The best way to learn Photoshop is to get some hand’s on experience, especially with the guidance of a tutorial or two… or three… or twenty. If you want practice, you can never have enough tutorials. There’s a lot to know about every aspect of Adobe’s graphics editing software, though, and deciding where to start can be half the struggle. In this article, you’ll find over 40 tutorials just on features related to Photoshop background layers, effects, and other related tools and design tips, plus dozens of courses to hone the rest of your Photoshop skills.
Generic Background Layer Tutorials
To learn about all the cool background design and image retouching effects offered in Photoshop, first you need to know how the background layer works.
- Background Layers – To start off, here’s a free lecture by web developer Lisa Catalano, as part of her course, Fundamentals of Photoshop
- Background Layers Reference Sheet – A useful written guide to accompany the video tutorial linked above.
- Deleting and Editing the Background Layer – Part of a course about essential Photoshop CS6 skills called Photoshop CS5: Advanced Level.
The following are part of the Photoshop CS6: Video QuickStart series.
- About the Background Layer – Understanding how layers work in relation to the background.
- Using the Selection – How to use the selection tool to manipulate or change the background layer.
There are plenty of free guides on the Udemy blog as well, such as this next batch.
- Basic Photoshop Tutorials: Working with Layers – All you need to know about working with layers, to make understanding backgrounds in Photoshop easier.
- How to Change Background in Photoshop With the Quick Selection Tool – A guide on removing the original background from an image and adding a new one, using layers and the selection tool.
- Photo Manipulation Tutorials: How to Remove Background from an Image in Photoshop – Another guide on easily removing the original background of an image.
The following are free lectures from a course titled Photoshop: Mastering the Fundamentals.
- Understanding Photoshop Layers – More general help with layers in Photoshop.
- Applying Effects to Layers – What’s the point of having layers if they’re all going to use the same effects?
- Working With Gradients – Gradients can be directly related to Photoshop background effects, depending on what you’re going for.
You can learn more out removing a background image in Photoshop with this free and comprehensive Adobe Photoshop course, particularly with the following two lectures.
Once you have layers down, you can learn to do some seriously cool things with them using the following tutorials from the Photoshop Essentials course. You can manipulate them, change their opacity, add effects and place them over and behind backgrounds. Get started now!
- Super-Sweet Effects With Layer Styles
- Retro Movie Poster Build: Going Further With Layers
- Continuing The Build: Filling Layers And Creating Layer Groups
- More Eye-Popping Possibilities: Introducing Blending Modes
- Blending Modes Explained
- More Blending Modes, Opacity, And Fill
It’s seriously important to understand layers before you even think about trying out anything else with Photoshop. Just for good measure, here are three more tutorials from outside Udemy.
- Photoshop Layers – The Background Layer
- How to Create a Background Layer for Your Photoshop File
- Working with Layers in Photoshop
Creating a New Background Tutorial Set
This is one of the techniques that helped create the term shopped. If you can make the background of an image transparent, you can place that image on top of any new backdrop you want. It won’t look good or convincing without practice, but it’s certainly one of the most commonly used features in Photoshop, and if you’re learning about backgrounds, you need to learn about transparency.
- Photoshop: Transparent Background Tutorial
- How to Create a Transparent Background in Photoshop
- How to Make Image Background Transparent in Photoshop
- Opacity – From Catalano’s Foundations of Photoshop course again, it’s a free lecture about opacity techniques in Photoshop.
- More Blending Modes, Opacity, and Fill
Other Cool Background Effects
- Blending Backgrounds – A guide on blending backgrounds, part of the Foundations of Photoshop series.
- How to Blur the Background of an Image in Photoshop Elements – A free guide on the Udemy blog on how to make the background of an image fade into a blur, as it would naturally in a photo where the background is out of focus. You can learn more about Photoshop Elements 11 in this series on mastering Photoshop Elements 11.
- How to Change Background Color in Photoshop Like a Pro – A basic guide on changing the color of your background in Photoshop.
The rest of these tutorials are from outside of Udemy, but you can find more awesome guides on Photoshop, and the rest of the Creative Suite, at the bottom of this page, including free courses from Udemy.com.
- Windows Vista Aurora Effect – Learn how to make clean, simple wallpaper backgrounds for your desktop.
- Abstract Signature – Create a cool, blended background effect using a variety of different filters.
- Luminescent Lines – A tutorial on creating abstract backgrounds with fluorescent light rays.
- Abstract Airbrushing – Make colorful, abstract textures to use in your background.
- Digital Star Effect – Learn to create neon lightboard effects for your background.
You may also enjoy the following free Photoshop training courses:
- Photoshop Training – Tutorials
- Introduction to Graphic Design
- Photoshop & Lightroom for Photographers
- Adobe Photoshop CS5 – Tips & Tricks
- Adobe Certified Training: Photoshop CS6 – New Features