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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time lynda.com author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.
In this final movie of the chapter, I'll show you how to adjust a few display preferences so that you can visually navigate inside of an image. Now these are my recommended settings, but of course, you can go on your own way. Notice, by default, we have very small thumbnails here inside the Layers panel, which makes it difficult at a glance to tell which layer is which. If you'd like to see larger thumbnails then you drop down to this empty area below the last layer and you right-click inside of it and choose the desired thumbnail size. For example, I could choose Medium Thumbnails for slightly larger thumbnails, or I could right-click again choose Large Thumbnails for the largest thumbnails possible.
Now if you're working inside of a layered composition, you're not necessarily going to be able to see an empty area below the layers. For example, I'll go ahead and switch to this image, in which I've rasterized all the type, that is I've converted the text layer to pixels so you won't get a font warning if you're working along with me. And notice that I have a sufficient number of layers that there is no empty area below the background. In that case, you can change the thumbnail size by clicking on the flyout menu icon in the upper right corner of the Layers panel and then choosing the Panel Options command, and now you can select your desired thumbnail size from this list.
I'm going to stick with the largest thumbnails. And as long as we're here inside this dialog box, I'll have you turn off a couple of check boxes. Notice this one at the bottom that says, Add "copy" to Copied Layers and Groups. If you turn that off, which I recommend, you won't get the word, copy, after the name of a copied layer. And really having that word, copy, just makes extra work because it forces you to rename the layer. I also recommend you turn off this top check box. It's a small item, but it says Use Default Masks on Fill Layers.
From now on, if you create a fill layer, a solid fill, or a gradient, or a pattern, it won't automatically come with a layer mask, and those automatic layer masks just serve to clutter up the Layers panel. And of course, we'll learn more about layer masks in future chapters of the series. Now I'll go ahead and click OK to make my changes. All right, I'm going to switch to a different image, one that contains lots of color, and then I'm going to switch to the neighboring panel which is the Channels panel. Notice it allows me to see the composite RGB image that is Red, Green, and Blue as well as each of the independent color channels; Red, Green, and Blue that make up this image.
Well, again, these are very tiny thumbnails. If you want to see them larger, right- click in the empty area below the last channel and then choose Large. And now I'll click on RGB to return to the full color view. And now I'll switch once again next door to the Paths panel. This image doesn't contain any paths, but if it did, they would be tiny. To make them larger, once again, this just applies to the thumbnails inside the panel, right-click in this empty area and choose Large, and from this point on you'll see large path thumbnails. All right, I'm going to switch back to the Layers panel.
One last change that I recommend you make is to go up to the Window menu and choose Adjustments to bring up the Adjustments panel, which allows you to create Adjustment Layers which let you correct colors and luminance levels; things like brightness and contrast without permanently harming the detail inside your images. You'll be working with them a lot, and of course, I'll be explaining them in detail in future chapters. But what I'd like you to do inside the panel for now is click on the flyout menu icon, and then drop down to this command, Add Mask by Default, and click on it to turn it off.
In that way, you won't have default layer masks for your Adjustment layers which again, just serve to clutter up the panel. But it does not prohibit you for making your own layer masks anytime you like. All right, I'm going to go ahead and hide the panel and that takes care of it. There's just one more thing to do. These are global preference settings. They are not saved as part of the workspace we created, which means that in order to really save these settings, we have to quit the program. And to do that, go up to the File menu and choose the Exit command here on the PC or the Quit command on the Mac, or you can press Ctrl+Q on a PC or Command+Q on a Mac and that'll go ahead and close Photoshop and save out those settings.
And that from beginning to end is how you get around inside Photoshop so you'll ultimately feel absolutely comfortable inside the program.
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