Adobe Photoshop

Textbooks: Adobe Photoshop CS6 Revealed ISBN: 9781133693222 and
Graphic Design Solutions ISBN: 9781133945529
Video Resources: Tips & Techniques | Principles | Projects | Bottom of this page.
Course Length: 150 hours


Course Description

Adobe Photoshop is an extremely powerful Image Editing tool that enables you to manipulate, create and enhance raster images. Rasterized (bitmapped) images are resolution dependent and therefore cannot be resized larger without loss of quality. For best results the source resolution must always be factored into the image acquisition process (i.e. enough pixel data) to ensure quality output.


Course Preparation

Student Data Files:

  1. Textbook Reading: Adobe Photoshop CS6 Revealed: “Read This Before You Begin”
  2. Find & Download 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 Illustrator textbook assignment links from your assignments web page
  2. Do NOT remove the Illustrator final/end-of-week projects from your assignments web page
  3. Remove all of the Illustrator 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 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 Folder Set-up:
    • You will create course folders INSIDE of your “businesswebsite” folder (on the class server) to keep all the files sorted.
    • Setting up these empty course folders beforehand creates an organized place to put your many, many uploads.
    • Create a hierarchal series of NESTED subfolders (all lowercase, hyphens in place of spaces):
      • “photoshop”
      • “ch01”, “ch02”, “ch03”… (or “ch-01”, “ch-02”, “ch-03”…)
      • “sr”, “pb1”, “pb2”, “dp”, “pp” (or “skills-review”, “project-builder-01”, “project-builder-02”, “design-project”, “portfolio-project”)
      • “appendix”
    • Arrange the nested subfolders, on the class server, as such:
      • businesswebsite
        • photoshop
          • ch01
            • sr (for skills-review file submissions, PDFs, etc.)
            • pb1 (for project-builder-01 file submissions, PDFs, etc.)
            • pb2 (for project-builder-02 file submissions, PDFs, etc.)
            • dp (for design-project file submissions, PDFs, etc.)
            • pp (for portfolio-project file submissions, PDFs, etc.)
          • ch02
            • sr (for skills-review file submissions…)
            • pb1 (for project-builder-01 file submissions…)
            • pb2 (for project-builder-02 file submissions…)
            • dp (for design-project file submissions…)
            • pp (for portfolio-project file submissions…)
          • ch03…
          • appendix
            • b-01 (ONLY appendix-b file submissions…)
            • b-02 (ONLY appendix-b file submissions…)
            • b-03 (ONLY appendix-b file submissions…)…
  2. Project Archives:
    • Once a project is complete, always save your UNFLATTENED, native Photoshop (.psd) files for your archives.
      • Native .psd files are NEVER uploaded to the class server.
      • Native .psd files are NEVER submitted in this course.
      • Unflattened files preserve layers and editable text for (the inevitable) project/client revisions, later.
    • These, or any, archived files will be stored on your removable drive ONLY.
  3. Submission File Format(s):
    • All Photoshop projects/assignments must be submitted as FLATTENED PDF or JPEG files (unless specified otherwise in a project sheet, or the lesson is teaching about resolution).
    • Use detailed instructions below to create submission PDFs or JPEGs.
    • These smaller files help conserve server space.
    • ▸ Create Submission PDF (Instructions Enclosed)

      Criteria: Flattened (Non-layered), High Quality, at 72 ppi, 150 ppi or 300 ppi (depending on native file resolution).


        Example from Adobe Photoshop CS6, Mac OS X:

      • Always save your unflattened .psd file first (keep it for your own project archives)
      • Flatten Image (Layers panel; discard hidden layers)
      • Find/Confirm (and note) the Resolution (Pixels/Inch) of the native project file that you create. It will be something like 72 ppi, 150 ppi, 200 ppi, 300 ppi, etc. Unless a different target resolution is specified, you’ll be using that same (or lower) resolution for your digital outputs.
        • Image > Image Size (Note: Resolution [     ] Pixels/Inch)
      • Convert Color Mode (if necessary for project)
        • Image > Mode (Select CMYK, RGB, etc.)
      • File > Save As…
        • Delete any spaces and the word “copy” from file name
        • Choose Destination (where to save the file)
        • Format: Photoshop PDF (pdf)
        • Save: As a Copy
        • Color: Embed Color Profile
        • 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: 72 ppi, 150 ppi or 300 ppi (match native file resolution)
          • 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, at 72 ppi, 150 ppi or 300 ppi (depending on native file resolution).


        Example from Adobe Photoshop CS6, Mac OS X:

      • Always save your unflattened .psd file first (keep it for your own project archives)
      • Find/Confirm (and note) the Resolution (Pixels/Inch) of the native project file that you create. It will be something like 72 ppi, 150 ppi, 200 ppi, 300 ppi, etc. Unless a different target resolution is specified, you’ll be using that same (or lower) resolution for your digital outputs.
        • Image > Image Size (Note: Resolution [     ] Pixels/Inch)
      • 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: Set at 72 ppi, 150 ppi or 300 ppi (match native file resolution)
        • 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)

  4. Update Your Local Website:
    • Copy the finished project/assignment file (i.e. submission PDF) into the correct “photoshop” nested subfolder (ex: “design-project”).
    • Add/adjust related html/code in your local “businesswebsite” to link that new project file to your “assignments” page.
    • Test the new link locally for functionality and accuracy.
  5. Update Your Remote/Live Website:
    • Upload (using FileZilla/FTP) your finished project/assignment file (i.e. submission PDF) into the correct “photoshop” nested subfolder (ex: “design-project”).
    • Update related html/code in your remote “businesswebsite” to link that new project file to your “assignments” page.
    • Test the new link remotely for functionality and accuracy.
  6. Submit the new link to your updated (remote/live) “businesswebsite” home page:
    • Use correct project DropBox in Blackboard.
    • Test the submitted link in Blackboard for functionality and accuracy.


Coursework 1: Photoshop (PS)

Days: 5 | PCP 19


Testing: Take the PS-Pre-Test in Blackboard (before reading any chapters)


Video Tutorials: Photoshop

Optional: Watch these overview, and targeted, 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.


PS-CH01: Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop CS6

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH10
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1
    • Project Builder 2
    • Design Project
    • Portfolio Project
  4. Testing: Take the PS-01-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH02: Learning Photoshop Basics

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: After you’ve entered your critique, in the Description section of each PSD file (step 6), save the two files as two separate PDFs (submit in Blackboard, both links in the same dropbox, using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project: Create document in Word, then save as a PDF (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-02-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH03: Working with Layers

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-03-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH04: Making Selections

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH06
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: Note: Step 2 (600px W x 800px H @ 72 ppi); Submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the PS-04-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH05: Incorporating Color Techniques

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-05-Test in Blackboard


Coursework 2: Photoshop (PS)

Days: 5 | PCP 20


PS-CH06: Placing Type in an Image

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project: Note: Step 1 (1200px W x 800px H @ 72 ppi); Submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above
  3. Testing: Take the PS-06-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH07: Using Painting Tools

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: Create document in Word, then save as a PDF (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project: Note: Step 1 (use width dimensions between 720px to 1200px W @ 72 ppi); Submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above
  3. Testing: Take the PS-07-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH08: Working with Special Layer Functions

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-08-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH09: Creating Special Effects with Filters

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH13
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the PS-09-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH10: Enhancing Specific Selections

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-10-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH11: Adjusting Colors

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-11-Test in Blackboard


Coursework 3: Photoshop (PS)

Days: 5 | PCP 21


PS-CH12: Using Clipping Masks, Paths, and Shapes

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-12-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH13: Transforming Type

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH07, CH12
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the PS-13-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH14: Liquifying an Image

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: Create document in Word, then save as a PDF (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-14-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH15: Performing Image Surgery

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: Create document in Word, then save as a PDF (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-15-Test in Blackboard


Coursework 4: Photoshop (PS)

Days: 5 | PCP 22


PS-CH16: Annotating and Automating an Image

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH13
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1: After Step 11 is complete, take a screen shot that includes your image frame and actions panel (it should resemble Fig. 32).
        Screen Shot Basics [Mac]

      • Cmd+Shift+4 (to prompt cursor) > Left-Click-Drag a rectangular marquee around the specific target area and release (a pre-named, time-stamped PNG will be saved to desktop)
      • Open and rename the file and save it as a .png
        Screen Shot Basics [PC]

      • Windows Start icon > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool > Left-Click-Drag a rectangular marquee around the specific target area and release (a PNG will appear in a Save As dialog box)
      • Rename the file and save it as a .PNG

      Submit .png in Blackboard; using steps outlined above

    • Project Builder 2: After Step 11 is complete, take a screen shot that includes your image frame, actions panel and layers panel (it should basically resemble Fig. 33). Submit .png in Blackboard; using steps outlined above
    • Design Project: Note: Step 3 (600px W x 800px H @ 72 ppi); after Step 10 is complete, take a screen shot that includes your image frame actions panel and layers panel (it should basically resemble Fig. 34). Submit in Blackboard: Your screen shot .png and the URL for the Photoshop Action you found/used from the internet.
    • Portfolio Project: Note: For Step 1 use: 600px W x 800px H @ 72 ppi; after Step 9 is complete, take a screen shot that includes your image frame actions panel and layers panel (it should basically resemble Fig. 35). Submit .png in Blackboard; using steps outlined above
  4. Testing: Take the PS-16-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH17: Creating Images for the Web

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1: Build your file as 600px W x 480px H @ 72 ppi. Design/demonstrate at least 16-20 different Photoshop button styles in the sampler you create. Submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above
    • Project Builder 2: Provide a link to a PDF of your Word .doc (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: Provide a link to a PDF of your Word .doc (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project: Build your file as 600px W x 480px H @ 72 ppi. After Step 5 is complete, take a screen shot of your entire file with guides and slices showing (it should resemble Fig. 24). Submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above
  3. Testing: Take the PS-17-Test in Blackboard


PS-CH18: Working with Animation, Video, & Photography

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2: Aim for a total length of :08 to :12 seconds. Note: For Step 2 (650px W x 225px H @ 72 ppi). After Step 9, with Countdown Browser.psd open, File > Export > Render Video… > Format (H.264) > Render. Animation file is created (submit .mp4 in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: Aim for a total length of :08 to :12 seconds. Note: Step 2 (650px W x 225px H @ 72 ppi). After step 9, with Banners et al.psd open, File > Export > Render Video… > Format (H.264) > Render. Animation file is created (submit .mp4 in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project: Aim for a total length of :08 to :12 seconds. Note: Step 2 (650px W x 225px H @ 72 ppi). After step 9, with Wake Up.psd open, File > Export > Render Video… > Format (H.264) > Render. Animation file is created (submit .mp4 in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the PS-18-Test in Blackboard


Coursework 5: Photoshop

Days: 5 | PCP 23


PS-Appendix-B-Portfolio-Projects

  1. Projects: Complete the following for this section:
    • PS-B-Portfolio-Project 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • PS-B-Portfolio-Project 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • PS-B-Portfolio-Project 3 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • PS-B-Portfolio-Project 4 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • PS-B-Portfolio-Project 5 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • PS-B-Portfolio-Project 6 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • PS-B-Portfolio-Project 7 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • PS-B-Portfolio-Project 8 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  2. Testing: Take the PS-Final-Exam in Blackboard


Coursework 6: Photoshop (PS)

Days: 5 | PCP 24


Video Tutorials: Photoshop

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: PS-01-Portfolio-Web

  1. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH13
  2. Download project-specific files and instructions:
  3. Simply put, for this project, you’re basically creating a rudimentary “gallery page” for your portfolio pieces (to date). In essence you’ll have a select collection of smaller image files (aka thumbnails) that will link to/open larger image files for better viewing.

    This is definitely an exploration phase for your portfolio building skills. Keep in mind that a major point of the project is that your solution must be a functionally-coded page with links that that operate in a browser. There are many different ways to solve this (slideshows/carousels/simple grid layout/template/css fixes/etc.) without too many project restrictions.

    To expedite your research and inspiration, this strong collection of portfolio and gallery building resources should help get/keep you moving in the right direction. Review these and beyond to explore what your different options might be. You can also inspect what some classmates have done to reach similar goals.

    You might be ready to dig into coding for Responsive Web Design, which is the logical next level for good development practices. To improve on your coding skills focus on the resources/tutorials/files found in TechCrunch under the two main categories HTML/CSS Basics and Responsive Resources. It may also prove useful for you to read through the HTML textbook Unit-L (which introduces Javascript basics). This will explain how to properly insert various scripts (that you encounter) into your HTML.

  4. Complete Project: Design awesome things.
  5. Submit Project: In Blackboard, using steps outlined above.

Congratulations, you’ve completed the first half of the program. The next course in your curriculum will be Photoshop-Advanced. 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 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

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)