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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
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The benefits of vectors


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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: The benefits of vectors

All right, so I have got two different documents opened this time around. I still have Tip pixels.psd and then I went ahead and saved my progress inside of the other document as Type to vectors .psd in which I have gone ahead and converted my text to shape outlines. Both of these images are found inside the 24_vector_shapes folder. And in this exercise, I'm going to tell you about three of the four great advantages of vectors over pixels. Now it's not like pixels are bad, I need to make that perfectly clear, we have been spending a ton of time with pixels inside of this series of course so far.
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  1. 21m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 34s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
      51s
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 23m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 33s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 34s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 45s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
      58s
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 7s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 54s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 54s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 32s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
      46s
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 41s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 51s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 38s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 42s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
      42s
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 50s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 51s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 7m Advanced May 29, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Defining the essentials of masking
  • Resizing images with content-aware scaling
  • Adjusting perspective with Vanishing Point
  • Applying Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Using the Auto-Align tool to build composite images
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

The benefits of vectors

All right, so I have got two different documents opened this time around. I still have Tip pixels.psd and then I went ahead and saved my progress inside of the other document as Type to vectors .psd in which I have gone ahead and converted my text to shape outlines. Both of these images are found inside the 24_vector_shapes folder. And in this exercise, I'm going to tell you about three of the four great advantages of vectors over pixels. Now it's not like pixels are bad, I need to make that perfectly clear, we have been spending a ton of time with pixels inside of this series of course so far.

So obviously pixels rock. And they are especially necessary for representing photographic images. There is no way currently to represent photographic images without pixels. However, vectors have their own rocking quality as well as you are about to learn. So advantage number one to vectors, they print at the full resolution of your printer as long as you have a postscript based printing device. So if you have a postscript printer, then even if you have got a very low resolution image and it's filled with vectors, all the vector outlines will print smooth and silk.

They will print as smooth as if you created them inside of Adobe Illustrator. So you can check that out on your own if you like, those of you who have postscript output devices. If you don't, if you just have a standard inkjet device or something along those lines or a laser printer that isn't equipped with postscript, why then, you will just get the standard pixel output. That's advantage number one, a little obscure but it's there. Advantage number two is that vectors are uniquely editable. So for example, if I'm working here inside of my pixel based version of the Tip file right there.

Notice that I have this pixel based spikes layer that has these gray spikes that are colored using layer Effects. We'll see that shortly. And then we have got a little bit of pixel based layer mask right there and if I wanted to modify the spikes layer, then I could by getting something like the Paint Brush, for example, and then lets go ahead and set the foreground color to the same color that I used here, the same gray. I will do that by switching over to the Eyedropper tool for a moment. I'll switch sample to current layer and then I'll just click on that star in order to lift gray. All right, and thanks to the fact that I have this sample option now inside Photoshop CS4. I can lift the gray pixel color without lifting the colors associated with the layer effects and so on. All right, now I'll go ahead and grab the Paint Brush and I'll paint on this layer. And let's go ahead and make sure that we have a nice sharp brush here, we do. And I'll go ahead and paint on this layer and notice, wow! The layer effects go ahead and pick up as well. So that's pretty groovy.

However, let's say what I really wanted to was I wanted to move one of the spikes to a different location. Well, that's very difficult to do with the pixel-based layer. It has to essentially redraw that spike whereas with a vector-based layer, it's very easy to do. So I'm going to undo that modification that right there because that's not what I want. Let's switch over to Type to vectors.psd in which I converted the type to vectors and then I'm going to go ahead and grab this Arrow tool. Now notice that it's called the Path Selection tool, whatever. I call them, these two tools right there, the Black Arrow tool and the White Arrow tool, which makes a ton of sense because the keyboard shortcut is A for Arrow even though the word arrow never appears in the official description of the tools. So the Black Arrow tool or Path Selection tool if you prefer.

Let's go ahead and switch over to the spikes layer over here. What it does is it allows you to select a whole path at a time and move it to a different location or what have you, you can scale it, you can rotate it and so on. Go ahead and undo that modification by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Go ahead and click off of the spikes in order to reselect them, so then I can show you that the Direct Selection tool or what I prefer to call the White Arrow tool allows you to select specific points and segments. So I could say you know this spike right here doesn't want to be at this location, it wants to be slightly over like so. Then this guy wants to be over here like so and so on.

So you have a completely different editing option available to you. You are editing this path outline by moving its anchor points, adjusting its segments and so on. So you are adjusting the path as if it was a Bezier based path outline, which it is. So that's great. All right, so that's another advantage, I'm going to go ahead and undo those modifications however, because I don't want to just adjust those spikes, I like where they were. I'm pressing Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z on the Mac to undo those changes. Oh! By the way, this is a little bit of a tip for you. When you have one of these tools selected right here, these are all the vector-based tools by the way, vector-based Pen, vector-based Type. So type is vectors inside of Photoshop. We have got the Path Editing tools of course, the Arrow tools and then have the Path Creation tools. When any of these tools are selected, you can hide and show the vector mask outline by pressing the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. See how that works. So pressing Enter or Return hides and then pressing Enter or Return again shows.

Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and hide those path outlines by pressing Enter or Return once again. And then the third advantage is that the illustration is going to be smaller in memory. Notice down here in this little dock item in the lower left corner of the image window, we are seeing in the pixel based image that the layered version of the image is 4.77 megabytes whereas with the vector based version, it's just 1 .75 megabytes in memory. Now it's very important to note that this is in memory. On disk it may be completely different and in fact where these two images are concerned, the Tip pixels.psd document, it's a little smaller on disk. It's 600K versus 700K and that's just the function of the native PSD file formats run-line compression for what it's worth. But in memory, which is where you are editing the image, the vector-based version of the image is smaller. Finally, there is the fourth advantage and this is the best advantage of them all, vectors are scalable, pixels are not. You are going to see exactly what that means; this is such a big thing that I devoted an entire exercise to the topic. And that of course would be in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: My Polygon tool is locked into a very small size. I can use the Transform tool to increase it's size once drawn, but I must have something set that will not allow me to freely draw it like I can the other shapes. What could be causing this problem?
A: This could be caused by a value associated with the Radius option of the tool. Click the down-pointing arrowhead to the right (a few tool icons over) from the Polygon tool in the options bar at the top of the screen. This brings up pop-up panel. If the Radius option has a number value, select that value and press Delete or Backspace to clear it out. That should fix the problem.
 
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