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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
All right, so here I am in the middle of recording this Convert to CMYK action, while working inside this image called Pont Saint-Benezet.psd, found inside the Original wide format subfolder. But it's not like time hasn't transpired since the last time I talked to you. I recorded these movies inside a program called Camtasia here on a PC, for what that's worth. So I had to stop recording the previous movie, and then I saved it to disk, and then I performed a few housekeeping chores and other applications, and then I came back to Camtasia and began recording.
I flubbed the recording, and so I stopped that, and I went ahead and canceled, and I started a new recording. You get the idea. And yet, because I haven't done anything in Photoshop, Photoshop is just sitting here waiting for me. So you can switch to other applications and do anything you want, and Photoshop will not pay attention to that during the recording process. However, you may find that you are uncomfortable with that, because it is still possible to make mistakes. Let's say I have got this other image open, called Avignon street.jpg, that doesn't really matter.
But if I press Ctrl+Tab or Command+Tilde on the Mac to switch to that image, then you will see over here in the Actions panel, that it's tracked. So it just tracked the fact that I selected the previous document. It doesn't know what the name of that image is, but it knows that it's open onscreen, and that will become part of the action, which is not something I want. If you want to pause the recording for a moment, so that you can perform other operations, or if you find yourself making a mistake - and it's a good idea to keep an eye on the Actions panel to see exactly what's getting recorded, then just drop down here to this square Stop button and click on it.
Now that doesn't stop the recording for all time. That just pauses it for now, because you can always add to an existing action inside Photoshop. All right, so having stopped the recording, I am going to go ahead and grab that bad step right there and just throw it in the trashcan, just drag it to the little trashcan at the bottom of the Actions panel, and now the badness is gone. All right, before I restart the recording, I am going to press Ctrl+Tab or Command+Tilde on the Mac to go back to the image at hand, because it's generally a good idea to stay inside of an image throughout an entire recording, unless switching images is necessary to that recording process - unless it's part of the sequence of operations.
All right, now my next step is to go ahead and change the resolution assigned to this image. You may recall that all of the images are the same physical size, but their resolution values wander. What I need to do is go up to the Image menu and choose the Image Size command. But before I do that I need to start recording again, and this is very important. You have to be recording in order for those actions to get recorded, and that may seem like common sense, but imagine this. Imagine I go up to the Image menu, and I choose the Image Size command, and then I decide, you know what, I want this image to be eight inches wide.
So I am going to type in 8 there for the inches value. I am not going to worry about anything else right now. I am going to click OK. It dawns on me, I just slightly upsampled the image. That's a mistake. However, notice that operation did not get tracked inside the Actions panel. If I go to History, it got tracked there, so that means I can back-step the operation if I want to. Now, there used to be this program called Image Ready that shipped along with Photoshop, and the great thing about that program was that History actually recorded real operations.
So if you forgot to record it, you could just drag that Image Size operation from the History panel over into an action, and that would become part of the action, which was great, because that way you could retroactively create a recording. You could sit there working inside of an image, and it might dawn on you, Oh my gosh, this is a great effect, and then you could ahead and capture those operations as an action after the fact. Not the least bit possible inside Photoshop. History in Photoshop does not track Actions; it just tracks pixels.
It just knows what each state of pixels look like inside of an image. So in our case, what we need to do is click on Flatten Image to undo that step, because we don't want to slightly upsample the image; that's a big mistake. Then go back to the Actions panel, click on the Convert to CMYK Action, then drop down to little Record button. This time we don't have to make a new action because we are continuing one that we have already made. Click on the Record icon, and we will begin recording from the end of the action. So now I will go up to the Image menu, choose Image Size again, or press Ctrl+Alt+I, Command+Option+I. Keyboard shortcuts, once again, don't matter. And then inside of the Image Size dialog box, instead of upsampling the image, remember, then I changed the Width value from 7.8 whatever to 8 inches, so it's just a slight upsampling which is the worst kind that is, quite frankly, because that just introduces a tiny bit of softening all over the image.
It can really ruin your detail. So notice it's going from 7.02 MB just a little bit higher to 7.26 MB. So upsampling would be occurring, unless I turn off the Resample Image check box, which is what I am going to do. So turn off Resample Image. That resets everything. The only thing I know, let's say, is I am printing to wide format pages, two or three images up on a page. I have been told by my designer that the width of each one of these images needs to be 8 inches, so that's what I enter is 8 inches. Nothing more.
I don't worry about the Height value. I let the Resolution value ride. I know that all these images have the same physical measurements, 2360 x 1040, so they are all going to change in kind when this action is applied. So I will just go ahead and click OK. Now notice that this is a twirlable action item. So not only was Image Size recorded at the bottom of my existing action here, just as I promised, but also, it can be twirled open. Flattened image can't. So if a command has no ellipses after it, as in the case of the Flatten Image command under Layer menu down here, which is dimmed right now because my image is already flat, but whenever you apply a single shot command, there is nothing more to share here inside the Actions panel.
However, if a command brings up a dialog box, there is going to be some settings associated with it, and to see those settings, twirl open the operation. So you can work away inside the Actions panel, even though you are recording, because nothing you do inside of Actions is tracked by an action, and notice we have just one bit of information conveyed. So we are not seeing that the image is being re-sampled. That's good. We are not seeing the resolution value because we didn't touch that, all we did was change the width value and nothing more. Now, as you gain experience with recording actions inside Photoshop you will learn, especially when you are applying the Image Size command, but really when you are applying any command inside Photoshop, the less information the better.
You want to record as little as possible because that keeps that step nice and flexible. It means that, for example, in our case we are changing with to 8 inches. The height is going to ride, so we are not going to squish the image. The resolution is going to ride, so we are not going to re-sample image, and that's a good thing. All right, the one thing missing in this Convert to CMYK action is any form of conversion to the CMYK color space, and that we will do in the next exercise.
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