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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I am still working inside of the Save for Web & Devices dialog box and I have opened that 1770x780 photo.tif file found inside of the 12_for_ Web folder. Now because I'm working inside of a continuous tone photographic image chances are very good, I would say 99 out of 100 that I want to stick with JPEG as supposed to some other file format. So I am going to switch out all of my previews to various JPEG settings, first I'll click on the upper-left preview. Currently it's set to Original, I'm going to a switch it out to JPEG High and then I am going to go ahead and raise it to Maximum.
And that gives me the maximum quality setting. Notice it sets to the highest it goes of hundred. Now if I were to trying to archive the full resolution image, I wouldn't be using Save for Web I'll be using the Save As command instead. But then I would use the maximum JPEG setting which would be in that case a quality of 12 because they have different scales in the different dialog boxes. But when I'm exporting an image for the Web I don't want maximum quality, because that's going to give me an enormous file size and 1.5 megabytes as you can see here, and you might say, well this is our big high-resolution image.
This is the one that we want to put out there and we want it to look as good as possible, and people are going to be willing to wait for it, but I'm not sure if they are going to be willing to wait three times as long. It's three times the size. And the other JPEG image doesn't look qualitatively any different and it's got a quality of 60 notice that. So let's go ahead and click on it and I'll show you it's set to High which is the setting by the way that I almost always use and I'll show you why, for my photographic images. So Quality setting of 60 works out really, really nicely.
And if I were to change it to Maximum you would see some details shift in the background. It's not the kind of thing where you say, Oh that looks better. It looks actually quite the same. It just had a few things shifted when we compress the image farther. Now the reason I would never go this low with an archived image, this would be equivalent to about a quality of eight. If I were using a Save As command. The reason I wouldn't use such a low quality there is because, well, this kind of compression is pretty much invisible. It becomes more visible as you edit the image.
So if I had to go in Photoshop and edit that archival JPEG image later then I might start to see the JPEG artifacts brim to the surface. And we might start having problems with it. However, if I'm sending this image out to the Web, I'm presuming that it's done. There is no more editing that's going to occur. So all that I'm concerned about is that I'm retaining as much detail as I can. Compare high however to the next level down I'll go ahead and click on this lower left preview and from the Preset menu, I will choose JPEG Medium.
That is starting to look pretty darn bad. Now bear in mind we're quite zoomed into this image. We're seeing all the images at the 300% zoom level, but you can really make out those squares. It's now quite obvious that our image is organized into blocks of 8x8 pixel squares. And that's not something I want people to see even if we can get this image down to 264 K, I don't think it's worth it, and it certainly ain't worth low. I'll go ahead and click on the bottom right preview and change the Preset to JPEG Low. And I end up getting this effect here which is just abysmal of course, even at 155K.
What's amazing about all these images is if we start to back out to 100% actually the medium setting looks pretty darn good. It's very difficult to see those square blocks now, even though they were so obvious just a moment ago. The low quality image still looks quite bad in my opinion. So here is what I recommend where these quality settings are concerned and by the way I should say this you don't have to accept the default quality settings that is the numerical quality settings. I could click on Medium and say you know what 30 is too low, high is 60, so why don't we split the difference and make it 45 or something along those lines.
You can do that if you want to, however here's what I am going to tell I'll click on the top right image. Most of the time and I mean like 9 out of 10 times, I'll just go with High. I'll bring up this dialog box make sure High is selected, make sure Convert to sRGB is selected click Save and I am out of there. But on some rare occasions if I think an image is really stellar, it has just great detail throughout, then I'll choose Very High in order to try to retain as much of that information as possible. You can see though in the case of this image that knocks out the image size to 781 K which is just too large.
And I suppose although, I never use it that if you really need to squish that image down. You really need to compress it and make it as small as it possibly can file size wise. Then you could go with Medium here, but I would recommend you steer clear of it when possible. All right so the other options that we have available to us are Optimized right there the Optimized check box. Make sure that's turned on that goes ahead and optimizes the run line compression which is loss less and that shaves off a few K sometimes from the file size.
Embed Color Profile I was telling you I'll leave that turned off its just going to add to the file size and it's just going to tell your browser you're working with sRGB and that's supposed to be the default setting anyway. Then Progressive leave that off Progressive is a real old style setting where if you had a large graphic that was taking too long to download over a modem for example, then it would display in stages. So it would come through very low res at first and then redraw incrementally as the information downloaded. Well my thinking is that just makes the image look like something wrong with it at first on modern machines you just want it to display onscreen.
Quality we've already discussed it varies from zero for horrible to a hundred for the best. Blur steer clear of Blur the idea behind Blur is that blurry images compress better than sharply focused ones. But you'd don't want your image to be blurred that's crazy. And then Matte is the color that going to appear in any transparent areas of your image. So if there is any transparency it'll be filled in with the matte color I don't mean that where there is a transparent layer that's blending in with other layers. I mean if by the time you get to the bottom of the layer stack there is a transparent hole someplace.
It will be filled with white. If you need to retain that transparency you should think about using the Png format instead. And that is it folks that's all you need to know about saving a JPEG image, with one exception and that's the Metadata, and I'll tell you how that works in the next exercise.
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