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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to explain the color settings that we modified in the previous exercise. It will also be of use to anyone who may have had problems installing Best Workflow so that you can establish your color settings manually. There's not that many options that you need to change, quite frankly. But I want you to know what you've done. So, I'm going to go up to the Edit menu, and I'm going to choose the Color Settings command once again here inside of Photoshop. Ctrl+Shift+K, Command+Shift+K on the Mac. And let's go ahead and switch back to North American General Purpose 2, which are the default settings here in the States - not sure what they are elsewhere in the world.
Now as I was saying, by default, Photoshop is set up for consumers. That's why they've got the RGB space set to sRGB. And the great thing about sRGB is it's a consistent standard. And so a lot of different companies, HP and Microsoft and Adobe and all these other companies, got involved in creating the standard and basically sticking to the standard as well, so that if you open an RGB image, like your digital photographs, inside of any old application, it's assumed that's its an sRGB image.
And then when you print it to your inkjet device, for example, then the printer driver does the work automatically and decides how to convert that sRGB information into the inks that that particular printer uses. Problem is, from an image-editing perspective, it's a very small space. It's based on a rinky-dink PC monitor, just like the little CRT tube essentially, and so it's a limited color space, and that means you're not able to take advantage of the rich array of colors that Photoshop can show you. So the first thing we do is we switch from RGB to Adobe RGB (1998).
That means suddenly we have a wider dynamic range. We have a much bigger RGB playground, essentially, in which to work. And that it doesn't hurt a darn thing because it's still a characterized space. So it's a profiled space, so now your printer would just convert from Adobe RGB over to its particular group of inks. And when you export an image for the Web, Photoshop will automatically convert it to sRGB, and I'll tell you how that works in another chapter. So it's definitely the way to go where Photoshop is concerned.
CMYK, I didn't change that in my best workflow settings. You should know that. But if you're working with the commercial printer, then you would want to change it, but you'd want to get a profile from them. So you ask your commercial printer from a profile, if they give you one then you choose this command right there, Load CMYK, you'll load it on up, and then you're good to go, presumably, as long as the profile works accurately. Next, Color Management Policies - notice everything is set to Preserve Embedded Profiles. I'm skipping Gray and Spot, by the way, you don't need worry about those.
But for the Color Management Policies, you want everybody to be Preserve Embedded Profiles because that way, you can have an sRGB image open, And an Adobe RGB image, and all kinds of different stuff. And in fact, we're switching over to Adobe RGB (1998), this welcome.tiff image was originally created as an sRGB image, and it will not change onscreen. So Photoshop can respect multiple profiles at the very same time, which is excellent, just ideal. Profile Mismatches, you don't want those on because Photoshop will be bugging you all the time, and it's not the information that you need to know, so just turn off those check boxes. Then click on More Options, drop down here to Conversion Options. Notice the Engine is the Adobe color engine. That's great, because that's cross-platform. Otherwise you got to choose a platform-specific option.
You don't want that. But, I believe the Intent is better- instead of working with Relative Colorimetric, which is perfectly reasonable for most purposes and if you're primarily doing InDesign work, or you are primarily doing vector work inside of Illustrator then Relative Colorimetric is probably your best bet- but my assumption is that you're doing most of your work inside of continuous tone photographic images, in which case Perceptual is the best bet, because you are going to getting less color banding, your gradients are going to look better anything where there is continuous colors is going to look better.
And, some colors are going to change on you. Photoshop is just going to have to change colors sometimes in order to make those perceived color transitions work out, but it's typically the best way to go. So anyway, I switch over to Perceptual. And then, lately I've gotten in a habit of turning off this check box, Use Dither on 8-bit/channel images. The idea is if you're converting an image, say, from Adobe RGB to sRGB and you're having to rewrite all the colors inside of the image, do you try to represent colors that are outside the gamut using a dither- that is, by jumbling a bunch of other colors together- or do you just represent it with the flat, take one flat color and represent it with a different, nearest equivalent flat color.
And what I've found is it's better to go with flat colors for my work, because anytime you have anything resembling a vector object, or a type, or anything along those lines, its ends up getting dithered if you turn this check box on. So I would rather have it off. I haven't run into any problems doing that. That's way I like to work. And that's it. Then you would go up here, you would click on Save, and you would go ahead and save out your settings as Best Workflow CS5. Now after that point, by the way, let's say I go ahead and save over my file and I'll click Save, and it says do you want to save over, sure I'll click OK.
Then I'm asked for some comments. Now I've gone ahead and created for you this item right here. Inside the 00_setup folder, I've created this thing called Best Workflow description.txt, and it's a just a text-only document. And then if I go ahead and open that up, say in notepad here on the PC, then it appears as one long continuous line, so you have to go to Format and choose Word Wrap- as if you wouldn't want that, why would not want it to wrap? Anyway, then you'll go ahead and select your text like so and copy it by choosing the Copy command right there or pressing Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac switch back to Photoshop.
I'll go here, select this text and press Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac for Paste, because you don't really have a command at this point to work from, and basically what this text says, is these are settings that I recommend in my Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign CS5 one-on-one series for Deke Press, O'Reilly media and lynda.com, so there's books and videos to ensure consistent color and printing across all three applications and more actually. So I'll click OK in order to re-create that file and then I'll click OK in order to accept my color settings.
And that's what's going on, just in case you wanted to know, just so that you know exactly what's happening every step of the way inside this series. In the next exercise, we're going to establish consistent settings across all of the Creative Suite applications in the Adobe Bridge.
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