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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In this exercise, I'm going to explain the Color Settings that we've 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 or Color Settings manually. There is not that many options that you need to change quite frankly. But I want you to know what you've done. So I am going to go out to the Edit menu and I am going to choose a Color Settings command, once again here inside 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 have got the RGB space set to sRGB. The great thing about sRGB is, it's a consistent standard. 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 is assumed that it's 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 a 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 mean suddenly we have a wider dynamic range.
We have a much bigger RGB playground essentially in which to work, and 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 will 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 am skipping Graying spot by the way, you don't need to 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.tif 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 information that you need to know. So just turn off those check boxes, then click on More Options. Drop-down here, the 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 Colormetric, 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 Colormetric 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 get less color banding, your gradients are going to look better anything where there is continuous colors is going to look better.
Some colors are going to change, Photoshop is 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 the 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 are having to rewrite all of 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 a 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 the flat colors for my work, because anytime you have anything resembling a vector object or type or anything along those lines, it 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 the 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, I will say, sure, I will 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 just a text-only document. Then if I go ahead and open that up, say a Notepad here on the PC, then it appears as one long continuous line.
So you have to go to Format and choose Word Wrap, it says, you wouldn't want that? Why wouldn't you 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 will 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. Basically what this text says is these are settings that I recommend in my Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign CS4 One-on-One series for Deke Press, O'Reilly Media and lynda.com.
So there are 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 the series. In the next exercise we are going to establish consistent settings across all of the Creative Suite applications in the Adobe Bridge.
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