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#1
Unread 26th May 2008, 09:01 AM
Olin Coles's Avatar
Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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Photoshop Basics for Beginners

PhotoShop is no easy tool to master, but it's very essential to our projects. It's not set in stone that you must use Adobe Photoshop, however I can only assist you using the tools I am familiar with. It's a very good idea to PRINT THIS PAGE and keep it handy when you edit images. This topic will be updated as time allows. Please feel free to message me with requests for this thread.

I have found that the following routines (made quicker by using hot keys) have worked well on most images I edit:
  1. Apply auto-contrast (hotkey= CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+L)
  2. Apply auto-level (hotkey= CTRL+SHIFT+L)
  3. Apply auto-color (hotkey= CTRL+SHIFT+B)
  4. Crop the image tight just outside of the product outline, reducing white space
  5. Use the magic wand and/or eraser tool to remove background. (Practice using SHIFT going point to point)
  6. Resize the image (use bi-cubic sharpen)
  7. Insert watermark into the lower left or right corner, touching an edge
  8. Save for Web at either 34, 41, or 51% JPG quality
Every image is different, but if the lighting and distance are good then the basic routine above should be helpful. Advanced users should practice using various Magic Wand strengths (4/8/16/24/32), inner-glow effects, and opacity eraser brushes.

Some VERY helpful tips on photo editing with Adobe Photoshop:
  1. I use a flat-black and flat-white backdrop to help me separate the background away from the product, but Chromakey backgrounds also work well.
  2. For pictures with a strong red or yellow hue, use a cooling photo filter (Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter). I recommend less than 25% opacity, but some really off-color images need more.
  3. Magic wand/magic erase tools are great for removing background, or the extract filter can also be used.
  4. Use the "Save for Web" function in Adobe Photoshop. Never exceed 51% quality. Nearly all of the images I publish are saved with 34% quality, and only small images which require detail receive 51% quality.
  5. Photographic images should be saved using the jpg file format, but computer generated bitmap charts and graphs should be saved using the png file format. Additionally, you can adjust the color count and web snap to further reduce the file size.
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Last edited by Olin Coles : 30th October 2012 at 02:44 PM.
#2
Unread 19th June 2008, 09:32 PM
Olin Coles's Avatar
Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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Inserting the watermark

The very first thing you must learn to work with is LAYERS. PhotoShop (and other professional level tools) use layers to separate image objects. It's helpful to think of each layer as a transparent sheet of plastic; you can have only one layer or many, but they all overlap each other. Layers can be ordered so that they appear on top or below another layer, and they can be hidden (so that you don't have to delete the object). The Benchmark Reviews watermark is made of four layers: three layers cosisting of text segments, and the tachometer.

Working with layers is easier than you think. Let's pretend that you have cropped and cleaned your photo, and now you want to INSERT THE WATERMARK. First make sure your photo is not maximized, or you won't be able to see the watermark item and the photo item at the same time. Then select the watermark item, and notice that four layers are displayed in the layer palette to the far right (if they are not, go to Window in the tool bar and select Layers). Using CTRL to select individual layer items, or SHIFT to select a group of layer items, highlight all four layers and then click+drag the selected layers into your photo item. After they are placed into your photo item, you can hold down the CTRL key to reposition them without have to change tools.

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Last edited by Olin Coles : 9th November 2012 at 07:24 AM.
#3
Unread 19th June 2008, 09:50 PM
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Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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Blending the edges with INNER GLOW

There are many times when an image doesn't have a white background, and stands out on our website. Photoshop offers a layer effect called INNER GLOW that helps blend the outer edges of an image with the white background of the site. Here's how:
  1. Select the layer you want to add an effect to and double-click (or right-click and choose blending options).
  2. Check the box for Inner Glow, and then click the word Inner Glow.
  3. Change the color (from default yellow) to white.
  4. Adjust settings: 10% Choke and 25 pixel Size work well. Adjust as needed, then select OK.
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Last edited by Olin Coles : 30th October 2012 at 03:13 PM.
#4
Unread 1st August 2008, 10:27 PM
Olin Coles's Avatar
Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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Capturing screens or window with Print Screen

To this day it amazes me the number of people who don't know what the Print Screen (Prnt Scrn) key does on their keyboard. There are so many times when I find myself in need of an image and the code will not allow me to copy or there's some other hurdle. This is where it becomes much easier to simply capture the screen and edit the image.

There are two different Print Screen functions: one to capture the entire screen as you view it, and another to capture only the forefront window.

Capture the entire screen
  1. Press the Print Screen key, which captures a bitmap image of the entire screen and copies it to the Windows clipboard.
  2. Choose the Paste command from within your favorite image editor to apply the captured image onto a new canvas.
Capture only the open window
  1. Press the ALT + Print Screen keys, which captures a bitmap image of only the topmost/forefront window and copies it to the Windows clipboard.
  2. Choose the Paste command from within your favorite image editor to apply the captured image onto a new canvas.
Special thanks to Bruce Normann for bringing the Alt+Prnt Scrn command to my attention.
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