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Image Bank

⦁ Introduction

⦁1. Getting Started

⦁ Lesson 2
Airbrushing a B&W photo

⦁ Lesson 3
Selection tools

⦁ Lesson 4
Intro to Masking

⦁ Lesson 5
More with Masking

Ready to have some fun??? Just a few more things to go over first.

Lets turn off the practice document you made, (don't save,) and open a picture to work on.

If you want to work on the same image I used here click on the IMAGE BANK button to the left, and find one called "flower girl."
Click on it to open the large version and save to your computer.

If you have an image of your own to use all the better.
Even color ones can be converted to black and white and then colorized this way.


Opening an image.

This point confuses beginners all the time so I thought I'd better go over this now.

If you just click on an image saved to your computer somewhere to open it, unless that image is a Photoshop document it probably will not open IN Photoshop.

Any image you pull off my image bank, or anywhere off the internet for that matter, will NOT be a "Photoshop" document. It is a jpeg file. Many different applications can read jpeg files but your computer will automatically try to open it the easiest way possible. On my mac, something called "jpeg viewer" opens. That's fine if all I want to do is see the image but it's not in Photoshop.

Images taken with a digital camera will do the same thing. If you just click on an image, it will open your camera software.
Or, "the application that created it."

To open an image and get it into Photoshop, you must do it from within Photoshop.
With Photoshop running, go to FILE/OPEN and now it's just a matter of finding your image wherever you have it saved.


Zoom tool
Before we get started I have just one more tool to go over. The magnifying tool, or "zoom" tool.

Select that tool and move it somewhere on your image. Note the little + sign in the center of the tool? Click and it zooms in closer.

To zoom out, hold down your option/alt key. Note the sign turned into a - sign. Now click and your image zooms back out.


If you just click on your image to zoom in, how much it zooms in is arbitrary. Usually not zooming in enough, or zooming in too much.

A better way to use your zoom tool is to click and drag a box around the area you want to look closer at. The area selected that way will then fill your document window. You can select a very small box and actually see the individual pixels if you want. Or draw a larger box and just zoom in a little. This is a much better way of zooming in. It gives you more control of what, and how much you want to see.

Look at the bottom of your document window.
At the lower left is a %. You can just type in a number there to zoom in or out as well. It's not as accurate as using the tool in that you can't select a specific area to zoom in on.


Color mode.

If you just scanned a black and white image as a gray scale image, it must be converted to a color file before you can colorize anything.

If you are going to use a color image you will need to first remove the color by converting it to grayscale, then convert it again to a colorizable RGB file.

Even the black and white photos I have in the image bank will show up in Photoshop as "color" files. It's just the nature of how they have to be saved for the internet.

Confused? Don't be. This is simple.

Go to IMAGE/MODE in your menu bar. A color image, (again even the black and whites here are "color" images,) will probably have RGB checked off.

To remove all color, scroll down to GRAYSCALE and let go. A window will appear asking if you want to discard color. Click yes, or OK. (Images already scanned as black and white will show up with grayscale already checked.)

Then go back to the same place, IMAGE/MODE and scroll down to RGB COLOR and release. You now have a black and white image ready for airbrushing. We are ready to have some fun!


Setting up layers.

Any time I work on a photograph I like to make a duplicate of it first. It's just an insurance policy. If I make a mistake and erase the wrong layer, and ruin my photo, this saves time from having to trash my messed up image, and go open the original again, and convert it again... grrrrr!

You may not have to do this but I guarantee, mess up and lose hours of work just once and you'll wish you would have remembered this tip.

In your layers palette, in that upper right hand arrow, scroll down to DUPLICATE LAYER.

Now you will have an exact copy of your photo. In the bottom most layer, your background layer, click the "eyeball" icon off. Again, you'll probably not need that background layer but it's nice to know you have the original if you need it.


That all being said, create a new layer. For this lesson it's best if you actually name your layers since your going to end up with several.
Start by calling this one "flowers." (assuming your working on the same image.)

Your going to do ALL your painting on blank layers above your image. Remember, "clear pains of glass" with transparant paint.
If your new layer isn't on top of the others, drag it above them now.


Your layers should look like the example below.

Be aware of what layer is active when you work! To activate a layer, simply click on the layer name one time.
(double clicking will bring up a layer styles palette which we don't need for this. If you do my mistake, just click cancel.)

Once again, click the layer name once to activate it. You know which layer is active because it is highlighted.


We are finally ready to colorize.

Go select your airbrush tool. Pick a color from your swatches palette.
Set your brush size. For this type of work large, fuzzy edge brushes work best. Mine was almost as big around as the flowers.
Set the brush opacity very low. Mine was at 19%.

Now spray some color onto the flowers. Be careful not to spray too long or you'll cover them up. Keep it transparent.


If you apply too much color?

Get your eraser tool.
Give it the same settings as your airbrush or perhaps even less opacity.
Remove as much color as needed to give you a more even coverage.


Practice what you've learned for awhile. This is very important.

Get used to switching from one tool to another, zooming in and out, changing brush sizes and opacitie settings and above all, get used to creating layers. Many layers. Put every item you colorize on it's own layer and name them so you don't get confused as to where you put everything.

Once you have the feel for how this works your ready for the next step.

But please, do practice to this point first!

Ready??? Go to the Next Page. Read on.