Intro To Photoshop | Commercial Retouching Tools

Master the Photoshop Workspace

Did you know most photographers only use about 20% of the Photoshop Workspace? Don't be held back by what you already know and learn (almost) every Adobe Photoshop tool with high-end, commercial retoucher, Sef McCullough. 

Adobe Photoshop Tools

Adobe Photoshop is the world's best imaging and graphic design software for photographers and retouchers. This tutorial is designed to be the ultimate reference guide for anybody who wants to learn more about Photoshop tools. Get started by learning the layout of the workspace then follow along as Sef walks through and thoroughly demonstrates each tool in the toolbar. He'll give you suggestions on when to use each tool, when to avoid a tool, and provide little known tips and tricks to make your retouching projects easier. 

Even expert retouchers have something to learn from this Photoshop tutorial!  Expand your understanding of destructive versus non-destructive post production workflows and learn best practices plus shortcuts for using every Adobe Photoshop tool and applying them to your projects. 

This tutorial uses Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 20.0.4. 

Isn't it time to take the guesswork out of your workflow? Learn how to use Photoshop with The Essential Photoshop Tools Tutorial from PRO EDU. 

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  • 01. The Tools
    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Introduction
      Introduction (1:49)

      Welcome to Essential Photoshop Tools with high end retoucher, Sef McCullough. In the training series, follow Sef in learning the most essential tools for your Adobe Photoshop retouching workflow.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Layout
      The Layout (2:33)

      Begin the exploration of Adobe Photoshop by examining how to open a project and explore the main layout of the application. Identify panels, how to customize them, and define their basic functions. Navigate through the tool and option bars, to begin building a foundation for understanding Photoshop’s essential tools.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Navigation Tools
      Navigation Tools (5:32)

      To build a solid foundation, explore how to effectively use Adobe Photoshop navigation tools. Examine the relationship between the hand and zoom tools to quickly move about your images. Practice flick-panning and rotating your view, to create better access during your retouching workflow.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Move Tool
      The Move Tool (5:26)

      With a firm grasp of how to navigate around your images, transition into moving an image layer, or selection. Distinguish a background layer from standard layers. Learn how to activate transform controls to enable scale and position adjustments of a selection within your Photoshop project.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Transform Tools
      Transform Tools (10:10)

      Begin to apply direct transformations and manipulations to your imagery using Adobe Photoshop transform tools. Learn to adjust scale for your images, learning the value and impact of a non-destructive workflow. Apply best practices in working with layers. Follow high end retoucher, Sef McCullough, as he compares and contrasts destructive transformations to an image to the original capture. Practice transform concepts that affect image scale, rotation, skew, distortion, perspective and warp.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Selection Tools
      Selection Tools (10:15)

      With a global look at viewing, moving around, and manipulating an image, work through a series of examples on creating specific selections within your composition. Compare the marquee and ellipse tools for broad quick selections. Contrast those with the organic control of the lasso tool and geometric precision of the polygon and magnetic lasso tools. Begin to leverage the power of Photoshop semi automated tools, applying quick selections with the magic wand and quick selections tools.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Automated Selection Tools
      Automated Selection Tools (8:26)

      With a variety of selection methods in hand, develop an automated selection process for clean, precise, and fast results. Leverage the power of Photoshop using select subject, to quickly isolate exactly what you want with a click of a button. Using color range and focus, apply a strategic method of selection, harnessing the color values and focus areas of your imagery. And for speed and precision, use Photoshop’s select and mask capabilities for powerful selection and isolation results.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Crop Tool
      The Crop Tool (6:20)

      Compare cropping versus scaling an image. Evaluate cropping in a non-destructive workflow. Consider cropping as a means to manage project file sizes. Utilize the straighten tool to correct horizon lines within the constraint of cropping. Leverage the power of content aware, expanding the boundaries of your frame and scaling your image with cropping. Connect your knowledge of the Photoshop selection tool with the cropping tool.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Brush Tool
      The Brush Tool (7:45)

      Dive into the native Photoshop paint brush toolset. Learn to adjust color, saturation, hue and brush size. Compare and contrast opacity and flow settings, as well as your ability to control your paint strokes, to refine your command and control of the tool. With a solid foundation for using the paintbrush, explore the native and downloadable brush presets provided by Adobe Photoshop for creative application to your imagery. Apply a simple brush lighting effect for dynamic and instant results.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Pen Tool
      The Pen Tool (12:04)

      Follow high end retoucher, Sef McCullough, in a step by step demonstration of using the pen tool to create powerful, dynamic, and precise Photoshop image masks. Learn to create paths, adjust points in paths, and adjust path settings for more complex workflows. Practice creating a clipping mask using the pen tool to isolate a specific aspect or your imagery. Identify and learn to manage the Paths palette.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Masking
      Masking (6:17)

      Mastering usage of the pen tool is critical in creating effective, high quality masks. In this Photoshop tutorial section, define masking and follow a practical application. Develop your skill in creating high quality clipping masks to isolate and control any creative aspect of an image.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Two Pass Clipping
      Two Pass Clipping (7:29)

      Create a method of clipping paths in Photoshop that is efficient and maximizes your time during retouching. Form good habits as you learn professional workflow for two pass clipping. Apply a rough and then refined approach to form precise isolations to your images for powerful, effective masking.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Measurement Tools
      Measurement Tools (11:47)

      The Photoshop measurement tools allow you to create important creative decisions. Learn how to effectively use the eyedropper tool with the sampling ring for color assessment and matching. Utilize the Color Sample tool to get more accurate feedback of color data. Leverage the note tool to leave targeted feedback and reminders on specific areas of your imagery. Utilize rulers and guides to assess symmetry, balance, and spatial relationships within your project elements.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Clone Stamp Tool
      The Clone Stamp Tool (6:59)

      With solid fundamentals around navigation, layer manipulation, and masking, move into one of the key components of a retouchers workflow - the Photoshop clone stamp tool. Practice retouching imagery focusing on how to duplicate and eliminate elements, with an emphasis on forming good, non-destructive workflow. Learn how to control what areas of an image you sample from to clone and stamp with intention and precision.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Spot Healing Brush
      The Spot Healing Brush (6:01)

      A foundational component of any retouching work is repair or cleanup of an image. In this tutorial section, differentiate the use of the spot healing brush from the clone stamp tool. Practice working with skin cleanup in a portrait image. Leverage Photoshop’s ability to interpolate pixel information to create natural, believable results. For more advanced results, practice with the healing brush tool, for better skin texture. Create a bold subject move using the content aware move tool.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Eraser Tool
      The Eraser Tool (8:44)

      Transition to subtractive tools within Photoshop. Focus on the basics of using the eraser tool and how it affects your image data. Practice with more advanced eraser methods, using the background eraser for quick compositing results. For more measured and automated results, use the magic eraser to expedite your compositing workflow. Understand the destructive nature of using eraser tools and how to leverage the history palette to move backwards and forwards through your workflow timeline. Use the power of the history brush to restore elements of an image you have removed.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / Blending Tools
      Blending Tools (11:43)

      Follow high end retoucher, Sef McCullough, as he creatively demonstrates how to use the blur, sharpen, and smudge blending tools. Expand your understanding of destructive versus non-destructive Photoshop workflow for your retouching workflow. Learn best practices for using these tools when applying them to masks. Develop an approach to using the blend tools for basic compositing.

    • Thumbnail for The Tools / The Dodge & Burn Tool
      The Dodge & Burn Tool (5:42)

      Congratulations! You have completed Essential Photoshop Tools tutorial with Sef McCullough. In this final section, follow Sef as he defines and demonstrates the process of dodging and burning. Establish intentional retouching process, lightening and darkening the shadows, mid-tones, and highlights or your images to create dimensional and dynamic imagery. By completing this course, you should have a solid foundation for Photoshop’s essential tools, with a mindset that establishes good workflow and day to day practice. We encourage you to create and share your work within our community. Thanks and happy retouching!


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