This is a post always open to being modified as I find new links to add to it.
I would like to focus on freebies, but some of the material below might come at cost. I will try to note (maybe with a dollar sign, $, which ones are not freebies).
I am maintaining this list for myself, based on products, brushes, plug-ins or stock photos I find attractive, or perceive as being useful, and not necessarily for a broader audience.
✦ 18 Free Ice and Water Textures / Stock Photography
✦ ($) Fire Photoshop Action (via Graphic River. Cost: $6.00)
✦ ($) Rusted Sign Mockups (via Media Loot. Cost: $6.00)
✦ 75 High Quality Watercolor Photoshop Brushes (Vol.2) (via Inspiration Hut)
This post is under construction. I’ll add more links as I find them (ones that I find interesting or helpful)
✦ Create A Simple Fiery Text Effect
(also Blue Print text effect, floral text effect, more)
✦ 15 Amazing Text Effects Photoshop Tutorials for Designers
electrified; chalk board; inflated, metallic (balloon looking); text on foggy window; glitter glue; sparkling glass; lightning; leafy text; multi-color fire – and more
✦ How to Create Glitter Gold Text Effect
You don’t need to use a cartoonish image as I have done in this post, for this example. Any image will do; it can be a realistic image. I worked on the following image at 72 ppi (pixels per inch, RGB mode).
You will need to have whatever image you want to use cut out from the background for this to work.
The end result should look something like this shark image below – a halftone pattern around or behind the shape:
Finished result: Shark drawing with Halftone outline / effect; Halftone effect created in Photoshop
Cockatoos watercolor painting
Cockatoos watercolor painting by K. Fairbanks
Depending on what version of Photoshop you are using, there are different ways to extract fine selections, such as hair or fur, from a background.
Somewhere along the way, around version CS5 or CS6, Adobe put a new selection tool or menu item in Photoshop that makes removing detailed areas from backgrounds much easier.
Yet another source says that Refined Edge was introduced in version CS3. That same source also says:
In Photoshop CS4 you can access Refine Edge through the new Adjustments panel (Black & White Adjustment Layers).
I personally own an older version of Photoshop, version CS4, and if I am understanding all these tutorials and articles correctly, versions of Photoshop prior to CS5 or 6 lack Smart Radius and Edge Selection choices in the Refine Edge dialog box.
Adobe Photoshop version history (via Wikipedia)
Version CS4 – released 2008
Version CS5 – released 2010
Version CS6 – released 2012
Version CC – released 2014
Here, I am compiling a list of links to tutorials – both posts and videos – that demonstrate how to remove detailed areas from backgrounds.