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Perry’s Previews Reviews Adobe Photoshop CS 5: A Versatile “Perrific!” Graphic Design Software

Published on: 30th April, 2014

Animation by Perry Chen with Photoshop CS5 Software

“PERRY” Animation by Perry Chen with Photoshop CS5 Software


Perry’s Previews Reviews Adobe Photoshop CS 5: A Versatile Graphic Design Software

April 30, 2014

4.5 starfish TM

(4.5 out of 5 Starfish)


By Perry S. Chen


In 7th grade, I enrolled in the “Digital Art” class in my new middle school.  Every student got to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop CS5, the designated digital art software for the class. Each student finished a variety of projects, including drawing, edited photos, and even animation, using the software, see an animation example of my name “PERRY” on the top of this review.  I learned valuable skills such as elements of good design, including how to use colors to enhance contrast, and how to draw attention to the piece I create. CS5’s versatile tools helped me turn my ideas into reality, be it original drawings, edited graphics, or cleaned-up photographs. Below, I will show you examples of how I used Photoshop to create various art pieces in different media.


Prior to CS5, I’ve had experience with another Adobe editing software: Photoshop Elements 9.0, which is a simplified version of Photoshop CS5. It has some of the same basic tools, more suitable for beginners who only need to make simple drawings or elementary editing features. The “Magic Wand” feature on Elements is excellent for cleaning up background for drawings.  In the “Dragons” pencil drawing examples below, you can see how using Elements 9.0 allowed me to sharpen the black and white image with higher contrast, clean up the background using the “Magic Wand” feature, and add my artist seal (my name in Chinese and English) at the bottom right of the drawing:


Scanned Pencil Drawing - Dragons by Perry Chen

Scanned Pencil Drawing – Dragons by Perry Chen



Dragons by Perry Chen After cleanup & editing with Photoshop Elements 9

Dragons by Perry Chen After cleanup & editing with Photoshop Elements 9


One thing I really like about CS5 is that you can drag images directly into the file without having to copy the entire image and paste it in; this is a function that Elements doesn’t have.  An additional feature for editing not on Elements but available in CS5 is “Puppet Warp”, which lets you manipulate an image by placing anchor points and movable points, similar to stretching the picture out like rubber. This tool is handy if you want to stretch a certain part of an image while leaving the rest untouched.


Minecraft character by Perry Chen designed using Photoshop CS5

Minecraft character by Perry Chen designed using Photoshop CS5


Photoshop is an excellent software for making an original drawing, as seen above in the Minecraft character (from the popular video game “Minecraft”) I designed. To draw with the mouse, the brush, or the pencil tool, you can click and drag the cursor. On the drawing I made, I also used the paint bucket tool to fill in areas with color. CS5 is an amazing medium for painting directly onto the computer.


Waterfall Landscape, Digital Art by Perry Chen using Photoshop CS5

“Waterfall Landscape”, Digital Art by Perry Chen using Photoshop CS5


For the waterfall landscape piece created based on a photograph shown above, I mainly used the pen tool to make the shapes and filled the areas with different colors. With the pen tool, you can make two points and connect them with either a straight or curved line. This design is great for artists who need to trace an image by hand. My 8th-grade art teacher selected this piece for submission to the upcoming San Diego County Fair art competition out of hundreds of digital art assignments from our digital art class this year.


Art & Life by Perry Chen with Photoshop CS5

“Art & Life” by Perry Chen with Photoshop CS5


With “Art & Life,” the picture of me holding a piece of paper to the plant, I used the “Lasso” tool to remove most of the background, and the “Magic Wand” tool for cleaning up. For the background I used a fabulous editing feature: the “Enhance” option. Its function is to adjust saturation, hue, and contrast individually. With this option, a boring old image can become vibrant, or moody, or even completely black and white! CS5’s “Enhance” option is the best tool to use if a picture needs touching up with colors, and with it, I made the background brighter and more lively.


Though it can be slightly intimidating to people who have never touched an editing software, the Photoshop CS5 tools are generally user friendly, and with time and practice, can be mastered through easy tutorials or simply testing out their functionality. I give Adobe’s Photoshop CS5 software 4.5 out of five starfish, it is “Perrific!”


Overall, Photoshop CS5 is an amazingly versatile software for creating both original drawing and edited visuals, perfectly suited for the needs of graphic designers and photo editors alike.  I have had great experience with Photoshop over the past two years.  Once you try CS5, you’ll never go back to Elements. Speaking from experience, I believe students as young as 7thgrade can learn and master essential skills to use Photoshop CS5 and create masterpieces work of art.  I look forward to experimenting with the newest software version- Adobe’s Photoshop CS6, and learn additional features.


Copyright 2014 By Perry S. Chen


About Perry Chen:

Perry S. Chen is a 14-year-old award-winning child critic, artist, animator, TEDx speaker, and entertainment personality, currently in 8th grade from San Diego.  He started reviewing movies at age 8 in 3rd grade using a kid-friendly starfish rating system, and has been featured in CBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, CCTV (China Central Television), Variety, Animation Magazine, The Young Icons, The Guardian, The China Press, etc.  He was a presenter at the 2010 Annie Awards for Animation, and has written movie reviews for Animation World Network, San Diego Union Tribune, Amazing Kids! Magazine, and his own Perry’s Previews blog, as well as restaurant reviews for DiningOut San Diego Magazine and San Diego Entertainer. He won the San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2013 for his movie and restaurant reviews.

Perry is currently writing, animating, and directing his most personal film to date, “Changyou’s Journey,” produced by his mom Dr. Zhu Shen, about his beloved father Dr. Changyou Chen, a cancer researcher who passed away in July 2012 from terminal cancer after a long, brave battle, please watch trailer and donate to support Perry’s animation film:

Perry won an “Excellence in Journalism Award” from San Diego Press Club in 2010 and 2011 for his movie and restaurant reviews, an “Excellence Writer Award” from “We Chinese in America” Magazine in 2010 for his movie review column. Perry is widely recognized as an authoritative spokesperson about movies for his generation, and appears frequently at red carpet movie premieres, awards, and film festivals, interviewing prominent directors from such films as Toy Story 3, Up, How to Train Your Dragon.  He was a presenter at the 2010 Annie Awards for Animation in Hollywood.  Perry and his mom Dr. Zhu Shen are featured in a new book about parenting and youth entrepreneurship, “The Parent’s Guide to Raising CEO Kids,” published in Aug 2011.

Perry’s first animation short “Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest,” in collaboration with animation legend Bill Plympton, won multiple film festival awards and has been screened at over 30 international film festivals, now available on iTunes. More info:

Watch “Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest” on iTunes:

Watch Perry on “Live Life & Win” national TV show:

Become a fan on Facebook: (Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest official FB page) (Perry’s Previews fan page)

Subscribe to Perry’s YouTube channel and watch his filmmaker interviews:

Follow his tweets:

For business inquiries about Perry Chen, his animation films, movie reviews, contact Dr. Zhu Shen, bioforesight at gmail dot com


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