One of the best qualities of working digitally is the flexibility - and no tool showcases this better than the "Puppet Warp". It's a tool I've avoided showing in a video so far because it's relatively new to Photoshop. Additionally, it's very specialized and doesn't transfer well to traditional drawing. But if you need to slightly change the pose of your character, and you've already painted tons of details... there's nothing better than a quick puppet warp.

If you're not familiar with the warp tool that I mention in the video, you might like watching these two videos: Applying decals and thumbnail chop and warp.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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Edge control is often the key to efficient painting. As you've seen in Advanced Masking pt 1, nesting masks adds a high level of flexibility to the painting process. This video will continue the idea of nesting masks by exploring complex selections. Even if these ideas may seem abstract at first, they are worth learning. In my experience, once you begin to utilize methods like these you're able to approach Photoshop from an entirely different angle --- and will find yourself problem solving in a whole new way.

If you're not familiar with masking, these are good videos to watch first: Masking 101 pt.1Masking 101 pt. 2Masking 101 pt. 3

If you want to experiment with the PSD file from the lesson, here is the robot for download.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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Photoshop's versatility is a great asset.  One moment you might be penciling a comic page, and the next you're laying in colors.  Do you change your workspace along with the task? This video introduces the 'workspace' feature which keeps your palettes organized. Since each task requires a different set of tools and information onscreen, it's nice to save preset workspaces to reflect each one. Like many user interface features this may seem simple and uninteresting - but once you begin using Photoshop for long sessions you'll understand its importance.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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A simple secret to productivity is eliminating roadblocks. Especially if you don't have much time to dedicate to practice digital painting, it's a good idea to get straight to the painting. This tutorial explains the "document presets" feature, and why it can help streamline your practice ritual. After all, sometimes the hardest part is 'getting started'.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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computers and software are really good at repetitive tasks. Why not let Photoshop do some of the hard work for you? This video tackles a specific storyboarding-related challenge with a photoshop "action". Even if you're not a storyboard artist, you'll see the way that I identify a challenge and figure out how to get Photoshop to solve it for me. Best of all, once you've created the action, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to it! And if you want the storyboarding action I mention in this video, download it here!

Digital painting relies on your ability to comfortably wield the Brush Tool. Keyboard shortcuts are a huge part of that, and committing them to memory is an important step in your learning. This video proposes a 'maze' drill for you to hone your brush tool chops. It may seem a bit unusual, but it's not all that different from an athlete running through an obstacle course to improve their agility! Most importantly, have fun with this! And make sure to download the brush maze drill here.  And if you want a refresher on the brush tool and its hidden features, check out this digital painting 101 video

Like the buttons and dials in your car, keyboard shortcuts are the "user interface" with which you control Photoshop. Have you customized these commands yet? The whole point of keyboard shortcuts is to save you time and avoid wasting energy. With this in mind, it's worth considering your personal needs when working with keyboard shortcuts. In general, shortcut keys are designed for easy recall: ctrl+s = save, etc. In this video I suggest that a better scheme for assigning keys is based on the position of your left hand. Re-mapping the keyboard shortcuts with this new prioritization will reduce your hand strain and speed up your painting technique.

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AuthorMatt Kohr
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Standing back from your painting to get the 'big picture' is extremely important. Getting up close and personal with your details is important too. What if you could do both simultaneously? You can. There's a feature that many artists don't know about in Photoshop which allows you to open the same document in multiple windows simultaneously. In this video I'll show the practical implications of this command in a detailed illustration. Especially if you have two monitors, the "New Window" command is a priceless addition to the digital painter's workflow.

Have you ever gotten lost in a tall stack of unnamed Photoshop layers? Naming your layers may be the proper way to stay organized, but it is extremely time consuming. This video offers a time-saving compromise. Even though I don't name my layers, there are certain ones that I don't want to lose track of - and a bit of color-coding does the trick. There are multiple ways to change the color coding of a layer in the stack, but this video shows how to use a Photoshop Action to accomplish it. I especially like Photoshop actions because they allow me to keep my stylus in the center of my painting, and to trigger commands with my left hand.