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Veteran pharmaceutical research scientist and member of Adobe's Biomedical Image Advisory Group, Eric J. Wexler shares his experience creating detailed biomedical imaging in Photoshop CS3 Extended for Biomedical Research. Eric shows how to use Photoshop CS3's selection, analysis, and editing tools to evaluate an image's color composition, modify images for research, optimize exposure with levels and curves, transform images with layers, and compensate for acquisition problems and limitations. Eric also explains how to add reference information to images, annotate and optimize DICOM animations, and share finished images with colleagues. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
NOTE: Actual biological research images are used for this title's examples. Some of these images, including those of internal organs and dissected animals, may be considered graphic or offensive to some viewers. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
When Photoshop is first opened, we see the default workspace. This workspace is divided up into four main areas. We have our menu bar, we have our Tool panel, which works in conjunction with the Options Bar, and then we have all the other panels that gives us to control of the many features that Photoshop contains. Now, Photoshop is seen as an intimidating application but awareness and understanding will help decrease anxiety and actually transform that into excitement. So let us look at each of these segments and how we can use them and modify them so that we are able to interact with the workspace and give ourselves a nice amount of screen real estate so we can see an image.
Up top is the menu bar and this you are accustomed to. It is in almost any program you deal with. Many of the features have drag down menus. And most importantly, here in the Window in the Workspace we can see where we can select the default workspace. And this is what we are looking at right now. After that we actually have the toolbar. Now in previous versions of Photoshop, this is seen as a double column panel. And we can see that again if we hit the two triangles up top, it will transform it into the old style toolbar.
But to maximize screen real estate, Photoshop now displays the tools in a single column. Also, you can see at this time that we have tool tips turned on. And this is very helpful when you are starting with Photoshop. When you will move your over something, it will actually tell you what it is, as well as giving you the keyboard shortcut to select that tool. Now this Tool panel works in conjunction with the Options bar. And every tool has different options that are displayed giving you control to refine many of the Tool Preferences. And we do see if you pick the Type tool, then we can select the font, the type of font, font size, as well as alignment. These types of controls are what we are able to get to using the Options bar.
Lastly, we have panel groups. These are set so that related panels are joined together and are easy to just Tab across; Histogram, Info, and then back to Navigator. But what is very nice now is we can really maximize our screen real estate by using some of the interface options, we are given here on every panel. We can see that there is just icons here and we can expand this so that we can see the complete control and all the options we have for each of those panels. But we do not have to do that. We can also just select one, click on it, and again, well it does not take up the entire real estate at all times. We have easy access to everything that the panel can support.
And what may be helpful is to grab this little bar and pull it out just so for now, you actually have the text labels for the icons so you are able to see exactly which icon represents which panel. Another nice thing is that by grabbing this lighter grey, you can separate the entire panel set and rearrange it. This is nice if you have a workflow that you want to follow step by step and it would use different panels. You can organize them as the individual panel sets or as individual panels by grabbing the icon and placing it where you would like. And here, we can move Tool Presets and join it with History and Actions at the bottom. The Tools panels are very malleable. And you are able to rearrange this, as well as maximize, and turn individual ones on and off by clicking the X on their tab name. And we can add that by going to the Window and if we hit Navigator, it will rejoin the panel group it was originally part of.
So that is one way to look at the default workspace. Now we can customize things to better suit our workflow by both changing keyboard shortcuts as well as creating a customized workspace.
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