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What is Photoshop? Though most have heard of it and some use it periodically or extensively, there are always newbies who need a thorough introduction to this powerful software.

Cartoonizer Photoshop ActionCartoonizer Photoshop ActionCartoonizer Photoshop Action

Today we will take a look at exactly what Photoshop is and share some of the cool tools you can use to help you get the most from this incredible software.

What Is Adobe Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop, commonly known as just Photoshop, is a powerful photo editing and graphic design program. Developed in 1988 by brothers Thomas and John Knoll, it was initially released as Image Pro, but as that name was already taken, they later changed it to Photoshop. The brothers sold distribution rights to Adobe, which released the software as Adobe Photoshop 1.0 in 1990.

Photoshop was originally intended to provide an easy solution for editing digital photos, and it has certainly evolved with each new release to become the most popular and powerful photo editing software in the world. However, it is also a premium program for creating a wide range of digital products, from digital paintings to web design materials, posters, mockups, and more, and it's widely used by designers, photographers, artists, web developers, and many others.

Photoshop files have a default file extension of PSD, which stands for Photoshop Document. PSD files store an image with support for most imaging functions available in Photoshop like masks, alpha channels, transparencies, etc., but you can also save to file formats like JPG, PNG, and GIF, among others.

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What Are Photoshop Actions?

A Photoshop action is essentially a recording of a sequence of steps that you use to create a desired effect on an image. That recording can then be used over and over again at the click of a button to create the same effect on other single images or a batch of images.

For example, you could create an action that applies a particular effect to an image, changes it to black and white, applies a texture, and saves the file to the format of your choosing. Then you could apply that one action to multiple images.

Photoshop comes with predefined actions installed that help you perform common tasks. You can also create your own actions or buy complex actions that create spectacular effects like these ones below.

Charcoal Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, PAT)

Charcoal Photoshop ActionCharcoal Photoshop ActionCharcoal Photoshop Action

Creating this awesome charcoal effect is just a click away when you download and install this Photoshop action. The action is well organised in layers, all of which are adjustable.

Energy Animation Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN)

Energy Animation Photoshop ActionEnergy Animation Photoshop ActionEnergy Animation Photoshop Action

Check out this Energy Animation Photoshop Action and create images that burst with energy. There is a video tutorial included with this action that covers how to set up your Photoshop file and then customise the effect.

Portrait Into Text Photoshop Action (ATN)

Portrait Into Text Photoshop ActionPortrait Into Text Photoshop ActionPortrait Into Text Photoshop Action

Deepen the meaning of your portraits with one click when you use this Portrait Into Text Photoshop Action. The action works equally well with black and white as well as colour photos.

Double Light Photoshop Action (ATN, PAT)

Double Light Photoshop ActionDouble Light Photoshop ActionDouble Light Photoshop Action

Want to add creative interests to your portraits? How about using this Double Light Photoshop Action? The action adds accent and emotion to your images with just one click. Great for magazine covers, posters, and album covers.

Desert Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, PAT)

Desert Photoshop ActionDesert Photoshop ActionDesert Photoshop Action

So you've taken some great action photos, but you want to increase their drama. How do you do that? With this action, of course. Just download it to your computer and add it to Photoshop, and then run the action with the click of a button to transform your image.

Winter Pack Photoshop Action (ATN, ASL)

Winter Pack Photoshop ActionWinter Pack Photoshop ActionWinter Pack Photoshop Action

Want to have a bit of fun with your photographs? Try this Winter Pack Photoshop Action. It offers tons of different winter effects, as well as 20 different glitter actions. Just download the action, open your image in Photoshop, click the play button, and you're done.

Cartoonizer Photoshop Action (ATN)

Cartoons are fun, and giving your images a cartoon effect is even more fun. The Cartoonizer Photoshop Action is designed to transform your images with cartoon effects. You can choose between several different effects with this action.

Painting Photoshop Actions (PSD)

Painting Photoshop ActionsPainting Photoshop ActionsPainting Photoshop Actions

Transform your photos into gorgeous paintings when you use this Painting Photoshop Action. The action works in a non-destructive way to achieve a high-quality look, so the original image layer will remain unchanged.

50 Newborn Photoshop Actions (PSD)

Take gorgeous photos of your baby and then use these awesome Newborn Photoshop Actions to create interesting and eye-catching effects with a single click. There are 50 different actions included, so have fun experimenting with various combinations.

SandDust Photoshop Action (PSD)

SandDust Photoshop ActionSandDust Photoshop ActionSandDust Photoshop Action

SandDust Action uses suspended sand particles and rays of light to create dramatic and stunning images. The action is as easy to use as one click, but there is a video tutorial included to help give you ideas of how you can use the action creatively to expand its possibilities.

Rain Photoshop Action (ABR)

Rain Photoshop ActionRain Photoshop ActionRain Photoshop Action

Realistic rain effects can take loads of time to create, but with this Rain Photoshop Action, you can add the effect to your photos in just a few minutes. You can choose the angle of the rain, and there are ten colour presets included with the action.

What Are Photoshop Brushes?

The Photoshop brush is a tool located in the standard Photoshop toolbar that reproduces digitally the physical brush used by painters.

Photoshop includes several built-in brushes ready to use, but the real power of the brush tool comes when you add your own or buy brushes made by other creators that create stunning effects. Let's look at a few examples.

Geometric Photoshop Brushes (ABR, EPS, PNG)

Geometric Photoshop BrushesGeometric Photoshop BrushesGeometric Photoshop Brushes

Geometric Photoshop Brushes offers 50 high-resolution geometric Photoshop brushes. Use these versatile brushes to decorate your next project. The pack includes transparent PNG files and the original vector files (EPS).

Plastic Photoshop Brushes (ABR)

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Plastic is such an ever-present part of our world, so why not have a bit of fun adding plastic effects to your work with these plastic Photoshop brushes. The collection offers 30 different brushes to keep you busy experimenting for a while.

Dust Photoshop Brushes (ABR)

Add mystery and intrigue to your photos and artwork when you use these ten dust brushes to add dust effects to your work. This brush pack is fully customisable, so you can change any brush parameters as you like to achieve the results you need.

90 Procreate Stamps & Photoshop Brushes (ABR, PNG)

90 Procreate Stamps & Photoshop Brushes90 Procreate Stamps & Photoshop Brushes90 Procreate Stamps & Photoshop Brushes

What better way to add texture and interest to your work than with this collection of 90 stamps and Photoshop brushes. Perfect for creating posters, pattern designs, greetings cards, invitations, social media designs, and more, these brushes are high resolution so are suitable for both web and print projects.

Artista Photoshop Brushes (ABR, PDF, PNG)

Artista Photoshop BrushesArtista Photoshop BrushesArtista Photoshop Brushes

Now this is a set of brushes that every designer and digital artist should have in their toolbox. This collection contains 24 texture brushes, 10 spray brushes, 10 hatch brushes,10 sketch brushes, 7 pencil brushes, and 10 grunge textures. Think of the hours of fun you can have experimenting and creating.

202 Watercolor Brushes (ABR)

202 Watercolor Brushes202 Watercolor Brushes202 Watercolor Brushes

Who doesn't love watercolour? If you're as big a fan as we are, then check out these brushes and start creating wonderful, whimsical works of art.

Abstract Nature Photoshop Brushes (ABR)

Abstract Nature Photoshop BrushesAbstract Nature Photoshop BrushesAbstract Nature Photoshop Brushes

Whatever kind of art you create, these brushes can help you take your work to the next level. The set contains a total of 1,500 brushes in high resolution.

Paint Splatter Brushes (ABR)

With 99 high-resolution brushes to choose from, this collection of compact, dense splatters and individual drops gives users maximum flexibility when decorating their work. Each brush is high resolution, making them ideal for both screen and print work.

Watercolor Photoshop Brush Set

Watercolor Photoshop Brush SetWatercolor Photoshop Brush SetWatercolor Photoshop Brush Set

This collection of 48 naturalistic watercolour brushes will help you to create stunning artwork and backgrounds easily. This brush pack features a huge range of textured strokes that were sampled from real watercolour for maximum authenticity.

50 Photoshop Brushes (ABR, PNG)

50 Photoshop Brushes50 Photoshop Brushes50 Photoshop Brushes

With 25 brush line variations and 25 circle brushes, this collection of 50 ink brush styles can be used separately or mixed to create dramatic results.

What Are Photoshop Templates?

A Photoshop template is a document that has been pre-formatted with a specific layout, placeholder images, graphics, text, and colours. Templates offer a starting point for you to create your own document. If you don't have strong design skills or are fresh out of ideas, but want to create an invitation, brochure, flyer, etc., a professionally designed Photoshop template gives you a solid base which you can customise with your own images, text, and colours.

When you customise the template, the layout stays locked in place, and you replace the placeholders with your own content. Photoshop templates can be used repeatedly, so you only need to buy a template once.

Wedding Wreath Wedding Invitation Template (PSD)

Wedding Wreath Wedding Invitation Template

Wedding Wreath Wedding Invitation Template makes it easy for you to create stunning wedding invitations in no time at all. Each element contained in this template is placed in well-organised layers and highlighted to make customisation easy. All fonts are 100% free, and the download links are in the zip folder.

Style | Instagram Photoshop Template (PSD)

Style  Instagram Photoshop TemplateStyle  Instagram Photoshop TemplateStyle  Instagram Photoshop Template

If you need help creating the eye-candy posts you've seen on Instagram, here's the secret recipe: just download this Instagram Photoshop template, add your own text and images, and get ready to watch the likes roll in!

Lookbook Photoshop Brochure Template (PSD)

Lookbook Photoshop Brochure TemplateLookbook Photoshop Brochure TemplateLookbook Photoshop Brochure Template

Creating eye-catching lookbooks is now easier than ever, thanks to this awesome eight-page Photoshop brochure template. Just use the existing layouts, swap in your own text and images, and it's ready to print!

Summer Flyer 16 (PSD)

Photoshop Flyer TemplatesPhotoshop Flyer TemplatesPhotoshop Flyer Templates

Whether you're planning a party, opening an art gallery, or need to create a fundraiser flyer, Summer Flyer 16 has you covered. With its cool, dissected circles and intersecting shapes, the template is yet another example of the on-trend designs you can expect when you sign up for Envato Elements.

Creative Photoshop Poster Template (PSD)

Creative Photoshop Poster TemplateCreative Photoshop Poster TemplateCreative Photoshop Poster Template

This beautiful and creative design poster template gives you the perfect base for creating any kind of poster, and best of all, it's easy to customise to suit your taste and needs.

Bifold Brochure (PSD)

Bifold Brochure

This bifold template offers a professional and eye-catching four-page layout. Change the cover photo, and then add your text and business brand colours to make the most of the template.

Magazine Cover Template Photoshop (PSD)

Food Fake Magazine Cover Template PhotoshopFood Fake Magazine Cover Template PhotoshopFood Fake Magazine Cover Template Photoshop

Want an eye-catching magazine cover? Try this terrific magazine cover template to help you create a beautiful magazine cover in no time. Use it for your next issue, or just to try out concepts for a future magazine launch.

Restaurant Photoshop Menu Template (PSD)

Restaurant Photoshop Menu TemplateRestaurant Photoshop Menu TemplateRestaurant Photoshop Menu Template

If you run a cafe or restaurant, you can use this Photoshop menu template to create a simple, eye-catching menu to advertise your dishes with mouth-watering images. The simple bifold design makes it perfect to give out as a brochure to generate publicity as well.

Photoshop Book Template (PSD)

Photoshop Book TemplatePhotoshop Book TemplatePhotoshop Book Template

This Photoshop book template gives you a fantastic foundation to work from, with 41 pages and eye-catching layouts and imagery. It's a great way to create a short but attention-grabbing e-book to communicate an idea and showcase your expertise.

Gift Certificate Template Photoshop (PSD)

Gift Certificate Template PhotoshopGift Certificate Template PhotoshopGift Certificate Template Photoshop

Offering gift certificates is a great way to spread the word about your business, while offering your customers an easy gift for their hard-to-buy-for friends and family. Create one the easy way by opening this gift certificate template in Photoshop and customising it as much or as little as you want.

Choose Your Favourite Photoshop Resource

Now that you know what Photoshop is and have an idea of the kind of tools available to help you create great work using this powerful software, why not choose one of the above actions, brushes, or templates available from Envato Elements, and see what you can create in Photoshop?

And finally, if you want more information on Photoshop resources, check out these really helpful articles below:

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