Join Taz Tally for an in-depth discussion in this video Color workflow preferences, part of Photoshop CS3 Color Correction.
- [Instructor] Well, welcome to chapter one, and while we get Photoshop up and running and set up so we can work quickly for our color correction, we'll have Zip keep us company here. My buddy Zip, who is up on King Throne up in Kluane National Park in the Yukon. And standing up here on the top of King's Throne, looking down to the south, you're looking over a combination of Wrangell-Saint Elias and Kluane National Park, which together, make up the largest National Park in the Western Hemisphere. From the top of King's Throne, you could see the largest ice sheet outside of the polar regions anywhere in the world.
Alright, well let's just dive right into Photoshop and getting Photoshop set up and what I'd like to start with is setting up Photoshop preferences so you can work quickly and accurately inside of Photoshop. So if you're working on a Macintosh, you'll go underneath the Application menu and go Preferences. If you're working on Windows, you'll work under the Edit menu. And notice you'll get to the very first set of preferences, which says General and notice the keyboard shortcut. It's Command+K, which on Windows, is Control+K and if you're like me and you go back and forth between Mac and Windows, you want to keep your keyboard shortcuts straight and the way to do that is just remember to keep the two Cs together in your mind.
Command on Mac, Control on Windows. Control on Windows, Command on Mac. That means the Option and the Alt match up and Option and Alternative mean the same thing so Option on Mac, Alt on Windows and when you do the right mouse button thing in Windows and you hold down that right mouse button and you bring up the context-sensitive menu, same thing on the Macintosh if you're using a two-button mouse or you hold down the Control key. So Command, Control, Option, Alt, and right mouse button and Control key. Alright, so we use our keyboard shortcut to get there, Command or Control K, and that brings up the Preferences menu and for those of you familiar with the Creative Suite, you'll notice that in CS3, Photoshop's Preferences dialog box is starting to look more like the rest of the Creative Suite.
So, Adobe is standardizing the Preferences dialogs throughout the Creative Suite, which makes things a heck of a lot easier so you don't have to kind of readjust your mind or just how was this set up and how does this work. So over on the left hand side, we have the various sections of the preferences and I'm not going to go through every one of these things, I'd put us both to sleep if I did that, I just want to cover some of the more important ones that will help you work quickly and accurately for doing color correction. First of all, underneath your Image Interpolation, you'll notice that under Image Interpolation, there's been a little bit of detail added in terms of explanation for what the various bicubics, in terms of interpolation, are used for.
And by the way, this Image Interpolation setting here really comes into play when you're resizing and resampling images. And whenever you change the size, the linear resolution of a file or the dimension resolution of a file, your typically making up new pixels. You're either adding new pixels or subtracting pixels and averaging is involved in that. In general, you want to set this on Best for smoother gradients, but if you're enlarging your images, set this on Bicubic Smoother whereas if you are reducing your images, you want to set this on Bicubic Sharper. Now a key point here is that you don't have to return to Preferences to do this.
In your dialog box that you use for resizing your images you'll find these Image Interpolation choices there as well but as a general rule, since we might be constructing images, go ahead and set this on Bicubic for actually creating gradients inside of your images. Otherwise, we'll either choose Smoother or Sharper depending on whether we're enlarging or reducing our images. Couple of other key options here, one is be sure to check on Automatically Launch Bridge in the next chapter, I'm going to go into using Bridge for accessing your images and if you get used to using Adobe Bridge, you'll be able to work an awful lot faster in terms of accessing and managing your images.
So I would check that on. Also, Auto-Update your Open Documents if you change anything inside of a document or an image you wanted to automatically update whether you're working through Photoshop or through InDesign. This Export Clipboard, I would recommend turning that off, the way you see it here. And what this is for, what this controls is if you're copying and pasting objects inside of Photoshop, which we do quite a bit, and then you want to move over to another application, say InDesign or Illustrator, that may be already launched, if you do that and Export Clipboard is turned on, it takes some time to do that switch because your clipboard information is transferred to the other application.
I don't know about you but I very rarely, if ever, copy and paste from Photoshop into another application. Into Photoshop, yes, but not out of Photoshop. So turn that off, it'll allow you to work faster. Also, check off this Use Shift Key for Tool Switch. That way you can just use single alpha key or commands for accessing your tools. I'll show you more on that in just a little bit. Our Resize Image During Paste and Place, yeah go ahead and do that. That automatically activates the Transform rectangle around any image that you paste or place, allowing you to resize the image and if you don't want to, you can just hit the Enter key to apply it so again, saves some time.
Definitely check on the Zoom Resizes Windows so that when you use your Command or Control + or - to enlarge or reduce the dimensions of your window, then the window, as well as the image is resized. That can be very aggravating if it is not turned on. And then finally, Zoom with Scroll Wheel, if you have a scroll wheel on your mouse and you want it to zoom, check it on. If that's annoying to you, check it off. Then let's go to Interface and notice you can access each of these by just going Command and then 2, 3, 4, 5 to work your way down or you can use your arrow key to navigate up and down through these various preferences.
Underneath the Interface, just a couple of things to pay attention to here. One, check off Show Channels in Color. The reason why I want you to do that will become very evident when we talk about the building blocks of color images but suffice to say, you don't want your channels to show in color most of the time and there's a really good reason for that and that's because there is no color in your channels. More on that later. Show Tool Tips, I don't know, if this aggravates you, then go ahead and turn it off. For training purposes, I typically leave it on but it may aggravate you moving your mouse around when those darn tool tips show up all the time so go ahead and check that on or off depending upon your preferences.
And then let's go into File Handling and this is a very important one in terms of working quickly and accurately in your images, Image Previews, you know if you're only working on a Mac or only working on Windows and only creating images for one thing, then you can maybe set up your previews exactly the way you want to and then leave them that way. Typically, I use Ask When Saving and the reason is, that if I'm working and creating images for pre-press and I'm placing them inside of an InDesign document, absolutely, I want my image previews. But if I'm creating images maybe as a Save As going to GIF or PNG or JPEG, I don't want image previews because my browsers don't use the image previews, but they're still there, so it just gets me a little bit more filesize which slows things down, which I don't need.
So I use Ask When Saving and then typically for print, I save the Icon, Mac and Windows to give me cross-platform compatibility but I'll turn that off when I'm creating an image for the web. File Extension, absolutely, put it on Always and Use Lower Case. That way, Photoshop will do all the busy work of putting that dot-three-character-extension, .TIF, .EPS, .JPG, whatever it is, so you don't have to type it in. If you're like me, you make mistakes when you do that. I use commas instead of periods and so forth so, it speeds you up and prevents you from having to do a lot of that busy work.
Couple of other things here, is Ask Before Saving Layered TIFF Files. In my Photoshop for Pre-press class, I make a big deal about using .PSD files for any layered or multi-channeled files and using .TIFF only for simplified images with no layers or only one layer and no extra alpha channels in there, so I like to check this on to remind me that if I save a .TIFF, then I need to reduce and simplify that file. So that's an important one to turn on here. Also, I would recommend, this is not critical, but Maximize .PSD and .PSB File Compatibility is, I put this on Always because it increases the filesize just incrementally but it's going to give me forward compatibility for all my .PSD and .PSB and that's Photoshop and then the larger format Photoshop files for going into the future.
That's File Handling. Let's talk about Cursors now. If you're doing image editing, you probably want to pay attention to your Painting Cursors. You can use a Normal Brush Tip which, if you have a soft-edged brush tip, only shows you out to about 50% and then it doesn't show you the rest of the size of that, pretty much like you see here, up in the sample. The Full Brush Tip Size shows you the brush tip all the way out to the edge of the transparency of the brush. This is not a right way or a wrong way to do this. I prefer to have the Full Brush Size myself and I absolutely recommend showing the Crosshair.
Because if you use a lot of fairly large and soft-edged brushes, which we do in image editing, then you want to know right where the middle of that brush is in case you want to follow an edge or a selection edge or something like that, so either one of those two, depending on your preference and I do recommend turning that on there, for the Crosshair. And then the last one to really cover here, before we get into Performance, which is memory, we're going to handle that separately in the next section, but Type, just a couple of things to talk about Type is, if you want your quotes to always have curly quotes on them and you're using Inch and Feet mark to make them, turn those on.
I don't use this, I turn mine off 'cause I use my Option and Alt key and my bracket key in order to create my open and closed, single and double curly quotes. So it's strictly a preference and then I can use Inch and Feet mark right off my keyboards. It's up to you. You'll probably want to control the Font Preview Size. You'll notice in this version, there's some extra ones like Huge and Extra Large and this is really dependent upon age. This is, if you're under 16, if you're 16 to 30, or if you're 30 to 50, or if you're 50 to 60, if you're over 60 then you want Huge but this just controls how big the type occurs in your menus is all.
So this is just a personal preference. And it'll just help you work faster if you have the Type at a size that you can actually see it. Okay, well there you go. This setting up your preferences, some things that'll allow you to pay attention to, for setting up Photoshop for working quickly. In the next section, I want to address this issue of setting Photoshop's memory.
- Setting up Photoshop CS3 for color correction
- Managing images with Bridge CS3
- Understanding color image fundamentals
- Evaluating images quickly and accurately
- Determining whether to correct or adjust
- Evaluating and fixing physical characteristics
- Fine-tuning brightness and contrast
- Proofing and gamut testing