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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.
In this movie, I will be demonstrating Smart Objects. You convert a layer into a Smart Object and this throws the image aside so that you can make many changes to it, but it is not directly changing any of the pixels of the image itself. It's just telling Photoshop how you want to change the image and you see that change viewed on your screen, but the original image is still there as a Smart Object. One of the main benefits of the Smart Object is that you can resize an image and then change your mind and expand it back and still retain all the data.
I am going to demonstrate that with this image. If you're following along with me, open BRDU.tif in the Chapter 9 Exercise files. So here we have immunohisto chemistry demonstrating proliferating cells that are stained for BRDU. Before we change anything about the image, we are going to create a duplicate. Image > Duplicate and we're just going to keep it as BRDU copy. Hit OK and we will move this aside. Now, we will select BRDU.tif and we are going to re-size this image. We are going to shrink it down. We're going to Image Size, and we are going to change the width to 2, and we are going to decrease the resolution to 200.
We have decreased a 4.6 MB image to 60.3 KB. We hit OK, and now we can see how shrunk the image is. We can double- click the magnifying glass, we can expand the window, and now we can see that the shrunk image, what we can tell is, it's a little bit stained and this resolution is appropriate for this size image. Now, if we want to zoom-in, immediately as we double the size and we can see the pixels, and have pixel of the image as it truly is? Let's reduce it back to 100% and now, let's say we want to resize this image, we changed our mind. We go to Image Size, we will increase the width to 4 and then we will increase the resolution to 300 pixels per inch. We hit OK and we see how blurry the image is, and if we zoom-in, we can see the pixels. So we have permanently lost detail in the image.
Now, we will walk through how Smart Objects work. We select the layer, and then we can either go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object or right click or Ctrl-click and just say, Convert to Smart Object. Then, we have a little Smart Object icon, so that's stored away the original file and when we make changes to it, it's just mathematically remembering these changes, but not actually applying it on to the image. So we are going to go to Image > Image Size, reduce this in the same way, 2 centimeters wide, at the resolution of 200 pixels per inch. We hit OK. Again, we can see, if we double-click on the Magnifying Glass, see the image at 100%, and we can zoom-in and we can see there's quite a lot of pixels. Now, this is where Smart Objects come in handy.
We decide we want to enlarge the image. If this wasn't converted into a Smart Object, we'd have to go back to the original file of the image to regain the resolution, but by converting it to a Smart Object, we can go to Image > Image Size, increase the width to 4, increase the resolution to 300, we hit OK. Now, we will look at this at 100% and we compare it to the original, the way we would do it, I will double-click on the Magnifying Glass. We go to arrange, Match Zoom and Location and we can see how blurry this area is, but all the detail remains because we never truly change the image; we just change the way Photoshop presents the image because this is a Smart Object.
So that's just one of the many benefits of being able to use Smart Objects. Again it's through the Layers menu and it's a good way to protect your image and make changes to an image without actually changing the pixels.
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