Converting points

Photoshop lets you change the identity of an interior point. You can convert a corner point to a smooth point and vice versa. You perform all point conversions using the convert point tool as follows Smooth to corner Click an existing smooth point to convert it to a corner point with no Bezier control handle. Smooth to cusp Drag one of the handles of a smooth point to move it independently of the other, thus converting the smooth point to a cusp. Corner to smooth Drag from a corner point to...

Making precise movements

Photoshop provides three methods for moving selections in prescribed increments. In each case, the move tool is active, unless otherwise indicated * First, you can nudge a selection in 1-pixel increments by pressing an arrow key on the keyboard or nudge in 10-pixel increments by pressing Shift with an arrow key. This technique is useful for making precise adjustments to the position of an image. Tip To nudge a selected area when the move tool is not active, press Ctrl with an arrow key. Press...

Using the Unsharp Mask filter

The first thing you need to know about the Unsharp Mask filter is that it has a weird name. The filter has nothing to do with unsharpening whatever that is nor is it tied into Photoshop's masking capabilities. Unsharp Mask is named after a traditional film compositing technique (which is also oddly named) that highlights the edges in an image by combining a blurred film negative with the original film positive. That's all very well and good, but the fact is most Photoshop artists have never...

The Pixelate Filters

The Filter Pixelate submenu features a handful of commands that rearrange your image into clumps of solid color 4 Crystallize This filter organizes an image into irregularly shaped nuggets. You specify the size of the nuggets by entering a value from 3 to 300 pixels in the Cell Size option. 4 Facet Facet fuses areas of similarly colored pixels to create a sort of hand-painted effect. 4 Mosaic The Mosaic filter blends pixels together into larger squares. You specify the height and width of the...

Units of measure

The Width and Height pop-up menus contain the five common units of measure mentioned earlier pixels, inches, centimeters, points, and picas. But the Width pop-up menu offers one more, called Columns. If you want to create an image that fits exactly within a certain number of columns when it's imported into a desktop publishing program, select this option. You can specify the width of a column and the gutter between columns by pressing Ctrl+K and Ctrl+5 to display the Units & Rulers...

STEPS: Using the Multichannel Mode as an Intermediary Step

If the image is already open, make sure that it is saved to disk. 2. Choose Image Mode Multichannel. This eliminates any relationship between the formerly red, green, and blue color channels. 3. Click the new channel icon at the bottom of the Channels palette. Or choose the New Channel command from the palette menu and press Return to accept the default settings. Either way, you add a mask channel to the image. This empty channel will serve as the black channel in the CMYK...

Using the measure tool

The final method for controlling movements in Photoshop is the measure tool. Alt-click the eyedropper tool a couple of times or press Shift+I to select the measure tool. Then drag from one point to another point in the image window. Photoshop itemizes the distance and angle between the two points in the Info palette. The measure tool is even smart enough to automatically display the Info palette if it's hidden. From that point on, any time you select the measure tool, Photoshop displays the...

Creating a Difference sandwich

Ask your local deli guy, and he'll tell you that everyone has a favorite sandwich. Where blend modes are concerned, my favorite is the Difference sandwich. By applying Difference to both the filtered layer and the cloned original on top, you effectively invert the filter into the original image, and then reinvert the image to create a more subtle and utterly unique effect. Figure 13-15 and Color Plate 13-4 show a small sampling of the several thousand possible variations on the Difference...

Reshaping paths

The white arrow tool known in official Adobe circles as the direct selection tool represents the foremost path-reshaping function in Photoshop. To select this tool from the keyboard, first press A to select the new black arrow tool and then press A again to toggle to the white arrow. Or just Alt-click the black arrow tool in the toolbox. (You use the black arrow to select, relocate, and duplicate entire paths or subpaths, as explained in the upcoming section Moving and cloning paths.) Tip Press...

Reconstructing and reverting

In the Reconstruction section of the Liquify window, you see a Mode pop-up menu plus two buttons, Reconstruct and Revert. You can use these options not only to revert an image to the way it looked before you applied a distortion, but also to redo a distortion so that it affects the image differently. The following list outlines reversion possibilities To undo your last drag, just press Ctrl+Z, as always. Press again to undo the undo. To return everything back to the way it was when you first...

Photoshop operations timing

If you select Timing, the preview box tells how long Photoshop took to perform the last operation (including background tasks, such as transferring an image to the system Clipboard). Adobe may have added this option to help testing facilities run their Photoshop tests. But built-in timing helps you as well. For example, suppose you're trying to decide whether to purchase a new computer. You read a magazine article comparing the newest super-fast system. You can run the same filters with the...

Transparency & Gamut

Press Ctrl+4 to switch to the Transparency & Gamut panel shown in Figure 2-18. The options in this panel change how Photoshop displays two conceptual items transparent space behind layers and RGB colors that can't be expressed in CMYK printing. Figure 2-18 The options in this panel affect how Photoshop represents transparency and out-of-gamut colors. For the most part, you just want to select colors that you don't often see inside your images. Figure 2-18 The options in this panel affect how...

Distorting with the Liquify command

'J Photoshop 6 introduces the Liquify command, which offers boundless opportuni ties for image distortion. With Liquify, you can drag in your image to warp, shift, twirl, expand, contract, and even copy pixels. Unlike filters, which apply a uniform distortion across a selection, Liquify enables you to distort pixels by pushing them around with a brush. You might expect to find Liquify on the Filter menu, but those expectations are wrong. This command instead appears on the Image menu. When you...

Paint and Edit Tool Basics

Here it is, Chapter 5, and I'm finally getting around to explaining how to use Photoshop's painting tools. You must feel like you're attending some kind of martial arts ritual where you have to learn to run away, cry, beg, and attempt bribery before you get to start karate-chopping bricks and kicking your instructor. The wise person journeys through the fundamentals of image editing before painting a single brushstroke, Grasshoppa. Wang, wang, wang. (That's a musical embellishment, in case you...

STEPS: Creating a Drop Shadow

Select the subject that you want casting the shadow. In my case, I selected the dolphin by painting the mask shown in Figure 12-17 inside a separate mask channel. These days, I add a mask to nearly every image I create to distinguish the foreground image from its background. I converted the mask to a selection outline by Ctrl-clicking on the mask name in the Channels palette and then pressing Ctrl+tilde ( ) to switch back to the composite view. 2. Send the image to a separate layer by pressing...

Radial blurring

Choosing Filter Blur Radial Blur displays the Radial Blur dialog box shown in Figure 10-28. The dialog box offers two Blur Method options Spin and Zoom. Figure 10-27 The result of combining the Wind and Motion Blur filters with a translucent selection. Figure 10-27 The result of combining the Wind and Motion Blur filters with a translucent selection. Figure 10-28 Drag inside the Blur Center grid to change the point about which the Radial Blur filter spins or zooms the image. Figure 10-28 Drag...

100-pixel

Figure 15-9 Four samples of 180-pixel type set inside 180-pixel boxes. As you can see, type size is an art, not a science. Also called line spacing, leading is the vertical distance between the baseline of one line of type and the baseline of the next line of type, as illustrated in Figure 15 10. In Photoshop 6, you set leading via the Leading pop up menu in the Character palette, labeled in Figure 15-8. Again, either select one of the menu options or double-click the current value, type a new...

The tools

Photoshop 6 brings with it many changes, including some significant revamping of the toolbox. Here's a quick summary Adobe added a row of icons to the toolbox, and the new shape tools and annotation tools quickly set up housekeeping therein. The crop tool left the digs that it shared with the marquee tools and took up residence on its own nearby. The measure tool moved in with the eyedroppers, the paintbrush shacked up with the pencil, and the line tool got kicked out on the street....

Opacity, pressure, and exposure

Another way to change the performance of a paint or an edit tool is to adjust the Pressure, Opacity, or Exposure value, depending on what tool you're using. In Version 6, the controls appear on the Options bar, which replaces the former Options palette. Regardless of which setting you want to change, you click the triangle to display a slider bar, drag the slider to raise or lower the value, and then press Enter. Alternatively, you can double-click the option box, type a value, and press Enter....

Blurring with a threshold

The purpose of the Filter Blur Smart Blur is to blur the low-contrast portions of an image while retaining the edges. This way, you can downplay photo grain, blemishes, and artifacts without harming the real edges in the image. (If you're familiar with Filter Pixelate Facet, it may help to know Smart Blur is essentially a customizable version of that filter.) The two key options inside the Smart Blur dialog box (see Figure 10-30) are the Radius and Threshold slider bars. As with all Radius...

Using multichannel techniques

The one channel function I've so far ignored is Image Mode Multichannel. When you choose this command, Photoshop changes your image so that channels no longer have a specific relationship to one another. They don't mix to create a full-color image instead, they exist independently within the confines of a single image. The multichannel mode is generally an intermediary step for converting between different color modes without recalculating the contents of the channels. For example, normally...

How the quick mask mode works

Typically, you'll at least want to rough out a selection with the standard selection tools before entering the quick mask mode. Then you can concentrate on refining and modifying your selection inside the quick mask, rather than having to create the selection from scratch. (Naturally, this is only a rule of thumb. I violate the rule several times throughout this chapter, but only because the quick mask mode and I are such tight friends.) To enter the quick mask mode, click the quick mask mode...

Knocking out layers

The Knockout pop up menu is another of the blending options new to Photoshop 6. It turns the contents of the active layer into a floating hole that can bore through one or more layers. You specify how deep the hole goes using the Knockout option use Opacity and blend mode options to define the translucency of the hole. Select a Knockout option depending on what layers you want to blend together 4 None blends normally. The layer is treated as a standard layer, not a hole. 4 Shallow cuts a hole...

Freezing and thawing pixels

As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, Photoshop automatically freezes selected pixels when you enter the Liquify dialog box, which means that any distortions you apply don't affect them. You can freeze additional areas at any time. You also can thaw pixels so that they once again become slaves to the distortion tools. To freeze a portion of your image from the Liquify window, you have two options 4 Press F to select the freeze tool, shown along with the Freeze options in Figure 11-42, and then...

Opening raw documents

A raw document is a plain binary file stripped of all extraneous information. It contains no compression scheme, specifies no bit depth or image size, and offers no color mode. Each byte of data indicates a brightness value on a single color channel, and that's it. Photoshop offers this function specifically so you can open images created in undocumented formats, such as those created on mainframe computers. To open an image of unknown origin, choose File Open As. Then select the desired image...

Distortion Filters

For the most part, commands in the Distort submenu are related by the fact that they move colors in an image to achieve unusual stretching, swirling, and vibrating effects. They're rather like the transformation commands from the Layer menu in that they perform their magic by relocating and interpolating colors rather than by altering brightness and color values. The distinction, of course, is that whereas the transformation commands let you scale and distort images by manipulating four control...

Cleaning up scanned halftones

Photoshop offers one additional filter in the Filter Noise submenu called Dust & Scratches. The purpose of this filter is to remove dust particles, hairs, scratches, and other imperfections that may accompany a scan. The filter offers two options, Radius and Threshold. As long as the offending imperfection is smaller or thinner than the Radius value and different enough from its neighbors to satisfy the Threshold value, the filter deletes the spot or line and interpolates between the pixels...

The History palette

Choose Window Show History to view the History palette, annotated with the palette menu in full view in Figure 7-26. The History palette records each significant operation everything other than settings and preferences (for example, selecting a new foreground color) and adds it to a list. The oldest operations appear at the top of the list with the most recent operations at the bottom. Snapshots Opened state Palette menu Snapshots Opened state Palette menu Figure 7-26 The History palette...

Selecting the Contents of Layers

A few sections back, I mentioned that every layer (except the background) includes a transparency mask. This mask tells Photoshop which pixels are opaque, which are translucent, and which are transparent. Like any mask, Photoshop lets you convert the transparency mask for any layer active or not to a selection outline. In fact, you use the same keyboard techniques you use to convert paths to selections (as explained in Chapter 8) and channels to selections (Chapter 9) Ctrl-click an item in the...

Automated matting techniques

When you convert an antialiased selection to a layer, you sometimes take with you a few pixels from the selection's previous background. These fringe pixels can result in an unrealistic outline around your layer that cries out, This image was edited by a hack. For example, Figure 12-12 shows a magnified detail from one of my original attempts to add a drop shadow to the TV. Although the selection outline was accurate, I managed to retain a few white pixels around the edges, as you can see...

STEPS: Adjusting the Focus of Digital Photos

Select the entire image and copy it to a new layer. That's Ctrl A, Ctrl J. Figure 10-43 shows the image that I intend to sharpen, a picture of a friend's child. Figure 10-43 I captured this youthful fellow with a low-end digital camera equipped with a removable fish-eye lens. How innocent and happy he looks obviously not a computer user. 2. Choose Filter Noise Median. After processing several thousand of these images, I've found that a Radius value of 2 is almost always the optimal choice. But...

Fast Track to Version

If it seems like you've been using Photoshop for the better part of your professional career and you're itching to put a leash around the program's neck and take it for a walk, the following list explains all. Here I've compiled a few of the most prominent features that are new to Photoshop 6, in rough order of importance. I also point you to the chapter where you can sniff around for more information Object-oriented type Chapter 15 Every update to Photoshop features some kind of improvement to...

The paint bucket tool

Unlike remedial paint bucket tools in other painting programs, which apply paint exclusively within outlined areas or areas of solid color, the Photoshop paint bucket tool offers several useful adjustment options. In Version 6, you access the paint bucket controls in the Options bar, as with all tools. When you select the paint bucket, the Options bar automatically updates to show the available controls. If you don't see the Options bar, press Enter, double click the paint bucket icon in the...

The floating palettes

In addition to the Options bar, Photoshop 6 sports two new text-related palettes, the Character and Paragraph palettes. These two palettes don't display automatically when you first launch Photoshop you must choose Show Character or Show Paragraph from the Window menu or click the Palettes button on the Options bar while the type tool is active. Other than that, these new palettes look and behave just like the other palettes, which look and behave much like they have since Version 3. Each...

CIE's

RGB isn't the only mode that responds quickly and provides a bountiful range of colors. Photoshop's Lab color space comprises all the colors from RGB and CMYK and is every bit as fast as RGB. Many high-end users prefer to work in this mode, and I certainly advocate this if you're brave enough. Whereas the RGB mode is the color model of your luminescent computer screen and the CMYK mode is the color model of the reflective page, Lab is independent of light or pigment. Perhaps you've already...

Building your own seamless pattern

The following steps describe how to change a scanned image into a seamless, repeating pattern. To illustrate how this process works, Figures 7-22 through 7-25 show various stages in a project I completed. You need only two tools to carry out these steps the rectangular marquee tool and the rubber stamp tool. Those of you reading sequentially may notice that these steps involve a few selection and layering techniques I haven't yet discussed. If you become confused, you can find out more about...

Creating layer-specific masks

Layer Mask Photoshop Image

In addition to the transparency mask that accompanies every layer except the background , you can add a mask to a layer to make certain pixels in the layer transparent. Now, you might ask, Won't simply erasing portions of a layer make those portions transparent The answer, of course, is yes. And I hasten to add, that was a keen insight on your part. But when you erase, you delete pixels permanently. By creating a layer mask, you instead make pixels temporarily transparent. You can return...

Creating noise gradients

Adobe describes a noise gradient as a gradient that contains random components along with the deterministic ones that create the gradient. Allow me to translate Photoshop adds random colors between the defined colors of the selected gradient. Did that help No Then take a look at Figure 6-18, which shows examples of three noise gradients based on a simple black-to-white gradient. You could create these same gradients using the regular Solid gradient controls, of course, but it would take you...

STEPS: Brushing to a Parallel Time Line

Open the image you want to warp into the fourth dimension. I begin with a map of Japan Figure 7-34 . Japan is a wacky combination of 17th-century cultural uniformity, 1950's innocence, and 21st-century corporate imperialism, so it strikes me as a perfect subject for my compound-time experiment. 2. Apply a couple of filters. I choose Filter Pixelate Mosaic and set the Cell Size value to 20 pixels. Then I apply Filter Stylize Emboss with a Height of 5 pixels and an Amount of 200 percent....

Physical memory usage

Windows 95, NT 4, and later offer dynamic memory allocation, which means that each application gets the memory it needs as it needs it. But Photoshop is something of a memory pig and has a habit of using every spare bit of RAM it can get its hands on. Left to its own devices, it might gobble up all the RAM and bleed over into Windows' virtual memory space, which is less efficient than Photoshop's own scratch disk scheme. The Physical Memory Usage option helps you place some limits on...

The Brushes palette

Unless you were completely asleep at the wheel when you launched Photoshop 6 for the first time, you no doubt noticed the Options bar stretching across the top of the program window. In computer lingo, the Options bar is known as a context-sensitive toolbar, meaning that the options on the bar change depending on what tool you're using. When you work with the paint and edit tools, the Options bar gives you access to a choice of brush shapes. To browse through the available brushes, open the...

The Bold New Layer Styles

Photoshop 5 introduced a series of layer effects that automate the application of shad ows, glows, and beveled edges. Now, Version 6 takes the metaphor several steps fur ther. In addition to dramatically improving the quality of the existing effects now you won't find yourself cursing at them half the time the new Photoshop adds effects that overlay colors, stroke outlines, and create textures and contours. Plus, you can define exactly how effects are blended with background layers. And you can...

Creating a metallic coating

The edge-tracing filters are especially fun to use in combination with Edit Fade. I became interested in playing with these filters after trying out the Chrome filter included with the first Gallery Effects collection. Now included with Photoshop as Filter Sketch Chrome, this filter turns an image into a melted pile of metallic goo. No matter how you apply Chrome, it completely wipes out your image and leaves a ton of jagged color transitions in its wake. It's really only useful with color...

Gamut Warning

If Photoshop can display a color on screen but can't accurately print the color, the color is said to be out of gamut. You can choose View Gamut Warning to coat all out-of-gamut colors with gray. I'm not a big fan of this command View Proof Colors Ctrl Y is much more useful but if you use View Gamut Warning, you don't have to accept gray as the out-of-gamut coating. Change the color by clicking the Gamut Warning Color swatch, and lower the Opacity value to request a translucent coating.

Softening selection outlines

You can soften a selection in two ways. The first method is antialiasing, introduced in Chapter 5. Antialiasing is an intelligent and automatic softening algorithm that mimics the appearance of edges you'd expect to see in a sharply focused photograph. Note Where did the term antialias originate Anytime you try to fit the digital equivalent of a square peg into a round hole say, by printing a high resolution image to a low resolution printer the data gets revised during the process. This...

Free-form outlines

In comparison to the rectangular and elliptical marquee tools, the lasso tool provides a rather limited range of options. Generally speaking, you drag in a free-form path around the image you want to select. The few special considerations are as follows Feathering and antialiasing Just as you can feather rectangular and elliptical marquees, you can feather selections drawn with the lasso tool by selecting the Feather check box on the Options bar. To soften the edges of a lasso outline, select...

Fuzziness

The problem with hiding and forcing colors with the slider bars is that you achieve some pretty harsh color transitions. Both Figures 13-19 and 13-20 bear witness to this fact. Talk about your jagged edges Luckily, you can soften the color transitions by abandoning and forcing pixels gradually over a fuzziness range, which works much like the Fuzziness value in the Color range dialog box, leaving some pixels opaque and tapering others off into transparency. To taper the opacity of pixels in...

The State of Type in Photoshop

Photoshop 5 gave us something you don't see often editable bitmapped type. Long after you created a line or two of text, you had the option of changing the words, typeface, size, leading, kerning, and so on, just as you could in other graphics and electronic publishing programs. You could also mix and match formatting attributes inside a single text block, something you couldn't do in Version 4 and earlier. In only one upgrade cycle, Photoshop made a quantum leap from grim Stone Age letter...

Creating a reference window

Reference Window Photoshop

In the ancient days, paint programs provided a cropped view of your image at the actual-pixels view size to serve as a reference when you worked in a magnified view. Because it's so doggone modern, Photoshop does not, but you can easily create a second view of your image by choosing View New View, as in Figure 2-12. Use one window to maintain a 100-percent view of your image while you zoom and edit inside the other window. Both windows track the changes to the image. Figure 2-12 You can create...

Actual pixels

Photoshop calls the 100-percent zoom ratio the actual-pixels view. This is the most accurate view size because you can see the image as it really is. Reduced view sizes drop pixels magnified view sizes stretch pixels. Only the actual-pixels view displays each pixel without a trace of screen distortion. You can switch to this most accurate of view sizes at any time using one of the following techniques Choose View Actual Pixels. Press Ctrl Alt 0. That's a zero, not the letter O. Double click the...

Distorting an image inside out

The following exercise describes how to achieve a sizzling Parting of the Red Sea effect. Although it incorporates several distortion filters, the star of the effect is the Polar Coordinates filter, which is used to turn the image inside out and then convert it back to polar coordinates after flipping it upside down. No scanned image or artistic talent is required. Rumor has it that Moses puts in a guest appearance in the final image. This effect is the brainchild of Mark Collen, easily the...

Reordering layers

What good are layers if you can't periodically change what's on the top and what's on the bottom You can reorder layers in two ways. First, you can drag a layer name up or down in the scrolling list to move it forward or backward in layering order. The only trick is to make sure that the black bar appears at the point where you want to move the layer before you release the mouse button, as illustrated in Figure 12-11. Figure 12-11 Drag a layer between two other layers to make the all-important...

Motion blurring

The Motion Blur filter makes an image appear as if either the image or camera was moving when you shot the photo. When you choose Filter Blur Motion Blur, Photoshop displays the dialog box shown in Figure 10-23. You enter the angle of movement into the Angle option box. Alternatively, you can indicate the angle by dragging the straight line inside the circle on the right side of the dialog box, as shown in the figure. Notice that the arrow cursor actually appears outside the circle. Once you...

Geometric selection outlines

Tools for creating simple geometric selection outlines occupy the very first slot in the Photoshop toolbox. By default, the rectangular marquee tool has the stage. You select the elliptical, single-row, and single-column marquee tools from the flyout menu that appears when you drag from the marquee tool icon. Tip Press M to select the tool that's currently visible in the toolbox. Press M again to toggle between the rectangular and elliptical marquee tools. Alternatively Alt click jF the tool...

The Navigator palette

Shown in Figure 2-13, the Navigator palette is the best thing to happen to zooming and scrolling since Photoshop was first introduced. If you routinely work on large images that extend beyond the confines of your relatively tiny screen, you'll want to get up and running with this palette as soon as possible. Figure 2-13 The Navigator palette is the best thing to happen to zooming and scrolling since Photoshop 1.0. Figure 2-13 The Navigator palette is the best thing to...

The mainstream formats

The formats discussed so far are mighty interesting and they all fulfill their own niche purposes. But two formats JPEG and TIFF are the all-stars of digital imagery. You'll use these formats the most because of their outstanding compression capabilities and almost universal support among graphics applications. The JPEG format is named after the folks who designed it, the Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is the most efficient and essential compression format currently available and is...

The shape drawing process

The act of drawing a shape can be as simple as dragging with a tool. When you're done, Photoshop creates a new shape layer. However, should you decide to invest more time, the program offers you a wealth of additional controls. Just for the record, here's the long way to approach the process of drawing a shape layer. 1. Specify the foreground color. Select the color for the shape from the Color palette. If you want to fill the shape with a gradient, pattern, or image, you can do that after you...

Building a Mask from an Image

So far, everything I've discussed in this chapter has been pretty straightforward. Now it's time to see how the professionals do things. This final section in this chapter explains every step required to create a mask for a complex image. Here's how to select the image you never thought you could select, complete with wispy little details such as hair. Take a gander at Figure 9-28 and see what I mean. I chose this subject not for her good looks or her generous supply of freckles, but for that...

STEPS: Creating the Crystal Halo Effect

Select the foreground element around which you want to create the halo. Then choose Select Inverse to deselect the foreground element and select the background. 2. Press Q to switch to the quick mask mode. 3. Choose Filter Other Minimum. As I explained in Chapter 10, this filter enables you to increase the size of the deselected area around the foreground element. The size of the Radius value depends on the size of the halo you want to create. I entered 15 because I wanted a 15-pixel halo....

STEPS: Creating and Using an Edge Mask

Duplicate one of the color channels. Bring up the Channels palette and drag one of the color channels onto the little page icon. Ike is a grayscale image, so I duplicate the one and only channel. 2. Choose Filter Stylize Find Edges. As I explain in Chapter 11, the Find Edges filter automatically traces the edges of your image with thick, gooey outlines that are ideal for creating edge masks. 3. Press Ctrl I. Or choose Image Adjust Invert. Find Edges produces black lines against a white...

Setting up the grid

Photoshop offers a grid, which is a regular series of snapping increments. You view the grid and turn it on by choosing View Show Grid. Turn the snapping forces of the grid on and off by choosing View Snap To Grid. You edit the grid in the Guides amp Grid panel of the Preferences dialog box which you can get to by pressing Ctrl K and then Ctrl 6 or by Ctrl-double-clicking on a guide . I explain how to use these options in the Guides amp Grid section of Chapter 2. But for the record, you enter...

Working in Quick Mask Mode

Selection masks give you an idea of what masks are all about, but they only scrape the surface. The rest of this chapter revolves around using masks to define complex selection outlines. The most straightforward environment for creating a mask is the quick mask mode. In the quick mask mode, a selection is expressed as a rubylith overlay. All deselected areas appear coated with red, and selected areas appear without red coating, as shown in the top examples of Color Plate 9-1. You can then edit...

Blending layers

Photoshop lets you blend layers like no other program in the business. In fact, Photoshop does such a great job that it takes me an entire chapter Chapter 13 to explain these options in detail. I offer this section by way of introduction so that you're at least aware of the basics. If you have bigger questions, Chapter 13 is waiting to tell all. The Layers palette provides three basic ways to blend pixels between layers see Figure 12-15 . None of these techniques changes as much as a pixel in...

Transforming layers and selected pixels

To transform a layer or selection, you can apply one of the commands in the Edit Transform submenu. Nearly a dozen commands are here, all of which you can explore on your own. I'm not copping out it's just that it's unlikely you'll use any of these commands on a regular basis. They aren't bad, but one command Free Transform is infinitely better. With Free Transform, you can scale, flip, rotate, slant, distort, and move a selection or layer in one continuous operation. This one command lets you...

General preferences

The General panel, shown in Figure 2-15, contains a miscellaneous supply of what are arguably the most important Preferences options. Figure 2-15 The General panel provides access to the most important environmental preference settings. I agree with many, but not all, of the default settings shown here. Figure 2-15 The General panel provides access to the most important environmental preference settings. I agree with many, but not all, of the default settings shown here. Color Picker Adobe When...

Sharpening grainy photographs

Having completed my neutral discussion of Unsharp Mask, king of the Sharpen filters, I hasten to interject a little bit of commentary, along with a helpful solution to a common sharpening problem. Figure 10-12 The results of applying nine different Threshold values. To best show off the differences between each image, I set the Amount and Radius values to 500 percent and 2.0 respectively. Figure 10-12 The results of applying nine different Threshold values. To best show off the differences...

Saving an EPS image

When preparing an image for placement inside a drawing or page-layout document that will be printed to a PostScript output device, many artists prefer to save the image in the EPS format. Converting the image to PostScript up front prevents the drawing or page-layout program from doing the work. The result is an image that prints more quickly and with less chance of problems. Note that an image does not look any different when saved in EPS. The idea that the EPS format somehow blesses an image...

Filling paths

After you finish drawing a path, you can convert it to a selection outline as described in the upcoming Converting paths to selections section or you can paint it. You can paint the interior of the path by choosing the Fill Path command from the Paths palette menu, or you can paint the outline of the path by choosing Stroke Path. In either case, Photoshop applies the fill on the active image layer. The Fill Path command works much like Edit Fill. After drawing a path, choose the Fill Path...

Plunging Headlong into Color

Most artists react very warmly to the word color and a bit more coolly to the word management, especially those of us who have made the mistake of taking on managerial chores ourselves. Put the two words together, however, and you can clear a room. The term color management has been known to cause the sturdiest of characters to shriek and sweat like a herd of elephants locked in a sauna. It's no exaggeration to say that color management is the least understood topic in all of computer imaging....

The history brush

Painting with the history brush tool gives you results similar to Option-dragging with the eraser or selecting the eraser's Erase to History option . Just drag with the history brush to paint down to the source state targeted in the History palette. You also can vary the opacity of your strokes with the Opacity setting on the Options bar. But the history brush offers two advantages over the eraser. First, you can take advantage of brush modes. By choosing a different brush mode from the Mode...

Painting and Editing Inside Selections

Before we immerse ourselves in masking techniques, let's start with a warm-up topic selection masking. When you were in grade school, you may have had a teacher who nagged you to color within the lines. I didn't. My teachers were more concerned about preventing me from writing on the walls and coloring on the other kids, or so I'm told. If so, your teacher would have loved this incredibly straightforward feature. In Photoshop, all selection outlines act as masks hence the term selection...

Rotating the crop marquee

As I said, you can rotate an image by dragging outside the crop marquee. Straightening a crooked image, however, can be a little tricky. I wish I had a certified check for every time I thought I had the marquee rotated properly, only to find the image was still crooked after I pressed Enter. If this happens to you, choose Edit Undo Ctrl Z and try again. Do not try using the crop tool a second time to rotate the already rotated image. If you do, Photoshop sets about interpolating between already...

The color sampler tool

Color Sampler Tool

Found in the same toolbox flyout as the eyedropper, the color sampler tool looks like the eyedropper with a little crosshair target. But where the eyedropper lifts foreground and background colors, the color sampler merely measures the colors of pixels so that you can monitor how the pixels react to various color changes. Select the color sampler and click somewhere inside the image window. Photoshop adds a crosshair target to indicate the point you clicked. The program also brings up the Info...

Photo Cd Ycc images

Photoshop can open Eastman Kodak's Photo CD and Pro Photo CD formats directly. A Photo CD contains compressed versions of every image in each of the five scan sizes provided on Photo CDs from 128 x 192 pixels 72K to 2,048 x 3,072 pixels 18MB . The Pro Photo CD format can accommodate each of the five sizes included in the regular Photo CD format, plus one additional size 4,096 x 6,144 pixels 72MB that's four times as large as the largest image on a regular Photo CD. As a result, Pro Photo CDs...

QuarkXPress DCS

Quark developed a variation on the EPS format called Desktop Color Separation DCS . When you work in QuarkXPress, PageMaker, and other programs that support the format, DCS facilitates the printing of color separations. Before you can use DCS, you have to convert your image to the CMYK color space using Image Mode CMYK Color. DCS 2.0 also supports grayscale images with spot-color channels. Then bring up the Save dialog box and select Photoshop DCS 1.0 or 2.0 from the Format pop-up menu....

The edit tools

The edit tools don't apply color rather, they influence existing colors in an image. Figure 5-4 shows each of the six edit tools applied to a randomized background. Future sections cover the tools in more detail, but here's a brief introduction Blur The first of the two focus tools, the blur tool blurs an image by lessening the amount of color contrast between neighboring pixels. Sharpen The second focus tool selectively sharpens by increasing the contrast between neighboring pixels. Generally...

Entering numeric color values

In addition to selecting colors using the slider and color field, you can enter specific color values in the option boxes in the lower-right region of the Color Picker dialog box. Novices and intermediates may find these options less satisfying to use than the slider and field. These options, however, enable artists and print professionals to specify exact color values, whether to make controlled adjustments to a color already in use or to match a color used in another document. The options...

Generating Masks Automatically

In addition to the quick mask mode and selection masking, Photoshop offers a few tools that automate the masking process well, automate some parts of the process. You still need to provide some input to tell the program exactly what you're trying to mask. Photoshop 5.5 added a trio of tools designed to select the foreground of an image while cutting away the background the background eraser, magic eraser, and Extract command. I cover the two erasers along with the plain old eraser tool in...

Placing an EPS illustration

If you want to introduce an EPS graphic into the foreground image rather than to render it into a new image window of its own, choose File Place. Unlike other File menu commands, Place supports only EPS illustrations and PDF files. After you import the EPS graphic, it appears inside a box which Photoshop calls a bounding box with a great big X across it. You can move, scale, and rotate the illustration into position before rasterizing it to pixels. Drag a corner handle to resize the image drag...

Fading the paint (and other effects)

In earlier versions of Photoshop, you could create a fading paint stroke by selecting the Fade check box in the Options palette and then specifying whether you wanted the stroke to fade from the foreground color to the background color or to transparency. In Version 6, you have the same choices, but they're handled a little differently. When you work with the paintbrush or pencil, setting the Color option in the Brush Dynamics palette to Fade enables you to paint a line that fades from the...

Applying arrowheads

The one function missing from all the operations in the preceding list is applying arrowheads. The fact is, in Photoshop, you can apply arrowheads only to straight lines drawn with the line tool. The line tool no longer shares a toolbox flyout with the pencil tool in Version 6, the line tool is grouped with the drawing tools. You can cycle between the tools by press ing U or Shift U, depending on whether you select the Use Shift for Tool Switch check box in the Preferences dialog box . As I...

Painting along a path

Unlike the Fill Path command, which bears a strong resemblance to Edit Fill, the Stroke Path command is altogether different from Edit Stroke. Edit Stroke creates outlines and arrowheads, whereas the Stroke Path command enables you to paint a brush stroke along the contours of a path. This may not sound like a big deal at first, but this feature enables you to combine the spontaneity of the paint and edit tools with the structure and precision of a path. To paint a path, choose the Stroke Path...

Removing noise with Despeckle

Strictly speaking, the Despeckle command probably belongs in the Filter Blur submenu. It blurs a selection while at the same time preserving its edges the idea being that unwanted noise is most noticeable in the continuous regions of an image. In practice, this filter is nearly the exact opposite of the Sharpen Edges filter. The Despeckle command searches an image for edges using the equivalent of an Unsharp Mask Threshold value of 5. It then ignores the edges...

How to switch and view channels

To access channels in Photoshop, display the Channels palette by choosing Window Show Channels. Every channel in the image appears in the palette including any mask channels as shown in Figure 4-15. Photoshop even shows little thumbnail views of each channel so that you can see what it looks like. To switch to a different channel, click a channel name in the Channels palette. The channel name becomes gray like the Blue channel in Figure 4-15 showing that you can now edit it independently of...

STEPS: Creating Fading Arrows with Halos

Choose the New Snapshot command from the History palette menu. Photoshop adds a new snapshot thumbnail at the top of the palette. Click in front of it to make it the source state. Now you're ready to revert to this state if need be, as called for in Step 15. 2. Deselect everything Ctrl D and switch to the quick mask mode Q . The image should appear absolutely normal. 3. Select the line tool press U as necessary to get the tool . Also press Enter to display the Options bar, if it's not...

Embossing an image

The Emboss filter works by searching for high-contrast edges just like the Sharpen Edge and High Pass filters , highlighting the edges with black or white pixels, and then coloring the low-contrast portions with medium gray. When you choose Filter Stylize Emboss, Photoshop displays the Emboss dialog box shown in Figure 11-6. The dialog box offers three options 4 Angle The value in this option box determines the angle at which Photoshop lights the image in relief. For example, if you enter a...

STEPS: Painting and Editing inside a Selection Mask

1.1 selected the slightly rotting skull of the enchanting Russian Saiga antelope. You can see the selection outline in the top example in Figure 9-3. For the record, I drew this selection outline using the pen tool, explained in Chapter 8. Figure 9-3 After drawing a selection outline around the antelope skull top , I inversed the selection and deleted the background bottom . Figure 9-3 After drawing a selection outline around the antelope skull top , I inversed the selection and deleted the...

The eraser tool

When you work with the eraser, you can select from four eraser styles Paintbrush, Airbrush, Pencil, and Block. Block is the old 16 x 16-pixel square eraser that's great for hard-edged touch-ups. The other options work exactly like the tools for which they're named. In earlier versions of Photoshop, pressing E cycled you through the eraser styles. That shortcut now cycles through the eraser, magic eraser, and background eraser, all of which share a flyout menu and keyboard shortcut E in Version...

The Wave filter

Now that you've met the ripple family, it's time to ride the Wave. I've come to love this filter I use it all the time but it's complex enough to warrant its own book. It wouldn't be a very big book and no one would buy it, but you never know what a freelancer like me will do next. Keep an eye out for Wave Filter Bible at your local bookstore. In the meantime, choose Filter Distort Wave that's the easy part to display the Wave dialog box shown in Figure 11-27. Photoshop presents you with the...

Vocabulary

Call it computerese, call it technobabble, call it the synthetic jargon of propeller heads. The fact is, I can't explain Photoshop in graphic and gruesome detail without reverting to the specialized language of the trade. However, to help you keep up, I can and have italicized vocabulary words as in random-access memory with which you may not be familiar or which I use in an unusual context. An italicized term is followed by a definition. If you come across a strange word that is not italicized...

Text as art

Pillow Emboss Text Effect

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of creating text, I want to share a few ideas to inspire you to see text for the creative playground that it can be. Combine the new powers of the Photoshop 6 type tool with the program's effects, filters, paint and edit tools, and layering features, and you can create an almost unlimited array of text effects to enhance your images even produce text that stands alone as a powerful image in its own right. With that flowery speech out of the way, allow me to...

Painting with the smudge tool

Many first-time Photoshop artists misuse the smudge tool to soften color transitions. In fact, softening is the purpose of the blur tool. The smudge tool smears colors by shoving them into each other. The process bears more resemblance to the finger painting you did in grade school than to any traditional photographic-editing technique. Ij-1 In Photoshop, the performance of the smudge tool depends in part on the settings of the Pressure and Finger Painting controls on the Options bar, which you...

Splash screen tricks

In a typical program, there isn't much reason to revisit the splash screen. But Photoshop 6 offers a few splash screen-related tips and tricks Press Alt while choosing the About Photoshop command to display Photoshop team member Mike Shaw's highly disciplined secret Venus In Furs screen, pictured at the bottom of Figure 2-1. After a few seconds, the list of programmers and copyright statements at the bottom of the screen starts to scroll. Press the Alt key to make the list scroll more quickly....

Adjusting the tolerance

You may have heard the standard explanation for adjusting the Tolerance value You can enter any number from 0 to 255 in the Tolerance option box. Enter a low number to select a small range of colors increase the value to select a wider range of colors. Nothing is wrong with this explanation it's accurate, in its own small way but it doesn't provide one iota of information you couldn't glean on your own. If you really want to understand this option, you have to dig a little deeper. When you...

Warping text

Photoshop Warp Text Shape

For all its glories, text in Photoshop has always lacked an option widely used by designers creating type in drawing programs the ability to fit text to a path. You were limited to creating straight lines of text only no wrapping type around a circle or otherwise bending your words. You still can't fit text to a path in Photoshop 6, but you may be able to get close to the effect you want by using the new Warp Text feature. Similar to the text art features that have been available in word...

Converting an image into a line drawing

The High Pass filter is especially useful as a precursor to Image Adjust Threshold, which converts all pixels in an image to black and white again, covered in Chapter 17 . As illustrated in Figure 10-18, the Threshold command produces entirely different effects on images before and after you alter them with the High Pass filter. In fact, applying the High Pass filter with a low Radius value and then issuing the Threshold command converts your image into a line drawing. In the second row of...

Distorting an image along a curve

The Distort command, which isn't discussed elsewhere in this book, creates four corner handles around an image. You drag each corner handle to distort the selected image in that direction. Unfortunately, you can't add other points around the edges to create additional distortions, which can be frustrating if you're trying to achieve a specific effect. If you can't achieve a certain kind of distortion using Edit Free Transform, the Shear filter may be your answer. Shear distorts an image along a...

Swapping paths with Illustrator

You can exchange paths between Photoshop and Illustrator or FreeHand by using the Clipboard. This special cross-application compatibility feature expands and simplifies a variety of path-editing functions. For example, suppose that you want to scale and rotate a path. Select the path in Photoshop with the black arrow tool and copy it to the Clipboard Ctrl C . Then switch to Illustrator, paste the path, and edit as desired. About 95 percent of Illustrator's capabilities are devoted to the task...

Chunky noise

My biggest frustration with the Add Noise filter is that you can't specify the size of individual specks of noise. No matter how you cut it, noise only comes in 1-pixel squares. It may occur to you that you can enlarge the noise dots in a layer by applying the Maximum or Minimum filter. But in practice, doing so simply fills in the image, because there isn't sufficient space between the noise pixels to accommodate the larger dot sizes. Luckily, Photoshop provides several alternatives. One is...

The Fill command

The one problem with the paint bucket tool is its lack of precision. Although the tool is undeniably convenient, the effects of the Tolerance value are so difficult to predict that you typically have to click with the tool, choose Edit Undo when you don't like the result, adjust the Tolerance value, and reclick several times more before you fill the image as desired. For my part, I rarely use the paint bucket for any purpose other than filling same-colored areas. On my machine, the Tolerance...