The major advantage Photoshop has over other basic photo editing software is the capabilities to enable users to create their own graphics. Photoshop offers users an exhaustive number of tools and resources that are ready for use whenever they are needed. The functions these tools perform are based on the user selection in an image and as such the effect operates only within the selection. This article aims at showing the basics of creating graphics in Photoshop using the basic tools.
Before using the main tools, it is essential to have an understanding of the foreground and background color. To change the foreground or background color, double-click the square and this reveals the color picker. The color picker allows you to pick a color with several different methods, including RGB values, hexadecimal codes, and by simply selection. It is advisable to check the “only web colors” box if you are making an image for the web. This ensures that no dithering (reductions in color quality) will take place. Once you have picked your color, click ok, and you are ready to go.
Stroke & Fill
The stroke and fill tool are the most basic ways to apply colors to an image. These tools are both available on the edit menu. All you need to do is to make a selection and choose fill from the edit menu. A dialogue will appear prompting the user to make some decisions about colors and transparency. Make your selections, and press OK to fill the selection with the chosen color. Stroke operates in a similar manner, though you are given the chance to determine the weight of the lines you create.
To use the paintbrush tool, make a selection and click on the tool from the toolbar. The size of the brush can be changed in the options bar, as well as the behaviors of the paint. The best way to learn what these options do is to experiment.
The Pencil tool works much like the Paintbrush but draws a distinct line rather than a feathery painted one. Click and hold the paintbrush icon to reveal the pencil.
The eraser tool works much like the Paintbrush and Pencil, but rather than fill the selected region with a colour, it actually removes whatever is in the selection and reveals the background. This is a very useful tool for cleaning up images with rough edges.
Having understood how to use some of the tools, it is essential to move to the next phase of graphics design. These tools will be used to create one or more graphics.
Creating a Color Fill layer
We start by using a Color Fill Adjustment Layer. Then we use a layer mask to define the visibility of that layer. It is worthy to note that painting white on a Layer Mask makes that layer visible and painting black on the Layer Mask makes that layer invisible. The Fill Dialog box is used to fill the layer with white.
Creating a Target
To create a target, choose the Color of our target by clicking on Window>Swatches, name the desired color and then hit enter. The desired color will always show up in your Color Box Dialog. After choosing the color you want for your target, click on the Elliptical Marquee tool to create a perfect circle. Hold down Shift and click and drag to create a perfect circle and then inverse your selection a couple times to ensure the target color only show up where you want them to.
Creating the Arrows
To create some arrows, use the Marquee Selection Tool to define the shape of the arrow. Then grab the Adjustment Layer and choose the Color you want to fill our selection with. To duplicate the arrow, grab the layers and group them together and drag them to the new group icon.