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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 7 of 118

Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 7 of 118

Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface


Lesson Info

Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface

This is the area that we have that controls what we have installed, as far as Photoshop or Lightroom and Bridge. Now, I did not mention this, but I'm talking a lot about Adobe Camera Raw right now. Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom essentially have the same engine, just a different look. So if you like Lightroom and you want to use Lightroom, I have no qualms with that. I just want you to know that pretty much everything I'm showing you here in Adobe Camera Raw works simultaneously with Lightroom, because they basically just took the shell, the engine, of Lightroom and shoved it into Photoshop. Just to give you a little bit of history on this. One of the main reasons why I don't really use Lightroom too much is that I've been using Photoshop since 1998. Lightroom came out somewhere around 2004, 2005, somewhere around there. And when it came out, it was the answer to the RAW editing. But if you know anything about Photoshop, any time something comes out for another one of their different p...

roducts, they tend to somehow incorporate that into Photoshop. So they had this Lightroom thing, but you can't let Photoshop just fall, so they kinda take, this is my assumption, they take Lightroom and say, okay, let's put it into Photoshop but make it basically like a plug-in or an extension or something like that. So that's kinda the history behind Camera Raw. Now here, you'll see Camera Raw right here, and it tells me that it's up to date. You definitely want to keep Camera Raw up to date, especially if you buy new cameras. So when the Sony a7R III came out, I rushed, got the a7R III, and then I had to wait for the Camera Raw to update, because when Camera Raw updates, it comes in with the new profiles, so I could see the things that happened in my RAW files. So any time there's new features that come into Lightroom, they simultaneously come into Adobe Camera Raw as well. So every once in a while, just pop in to this Creative Cloud thing here and make sure that your Camera Raw is up to date. Now you'll notice that, unlike Bridge and Photoshop here, we have the open and we also have a little drop-down next to it. There is no open next to Camera Raw, because Camera Raw doesn't open through Creative Cloud. Camera Raw by itself doesn't really stand anyway. It needs something to open it up, in order for you to use it, which is typically prompted by things like RAW files, or if you were to go into Bridge, and click on any image, you could right-click and say, open in Camera Raw. If it's a RAW file, it'll automatically open into Photoshop. If it's a JPG, it won't automatically open into Photoshop unless you right-click, tell it to open into Photoshop, or we go into those preferences. So what I'm gonna do is, I'm just gonna go ahead and grab all three, or all six, of these RAW files and just press enter. And that will open up all of them into Adobe Camera Raw. Adobe Camera Raw knows that they are RAW files, so it opens all of them for me automatically. Before we get in and start dissecting Adobe Camera Raw, we're gonna dissect this thing, we're gonna break it down in a parade of graphs. But before we do that, let's go ahead and go into, right here where it says, open the preferences dialog box. You're gonna see here, it says, save image settings in sidecar XMP sidecar files. XMP sidecar files are basically a little piece of, it's like a little data script that goes next to a RAW file. Now if it's a DNG file, which is that Adobe proprietary RAW file, that will be saved in the DNG. If it's an ARW, like my Sony RAW files, it will be saved as a XMP sidecar file. And that's just off to the side. I like to keep those as those XMP sidecar files. You can set it to Camera Raw database. I don't necessarily trust that. That's just my personal opinion. So I do save them as XMP sidecar files. And XMP sidecar files are kinda cool. You can actually open up those XMP sidecar files in a type of scripting program and see exactly what's happening there. It's basically just a little piece of data that's pointing to Adobe Camera Raw that says, put the brightness up to 20, put the exposure up to this, use this curve. And it lists it out, I'll show you. It's just a piece of gee whiz information, if you like to be like me and get into all the dorkiness about it. You see this here, it says, apply sharpening to all images or preview images only. Again, that's up to you, if you want it to sharpen automatically, I did say that, when we are processing RAW files, sharpening is something that we want to do, because they're not gonna come in quite as sharp as a JPG would. Again, remember, a JPG is coming in from your camera with a little bit of sharpening happening to it, so it looks good, right out of the camera. So I'll just change that to preview images only. Let's change that to all images, because once we do our processing on them, we are gonna want them to come into Photoshop as a little bit sharpened. But then you have some default image settings here, apply auto tone and color adjustments. I'm gonna tell you right now, in years past, auto tone and color was, like, horrible. You'd press it and it was like, it would just slam up your brightness. You know, that really didn't help. But now, it actually assesses the dynamic range that's in that RAW file, and it makes really informed decisions. So much so that I may have checked that box. No shame, okay? Why, because it just sets me up with a good baseline image. And what I'm trying, if you see my workflow, which we'll show at the very end of this whole thing, I'm gonna wrap it all up with workflow in a nice little bow, I like to start from Adobe Camera Raw with it, a baseline image, before I bring that into Photoshop. Then you have, make default specific to camera serial number, don't really choose any of that stuff. You have your Camera Raw cache, again, caching is based on how much space you actually have on your computer, so you can set that based on your needs. And then the one I really want to point out down here is right down here, this JPG and TIF handling. You can make it so that Adobe Camera Raw doesn't just automatically open RAW files, but it also automatically opens either JPGs or TIF files as well. So if I have this set to JPG, it'll automatically open JPGs with settings, or automatically open all supported JPGs. A JPG with settings would be a JPG that was previously opened in Adobe Camera Raw, edited in Adobe Camera Raw, and then has Adobe Camera Raw information in that JPG. That's a JPG with settings, or automatically open all supported JPGs, would be any JPG, period. So if you want all of your JPGs to come in to Adobe Camera Raw, you can check that. I usually just say, if they have settings, for that one. Now my TIF files on the other hand, I generally do say, open all supported TIF files, here. And that's the basics for getting your Camera Raw set up. Down here along the bottom, you're gonna see this thing right here that says Adobe RGB 8-bit. That's my color space, and it's telling me that, when this hands off to Photoshop, it's gonna be 8-bit, which is not what I want. So if I click on that, this gives me another set of options here, these are the workflow options. I tend to work in the Adobe RGB color space. I know that there's better color spaces out there, and everyone has lectured me about it. (laughs) But for me, for my purposes, Adobe works great for me. But the depth, I'm gonna change that depth to 16-bit. So that way, when it does get handed over to Photoshop, it's handing over a 16-bit version of that image, rather than an 8-bit version of that image, because it's gonna be more data for Photoshop to play with.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!