Photoshop Advanced Course | Sessions College

Photoshop Advanced

Take your Photoshop skills further with advanced tips and techniques

How well do you know Adobe Photoshop, the industry-standard application for photo editing and digital imaging? Transcend your current skillset to learn vector illustration techniques, photo-realistic painting tools, high-impact typography approaches, and professional photo editing methods, all with attention to preserving the editability of your original images. You'll build proficiency with the Pen tool, select perfect color harmonies with Kuler, use Smart Objects and Smart Filters to non-destructively edit your images, and even create paintings with custom brushes and the Mixer Brush.

Lesa Snider, author of Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual, will guide you through lectures and exercises that impart professionalism and sophistication. By the end of the course, you'll have created a body of work that showcases your Photoshop talents.

Course Instructor(s):

Sessions design and media instructor Bruce Bicknell

Bruce Bicknell  is a writer, instructor, illustrator, animator, Web designer, video editor, and marketing pro.

Course content developed by Lesa Snider.
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To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection (56 Kbps modem or faster).
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 or CC.
  • Basic experience in the software package needed for this course.
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The following courses can help you meet the above requirements:

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Course Objectives:

Students learn how to:

  • Draw and manipulate custom vector shapes using the Pen tool and shape tools.
  • Create precise selections in low-contrast images using vector masks and paths.
  • Use Smart Objects in Photoshop to non-destructively edit, link, update images.
  • Sharpen, blur, and vignette images using customizable and editable Smart Filters.
  • Apply professional-quality typography in Photoshop, considering leading, kerning, tracking, baseline shift, and ligatures.
  • Handle type creatively by applying textures to text, pushing photographs through text and other shapes, and hiding portions of text.
  • Combine multiple photographs using gradient masks, blending sliders, and displacement maps.
  • Utilize blend modes, gradients, and the Refine Edge dialog to combine images seamlessly.
  • Retouch and alter photographs non-destructively, using faux dodging and burning, Content-Aware tools, and adjustment layers.
  • Create attractive grayscale, partial grayscale, and duotone images.
  • Use Kuler, the Swatches panel, and Color Libraries to effectively select and manage color schemes.
  • Create custom brushes, use the Mixer Brush for freehand painting in Photoshop, and turn images into paintings.
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Course Outline

LESSON 1 Drawing with Vector Tools

Vectors allow you to create intricate and beautiful work that is also infinitely scalable. Lecture One explores how to manipulate paths and shapes to create complex and editable art. Also discussed is using vector paths to create precise selections from low-contrast images, as well as using vector masks to blend images. Stretch your creativity in first project in this course as you design a vector-based backstage pass for a concert.

LESSON 2 Working with Smart Objects

This course focuses on creating and editing images in Photoshop non-destructively, and one way to accomplish this is by using Smart Objects. Lecture Two introduces Smart Objects and discusses linking Smart Objects for ultimate flexibility. Smart Filters also open up a world of non-destructive image editing that you'll explore. In the exercise, use smart editing techniques to embellish photos with vectors and to run filters safely in order to create an an attention-getting advertisement.

LESSON 3 Creating Professional Text

Creating professional, polished typography requires an attentive eye. Lecture Three presents advanced type layout techniques including leading, kerning, tracking, baseline shift, and ligatures. Popping photographs through text and hiding portions of text with masks are also covered as creative ways to handle type in Photoshop. In the exercise, you will create a identity with a logo and apply it to a book cover design.

LESSON 4 Combining Images

Blending images to create unique composites is a hallmark of Photoshop. Lecture Four discusses layer mask gradients and blending sliders as techniques to meld images. Blend modes are also introduced and defined by how each one affects the image. You will wrap up this lecture with a discussion of the Refine Edge dialog to create extremely precise selections. The exercise pushes your creativity to create an impossible image melded from two photos as the focal point of a poster design.

LESSON 5 Advanced Photo Editing Techniques

Have portraits that need retouching? Lecture Five lays out methods of retouching and healing to make a photo picture-perfect (non-destructively!). You'll use faux burning and dodging to soften wrinkles and remove blemishes and use Content-Aware Fill to remove an entire area from an image. Finally, use shadow, highlight, blending, grayscale, and duotone controls are examined to create elegant imagery. In the exercise, you'll perfect a series of promotional photographs.

LESSON 6 Color and Painting in Photoshop

The flexibility and forgiveness of Photoshop is perfect for painting! You'll examine color theory as it applies to Photoshop tools such as Kuler, Swatches, and Color Libraries. The Mixer Brush is introduced as a method of painting a photograph or painting from scratch, and you'll learn how to customize special brushes to create unique effects and freehand art. The final exercise will stretch your creative muscles as you create a complete CD sleeve design with color and painting tools.

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Vector illustration created in Photoshop

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