6 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Using Photoshop
Hello and welcome fellow creator,
My name is Leo Luna and I’ve been looking forward to making this sooo much – there’s a lot you can do within photoshop and I know how overwhelming and intimidating it can be!
I’ve always had a dream to become a computer animator/graphic designer or something in this field but never knew how I was going to make that happen, until I decided to just start learning. I took so many youtube courses and trainings and I overwhelmed myself with information early on.
There was so much I wish I had known before having to “learn it” on my own.
There’s honestly no limit to what you can do with Photoshop and I’ll be upfront right now – there’s always something new to learn on Photoshop, they release so many amazing updates often and to be honest, it’s always a game changer!
This isn’t meant to be a complete overview and technical piece made to confuse a beginner, this is made for someone who is wanting to explore how to use photoshop without over complicating getting started. This will help you understand the basics of getting started.
So let’s dive in –
You’ll need to sign up and use Photoshop creative studio Click Here for your free 14 day trial. Just be sure to head over to photoshop on the top tab to start your free trial.
Once you’ve downloaded photoshop, you’ll want to open up Photoshop and you’ll be greeted with a screen to start your first project.
Here is a quick cheat sheet on presets you’ll want to add in to save for quick access when creating social media posts.
FB post 940 x 788
FB story 1080 x 1920
FB cover 2050 x 780
Pinterest 1000 x 1500
IG Post 1080 x 1080
IG story 1080 x 1920
YT Channel art 2560 x 1440
YT Thumbnail 1280 x 720
Twitter 1600 x 900
*Note that all sizes are in pixels and 300dpi.
Learn the different tools you have access to with the sidebar:
First we have the move tool. Use this to click and drag selections or layers around.
Regular marquee tool is a click and drag selection tool. Make a selection in the shape of a rectangle.
Lasso tool makes freehand selections.
Magic wand tool makes a selection based on color. Very helpful when you have easy edits to select.
Also within the magic wand subcategory, there’s a quick selection tool. This is my #1 tool when making a selection as it moves the selection around the edges of an object.
All these different tools have more in depth learning within them, but for the most part, playing around with the lasso tool and object selection tool saves so much time.
4. Next up is to learn a bit more about your layers panel.
When you create a design, you are building your design in layers that are built from the ground up.
The top layer is above all other layers.
Each layer can have a filter within the layer which will be the edits you make.
You will want to rename the layers as you build things up so you don’t get lost in all the layers that are created.
5. Now that you have a quick understanding of layers and how to move things around with the move tool, let’s get into designing something simple.
Start by selecting your canvas size from one of the preset sizes you entered earlier. Let’s do Instagram sizing to start.
If you have an image you want to use, go to File > Open > and select your image.
If you are looking to remove the background of an image, you’ll want to go to your layers panel and unlock the lock.
You’ll then want to select the background removal tool which is located right above the layers panel. You may need to scroll down a little on top panel to see it.
Once you remove the background, you’ll want to move the tab out of the window and select the move tool to click and drag the new image into the Instagram artboard.
To resize, click on Command + T to resize.
6. Let’s make some shapes
Select the square tool on the left side.
You’ll see on the top of the tab, Fill, Stroke and a number with px.
The fill is the inside of the square, stroke is the outer border, and the px is how thick the border will be.
If you are looking to add a drop shadow to an object, go to the bottom right and select the FX button, select drop shadow.
You’ll want to play with the settings: Opacity, distance, spread, and size.
*If you want to also add a white line around your profile picture, select stroke in the same FX section as well and adjust the size and the color.
This is a very basic run through on photoshop and there is so much more to learn, but this will get you started to feel comfortable with creating fun and easy designs.
The biggest part of learning photoshop is to try to play around with the different tools and keep learning little by little.
If you want to learn more, feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel where I will be putting together more in depth tutorials as well as a breakdown of this entire walk through.