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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right gang, exciting stuff here. We're now transitioning from Content-Aware Scale to the other old-new technology with Photoshop CS4 and that is the Pixel Bender. Now, there's three things I want you to note about the Pixel Bender. First of all it's a filter platform, you open this dialog box and you browse through a bunch of little micro filters, none of which I would consider to be absolutely critical, but there are a few that are highly amusing, and a couple that I find to be very useful. There's a better Radial Blur, and there's also this thing called Kaleidoscope that's great for making patterns, much better than the old bad old pattern maker, that sad thing.
So these are included with Pixel Bender by default, the other thing you should know is that those of you who have a head for scripting, so you can wrap your mind around a little bit of math, some coding, that kind of thing, you can create your own Pixel Bender Filters, with some degree of success actually. You have quite a bit of flexibility, and I'm not going to even purport to do a course on making a Pixel Bender Filter. All I'm going to do is point you toward couple of resources here. Then finally, the other thing you should know is that Pixel Bender does not ship along with Photoshop CS4, you have to go download it. Now it's a free download, it's available here from Adobe Labs and here's the full URL in case you're curious, and you go there, and you'll come to the Pixel Bender, and then you'll scroll down, and you'll go ahead and download, not the tool kit necessarily.
The tool kit is for those of you who want to write your own filters and share them with friends and that kind of thing. Rather, you want to come down to the bottom, where it says Pixel Bender Plug -in for Photoshop CS4, and there's one for 32 bit, whether you're using a Mac or a PC, doesn't matter, and that's the one I downloaded, because I'm working with a 32 bit version of Windows Vista. But if you have 64 bit Windows, then you need to go ahead and download this final version right there. All right, once you've done it, then you'll get this little guy, some place, I put it on my desktop, and then in order to install it, you double click on it, and that should with any luck, and I'm just saying, cross your fingers, you'll open Adobe Extension Manager CS4, and you'll not get an error message about how you don't have permissions. If you do get a permissions error message, it's because you haven't reconciled permissions correctly on your machine, and that's something you'll have to do on your own, I'm afraid.
All right, so then you accept this disclaimer of course, and then just like that, it gets installed. So, it's either going to work incredibly easily, just like it did for me, or you're going to have permissions problems and you're going to be banging your head against the screen. But anyway, there we are, now it's all installed, now of course I would go ahead and launch Photoshop, because I had quit Photoshop, so if you had it running, you need to quit it, and then relaunch the program. Then you will have installed not only the Pixel Bender, but you'll also have installed several different filters that work inside the Pixel Bender.
Now you may get this error message right here. It's a gratuitous unnecessary message at this point. It's not an error message; it's just an alert. It's telling you that Photoshop CS4 now includes graphics card acceleration. Geez, did you know that? Well, you probably saw that message the first time you launched Photoshop CS4, and you're seeing it again, because Pixel Bender highlights Photoshop CS4 support for OpenGL. So you're asked here if you want to go and install your latest video card driver. You would say no, ostensibly, because you've already gone through all that rigmarole. If you're able to take advantage of all the OpenGL navigation functions, then you're fine. So just say no, and then, assuming you were able to install Pixel Bender successfully, and everything is right ready to go, and you can check, you can go up to the Filter menu and you should see the Pixel Bender command right there.
Assuming that's true, then join me in the next exercise, and I'll show you how to use it.
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