Understanding the Channels Palette

The Channels palette lists all the default channels contained in a layer and manages all the image's channels. To access this palette, click the Channels tab next to the Layers tab, as shown in Figure 2. The top channel is a composite channel—a combination of all the other default channels. The additional default channels, based on the existing color mode, are shown below the composite channel, followed by spot color channels, and finally by the alpha channels.

Channels have many of the same properties as layers. You can hide channels in the same way as you hide layers, by clicking a button in the column to the left of the thumbnail on the Channels palette. Each channel has a thumbnail that mirrors the changes you make to the image's layers. You can also change the order of channels by dragging them up or down on the Channels palette.

The thumbnails on the Channels palette might appear in grayscale. To view the channels in their actual color, click Edit on the menu bar, point to Preferences, click Display & Cursors, select the Color Channels in Color check box, then click OK. The default channels will appear in the color mode colors; an alpha channel will appear in the color selected in the Channel Options dialog box. You open the Channel Options dialog box by double-clicking the alpha channel on the Channels palette.

FIGURE 1

New dialog box

Mode choices

FIGURE 2

Channels on the Channels palette

FIGURE 1

New dialog box

Mode determines the number of channels

Mode choices

Mode determines the number of channels

FIGURE 2

Channels on the Channels palette

Composite channel

Default color mode channels

Indicates channel visibility button

Alpha channel active

Composite channel

Default color mode channels

Indicates channel visibility button

Alpha channel active

View the Channels palette

1. Start Photoshop, open PS 9-1.psd from the drive and folder where your Data Files are stored, update the text layers, then save it as Market Fresh.

2. Click the Default Foreground and Background Colors button on the toolbox to display the default settings.

3. Display the rulers in pixels, then change the zoom factor to 100%.

4. Click Edit (Win) or Photoshop (Mac) on the menu bar, point to Preferences, click Display & Cursors, verify that there is a check mark in the Color Channels in Color check box, then click OK to verify that the default color channels are displayed in color.

5. Click the Channels tab channels I next to the Layers tab on the Layers palette, then compare your Channels palette to Figure 3.

The Channels palette is active and displays the four channels for RGB color mode: RGB (composite), Red, Green, and Blue.

You opened the Channels palette, and verified that colors are displayed in the default color channels.

This allows you to see the actual colors contained in each channel when working with images.

FIGURE 3

Channels palette

Changes to the composite channel affect the entire layer

Your thumbnails might appear in grayscale

FIGURE 3

Channels palette

Your thumbnails might appear in grayscale

Displays the Channels palette

Changing alpha channel colors

You can change the color that the alpha channel displays (to alter the appearance of the image) by picking a color in the Channel Options dialog box. To open the Channel Options dialog box, double-click the alpha channel (which appears at the bottom of the Channels panel once it is created), click the color box, select a color in the Color Picker dialog box, then click OK. Click an option button in the Channel Options dialog box to choose whether the color includes or excludes the selected area, then click OK.

FIGURE 4

Selection created

FIGURE 4

Selection created

â– Elliptical marquee

*Save selection as a channel

FIGURE 5

Alpha channel created

FIGURE 5

Alpha channel created

Alpha 1 channel

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

Are You Frustrated Because Your Graphics Are Not Looking Professional? Have You Been Slaving Over Your Projects, But Find Yourself Not Getting What You Want From Your Generic Graphic Software? Well, youre about to learn some of the secrets and tips to enhance your images, photos and other projects that you are trying to create and make look professional.

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