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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In the previous exercise we specified the settings required to save our magazine cover as a high-resolution CMYK PDF file. We're now ready to click the Save PDF button. And as soon as you do that, Photoshop is going to set about writing that PDF file, and then a few moments later it will open the file inside of the Adobe reader, or your favorite PDF opening application. Now it may not initially look exactly right. You may see some choppy edges here and there. You can write that off to the screen preview, and if you have any concerns you can print out your images well or just zoom in on it.
So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to scroll down here to this text that we were worried about. That the printer was showing us; wasn't showing up properly at all. All right, it was turning to pixels, and now because I'm working inside the free Adobe reader. I'll go to the tools menu to Select & Zoom and choose this guy right there, Dynamic Zoom, and I'm going to drag upward in order to zoom in on this portion of the file. And notice every once in a while the text looks kind of polygonal onscreen. But then the reader ultimately redraws the screen, and you get better results.
Anyway, I'm going to continue to zoom in like so, and now I'm zoomed in beyond 1500%. That's not good enough. I'm going to zoom in even farther here beyond 3000%. Let's say, beyond 3500% in fact, and now I can see these big huge chunky pixels as we're seeing, and those are the pixels inside the background image. The image will remain pixels of course, because that's the nature of the beast. However, check out the text that is super smooth vector-based text, just like you would get out of Illustrator, or InDesign or any other application.
So Photoshop can keep up with the big boys here. Anyway, I'm going to drag back out, so that we're zooming out from the image, and I'm going to press the spacebar and scroll down to the sparkle. Now what's going on with it? Let's go ahead and zoom in on this portion of the image. It seems to be rendering out to pixels, and it is. That's what seems to be. That's what's happening. The reason this is happening is because we assigned a feather value. Anytime you blur vector-based information, it's going to get converted to pixels because there is no such thing in the world of PostScript as blurry vectors.
Any time a blur is involved, then Photoshop or some other application Illustrator and InDesign do this as well; they'll Rasterize that vector-based data and convert it to pixels. The good news where Photoshop is concerned is it goes ahead and matches the resolution of the image itself. So render the sparkle at 240 pixels per inch, which is just fine. Now back inside the native PSD file, that's still editable vector data. Here inside the final PDF file, however, it's pixels, which is what we want. We want it to look endemic.
We want it to look natural to the image itself. All right, let's go ahead and zoom back out, and let's check out this stuff over here, remember, how when I converted 365 to CMYK inside of Photoshop, I basically lost the stripes. It pretty much went away. Well, by converting the image to CMYK, as I went ahead and saved off the PDF file, my stripes are retained, and they look actually really great. Now let's go ahead and zoom in on the 6, let's say. So we can see the quality of the letters, and the layer effects.
Now notice that the letters have vector-based outlines associated with them. They are nice and sharp, and when I say letters I mean numbers of course, the characters. Whereas, everything inside of this 6, and the other characters here is pixels, and that's because we have soft effects going on. The pattern in the background, that was pixels in the first place, the zebra pattern. So that's going to appear as pixels. Although very soft transitional pixels, so we hardly notice the difference. The Bevel & Emboss Effects, those highlights and the shadows and the drop shadows as well, those are all pixels, and again, that's because they're blurry.
But the Stroke Effect, notice that stroke effect right there. It is nice and sharp. Now it seems to be a little bit offset, which is fairly curious. However, we have some very sharp data going on. And now I'm going to zoom out, and I will show you the absolute coup de gra, up here at the top of the image. We've got this interaction between the models head and this vector-based type and also the vector-based swash. Now here the 150% for some reason the Adobe reader doesn't do a very good job of redrawing the screen.
But if we zoom farther in we will see just how miraculous this interaction is. Notice this is the vector-based swash over here on the right side of model's head. This is her hair, her vector based hair. Thanks to the quality of that mask and also the amazing ability of Photoshop to mix these elements together. We can see this pixel-based hair overlapping this vector-based element, and it's just an amazingly naturalistic transition right there. Let's go ahead and scroll up a little.
Check out that hair interacting with a letter. I think this is the letter U. If I'm not mistaken, yes, it is in Pout, and so again, we have a great interaction of pixels and vectors at that location. Here's some more tiny hairs right there, gosh, not that anybody's going to notice them necessarily in print. They are not going to sit there and inspect this image the way we are. However, they are going to hold that output, and they are going to think oh, my gosh, that looks perfect. Those guys are so smart or whatever they think when they pick up a magazine at the sidewalk.
I don't know what those people are thinking, but they will not think that this is a heck job. They will think that this is impeccable work. Check out that hair that's going over the letter O. This hair right there looks awesome. This one as well. There's her glove over her wrist actually, because there is the elbow, the elbow interacting with I believe this is the base of the P as in Pout, and then I'm going to scroll down to this location right there, because remember, this was that area where I used the Lasso tool, just a few exercises back. I used the Lasso tool in order to finesse this region, because I was worried after I painted it with a brush inside of the mask that I was brightening the drop shadow behind the swash, so I went in there and fixed it.
But I didn't spend a lot of time. I just used the Lasso tool to pull it off, and yet, let's go ahead and zoom in there. Check out that interaction between the edge of the arm and that vector-based outline. We have a little bit of bright haloing going on underneath the swash. It's interacting with the drop shadow in the way that it wouldn't really. So that's ultimately a mistake. But I would say, we can count that mistake in pixels. We probably have about 20 pixels that could be represented better inside of this image, and you know what? I'm very comfortable with letting that slide.
Otherwise we have an absolutely impeccable document, and this is the kind of thing that you can create in Photoshop. You can create this kind of high resolution vector-based output mixed with photographic imagery. That's something that Photoshop does better than either Illustrator, or InDesign or any of the other vector-based application. So bear that in mind when you're creating your commercial designs.
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