Tutor profile: Jonathan S.
I took a photo of myself and my friend that I want to post on my Instagram page but I want to remove the shaving cut on his chin. How can I do that in Photoshop?
I assume your photo was taken well after your friend shaved and cleaned himself up for the occasion. If so, this should not be a difficult correction to make. 1) After uploading the photo to your computer, open it in Photoshop and save it as a .PSD file. 2) Make a duplicate of the Background layer by dragging it down to the New Layer button in the Layers window. This is a necessary step that allows you to make any changes to the image without losing the original image in case you mess up. Save your work. 3) Look at the photo, especially at the area around your friend’s shaving cut because you need to know the lighting, the shading, the tone, etc. Ask yourself questions like these as you are looking over the picture: - Where is the light source in the photo coming from? - Where is the darkest portion of the area around the shaving cut that I am correcting? - What is the texture of the surrounding surface like and where in the photo can I find another example of that texture? Essentially, what you are going to be doing is covering the shaving cut using the surrounding elements to make a clean-up that looks convincing. If the shaving cut is on your friend’s chin like your question suggests, then it may not be a good idea to sample a portion of your friend’s forehead to cover up the shaving cut since your friend’s forehead in the photo will likely have a different texture, different coloring, different lighting, etc., and viewers will notice this attempt at a cover-up immediately. These steps are good to use for covering up any blemishes other areas you want corrected from photos and not just for shaving cuts. 4) In Photoshop’s Toolbar, select the Spot Healing Brush Tool (its hotkey is J). Next, set the Spot Healing Brush’s size with the bracket keys (the [ key makes the brush size smaller and the ] key makes the brush bigger) to the shaving cut’s WIDTH, not length. Use the Spot Healing Brush to carefully paint over the shaving cut in the duplicated Background layer. If you miss any spots, just paint over them, as well. Save your work. 5) Usually at this point, the job of removing the shaving cut can be called done depending on how the difference between the original photo and the corrected photo. Sometimes, though, the correcting procedure can add some other blemishes and this is where the regular Healing Brush Tool (its hotkey is also J) can come in handy as it will try to match the tone of the correction with its surroundings. Yep, Photoshop uses some pretty crazy algorithms for its functions. After selecting the Healing Brush Tool, get a sample of the correction’s surroundings by holding the Alt key (PC) or the Option key (Mac) and click on a proportion of the image you want to copy the tone from, then begin painting over the correction to blend it in with the image better. Please note that you may have to take several samples from several sides of the correction to make the blend look convincing, and you can adjust the size of the Healing Brush with the bracket keys ( [ and ] ). Save your work if you followed this step to make more changes. 6) If you made a mistake in your correcting the shaving cut that went beyond the range of the shaving cut itself, don’t fret. Just make the duplicated Background layer in the Layers window invisible by clicking on that layer’s “eye”. Use the Lasso Tool from the Toolbar, and on the original Background layer, select the area that was unintentionally changed in its duplicated layer, then copy it (Cntl+C (PC)/Cmd+C (Mac)), and paste it in place (Cntl+V (PC)/Cmd+V (Mac)) as a new layer that is at the top of the layer order. Merge the copied layers together by selecting both of them in the Layers window while holding the Shift key and select Merge Layers under the Layer menu at the top of the Photoshop screen. Save your work if you followed this step to make more changes. 7) If you followed my instructions so far, your friend’s shaving cut should be gone like it was never there. If you want to save it to a format that will work for uploading to the internet, skip head to Step 8. If you want to try some filter effects, try exploring the various fill and adjustment layers in the Layers window (the half-white/half-black circle button at the bottom of the Layers window). These special layers can let you change the image’s colors, tone, intensity, and more. If you are looking for more playful effects, try the Filter Gallery found under the Filter menu at the top of the Photoshop screen. I won’t go into detail about these effects as the task of fixing the shaving cut should be completed by now, but exploring these effects is a good way to learn more about Photoshop’s capabilities. Save any changes you made if you wish. 8) To make your corrected photo ready to post online, click on the File menu, hover over the Export option list, then click on Save For Web (Legacy). In the window that pops up, make sure the format to save the image is set to JPEG, then click “Save…”. Change the name of the image file if you need to, and click Save. Upload your new image to your Instagram page and enjoy the incoming Likes.
I made an awesome design in Adobe Illustrator that I want printed on t-shirts. What should I do to get it ready for a screen printing shop?
That's great that you made an awesome design that you want to put on clothing, and I hope it becomes a worthwhile venture. That said, let's get down to business. Knowing that you designed the work in Adobe Illustrator tells me you have strong knowledge of how the app works and want to take that knowledge further. Follow these steps to prepare your work for screen printing: 1) The first thing you will need to do is make a copy of the file your shirt design is on. This copied file is what you will use to prepare your design for screen printing. Save the copied file as .EPS so it has a better chance of opening on whatever software the screen printing shop has, and convert the color profile to CMYK under File > Document Color Mode. Select the entire design with the Selection Tool from the Toolbar, group it all together (Cntl+G (PC)/Cmd+G (Mac)), open the Transform window from the Window menu at the top of the Illustrator screen and center the whole design on the page, and finally ungroup the whole design (Cntl + Shift + G (PC)/Cmd + Shift + G (Mac)). In the copied file: 2) Convert any and all text used in the design to shapes to avoid font issues with the screen printing business you hire, but check to make sure everything looks correct first. You can do this by clicking the Select menu at the top of the Illustrator screen, then selecting Object > All Text Objects. Next, click the Type menu at the top of the Illustrator screen and select Create Outlines. This will convert all text items into shapes and eliminate any concerns regarding fonts. Save your work. 3) Convert any outlines/strokes, effects, blends, etc. in your design to scalable shapes. You will not want any strokes in your design at this point because strokes tend to retain their thicknesses no matter what size they are scaled to and will thus distort your final design. It's better to have all elements of your design be scalable shapes to keep everything uniform and proportionate. You can pull this off by using the Selection Tool from the Toolbar to click-and-drag over the entire design, then click on the Object menu at the top of the Illustrator screen and select "Expand Appearance" to begin turning everything into scalable shapes. Without deselecting everything in your design, click on the Object menu at the top of the Illustrator screen again then select "Expand..." then a small window will appear. Make sure the checkboxes for Object, Fill and Stroke are all checked, then click OK. Save your work. 4) This next step is more of a quick-and-easy cleanup procedure that is worth repeating between and during future steps to reduce inconvenience and frustration because at various points preparing your design for screen printing, random shapes with no fills and no strokes will appear as unintentional elements to your design that serve no purpose except to complicate your work. To keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by these random elements, draw a shape (be it a rectangle, ellipse, polygon, etc.) and set both its Fill and Stroke to None (white-filled box with a red slash through it). While having that shape still selected, click on the Select menu at the top of the Illustrator screen, then select Same > Fill & Stroke. Then hit Delete, and all of those random shapes will be gone. 5) Make a silhouetted white primer layer that will serve as the base for all the other colors in your design to be printed on top of. This primer layer is especially necessary depending on what color shirts you want your design printed on, as it will allow the other colors in your design to really stand out and not look mixed in with the shirt fabric. You will need to open the Layers window under the Window menu at the top of the Illustrator screen, then click on the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers window to make a new layer for your white primer base, and rename it something like "white" or "primer". Then, select the entire design and copy it with Cntl+C (PC)/Cmd+C (Mac). In the Layers window, select your white primer layer in the Layers window, then Cntl+B (PC)/Cmd+B (Mac) to paste the copied design directly beneath your design, then change the fill color of all of those elements in the white primer layer to white. Save your work. 6) With everything converted to shapes and your white primer layer in place, now it is time to break your design up into into separate layers by spot color using the Layers window. This step is a doozy but is also vital to preparing your design for screen printing, so bear with me. A quick explanation: a spot color is an ink of a specific color that only requires a single run to print rather than multiple runs of different colors to achieve the same color like what you would see from an average four-color process home printer. Libraries of spot colors can be found in the Window menu at the top of the Illustrator screen, then hovering over Swatch Libraries, and click on PANTONE Solid Uncoated. 6A) Create a new layer in the Layers window, and name it the color you want to show in there. A good idea would be have the color layers gradually go from lightest colors at the bottom gradually going to the darkest colors at the top. For an example of layer order in the Layers window, from the bottom to the top: white, yellow, cyan, orange, green, magenta, red, violet, blue, indigo, black. How do I know this order? I put the colors of the rainbow into grayscale and went from lightest to darkest. I am not saying you need to use all of these colors, this example is meant to give you an idea of the color spectrum to lay out for screen printing. IMPORTANT: Do this step for every color in your design, and save your work after completing each color layer. 6B) Now select an element of color in your design, go to the Select menu at the top of the Illustrator screen, hover over Same, then click Fill color in the Same submenu. Cut those shapes with Cntl+X (PC)/Cmd+X (Mac), select their corresponding layer in the Layers window, then paste them in place with Cntl+F (PC)/Cmd+F (Mac). 6C) Choose the PANTONE spot colors that match closest to the colors in your design. It needs to be a spot color in order for the screen printing process to print the colors fully and not with those tiny dots you find in four-color process printing. Do this step for all of the colors in your design, then make sure EVERYTHING in each layer is ungrouped entirely (Shift + Cntl + G (PC)/Shift + Cmd + G (Mac) repeatedly) because the next sub-step (6D) cannot be done properly. 6D) Once you have all of your colors in their respective layers, you will need to start doing some trimming as colors from a higher-stacked layer may be blocking colors beneath them that are supposed to be seen in the design. The Pathfinder window found under the Windows menu at the top of the Illustrator screen can help you a lot with this, particularly its Minus Front function with which you can copy lower-layered shapes, paste them in front (Cntl+F (PC)/Cmd+F (Mac)) in the color layer you are currently editing, and have said copied shapes act like cookie cutters. Use your original design file for visual reference, and repeat as necessary: 6D-i) Select lower color layer in the Layers window where trimming shape is found 6D-ii) Select shape to use for trimming in lower color layer 6D-iii) Copy (Cntl+C (PC)/Cmd+C (Mac)) selected shape 6D-iv) Select currently edited color layer in the Layers window 6D-v) Paste your trimming shape in front (Cntl+F (PC)/Cmd+F (Mac)) and bring to the front (Shift + Cntl + ] (PC)/Shift + Cmd + ] (Mac)) as you need to. 6D-vi) Select both the trimming shape and the shape to be trimmed with your mouse + the Shift key, then click on the Minus Front button in the Pathfinder window. 6D-vii) This may be a good time to regularly use the cleanup process I described in Step 4 since those awkward random no-fill/no-stroke shapes tend to show up during this sub-step. 6D-viii) Save your work. 7) Sorry about that last step being so crazy but the screen printing shop can appreciate you for doing it, and reducing guesswork on their end can help get your order done faster and more affordably. There is one more step to get your design ready for screen printing, and that's putting registration marks around the entire design so that all the colors will be printed in the proper locations to ensure your design will look clean, even, and awesome on shirts. Create a new layer in the Layers window, rename it "registration", and put it at the very top of the layer order in that window. This layer will be visible for all the color layers when the screens are being prepped at the shop. Save your work. 7A) Head over to the Toolbar and set the Fill color to None and the Outline color to Registration, and click the Ellipse Tool. Draw a small, perfect circle with the Ellipse Tool by holding the Shift key then click-and-drag the mouse. Next, take the Pen Tool, hold the Shift key, and click two times to draw a straight line from up-to-down or left-to-right. Then select that line with the Selection Tool, copy it (Cntl+C (PC)/Cmd+C (Mac)), paste it in front (Cntl+F (PC)/Cmd+F (Mac)), and hold the Shift key again to rotate it 90 degrees. Then select both lines and the circle you just drew and make sure they are aligned entirely centered, then group them (Cntl+G (PC)/Cmd+G (Mac)) to make the registration mark. Your registration mark should look like a cross inside of a circle. The Align window under the Windows menu at the top of the Illustrator screen can speed up this step with its Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center. Save your work. You may be thinking, "Wait a minute, the Outline color for these lines is supposed to be set to 'Registration', but why do they appear to be black?" Though the outline color of the lines you drew looks black in Illustrator, they will be printed in all colors at the screen printing shop. 7B) Select your newly group circle and lines in your Registration layer, copy it (Cntl+C (PC)/Cmd+C (Mac)), then paste it three times (Cntl+V (PC)/Cmd+V (Mac) x3). This next part is something I learned from a screen printing service that was really helpful. You will need the Align window with its Options portion open (found in the upper right corner of the Align window, looks like three tiny bars) and the Transform window for this sub-step. Take three of those registration marks you have and line them up above your shirt design at about the width of the whole shirt design. With those three registration marks still selected, click on the Vertical Align Center function in the Pathfinder window to ensure those marks are in a straight row, then click on the Horizontal Distribute Space function located in the options portion at the bottom of the Pathfinder window to evenly space the three registration marks above the shirt design. Group the three marks together with Cntl+G (PC)/Cmd+G (Mac). Next, you want to center those registration marks with the shirt design. The easiest way to do this sub-step is to take your Selection tool from the Toolbar and click-and-drag over the whole shirt design, then look to the Transform window to find the design’s center point. You will see nine tiny squares in the Transform window which serve as the reference points for any and every selection in Illustrator, four on the sides, four in the corners, and one in the absolute center. Make sure the absolute center reference point is selected and copy its X coordinate field. Then select the group of registration marks above the shirt design and paste the number you just copied into that selected group’s X coordinate field in the Transform window. Place the last registration mark below the design and while it is selected, paste the same absolute center coordinate you copied earlier into the last registration mark’s absolute center x-coordinate field. Your registration marks are now in place in the Registration layer, so save your work and your design is ready to send to the screen printing shop.
I want to design a tri-fold brochure for my business. Why should I use Adobe InDesign to do this project rather than use Adobe Illustrator?
It is not my place to tell you what software you should use to design a tri-fold brochure. Both InDesign and Illustrator are able to make multiple columns of text and can wrap text around images you add to the design, and either design app will get the job done with amazing results. The differences between your choice of graphic software depend on speed and efficiency. The matter also depends on how much information you intend to put in your brochure design and how many brochures you want to print. If you need to design and print brochures in significant quantities while having the ability to quickly edit any errors before production, however, I would recommend InDesign. Let me explain why. First is the matter of setting up a three-column layout for your brochure. There are several ways to draw up a three-column layout in Illustrator manually, but InDesign offers the option of selecting the number of columns you want and setting up the margins when you start a new file, allowing you to begin designing without further setup unless needed. Next, there is stylizing the text quickly. Like any app with editable text, the text in either Illustrator or InDesign has to be highlighted in order to stylize it. With Illustrator, you to repeatedly stylize every piece of text manually which could take a while to finish. InDesign, on the other hand, allows you to apply Character Styles and Paragraph Styles (found in the Styles submenu under the Window menu) with set fonts, font styles, colors, kerning, leading, and so on with a single click of your mouse. You can also edit these style settings and any changes you make will affect all text under those particular style settings. You will see that InDesign works noticeably faster with text styling. Finally, there is the matter of preparing the tri-fold brochure design for production. You should anticipate that the print shop you are having print your brochures will likely not have the same fonts and font styles you used for your brochure design. You will also need to make sure the images you used in your brochure design are included by being embedded or linked. Illustrator requires you to manually embed or link all of the images in the design, and also convert all text to outlines/shapes so it will print the fonts you want the brochure to show. Just make sure you save an editable backup file for the Illustrator brochure design in case there are any errors to correct, at which point you will have to repeat the manual packaging process again before you can send it to be printed. Fortunately, InDesign has a function under the File menu called "Package..." which takes care of all that inconvenience for you so all you have to do is read through the list and click OK. You can even edit the InDesign document afterwards if you notice any errors in it before sending it to the print shop without the need for a backup file. As I said earlier, it is your decision to use whatever software you are comfortable using to design a tri-fold brochure but I hope what I have said helps you understand the necessity for speed and efficiency that InDesign offers for page layout design over Illustrator.
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