Setup and Interface
So as I said before in the intro to this, when I opened up Photoshop for the first time and it had that new dialogue and it also had the recent files. For me, being rather more advanced in Photoshop, that's something that I don't necessarily need to open up every single time. So you'll see here in the general preferences, under options, I can say, "Show Start Workspace "When No Documents Are Open." I can click that and turn that off. And I can say, "Use Legacy New Document Interface." So that's what I was telling you before. When I said I like to open up my images like I did in Photoshop CS5 and CS6, that's a legacy way of opening up an image rather than the CC way of using the new image dialogue. Which, it looks completely different. The new image dialogue is pretty, it's fancy, it's got some templates there. The old one, which you'll see here in a second, is completely different. So if I were to press okay, and press control N, for new, that's what the new document looks like now. If...
you notice and recognize that this looks a lot like the image size dialogue. So for me, this looks like the image size dialogue, a dialogue that I use quite a bit in Photoshop. And when I'm opening up a new document, this is what I want to see. I wanna see the nitty gritty of what that new document is gonna be when I press control N to make a new document. So we'll go back to those preferences. Again, let's just get in the habit of using hotkeys and press command or control K. So now, if I go through this, this is gonna give me a lot of different things in Photoshop that will even help you set up your efficiency with some of the tools. So if we go to interface, I'm gonna talk about interface quite a bit here once we get done going through all of these inner workings, because I feel very strongly about this topic. And you're probably gonna see why in a second. So with the interface, we can set how large or how small we want the UI to be within the interface. You can make things larger. You can make things smaller. We can even change the screen modes. Some of these borders have drop shadows on them. Well, we can say we don't necessarily want that to have a drop shadow on it. Or maybe we want it to be a line instead of a drop shadow. We could do that as well. If we go into show channels in color, that's an interesting one. Where we were over in the channels before, and the channels were all black and white. If you pressed show channels in color, it will show you the red channel as a red color. The blue channel as a blue color. And the green channel as a green color. The other thing here is workspace. I like to have smaller tabs. Notice how the tabs on mine are rather large for the thing that says library and properties and history. I'll just click this box that says, "Large Tabs." And turn that off to make all those tabs a little bit smaller. Again, it's just about real estate. It's just about opening up a little bit more real estate in my work flow. In my work space I should say. I like this one right here, too. It's called enable floating window docking. The thing about this one, or open documents as tabs is what I should say first. You see how this image, when I open it up, it opened up as a tab along the top of my Photoshop? I think that's great if you're just working on one photo at a time. But when you start getting into compositing and moving one image on top of another image, this can be a nightmare. 'Cause then you've gotta pull them all away from the top and it's just a pain. So if you don't want that to happen every time you open up an image in Photoshop, you can just turn off open documents as tabs, and it will no longer open up as a tab along the top like you would see in some of your internet browsers. The enable floating window docking. That, we can just give you an example here. This is a floating window. Floating window docking is when I bring it up here and it docks up to the top. Notice how it's not docking up to the top right now. That's 'cause I turned that off. I turned that off, so that that can't happen. That's a personal preference all around. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. I usually just leave, in that workspace, I will leave enable floating window docking checked, so that when I come here, I can actually move this and connect it to the top. For some things, especially when I'm using panels, plug-ins and panels for Photoshop, those panels sometimes get overridden by the document. So the document slides in behind it. Notice how now the document is slid behind the actions panel that we have over there on the right hand side. This is floating windows. This is floating window docking. A couple other things that are in here, too, that are really important as you go through, too, is tools. You can look at the types of tools and what they do, whether they have an animated zoom or a non-animated zoom. That animated zoom, it looks cooler, but it is actually more graphic intense. So if you don't necessarily have the graphics processor to handle an animated zoom, just go ahead and turn that off. There's an area of other things that you can do within here as well. The history log can be saved into the file as metadata or as a text file. Sometimes, you can keep that checked if you're doing some compositing work, but it will make the file size a lot larger. That's why, a lot of times, I just shy away from that. And just understand that when I'm working in the history, which I'll show you the history in a second here, the history doesn't necessarily get saved within that document. That I know that when I open up that document, the history's gonna reset. Which can be good and bad depending on how you work with your images. If you work very destructively, that can be very bad. If you work non-destructively, then you shouldn't have to worry about that. And that's the things that we're gonna be talking about throughout this course. File handling. Different ways to handle how files open and close. One of the things I really wanna talk about here is performance. Notice how here it says, "History States at 50." Well, right here, I have what looks like 29.4 available gigs of ram available in this machine. And I can actually allocate how much ram Photoshop uses over all the other programs in my computer. Now, if you've only got, let's say old school, four gigs of ram. I don't think they even make that anymore, but if you only had four gigs of ram and you jacked up to four gigs of ram, Photoshop is gonna be very intensive and take up all the ram on your machine. So everything else is ultimately gonna slow down. So what you wanna do is you wanna do a happy medium, usually something between 70 and 80 percent. If I'm doing a big composited document and I know that I'm only really using Photoshop, I'm gonna put that up to 80, 85 percent. And I might just do it just for that image that I'm working on while I'm working on that photo. Doesn't happen very often. So I usually keep that somewhere between 75 and 80 percent to boost up the amount of ram that my computer is now gonna be using for Photoshop. The other thing, too, here is use graphics processor. Some things you can only do in Photoshop with your graphics processor up to date. So along with using your graphics processor, make sure that the graphics processor that you have, or the graphics card that you have, has up to date drivers. If your drivers are not up to date, this is going to be, you're not going to be able to use things like the oil paint filter. The oil paint filter, I know for a fact, is one of those ones that if you're graphics card is not up to date on the drivers, it just will not run. It'll even pop up and say that you can't use this. It'll give you some type of a dialogue that you are like, "Wait a second, I should be able to do this." Make sure that, not only having a graphics processor on your computer, but also having that up to date is good to go. Another thing you're gonna see in here is the history states. That's got 50 history states listed there. Well, what that means is that, it'll record 50 things that happened in Photoshop. If I get to a point where those 50 things are beyond, it starts deleting the other history states from the very beginning. So if you go 55 states, the first five history states disappear. I like to turn this up to something like 90, 99. You can turn it up to whatever you want. But just know that it might slow down your machine as you do that. Because it's a calculation thing. All these layers are in place, so Photoshop wants to give you the ability to go back that many times to 99 different things that you might've done within your image. Or even more, for that matter. 99's a good number. If I make more than 99 mistakes in one shot, then there's probably a bigger problem than just my history states. Cash levels and cash tile size. These I usually keep set by default for whatever Photoshop has, but those can help you speed up your version of Photoshop. If we go ahead and press okay. We're good to go there. Another thing I wanna show you though, under edit and under keyboard shortcuts. Alt shift control K or command shift option K on a Mac. If we click that and open that up, this is an awesome place to go if you work within a collaborative group with a lot of people that use the same Photoshop, maybe, I don't know, a graphic design studio, this could be kind of fun April Fool's Day place to play around in. 'Cause you can change all the hotkeys to whatever you want them to be. Hotkeys are the things that I've been doing where I press control alt shift, and control and alt, and control and A, and shift and A. Well, one of the things that does not have a hotkey that you would think probably should have a hotkey is under layer and flatten image. We look next to any of these tools, they all have hotkeys. Well, flatten image, if we had things in here, so let's just put another layer here. Flatten image right here does not have a hotkey for it, so what I can do is I can go over to that edit and go to the preferences. That keyboard shortcuts, and I can find in here layer. So notice how this document area here, this dialogue area here that says, "File, Edit, Image, Layer, Type, Select." Mimics and mirrors exactly what's happening on the top of the menus in Photoshop. So if I go into layer now, you can expect to see flatten image. So if I scroll down to where flatten image would be. It might be pretty far down. Right here. This doesn't have a hotkey associated with it. But I can associate a hotkey with it. And look what Photoshop says down there. "This menu command and the panel menu layers, "flatten image must have the same shortcuts. "Changes will be applied to both commands." Basically, what happens is if something already has a shortcut somewhere else, you can override that, so I'd be careful with that. But you can create and customize your own shortcut for this. The keys that you can use are control and alt. Let's just say control E. If I press control E, notice what Photoshop is saying there right now. It's saying, "Hey, wait a second. "If you do this, merge layers is now "no longer gonna be merge layers. "It's gonna be flatten image." And then merge layers is gonna lose its shortcut. So we need to find something that we can use that is not being selected by anything else. Now, I've already done the work for you on this one, it's control period. Control period is not a hotkey that's been used anywhere else. So I know that at any time during my setup if I press control period, it's gonna layer down my images. Now, as an educator, that can be very difficult for me, though. Let's say I'm doing a tutorial or something like that, and I say, "Just press control period to flatten your layers down." Well, that's not the same across every version of Photoshop, so if I tell someone to press control period to flatten their image, it's not gonna work on somebody else's version of Photoshop. So I'll just go ahead and leave that the way it is. Press okay. And now, if I press control period I've got a flattened image. You saw that those layers just got combined and now that's combined. The shortcuts and the hotkeys are definitely important to know, but there's gonna be a series of hotkeys that you can create for yourself that can speed up your workflow as well. I do not recommend you taking away a hotkey from something that's already used somewhere else. I recommend trying to find a hotkey that works. And you might have to go through the paces to do that by pressing control and shift, and control and alt, and the other hotkeys to make that work.