|Posted: 2012-February-04 at 12:41pm | IP Logged
Biggest thing I think: learn how masks work (if you already know and are just keeping it simple at this point, you can ignore all this
) For this type of thing, they will be infinitely helpful. You can use the selection tool (any one of them, the lasso, the poly lasso, the rectangular box, they'll all work for different situations) On a new layer, fill the new selection with black. Now control+click on the layer icon to select the outline of that layer. Then click on the button on the bottom of the layer palette, it looks like a circle inside a square. This will block from view a portion of the image, and tada you've got a mask on your layer. I'd use this way to make the outlines and shapes of all the stuff on the top of the ship.
I like masks because they let you get perfectly sharp edges, and you can paint right up to (and over) the edge without worrying about it. But also you can use masks with soft edges to get layer blends and other effects. You can also paint right on the mask itself, with shades of gray corresponding to how much of the underneath layer shows through..... ok that's my mini lesson on masks
They're something I wish I had learned much earlier, would have made life a lot easier.