Boot Camp Part 2: Photoshop

On Tuesday, February 16, PRSSA hosted the second part of its three-part graphic design boot camp. In the first part, which was held a week earlier, attendees learned the basics of Photography. This second part then focused on the editing of images with the help of Adobe Photoshop. Anna Boone, design editor for the IDS, led the group through a process through which normal images of people can be transformed into exciting and eye catching pop art/stamp-like graphics.

First, everyone chose an image of a person they would like to transform into a graphic. Anna explained step-by-step how to use the pen tool to carefully select only the person in the picture and then redefine the selected area using the feather and shift edge tool. This allows the creation of a precise cut out of the person, which then could be lifted from the background onto a new layer.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 8.50.52 AM
Graphic by Maddy Skirvin

After having adjusted the desired cut out Anna showed us the various filter options that Photoshop has to offer. She cautioned that some of the default settings of the filters would strongly distort the look of the image, so we would have to manually adjust the settings in order to make the image visually more appealing. After having played with a wide variety of filters we chose the cutout filter to achieve the stamp like look. This filter allows the image to look like it consists of only a hand full of shades of grey, black and white.

Lastly, after applying the cutout filter we adjusted the color range to only select the white areas in the picture. This selected area was then deleted and through the help of the rectangular selection tool we created a colorful background, which also filled in the parts where the white areas used to be.

This fairly simple, yet effective, process led to great looking poster-like results. We are excited to learn more about Graphic Design in the third and final part of our boot camp, where we be will introduced to the world of InDesign.



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