Video based learning for photographers and designers


Original Free Photoshop Tutorials

If you are wanting to learn Photoshop, then you have some to the right place. This is where you will find all our original tutorials written exclusively for PhotoshopCAFE. Rather than focus on abstract things, we focus on core principles and techniques that are practical and can be reused for your day to day work. All the tutorials listed on this page are completely free. You don't have to login or create an account to view them. Either scroll this page, or click on the categories to go to a specific type of tutorial. We are adding new tutorials every week and also comitteed to updating the older tutorials, our goal is to have all the content fresh, so it gives you maximum use. Follow us on social media, join our mailing list and go to our forums to be a part of the CAFE.


Photo Tutorials | Special Effects | Text Effects | Textures | Web Design | Misc

Newest Tutorials


cast shadow in photoshop how toCreate reusable grafitti and add it to a photograph

In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to create reusable grafitti in Photoshop. You will then learn how to apply it in a realistic fashion to a photograph. There is a link to the free font used as well as a free downloadable layer style of the result.

Tagging your images with grafitti, Photoshop Tutorial.


cast shadow in photoshop how toProcessing HDR Landscape Photos in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom

You are able to work with merged HDR images in ACR and Lightroom , meaning that you have a lot more tonal range, or details in shadows and details in highlights to work with. The result is a photograph that looks very close to what you witnessed with your eyes.

Processing HDR Photos in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom


cast shadow in photoshop how toHow to Create a Tiny Planet in Photoshop (Using aerial photos)

In this Photoshop Tutorial, Colin Smith uses aerial photos from his DJI Phantom quadcopter to create a tiny planet effect. In this tutorial, learn how to stitch panorama from multiple photos and then turn them into the tiny planet effect.

Watch the video on creating panorama tiny planets in Photoshop CC.



Change eye color tutorialHow to create a mermaid in Photoshop

Learn how this composite was made in Photoshop. Combining photographs, 3D and Photoshop, use are able to create CQ composited that enable the impossible. Also find out how the photograph was lit and shot.

CG Photomanipulations in Photoshop



Change eye color tutorialHow to Match color and light in Photoshop composites

In this free photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to take the color of the background and apply it to the subject that you aare placing into the photo. Also learn how to make the light match between youre subject and the background for realistic and creative photoshop composites.

Matching the color and light in a composite.


Dreamy photo effect in photoshopBody Sculpting in Photoshop

 In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to sculpt a body to reduce the appearance of baggy clothes, tone the body and more. You can also remove slouching and change the pose

Body Sculpting in Photoshop




Change eye color tutorialHow to change the color of eyes in Photoshop


In this free photoshop tutorial, Colin Smith shows you how to change the color of eyes in a photograph. Change eyes to green, blue, brown or even vampire red in a very natural way. Colin's method will give you pro looking results that even maintain secondary colors.

Changing eye color in Photoshop retouching tutorial


make an animated slideshow in photoshopPainting Hair and Fur in Photoshop

In this tutorial, Patrick LaMontagne shows you how to create a custom hair brush in Photoshop, You will learn how to paint real;istic looking hair and fur using these brushes. Watch this tutorial to see how a pro does it.

Painting hair and fur


make an animated slideshow in photoshopHow to Animate a Slideshow in Photoshop

In this tutorial, Colin Smith shows you how to add different types of motion to a slideshow in Photoshop. Pan, zoom and spin your photos, to create a dynamic presentation. Also know as the Ken Burns effect, this dynamic movement, is very easy to accomplish in Photoshop.

Add movement to slideshows


make a cast shadow in photoshopCreate a Realistic Cast Shadow in Photoshop

When you are photo compositing, a realistic shadow is what makes it look real and believeable. In this Photoshop tutorial, Colin Smith shows you how to make a very realistic cast shadow. Use shadows to show position and scale in a composite. There are also a couple of photoshop CS6 / Photoshop CC Tips thrown in.

Create a Cast Shadow in Photoshop Tutorial


photography tutorial High Key Architectural photo

In this Lightroom / Camera Raw tutorial, you will learn how to shoot and edit to create a futuristic looking photograph that is both clean and mordern. Frank Bramcamp reveals the step to create his signature style.




black and white tutorialPainting Partial Color on a Black and White Photograph

In this photoshop tutorial by Colin Smith, you will learn how to paint color into a photograph exactly where you want it, while nmaking the rest of it Black and White. You will also learn some tips and tricks using the Wacom Cintiq pen tablet.

Spot Color


water reflection photoshop tutorialWater Reflection Tutorial

This tutorial will walk you through all the steps to create a realistic-looking water reflection to add a splash of life to your photographs. The creative drought is over!


Adding realistic looking reflections to your photo



Dreamy photo effect in photoshopMake a Custom Brush from a Photograph in Photoshop CC

This tutorial walks you through the process of making a custom brush from a photograph. If you want to have a reuasable brush, all the perspective has to be removed from the photograph first. Learn how to remove perspective and make the best brush possible.

Custom Photoshop Brushes


smart object and filter tutorialLearn Smart Objects and Smart Filters in Photoshop

Smart Objects are completely non destructive and allow you to change your mind by using Smart Filters. Smart Objects are containers that work with Images, RAW files, vectors, Illustrator files, PDFs and more. In this video tutorial Colin walks you through a number of features of Smart Objects in Photoshop. He also explains what they are and how they can help you have flexibility and higher quality images.

Working with Smart Objects



Popular tutorials

HDR tutorial photoshopCreating HDR Photos in Photoshop (Updated for CS6)

HDR photography is more than an effect, more than a buzzword. This tutorial will show you what you need to get started creating stunning High Dynamic range images. Colin Smith shows you how to shoot, merge, and tonemap your way to stunning High Dynamic Range photos. Fully updated and now includes Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6.

Shooting and combining HDR photos.


pen tool tutorial in photoshopUltimate guide to creating Vectors with the Pen tool in Photoshop.

One of the most difficult and useful skills to have in Photoshop is using the pen tool to create crisp and clean paths. The mystery is finally taken away with this simple step-by-tutorial. Learn how to master the pen tool to create different types of paths.

Create Vector paths and curves


removing a photo from its background tutorial Removing a Photograph from it's background

It used to be that the extract tool was the way to go in Photoshop for masking photographs. In CS4 it started dissapearing. Now the extract tool is gone in Photoshop CS5.Fear not! Refine Edge and Quick select are the fastest way to remove an object from it's background in Photoshop. Not only fast, but the results are great. This Refine Edge tutorial will show you how its done.

Extracting photos with Refine Edge and Quick Select





princlipes of beautiful type Colin's 10 Principles for Better Type Design

One of the biggest things I have seen destroy a nice design is bad use of typography. A block of text should be inviting to read and not look like a chore. I'm going to provide a few principles and tips to help you avoid a lot of common typography mistakes. Remember these aren't set in stone, they are suggestions, but as they say, "You first have to know the rules before you can break them"

10 Principles for better type design

Photoshop channelsCreating a filmstrip in Photoshop

Here is a tutorial that will show you how to create a filmstrip in Photoshop. Create it and then place your photographs inside it for maximum impact.

Making a filmstrip illustration



burn and dodge tutorial photoshopLow Contrast Fashion Coloring Effect in Photoshop

Here is a trendy effect that has been getting popular lately. I've been using a similar effect on web graphics for a while, but I've started seeing it on magazines and movie posters. Enjoy this simple tutorial on greating the low contrast colorizing effect. It works on any photo, but looks great on portrait photos, especially fashion.

How to create fashion color in Photoshop


burn and dodge tutorial photoshopDodge and Burn in Photoshop and Camera Raw

Dodge and burn are techniques that come from the darkroom. Photographers either block light, or cup the hand to direct light into certian areas. This allows underexposing or overexposing of different parts of a photograph. Today, we can perform the same function very easily in Photoshop. There are two main reasons to dodge (brighten) and burn (darken)...

How to dodge and burn in Photoshop


Dreamy photo effect in photoshop Making semi-transparent selections with Alpha channels

Here is a tutorial that you can use for layered collaging. While it might be easier to use a layer mask or a quick mask to acheive the same result, this tutorial is engineered to help you understand Alpha channels. An understanding of Channels will put you onto the fast-track of Photoshop mastery.

Painting in Alpha Channels

Dreamy photo effect in photoshop Using Curves in Photoshop

This video tutorial shows you how to use curves in Photoshop. Finally, curves are explained in a way that anyone can use them and understand them. Unlock one of the most powerful image adjustment tools available in Photoshop and take full control over the tonal adjustments of your photographs. These curves work in CS5, Lightroom and Camera RAW.

Learn Photoshop Curves.


Dreamy photo effect in photoshopDreamy Photo effect and Design a CD Cover in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn one of my favoriate techniques for adding a dreamy, high contrast look to a photograph. It's a really quick and easy technique that adds punch. We will also create a simple CD cover with the photograph and use Vector Shapes.

Dreamy Photographic Effect


camera zoom Photoshop basics - Making and modifying selections.

Here is a tutorial that will show you how to select and cut out complex shapes with just a few moves of the basic selection tools. Learn to modify selections and save time when cutting out objects. Learn how to add, subtracts and merge selections with a keystroke.

Using the selection tools



burn and dodge tutorial photoshop Payphone Illustration in Photoshop

2nd place winner from Design Challange 13, Dave Ellsworth, walks us through the proccess of creating his entry. See the steps used to go from concept to final illustration. This payphone was all illustrated 100% in Photoshop.

Drawing a payphone


burn and dodge tutorial photoshopBio-mechanical iPhone case Illustration in Photoshop

The 1st place winner from Design Challange 13, David Sorbio, walks us through the process of creating his entry. See the steps used to create this highly detailed and slightly bizzare peice of art. This iPhone case design is illustrated 100% in Photoshop.

Drawing a flesh, bio-mechanical style iPhone case

More Photoshop Tutorials


burn and dodge tutorial photoshop iPhone accessories Illustration in Photoshop

One of the finalists from Design Challange 13, Mark Persuad, walks us through the proccess of creating his entry. See the steps used to go from concept to final illustration. This iPhone accessories were all illustrated 100% in Photoshop.

Drawing an iPhone accessory iPhone case


camera zoom

Say hello to PhotoshopCAFE TV!
Video based Tutorials

As well as all our original written tutorials, we also have video tuts on Photoshop, Lightroom, Flash and more. Learn Photoshop, photography, web design and more. Get a taste of what's on our DVDs for free. Check out the special series, New Features of Photoshop CS5 and more.

Watch 30 video tutorials now

starburst tutorial in Photoshop

Video Player in Flash

Play multiple videos on a webpage.


BROWSE All Tutorials

Advanced Adjustments

Use the eye droppers to quickly correct, shadow/Highlights and color of an image

Graffiti - Int

create Graffiti in Photoshop

Water Reflection on a photograph

Create a relistic looking water reflection to a Photograph in Photoshop

Smartphone Illustration

Create your own smartphone illustration.

Realistic brick wall in Photoshop

Learn how to make super real bricks here

lightroom 3 beta learning siteAdobe Lightroom learning.

Learn all about Adobe Lightroom

Photoshop TutorialCreate Vector paths and curves

Ultimate guide to creating Vectors with the Pen tool in Photoshop.

Photoshop TutorialMasking Impossible Images

Here is my technique to mask (Cut out) any image quickly and precisely.
(This tutorial featured in SBS magazine)

Photoshop TutorialGame Art, Creating buildings

Making a game art city

Photoshop TutorialLayers 101

Here is a plain English tutorial that will teach you how to understand Photoshop layers.

Photoshop TutorialDotted Lines

The easiest way to create dotted lines

Photoshop TutorialRealistic Screws

Create an effect that looks like a realistic Screw.


displacement mapsDisplacement Maps Int-Adv

Make your artwork hug every contour of your textures - Al last! here it is.

Photoshop Tutorial3D Perspective grid

Make a hi-tek grid and place it on a perspective Ala Tron

anime beads tutorialJapanese Anime Beads

Learn how to make this trendy effect here

starburst tutorial in Photoshop HDR Photos in Photoshop

CS3 Shooting and combining HDR photos.

Photoshop TutorialCast Shadow Intermediate.

Creating photo-realistic cast shadows.

Photoshop TutorialEnglish Tea Can / China Painting effect

Create fine art from your photos in 3 easy steps. Fit for Her Majesty here

Photoshop TutorialHigh Tech Interface

4-part Super Tutorial on creating interfaces in Photoshop CS2

Photoshop Tutorial Create a Photo Zoom effect

Simulate a zooming lens effect

Photoshop Tutorial

Cylinder - Int

Wrap a picture around a cylinder

Photoshop Tutorial

Create a Planet

Make a planet and space art. Realistic illustration

Photoshop TutorialMicrophone

Create a photorealistic illustration of a microphone from scratch

Photoshop TutorialSpotlight Effect for your Photos

Learn how to make realistic lighting here

Photoshop TutorialMaking waves

How to create a wavey grid in Photoshop

Photoshop TutorialColor Tinting Beg/ Int

The trendy color tinted effect explained here.

Photoshop TutorialRealistic Rope in Photoshop 7

Learn how to make realistic rope coils here

Photoshop Tutorial

Create a searchlight spotlight

Hollywood style searchlight effect

Photoshop TutorialCones Beginner

Create a Cone shape in Photoshop

Photoshop TutorialStarburst with lens flare tutorial

Make a starburst light glint in Photoshop

Photoshop TutorialReflections Intermediate

Realistic reflections. This is one of my favorites

Photoshop TutorialHip-Hop style Diamonds

Ice Out your Images with Diamonds and Gold in the Rap Style.

Photoshop Tutorial

Golfball Illustration

Create a realistic golf ball Illustration here (Advanced)

Photoshop TutorialWater Splashes Advanced

Realistic liquid splashes, wet and fun

Photoshop TutorialTurn on a sunset in less than a minute

Change the time of day and lighting here

Photoshop TutorialPhotographic edges

Create high energy edges for your images

Photoshop Tutorial

Photo Foolery

Placing a person inside an object for fun

Photoshop Tutorial

Explosions - Intermediate

A movie type explosion, complete with flying sparks!

Photoshop Tutorial

Crystal Craziness

How to create the trendy crystals in Photoshop

Photoshop Tutorial3-D Cube - Int - Adv

create a 3D Cube in Photoshop

Photoshop TutorialInfra-Red Sci-Fi effect

Create an effect like you see in the Movies ala Predator

Photoshop Tutorial

Lightning Bolts- Intermediate.

Create Lightning in Photoshop

Channels Int-

How to get the 3D look with channels. Advanced

Photoshop Tutorial

Kiosk Orbs

Glassy Orbs to display your futuristic wares

Photoshop TutorialInterfaces #2 Glassy Buttons

Make round glassy buttons.

Photoshop Tutorial

Double Bevelled outline

How to create bevelled outlines in Photoshop

Photoshop TutorialIInterfaces #1 The basic shape

We will walk you through making a Hi-Tech Interface. 1/ The basic shape in shiny metal.

Photoshop TutorialTV Scan Lines Beg/ Int.

How to add scan lines to your image

Photoshop TutorialInterfaces #3 Segmented Pipes

Make chrome segmented pipes

Photoshop TutorialAn Intro to Actions and Photoshop Automation

Get started with using action in Photoshop. What are actions? How do you use them?

Photoshop TutorialCreate rounded corners

This is more than just using rounded rectangles, this technique helps with all manner of shapes.

Photoshop TutorialGenerating Actions of your Own

An almost painless guide to creating your own actions. How to record and insert a stop.

Photoshop Tutorialv

Building a webpage in Photoshop, Imageready and Dreamweaver

Photoshop TutorialManipulating Styles in Photoshop

Layer Styles. Going beyond just the basics and create your own and modify existing ones.

Photoshop TutorialHigh Tech Interface
4-part Super Tutorial

Creating interfaces in Photoshop CS2 - Super Tutorial 3

Photoshop Tutorial Texturing your way to 3D

Let's talk some more about texturing, this time working with an interface style image over several layers.

Photoshop TutorialSUPER TUTORIAL
Background collage secrets

6 Part Tutorial
Part 1: BG Prep Grids, Blur and scanlines

Photoshop TutorialTexturing Type

If you are into dynamic typography, interface design or realistic effects for your creations, mastering the Pattern Overlay feature is a must.

Photoshop TutorialLens correction

Learn how to bend and shape your image in Photoshop (This tutorial featured in Macworld magazine)

Photoshop TutorialMetal and Glass Basics in Photoshop

Nearly anyone can create a bevel on type, but not many realize that from this foundation we can create glass, plastic, metal, or something that looks out of this world.

Photoshop TutorialCutout- Intermediate.

Removing an image from it's background. Photoshop CS4 and older

Photoshop Tutorial Collaging Techniques - Int - Advanced.

Advanced collaging using layers and masks

Create an online portfolio

for Photographers and designers using nothing but Photoshop.

Blending layers

create a seamless blend between 2 layers using layer masks.

Photoshop Tutorial

Cylinder - Int

Wrap a picture around a cylinder

starburst tutorial in Photoshop Hacking the Canon 5D MK2

Open up new video features with the Magic Lantern Firmware hack

Reflective Liquid Type -Int

create reflective liquid type in Photoshop

Engraved type - Beg-Int

create engraved type in Photoshop

Rusted type -Int

create rusted type in Photoshop

Chrome Outline Type - Int

Also a few variations on this theme

Extruded Type - Int

Just like on Superman

Glass type - Beg-Int

create glass type in Photoshop

Something differant this week!

Chrome Effect - Intermediate.
Turn your image into shiny chrome

Wood texture

create realistic wood texture with grain and knots

Brushed Metal

Create a brushed metal

Creating Rock

Quick Rock Texture using channels.

Transparent Gifs

How to create clean, sharp transparent gifs.
Mattes explained.

Part 1: Preparing the background SUPER TUTORIAL 2.

An 8 part tutorial for Building a webpage in Photoshop/ Imageready and Dreamweaver (In Newer versions of Photoshop, the Imageready features are built into Photoshop with the exception of rollovers and Image Maps.

Rollover effects in ImageReady 3

Create a Rollover button effect. (The Different states are still relevant in CS4+)


Watch 12 video Tutorials from Colin Smith

CS6 Learning Site

CS5 Learning Site

CS4 Learning site

CS3 Learning Site

Lightroom 3 Learning site

Lightroom 2 Learning site