Tour of Photoshop Interface
So now let's jump into Photoshop and give you a general introduction. I've just reset my preferences on Photoshop so it should act in general like it would if you just installed Photoshop. In this is the screen I see to begin with. You should know that there's two general views in Photoshop. There's this screen which will usually list your most recently access documents and then there's the main Photoshop interface where you see all the tools and panels. Well, you can switch between those two views using the icon in the upper left of your screen. There's a letters PS that stands for Photoshop, and if I click that now in in the main area of Photoshop, I see all the tools that I could use. I just happen to not have a document open. That's all. When I'm in the main interface of Photoshop, I have an icon in the upper left that looks like a home icon, and if I click that, it'll bring me right back to this screen and this would usually show my most recently used documents. This is also where...
you could create a new document with this button or open an existing document with the button below. If you choose create new, then that does the exact same thing as going to the file menu and choosing new. And if you do, you get this screen. Now let's go over what's found in here so you have a good feeling for how to create new documents and what settings are important. All right, let's take a look at that screen we saw when we went to the file menu and chose new. Anytime you do that, what's really important is the settings that are found on the right side of your screen. Those are the settings that actually define the size of document you'll end up with in other important settings. So those might be the settings that make up my screen. But then just a moment here realized I need one particular panel to help me go through a little slideshow. All right, so up here at the top we have presets and all there is across the top is a bunch of categories of presets. And so let's look at what's unique about each category because there are some reasons why you don't want to use certain categories that are found up here. First we have a section that will be the default and that's your most recent created documents. So if you've created five or six documents in the past, the last few sizes will be listed here. Now there is a special choice that's in here and that is if you've ever copied a picture in Photoshop, if you ever select an area to say, maybe I don't wanna copy the whole thing, you go to the edit menu and choose copy. Then the very first choice it'll be here, will be called clipboard. That's the default and all that means if you are working in a document and you grabbed a certain section of it and copied it, you could create a brand new document, ignore the settings that are in here and hit the create button and you'd have a document perfectly sized for whatever it was you last copied. And so I use that quite frequently when I need to move things into various documents. Then here we have saved and when you go to the save section, this will start off being empty, but if you have standard sizes like you always make business cards, that's part of what you do. Then you could save a preset here so you can quickly access it later. Now to create a preset, all you need to do is set up the settings on the right side of your screen for whatever size document you'd like, and Once you get it set up, there's an icon that looks like it's supposed to go into like an inbox or something, and by clicking there you'll create a new preset. When you do, all you have to do is enter a name and then you'll have the choice of save preset and you'll add to this list. Now if you go through the other categories that are found at the top of your screen here we have one called photos. And there you'll find kinda standard photo print sizes and also the resolution, which means how fine the detail is in your picture will be appropriate for a high quality photograph. Then we have settings for print and that's for different page sizes, so if you wanna buy paper of a particular size in prints on it, you're gonna find it in the section called print. Under art and illustration, you're going to find kind of standard sizes for various projects like posters and postcards, but all you're doing when you're clicking on any of these presets is it's just loading up settings that are found on the right. If I come to the section called web, then it's going to give me sizes based on different screen sizes. So if I wanna see what would fill a 15 inch MacBook pro, 27 inch iMac and I wanna create an image that would precisely fill that screen. I can choose one of the options here or if I move over one more section. There's a choice called mobile. In here I can create documents there a size for a mobile device like an iPhone, iPad or other type of tablet. Now this section called film and video is where you're gonna find sizes that are typical to for HDTVs but in general I would stay away from these choices unless you're creating a project very specifically for professional level video. Why would I say that? That's because there are settings around the right side of your screen that will be a little bit unusual for some of these settings that you wouldn't want to use if you were doing something that for video and so you're gonna find this choice called 10 ADP, which is what you would think of for a normal HD television. You're gonna find it on more than one of these headings that are up here and I would only choose the one under film and video. If you're really gonna do a project for professional video because there are settings on the right side of your screen like for your color profile that are not settings you would usually use for other types of work. So let's look at the settings that are found in the right side of the screen because anytime we load a preset, all it's doing is changing up the settings that are found there, so what are the settings that are there and how should I think about it? First up here at the top, you can name a file as you create it. It's not really important though because if you create a brand new file and you later on try to save it and it doesn't have a name attached, it's gonna ask you for a name. It'll bring you to the save as screen where you can type in the name when you save it, but you're more than welcome to type it in up there if you want. Then up here are the dimensions of the picture, the width and height, and you can do it in inches, centimeters, or even pixels if you're not thinking about or printed size. Instead you're thinking about a screen size. Below that we have a setting called resolution. Resolution is generally only important when you plan to print an image. If you plan to use it onscreen, then you could have any number typed in there and it wouldn't radically change how big of a picture You have, it all depends on what you have the top settings set to. If this is set to inches, then you should be thinking about printing. Then this number is important. If you're thinking about creating an image for onscreen use instead, well you don't usually think about the width and height of a screen in inches. Instead you can look up on manufacturer's websites, exactly how many pixels there are in the width or height, and so if this menu up here is set to pixels and therefore you're not thinking about printing, this number is not all that important, but when you're thinking about printing, then you wanna know what settings to type in there and here are general guidelines that you might wanna use. You notice that each one of these settings has a range. It's not just a single number and that's because you can get away with lower numbers, which will produce smaller file sizes. If you have a photographic looking image that doesn't have certain qualities. If it's a landscape photograph for instance, you can usually end up with a lower range that's here. And if you do, you'll get a smaller file size. Well, when do you wanna end up going for the higher end of the range, when would that be important? Anytime you have extremely high contrast lines with you in your picture, that means you have a picture of, let's say a skyscraper in the rectangular windows that make up the side of the building have really high contrast edges. Maybe there's a black frame around the window and then there's a really bright blue sky right next to it. Well, it's when you have almost straight high contrast lines that you might start seeing the little bits bit of jaggies on the edge where you can actually see the squares that make up your image. And this number controls how big are those squares when they're printed. So the higher the number we go to the smaller those pixels become, cause it's saying how many pixels fit in each inch. And So if you have a picture of a skyscraper higher numbers, if you have a picture of anything that has text, then you're gonna have high contrast lines that have a lot of straight segments. Then you wanna go for the higher end. Other things would be like sailboats. The masks of sailboats are straight lines that are high contrast. Usually the sun is catching the metal of the mast and therefore it will make it much brighter than its surroundings. Or if you have things like guitar strings that are have light catching them straight lines again, that's when you're goNNA be able to see jaggies if you end up with too low of an setting. So if you have more of a landscape with no manmade straight lines in it, you can get away with lower numbers, smaller file sizes. As you get more manmade objects, you get more straight lines, Chris badges and you need to go for the higher end of the range. But this is only important when you're printing your image And this should give you a general idea of what to use. Then below that we have a setting for color mode and that determines what your images made up behind the scenes and so let's look at the options that are there and what to use. Well, the default for most of these things will be RGB mode. RGB stands for red, green, and blue light. That's what your computer's display uses to display your picture. It's what your phone uses to display a picture, any digital device that has a screen on it. If you were to look really, really close at it with a microscope, you'd see it's actually made out of little red, green and blue lights that are creating all the things that you see on your screen. And so if you ever plan to have an image displayed on a device like your laptop or your phone, then you wanna be in RGB mode. Also you wanna use that mode anytime you're gonna print to a desktop printer and that's because there'll be some settings that relate to printing, but they all relate to commercial printing on a large printing press, not a little desktop printer that most people would have at home. So RGB mode is what I'm gonna use for the vast majority of what I do, but then you're gonna find a few other settings that I would use when I'm gonna print on a printing press. And what are those? Well, there's a choice in there called bitmap. Bitmap will allow your image to only be pure black and pure white, no shades of gray, no colors, and therefore if I had a logo that therefore to call it a graphic that was solid black and a solid white background and I plan to print it on a printing press, bitmap mode is where I'd wanna go. But if that same image was gonna be used on a computer screen, I wouldn't need to be in bitmap mode. RGB mode would be just fine. Then we have gray scale and that's what I would use for a black and white photograph if I was gonna print it on a printing press, but if I'm gonna display it on my phone, on the internet or on my laptop, I don't really need to be in gray scale mode. I could just be an RGB. And then finally there's a choice of CMYK and that would be for a color image that's gonna be printed on a printing press and so those are the various settings that I'd use. But you'll see for the vast majority of what we're gonna do, RGB mode is all we need. Below that or to the right of it I should say is a choice known as bit depth, bit depth determines how much information your file can contain. It really defines how many shades are there between black and white in an image. We gonna have just 256 shades between black and white, that's enough to make my image look smooth on screen. That's what the eight bit setting would do and it would allow us to have a relatively small file size that would look fine on screen. The problem with eight bit is if we needed to make any radical changes to the way the image looked, we needed to make it a lot brighter, a lot darker, or maybe add contrast to it. Well, we'd have just the right amount of information to make the image look on screen look good, but we wouldn't have any extra that would give us a smoother looking end result if we manipulate the picture. So the choice called 16 bit lets us have thousands and thousands of shades between black and white. It doesn't mean that we can suddenly see brighter and darker information or anything. It just means in between black and white there's more stuff. So if we end up adjusting the picture to brighten it or darken it, we have a bunch of bonus data that'll give us a smoother looking end result. So if you plan in making dramatic changes to a picture, then that's when I would choose 16 bit. But if the image looks fine to begin with overall and you only need to make small changes, I'd rather choose eight bit. When you go to 16 bit, your file size doubles and if you happen to use layers then it gets even bigger cause each layer is double its normal size, so I only use 16 bit when I planned to do radical changes. Below that we have a setting, it's just called background contents and that means what should the documents start out with? For the empty area, you can have the choice of getting document full of white, full black or full of transparent. And transparent just means you have an empty document with nothing in it whatsoever. Below that you have something called the color profile. The color profile determines how vivid could the colors within your image be. You can choose a choice in there that would make the colors be able to be so vivid that they wouldn't be viewable on my computer screen. My computer screen would limit the how vivid the colors are because what we've chosen from that menu would be able to do some things that are even theoretical colors that are beyond our printers and our screens. So in there, the choices that you would use the most are sRGB and that's what I'd use if you're new to Photoshop, all the images you see on the internet are in sRGB mode. So if you see how saturated the colors can be online, that's fine. And then I might, once I get better at Photoshop, progress into using Adobe RGB. Adobe RGB ends up allowing you to create more vivid colors within your picture than sRGB would. But then you have to think more about it and be careful when you give your files to other people. You have to make sure that if they don't know how to deal with color properly, that you make some changes to your file before you send it out. And therefore, I don't suggest Adobe RGB, if you're brand new to Photoshop and so you get comfortable with concept of what a color profile is. So sRGB If you're new to Photoshop and you want just things to be simple and easy and Adobe RGB, especially if you have your own printer at home and you have a high quality color printer at home because you're gonna be able to get more vivid colors out of that printer. Finally here at the bottom is what shape are the little elements that make up your image known as pixels and for just about everything except for certain video applications. You want the pixels that make up your image to be square and so you'll see all have that set to square all the time. But in certain video applications, they use rectangular pixels. And that's one of the reasons why I said to not use the presets under the film and video category unless you're doing professional video, because one of the things that might change is that setting down at the bottom and it would make it so your image is made out of rectangles instead of squares. Squares is what most programs expect. And so it's what you wanna use the vast majority of the time. So I showed you what's available in here, but the vast majority of the time, what I do is I just go over here to a preset and I find the one that's closest to what I need. And then if I don't need exactly what it had in the preset, I'll come over here and I'll fine tune it, customize it, maybe changing the width or height just a little bit. And then if that's a size I'm gonna use on a regular basis, I'll come up here and click on the icon that would save it as a preset so I can get to it later. And if I did that, I'd find it under the heading called saved. But that should give you some sense for the settings that are used when you create a document. So I'm gonna create a document, I'm gonna come up here and choose new from the file menu, and I'm gonna go to a print related size. And why don't I create a letter sized image eight and a half by 11 and I'll just hit create.