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The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.
In this movie, I'll introduce you to a handful of interface and performance settings that I find to be very useful. To demonstrate the first of them I'll go ahead and drag this image up and to the left so that you can see that we have this slight drop shadow under the image, out here in the spaceport. To better see it, I'll light up the interface by pressing Shift+F2 a couple times and now you can see that drop shadow more clearly. Now in my opinion, there's really no purpose behind the drop shadow behind the image and you can get rid of it by pressing Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac and then pressing Ctrl+2 or Cmd+2 to advance to the Interface items.
And notice that the Border is set to Drop Shadow and both the Standard Screen mode and the Full Screen with menu mode. I personally go ahead and turn it off for Full Screen with menus and leave it on for the Standard Screen mode and that way I can easily tell which mode I am working with at any given moment in time. So now if I click OK, we'll still see the drop shadow because we're working in the Standard mode. But if I press the F key to advance to the Full Screen mode, the drop shadow disappears. All right, I am going to go ahead and press Shift+F1 a couple of times to restore the dark interface.
And I'll press Ctrl+K or Cmd+K again to bring up Preferences and this time I'm going to switch forward to Performance which you can also get by pressing Ctrl+4 or Cmd+4. Notice our Scratch Disks down here. The idea is, pretty much no matter what, whether you've got a ton of RAM installed on your machine or just a gig say, at some point, Photoshop is going to top out and it's going to have to cache some of the data that's associated with the open images whether it's layers, Smart Objects, History or what have you. It's going to have to store that information on the hard drive.
And that's what's meant by Scratch Disks here. Now notice by default only the system-level disc is selected. If your computer includes multiple disks what you want to do is turn on your biggest disk, in my case that would be my D drive and then go ahead and select that disk and nudge it up the stack, like so. So now Photoshop is going to hit the D drive first and then the C drive and that's going to make for a speedier experience. Now in order for this option to take effect by the way, you're going to have to restart Photoshop. All right, now I'll go ahead and advance to Cursors, and you can see that we have these Precise Cursor options, both for the Painting Cursors and for the Other Cursors.
Another way to see those Precise Cursors which usually involve a crosshair is to just turn on the Caps Lock key anytime you're working in Photoshop and then you turn Caps Lock off to switch back to a normal brush tip or the standard cursor. So I don't recommend you change these options up here, I do however recommend that you turn on Show Crosshair in Brush Tip, so that you can see the center of your brush as you work. Next, I am going to switchover to Units and Rulers and I'll show you by default Rulers are set to inches here in the states. I very much disapprove of that by the way and I'll show you why.
I am going to go ahead and click the OK button in order to accept the changes I've made so far. Let's say that I want to turn this horse into a Facebook cover, just by way of example. I know that a Facebook cover measures 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. However, if I go up to the Image menu and choose the Canvas Size command, let's say, in order to crop the image to exactly that size, by default I am going to see Inches instead which doesn't do me any good whatsoever. In fact, Inches only come in handy, and this goes for millimeters as well.
The only time that comes in handy is when you're printing an image. And you always see inches or millimeters in the Image Size dialog box, and in the Print dialog box, which are the two primary times you want to see those units of measure. Otherwise we'd really want to switchover to Pixels and then of course, I would go ahead and dial in those pixel values I was just telling you and that would crop the image to that size. Now if I click OK at this point, Photoshop is going to warn me that potentially something might get clipped inside my image, that only goes for the background, it doesn't affect the layers, so in fact I'm just hiding the pixels, I am not cropping them for good.
So I'll just go ahead and click on the Proceed button and then I could press let's say Ctrl+Alt+A or Cmd+Opt+A on the Mac to select all of the layers and I could Ctrl+Drag or Cmd+Drag them to a different location to establish the position of my horse inside of the new cover dimensions. Now I'll just go ahead and zoom in so I can see the image at a 100%. Now this whole experience would be made a lot easier if I were working with pixels, which is the unit of measure I prefer inside Photoshop. And there is a couple of different ways to switch over to pixels.
One is to go back to the Preferences dialog box, another is just to bring up the Rulers by pressing Cmd+R or Ctrl+R and then right-click on a ruler and choose the desired unit of measure, and notice you can switch back and forth as much as you like here. Or just so you know everything that's available to you, you can go up to the Window menu and choose the Info command, and that will bring up the Info panel and you'll see right here next to the X and Y values, you'll see this crosshair with a little tiny arrow below it. If you click on the crosshair, then you'll get the pop-up menu of units and then you can go ahead and switch to Pixels.
And now notice that changes the ruler, it's also going to change the default unit of measure inside the Canvas Size dialog box and elsewhere. All right, having made all my changes to the preference settings, the next thing you want to do to make sure those settings are saved is, on a PC go to the File menu, and choose the Exit command, on a Mac you would go to the Photoshop menu and choose the Quit command. Or of course you can press Ctrl+Q or Cmd+Q on a Mac. And that takes care of the key preference settings here inside Photoshop.
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