CS 325 and Film 385: Introduction to Photoshop

Highlights of this lab:

  • What is Photoshop?
  • The Photoshop Workspace
  • Picture Image Manipulation (Size, Colour, Frames, etc)
  • Image Construction
  • Assignment

:: What is Photoshop? ::

Adobe Photoshop is one of the industry standards for desktop image editing and graphic manipulation. With it you can scan images, make original art, or composite images as well as colour correction, retouching and other image manipulations.

:: The Photoshop Workspace ::

The Photoshop workspace consists of four main components:

Below is a furthur detailed explanation of some of the 4 main components that is photoshop

The Menu:

The Menu contains controls for common functions such as opening and saving files, as well as specific functions, such as copying and pasting, calling up specific windows or Palettes, and controlling the Photoshop workspace.

The Toolbox:

The main toolbar is reproduced below. It contains a collection of tools for creating, selecting, and manipulating images.

:: Picture Image Manipulation (Size, Colour, Frames, etc) ::

Save the following image on your computer (right click and "save"). It is the image we will be working with to demonstrate how to manipulate images using photoshop. Please note that this image was taken from The Official Lord of the Rings website (Just for copyright mumbo-jumbo)

Aside (From last years lab): Make sure mode is RGB colour so that the image can be manipulated

Save the image by clicking:

Selecting Graphics:

Photoshop provides 3 simple tools for selection:

You'll find them at the top of the toolbar. In addition, you can use commands on the Select menu. Select each of these and see what they can do

If you would like to combine actions simply hold the shift key down when creating the selections. Holding the alt key down while creating additional selections causes the new selections to be subtracted from the already created selection. Holding the alt & shift keys down while making a selection causes the new selection to be intersected with the original selection!

Colour Manipulation:

There are a number of ways to select a colour in Photoshop:


To zoom-in on a part of an image, select the zoom tool from the main palette, then move the cursor over the part that you wish to zoom-in on and click the left mouse button. To zoom-out, hold the alt key down and click the left mouse button.

Paint Tools:

While Photoshop is quite limited in the range and power of the drawing tools available (no circles!) they can be used to draw a wide variety of shapes.

Editing Tools:

These editing tools (like the paint tools) will either work on the whole of the current layer or on the currently selected area...


One of Photoshop's most powerful and most popular features is Layers. Conceptually, layering is very simple: imagine drawing an image on a number of transparent sheets, laying the sheets on top of each other and then copying those sheets to produce a final image.

To demonstrate how layers work let us frame our friendly little character picture of everyones favourite villian

:: Image Construction ::

Seeing how I have already devulged by nerdness, why stop here? What we are going to do now is construct our own image. Since I have already shown my fantasy nerd ways with Gollum, let's go to space and make a planet that the folks from Farscape might pass on their journeys...or maybe a planet that the fine folks from the SGC (Stargate Command) might visit!

:: Assignment ::

For this lab assignment I want you to create a photoshop project and either enhance a photograph using the tools in photoshop or construct an image using photoshop.

Submit your photoshop project file(s) on Web-CT before the due date...which is October 11th at 11:00am, in the assignments folder using the link for this lab assignment.

Note: If you choose option 1, i.e. enhance a picture, make sure you submit both the original picture and the enhanced picture so I can compare the 2.

:: Online Source(s) ::