Category Archives: Tutorials

Old Text on Older Brick – A Photoshop Tutorial

Letters Photoshopped onto a brick wall
You can drive through just about any small old town and see signs painted on the sides of brick buildings. Cheaper and longer lasting than wooden signs, these relics only fare as well as their media, many fading and chipping in their age. It’s the character of these signs that I was looking for in a recent project. Continue reading Old Text on Older Brick – A Photoshop Tutorial


Bad Hair Day? 3 Good Ways To Cut Out Hair In Photoshop

Image courtesy of: imagerymajestic /
Image courtesy of: imagerymajestic /

Here it comes, the project all graphic designers dread… Cutting out hair. Sure it’s pretty easy to just use the pen tool to go around the general shape of the head and snip off all those pesky stray hairs, but other than adding another head, there really isn’t anything more unnatural looking. Lets face it, you can’t individually trace around every hair and still have a productive work day.

So what is the best solution for the problem? Well, there isn’t one perfect solution. Since every photo is going to have it’s own set of variables, the real solution is to know a few good methods for solving the problem. Here are the three I use most often.

1. Selecting & Extracting Hair – Masking Tutorial – Extraction Tips

This is one I like when there is a fair amount of contrast between the subjects hair and the background, but has many stray hairs as part of the composition. It has a few too many steps for me to use real often, but it does a great job under certain circumstances.

Also, recognize this is actually a Photoshop Elements tutorial. There are some differences between Elements and Photoshop Pro, but if you know anything at all about Photoshop then it’s pretty easy to figure out ways around it.

2. New Techniques for Cutting Out Hair in Photoshop CS5

This is my favorite of the three. It uses the Refine Edge palette which is still fairly new. My only issue with it is that photos with certain highlights will sometimes loose their opacity in those areas. There are of course ways to work around this, but if this is going to be an issue you might want to try one of the other two techniques instead.

3. Select Hair by Using Channels

Here’s an oldie but goodie. The method is a bit oversimplified in this particular tutorial so it might not be perfect for your particular situation, but it gives the basics of using Channels. Personally this is about the only time I touch Channels so I’m not very well versed with all of their possibilities. I do know people who swear by them and can use them for what seem to be just about any situation.

Hopefully these three will do the trick if you’re having a bad hair day.

Quicktip: Customizing Main and Panel Menus in Photoshop CS5

Keyboard Shortcut and Menu Palette

With a large variety of new tools and capabilities in Photoshop CS5, it’s hard to tell at first glance what is new and what isn’t. Even if you’re aware of many of the new features, you’ve no doubt heard of Puppet Warp, there are others that remain hidden. But don’t think hidden is unimportant.

Continue reading Quicktip: Customizing Main and Panel Menus in Photoshop CS5

Quick Link – Lorem Ipsum

Just about all designers know what lorem ipsum is… well, not what it means obviously, but what it’s function is. That’s right, it’s placeholder text. One of the great timesavers when you don’t have the copy that your client will be using.

Today’s link is to HTML-Ipsum, a site containing filler text for various HTML needs. Bookmark it and save yourself time in your website design.

Design Do’s and Don’ts for Mobile Websites

Many experienced web designers may have a tendency to drop the ball on their first mobile websites. As a rule of thumb, a designer creates a website not just for functionality but for aesthetics… they want their site to look good. Though the look of a site plays a major role in mobile sites as well, it is functionality that the designer must focus on. Not since the 1990’s have websites been designed strictly for content, so that’s a skill we need to revisit, with a touch of finesse. Continue reading Design Do’s and Don’ts for Mobile Websites