Friday, November 13, 2009

A Photoshop Starter

I think that my message that Photoshop is really quite simple has not got through. So.
I am going to repeat myself but to be sure that you get the most out of using Photoshop the first thing you need to know is how to open an image, the second is how to save an image and third how to use layers.
  1. When the program has loaded you can either drag an image from a folder or go to "File" "Open".
  2. If you make any alterations to the image you might want to save it for future use. It depends on what the use is going to be - but for example if you have changed an image but dont want to change the original saving as a photoshop ("psd") file is best. This fil;e is uncompressed and saves any layers you might have produced. Alternatively - if the image is for the web it is best to use "File" "Save for the web" where you have several options for saving in different web friendly formats. Most images can be saved as jpg files and you are given the option to change compression rates and given predicted loading times for various compressions. Bear in mind that the more an image is compressed the more that various compression problems occur. There is always a compromise position but you need to experiment to find it.
  3. When you have open your image I would recommend that the first thing to do is to make a duplicate layer. With the "Layers" menu open on screen a PC user can right mouse click on the background layer and choose the option to make a duplicate background layer. You can also click on the "Layer" tab on the top menu bar and choose Duplicate Layer from there. This layer should be the one that you edit so that you always have the original image to go back to. This allows easy access for checking progress or even going back and starting again.
You can always go back a step by using the History panel, "Ctrl+z" on the keyboard or "Edit" "Undo".
When you have learnt how to start using layers you will see how important they become. It is often the best option to create a new layer to retouching in. For example, you might want to do some "Red Eye" reduction. Doing this in a separate layer allows many choices of how you combine the image with the retouching. I will go into this later - if I get any response to this blog.

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