Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

 

Lesson Info

Create Postcard with Type

Let's pop over to this image. This is a sky photo that I got, again, from Unsplash. You can check out Unsplash at Unsplash.com They just have free images that are beautiful and you can use them freely for different things. So, a lot of times when I'm teaching, I find a lot of inspiration there, so that's where these are coming from. Let's pretend that we want to create a little art piece here Maybe you want to be able to create some nice things in Photoshop and maybe sell them on Etsy or something. So we're gonna create, just like, a cute little word poster that you could do something like that with. So, in this case, we're gonna be creating, ultimately, three different type layers. So I'll grab the type tool. Just, again, the regular horizontal type tool. And I'm gonna click to start my first type layer. So just up here, and I can already tell the type layer is going to be too big, the cursor is larger than I'm going to want it to be. But that's okay. I think, when you're placing type...

, it's always best to get the type out before you come down here and try to change your fonts or change your size or change your color. 'Cause if you're trying to style it before you even type it out... You just end up, I don't know, like, you can't make any progress because you can't see what you're styling and that makes it hard to style it. So I'm gonna go ahead and just type anyway. We're gonna right something that says, get your heads in the clouds, get your head in the clouds where it belongs. So it's, sort of, an inspirational poster, I guess. So I'm gonna type, get, whoops. Get my cursor back here. Get your head in the, then we'll put clouds totally separately. I'm gonna go ahead and commit this and clearly this is too big, it's not a great font for what I am trying to achieve but, now that it's on the page, I can more easily style it and see what I'm working with. So first thing I'm gonna do is scale it down. Again, that's the free transform. Command or control T and then I'll drag inwards from the corner. If I need to move the type layer while I'm in the middle of a transformation, I just let go of the corner and I put my cursor in the type box and then, I can drag it over and reposition it on the fly. So I'll keep sort of doing that. Move it over, make it smaller. Something like this. Now, it'll change when I change the typeface, I may have to adjust the size again. So I go ahead and commit that. And to get back to the type tool options, like my fonts, I need to switch back to the type tool. So I'm just gonna press T on the keyboard, that's the keyboard shortcut. And I'm gonna change the typeface from phosphate solid, we are going to be using something that I have on my system called pringleton bold. That's looking pretty good. I'm also thinking that I want to change the color. And... I think I'll just sample a color straight out of the image to do that, so, with that text layer active, I'm just gonna come down and click here in my options bar. And this is something that I get wrong all the time 'cause I guess it's just habit and I think because it used to work this way, back in the earlier days of all this software, is you used to have to come over here and your type was always just pulling it's color from the swatch over here. But now, we have a swatch down here and it's been here for a long time, but this is where you pick your type color but if you are like me, and you just always go over here, it's not gonna work, you have to click this one. So we'll click that and I can pick a swatch from here. Maybe like this dark purple, I actually really like that. I was gonna sample it out of the sky over here but I think that this one is good. I could try that, maybe, instead. Maybe that's a little more contrast. It's a little pink too, I like that. So I'm gonna go with that. And I can click away to close the color box. Now we're gonna add the word, clouds. And, again, I'm not gonna put this in a box, I'm just gonna click with a single click and I'm gonna write clouds. And I'll commit it but I want, yet, another typeface. So, again, now I've switched to the move tool to reposition it. I'm gonna switch back to the type tool, so I can change the font. So I'll press T for the type tool and for this, I'm gonna use this really beautiful, hand-lettered, brush script font called bonjour. But I don't want the all caps version, so I'm just gonna actually retype this without having caps lock on. That's looking pretty nice. I think I'm gonna make this bigger, so I'll press command or control T. Drag to enlarge that and commit it. So this process, when you're designing with type, the process is a lot of tweaking. So it can feel clumsy because you try one thing and then, now I made this bigger, now I have to adjust this text. Obviously, it's not gonna work like that. So I'll switch in the layers panel over here to activate this layer that I want to adjust. I'll grab the move tool and I'm just gonna slide this over and I think it's a little too big to nicely tuck into the space between the, this is called an ascender. (chuckles) If you wanna geek out on typography, the parts of the type that rise above, what's called, the X height here, these are called ascenders. And I'm gonna try to put this text comfortably in here. Just tuck it in this little space but I don't want it to fit quite this tightly. So, again, I'll press command or control T and I'm gonna hold the option key so I can scale from both sides at once and just tuck it to about like that and then I'll commit it. Maybe, maybe even, I might go smaller. Maybe something like that. Get your... You could try experimenting with moving it over here or, I think I'll just keep it there. Get your head in the clouds and I think this is fun 'cause it, obviously, I think we spend a lot of our life with people telling you to get your head out of the clouds but sometimes, if you're gonna be creative and come up with new ideas, sometimes you want your head in the clouds. So that what this is reminding us to do. So, we want to add one more line of type down here that's gonna say, where it belongs. We'll put it in the parenthesis. I'm gonna grab the type tool. And I'm watching my cursor to see, if I click right here, you see how I don't have the box around the cursor? What's gonna happen if I click is I'm not making a new type layer, I'm actually inserted my cursor into my clouds type layer, so that's not what I want to do right now, so I can't click right here. Even though it looks like I'm far away from the clouds type layer, I'm not. I'm still, basically, on top of it, so I have to move away, temporarily, to get that box around my cursor. And now I can click and now it's still gonna be bonjour, so this is gonna look a little silly at first but we'll, again, like I said, type it out first and then style it. So I'll add a parenthesis and we'll say, where it belongs, and then close parenthesis. And then, I'll just hit command or control A 'cause we're active in the type layer and I'm just gonna scale that down. And I'll hit commit. And we're gonna change this to another typeface. A hand-drawn type typeface by getting the type tool and this one is called lemon biscuit. (chuckles) Lemon biscuit regular. And that needs to scale down, so command or control T. Whoops. And don't hold shift, if you hold shift in Elements, you are actually distorting the layer. So that's a habit that I have from the other Photoshop. That's still too big. Alright, so something like this. Now, what's cool that we can do an effect that we can create here, I mean, I think this is fine as it is but I think we could make it a little more visually interesting. So instead of just the purple letters here for this cloud type layer, I think it'd be cool if we could, instead, see through that and actually see the clouds. So you might think, oh well, that's easy, you could just reduce the opacity. You could, and I think that looks pretty too, I think that is a neat effect. But we could have more options if we did something different instead. So in this case, what I'm gonna do is, we're gonna make another adjustment layer. And, if you recall, from the earlier times, we've done this now a couple of times, the adjustment layer icon is this guy right here, this little button. And the nice thing about the adjustment layer, there's two things that are nice about it, at least, two things. Is, one, it is always editable. So as long as we same the file properly in a way that will maintain these layers, i.e. a Photoshop document, we can always adjust this. So, it gives us all that flexibility. The other thing that's nice about it is it keeps our file size small because if we duplicated layers and did things that were filled with pixels all the time, it would really increase our file sizes and, obviously, we need to use our hard drive space, I guess, smartly or efficiently and this just helps us do that. So we're gonna, instead add an adjustment layer. So I'll click right there and, again, there's all these different kinds of adjustment layers. And the one we're gonna do this time is levels, right here. So I'm gonna click on levels and we saw this before. We talked briefly about the histogram and what this means when were making some tonal adjustments in yesterday's exercises. So here we see it again, this is the levels histogram and we have shadows, midtones and highlights here. And what I want to do is just darken. The end effect I'm going for is that the letters are actually gonna be gone, so we'll hide the layer that says clouds. And I just want to darken the cloud in the area where these letters appear. So what I'm gonna do is clip this adjustment layer to the clouds type layer. But that will actually cause a problem which I'm going to also tech you, so just speaking out loud. There's two ways to do this and this is the way that'll give us a teachable moment, so we'll do that and then we'll back out of it and try a different technique. So let's go ahead and clip this. Again, that's alt or option clipping like have done several times, and if I adjust the levels here, we see that it's darkening the cloud letters and that's great but I think, then, when we hide this which is, ultimately what we want to do, we won't see the adjustment anymore because that adjustment can only appear where the cloud letters appear because we clipped the two layers together. So, that presents a problem, in this case. So instead, I'm going to unclip them by, again, alt or option clicking, this time to unclip it and now we see that the image is darker because this adjustment is on. What I'm gonna do instead, is we're going to mask the adjustment. So I'm going to load the shape of the clouds letters by command or control clicking on this icon right here. Basically, I wanna put marching ants around these letters. I want to select the letters, so let's turn them on, first of all. Then I'm gonna command or control click this thumbnail. Boom, I have marching ants around the letters, okay. The next thing I want to do is mask everything else so that this adjustment is only gonna take place here. So on this adjustment layer, I'm going to invert the selection, we have not done this yet, so this is pretty cool. We can come up to the select menu and choose inverse. So now we have everything except the cloud letters selected. You with me? I'm gonna turn off the cloud layer, maybe you can see better, right. So if we un-inverse it, if we just do the regular thing, we can see that we have a selection in the shape of the letters. But what I want is the opposite of that. So we're going to invert that by coming to the select menu and choosing inverse. Then, with this mask layer active, I'm going to fill the mask, the selection with black to block this adjustment from happening everywhere except here, so I'll show you. That sounds really backwards but it's really pretty simple. So we'll go to the edit menu. We'll fill our selection with black. And when I click OK, you'll see what I mean. There we go. We can make this even more extreme, I think, to really drill the point home. So now we have this adjustment that's darkening the letters here. Instead of just regular letters, we can hide that and now this adjustment shows us, we can see the image through, it's just darker. So this creates a little bit different effect and we can still see the clouds but we can still read the text and it's kind of a neat little effect. So that was just taking this type layer, we hid it because we don't want to see it anymore. We created an adjustment layer. But we couldn't clip it to the clouds layer because, if we're gonna hide the clouds layer, we'd ultimately be getting rid of this adjustment too. So instead, we converted this type layer, we made a selection of that type layer and we used that selection to add a mask and that gave us this effect which is pretty neat and it's editable, if we needed to change this for any reason, we'd just have to throw away this mask, edit the type and make a new mask. So we still have some options there of flexibility.

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.


You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5.1

Lessons

Class Introduction
Understand How Elements Works
Importing Images
Workspace Basics: Organizer
Workspace Basics: Editor
Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
Apply Black & White Filters
Sharpen an Image
Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
Explanation of Photoshop Elements
Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
Guided Edit Overview
Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
Ways to Save Files
Layers & Simple Selections
Combine Images with Layers
How to Use Layer Styles
Make Selections with Layers
Make Selection with Lasso
Compositing with Multiple Images
Refine Edge Selection on Image
Use Refine Edge on Images
Create Gradient in Image
Gradient Map Differences
Options for Saving
Brushes Overview
Creatively Use Brushes
How to Change Brush Settings
Use Shape Tool with Brushes
Work with Multiple Shape Layers
Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
How to Load Brushes into Elements
Add Layer Style to Image
Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
Retouching Overview
How to Use Content-Aware Fill
How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
How to Remove Tattoos
Remove a Gap in Teeth
How to Whiten Teeth
Adjust Facial Features
Working with Type Overview
Match Type for Image
How to Manipulate Type Layers
Create Postcard with Type
Add Type on a Path
Organizing Images in Elements
Add Keywords to Images
Smart Tags Overview
Using Albums in Elements
Places Workspace Overview
Use Event Tags on Images
Timeline for Image Organization
Recommended Workflow
 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.
  • I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!
  • Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.