Welcome! This is just a mini tutorial to get you oriented with the basic Photoshop tools, so that I don't have to explain them over and over in the other tutorials. Get to know the tools, because other tutorials out there expect you to known your program well enough, and it's always good to know. I'm using Photoshop v.7, but until recently used v.5.5 so both are covered here.
Photoshop 5.5 The most important tool you'll use when making dolls is the pencil tool (fifth tool on the right side of the toolbar. Next comes the airbrush (third tool on the left), followed by the smudge tool (6th tool on the left, right under the eraser, dodge (right next to smugde), burn (click and hold on dodge, choose the hand), paint bucket (tool #9 on the left side, looks like a paint bucket being tipped), dropper (right next to paint bucket), the magnifying glass (underneath the dropper), and finally, but not least, the eraser (on top of smudge).
Ok, dodge is used to give highlights, burn is used to give shadows. Paint bucket is to fill up large spaces, dropper is to pick colors, magnifying glass is to zoom in and out, and the eraser is to erase. Use pencil to draw, of course, as well as the airbrush. Smudge is to well, smudge. One more thing, to zoom in and out I always use ctrl and + or ctrl and - (both keys found on keyboard).
Saving your .gif transparent files:
It's pretty easy, when you are done with your doll, just go to Image-->Mode-->Indexed Color, then to File--> Save As and choose CompuServe .gif from the drop down menu. Write in the desired file name and hit enter or click ok.
I recently aquired Photoshop 7, and seeing as how the toolbar is a little different, decided to do a quick overview. This should come in handy for those of you that are making the transition from one version to the other, or for those that have version 7 and are trying to follow my version 5 tutorials.
ok, now, the tools used are still the same, they are just organized differently. The 4th tool on the right is the paintbrush tool. If you click and hold, you'll get a menu, from there you can switch between the
paintbrush and the pencil tools. Looking for the airbrush? It's this one:. This is found at the top toolbar, along with many other settings. Just click on it, and you have your airbrush. Can't find the paintbucket/fill tool? Find the gradient tool (6th on the right) and click/hold. Choose paintbucket from the menu. The rest of the tools are pretty much the same. If you need help at any time, don't hesitate to use the Help file, it has a better overview and explanation of exactly what each tool does. Check it out.
One final tip: If you are using the paintbucket or the magic wand you might have noticed that it fills up everything, or only fills up some parts, and the magic wand doesn't select everything and leaves out some parts. There is an easy solution to this sometimes annoying situation, just click on the tool you want to use and in the toolbar that is above and underneath the File Menu, choose Contiguous and unclick anti-aliased. Make sure you do it with both tools.
That's pretty much it, I can't teach you how to use them, you'll have to learn yourself by playing around with them. Have fun! ^_^