In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, we’ll do a quick 45 minute rundown of 10 features (and one bonus trick) that are relatively unknown or obscure in the world of Photoshop. We’ll talk about a trick to cut out hair and then making edges looks smoother and more perfect. We’ll talk about an amazing color grading technique and replacing colors and even targeting very specific color across a photo–even when that color is very hard to select. We’ll also talk about creating graphical grids, brush tool secrets, rotating the clone and healing brushes for maximum power, camera RAW sharpening hidden viewing mode, and the incredible power of global colors in Photoshop. If you’re a photographer OR graphic designer, this Photoshop tutorial is for you!
Here is a quick outline of five of the ten obscure features in Photoshop:
2nd–Defringing for Better Edges
Once you have cut an object out and have it on it’s own background, you can go Layer>Matte>Defringe and choose to defringe 2px of the edge to remove that little tiny edge of color that is left behind. TIP: If you’re cutting out graphics and the object cut out have a little black or white fringe, you can use the Layer>Matte>Remove Black Matte (or Remove White Matte.) Check out the video to see how I use Color Decontaminate as well!
3rd–The Power of Color LUTs
Open the Adjustment Layers panel and choose to add a Color Lookup Table adjustment and then choose any of the LUTs from the 3D LUT Profile drop-down menu in the options panel. The great thing about these color looks mixed with this Adjustment layer is that you can change it whenever you like or simply adjust the opacity of the layer until you get the perfect look.
When you add a Hue/Saturation adjustment you can use the finger scrubby tool to select and drag the saturation of any color up or down in your image. You can also Cmd/Ctrl + click and slide back and forth to adjust the Hue of that selected color. The real power of this comes when you click and drag the little markers below the color hue strip at the bottom of the options panel and really dial in exactly the color you wish to adjust. TIP: Check out the video at the top of the post to see exactly how I adjust this color selector for maximum precision.
7th–Brush Size/Hardness Hotkey Trick
This is an insanely helpful trick. When you’re using a brush tool hit the hotkey Ctrl + Opt + Left-Click for Mac and Alt + Right-Click for Windows. Drag left/right to adjust the brush size or drag up/down to adjust the hardness of the brush edge.
9th–Hidden Sharpening View Mode in Camera RAW
If you want additional control when sharpening an image, select the layer that contains the image and go Filter>Camera Raw Filter and jump into the Detail tab and hold down the Alt/Opt key when using the sharpness sliders to see exactly what each slider is doing to get an instant view of exactly how you’re editing your sharpness and–most importantly–where the masking slider will mask the sharpness away so you get less noise while sharpening.