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Adobe Photoshop is more than just an image editing application—it is a foundational staple in all the visual arts, from print design, to photography, to web design, to motion graphics and 3D graphics. In this course, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins covers the basics of Photoshop. Learn about the components of visual images, making selections, color correcting, fixing images, outputting images, and much more. This course uses Photoshop CS6, but the information presented is applicable to all versions of the application.
In this tutorial, we're going to look at just a couple quick tricks to add some graphic design elements to your compositions in Photoshop. Often times, you want to just maybe add a triangle here, or a cool little line, or just something simple like that, like a block of color, or an underlining bar, whatever it is. And I just want to show you, a couple cool tricks with that. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a brand new layer and I am going to choose the Rectangular Marquee tool. And this is one of the Selection tools you'll find in this group, right at the top there. And I'm going to Click and Drag, because I think the space between the top text and the bottom text is a little bit too big.
So, we need to break it up by putting a little bar there I think. And it's not quite centered, but we can do that later. And I want to fill this selection area with a color. I've selected a blank layer, so I'm totally ready to do that, and there are a bunch of different ways that we can fill this area with color. We can create a Solid Color Adjustment Layer. And because we have an active selection, that solid color will only show up in that selection area. Or we can go to the Edit menu and choose Fill.
And then, we could fill this with a pattern or a gradient, or a solid color, or whatever. My preferred method of filling shapes like this, is to simply choose a Foreground Color, so I'm going to click on this Foreground Color Swatch. I'll use the Eyedropper tool to select a green color, a lime green color from this area here, and I'll click OK. And now, to fill the selected area with the Foreground Color, we use the keyboard shortcut Option + Delete on the Mac or Alt + Backspace on the PC.
And that fills that area with the Foreground Color. It's kind of a weird keyboard shortcut but if you can commit that to memory, I promise you'll use it all the time. And it makes it so much faster just to go ahead and fill areas with color very quickly. So, we're going to press Cmd + D or Ctrl + D on the PC to deselect that. And we have this line, its not really in the right spot, so I'm going to press the letter V, just like the Move tool in the tools panel. And then I can use the Arrow keys to nudge this down or up or left or right if I want to. And what I'm going to do is select this Text layer that I've actually locked, the powers within you and all that jazz.
And I'm going to go ahead and click to Padlock to unlock this layer. And then, I want to select all these layers and align them. So, what I'm going to do is select the first one, Shift-click the bottom one so that all of them are selected. And then, you come over here to align distribute. Again, this is with the Move tool selected, and we can align them horizontally. And we can also distribute them vertically if we want, although that might do some weird things. Yeah, it does some weird things.
So I'm going to hit Cmd + Z or Ctrl + Z on the PC to undo that. I'm also going to come over here to my Layers panel. Click in the blank area to deselect them, and I'm going to double-click the name of layer one to change it to bar. It's the not descriptive or inspiring name, but it's something so that I know what this layer contains at a glance. When we're creating and designing stuff, it's always good to make sure that you are aware of the artistic element of repetition. So right now, we have these hard edges on this bar, but really the great design element is this piece over here on the left, which is linear kind of like this bar is, but it's got these streaks. So, in order for this to really match, and for this piece to feel more cohesive, then I need to take this bar and blur it in a similar fashion to this over here. So, what I'm going to do, is go over to the Filter menu and I'm going to convert this for Smart Filters.
So, this makes this a Smart Object, go ahead and Click OK there. And then I'm going to go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, and actually that about 75 or so looks pretty good. And I'll leave the angle at 0, so that this is flat. And what this is doing, is it's going to blur both sides. So, it creates this cool streak. So, again now, there is a cohesive feel between this bar and this design element on the left. Now, I'm also going to add one more little trick here that's similar to that. I'm going to select the Innovate layer, and I'm going to drag it to the new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and that duplicates it. I'm going to select the bottom copy, and I'm going to convert this for Smart Filters. (UNKNOWN) there.
And then I'm going to go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. And I think 75 pixels will work well for that, also I'll just go ahead and click OK. That looks pretty cool. It's a little hard to read, though. So, I'm going to double-click this little icon next to Motion Blur for the Blending Options for this effect. I'll change that to, let's try Linear Dodge. And that doesn't really do too much. Probably cuz its on the bottom.
Go ahead and take down the opacity of this effect a little bit. That looks pretty good. Click OK. And there we have a nice little streak, it's subtle, but it adds something, it adds movement and again, it connects it back to this main design element. So, if you're going to fill objects, remember that keyboard shortcut Option + Delete on the Mac or Alt + Backspace on the PC to fill an area with color. And again, it could be anything. We used the Rectangular Marquee Selection tool.
But you could use the Polygonal Asset tool and just click, and click, and click, to make triangles and you could fill those in the same way. So, basically, my purpose here is to just show you some other cool design tools that you can use when you're putting objects and scenes together like this.
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