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Thread: Basic Tools & Functions of Photoshop Elements (Design Making Tips)

  1. #1

    Basic Tools & Functions of Photoshop Elements (Design Making Tips)

    Created 2/7/2011
    by Richele

    Here is a basic tutorial of the tools of Photoshop Elements. This is the program I use to make most of my yoville designs. While this program is similar to Photoshop in many ways, it is somewhat different in that it's designed more for photo-editing, where Photoshop is more for graphics editing. But I still find this program very helpful in making designs. With a little bit of practice and knowledge about what the tools are used for, I think you will find that it is very useful!

    Here is a pic of what the program looks like when opened:

    Toolbox (Left side of screen)

    A. Move Tool: This tool is obviously used to move layers around on the work area. Pretty much self explanatory.

    B. Hand Tool: A different way of moving, the hand tool can be used to scroll around on the screen. When clicked, you can "pull" and "push" your way around on the work area. This tool does not move individual layers, just the entire work area screen.

    C. Rectangular Marquee Tool/ Elliptical Marquee: This tool selects either a rectangular or elliptical area for you. Click the area you want to select and drag the rectangle/ellipse around the area you want to select. To use the elliptical marquee, Right-click on the button to select it.

    D. Magic Wand Tool: This is another way of selecting. With a single click, the magic wand will automatically select an area. This tool is useful mainly in areas of one color, such as selecting around your yo-avatar to delete the white space. It's useful most of the time, but I find that sometimes you still have to go around and erase some white that gets left over around your avatar. Other times it may delete part of your avatar you don't want it to as well, so be careful...

    E. Text Tool: Self explanatory...click this to type text on your work area. If you right click this button, you have the option of Vertical or Horizontal typing, as well as Mask Text. Mask text can be used if you have a pre-made texture pattern that you'd like to be the "filling" of the text.

    F. Cookie Cutter Tool: This tool can be used to "cut out" part of a layer in a certain shape. There are several shape options available at the top of the screen when this button is clicked. Click and drag the shape over the area you want to cut, and the cookie cutter will do the rest!

    G. Red Eye Removal Tool: Not very useful for making yoville designs, but this is a great tool to use if you have a picture that has someone with red eyes in it! Just click this button and click over the person's eyes, and voila! Red eye is gone

    H. Clone Stamp Tool: Click this button to "clone" an area. To select the area you want to clone, hold "ALT" and click the area. Then, click the area you want the clone to be.

    I. Paintbrush Tool: This is the main tool I use for my designs. Also available are a pencil, impressionist brush, and color replacement tool. Size of the brush can be changed at the top of the screen when clicked. This is very useful in addition to a graphics drawing pad. But can also be done well just by using the mouse.

    J. Bucket Fill: Use this with a color to "fill" a selected area with color.

    K. Shape Tools: Rectangles, polygons, ellipses, or even custom shapes. Select the shape and then click and drag until desired size of the shape is made. Color/stroke/etc. of the shape can be changed on the top of the screen when clicked.

    L. Dodge/Burn/Sponge Tool: Use to darken (burn), Lighten (Dodge), or sort of "muddy up" (sponge) the image.

    M. Zoom Tool: Use to zoom in and out of the image for better viewing.

    N. Eyedropper Tool: Use to select a specific color from the image. Good for getting that exact color you want.

    O. Lasso Tools: another way of selecting parts of the image. Regular Lasso Tool follows the direction of your mouse and will select whatever shape your mouse makes. Polygonal Lasso follows your clicks and will make lines connecting the dots of your clicks to select the area. Magnetic Lasso follows the lines of the image, for example hovering over the avatars head; the dotted line will migrate to the top of the head and follow along the head shape for easy selection.

    P. Quick Selection Tool: Similar to the magic wand, this selection tool will select outlines of your image...however this tool can be "added" or "subtracted" to in order to make more or less of a selection.

    Q. Crop Tool: Used to crop the image, pretty self explanatory.

    R. Straighten Tool: Used more for pictures, the image will move in the direction you click and drag the mouse in.

    S. Spot Healing Brush: Used to fix "mistakes" in the image...for example a splotch or mark that doesn't belong.

    T. Eraser: Erases mistakes on the selected layer

    U. Smart Brush Tool: Used more for Photo-Editing...this brush has options such as whitening teeth, making blue skies bluer, grass greener, etc. While it's more for Photo-Editing, if you have a layer in a design that you'd like to add a certain effect to, it can be useful!

    V. Gradient Tool: Creates color gradients within a selection, good for shading on your design.

    W. Blur/Sharpen/Smudge Tool: Used to make a layer blurry, sharper in appearance, or to smudge colors around in the layer.

    Effects Table:

    Several Effects are useful in creating your designs...for example, the effects shown in the picture are the "Stroke" effects. They can be used to make an outline on the selected layer. There are color effects, bevels, drop shadows, glows, and so much more that are useful in designing your outfit. I can't even begin to describe each individual effect that can be used...but I just suggest playing around and practicing to see what each effect does to the image. These are useful in photo-editing, but I've found many of them to be useful in my outfit designs as well!

    Layers Table:

    Where all the layers are shown and can be moved/added/deleted/etc. Each individual layer is shown in a scroll box below the layer tools. The order of the layers can be changed by clicking the desired layer and dragging it up and down in the scroll box to the desired level.

    The "Create New Layer" Button is used to make the new layers of your design.

    The "Lock Layer" button is useful when you have a layer that you do not want to be moved while working on another layer. Keep in mind that in order to edit the layer again, you have to unlock it.

    Opacity can be changed on each individual layer in order to create shadows/highlights/etc. The lower the percentage opacity, the more "sheer" the layer looks on top of the other layers.

  2. #2
    Posty McPosterson Claire00048's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Great tutorial! I've only worked in MS Paint, but I just got Gimp and I think some of the things here will help me in Gimp. Thanks so much!

  3. #3
    You're welcome hun, I'm glad it helps! Yeah most of these tools can be found in most programs...so hopefully these tips can be used for some other programs as well!

  4. #4
    Pet Owner **Jez Belle**'s Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    everywhere yet nowhere
    Thank you so much :d

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by **Jez Belle** View Post
    Thank you so much :d
    Sure thing sweetie!

  6. #6
    Sky Lounger Lunar Eclipse's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Pallet Town ;D
    Thank youu so much!!

    ·★IGN: MuffinPuff★··♥My Home··My Wishes♥·

  7. #7
    Collectible YoAddict Z's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Stalking you when you don't expect it.
    witch elements? 3.0 2.0 8.0 what?

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