Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
Illustration by Don Barnett

Making a contact sheet from Bridge


Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

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Video: Making a contact sheet from Bridge

Even if you shoot all your photos digitally, you might like to have a printed record of your photographs in the form of a contact sheet. But if you are looking in Photoshop CS4 for a Contact Sheet command, you'll be sorely disappointed, because in the program as it comes out of the box, there is no Contact Sheet command. Instead the controls for creating contact sheets are now found in Adobe Bridge. Here I am in Bridge, looking at the Chapter 15 Exercise Files folder, and I would like to make a contact sheet of all of these photos.
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  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
7h 55m Beginner Oct 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Learning and customizing the interface and workspace
  • Utilizing various manual and guided selection techniques
  • Working with Adobe Camera Raw
  • Adding special effects with layer styles and Smart Filters
  • Creating Photomerge panoramas
  • Optimizing photos for the web and creating web galleries
Jan Kabili

Making a contact sheet from Bridge

Even if you shoot all your photos digitally, you might like to have a printed record of your photographs in the form of a contact sheet. But if you are looking in Photoshop CS4 for a Contact Sheet command, you'll be sorely disappointed, because in the program as it comes out of the box, there is no Contact Sheet command. Instead the controls for creating contact sheets are now found in Adobe Bridge. Here I am in Bridge, looking at the Chapter 15 Exercise Files folder, and I would like to make a contact sheet of all of these photos.

To do that, I need to change workspaces inside of Bridge. The workspaces are located up here at the top of the screen. I don't have room to list them all across my screen. So I get this arrow over here on the right side of those that are showing. I'll click that arrow and I'll choose Output. And that changes to the Output workspace. When your Output workspace opens, you may have some additional panels over on the left. I just close those by clicking on the left hand border and dragging to the left, so that I have more room to see my Output Preview, which is right here.

And this is a preview of what I am building. Over on the right, I have the controls for creating in PDF format, a contact sheet and a number of other templates as well. If I click on this Template menu, I see that I can make a greeting card, several different sizes of contact sheets, a fine art mat around a photo, a triptych, and the other choices you see here. And all of these will be PDF files or Portable Document Files, which can be opened by a variety of programs including Acrobat, Acrobat Reader, Preview on the Mac, and other applications.

Down at the bottom of the screen, I see a filmstrip view of all of the photos that are in the Chapter 15 Exercise Files folder, where I was in the Essentials view. Because I want to include all of the photos in this contact sheet, I am going to go to the Edit menu at the top of the screen, and I am going to choose Select All. Or I could just come in and click on the first image here, scroll over to the right, hold down the Shift key and click on the last to select them all. And if I want to select just particular photos, I would hold down the Command key on the Mac as I selected photos by clicking on them, or the Ctrl key on a PC.

With all of these photos selected, if I want to see how they are going to look in a contact sheet, I'll go over to the controls and I'll change to one of these contact sheet formats. I'll try the 5*8 Contact Sheet, and then I have to click Refresh Preview. This is the main thing to remember when you are working in this Output column. Whenever you make a change in any of these panels, then you need to click Refresh Preview to see the results over here in the Output Preview area. So I'll click Refresh Preview now, and I'll wait a minute while Photoshop generates a contact sheet from all 40 of my images. That looks great! And I could just leave it at that, but there are many options that I can choose to tweak it a bit.

So let me show you what's here quickly. Here's a Document panel, where I can choose a paper preset, a kind of paper, a paper size, I can type in a custom size if I want. I can choose the quality of the photo thumbnails that are on the contact sheet, the background color of the contact sheet, and here I have some password options that limits the way others can view or use the contact sheet. I am going to scroll down, and here I have all kinds of layout options. It's just one example.

I can change the way that the thumbnails are arranged. Instead of Across First, Down First. And if I want to see the difference, I go back to my Refresh Preview, click it, and Photoshop rebuilds the contact sheet for me. If I wanted something more like a picture package that shows the same image over and over, I could choose Repeat One Photo per Page and then change the number of Columns and Rows per page. I am going to scroll down a little more, to show you what else is here. In this Overlays area, I can control whether I'll have a filename underneath each one of the thumbnails on the contact sheet.

I think that's a good idea, as a point of reference. So I am going to leave those there. And I could vary the way that the title appears as well, its color, its font and its size. Down here, I have controls that I think are really interesting. I can create, in addition to a contact sheet to print, a slideshow that automatically advances through each one of my photos. This slideshow will be in PDF format and I have controls for that too. I can change the duration of the individual slides or have it start again at the beginning when it's done.

And I can also change the transitions between slides. If I scroll down further, I have an option here to add a watermark across my contact sheet. So for example, I could type kabili, and I could change the font, I could change the Size of the watermark, maybe I'll make it a little smaller. I can change the color. I could make it more or less opaque. And I could have it appear in the foreground, in other words, in front of the thumbnails or behind them in the background. And if I want to see that, I have to click Refresh Preview again.

And there is my watermark, protecting my contact sheet. And finally, at the very bottom, I can choose to view the PDF after I save it. I am going to do that and then I am going to click Save. I'll save it on my Desktop. I'll click Save again. And I will wait while the final PDF contact sheet is generated. This is asking if I want to see the slideshow in Acrobat in full screen mode. I am not going to do that right now. I am going to dismiss that dialog box to look at the contact sheet in its print version.

I am looking at the contact sheet here in Adobe Acrobat, because on my computer that's the program that's configured to display PDF files. And that may be different on your computer. For example, you may have the free Adobe program Reader configured to open PDFs on your computer. Or if you are on a Mac, the PDF might open in Preview. And I can print from any of those programs. So if you want to make a contact sheet of your own photos, don't search around in Photoshop for a command, because you won't find one if you are using Photoshop right out of the box.

Instead use Adobe Bridge, to quickly create a customizable contact sheet as I have shown you how to do here.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 Essential Training .

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Q: How can artwork be transferred from Photoshop CS4 to Illustrator CS4 without the background?
A: Save the image in Photoshop’s native PSD format. The background in Photoshop must be transparent, meaning there should be no background layer. (To remove a background layer, move your artwork to a separate layer by selecting and copying the content, minus the background, to a new layer, and then delete the background layer. A checkboard pattern behind your image indicates transparent pixels.) 

In Illustrator, select File > Open, and select the PSD file. In Photoshop Import dialog box, select Convert Layers to Objects.

Q: How do I retouch an image I have of an old photograph I scanned?
A: There are a few courses that address image restoration. Check out the Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training course, and for problems dealing specifically with old photographs, watch the Restoration movies in chapter 15 of the Enhancing Digital Photography with Photoshop CS2. Additionally, learn how to research and date photos with our Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree course.
Q: A client has asked for artwork to be delivered as JPEGs or BMP files in 16-bit format. In Photoshop CS4, there does not appear to be an option to save an image as a 16-bit JPEG. Is there a way to save JPEG files as 16-bit in Photoshop?
A: Unfortunately, JPEGs cannot be saved in 16 bit. JPEGs, by nature, are 8-bit. So if you open a high-bit image into Photoshop CS4, you will see no option in any of the save dialog boxes to save the file as a JPEG. You would first have to convert the image to 8 bit (by choosing Image > Mode > 8 bits/channel) and then save it as an 8-bit JPEG. If you open a high-bit image into Photoshop CS5, you will see the option to save it as a JPEG in the Save, Save As, and Save for Web dialog boxes.  But the JPEG will not be saved as 16-bit. Instead, Photoshop will downsample it to 8-bit for you  before saving it as JPEG.
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