The interface of Photoshop can seem quite complex, yet if you single out specific tools and options, it can be understood fairly easily. A very positive point to the interface is that you can completely customise the position or availability of the toolbars. At any time, you can reset the workspace to the original Photoshop default simply by going to Window, Workspace, then click Default Workspace. You can also save your desired workspaces for the different types of tasks you wish to complete by going to Window, Workspace, then Save Workspace.
The Menu toolbar Has most, if not all of the functions that Photoshop has. It has a rather common feel to it as you may find it to be similar to other windows programs and their layouts. Going form left to right there is File, Edit, Image, Layer, Type, Select, Filter, View, Window and Help. File is used for the fundamental functions of most programs, you can Open files, Create new documents, Overwrite the current document save and Save as a new document or name. It is also useful for Exporting and Importing and last but not least, it is used for Print. Edit has tools you will find very similar to other applications, such as Copy, Paste, Cut, Step backwards and forwards. The Edit tab is also used for a very important feature in Photoshop- Transform. You can change the shape of an image with this, and to get into Free-Transform you can use the keyboard shortcut Crtl+T on Windows and Command+T on OSX. The Image tab can be used for specific adjustments to Image size, Canvas size, Image rotation and so on. Layer has a wide variety of tools for managing and editing layers in your document. Type is used for editing types of text with very specific detail. Select helps you edit an image by letting you select exact sections, the main functions are Select All, Deselect, Reselect and Inverse select. The Filter tab has all of the filters Photoshop can offer, there are many to choose from and they are quite simple to understand. This can be in the form of Pixilation, Distortion, Blur etc. View is used to help change the way you view your document, for example you can Zoom in, Zoom out, view the Actual Pixels and view the Actual Print Size. Window was slightly covered earlier, but it’s function is to help you choose exactly how you want your Toolbars and lets you set the layout of your workspace. Here is an image of the Menu Toolbar.
The Tools Panel is where all of your main tools are placed, this includes Move, Marquee tool, Lasso tool, Quick Selection tool, Crop tool, Eyedropper tool, Spot Healing brush tool, Brush tool, Stamping tool, Eraser, Gradient/Fill tool, Blur tool, Dodge tool, Pen tool, Text tool, Path selection tool, Shape tools, Hand tool and the Zoom tool. Most if not all of these tools can be expanded by left-clicking and holding the tool button and then releasing the button over the tool you want, the tool you selected will then replace the tool that was previously on the Toolbar. The Tools Panel also includes a colour tool which lets you set a foreground colour and a background colour, these are located at the bottom of the bar. On the left is a screenshot of the Tools Panel.
Docked Panels are located over on the right of the Photoshop window by default, but as I have said, all of the toolbars are completely customizable by clicking and holding the top of any panel or toolbar. By default, there are three panels already docked, but you can go up to window at any time and select more to place around the window for your own layout. Going from top to bottom, the first panel is the colour panel, this lets you choose a colour for the foreground and background and if you click on the colour mixer bar you can see it is updated at the bottom of the Tools Panel. The next is the Adjustments Panel, this is used to edit images in ways such as the saturation, vibrancy, colour balance and so on. The last, but probably most important panel, is the Layers panel, this lets you organise your layers in the document you’re working on. You can Copy, Merge, Duplicate, Lock and quite a bit more in this sense, it also lets you turn specific layers of the document invisible, this lets you focus on what you are currently working on without unnecessary layers getting in the way. Below is an image of the Docked Panels.
The Options bar is at the top of the application window by default, but it is just below the Menu toolbar. This bar changes to benefit specific tools that you are currently using, for example if you have to brush tool selected, you can change the opacity and flow of the brush. If you have a tool such as the Marquee selection tool, then the Options bar will display things such as Add to selection, Subtract from selection and Intersect with selection buttons. It will also let you change the amount of feathering you want on the selection. Lastly, here is an image of the Option Bar.
I put together a game poster for the game ‘League of Legends’, it had to include: My Name, The Game Name, The PEGI Rating, The Developer’s and the Publisher’s logo. I used several images to create the poster and edited them slightly with shadows dropped behind them to make a slight depth of field effect.
Here are the images that were used:
And here is the final poster: