Software Solutions for Checking Graphics

If you have the budget, there is extra software you may want to add to extend Photoshop's capabilities. These three tools overlap, so you will likely need only one of the three. They are arranged with the most full-featured (and expensive) first.

Echo Fire

This tool has long been regarded as an absolute essential. While Photoshop's newer ability to send video out over FireWire slightly diminishes EchoFire's value, it does not eliminate it by any means. Photoshop and After Effects users have the ability to send their work to a video monitor for immediate previews. With After Effects, this includes full-motion previews with audio. The plug-in works with Mac and PC FireWire devices or several cards from Digital Voodoo, AJA, Pinnacle Systems, Aurora, and Media 100.

Features that come in handy for Photoshop include:

• Video previews in Photoshop by pressing a key or from the Export menu.

Echo Fire offers a very flexible solution for video previews, for both Photoshop and After Effects.

• Ability to handle 4X3 and 16X9 aspect ratios.

• Direct overlays of a waveform monitor, vector scope, and test-pattern displays within Photoshop.

• A video-safe color picker.

• Proper handling of video interlace and color for accurate previews. You'll find a full-featured demo on this book's disc that will let you try it out for three days. If you like it, be sure to visit Synthetic Aperture's site.


This flexible plug-in is cross-platform and works with both RGB and 601 video levels. It allows you to check a Waveform Monitor or Vectorscope right within Photoshop. The plug-in loads as a filter, and you invoke it by choosing Filter>Video>ScopoGigio. The dialog box opens and gives you the ability to set several different options. The filter cannot actually be applied; clicking OK merely dismisses the dialog box. For more information, visit http://www.


This Mac-only product is an affordable option, at only $30 US. It is designed to monitor video input; however, it works quite well to check graphics. You can drag and drop a graphic into the viewer monitor and then have access to a software-based waveform and vectorscope. It appears to be as accurate as several NLEs' built-in scopes, but cannot fully replace a hardware-based scope. This application gives you the ability to use a software scope on systems that are not running a full NLE package. For more information, visit http://www.

Learn Photoshop Now

Learn Photoshop Now

This first volume will guide you through the basics of Photoshop. Well start at the beginning and slowly be working our way through to the more advanced stuff but dont worry its all aimed at the total newbie.

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