your picture will fix inside of it.

Drag your image (presents)  into the new board, so that it looks like this:

With the image layer selected, go to the Edit menu —>Transform——>Flip Horizontal

You should end up with an image opposite the one you started with, like this:

Congratulations! Now you can use it for whatever your heart desires!  I used mine like this:

Happy Holidays!

 

This our first tutorial!  If you find it helpful please leave feedback and pass this along.  If you don’t, leave us feedback and tell us how we can make it better!