Ideas

Upskill on Creativity During Your Coffee Break

30 things you can learn in under 20 minutes.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on LinkedIn

Tuts+ offers a number of super short courses so you can learn a new skill in the time it takes to enjoy a coffee. In less than 15 minutes you can learn how to use new Photoshop tools, create an archive page, or add widgets to your site.

So perk up and get to learning!

Design and Illustration

1. A Quick Guide to Color in Digital Painting (11 minutes)

With digital painting you create the colors yourself. You can create more colors than you’ll ever need, but if you don’t understand how to do it, your colors will simply look wrong. To manage your colors properly, you need to understand their components: hue, saturation, brightness, and value. This very short Coffee Break Course will teach you the fundamentals of color that every digital artist should know.

2. How to Organize Artwork With Layers and Artboards in Adobe Illustrator  (11 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course, illustrator Simona Pfreundner will show you how to work with layers and artboards in Adobe Illustrator CC. Artboards help you organize your artwork and create multiple versions at different sizes. Another way to keep things organized is by using layers. Together, these two features can help speed up your workflow and keep things super tidy and organized.

3. How to Use Photoshop’s Mixer Brush Tool for Digital Painting  (13 minutes)

In this quick Coffee Break Course, Envato Tuts+ instructor Monika Zagrobelna will show you how useful the Mixer Brush is and why you should be using it in your digital paintings today!

4. How to Use the Pen Tool and Paths in Adobe Photoshop (14 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course, Envato Tuts+ Instructor Kirk Nelson will help you tackle the fundamentals of using the Pen Tool and Paths in Adobe Photoshop. The Pen Tool is one of the most avoided tools in the program, but it doesn’t have to be. It is extremely useful and will change the way you approach curves and shapes once you understand how to use it.

5. How to Use the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator (14 minutes)

The Pen Tool is without doubt one of the trickiest tools to use in Adobe Illustrator. But once mastered, it can also be the most useful tool. So in this Coffee Break Course, instructor Simona Pfreundner will show you how to get to grips with using this tool, so you can become more confident and hopefully more productive in your design work.

6. How to Use the Brush Tool in Adobe Photoshop (13 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course, Envato Tuts+ Instructor Melody Nieves will help you tackle the basics of the Brush Tool in Adobe Photoshop. From creating your own custom brushes to learning how to use this tool for photo manipulation, digital painting, and more, the possibilities are truly limitless once you master the essentials.

7. How to Work with Dynamic Symbols in Adobe Illustrator  (11 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course, illustrator Simona Pfreundner will show you how to work with dynamic symbols within Adobe Illustrator CC.

8. How to Use Live Shapes in Illustrator (13 minutes)

In this quick Coffee Break Course, illustrator Simona Pfreundner will introduce you to Live Shapes in Adobe Illustrator CC. You’ll get a brief introduction to what Live Shapes are, and then you’ll learn how to create something using this very handy feature.

9. How to Use Photoshop’s Smudge Tool for Digital Painting (14 minutes)

In this quick Coffee Break Course, digital artist Brian Lee teach you about one of the most powerful tools that Adobe Photoshop has to offer, the Smudge Tool. You’ll get a brief introduction to the tool and how to set it up. Then you’ll learn how to manipulate it to achieve different types of results for your digital artworks.

10. How to Use the Shaper Tool in Adobe Illustrator  (14 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course, you’ll learn how to create perfect geometric shapes using Adobe Illustrator’s Shaper Tool. The Shaper Tool allows you to combine, delete, fill and transform basic shapes to create complex shapes that stay fully editable.

11. How to Use the Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator (11 minutes)

The Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator gives you a new way of drawing smooth curves and straight lines to get the results you want quickly. In this Coffee Break Course, you will learn how easy and useful the Curvature Tool is.

12. Affinity Photo Live Filters and Inpainting (11 minutes)

Two Affinity Photo features are “Live Filter Layers” and the Inpainting tool. With “Live Filter Layers” you can apply several filters to your images in a non-destructive and adjustable way. With the Inpainting tool you can make objects disappear from images as though they were never there. In this course, you’ll learn how to use both tools, all in the space of just one coffee break!

13. Affinity Photo Personas (15 minutes)

In this course, you’ll learn all about personas, what they are and how they can work for you.

14. How to Use the Touch Type Tool in Adobe Illustrator (8 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course, illustrator Simona Pfreundner will show you how to use the Touch Type Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC. The Touch Type Tool can manipulate the individual characters in type as if they were separate objects.

15. Blending Techniques in Sketchbook Pro 8 (9 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course, digital artist Robert Marzullo will show you the step-by-step process of blending paint in Sketchbook Pro 8. You will learn three different methods of painting: how to blend with opacity, how to blend with the synthetic brushes, and how to blend with the soft airbrush.

16. Using Curves in Adobe Photoshop (10 minutes)

Curves are one of the best utilities in Photoshop for making lighting adjustments to an image.  In this Coffee Break Course, you will learn how to understand the histogram, make targeted adjustments to increase the contrast of an image, and how to remove a color cast from a photo.

17. Getting to Know the CC Libraries in Adobe Photoshop (10 minutes)

The Adobe CC Library panel allows you to store color swatches, color themes, brushes, typographical styles and raster and vector graphics in the cloud for you to access at any time and from wherever you are. In this Coffee Break Course, Envato Tuts+ instructor Kirk Nelson will show you how to use the CC libraries for a more streamlined workflow.

Web Design

18. Clipping and Masking in CSS (12 minutes)

Clipping and masking images are concepts you might be familiar with from having used graphics applications like Photoshop. In this Coffee Break Course, however, you’re going to learn how to use clipping and masking in CSS.

19. Anatomy of a WordPress Theme Template File (13 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course, Envato Tuts+ instructor Rachel McCollin will walk you through the main template files of the WordPress Twenty Sixteen theme. You’ll learn how a template file works, how the different parts fit together, and how templates can be split up into modules.

20. Explaining the Importance of Whitespace to Clients (8 minutes)

If you ever have trouble with clients wanting to fill their sites with clutter then this Coffee Break Course is for you. You’ll learn how to explain to your clients why whitespace matters and how to balance it with their business objectives.

Code

21. WordPress Basics: Add Widgets to your Site (10 minutes)

Widgets make it easy to customize your site with menus, text or other content. In this course, Envato Tuts+ instructor Rachel McCollin will show you how to use this useful feature of WordPress. You’ll learn how to add widgets to the different parts of your site, how to configure and delete them, and also how to use a plugin for text editing in your widgets.

22. WordPress Basics: A Guide to Site Settings (12 minutes)

WordPress comes with lots of settings you can use to customize the way your site works. It’s important to know what these settings do, so that you can make sure your site is working just the way you want before launching. In this course, Envato Tuts+ instructor Rachel McCollin will teach you how to access these site settings and tweak them for your site.

23. Create an Archive Page with Custom Taxonomies in WordPress (13 minutes)

Most themes will display the all the most recent posts on your archive pages, but sometimes you want to structure things a bit differently. In that case, you’ll need to modify the archive page template. In this Coffee Break Course, you’ll learn how to edit the template for a post archive. You’ll see how to create a custom taxonomy, and then sort the list of posts by those taxonomy terms.

Photo & Video

24. Build a Custom Dodge and Burn Photoshop Action (10 minutes)

Actions are a very powerful post-production tool for photographers. In this course you’ll learn how to build your own actions, starting with a multi-layer dodge and burn action. This action provides you with all the layers you’ll need to selectively alter exposure in any image. It’s one of the most effective techniques for enhancing your photos in a fast, repeatable, and stylish way.

25. Build a Custom Black and White Conversion Action (11 minutes)

In this course you learn how to start building your own actions with a customisable black and white conversion action. Converting an image to black and white involves more than just desaturating it. The action you will build has multiple layers to control the conversion, contrast, toning, vignette and film grain of the finished image.

26. Build Two Custom Sharpening Actions  (13 minutes)

In this course you’ll learn how to build your own actions starting with two different sharpening actions. The first action resizes your image, sharpens it, and then adds a watermark. The second creates three sharpening layers so you can selectively and creatively sharpen different aspects of your image.

27. Build a Custom Colour Toning Action  (11 minutes)

Actions are one of the best features in Photoshop. They make your workflow more efficient and consistent. In this course you’ll learn why their reputation for being hard to create is unwarranted by building a custom colour toning action.

28. Best Practices for Building Actions  (9 minutes)

In this Coffee Break Course you’ll learn about the benefit of using unique layer names, how to undo mistakes when making actions, how to make actions appear on top of the layer stack, and how to use Photoshop’s tools in your actions.

Business

29. Productivity Tips for Your Web Design Business (11 minutes)

Join Paul Boag in this Coffee Break Course as he shares the productivity tips that have enabled him to work less while earning more.

30. How to Get Homepage Design Approval (9 minutes)

One of the biggest challenges you face as web designers is getting stakeholders to agree on the homepage. Organizations often have too many people wanting their content on the homepage. In this Coffee Break Course, you’ll learn Paul Boag’s secret to getting agreement on homepage content, a technique which will ensure clients prioritize the needs of users over their own agenda.

Only have 1 minute to spare? Check out 60 second tutorials on Envato Tuts+ now! 

 


Jamie Frankenberg

About the Author Jamie Frankenberg

Jamie is a freelance writer and social worker with a background in public relations. She's currently exploring the world and learning about new cultures, connection, and creativity.