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Lesson 4 from: How to Work Faster in Adobe Photoshop CC

Chris Knight

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Lesson Info

4. Shortcuts

Next Lesson: Clipping Masks

Lesson Info


that they're about three things that really made me become a lot faster in photo shop. One of those was the creating in the manipulating of complex masks, which we did yesterday. One of them was utilizing and really understanding blending modes, which we'll talk about a little bit later. The last thing was actually just learning the keyboard shortcuts and not having to hunt for things in the menu or picking from the toolbar. And there are probably, realistically, about 30 shortcuts that I use on a regular basis, and it took me a long time to get those implemented into my work flowing into my head. What I would suggest doing is find the ones that use over and over again. I put a sticky note next to your monitor so you remember. It will make your life a lot easier when you know shortcuts they are. And again, it's one of those things where it's going to save you. Three seconds here, three seconds here and then by the time you reach 1000 images over the course of a year, just that simple a...

ddition of learning the quicker way to get to a command will make your life tremendously easier. It's gonna save you a lot of time. So what we're gonna do is take a look at a few of my favorite shortcuts. And these are only a few these air about I just I think like a random 10 or so that that I grabbed that I think our super useful. And again there are about 30 that I use regularly. But I think these are some of the quickest ones you should probably learn. And we've got the Mac and the PC. Options are the 1st 3 and these are in no particular order by any means. The 1st 3 are all about Phil. So I know we didn't quite talk about masks, uh, yet, but if you're familiar with masks, basically they are the electronic equivalent of masking tape. When you're painting, something is kind of your creating a stencil. The three the top three commands generally for me or what I use when I'm asking a lot because I'm asking. I'm usually starting with an all black mass Colonel. White mask, black mask is a hide. All mask on a white mask is a reveal all mass, right, So I know if the effect is gonna be mostly revealed with a little bit blacked out or it's going to be the opposite of that. That's kind of the fundamental way I think about that. And so usually what I'm doing is I'm going foreground. Phil, foreground Phil background or fill dialogue, and it's easy to remember, especially on on a on a Mac keyboard. I don't quite have the PC keyboard visualized in front of my head, but for Phil, foreground Mac, it's option delete. And then it's Ault. All back space for PC Phil Background is command elite or control backspace and fill dialogues, shift, delete or shift backspace. And the easy way to remember this is actually if you look, we'll come back to this in just a second. But if you actually look at the color picker within photo shop over on the left hand side, right here, you see the black in the white. Now, this may or may not be black and white for you. It may be a variety of colors in case you've come in, and you've changed it for whatever reason. But when we're using masks, when you have a mask of some kind and you select that mask is going to default to black and white anyway, because a mask has to be black and white. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna be using these two colors interchangeably. It's important to always be aware of what you're looking at. So if you hit de for example, it's gonna bring you back to default colors. He is the short cut for default, and it's gonna do this. You can kind of see a tinier version of it right underneath the color picker. It's a little tiny white in a little tiny black. If you happen to have, ah, weird color, for example, and you hit it anyway, it's gonna do the same thing. It's the same thing is hitting D and bring it back. So if use D, it's gonna set to default colors. If you hit X, it swaps your foreground and background. And so when we are using black and white on the mask, I'm constantly swapping back and forth between white and black. So X is a really useful key to Noah's well, right, But in case I don't want to go that route, I may hit option, delete or command delete to give me a fill. White or Phil Black, depending upon what that color picker happens to be and whatever your color picker happen to be, maybe you've got a new blank layer and you want to fill it with black. You can do that, or maybe you want to fill it with white. You can do that, or maybe you want to fill it with red. You can do that whatever color you want to dio option, delete command, delete, shift delete Are all the things that control feel dialogue and the easy way to remember This is if you look at the Space bar Space Bar, you've got option delete and command. So you've got option in command, right? I'm doing it backwards. Option command right next to the space for and delete basically is gonna control your fill. So that left square, which is your foreground, is options on the left option. Delete Command is the right square command delete is gonna fill background. That's a really easy way to remember it. So optionally command early Phil dialogue are sorry, Phil. Foreground Phil. Background and then shift elite brings up the fill dialogue. So it's just three key side by side with delete makes it easy to remember, and then what you can do is you can control fill in a lot of different ways. I specifically use thief ill dialogue for two reasons. Because usually the colors that I'm using to fill are gonna be filled, foreground or fill background. Except when I want 50% gray, which we use for dodging and burning sometimes what you can see right here or content aware, which I showed you guys a little bit earlier. They're just too quick. Um, it's kind of the quickest way for me to get there now so that you can't do other things from this. That's just what I happen to find is probably the quickest and most useful way to fill with a certain color. Also, sometimes I use color fill layers two and colors to the image. That's a different thing. This is just generally when I need black or white for some reason, which is a pretty common thing in photo shop. Your especially going to see it when we get into blending modes a little bit later. All right, so we've got the 1st 3 are filled dialogues. Go back to the power point. The other one, Um s So we got the first year, Phil. Then you've got invert. I use invert all the time, especially on masks. Command, I command I super useful. Whatever my mask is, I know that if I had command I it's the opposite. I don't even have to think about it. Super useful toe have on then, While we're at that ad and shift command shift, I it's control I and control shift I on the PC that's going to invert selection. Two useful things to know it's important to understand the distinction between both of those. If you're on a mass command, I will invert that mask and invert the effect. Whereas if you command shift I or control shift, I it will invert your selection for whatever you happen to be using a selection for. So, for example, if I have a she two different ways to do the same thing if I want to make a vignette around the center of my image, I'm gonna make this marquee selection tool go around where I want the vignette to appear. Now, if you have a selection, and then you create a mask. That mask becomes the selection. Okay, so at the moment I have this selected. And if I create a vignette where I dark in the image, it's going to do it in the middle. Whereas if I just hit command, I it doesn't around the outside. Okay, Very quick. Easy way to navigate to make the mask do exactly what you want. Now you could go about this one other way if I made the selection and I hit command shift, I it's gonna invert the selection first, and then I create my mask. And again, it kind of gets me to about the same place, just a different way to do it. Okay, Now, you'd probably say this looks weird because it's got a really hard edge. So if you just click once on that mask and you bring up properties, if you're not seeing properties, just goto window and properties and you increase the feather. That edge softens and you can create that vignette and blur it until you're happy. Very, very quickly. One of my favorite ways to make tonal adjustments in photo shop is a little selection. Turn that into a mask. Feather of the mask on whatever. Whatever adjustment you're making, it is so insanely helpful and fast to drastically manipulate the image. So I did this vignette pretty quickly, right? Let's say you want to come in here, and it doesn't really matter which selection you use, maybe want to brighten up down here a little bit. I'm just gonna kind of do one of these, and I'm doing this with the track pad to to kind of be a sloppy as possible. I did the curve, I brighten it up. And then I hopes that selected mask always always opens up. You can actually turn that off by default if you just kind of feather it a little bit until you're happy. There you go. All right. Let's say you wanted to bring up a little bit of brightness over here. You could do the same thing. Kind of Brighton that up a little bit, click at once and then increase the feather till you're happy. Lower the opacity and you could do this across the image. Maybe you want to do one. It doesn't have to be a curve. We want to make the hair a little bit more vibrant, right? I do. A quick little Aso selection over the hair. Ah, hue, saturation. And I know this is red, right? I don't want to necessarily do the whole thing because it's probably gonna affect well, really holding you sort of see, it's affecting the background a little bit, right? It looks It's a great look. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna go into the Reds and I'm gonna I'm gonna increase that a little bit and then he's gonna feather it until I'm happy. If I want to increase the intensity of that a little bit, I can go back and do that right. Or you could mask this out and feather it down a little bit. Mawr, whatever. That was just a super quick, really, really lazy selection to show you how you can very quickly target parts of the image, make an adjustment and feather it this all the time. Feathering is something that I think a lot of people forget how useful it is, especially when you're using masks and it's super simple. It just the slider. It's not even destructive, because if you come back here like? Nope, Never mind. I wanted art again. You can change it back and you can do it at any point in time. So if maybe you're like you know what? I don't want that on the ear. I'm just gonna kind of erase that a little bit. Bring that away, and then I'm gonna go back and feather it again. So it's a little bit more successful. Maybe we'll kind of bring it a little bit off the front of the hair. And you can make something that's a whole lot better with just a little bit of work back back in the dark room days when you would make your mascot aboard, you kind of bring it in and you jiggle it a little bit. And that was basically the feather. And so that helped create the subtle transitions in between what you're changing. This is kind of fundamentally that. So if you want to make contrast, you want put contrast in a certain part of the image are you want brightness in a certain part of the image or darkness? You can do that very easily here, and you can do it non destructively. It's kind of like dodging and burning, but you're working on bigger parts of the image more more quickly. So whereas a dodging and burning would force you to come in, if you wanted to add contrast, you have to add highlights and you'd have to add shadow. Whereas if I just wanted to increase contrast, let's say here I could actually just increase the contrast and then feather it, and I kind of get that effect. If I wanted toe make that just a little bit darker. I could do that. Or like what? Whatever you want to dio, you can target it over that specific area. And so, for example, I always find if I want to bring the face out a little bit, brighten it up, then I'll also add a little bit of contrast to it. And it will help that face pop out a little bit more without having to do a whole lot of really messy dodging and burning. And so I think that's a really helpful, really useful way to go. Let's go back to that. The slide. There we go. So we also got we got invert invert selection, save obviously command s or control s on the PC. Don't depend on Photoshopped to be dependable. Don't depend on that auto save to back you up. I'm old enough to remember when photo shop was nowhere near stable as it was now and I just kind of got in the habit of hitting command s every time I did something I didn't want to do again. I always think that's a good thing because it runs in the background. Anyway, it doesn't bog you down for too long, so I do a complex dodging and burning. Save it. I don't Every few minutes. I just do it anyway because you reach a point where you'll lose 25 30 minutes of working like I just don't want to do that again. So it command s every once in a while or control s on the PC. That'll that'll save you a lot levels. Is command l to go along with that. Curves obviously is. Command em right, which makes a lot of sense. So you got command l for levels. I use commando for levels. If you watch the advanced masking class as a way to manipulate contrast of masks and I find that to be super useful. If you really want a much more in depth showing of that, I would definitely check out the advanced masks class that we did yesterday. You've also got group, which is command year control G and clipping mask, which is just the addition of one extra one extra key, which is command options, your control, Ault G. And we're actually look at clipping masks a little bit later. Groups are a wonderful way for you to, uh, either organize your image in which you just say I'm gonna put a lot of things together. Or you can actually treat multiple layers as a singular object. Where is where and you can you can resize it together. You can resize multiple objects together, or you can make changes to multiple things as a singular object without actually having to merge them all together. And so groups are helpful. For both of those reasons, groups also give you the ability. If you marry from yesterday, they give you the ability to stack masks on top of each other. So if you have one mask that's very complex and you put it in a group with itself, you can add another mask on top of it without changing the original one. And so that can sometimes be handy as a little bit more of an advanced maneuver. If you ever want to find out what a keyboard shortcut is, generally speaking, you just have to hover over. If it's a tool, it'll usually show you what that is. Now some of the more common tools you've got be for brush. Very, very useful. J is healing. V is move. These are all very useful ones to use on a regular basis. I use I use Z for Zoom are for rotate pretty much most of these main ones they they all have over on the left hand side. If you just kind of hover over, it will tell you what they are, right, hover little yellow about your little yellow little yellow box. Now, in case you ever need to know Maurin depth What something is. All you have to do is go to edit and go to keyboard shortcuts, and they will tell you what everything is. You've got the ability to look at application menus, panel menus, tools you can look all in depth through different kinds of things you'll notice. There are lots of shortcuts that are already assigned. There are lots that are not so. You'll see that a lot of these don't have shortcuts said on them. You can make some. You can also change existing shortcuts because the problem is because Photoshopped is such a massive programme. Generally speaking, if it's got a letter or number it's already assigned on, and then usually if it's any combination of, like command option control or shift in any one of those letters, it's also probably assigned. So if you want something relatively simple, you probably will have to change it. I also find really useful if you may be switched between the healing tool in a spot healing tool A lot. If you actually look in tools and you'll actually scroll down a little bit, you'll see that your spot healing tool and your healing tool, uh, occupy the same shortcut. It's because they're listed in the same same toolbox. You can actually click on one of these, and you can change it. So if you want maybe your spot healing brush to B s, you can do that and then you'll hit except and now you're spot healing, Tulis Esten. Your regular healing tool is J. And so you can program that in automatically. Or if you find that there are certain shortcuts that air weird keyboard combinations and you just want something to be a little bit more simple, you can change it. You're probably gonna have to override something that's already there. But know that you know it's gonna have to be changed. You can also just go back to Photoshopped defaults if you've messed it up, so don't worry about doing it. And then if you create something that you really find customized and you want to use it on different computers, you can actually save this and export this within Photoshopped as well, which is a little bit more complicated. But what you're going to do is go into edit presets and export import presets. And if you have presets saved, you can actually take thes, and you can put them onto a little file that you can keep with you and put on another computer. If you are so inclined. I'm personally a fan of just using the shortcuts that are already there, because then you're not limited by your own very specific workflow if you have to work somewhere else. But in case you want to customize it, it's available for you. Okay, yourself merging adjustment layer sometimes because sometimes I end up with, like, finding no 50 adjustment layers. And I'm like, trying to find where did a bright in the eye, sir. That's a very lazy with naming Sure I don't because they don't really take up that much space. And so I like to make them all separate. My advice would be to I mean, listen, I'm probably as bad as your because you get really comfortable with the way you work, And I name things when I demo and I name things when they teach, but I don't necessarily follow that in my own workflow. I definitely encourage you to do it if you're having problems, But, I mean, I just kind of go. Was this it was this It was this It I'm guilty of that

Ratings and Reviews


Amazing, thanks for share so many easy steps, that really can improve a photo. Thanks for share your knwoledge, and thanks for make a very productive 1 hour. Hope to see more of you.

Melville McLean

CreativeLive is wise to offer us a variety of approaches using teachers from several different backgrounds that can better cover the range of interests and background of its students. Chris Knight brings a lot to the table that distinguishes him. First of all he is exceptionally bright and has both a deep knowledge and appreciation of Art History that both informs his own fine art but also enriches his teaching for us. He is an exceptional teacher, very well organized and concise. He breaks his classes down into a logical succession of parts and appears to have a solid background in teaching as well as being IMO, a talented artist. They do not necessarily come together in the same individual but the combination produces an approach that I enjoy very much. I will continue to follow his class offerings and his career. Highly recommended.


Chris is in the league of most confident & accomplished instructors who is sharing his work flow in bits and pieces. He is brilliant. I wish he had longer and more classes.

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