4. Eight One
by Salvo Nicolosi
One thing I’ve noticed in talking to a lot of Photoshop noobs over the years is that they don’t generally take advantage of the Internet. I think it’s mainly because they’re so overwhelmed with Photoshop out of the box that trying to find resources online seems like yet another foreign step.
But believe me, there are ways for even us intermediate level Photoshop artists to take advantage of the net in order to make Photoshop our bitch. When I tell a Photoshop noob to get online and start using the Internet with their projects, the first thing they assume I mean is to look at tutorials. Tutorials are great and you should always check out all the tutorials you can so you can learn other people’s techniques and add them to your mental vault – But people, trust me, you can use the Internet for even more!
Whatever you’re making for your client, whether it be a website design, print ad or anything else, never underestimate the power of stock photography. It’s a great way to jazz up your work and make it look more professional.
The world is full of starving photographers that rock at what they do. So, what do these unappreciated artists do? They sell their work online on giant websites like iStock where they’re forced to compete with other awesome photographers doing the exact same thing. What does this mean for you? It means you can get your hands on professional photos in virtually any field at cheap ass prices.
There are a lot of people out there that like to take close-up pictures of random shit they see around the world. You’d be surprised how cool some of these texture pictures can look. The Internet is filled with royalty free textures. Just Google it up. You can also buy them for purchase generally on the same websites where you find stock images.
A lot of the time when you’re staring at a blank canvas in Photoshop, you don’t know where to start. You only have so many tricks in your mental vault to put on that background.
Well, next time you’re at a loss for inspiration go grab a stock texture image and spread it over the background of your canvas. Then, try putting different colors behind it and screwing around with the layer blend modes of the texture. Try different Image adjustments to the texture. Try different filters to the texture. Blur it a bit. You’ll eventually end up with something you never thought you could make!
So many people have posted awesome Photoshop brushes on the Internet. I think Photoshop noobs often underestimate the power of brushes because they see the crappy default ones in Photoshop and don’t realize the possibilities. And I think a lot of Photoshop pros feel like they’re cheating by relying on brushes. Truth be told, brushes really can open up our possibilities.
They don’t just provide you with easy way to create the little elements of your artwork, but they get you to expand your mental vault of tricks. You get to experience a different sense of design and expand your methods.
Sites like Brusheezy provide tons of free brushes in all different forms. Installing Photoshop brushes is easy and so you are able to quickly get going on your Photoshop design.
One thing I personally hate is picking out fonts and because most of Photoshop’s default fonts suck, I’m generally dreading my psd’s text fields! Well, once again, head to the net. It’s not secret you can download fonts off the Internet. However, it can often be just as overwhelming sifting through a website with 10,000 crappy fonts.
If you ask me, this is the hottest font resource on the net: www.Fawnt.com
Basically, people vote on the top 100 fonts available for free on the Internet and this simple website always has the current top 100. You can click on any of the fonts and find your way to their download page. So, stay on top of the most popular trends in fonts. Download and install a font on your computer and BAM, it’s in Photoshop. Easy as pie, baby.