Design Tools & Tips

The Suttle-Straus Creative team has collected some of their favorite Adobe Creative Suite tools into quick videos that show you how each tools can be used.

Note: Most of these tools can be found in multiple locations within their programs.


Premiere: Cross Dissolve

One of our designers loves the cross dissolve tool in Adobe Premiere because it creates smooth transitions between video clips, resulting in a professional composition. Quick tip: dissolves don’t need to be long in order to make a big difference! Have fun!


Premiere: Color Key

This tool can isolate a chosen color within an image and fill it with a video, using any shape including letters and numbers. Tip: Use the color tolerance, edge thin and edge feature settings to remove any outlines that remain around the video after keying. Located in the Effects panel under Video Effects/Keying/Color Key.


Premiere: Warp Stabilizer

The Warp Stabilizer tool helps combine zooming and panning within a frame to stabilize the shot. It works best when video is taken at a wide angle. This valuable tool is located under Effects/Video Effects/Distort.


Photoshop: History Brush

This tool is located in the Dissolve panel within the Video Transitions under Effects. This works well in most scenarios, however, quick cuts can be more effective in fast-paced videos that incorporate many short clips.


Photoshop: Layer Mask

The Layer Mask helps hide or reveal pixels while keeping all of the original pixels intact, whereas deleting those pixels makes it harder to edit later. It can also be applied to not only a specific layer, but to an entire layer group folder.


Photoshop: Content Aware

This tool it is great for replacing a selection by using pixels that surround the selection. Different pixels are used each time you “fill”, so if the first attempt doesn’t get you what you want, try again! Tip: Adding a feather to your selection helps to smooth transitions. Shortcut: Shift F5


Photoshop: Patch

The Patch tool makes removing blemishes, scuffs, or imperfections seem easy. The tool uses an algorithm to fill in the blemish and blends it with like textures/colors. Shortcut: J


Photoshop: Adjustment Layer

Adjustment Layers include multiple types of adjustments, from Levels to Curves to Saturation to Contrast. The advantage to making an adjustment layer is that you’re not changing the actual image.


Photoshop: History Brush

When you want to be able to go back to any previous step in your photo editing, you can use the History Brush tool. Tip: It is recommended to increase the the number of history states from the default 50 in preferences. Shortcut: Y


Photoshop: Face-Aware Liquify

Without having to create any selections, Photoshop is able to automatically identify facial features and allow you to alter them. With easy editing capability, it’s great for adjusting facial features and is located under Filter > Liquify.