Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks you can use if you're just starting to design. You may want to note that these are mainly aimed at hockey or sports edits.
- Always use high-quality images. Make sure that your stock pictures are fairly large. I like to use players who are at least 1000 pixels tall. This allows for higher quality work and more detail in your finished product.
- This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. If you're going to use big player pictures, make the finished product big. It's pointless to have a 1000px tall player if the final picture is 500px tall. Here are the dimensions in pixels for my pictures (Width x Height): Wallpapers are 1920 x 1080, square pictures are 2000 x 2000 and phone wallpapers are 750 x 1136.
- Use the Topaz Adjust and Topaz DeNoise plugins. These make the details pop on players' skin and jerseys and are an absolute must for any sports designer.
- When placing a player on the ice, always remember to add his reflection by flipping him vertically, cutting out the different parts so it aligns perfectly with his feet and setting the blend mode to "soft light". Also add a shadow underneath his feet and a little bit of snow around his skates if he is moving.
- Get familiar with keyboard shortcuts. These can allow you to quickly change between tools and perform actions a lot quicker. Click here for a list of default Photoshop shortcuts. You can also set your own custom shortcuts by clicking Alt+Shift+Ctrl+K (Opt+Shift+Cmd+K on Mac). For example, I have Ctrl+W set as the warp transform tool, Ctrl+Shift+P as the puppet warp tool, Ctrl+Shift+* as the horizontal flip tool, etc.
- Experiment! Test out different techniques and methods to achieve certain effects. You're likely going to find something that you'll really like and that you'll often use after that.