V: Move Tool
M: Marquee Tool
L: Lasso Tool
Space Bar: Pan around your canvas
⌘ + Z: Undo/Redo
⌘ + Shift + Z: Continuously undo
⌘ + T: Transform
⌘ + E: Merge layer with the layer beneath it
⌘ + Shift + E: Merge all visible layers in your document
‘[‘ and ‘]’ brackets: Increase the size of your brush
Layers: As a rule, we always work in layers. There are a few things to remember with layers:
- Alt + Drag can duplicate your layers for you.
- Alt + Click BETWEEN two layers can “connect” layers, think of this as “plugging the layer above into the layer below.” Now any changes you make to the connected layer will only be visible within the confines of the layer it is connected to.
- ⌘ + Click a layer to make a selection around that layer’s contents.
– Effects are best used in moderation, they can quickly make something look like “too-much”.
– Masks are black and white add-ons to your layer that will decide what is visible, and what is not.
– Adjustment layers are the same as Image Adjustments, except “non-destructive”.
– We did not cover “folders” today, but give them a try, they’re very handy for keeping your layers simple and organized, without having to merge things.
The “History” window can make your life easier.
“Pen Tool” makes straight lines if you simply click once, but if you click-and-drag you will get rounded curves (like in Illustrator).
Marquee behaviour can be changed by pressing shift, however, it’s very important to note that pressing shift BEFORE you drag your marquee is very different from pressing shift AFTER you drag your marquee.
If you want to add to your current selection, press shift BEFORE you begin dragging.
If you’re trying to perform Uniform-Scale, you need to drag first, and THEN press shift. You can also use Alt to drag your marquee from the centre instead of the corner.
- Lasso Tool: As easy as drawing, very hard to control. It completes it’s selection when you let go of the mouse.
- Polygonal Lasso: Easiest to control, but very rigid, you need a lot of points to smoothly cut something. It completes it’s selection either by connecting the lines back to your first point, or by pressing enter. While drawing your polygonal lasso, you can press Delete to reverse mistakes.
- Magnetic Lasso: Easiest to control, it makes mistakes sometimes, not always reliable, but does a good job.
Blend Modes: Blend modes are a very powerful technique for bringing effective textures in to your design and art-works. You will mostly need to experiment with them to get the look that you want, but as some helpful guidelines, these two are very useful and quite easy to describe:
- Multiply: Only shows Dark values.
- Screen: Only shows Light values.
Blend modes work very well when used with masks and a little bit of transparency / opacity.