As Easy As ABC


Alana Poole

Example of an ABC portrait

Last week, Graphic Design I students kicked off the quarter with a special ABC portraits project to help them become more familiar with the Photoshopping software they are to use in the future.

The techniques used last week are important for students’ designing processes in the future.

“Students used clipping masks, cut outs, and font, obviously, to put it all together,” said graphic design teacher Kelly Charles.

A clipping mask, in Photoshop, is a group of layers (sheets or “stacks” of pictures and/or shapes) to which a mask (hides or reveals portions of lower layers) is applied. Cut outs are objects that have been “cut out” from the original background onto a different background.

“It’s pretty simple. It’s just kind of helping us kind of explore more of, kind of, how to use Photoshop, and it’s just kind of helping us understand more how to use the software more,” said freshman Alejandro Yanez Ledesma.

Another student found the project quite simple.

Freshman Adam Thomas said, “We were, like, putting a picture of somebody, of a person, over a letter and blending it together to make it look like the person was like coming out of the letter. It was actually really cool.”

In terms of the overall process, Thomas said, “It was a lot of blending together and pulling out different portions of different photos and erasing certain parts so it looked like it was actually there.”

“All you have to do basically is kind of put the letter and make two extra layers of the same image and create like a clipping mask, and then basically, you just have to make the letters transparent and then select things outside of the letter, so you can add it. It’s not that difficult,” said Ledesma.