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Part I: Getting the Basics Down.
Chapter 1: Introducing the Two Faces of Photoshop.
Chapter 2: Getting to Know the Interface.
Chapter 3: Using Photoshop for the First Time.
Part II: The Care and Feeding of Pixels.
Chapter 4: Sizing and Resizing Images.
Chapter 5: Introducing Color.
Chapter 6: Going to Hard Copy.
Part III: Selections and Layers.
Chapter 7: Making Selections.
Chapter 8: Working with Layers.
Part IV: Basic Editing.
Chapter 9: Adjusting Color and Tone.
Chapter 10: Creating Composite Images.
Chapter 11: Using Filters.
Part V: Using Your Virtual Paintbrush.
Chapter 12: Painting 101.
Chapter 13: Coloring inside the Lines.
Chapter 14: Changing History and Erasing Pixels.
Part VI: Heavy-Duty Photoshop.
Chapter 15: Using Masks and Channels.
Chapter 16: Using Paths and Shapes.
Chapter 17: Adding and Manipulating Type.
Part VII: Photoshop for Webbies.
Chapter 18: Spinning Graphics for the Web.
Chapter 19: Slicing and Dicing Images.
Part VIII: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 20: Ten (Or So) Filters You Can Use to Create Fast Effects.
Chapter 21: Ten Things to Do with Your Photoshop Masterpiece.
In This Chapter
* Introducing the dual world of Photoshop
* Discovering the difference between painting and image editing
* Adjusting photographs
* What's new in Photoshop CS
* Finding images to edit
Adobe Photoshop is arguably the most comprehensive and popular photo editor around. In fact, I don't know a single computer artist who doesn't use Photoshop on an almost daily basis, regardless of what other programs he or she may use.
I assume that you've at least seen, if not used, Photoshop, and that you have a vague idea of what it's all about. But just so that we're all clear on the subject, the primary purpose of Photoshop is to make changes to digital photographic images. (For some clever ideas on acquiring such images, see the sidebar "Finding images to abuse," later in this chapter.)
If you've used Photoshop for only a week or so, you may have mistaken it for a fairly straightforward package. Certainly, on the surface of the program, Photoshop comes off as rather friendly. But lurking a few fathoms deep is another, darker program, one that is distinctly unfriendly for the uninitiated, but wildly capable for the stout of heart. My analyst would no doubt declare Photoshop a classic case of a split personality. In short, Photoshop has a Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde thing going on.
This chapterexplores both sides of the Photoshop brain. It also introduces you to the personality changes found in the latest incarnation of the program, Photoshop CS. Finally, I get you started on the road to image-editing bliss by explaining where to find images to edit in the first place.
The Two Functions of Photoshop
Generally speaking, the two halves of Photoshop serve different purposes. The straightforward Jekyll tools mostly concentrate on painting, and the more complex Hyde capabilities are devoted to image editing. Therefore, to tackle this great program, you may find it helpful to understand the difference between the two terms.
Drawing and painting without the mess
To discover the benevolent Dr. Jekyll half of Photoshop, you need look no farther than the standard painting and editing tools. Shown in Figure 1-1, these tools are so simple, they're practically pastoral. The Eraser tool erases, the Pencil tool draws hard-edged lines, the magnifying glass magnifies your images, and so on. These incredibly straightforward tools attract new users just as surely as a light attracts miller moths.
Likewise, painting is just what it sounds like: You take a brush loaded with color and smear it all over your on-screen image. You can paint from scratch on a blank canvas, or you can paint directly on top of a photograph.
Notice in Figure 1-2 the rather drab fellow drinking a rather drab beverage. (Though you may guess this man to be Dr. Jekyll armed with the secret potion, most scholars consider it highly doubtful that even Jekyll was this goofy.)
I invoked all the changes in Figure 1-3 by using a single tool - the brush - and just two colors - black and white. Suddenly, a singularly cool dude emerges. By saving the original image to disk (as explained in Chapter 3), you don't have to worry about making permanent changes to your images. You can restore details from the original image at whim (the subject of Chapter 14).
You quickly discover that, on their own, the painting tools aren't super-duper exciting. Also, the tools don't work much like their traditional counterparts - a line drawn with the Pencil tool, for example, doesn't look anything like a line drawn with a real pencil. Here's another little issue - the so-called straightforward tools aren't particularly applicable to the job of editing images. Generally speaking, you have to be blessed with pretty major eye-hand coordination to achieve good results using these tools.
Editing existing image detail
The remade man in Figure 1-3 is the life of the party, but he's nothing compared to what he could be with the aid of some image editing. When you edit an image, you distort and enhance its existing details. So rather than paint with color, you paint with the image itself.
Unfortunately, that's when you discover the Mr. Hyde half of the program. You encounter options that have meaningless names such as Dissolve, Multiply, and Difference. Commands such as Image Size and Trim - both of which sound harmless enough - seem to damage your images. And clicking icons frequently produces no result. It's enough to drive a reticent computer artist stark raving insane.
Figure 1-4 demonstrates what I mean. To achieve this grotesque turn of the visual phrase, I was obliged to indulge in a liberal amount of distortion. First, I flipped the guy's head and stretched it a little bit. Well, actually, I stretched it a lot. Then, I further exaggerated the eyes and mouth. I rotated the arm and distorted the glass to make the glass meet the ear. Finally, I cloned a background from a different image to cover up where the head and arm used to be. The only thing I painted was the straw (the one coming out of the guy's ear). Otherwise, I lifted every detail from one of two photographs.
Okay, so that's a lot of complicated stuff I did. Unfortunately, many folks return broken and frustrated to the under-equipped and boring, but non-threatening, painting and editing tools that they've come to know. It's sad, really. Especially when you consider all the wonderful things that the more complex Photoshop controls can do. Oh sure, the controls have weird names, and they may not respond as you think they should at first, but after you come to terms with these slick puppies, they perform in ways you wouldn't believe.
In fact, the dreaded Mr. Hyde side of Photoshop represents the core of this powerful program. Without its sinister half, Photoshop is just another rinky-dink piece of painting software whose most remarkable capability is keeping the kids out of mischief on a rainy day.
Mind you, you don't have to go quite so hog-wild with the image editing. If you're a photographer, for example, you may not care to mess with your work to the point that it becomes completely unrecognizable. Figure 1-5 shows a few subtle adjustments that affect neither the form nor composition of the original image. These changes merely accentuate details or downplay defects in the image.
It's New! It's Improved!
Someday, the folks at Adobe may come out with an upgrade to Photoshop that completely tames the Mr. Hyde half of the program. But Photoshop CS isn't the upgrade to do it, which is good for me because it lets me continue with my colorful dual-personality analogy.
Photoshop CS is a great upgrade. The whole program is more polished, many existing features have been extended and enhanced, and several new items ramp up productivity 200 percent.
One thing that hasn't changed, however, is the hefty system requirements needed to run Photoshop. Photoshop CS works on PCs running Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3, or Windows XP and later Windows versions (all hereafter referred to as just Windows) with 280MB of available disk space. Photoshop CS runs on Macs running OS 10.2.4 or later with 320MB of available disk space. Both platforms require 192MB of RAM (256MB recommended) and a CD-ROM.
Please note that these are Adobe's minimum requirements. If there's one program that benefits from as much RAM as you can throw at it, it's Photoshop. The more you give it, the better the performance.
Here are some Photoshop CS improvements:
Photoshop's sister program ImageReady is used to create Web images. ImageReady also includes many new features and improvements. You'll find these listed and discussed in Part VII, "Photoshop for Webbies."
Finding images to abuse
Just about any local drugstore has a photo lab that can turn photographs from your camera into colorful pieces of paper that you can slap into albums or frames. But what if you want those photos in a digital form, too? You can find plenty of affordable options if you look in the right places:
Excerpted from Photoshop CS For Dummies by Deke McClelland Phyllis Davis Excerpted by permission.
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Posted July 1, 2004
An excellent book if you suffer from insomnia. Except for the beginning, this CS book lacks the pizzazz and the humor found in earlier dummies books. The writing is boringly technical and not one chapter can stand alone. On too many occasions, the instructions refer you to other chapters instead of repeating a simple command. Beginners are going to be frustrated jumping back and forth between the pages and all others will need 250mg of No-Doze.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.