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Photoshop CC 2018 – Full Tutorial for Beginners [+General Overview]

Hello,! Let’s see in a short time all the basic features you need to know to start using Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 for the first time as a beginner! Leave us comments below in the video description to give us feedback and improve our future guides for this software! Adobe Photoshop CC is one of the best professional software specialized on photo editing and manipulation, and also used to create vector graphics completely customized. This software is available under a subscription plan only, as all other main Adobe 2018 products. Check out our link in the video description to learn more about the other main Adobe Creative Cloud 2018 products! When you open Photoshop CC, the welcome page opens in order to start with a new Photoshop project, an existing one or with any photo from Creative Cloud or Lightroom.

On the left, use Open… to open an existing Photoshop project or start from any image. Whereas use Create new… to start with a new empty project on your own. This opens the New Document dialog box, where you can choose between several ready templates, depending on the category on top, from Photo to Film & Video. You can also start from a customized setup through Preset Details on the right, in order to fix the document Width and Height, its orientation, its resolution in pixels, and other advanced options, such as the color of its background. When you go to Create below, a new Photoshop project or document is created and shown as an empty sheet, with size and orientation chosen, and listed as a small tab at the very top.

You can open other pictures and projects by going to File, and then to Open…. These will be listed under other tabs as independent documents on top. In case you open pictures, remember to unlock all the future modifications for it by double-clicking on its layer under the Layer window. Besides the document, you have the main Tools bar on the left, with the main tools inside the software; the Options bar on top, with the main options and properties for the current tool used; and several windows on the right, used to manage your objects and corrections. If you ever miss one of these, you can open it by going to Window, and then choosing it from the list. A Photoshop project is a document that collects several objects called layers, which can be images, vector graphics and also corrections. Let’s see these and get a general overview on what you can do with Photoshop CC. The Tools bar shows all the tools you can apply on your document through several buttons.

Some of these group multiple tools, showing a small light arrow in a corner. In this case, you can open the full list of tools by right-clicking on the main button. The Crop Tool is used to size your whole Photoshop project, for example to crop your image, or simply extend your workspace. You can move the grid by clicking and dragging it, scale it through its nodes on the corners, and rotate it around its center by dragging from outside. You can also change the center by moving the central circle. From the Options bar on top, use Cancel to undo all, or use Commit to apply the Crop tool.

Pay attention if you see a checkerboard: this area represents parts of your document which are completely blank and transparent. You can check your document in progress by zooming in and out while holding ALT down and using your mouse wheel, and panning by holding the Space bar key, and clicking and dragging. To apply basic corrections on your object, you can use the Transform section under Edit, in order to move, Scale, Rotate, Skew, Distort and Flip as you like most. You can edit the object just like the grid of the Crop tool. If you need to apply a precise transformation, you can use the Options bar on top to fix the object position under X (horizontal) and Y (vertical); its size under W (Width) and H (Height), saving the aspect ratio by enabling the chain button in between; and any rotation angle and skew on the right.

To undo or apply the transformation, use the Cancel or the Commit button. You can use either the Brush or the Pencil Tool to brush freehand on your picture, by holding on your click and brushing on it. Use the Options bar to fix the brush Mode, its Size and Hardness. Use the Color window on the right to pick your favorite color, or get it directly from your screen by holding ALT down. The Healing Brush and Clone Stamp Tools are advanced brush tools used to apply corrections on your photos by taking its same pixels, starting from a reference point that is indicated through a small cross. Both of these tools work the same: hold ALT down and click on the picture to fix the reference point.

Then just click and drag on the picture to brush on it. The Clone Stamp Tool pastes exactly what is under the cross as you brush; whereas the Healing Brush Tool does not apply a simple paste, as it drops pixels according to the Mode chosen from the Options bar. Below the Gradient tool, you have two other advanced brush tools to apply corrections on your picture. You can use the Blur tool to increase the blurriness level by clicking and dragging.

If you hold ALT down and brush, you will apply corrections in the opposite way, sharpening the picture. Remember to use the Options bar to fix brush size and strength. Use the Smudge tool to drag and move the pixels of the picture. Use the Dodge Tool to enhance the exposure level on either the Shadows, the Midtones or the Highlights of the picture according to Range above. If you hold ALT down, you will reduce the exposure level of the brushed sides instead. Use the Sponge Tool to reduce or increase the color intensity, depending on what you choose under Mode on the Options bar. The Eraser tool is used to remove pixels from the picture.

If you make any mistake, use CTRL+Z to undo. You can also use the History window to undo and check your previous actions in order. Very important are the selection tools, used to select a limited portion of your objects, in order to apply all your modifications just within it. For example, if you enable the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and click and drag on the picture, you will create a selection area within a dashed contour. At this point, any editing you apply will be effective just within such region. You can choose between several selection tools, depending on the kind of shape you need. The Marquee tools select with a defined rectangular or elliptical shape; the Lasso tools draw very complex selections, either freehand with Lasso, polygonal with Polygonal Lasso or guided with Magnetic Lasso, following the color contrasts and borders.

The Quick Selection tool is different, since its selects all the parts you brush on, extending the selection area according to the color contrasts. You can also fine and customize your selections, even when using different selection tools. If you hold Shift down, you will add new selections, without removing the existing ones. Whereas, if you hold ALT down, you can remove selected parts away, or even all of them to remove any selection. These Selection tools are often used to cut, copy or paste parts of an object.

Once you have a selection area, just go to Edit, and then to Cut, Copy or Paste. In particular, when you use Paste, you will place the copy as a new independent object or layer, as you can see from the Layers window on the right. The Layers window shows all the Layers inside your Photoshop project, listed from top to bottom. From this list you can select the layer to start editing it. Also in case you have selection areas, any tool, cut, or correction will affect the layer that is selected from the Layers window. Moreover, the layers list sets also the order of visibility between these objects. For example, if the text is above Layer 0, this is shown in front of it on your workspace, otherwise, if you click and pull text after Layer 0, the text is placed behind Layer 0.

Moreover, you have several options to manage the visibility and the modifications on each of these Layers. Use the eye icon to hide or show a layer, or use any Lock button above to stop modifications on the selected layer, such as its position, corrections from the brush tools, or any possible editing through the lock button. To delete a layer, just select it, and use the bin button at the bottom. The Layers window lists several kinds of layers: Pixel Layers, representing images and photos; Live Shapes, indicating vector graphics; Type Layers, which are related to titles; and Adjustment Layers, that apply corrections. Let’s check all of these. Vector shapes are objects that are not rendered in the pixels, and so do not lose quality when you edit and shape them. You can use the Shape tools inside the Tools bar to drop your favorite shape by clicking and dragging.

Then, with either the Options bar or the Properties window, you can fix the size and position for such object, including its fill color, its stroke color, thickness and style. Type layers are pieces of text that are not yet rendered in the pixels, just like vector shapes. With the Type tool enabled, click and drag on the workspace to create a text box area, which sets where the text can spread. Then, type inside, horizontally or vertically, depending on the Type tool you have chosen.

You can use the Options bar or the Character window to fix the text properties, such as font, style, size, distribution, color and deformation. Just make sure to have text selected, or any change won’t be applied. Remember to finalize the text creation by clicking on the Commit button above. Adjustment layers are used to apply corrections, especially on pictures and photos. From the Adjustments window, you can select between several corrections, such as brightness and contrast, saturation, threshold, and more. When you click on one, a new Adjustment layer is added, affecting the whole workspace by default.

If you add this layer with a selection area, only such region will be affected. The adjustment layer is composed by two parts, as you can see from the Layers and the Properties windows. The adjustment properties, where you set and fine its options; and the Mask, which sets where the correction is applied: white color for the active regions, and black where the effect is off. Keep in mind that the Adjustment layer affects just all the layers that stay below it in the Layers order. To add special effects, such as transparency, contour, shadow and glow, right-click on a layer and go to Blending Options….

Check it out! If you need to join up two or more layers, select them both while holding CTRL down, right-click and go to Convert to Smart Object. At this point, you can move and transform all of them at the same time. But, if you need to cut any part or brush on it, you have to convert the Smart Object to a rendered pixelated layer. To do so, just right-click and go to Rasterize Layer. Pay attention that this action is permanent. This operation is also used to unlock editing and brush corrections on vectors and text, by rendering their pixels in this way. Now, let’s see how to save and render your project document. If you go to File and then to Save As…, you can choose the file name and the format to use. For example, .psd formats save the whole Photoshop document you have open in order to be able to apply modifications in the future on any of its layers, adjustments and setup. To extract the image from your document, we suggest to use either .jpg or .png formats.

With a .jpg format, you can choose the quality and size to use, and converts any transparent area to a solid white color. You can choose a .png file format to save transparency as well.

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