Adobe Photoshop Advanced

Textbooks: Advanced Adobe Photoshop CS6 ISBN: 9781133693246 and
Graphic Design Solutions ISBN: 9781133945529
Video Resources: Tips & Techniques | Principles | Projects | Bottom of this page.
Course Length: 150 hours


Course Description

In this course, you will learn how to take your Photoshop skills to the next level. First, you will work with layers and layer styles. Then, you will learn how to adjust images and how to tackle levels, hue/saturation, and curves. You will then begin to design with multiple images and investigate production tricks and tips, including how to create a billboard. Next, you will work with type, shape layers and filters, and then you’ll learn how to retouch images. Finally, you will create special effects, work with blending modes, and explore specific features including Merge to HDR Pro and the unbelievable Puppet Warp.


Course Preparation

Student Data Files:

  1. Textbook Reading: Advanced Adobe Photoshop CS6: “Read This Before You Begin”
  2. Find & Download Advanced Photoshop CS6 Data Files necessary for this course
    • Use the ISBN on the publisher’s site to locate Book Page, Study Tools, Free Materials, etc.
    • Account for all chapters of the book
  3. Move/Copy the downloaded Data Files onto your flash/removable drive
  4. Delete all downloaded Data Files from the lab computer’s “Downloads”, “Documents” and/or “Desktop” folders.
  5. Only store/access/use the Data Files from/to your flash/removable drive (throughout this course)

All Students – Class Server/Lab Computer Usage:

  1. Data Files must NEVER be uploaded to the class server
  2. The ONLY files that will be uploaded are completed assignment files/folders (for grading)
  3. Server space is limited; the privilege of its use can be revoked
  4. Do not attempt to store ANY files on lab computers; they will be erased

Online Students will need to:

  • Purchase the Adobe CC* software, OR
  • Download 30-Day trial software (Photoshop CC* ONLY… NOT entire suite).
    *CS6 trial software is not available for download.

Perform Business Website & Class Server Hygiene:

  1. Remove all InDesign Interactive textbook assignment links from your assignments web page
  2. Do NOT remove the InDesign Interactive final/end-of-week projects from your assignments web page
  3. Remove all of the InDesign Interactive textbook assignments/data files from the class web server


Course Completion Requirements

Tasks & Projects

Complete ALL of the Tasks/Projects below. This course requires you to read and work through all of the step-by-step tutorials in each chapter of Advanced Adobe Photoshop CS6 Revealed. If necessary, Review Program Overview/Expectations. Note: Many projects in this sequential course use “adaptive release” in Blackboard. This means that acquiring access to certain projects/tests is dependent on completion, and submission, of all previous projects/tests.

File Management & Submission Process

    1. Server Set-up: On the class server, create a subfolder (inside your businesswebsite folder) named “photoshop-adv” (all lowercase, no spaces). Set this folder up once; part of the submission process requires that you initially upload your completed Advanced Photoshop assignments (as PDFs or JPEGs) there.
    2. Project Archives: Once a project is finished, always save, but do not submit, native .psd files. These files will NOT be uploaded to the class server. Native files should never be on, or uploaded to the class server. Keep your unflattened Photoshop (.psd) files intact to preserve the useful benefits of layers and editable text for later project/client revisions.
    3. Submission File Format(s): Unless specified otherwise in a project sheet (or the lesson is teaching about resolution), all Photoshop projects/assignments will be submitted as flattened, LoRes PDF or JPEG files. These smaller files help conserve server space.

▸ Create Submission PDF (Instructions Enclosed)

Criteria: Flattened/Non-layered, High Quality, 150 ppiFrom Adobe Photoshop CS6:

  • Always save your unflattened .psd file first (keep it for your project archives)
  • Flatten Image (Layers panel; discard hidden layers)
  • Convert Color Mode (if necessary for project)
    • Image > Mode (Select CMYK, RGB, etc.)
  • File > Save As…
    • Choose Destination (where to save file)
    • Format: Photoshop PDF (pdf)
    • Save: As a Copy
    • Color: Embed Color Profile
    • Delete spaces and/or “copy” from file name
    • Save (Dialog box opens)
  • Adobe PDF Preset > High Quality Print
    • General > Options
      • Deselect: Preserve Photoshop Capabilities
      • Select: All other options
    • Compression > Options
      • Set first text entry fields to: 150 ppi
      • Compression: JPEG
      • Image Quality: High
    • Save PDF (file should self-open for final proofing)
  • Close .psd file and Don’t Save (changes)

▸ Create Submission JPEG (Instructions Enclosed)

Criteria: Flattened/Non-layered, High Quality, 150 ppiFrom Adobe Photoshop CS6:

  • Always save your unflattened .psd file first (keep it for your project archives)
  • Convert Color Mode (if necessary for project)
    • Image > Mode (Select CMYK, RGB, etc.)
  • Adjust Image Size/Resolution
    • Image > Image Size… (Dialog box opens)
    • Deselect: Resample Image
    • Resolution: 150 ppi
    • OK
  • File > Save As…
    • Choose Destination (where to save file)
    • Format: JPEG (jpg)
    • Save: As a Copy (ensures flattening)
    • Color: Embed Color Profile
    • Save (Dialog box opens)
    • JPEG Options
    • Matte: None
    • Quality: 8
    • OK (File is saved)
  • Close .psd file and Don’t Save (changes)

  1. Update Your Local Website:
    • Copy the finished project/assignment file (i.e. submission PDF or JPEG) into your “photoshop-adv” subfolder AND…
    • Adjust all html/code (where necessary) in your “businesswebsite” to link that project file to your “assignments” page AND…
  2. Update Your Remote/Live Website:
    • Upload the finished project/assignment file (i.e. submission PDF or JPEG) into your “photoshop-adv” subfolder (using FileZilla/FTP) AND…
    • Update all html/code/pages (where necessary) in your “businesswebsite” to ensure that all new/modified links function AND…
  3. Submit a (tested/functional) link to your updated (remote/live) “businesswebsite” home page (using correct project DropBox) in Blackboard


Coursework 1: Photoshop Advanced

Days: 5 | PCP 25


Testing: Take the Photoshop-Advanced-PreTest in Blackboard (before reading any chapters)


PSA-CH01: Working with Layers

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH03, CH06
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the CH01 Test in Blackboard


PSA-CH02: Working with Layer Styles

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the CH02 Test in Blackboard


PSA-CH03: Adjusting Levels and Hue/Saturation

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the CH03 Test in Blackboard


Coursework 2: Photoshop Advanced

Days: 5 | PCP 26


PSA-CH04: Working with Curves and Adjusting Color

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH06, CH11
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Skills Review (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the CH04 Test in Blackboard


PSA-CH05: Working with Type and Shape Layers

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the CH05 Test in Blackboard


PSA-CH06: Designing with Multiple Images

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the CH06 Test in Blackboard


Coursework 3: Photoshop Advanced

Days: 5 | PCP 27


PSA-CH07: Investigating Production Tricks and Techniques

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH12
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the CH07 Test in Blackboard


PSA-CH08: Retouching and Enhancing Images

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the CH08 Test in Blackboard


Coursework 4: Photoshop Advanced

Days: 5 | PCP 28


PSA-CH09: Tackling the Tough Challenges

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH09
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 3 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the CH09 Test in Blackboard


PSA-CH10: Creating Special Effects

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the CH10 Test in Blackboard
  4. Testing: Take the Photoshop Final Exam in Blackboard


Video Tutorials: Photoshop Advanced

Watch video(s) before starting related coursework/project below. These resources will help clarify complex topics and greatly reduce the learning curve for building your fundamental skills.


Coursework 5: Photoshop Advanced

Days: 5 | PCP 29


Video Tutorials: Photoshop Advanced

Watch video(s) before starting related coursework/project below. These resources will help clarify complex topics and greatly reduce the learning curve for building your fundamental skills.


Project: PSA-01-Digital-Composition

  1. Review/Study Some Design Inspiration Sites:
  2. When reviewing existing work, keep in mind that your mission is NEVER to outright copy an existing design or concept… it’s both illegal and unethical. Rather, you should use references like these as idea-starters and to discover what’s realistically possible. You should observe the elements, colors, fonts and techniques used, and always seek to explore and further improve on what you’ve learned. Sketching out your rapidly-evolving ideas (while researching online inspiration) can prove to be a very useful means of visual notetaking (i.e. thumbnail/idea doodles).

  3. Review/choose your tutorial. Remember: For this project only employ techniques from “text/typographic effects,” “movie techniques,”
    or “vector effects” categories. You’ll need to drill down in the linked sites to find those that will work for you (and fit this project): Advanced Photoshop Tutorials
  4. Download project-specific files and instructions:
  5. Complete Project: Design awesome things.
  6. Submit Project: In Blackboard, using steps outlined above.


Coursework 6: Photoshop Advanced

Days: 5 | PCP 30


Video Tutorials: Photoshop Advanced

Watch video(s) before starting related coursework/project below. These resources will help clarify complex topics and greatly reduce the learning curve for building your fundamental skills.


Project: PSA-02-Photo-Composition

  1. Review/Study Some Design Inspiration Sites:
  2. When reviewing existing work, keep in mind that your mission is NEVER to outright copy an existing design or concept… it’s both illegal and unethical. Rather, you should use references like these as idea-starters and to discover what’s realistically possible. You should observe the elements, colors, fonts and techniques used, and always seek to explore and further improve on what you’ve learned. Sketching out your rapidly-evolving ideas (while researching online inspiration) can prove to be a very useful means of visual notetaking (i.e. thumbnail/idea doodles).

  3. Review/choose your tutorial. Remember: For this project only employ techniques from the “photo retouching,” “photo manipulation,” “digital coloring,” or “digital painting” categories. You’ll need to drill down in the linked sites to find those that will work for you (and fit this project): Advanced Photoshop Tutorials
  4. Download project-specific files and instructions:
  5. Complete Project: Design impressive things.
  6. Submit Project: In Blackboard, using steps outlined above.

The next course in your curriculum will be Graphic Design. Upon completion of this course, if you do not already have access to the course files in Blackboard, ask your instructor.


Adobe ACA Certification

Pinellas Technical College provides you the opportunity to get the Adobe Photoshop ACA Industry Certification at no cost to you. The college is an official Certiport testing center. Most of the Windows PCs in the lab have Practice Test software already installed. Ask one of the instructors for directions on how to use this Certiport testing software. After you have scored (at least) 900 on the Practice Test, you will be qualified to take the actual Adobe Photoshop ACA Exam (which is provided for you by Pinellas Technical College). After you pass this Certification tell one of the instructors so that they can print out your certificate.


Video Tutorials: Photoshop Advanced

Time Management is the Key!

These optional, but strongly recommended, resources for additional training will help clarify complex topics and greatly reduce the learning curve for building your fundamental skills. Definitely explore and utilize these helpful/educational resources between projects and before/after/outside of class. It’ll be some of the most productive homework you can do for your career!

Advice to the organized, wise students: Because there are many more hours of video tutorials than in-class viewing will feasibly permit, it is recommended that:

  1. Video Tutorials should be chosen selectively (for specific task/project relevance, skill level and length)
  2. Long or Complex Video Tutorials should be viewed (in-depth) before, after, or outside of class
  3. Video Tutorials should be scheduled as meaningful “homework” (necessary for realistic career growth)