In this fast-paced and hard-hitting Photoshop tutorial, we’ll cover ten different features, tricks, and hotkeys that you probably don’t know. We’re going to change that! We’ll explore the Revert Reconstruction option, The Rubber Band Feature, Preserving Transparency with a hotkey, Spring-Loaded Hand and Zooming, Using Channels to create black and white images, Loading channels as a selection and masking with channels, previewing Adjustment Layers with a hotkey, Scrubby sliders with precision and arrow keys in input fields, Lens Flare placement exactly where you want it (finally!), Adding filters with customization a second time, and some bonus action with the Rulers in Photoshop. If you like Photoshop, you’re going to love this video!
Let’s take a look at a preview of 5 of the ten obscure tips and tricks that are covered in more detail in the video above (Watch that to see all the details and a bonus tip too)
Rubber Band w/ Pen Tool
To assist you in creating paths when you need to trace any object(s) in Photoshop, you can grab the Pen Tool and look to the control bar at the top of the window and find the gear icon and click it. Tick on the “Rubber Band” option and then when you create a path, the Pen Tool will show you where the path will go before you commit to creating a new anchor point.
When you’re working on an image, you can always hold the Spacebar down to temporarily switch to the Hand tool and drag around the image to navigate, but you can use the hotkey Alt/Opt + Spacebar to temporarily switch to the Magnifying Glass and zoom in or out as needed. When you release the hotkey, you return to your active tool.
Create a Black and White with Channels
Jump into your Channels panel (Window>Channels) and choose a channel that looks good as a black and white photo and right-click on it and choose “Duplicate Channel” and set the Destination Document to “New” and give the new document a name. In this new document, go Image>Mode>Grayscale to get the image into a mode where we can use some Adjustments and increase contrast, etc…
Load Channel as a Selection
You can quickly load any channel as a selection by using the hotkey Cmd/Ctrl + Alt/Opt + Shift + 2. Replace the “2” with the number associated with the channel you wish to load as a selection. Typically 2 = RGB composite. 3 = Red. 4 = Green. 5 = Blue. Check out the video around the 12:25 mark to see how I used this technique to create a mask to control a grain effect on my photo.
Lens Flare Precise Placement
When you create a lens flare with the filter in Photoshop, you can’t choose exactly where you want to place it, that is unless you know the secret hotkey. Create a new layer and fill that layer with black and then open the Info panel (Window>Info) and hover the cursor over the area you want the lens flare to appear and take note of the X and Y numbers. Go Filter>Render>Lens Flare and once the dialog box appears Alt/Opt click the preview window and enter those X and Y numbers and then commit that change and create the lens flare. Set that layer to the blend mode Screen and you’re finished!
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