Adobe Photoshop is a dream-come-true for any photo-editing or graphics enthusiast. However, the bewildering array of tools and techniques that the software presents can confuse not only the beginners but also those who have been at it for years. Without the slightest intent to make fun of or belittle anyone, here are some of the commonest mistakes that make life harder for the Photoshop artist.
1. Wrong software usage
Agreed that Photoshop is great, but it has not been built to handle some works. For instance, if one were interested in creating fantastic text effects in a body copy, Photoshop would be a bad software choice. That is what InDesign or Adobe Illustrator handle better. Again, while creating logos which would have to be used in many different sizes, Illustrator would be a better program. This is because Photoshop is not a vector-based program and thus it slows down with large file sizes and pixelated smaller file sizes.
2. Faulty use of effects
When one wants to convert an image into a Black & White one, very often, the desiderate command is made use of. The result is a ‘flat’ and lifeless image. A much better idea would be to use the channel mixer that is available under Image > Adjustments. Check off the option for ‘monochrome’ and play with the Red, Blue and Green sliders to achieve a richer effect. While adding effects to text; the bevel and emboss, or the drop shadow features should be added with great care. Otherwise, the result would a sort of a blurring effect. Unless absolutely necessary, it is better to keep away from these effects. Again, while using gradients, it is better to steer clear of rainbow gradients that almost seem to induce a stroke in people!
3. Working method-choice faults
These are problems that newcomers will usually face. For selection, Photoshop provides a variety of tools – the magic wand, the lasso, the marquee and the pen. While the first three are the easiest to use, the pen tool is the best and most precise and accurate. Once you grasp the working with the pen tool, you will almost give up the other methods of selection.
Adding some slight feathering to the selections will help in blending them anywhere. Again, many new designers assume that by setting K in the CMYK to 100 gets them the perfect black. This is not true as it fetches only a dark grey. The better option would be to use the following settings – C=75 M=68 Y=67 K=90. Finally, the thrill of using filters may result in their overuse and potential abuse too! Rather than make the work look professional, over use of filters makes it amateurish.
4. Working non-elegantly
Learning shortcuts is an absolute must in any program and more so in Photoshop. It will save you a lot of time and effort. Also, many tools need keyboard assistance for the added functionality that they possess. Another bad working method is to design without making use of layers and folders. Layers and folders make classification and subsequent rectification possible and easy too.
Though Photoshop provides grids and guides, many of the experienced designers try to do things through eye. This is definitely not recommended. Use what the program provides. While preparing work for print, do not forget to ensure that it is at a resolution of 300 dpi.
Photoshop is a great program and once you get the hang of working on it, it can be a breeze to create magnificent effects and graphics. A little care and understanding will go a long way in a better workflow generation. So, go ahead and create your own masterpieces!