But the sophisticated image editor has a daunting learning curve. With so many tools, features, and concepts to get a hold of, new users can be discouraged by dry help files and blind fumbling.
But fear not, gentle reader, for the collective wisdom of YouTubeYouTube is at your disposal. Photoshop tutorials abound on the video network. Some are superb, while others may not be worth your precious clickthrough. For help, check out the resourceful selections below. Whether you’re brand new to Photoshop or a seasoned veteran, there’s always something to learn from the screencasting community.
If you’re looking for a visual way to wrap your head around the basic functions of Photoshop, check out these “101″ resources that take it nice and slow, and don’t assume any prior experience.
1. Workspace Overview
If you’ve never taken up the virtual paintbrush before, get the lay of the land with this overview of the workspace. It will give you a good sense of where the most useful tools and menus live in Photoshop.
2. Tools and Layers
This two-part tutorial breaks down most of the basic tools you’ll need to start your graphic hacking adventures.
If you come away with only one concept from a Photoshop lesson, it should be about layers. Layers are key to everything in Photoshop, but jumping in head-first can often leave new users confused. In addition to rummaging through the toolbox, this video offers a concise, visual explanation of how layers work using a simple drawing exercise.
For Intermediate Users
If you’ve gotten a feel for the software and done your share of image touch-up and manipulation, you may want to kick the program into second gear and start exploring some of the more powerful and creative features. These tutorials will get you going.
3. Blending Modes
Blending modes are connected to layers and are integral for toning photographs and many other graphic manipulations. This screencast will take you through Photoshop’s many blending flavors and hopefully spark some creative ideas for your next epic FacebookFacebook photo.
4. Patching and Healing
So you’ve got your new Facebook photo perfectly toned for maximum epicness — except for that tiny blemish and your annoying little brother who insists on jumping into every frame. That’s where the healing tools come in. With these, you can remove unwanted elements and (with a bit of practice) smooth those adjustments right into the background.
5. Text Effects
Let’s face it: The black and white arial text your rendered in MS Paint simply won’t cut it as your blog’s logo anymore. It’s time to snazz it up with some creative texturing. Check out this two-part tutorial that showcases some of the powerful text manipulation tools at your disposal in Photoshop.
6. Creating Actions
As you start using the software more regularly, you may find you’re repeating the same processes (sizing, filtering, blending, etc.) over and over again. The “Actions” feature lets you record the steps you use frequently and execute them with a single time-saving click or hotkey combination.
For Advanced Users
If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, you surely know what some Photoshop wizards are capable of. While the truly amazing feats require actual artistic talent (for which there is not yet a software substitute), some advanced Photoshop knowhow can go a long way to impressing your social media pals. Even if you’re not up to speed on all the advanced tools, just following along with these example-based lessons will provide a lot of insight into how the pros work their magic.
7. Changing Eye and Hair Color
If you’re due for a new look, but don’t want to drop a pretty penny at the salon, check out this tutorial on how to change eye and hair color for some dramatic portrait results.
8. Photo Combination and Manipulation
And now for some of the cool stuff. Through some clever erasing, blending, smoothing, and layering, this tutorial grafts a roaring lion’s face onto an apple to make for some frightening fruit that even Adam and Eve would have stayed away from.
9. Environmental Effects: Beams of Light
If landscapes are your passion, you can add even more drama to your sweeping vistas with some Photoshop tricks. Here, the designer adds some cloud-bursting light to make for an awe-inspiring desktop wallpaper, or perhaps even a snazzy TwitterTwitter background.
10. Environmental Effects: Fog and Mist
If you’re looking to add a bit of mystery to your recent snapshot, check out this tutorial on adding some rolling fog.
Have you found any other useful Photoshop tutorials on YouTube? Be sure to post the links in the comments below.