Aligning and Distributing Content on Multiple Layers

You can use the Align and Distribute commands or the Move tool to arrange objects and to allocate the space between the objects. The objects can be aligned according to their top, bottom, left, or right edges or their vertical and horizontal centers. Likewise, the space between the objects can be allocated according to the same parameters (Figure 11-10). Figure 11-10 In this example, the commands Align Horizontal Centers and then Distribute Horizontal Centers were used to align and distribute...

Awakening the Input and Output Text Fields

When you enter the Curves dialog box, you may notice that you cannot enter Input and Output values into the text fields (Figure 3-11). That's because neither of the end points on a new curve is selected. So, how do you input values Well, you could either move the curve or click the points at the end of the curve, or you could and this option is much more elegant because it doesn't disturb the curve press the Ctrl key as you then press Tab. The action selects the shadow anchor point and allow...

Opening Raw Files in Bridge or Photoshop

Although Camera Raw does the actual processing of raw files, you can edit the Camera Raw settings under the auspices of Bridge or Photoshop. For some workflows, editing in Bridge is preferable, whereas for others you may want to edit in Photoshop. The choices at your disposal are as follows To edit Camera Raw settings in Photoshop, select a file and then choose File Open, or Ctrl+O (Windows), +O (Mac OS). To edit Camera Raw settings in Photoshop and close the Bridge window, select a file and...

Copying and Pasting All Visible Layers

You would think that copying and pasting would be straightforward, and so it is. However, when you try to invoke the Copy command, it's usually grayed out. That's because Photoshop needs to know what you wish to copy and for you to tell it by making a selection. Furthermore, only the content on the currently selected layer is copied. To copy the data in all the visible layers, take the following steps 2. Select Edit Copy Merged to copy the data. 3. Select Edit Paste to place the data where you...

Preserving New Brush Presets

When you create custom brush presets in the Brushes palette, there is no obvious way of saving them and, until you save them, you will likely lose them should Photoshop take a dive. Having invested time in creating new presets, you should make sure to save them, just in case the worse happens. To do so, choose Save Brushes from the palette menu. Make sure that you save the preset in the Adobe Photoshop CS2 Presets Brushes folder so that you easily load it again from the palette menu or from the...

Viewing Histograms

You can view a histogram for any one of the channels in your image, including alpha and spot channels, or a composite of all the modal color channels. By default, the histogram is based on the entire image, but you can view a segment by making a selection. Here is a list of the different views and how to access them To view an Expanded or Compact palette, choose an option from the palette menu. To view all channels, choose All Channels View from the palette menu. To view channels in color,...

Preventing Rounded Corners when Expanding

When you expand a rectangular selection and stroke it by more than a pixel, you might have noticed that the stroke acquires rounded corners (Figure 9-12). This is not caused by a setting that you might have overlooked it's just the way the feature works. To prevent this unwanted side effect, you can employ one of the following three workarounds Figure 9-11 A selection being warped by using the Edit Transform Selection Warp command A Corner handle. B Original selection bounding box. C Control...

The Magic Eraser Tool

The Magic Eraser tool works in a similar fashion to the Magic Wand tool. The difference is that rather than create a selection based on the sampled color, it erases the pixels to transparency. Furthermore, unlike the Eraser tool, if you use the Magic Eraser on a Background layer, rather than paint it with the background color, it converts it to a normal layer and then erases the pixels to transparency. The settings on the options bar let you modify the tool's behavior. They include Tolerance...

Specifying Gamut Warning's Overlay Color and Opacity

When you use the command Gamut Warning (View Gamut Warning), Photoshop overlays your image with a nonprinting color to indicate which colors are out of gamut (Figure 2-37), as described by the working color space or the profile selected in the Proof Setup submenu. Figure 2-37 Top Gamut warning overlaid with the default color, not so visible. Bottom Gamut warning overlaid with a custom color chosen in the Preferences Transparency & Gamut screen, very much visible. Figure 2-37 Top Gamut...

Using Smart Sharpen

If you are accustomed to using the Unsharp Mask filter, the new Smart Sharpen filter will fit right into your workflow and will probably replace the Unsharp Mask in no time at all. Whereas Unsharp Mask has very few controls, Smart Sharpen has controls for reducing halos as well as removing motion blur, Gaussian blur, and lens blur. Furthermore, it has the option to save the current settings and apply them in a future sharpening session. To use Smart Sharpen, take the following steps 1. If the...

Using Unsharp Mask

The Unsharp Mask (USM) filter has been used to sharpen images for many years and probably will continue to be used for some time to come because of its inclusion in actions, available freely and commercially, used on a daily basis. On the face of it, the filter looks deceptively easy to use, but in practice it trips up many a traveler. Briefly, the Amount slider controls the strength of the halo, the Radius the width, and the Threshold the intensity. The key to understanding its interface lies...

Creating Freeform Curves with the Arbitrary Map Tool

You can use the Pencil tool to create some unique filter effects by drawing arbitrary maps with it (Figure 3-13). After drawing a map, use the Smooth button to iron out the abrupt transitions and sharp corners on the curve. If you press Shift while drawing with the Pencil tool, you can click and create straight lines. TIP You can also use the Pencil tool to quickly add anchor points to the curve. To do so, select the Pencil tool, click one of the end points, press Shift and then click the other...

Drawing Arrow Heads and Tails

There is no dedicated tool in Photoshop for drawing arrows. However, the Line tool has options to add arrowheads at either end of a line (Figure 10-12). To create an arrow, take the following steps 1. Select the Line tool from the Toolbox (one of the hidden shape tools). 2. On the options bar, select the Shape Layers icon (the first icon of the three in line). 3. Click the Geometry Options icon (located by the Custom Shape Tool icon looks like a downward-pointing triangle). 4. In the Arrowheads...

Creating Compound Clipping Paths

A compound clipping path is made up of two or more subpaths used to mask each other. For example, if you need to enclose an image in a doughnut-like shape, you can draw two circular paths to clip the image inside and outside the O shape. The shape doesn't have to be circular it can be any shape, as long as the paths are not open (Figure 10-5). Figure 10-5 A compound clipping path used to create a vector layer mask. Figure 10-5 A compound clipping path used to create a vector layer mask. To...

Using the Apply Image Command

A considerable number of Photoshop users shy away from the Apply Image command because they fail to see its usage. It's actually a very powerful command (Figure 6-12) for applying blends between two documents. You can use it to blend not only layers but also channels between the source document and the target document. Furthermore, you can apply the blending through a channel, selection, or mask the channel can be a color channel or an alpha channel. Figure 6-12 The Apply Image dialog box being...

Changing the Quick Mask Color Overlay Options

When you create a complex selection by using the various selection tools, they are very rarely perfect or even near perfect. Panic not There is a special mode dedicated to modifying selections (and can also be used for creating irregular selections). It's called Quick Mask mode and can be invoked by, one, clicking on the Quick Mask mode icon in the Toolbox (Figure 2-33) or, two, by pressing Q on your keyboard (the keyboard shortcut is a toggle). When you enter Quick Mask mode, a rubylith color...

Correcting Unwanted Highlights on Faces

The Shadow Highlight adjustments command is a great feature for rescuing burned out highlights and blocked shadows. However, it works globally and cannot always do as good a job as some of the other tools. For example, the portrait in Figure 11-21 received an unplanned kick from a low-angle three-quarter backlight. Otherwise, the portrait is good and worth rescuing. Using Shadow Highlight brings out some unflattering detail, but painting over the burned out cheek solves the problem in one go...

Unlocking a Background Layer

The Background layer is a lion among layers. It just will not let you manipulate it in the same way that you can manipulate normal layers. Before you can apply transforms, you must unlock it. Similarly, to apply filters, tools, and commands that require the layers to support transparency, you have to sneak up on it and convert it to a normal layer that is, one that supports transparency. Fortunately, unlike taming a lion, unlocking and converting a Background layer to a normal layer does not...

Creating, Saving, and Organizing Styles

The Layer Styles dialog box is the place to create new custom styles. By combining the various effects available in the dialog box or changing their settings, you can create styles that mimic wood, metal, chrome, ruby, glistening water droplets, or fragile glass buttons in fact, the list is limitless. The available effects include Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Outer and Inner Glow, Bevel and Emboss, Satin, Color, Gradient and Pattern Overlay, and Stroke (see Figure 7-1). Figure 7-1 The Layer Style...

Hacking Photoshop* CS2

Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 10475 Crosspoint Boulevard Indianapolis, IN 46256 www.wiley.com Copyright 2005 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana ISBN-13 978-0-7645-9788-6 ISBN-10 0-7645-9788-4 Manufactured in the United States of America No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of...

Correcting Distortion Caused by a Taking Lens

If you receive files that exhibit common flaws caused by cheap lenses, or even expensive lenses that were used on a sensor for which they weren't specifically designed or were used at an extreme angle that results in keystoning, you can use the Lens Correction filter Filter Distortion Lens Correction to counteract the distortions. The filter can correct the most common flaws barrel, pincushion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and vertical and horizontal perspective. The Remove Distortion...

Applying Gradients to Shape Layers

When you create a shape using the pen or shape tools, by default the clipping path is filled with a solid color. However, suppose that you want to fill it with a gradient You have three choices, and, no, the Gradient tool is not one of them, because it cannot be used on a shape layer without first rasterizing the layer. You can apply a gradient layer effect after you have created a shape filled with color. You can create a layer style that uses just a gradient and then select it as a style in...

Crop Tool Modes

The Crop tool in Photoshop is a combined crop, perspective correction, image size, and canvas size tool. There are slight variations in the way the tool works in Photoshop and in ImageReady. Although some options are patently obvious when you select the Crop tool, others are revealed only when you actually define a crop. For example, when you draw a crop marquee, you can shade the area that will be discarded or hidden. The shaded area is called the crop shield you can toggle it off and on by...

Faster Access When Switching Applications_

When you switch from Photoshop to another application, if there is data on the clipboard, Photoshop can export it to the system clipboard for pasting into the other application. However, because Photoshop files can be extremely large, it can cause a delay while it exports the data on the clipboard. What happens, in fact, is that the data is converted to WMF or PICT format, depending on the OS, and that's what can cause the delay. If you find yourself waiting more often than you actually use the...

Rearranging Brushes in the Brushes Palette

Unfortunately, you cannot rearrange the brush tip shapes or the brush presets in the Brushes palette or in the pop-up Brushes palette. Although it would be nice to be able to do so directly in the Brushes palette, all is not lost. Select the Preset Manager from the Brush palette menu or call it from the Edit menu. If you select it from the palette menu, it will open showing the brush presets window Figure 3-3 . You can move the presets one by one or by selecting them in multiples.To rearrange,...

Specifying Default Resolution for New Preset Documents

When you create a new preset for a custom document size in the File New dialog box, Photoshop uses the resolution values set in the Units amp Rulers screen in the Preferences dialog box. The default resolution is 300 ppi for print and 72 ppi for screen. These settings affect all presets that you select from the Preset pop-up menu in the New dialog box. If you find yourself constantly changing the resolution, you can customize the settings. To take advantage of this opportunity, open the...

The Eraser Tool

The Eraser tool has three modes Block, Pencil, and Brush. In Block mode, the only control you have is to erase to history or to alter the size of the block by changing the magnification of the document. To erase, select the tool and then drag in the document. If the layer is a normal layer, pixels are erased to transparency if you drag on a Background layer or a layer with locked transparency, pixels are painted with the background color. To erase to history, select Erase to History on the...

Smart Objects

A Smart Object is simply a container for holding a composite version of a raster or vector file. When the Smart Object is modified in the originating application and saved, Photoshop updates the embedded composite in line with the modifications. For example, you can create a composite version of an Illustrator vector file as a Smart Object and have it update automatically each time you make changes to the file in Illustrator. You can create a Smart Object by placing a file or by converting an...

Revealing and Deleting Hidden Data

In the course of editing, data might move off the canvas intentionally or unintentionally. For example, when you transform a layer, some of the visible image content might disappear beyond the document bounds. The overspilled image content is not lost but remains hidden beyond the document bounds Figure 11-11 .To give another example, when you use the Crop tool in Hide mode, as opposed to the normal Crop mode, the cropped or shielded image content is made invisible by redefining the document...

Allowing Nonlinear History

By default, new history states are added from the top down oldest history states at the top and newest at the bottom. If you select a history state, all states that follow are dimmed and then deleted when you apply an edit. The new history state is then appended below the currently selected state. This method allows new histories to be added linearly. However, there is a downside to working in a linear history mode When you delete a state, all states that follow will also be deleted. If you...

Specifying Tool Cursors_

The default cursors that accompany a tool can be very handy for identifying the tool that you are using, but from a practical point of view, they present a problem because you cannot do any precise work with them. Fortunately, you can choose between five types of cursors for the painting tools and two for the other tools, and the place to choose them is once again the Preferences dialog box. You probably know the drill for accessing the Preferences dialog box, but here are the keyboard...

An Alternative Method for Sharpening Images

One alternative to using the filters in the Sharpen submenu is to use the High Pass filter. The filter works by increasing contrast on the edges of the image and leaves large, flat areas unaffected. The filter has only one setting Radius. To apply the filter, take the following steps 1. Duplicate the layer that you want to sharpen and give it a descriptive name, such as High Pass. 2. Set the magnification to 100 for screen output or to 50-25 if outputting to an offset printer. 3. Choose Filter...

Using Guides and Grids

Guides and grids are nonprinting visual aids that can help you place or move image content more precisely. They can also help you create selections and paths by providing visual markers for the start or end of a selection or path segment. You have two ways of creating guides in Photoshop You can have the rulers showing View Rulers and drag with the mouse pointer into the document window from the horizontal or vertical ruler to make the guide snap to an increment on the ruler, hold down the...

Vector Masks

If you are creating a design that contains elements with clear, defined outlines and you need to hide parts of it, instead of adding a grayscale mask, try adding a vector mask. Vector masks are infinitely editable and do not increase file size in the way that grayscale masks do. You can also use them in conjunction with a grayscale mask to create a soft- and hard-edged mask. Vector masks can also be converted to a grayscale mask if required. To add a vector mask to the active layer that does...

Layer Comps

When you need to show different versions of a work in progress to your clients, you could create multiple versions and then view them as a slide show from Bridge. However, trying to keep track of all the different versions, incorporating the client's comments, and creating modified files and then another slide show can become tiresome and lead to errors. A much better option is to create Layer Comps. You can quickly cycle through them and keep comments in the file by using Annotations. What's...

Brush Shape Dynamics

Although there is no substitute for playing in the Brushes palette Window Brushes, or click the palette icon in the options bar , the following figures Figures 10-13 through 10-18 and brief, technobabble-free explanations should help you to understand how the settings affect a brush preset. The stroke on the left of the figures was applied using a No Style brush and those on the right using a style. Click the item name, for example, Shape Dynamics, in the left side of the Brushes palette to...

Feathered Selections

Photoshop Soft Border Effects

When you use a selection to make compilations of images, extract elements from their background, apply edits, or make tonal adjustments, feathering can help to blend the object being worked upon into the background by creating a soft edge around the selection edge. The soft edge is not unlike the anti-aliasing applied to elliptical and irregular selections. However, it differs in one respect. It extends inward and outward from the selection edge, whereas anti-aliasing creates a soft...

Grayscale Masks

When you create a grayscale mask, you have two options at your disposal You can either create a mask that hides the layer content ready for you to reveal underlying content or one that reveals all ready for you to hide underlying content . Both have their uses in the scheme of things. Masks work on the principle that where the mask is black, it hides content directly underneath where the mask is white, it reveals content directly underneath where the mask is a shade of black and white, it...

Filling in Dust Spots and Scratch Marks

Regardless of how carefully you clean your scanner and your prints, some dust spots nearly always manage to escape the net. The following hack removes dust spots and small scratch marks without doing undue damage to the detail. 2. Next, apply Filter Noise Dust amp Scratches. 3. Set Threshold to 0 and then increase the Radius until you see the dust spots begin to disappear. You can make a judgment call by watching the document window or the proxy window. To compare a before and after preview,...

Locking and Unlocking Layers

The four lock icons at the top of the layer stack allow you to partially or wholly lock the layer content Figure 3-29 . Locking content can be useful, for example, when you want to paint but do not want the paint to intrude into the transparent area, or want to paint but not move the content accidentally. From left to right, the icons allow the following controls Lock Transparent Pixels Clicking the icon locks the transparent areas on the layer useful for filling and painting without affecting...

Using Blend If

When you blend layers or groups using the Blend Mode pop-up in the Layers palette, all the data from the default channels is blended. You can specify the level of opacity for the top layer, but that's about the only control you can exercise. Suppose that you need not only to specify which layers and channels to blend but also to limit the blending to shadows, midtones, or highlights. The Blend If feature is made for just such a supposition. It works on an If true, then do basis. You specify the...

Reducing Color and Luminosity Noise

Noise can be quantified as unwanted luminosity or color data, also known as chrominance signal-to-noise ratio. Noise is mostly apparent in images taken with consumer cameras, but prosumer cameras are also prone to it. It can appear as random patterns of color, most noticeable in light areas, such as skies, and dark areas, such as shadows. Noise is a byproduct of a number of factors. It can be attributed to heat generated by sensors, the proximity of photosites small sensors crammed with too...

Creating, Moving, and Deleting Color Samplers

Creating color samplers is very easy. All you need to do is select the Color Sampler tool and click in the image. You can embed up to four color samplers per document. However, deleting single samplers is not so obvious and, as usual, there are several ways of going about it Make sure that the Color Sampler tool is active, grab the color sampler that you want to delete, and drag it out of the document window. A bit more elegant method is to right-click Windows , Ctrl-click Mac OS the color...

Clipping Masks from Layer Transparency

The concept of creating clipping masks from layer transparency sounds like something straight out of a science journal. In fact, it s nothing more than the transparency of the bottommost layer in a group being used to mask the content of the upper layers. Layer clipping masks are used, for example, whenever you need to place an image inside text or the outline of image content most notably in posters advertising films or exotic holiday places. You can clip as many layers as you like to create...