Helpful tips and tricks:
Resizing tubes and elements – To keep from distorting your images when you resize them use either option below:
1) Hold down Alt + Shift on your keyboard and use your mouse to select one corner and drag
2) Increase the scale size up in the action bar by the same percentage (100% is the beginning size). After you have resized it, click the a on the action bar to commit the change to the image.
Rotating elements – Use “Free Transform” (Ctrl + T) and then use the mouse to select a corner of the image and rotate it in the direction you want.
Mirror images – Use “Flip Horizontal” or “Flip Vertical” to create a reverse of your image. From the menu select Edit > Transform > and then whichever flip you want.
Blending options – Right click on a layer and select Blending Options. You can use the General Blend Mode to get different effects light overlays, lighting effects, etc. Play with the modes and see what you like. I tend to use Multiply and Overlay the most, but have used most of the modes at one time or another to get an effect I want.
- Bevel & Emboss - This option makes your image or text stand out. To learn about how each part of it works, either play around or check out this tutorial: http://design.tutsplus.com/articles/the-comprehensive-guide-to-bevel-and-emboss--psd-17308
- Stroke - I use this option all the time on text. It creates an outline of the layer and you can change the color and thickness. This really helps make words stand out against a background.
- Drop Shadow - This is a great way to add a more "realistic" effect on your image. It adds a shadow behind the image at an angle which creates the illusion that the image is raised off the paper. You should play around with the angles and see what works for each situation. Changing the shadow angle can make a big difference on how "raised" the image looks and can make it appear to have a different perspective.
- Outer and Inner Glow - This is another very handy tool to help give some "life" to your work. It does exactly what it sounds like. It adds a glow to the inside or the outside of your text or image. I suggest playing around with it to understand how it works, but if you want to know more before playing, check out this tutorial: http://www.flyingmeat.com/acorn/docs/outer%20and%20inner%20glow.html