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Along with the marks made by a brush, color is a highly expressive component of painting. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to access color in Photoshop. In this video, we will look at how to quickly call up various color selection tools. Now you certainly have keyboard shortcuts available, and I will explain those as well, but once again, I'm relying on the elegance of the control surface of the Wacom to do the heavy lifting for me.
The first tool I want to introduce you to is what's called the HUD Color Picker - HUD is short for Heads Up Display - and this is a new color picker that enables you to get to a pretty elegant solution here. I will show it to you. Here it is, and in a moment, I will show you the various ways you can configure this. But this lets me, right onscreen, select from both hue and saturation value, to select a color that I can then paint with.
That's a very valuable way to go about doing this. You can control how the appearance of this looks in the Preferences panel, under General. If we look at this, you can look at either a Hue Wheel or a Hue Strip, and then depending on your monitor resolution, you can determine whether you want Large, Medium or Small, in the case of the Hue Wheel or Large or Small, in the case of the Hue strip. The Hue Strip, just so you can see it, looks like this. So it's a little bit more like the standard Adobe color picker; it's just that you now have this onscreen.
So this is our new addition to CS5, and it's very useful, particularly for artists, where you want to select a color while you are working. Now the normal way to do this on the Mac is to use the Command+Ctrl+Option; those three keys will bring up the icon that, by a click, then let's you select this. Now here is where this gets a little dicey. Once you have this set up, if you want to switch over to here, you can see what happens is as soon as I switch, it jumps, and I lose the exact color that I had.
So Adobe's solution to this is if you temporarily lift up on the three keys that you're holding down and then switch to the Spacebar, I can then switch focus between these two. But I can tell you from experience, this gets a little bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. It's very easy to accidentally lose what you're doing. Now the keyboard commands on Windows are Alt+Shift+Right-click, so you're using two keyboard keys, and you are using the right-click of your mouse to do this.
That is cool, but it also gets in to the same rubbing your head and tummy at the same time. It just gets a little inelegant. I am going to show you how to do it on the Wacom control surface. So once again, we will go to System Preferences on Mac or Control Panels on Windows to bring up the Wacom driver. Here you can see I can use a modifier to set the Control, Command, Option and Click, and by having the Click as well as these three, for the Mac, that enables the display of the HUD Color Picker to show up immediately.
The other thing I have done is the Keystroke at the bottom of my four keys, I have switched to be the HUD Focus, which is essentially nothing more than the Spacebar. So I have two keys on the Wacom that I can use to control this. Now here is the - a bit of a 'gotcha' when you get to Windows. Windows, in the Modifiers here, there is no Right-click available in this dialog. So you have to use a right-click, which you assign to one of the Barrel buttons on the Wacom pen to do that.
So it's a two-handed operation in the case of Windows. You have to hold the key down, as well as the right button that is assigned to your barrel button. I have tried it on Windows, and it's not hard to do. It is just it's an additional kind of slightly different way to do the same thing. But regardless of either platform, once you've got your modifier set up properly to work with your system - and I'll go back here, all I'm doing now is I am clicking the top key, and on Mac, it brings it up.
On Windows, you would be clicking the top key and holding the right mouse button. Then when I want to change focus, I just additionally press the fourth key in my express keys, and now I can change focus. I let it up and I find this a little easier to be able to not forget what you're doing with all of your fingers, to be able to switch this focus without all of a sudden having it go away. So I find this to be a better way to actually get to this HUD focus and be able to adjust color right on the fly within Photoshop.
So that gives me a very quick way to select solid colors to work with. The New CS5 Heads Up Display color picker then is a excellent way to maintain the focus on your artwork while you are painting, without the need to go somewhere else. You can use this even when the interface is otherwise off, or on at a second monitor. Both of these environments are better suited to not having a lot of clutter on the screen, and this new display enables quick access to a tool that's very valuable, and yet you can dismiss it very quickly at the same time.
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