It's a Long and Winding Path

Be aware that complex paths can be resource intensive. More complexity means more points, angles, curves, and so on. The result can mean slower processing of the image, bigger files, and possible problems when printing. For this image, I first tried a Tolerance of 5 pixels. As Figure 13.5 shows, the results were unacceptable. Photoshop was too flexible and approximate in creating the path at this setting. You can see that the smoother line of the path doesn't follow the outline of the valve...

The Color Picker

Photoshop's Color Picker enables you to select a foreground or background color in any of several ways. Figure 7.2 shows the Color Picker window. You can click the color spectrum to select a color, or drag the triangle slider up or down if you'd rather. You can click the color field to select a color, or you can enter numbers in any one of the color model boxes. Hl C Cancel ) Hl ( Add To Swatches ) ( Color Libraries H 0' Ql 1 1 OS Qi D QB o t Qb o 1 0 j C 75 136 OC 0 M 68 J QB 5 Y C7 136...

Making Layer Masks Visible with Channels

Masks appear both in the image window where you create them and also on the Channels palette, where you can see them as silhouettes of the selection. Each mask that you add to an image creates a new channel in your image, called an alpha channel. Channels are Photoshop's way of storing color and mask information. (See the preceding By the Way for more information about channels.) If you add a mask to a layer and choose Window> Channels, you will see something like the example in Figure 12.13....

Emailing Your Pictures

You have all these great pictures, and you want to share them, right There are several ways to go about this. You can send them as email attachments, just like stuffing a handful of prints into a letter. You can post them on a forum, if you belong to one. You can set up your web gallery on your own website, or you can join a service such as Webshots (www.webshots.com) that gives you online storage and lets you share your pictures with others as well as make digital prints and photo gifts. To...

Merging Layers

The more layers you add to an image, and the more effects that you add to those layers, the larger your image file will become. If you have a large-capacity hard drive and can back up to removable media, size isn't a problem. It does, however, make a big difference if you want to use your files for anything else, such as publishing in print or on the web. The only formats in which you can save a multilayered image are TIFF, PDF, Dicom, and Photoshop's two native formats, which are great for...

Adjusting by Eye with Variations

The most obvious way to make a color adjustment is to compare before and after views of an image. In Photoshop, the tool for doing this is called Variations. It's the last item on the Image> Adjustments submenu. Variations combines several image adjustment tools into one easy-to-use system that shows you thumbnail images that are variations on the original image. You simply click the one that looks best to you. You can choose variations of hue and brightness and then see the result (which...

Quiz

Photoshop can set type horizontally or vertically. 2. Every piece of type needs a drop shadow. 4. If there's a T in the box on the Layers palette, it means A. You can double-click it to open the Type tool B. That the layer is a type layer C. Layer styles have been applied to the type 5. There's no way to set small caps in Photoshop.

Box Blur

I'm really not sure what Adobe intended Photoshop users to do with this filter. It works like the Gaussian Blur filter, and it does pretty much the same thing, only less smoothly. An image blurred using Box Blur has more pronounced detail than the same picture blurred using a Gaussian blur with the same radius setting. The esteemed technical editor of this book, Doug Nelson, likes to use Box Blur for removing dots from scanned newspaper images. If you've got another favorite use for this...

Using the Smudge Tool

The Smudge tool looks like, and works like, a finger. It's in the same toolbox compartment with the Blur and Sharpen tools. The Smudge tool picks up color from wherever you start to drag it and moves it in the direction in which you drag. Honestly, nothing could be much simpler. You do, however, have to use the Tool Options bar's Strength field to set the pressure of your smudging finger. At 100 , the finger simply wipes away the paint. At 50 , it smears it. At 25 , the smear is less...

Pointillism and Mosaic

Comparing the work of Georges Seurat to that of some of the sloppier French impressionists can be quite a revelation. Seurat's dabs of paint, all neatly clustered, form elegant scenes from a distance and form equally elegant abstract patterns up close. It would be nice if Photoshop's Pointillism filters did the job as neatly and scientifically as M. Seurat did. They don't. This is, however, one case where the smallest setting doesn't work as well as some of the larger ones. I first tried the...