Best way to introduce students to Photoshop

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 by Arthur Aghajanian Latest activity: Jul 1, 2014

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PS is such a complicated and deep program. How do you introduce and move students through it?

Comments (14)

keith petiti

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 4:32 PM - Permalink

Students like to explore. I will give them something very basic with layers and let them move these layers around so they can see what differences can be made in the photo. I will try and let them see using layers that you can move photos into another, and even show them how to erase unwanted pixels.

Once they see how easy it is to do these things, we are on our way

Kimberly Larson

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 10:50 PM - Permalink

This is not the first project I give in Photoshop but it is a fun way that I will introduce some of the tools (clone, healing brush, etc) in Photoshop is a project that I call "movie mate". I got idea from looking at www.worth1000.com . They have an awesome contest on there called "mate a movie". People will combine two different movie posters to create a new "movie". Some of the fun ones that my students created were: "The God Potter", "The Neverending Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and "Miracle on Elm Street".

example: http://www.worth1000.com/contests/2483/mate-a-movie-7

Mark Finlayson

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 6:24 AM - Permalink

A lot of my methods are contained in the tutorials I have posted. With Year 7 students I start with a painting exercise which introduces them to the interface and the basic tools, then I move to the Surrealism task which introduces them to layers and some image editing tools. We don't get much time within our Vis Arts program to do much...but working with teenagers, this is generally enough to get them playing....point them in the direction of some good tutorials, sit back and be amazed at the results...some of those kids end up showing me things that I didn't know within weeks (not that I pretend to know it all - but they are just sponges when it comes to things that interest them and they can be your greatest resource)

jon papworth

Posted on Mar 7, 2014 11:35 AM - Permalink

we try to get students to find an example of the style they want to produce then teach how to create this style, students take notes and annotate screen shots in their e sketchbooks. following this students use the skills to create a piece on a new theme using their own images but using the style learnt - this confirms their learning and offers room for creativity. as they progress and learn more styles they can start to mix them together to create their own style

Jim Goodwin

Posted on Feb 7, 2014 4:34 PM - Permalink

I try to place the emphasis on the project and principles of design rather than teaching every technical aspect of the program. I teach them just what they need as they need it for each of the projects we do. Every project increases their ability with the program and they aren't overwhelmed with info that doesn’t relate to the design they are working on. I have a very diverse student base so some of my students aren't comfortable with computers, while others have the full Adobe suite at home and spend their spare time doing tutorials. I really try to treat Photoshop like a tool that helps us get to where we are going rather than it being the destination in itself.

My first Photoshop project is a painting intro, then we do a collage and we get into selection tools, layer effects, masking, blending modes, gradients, and layer management. I have found that starting them on Illustrator first makes things way easier... I don't hear as much grumbling about Illustrator and I have many more students who will not hesitate to use it.

Adobe Education

Posted on Feb 12, 2014 5:26 AM - Permalink

To follow on from Jim's comments - the Adobe Visual Design curriculum also uses a project based approach to teach skills. You can use the entire curriculum, individual projects, or can also choose to use individual activities, which are shorter and more specifically skill-based.

Additionally another member just posted this Photoshop Workflow that may be helpful to you.

Best of luck sorting out your approach!

~Adobe Education

Harry Mueller

Posted on Jan 30, 2014 4:57 PM - Permalink

Well you are all correct, Photoshop is so deep in all its complexity.

I start out with the fundamentals, the basic steps and have assignment projects to develop their skills.

Editing, I Spy project, Draw a pumpkin using color and brushes, Restoring a photograph after I tear it up, design a Magazine Cover, and the list goes on. Through these projects they build the confidence to work on some of their own projects. The most difficult part of the instruction is always layers and masks.

Harry Mueller

Posted on Jan 30, 2014 4:56 PM - Permalink

Well you are all correct, Photoshop is so deep in all its complexity.

I start out with the fundamentals, the basic steps and have assignment projects to develop their skills.

Editing, I Spy project, Draw a pumpkin using color and brushes, Restoring a photograph after I tear it up, design a Magazine Cover, and the list goes on. Through these projects they build the confidence to work on some of their own projects. The most difficult part of the instruction is always layers and masks.

Kaylee Stewart

Posted on Jan 19, 2014 2:27 AM - Permalink

Allow them to use their own images, then let them play around with editing tools. Answer questions, and soon enough, they'll be figuring things out for themselves. I also suggest you provide some web sources where that explain certain editing techniques so that they can look around online in their own time if they want.

Kate Jordahl

Posted on Mar 22, 2014 3:12 AM - Permalink

I agree with Kaylee - - I actually require them to use their own images! This leads to important discussions on copyright issues. It also means that in the class different challenges will come with similar tasks being tried on different images, increasing the learning for all.

Rajesh Krishnan

Posted on Jan 1, 2014 10:51 AM - Permalink

Depends on the time.

The best method would the those that helped you master Photoshop.

Colin Byers

Posted on Dec 13, 2013 8:45 PM - Permalink

I start by showing them the basics of the interface and then an example of the use of each tool in the tool box. This is done in a pre-recorded video format that students may watch either on youtube or off the desktop. From there, I move into specific assignments for each tool and combine them with a palette... for example, I start with a selection tool and then demonstrate layers. I have a link to the video if you'd like it.

Katherine Reed

Posted on Dec 17, 2013 7:45 PM - Permalink

Hello Colin, I like your approach. I've taught a bit of Photoshop through a web course I offer at AV College, but this semester I will be teaching specifically a Photoshop class. I'm putting my syllabus and lessons together right now and would appreciate any suggestions on good projects for beginners. Would like to see that video you mentioned if you don't mind sharing it. Thanks!

Flora Cusi

Posted on Dec 10, 2013 9:35 PM - Permalink

Start from the easiest thing: what is photoshop? A graphics editing program. What does editing means? That you can:

1) edit

2) enhance

3) create

what can I edit and enhance?

1) pixel-based images and illustrations

what can I create?

1) graphics, illustrations, websites...everything!

Where do I start?

by opening a picture

What do I show

the toolbar

How do I continue?

I create a new file

And then?

I show the shapes and the text in the toolbar

Then?

I go back to my picture and show the menu image

And then?

I go back to illustration with shapes and texts and show the effects

This is A LOT for a beginner, but it is something to start with :) Hope it gives some inspiration!