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Photoshop Tutorials - Basic Info

Basic Tools

Depending on the program/version you are running, you should have a pretty similar toolbar on the left of your screen, or will see these symbols throught the program.

1. This is your ‘Moving tool’ It lets your drag the current ‘layer’ around your screen.
2. Selection tool. When making rough square/circle cuts.
3. Lasoo tool. This will be used for more precise cutting, around the cars body, wheels etc.
4. Magic wand. Cleverly selects certain connecting areas in the object. Usually works best when its more of a solid color.
5. Crop tool.
6. Eyedropper, to select colors.
7. Healing brush, removes blemishes by usuing surrounding colours to blend it together.
8. Paintbrush tool.
9. Clone stamp. Creates a replication of a certain area, to paste in another.
10. History brush, removes any painting your’ve done to the image.
11. Eraser.
12. Gradient tool.
13. Blur/Sharpen/Smudge
14. Dodge/Burn/Sponge
15. Pen tool.
16. Text
17. Path selection
18. Line/rectangle tool.

Explaining some of these tools in more depth
*Right clicking on most of these icons, will show submenus for you to click*

Lasoo Tool
If your icon looks a little different, eg with a Round bubble etc, here you can right click and choose an appropriate setting.

Here i use the Polygonal Tool. When using this, instead of drawing around your image in one single step, you make points around your objects, for a more precise
*Remeber to link back up to where you started*

Magic Wand
When using the magic wand tool, it is going to look for surrounding edges based on color/shape to form your selection.
Upon selecting any tool on the left, your toolbar on the top will change.

Up here we see the 'Tolerance' tab. Here, you select how much detail, you wish the wand to look for. With the tolerance set at <10 you will have a selection like so:

The smaller number will select less, more detailed areas.

With a tolerance selection of a greater number, eg >80 will result in:

Notice that it selects some of the car. Certain times will call for the magic wand, but usually if you give the time, the Lasoo tool will serve better.

Now that you have done selecting, what next?

Once you have your selection, for whatever reasons, you can choose to either Delete or Copy/Cut it to a new layer.

Simply Right Clicking on your selection will bring up this menu.

Layer via Copy - will duplicate your selection into another layer. This is the safest way to try editing and still have your original image.
Layer via Cut - cuts the selection out of the image, in some cases we will require this.
If you no longer need it, you can simply hit the Delete key on your keyboard.

Pretty self explanitory. With the clone tool selected, you will hold down your 'ALT'or'Option' key, and click the area you wish to duplicate.

On the top toolbar, you will see Brush, Mode, Opacity.

Select the required brush you desire, and change the opacity to your needs.
[u]*Remember 100% Opacity will be a full duplicate, 0% will be blank, try stick around 80%*[u]

The healing brush blends surrounding colors together. This is most helpful when you have been 'Cloning'
If you are trying to remove certain features, grills, camera rigs etc, the clone tool will remove the majority of it, but it wont be blended in together very well.

Using the same method as the clone tool, holding down 'ALT' in a similar clear area, than painting over your cloned area, should blend it all together.

Dodge tool allows you to lighten certain parts of the image.
When it is selected, your upper toolbar will provide you with three ranges:

Again choose the appropriate Exposure (how much/hard you want it to be) and go to town with it.
When dodging, you really want to lighten up the highlights in your darker areas, Tyre sidewalls, Projectors etc


Right clicking on your Dodge tool, will bring up this menu:

Same settings apply for the Burn tool as the Dodge tool, but this time you will be making your things darker.

Better Examples will be shown below on how to use these!
Hopefully by the end of this you can have a basic knowledge to be able to muck around with your car, trying new things, or achieving edits like this:
*reserved for*
  • Selective Color
    Selective colour lets you fine tune each color in your image individually.
    You can make certain colours more dark, light, more vibrant or saturated, or even change a color to a certain extent.

    This is most helpful when Your photo is off color and need to correct it.

    So, open up your image as you normally would, and notice the color isn't as youd like it

    To get into the 'Selective Color' menu:

    Than you will be shown a screen of sliders like this:

    It Automatically starts on the color RED (The Small drop down box where it says red lets your choose your other basic colors)

    Than you have a selection of sliders, all starting at the '0' Position.
    Cyan - Magenta - Yellow - Black

    When moving certain sliders, you will notice the colour changes.

    Have a play with these, remember that the 4 colors above control the color your adjusting.
    When selected in your 'RED' adjusting the:
    Black Slider to Positive - will make the reds darker.
    Cyan Slider to Positive - will make the reds have less red in them, Negative increases the red.

    Different positions of the sliders play a different role in each colour your doing.
    If your adjusting the Greens for example, moving the 'Yellow' Slider will either make your greens grey and saturated, or a very vibrant bright green.

    An example of before, and after adjustment of the reds:

    This step makes a world of difference when you really want to make certain things stand out, or be more visible. Making your tyres and shadows more black is always handy.

  • Brightness/Contrast using Masks
    Brightness and contrast can help bring out the finer details, or hide the lesser details in your photos. When overall image is too bright or too dark, you can just do the whole photo, but most photos will have different light setups, and you will benefit from using layers and masks.

    First, Right or (Control) Click, your Background layer, and duplicate it.

    Rename it to something appropriate like [Car Layer]
    Than do the same again, and make a [Ground Layer]

    Start with the [Ground Layer], Click the Layer Tab > Layer Mask > Reveal All.

    You will now notice on the right side of your layers, there is a White box there.
    First, hide all other layers, by clicking the little Eye button

    With the white box selected (Should automatically be after making the mask) Using your Paintbrush (Its easier to have it more hard than soft) paint over everything that ISN’T the ground.

    You will notice that it will be Erased But it actually isn’t. Later on, or now if you make a mistake, you can fine tune the edges. If you now change to the Eraser and paint over that same area, you will notice it will come back.

    Do this for this layer, so only the Ground is visible and the same to the other, so only the car is visible. (remember to unhide the new layer, and hiding the other) Than unhide them all when complete.

    Your layers should now look similar to this

    Now, select one layer, start with [Ground] (be sure to click the Image layer, not the white box) and go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness and Contrast

    Have a play with these two sliders, and see what you get. You will notice only the parts you Masked off, will be changed. This is where you can see where you may have missed when masking.
    If you have missed a bit, you can go back into that Mask layer (white box) and re Paint or erase to make it work.

    End result of separate Brightness/Contrast:

    Be sure, if you are now going to continue editing, and are happy with this Masking, to Merge or Flatten your layers back into one. If you don't, the adjustments you make will still only be subjected to the selected layer

    Photo Filter
    Sometimes, you may want your photos to give a different feel to them. An easy way to do this is with Photo Filters.

    Go to Image > Adjustments > Photo Filters

    Again, play around with using different colours, and the slider to show how much of an effect you would like. You can do this as many times as you like, and they will just stack ontop of each other.

    Smart Sharpen
    Go to Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen

    Set these to however you like, using the preview as a reference.

    A comparison of Before and After:

  • Vibrance
  • Burn/Dodging
  • Lowering your car

    Open up your image in photoshop.

    Use your lasoo tool to make a similar selection to this:

    Basically you want to get the bottoms of the car (keeping the shadows will work in your favour) keeping whatever body parts you need (mud flaps etc) and than finish off in a straight line with something in the background. Usually a garden line, or gutter etc, than returning to where you started.

    Next step is to 'Right Click' the selection you just made, and select 'Layer via Copy'

    Once you copied your 'Cars body' a new layer will appear in the right, and will be selected.

    So all you need to do now, is select the 'Moving tool' (you can see what im using) and simply MOVE your car downwards

    You will notice up the top, there is a duplicate of our background car.

    To remove this, we can use the 'Crop' tool.

    When you select this, you will make a simple box selection by dragging your mouse from one corner of your image to the opposite.

    As you can see i started just below where the duplicate started, and completed it where the image ended.
    The selection that you Dont Want will be blacked out up above. If it has cut anything important off, you can drag your selection up, or down to correct it.

    Hit your 'Enter' key, it will cut it for you, and vuala! Done!

  • Adding wheels to your car

    Style 1:
    Open your image into photoshop, and do a google search of your nice new jdm rims you want!

    Try looking for similar angles of your car. Side view's are the easiest, and finding a photo of the rim already on a car (including the brakes and rotors) will look a lot better.

    So once you find your image on google, copy it and paste it on top of your car.

    Your going to cut out just the rim from the image. You can use your 'Magic Wand' or 'Selection Tool' or whatever your comfortable with.

    If your bacground image is a bit cluttered to see where your cutting, you can hide the other layers, to refine your rim.

    And you should be left with something like this:

    As you can see, our rim doesn't fit at all, so we need to resize it. On a side view image like this, a simple 'Free Transform' will be great, we will go into more detail for different angles.

    So with your RIM layer selected. (it should still be after you finished cutting it out) Go to 'EDIT' > 'Free Transform' (or CTRL+T)

    A box will than be around your rim, here you can drag the corners, or edges in or out to resize your wheel. You can also move the wheel around to center it.

    Hitting 'Enter' when done, you will have something like this:

    Style 2:
    Again, open your image in photoshop

    Use the guide above, and find a similar car angle with the wheels you like, and cut out your wheels.
    It may help to cut out each wheel into different layers, than refine each wheel on its own.

    You'll end up with this hopefully

    Using the guide above, you will 'Free Transform' your wheel again.
    This time, all your trying to do is get the wheel angle in the right position. (able to see the inner wheel at that angle)

    Now with the angles of the car, this is where we refine our wheels alot more.
    Instead of just 'Free Tansforming' our wheel, we are going to 'Distort' Transform it.

    EDIT' > 'Transform ' > 'Distort'

    When you use a normal free transform, you only control the:
    ~Diagonal aspects of the image, one at a time.

    With Distort, you control them at the same time.
    When you select the 'Left Square' (Usually to widen the image to the left) You can now not only move it left or right, but move it Up and Down!.

    Have a play with it, to get the wheel to sit how you like.

    Looks pretty good! But you can see the photoshopped wheel is sticking over the cars fender.
    We need to cut this out.

    A tip in doing this, is to HIDE the layer of your wheel, but STAY SELECTED in that layer.
    Now you can see the body of the car, and make your selection like this:

    Its a bit of a guess where the wheel is, but its not that much your cutting out.
    When you finished with your selection.. BE SURE TO UNHIDE YOUR WHEEL LAYER (see above).

    When you unhide it, your selection will look like this:

    So simply hit your 'Delete' key on your keyboard, and your done!

  • Changing colour of your wheels
*reserved for*

Post Production
  • Editing out backgrounds/rigs
  • Adding false backgrounds
  • Color correctioning
  • Photo Filters
Nice! I'm definitely going to have to start practicing. Thanks Timmy!
It really pays off with a 10 minute edit. You don't realllllly need that fancy camera, as you can see with some before and after shots. In saying that though, I might do a simple run down of some SLR features as well.
I played around with CS4 a bit tonight, still suck at it. frown.gif This is the picture I started with. Nothing special about it, just figured I'd tinker around with it.

All I could do was adjust the darkness, made it look a little better. Hardly any difference though.

Whatever your getting confused with/wanting to do, let me know and I'll work on that part next!
QUOTE (Timmyface @ Feb 17, 2013 - 9:43 PM) *
Whatever your getting confused with/wanting to do, let me know and I'll work on that part next!

I'm just a n00b, that's the problem. I was working on using some of the tools you described and I either didn't need to use them (cropping anything out) or couldn't figure them out (burn tool). I just need more practice.
Update: Just added:
Lowering your car
Adding wheels to your car
Thank you so much for this!
Timmyface. You think you can recommend any free photoshop apps or programs to us? Or basic programs that doesn't cost too much?
I haven't actually tried many others, but I'd say try out 'GIMP' or ''.. It I can run you through torrents, and get photoshop >.> for free >.>
Awesome! Stickied. thumbsup.gif
Going to give GIMP and a try. smile.gif

UPDATE: Gave it a try and here's what I got. Lol. First attempt btw.


Just a quick edit I did in around 30mins due to over-the-top boredom kindasad.gif ...

QUOTE (manphibian @ Mar 11, 2013 - 12:24 AM) *
Awesome! Stickied. thumbsup.gif

also added this sticky thread to the multimedia sticky section
What's the best website that allow free photo uploads that has the best upload photo quality?
I'd personally say Flickr atm
QUOTE (Timmyface @ Jul 3, 2013 - 11:03 PM) *
I'd personally say Flickr atm

Thanks. Just signed up and uploaded the pics I took today and edited with gimp. smile.gif
I wish this thread was complete. I have pictures that could use edits. Any other photographers want to step in and finish things up?
Richee, what are you looking to do? Or just after some more general tips?
I can try pick up some more of it (thanks to this reminder from you) but it would be based on a newer, and mac, version of photoshop.

If anyone is after anything in particular, I can work on a tutorial for you!
Speak of the devil! General tips work great. I'm a n00b. And conveniently, using Photoshop on a Mac.
thumbsup.gif too easy than bud, I'll have a flick through this when I get home and see what I come up with tongue.gif
Bump. Added a Brightness/Contrast, Masking, Photo Filter, Sharpening post to the Adjustments section on Page 1.

Note: Sorry about image size, lack of celica, and the fact it was a quick throw-together. wink.gif
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