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Step 1: And So It
Begins: Getting Started
First things first, you can't
Photoshop a picture without
first creating a Photoshop
document. What you want to
do is select File>New... and
set your canvas size.
-Tip- If you copy an image
from the internet, the size of
the canvas will be the EXACT
same size as the image you
coppied. If you copy a
345x892 pixel image from
the interwebs, that is going
to be the size offered to you
in the New... window.
I chose to re-size my canvas
size to 1000x1000 pixels just
to make it a nice box to put
whatever comes to mind into
it. I looked up puppies in
Google images, and was
about to make this
Instructable about the basics
of Photoshop, with puppies
being my lab rats, but
decided a car would be
much easier for
demonstration purposes. It
is easier to Photoshop
because you do not have to
worry about hairs. I find
Photoshopping something
with hair to be more difficult,
and not suited for a basic
Once you find the right
image, copy and paste it into
the canvas (Ctrl+V for PC,
Command+V for Mac)
Step 2: Tools: Move
Tool (V) and Marquee
Tool (M)
Ok the first, and most basic
tool that I am going to cover
in this tutorial is called the
Move Tool. You should be
familiar with he Move Tool if
you have ever put a picture
into a Microsoft Word
document. Selecting the
Move Tool (the shortcut for
the Move Tool is V), will cause
boxes to show up at every
corner, and in the spaces
between the corners. To re-
size your picture, simply click
and hold on a box located at
the corner of the picture.
before you do anything you
regret, such as guessing the
correct dimensions so as to
avoid stretching the image, it
is important to HOLD SHIFT
before you start to drag the
corner out. This will cause
the image to scale properly
without stretching the
Now that you have the image
re-sized to the correct size,
you can chop your image
down to size with the
Rectangular Marquee Tool
(the shortcut for the
Marquee tool is M). The
Marquee Tool will allow you
to create a box with
marching ants (the moving
dashes). You can then cut,
copy, paste, or delete what is
inside or outside of this box.
Once you have the Marquee
tool selected, you can either...
A) hold shift and drag the
box around your car to
create a 1:1 ratio box
B) drag without the shift to
make a non-ratio selection
C) OR look up in the Style
drop-down menu, and select
Fixed Ratio. With this
selected, you can create a
box who's ratio between
sides will NEVER FALTER! I
chose a 1:1 ratio in order to
make a perfect square
selection. This is shown in
pictures 3 and 4.
Once you have what you
want selected, you can right
click the box, choose Select
Inverse, and Command+X to
cut away what you didn't
originally select. You may be
thinking "WHOA" after that
last sentence, but don't
worry, it is merely a way to
delete all of the unwanted
pixels outside of the original
selection. This little move
becomes useful when you
want to get rid of a
background or something
Step 3: Tool: Quick
Selection Tool (W)
Oh the memories me and
Quick Select have... removing
entire people from pictures,
selecting highway traffic by
the car...
Oh... You're still here? Well
congrats, you've survived the
boring basics and now you
can finally get into the
slightly more complicated
tools that Photoshop has to
offer. The tool I'm going to
show you will allow you to
select pieces of an image
based on that image's color
and contrast.
In the first picture, I selected
the Quick Selection Tool (W)
and used it like I would a
paint brush, painting above
the car in order to select the
background. As you may
notice, Edit>Undo is your
friend when messing about
with the Quick Selection Tool
(W). I was able to make the
selection in the second
picture with the help of the +
and - brush options shown
in the third picture. The +
option will add to your
selection, whereas the - will
take away from your
Now, if you were to select
inverse, and get rid of the
background, you would
notice how jagged the edges
of the car became. This is
where the Refine Edge
comes in handy. In order to
open up the Refine Edge
toolbox, you need to right
click your selection and then
scroll down to the Refine
Edge selection. The tool box
will open and allow you to
change the parameters of
your selction, everything
from smoothing, feathering,
and increasing or decreasing
the selection size. If you have
CS5 you will also be able to
use the Edge Detection to
make a more precise
selection, but that is a little
too complicated for this
basic Instructable.
Note: I only selected this to
show you the advantages of
this tool, I did NOT do
anything with this selection.
However... thinking back on
it, you can get the general
selection of your car, create a
new layer, select the new
blank layer, right click your
selection, and choose to fill
with color in order to speed
up the next step. I will go
into how to create a new
layer in the next step if you
do not know how to already,
in addition to the Brush (B)
and Erase (E) Tools.
Step 4: Tool: Crop Tool
The Crop Tool (C) is similar to
the Quick Select Tool (W) in
that it allows you to set the
parameters of the box that
you will create with the Crop
Tool (C), but crop WILL
change the dimensions of
the canvas. Quick Select (W)
will only delete the part of
the layer you select, but the
Crop (C) will delete everything
outside of it, including the
For example, the picture
below shows the Crop (C)
with a 1000 px by 1000 px.
To get this setting, simply do
what I demonstrated in a
previous step with the
Rectangular Marquee Tool
(M). Notice, the Crop (C)
doesn't take up the entire
screen even though the
canvas itself is 1000x1000
px. The reason for this is
because the 1000x1000 is
the finished resolution, as
well as the ratio that the Crop
(C) must follow when
You may also notice the lines
that are going through my
Crop (C) selection. These are
the Rule of Thirds
perspective lines. Basically, it
is a photography guideline.
The focus points of the
image are where the
horizontal and vertical lines
meet, so if this was a face,
you would want the eyes to
meet where the horizontal
and vertical lines meet.

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