Adobe Photoshop - A Beginners Guide (Day 2)

Class Description: Continue learning practical skills for photo editing. Start with a review of some common Photoshop tasks, and then learn how to quickly batch process edits across multiple images. Work with a range of selection tools to isolate, and then modify, specific areas of an image. Combine selections and adjustment layers to allow both specific and flexible tone and color changes. Explore the power of masking for creative compositing and have fun with Smart Filters. Create gorgeous, low resolution images for use on web pages. Explore resolution settings and the CMYK color space while preparing images for print. This class is designed to give you confidence outputting to both the screen (web) and the printed page.

Exercise 1 - Getting you (and Photoshop) ready to go...

Exercise 2 - A book on Hawaiian volcanoes

Exercise 3 - Batch processing email images

Exercise 4 - Create a Coca-Cola web graphic

Exercise 5 - A Kaimuki creative composite

Exercise 6 - A tropical creative composite with masking

Exercise 7 - Masking with adjustment layers - Half Dome

Exercise 8 - Masking with the Gradient Tool - A'ali'i

Exercise 9 - Masking the effects of a Filter - Skydive guy

Exercise 10 - Printing 4x6" paper prints at Kaimuki Camera

Exercise 11 - Printing 5x7" Postcards from gotprint.com

Download class files (zip)

• Prior attendance of the Day 1 class is highly recommended.

• This class is designed to be taught live (5.5 hours)

• This class was designed for Photoshop CS3

• Download does not include images for exercise 3, 10 and 11

The Photoshop workspace

Exercise 1 - Getting you (and Photoshop) ready to go...

In this exercise we will review the Photoshop workspace, reset our tool options and double-check our color environment.

Step by Step »

  1. A quick review the Photoshop CS3 interface
  2. Set the Photoshop Workspace to the default (Window > Workspace > Default)
  3. Reset All Tools
  4. Set the Photoshop color space:
    • From the Menu bar go to Edit > Color Settings
    • Pick the North America Web/Internet preset
A book on Hawaiian volcanoes

Exercise 2 - A book on Hawaiian volcanoes

In this exercise we will review some Photoshop fundamentals including: cropping, rotating, image size, canvas size and layers. We will also practice moving pixels and applying adjustment layers.

Step by Step »

  1. From the Photoshop Menu Bar go to File > Browse (will open Adobe Bridge)
  2. In Adobe Bridge, navigate to the ps-day-2 folder
  3. Load the default, Bridge Workspace (Window > Workspace > Default)
  4. In Adobe Bridge, shift-click to select both book-cover.jpg and book-back.jpg
  5. Right click on either selected image and choose Open
  6. Highlight the book-cover.jpg image
  7. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the 3rd screen mode (gray background)
  8. From the Menu Bar go to Image > Rotate Canvas > 180° - to get things close
  9. Zoom and position your image so there is some extra room around it
  10. From the Tool Bar select the Crop Tool
  11. Rotate & Crop simultaneously with the Crop Tool
    • Crop Tool hint: moving your cursor slightly outside one of the corner handles allows you to rotate the crop box - watch your cursor icon to ensure you are at the right spot
  12. Toggle through your screen modes (f) until you get back to both images
  13. Highlight the book-back.jpg image
  14. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the 3rd screen mode (gray background)
  15. Zoom and position your image so there is some extra room around it
  16. Rotate & crop simultaneously with the Crop Tool
  17. From the Menu Bar go to Image > Rotate Canvas > 180° - to get things right
  18. Toggle through your screen modes (f) until you get back to both images
  19. Highlight the book-cover.jpg image
  20. From the Menu Bar go to Image > Image Size
  21. Write down the height - in pixels - of this image
  22. Exit the Image Size Dialogue box
  23. Highlight the book-back.jpg image
  24. From the Menu Bar go to Image > Image Size
  25. Change, if necessary, the height value of book-back.jpg to match the height value of book-cover.jpg
    • If you need to change the height pixel count, be sure both the Constrain Proportions and Resample checkboxes are checked
    • For the sake of best practice, choose the appropriate resample method
  26. Before exiting the Image Size Dialogue Box, write down the width - in pixels - of book-back.jpg
  27. Highlight the book-cover.jpg image
  28. Covert the Background layer to a regular layer by option [alt] double-clicking the Background layer thumbnail
  29. From the Menu Bar go to Image > Canvas Size
  30. Check the Relative Checkbox
  31. Pick the left-middle box from the 3x3 grid of squares
  32. Enter the width value of book-back.jpg (that you just wrote down) in to the Width box - make sure the value is set to pixels
  33. Double-click the hand tool so you can see the entire book-cover.jpg image
  34. Highlight the book-back.jpg image
  35. In the Tool Bar select to Move Tool
  36. Holding the shift key, drag the book-back.jpg image to the book-cover.jpg image
  37. Holding the shift key, drag the back-cover layer to the right
  38. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Levels - do you need it?
  39. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Photo Filter - try a Cooling Filter
  40. Tone back the effect of the Cooling Filter by adjusting the adjustment layer's opacity
  41. Do some retouching
    • The best tool in this case for Retouching? Common sense. A few minutes cleaning the book & scanner, would save a great of time retouching in Photoshop
  42. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the black screen mode - a great place to admire/critique your work
  43. Hit Tab to hide the workspace
  44. Hit cmd [ctrl] 0
  45. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...book-complete.psd
  46. Close you file
Batch processing email images - Photoshop action

Exercise 3 - Batch processing email images

In this exercise we will record the basic steps required to resize an image for emailing (i.e. create a Photoshop 'Action'). We will then apply those steps to a group of images (i.e. batch process) to save ourselves a great deal of time. We will also explore batch renaming with Adobe Bridge.

Step by Step »

  1. In Bridge, go into the email-originals folder
  2. From the Bridge Menu Bar go to Select > All
  3. From the Bridge Menu Bar go to Tools > Batch Rename
  4. Try these settings:
    • Destination Folder: Rename in same folder
    • New File Names: Sequence Number   |  1  |  Two Digits
  5. From the Bridge Menu Bar go to File > New Folder
  6. Name the folder 'email-resize'
  7. From Bridge, double-click to open 01.jpg
  8. In Photoshop, from the Menu Bar Image > Image Size
    • A good maximum number of pixels (width or height) for an email is 500 - do we have too many pixels?
  9. Open the Actions Palette
  10. From the bottom of the Actions Palette click the Create new action icon
  11. In the New Action Dialogue Box give your action the name 'email-action'
  12. Hit Record
  13. Note at the bottom of the Actions Palette that you are being recorded !!
  14. From the Menu Bar go to File > Automate > Fit Image
  15. Set both the height and width to 500. These settings will automatically resize both horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait) photos to maximum possible value of 500 pixels
  16. Note that in the Actions Palette, Fit Image has been recorded (as Scripts)
  17. Double-click the Zoom Tool to see you image at 100% (you must be at 100% for accurate sharpening)
  18. From the Menu Bar go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask
  19. Try these settings:
    • Amount: 400 (this number can be reduced if the sharpening is too strong)
    • Radius: 0.2
    • Threshold: 0
    • Remember: It is better to under sharpen than is is to over sharpen
  20. Note that in the Actions Palette, Unsharp Mask has been recorded (as Unsharp Mask)
  21. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save for Web & Devices...
  22. In the Save for Web & Devices
  23. Try these settings:
    • Be sure the Optimized tab is selected (top)
    • At the right, under Preset: choose JPEG High
  24. Save your file into the 'email-resize' folder
  25. Note that in the Actions Palette, Save for Web & Devices has been recorded (as Export)
  26. From the Menu Bar go to File > Close
  27. DO NOT SAVE over the original
  28. Note that in the Actions Palette, Close has been recorded (as Close)
  29. From the bottom of the Actions Palette click the Stop playing/recording button icon
  30. Flip back to Adobe Bridge
  31. Confirm that you successfully created an email image in the 'email-resize' folder
  32. In the 'email-originals' folder, use your shift key to select the other images in need of resizing (do not select 01.jpg or the 'email-resize' folder)
  33. From the Bridge Menu Bar go to Tools > Photoshop > Batch
  34. Confirm that the 'email-action' is set to run - hit ok - kick back and relax !!
  35. When the Action stops running - confirm that you now have 16 email images in the 'email-resize' folder
  36. From the Bridge Menu Bar go to View > Slideshow Options
  37. Pick a Slide Duration and Transition - hit Play
    • Try using the spacebar to pause the slideshow
    • Try using the arrows to manually advance the slideshow
    • Hit the letter 'h' to see all the controls your have for your slideshow
Create a Coca-Cola web graphic

Exercise 4 - Create a Coca-Cola web graphic

In this exercise we will select, then separate a portion of an image taken of a storefront window. We will then add a flexible background color and layer effects. Finally, we will resize and save the image for use on a webpage.

Step by Step »

  1. In Adobe Bridge, double-click to open coca-cola.jpg
  2. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the 3rd screen mode (gray background)
  3. Zoom in to the Coca-Cola sticker in the window
  4. From the Tool Bar select the Elliptical Marquee Tool
  5. Drag out a 'rough' selection
    • Demo 1: Deselecting a selection (from the Menu Bar go to Select > Deselect)
    • Demo 2: Dragging a perfect circle selection (add shift while dragging)
    • Demo 3: Dragging selection out from the center (add option [alt] while dragging)
  6. From the Menu Bar go to Select > Transform Selection
  7. Use the transform handles to adjust your selection of the Coca-Cola sticker
    • Just so you know it's there: Click the Refine Edge button in the Tool Options Bar
  8. From the Menu Bar go to Layer > New > Layer via Copy
  9. Toggle the Background layer on and off
  10. Delete the Background layer (drag it to the Garbage Can at the bottom of the layers palette)
  11. From the bottom of the layers palette, add a Bevel & Emboss Layer Style (fx) - style to taste
  12. While still in the Style Dialogue Box, also add a Drop Shadow Layer Style (fx) with the drop shadow cast to the lower right
  13. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Levels - do you need it?
  14. From the Menu Bar go to Image > Trim
  15. Choose Based On - Transparent Pixels
  16. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...coca-cola.psd
    • Demo I: Take a screen shot (mac) of mangotutorials.com
    • Demo II: Measuring the available space (width) of the sidebar
    • Demo III: Sample the color of the sidebar
  17. From the Menu Bar go to Image > Image Size
  18. For the width value of the image, enter the width value that was measured above
    • make sure Best for Reduction is selected
  19. From the Menu Bar go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask
  20. Try these settings:
    • Amount: 400 (this number can be reduced if the sharpening is too strong)
    • Radius: 0.2
    • Threshold: 0
    • Remember: It is better to under sharpen than is is to over sharpen
  21. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Solid Color
  22. Move the Solid Color Adjustment Layer to the bottom of the layer stack and set it to white (#ffffff)
  23. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...coca-cola-web.psd
  24. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save for Web & Devices...
  25. In the Save for Web & Devices try these settings:
    • Be sure the Optimized tab is selected (top)
    • At the right, under Preset: choose either JPEG High or JPG Medium - you decide
    • Brief explanation of GIF and PNG
  26. Save your web page ready file !!
  27. From the Menu Bar - File > Close
A Kaimuki creative composite

Exercise 5 - A Kaimuki creative composite

In this exercise we will select a portion of one image and move it to another image. We will then resize the pixels we have moved and add a 'real world' drop shadow.

Step by Step »

  1. In Adobe Bridge, shift-click to select both weekly.jpg and truck.jpg
  2. Right click on either selected image and choose Open
  3. Arrange your images so you can see both of them
  4. Select weekly.jpg as the image you want to work on.
  5. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the 3rd screen mode (gray background)
  6. Zoom in to the red, Weekly box in the window
  7. From the Tool Bar select the Polygonal Lasso Tool
  8. Carefully click out a selection around the box
  9. From the Menu Bar go to Select > Save Selection - give it the name 'box'
    • From the Menu Bar go to Select > Deselect
    • From the Menu Bar go to Select > Load Selection - pick 'box'
  10. Tap the letter 'f' until you are back in normal screen mode (i.e. where you see both images)
  11. In the Tool bar pick the Move Tool
  12. Click and drag, inside the 'box' selection, from the weekly.jpg to the truck.jpg
  13. From the Menu Bar go to Edit > Free Transform
  14. Use a corner transform handle to bring the 'box' down to believable size
    • Transform Trick 1: Hold to shift key while transforming to constrain the proportions
    • Transform Trick 2: Move your cursor inside the object being transformed to move it
    • Transform Trick 3: If you make a mistake hit esc - if happy return [enter]
  15. From the Menu Bar go to Edit > Transform > Perspective
  16. See if you can adjust the box's perspective to agree more with the background (truck, street, etc.)
  17. If you don't like what you did, hit esc - if you are happy return [enter]
  18. From the bottom of the layers palette, create a new, blank layer
  19. Drag it between the 2 image layers
  20. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the 3rd screen mode (gray background)
  21. Make sure there is a little room below the image
  22. From the Tool Bar select the Polygonal Lasso Tool
  23. With the Blank layer selected, click out a shadow shape for the red, Weekly box - use the truck shadow as a reference
  24. From the Menu Bar go to Edit > Fill and choose Black
  25. Adjust the shadow layers opacity to a value you feel looks realistic
  26. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the black screen mode - a great place to admire/critique your work
  27. Hit Tab to hide the workspace
  28. Hit cmd [ctrl] 0
    • Artistic Bonus 1: Use a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to saturate the Weekly box
    • Remember - option click between the image layer and the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to isolate the effect of the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer
    • Artistic Bonus 2: Use a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to desaturate the street scene
  29. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...kaimuki.psd
  30. From the Menu Bar - File > Close
A tropical creative composite with masking

Exercise 6 - A tropical creative composite with masking

In this exercise we will begin by applying the warmth of one image to another (Match Color). We will then hide a potion of one image via selections and masking. Finally, we will bring the two images together as a multi-layer composite.

Step by Step »

  1. In Adobe Bridge, shift-click to select both beach.jpg and city.jpg
  2. Right click on either selected image and choose Open
  3. Using, from the Menu bar, Image > Image size, compare the width values (in pixels) of the 2 images to see if they are roughly the same size prior to merging
  4. Using, from the Menu bar, Filter > Distort > Lens Correction, straighten the horizon line of both images
  5. In the Lens Correction Dialogue box...
    • Turning off the grid (bottom checkbox) may be helpful
    • Using the Straighten Tool (upper left) is real easy
    • Use the Scale slider to increase the image size to fill the bounds - remember, too much up-scaling will give you a pixilated image
  6. Highlight the city.jpg
  7. From the Menu bar go to Image > Adjustments > Levels - bring in the tails
  8. From the Menu bar go to Image > Adjustments > Match Color
    • Set the Source to beach.jpg
    • Hit the Neutralize button to remove any color cast
    • Adjust the Fade slider to give you a more believable look (keeping in mind that the overall project goal will be pseudo-believable at best)
  9. Highlight the beach.jpg
  10. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the 3rd screen mode (gray background)
  11. In the Tool bar, pick the Rectangular Marquee Tool
  12. Drag a box from outside the upper left corner of the sky to outside the right side, aligned with the horizon (i.e. drag a rectangle selection over the sky)
  13. From the Menu Bar go to Select > Save Selection - name your selection 'sky'
  14. With the Zoom Tool, drag a zoom box around the woman's head
  15. In the Tool bar, pick the Lasso Tool
  16. Holding option [alt] key - which turns the selection tool into a subtract from selection tool - carefully draw an arch over the woman's head
    • You only need to draw the arch - Photoshop will connect the ends
  17. From the Menu Bar go to Select > Save Selection - name your selection 'sky-head'
  18. With your selection in place - click the add Add layer mask at the bottom of the layers palette
    • If the mask gives the opposite result of what you expected (this always happens to me), simply hit cmd [ctrl] i
    • i stands for Invert
  19. Notice that the black portion of the mask is blocking the sky
  20. Notice that the white portion of the mask is allowing the beach/woman to pass through
  21. Highlight the city.jpg
  22. In the Tool bar pick the Move Tool
  23. Click and drag city.jpg to beach.jpg
  24. Move the city.jpg layer to the bottom of the layer stack
  25. Align city.jpg to the horizon
  26. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Levels - do you need it?
  27. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the black screen mode - a great place to admire/critique your work
  28. Hit Tab to hide the workspace
  29. Hit cmd [ctrl] 0
  30. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...beach-city.psd
  31. From the Menu Bar - File > Close
Masking with adjustment layers - Half Dome

Exercise 7 - Masking with adjustment layers - Half Dome

In this exercise we will use selections and masking to control the effect of a Black & White adjustment layer. We will then use the paint brush to bring back in the original, unadjusted image pixels.

Step by Step »

  1. In Adobe Bridge, double-click to open half-dome.jpg
  2. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Levels - do you need it?
  3. Select the image layer
  4. In the Tool Bar, pick the Magic Wand Tool
  5. With the Magic Wand Tool, click in the blue sky
    • The Magic Wand Tool selects pixel of similar color value based on the Tolerance setting in the Tool Option Bar
    • The lower the Tolerance, the less tolerant it is to pixels with different color values - and vice versa
  6. From the Menu bar go to Select > Deselect
  7. Change the Tolerance setting to 42 (i.e. make the tool a little more tolerant)
  8. Click in the blue sky again
  9. Holding the shift key - which turns the selection tool into a add to selection tool - click on unselected portions of the sky
  10. Keep shift-clicking until you have the selected the whole sky
  11. Zoom in and inspect your selection
    • While inspecting, look for little pieces (pixels) that the tools missed...
    • and for selection accuracy along the edge of rock
  12. From the Menu Bar go to Select > Save Selection - name your selection 'sky'
  13. From the Menu Bar go to Select > Inverse
  14. Select the image layer
  15. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Black & White
  16. Notice that a mask is automatically generated based on what you had selected (i.e. the sky is unaffected)
  17. Zoom into the little people climbing up Half Dome (specifically to 2 people in the center)
  18. In the Tool Bar, pick the Brush Tool
  19. Set the Brush Tool size so it is a little larger than the people
  20. By right-clicking, set the Brush Tool hardness to 25%
  21. Set the foreground color in the Tool Bar to black
  22. With the Mask selected, paint over the little people (with black) to reveal their colors
  23. option [alt] the mask thumbnail to see what you have done
  24. Click back on the image thumbnail to see the image
  25. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the black screen mode - a great place to admire/critique your work
  26. Hit Tab to hide the workspace
  27. Hit cmd [ctrl] 0 to maximize the image
  28. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...half-dome.psd
  29. From the Menu Bar - File > Close

Exercise 8 - Masking with the Gradient Tool - A'ali'i

In this exercise we will experiment with text, canvas size, and multiple adjustment layers (including adjusting their opacity). Will we also use the gradient tool, combined with a layer mask, to fade out (feather) image pixels.

Masking with the Gradient Tool - A'ali'i

Step by Step »

  1. In Adobe Bridge, double-click to open aalii.jpg
  2. Covert the Background layer to a regular layer by option [alt] double-clicking the Background layer thumbnail
  3. From the Menu bar go to Image > Canvas Size
  4. Double the canvas to the left by clicking the Relative checkbox, adding 100 (percent) to the width field and choosing the right, middle box from the 3x3 grid of squares
  5. Double-click the Hand Tool to see your whole image
  6. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Solid Color
  7. Drag the Solid Color Adjustment Layer to the bottom of the layers stack
  8. Set the Solid Color Adjustment Layer's color to a color from the image
  9. Select the image layer
  10. Click the add Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette
  11. Notice that the Mask comes in as white (i.e. it has no effect)
  12. In the Tool Bar, select the Gradient Tool
  13. In the Tool Options Bar, set the Gradient colors to Black,White
    • To see text descriptions for the gradient colors, open the menu (little arrow) from within the gradient color picker box
  14. Set the Gradient type to Linear (the first box)
  15. With the mask selected, drag the Gradient Tool across the image
    • Experiment I: Try dragging the Gradient Tool at different angles and for different distances
    • Experiment II: Try changing the type of gradient in the Tool Options Bar
  16. Add a Text layer to the left of the image - style to taste
    • Add a Text Warp effect to the Text
    • Add a Drop Shadow Layer Style to your text
  17. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Pattern
    • Experiment I: Changing the type and scale of pattern
    • Experiment II: Load additional patterns (that ship with Photoshop) via the pattern picker menu
    • Try dragging the Pattern Adjustment Layer below the Solid Color Adjustment Layer, the change the Solid Color Adjustment Layer opacity to reveal the pattern
  18. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...aalii.psd
  19. From the Menu Bar - File > Close
Masking the effects of a Filter - Skydive guy

Exercise 9 - Masking the effects of a Filter - Skydive guy

In this exercise we will work with Smart Objects and the Blur filter. Adjustments to a layer mask will allow us to hide the effect of the Blur filter we applied.

Step by Step »

  1. In Adobe Bridge, double-click to open skydiver.jpg
  2. From the bottom of the layers palette, add an Adjustment Layer for Levels - do you need it?
  3. Select the image layer
  4. From the Menu Bar, go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters
  5. Notice the thumbnail has changed to show that the layer is now a Smart Object
  6. From the Menu Bar go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur
  7.  Try these settings:
    • Angle: 55
    • Distance: 100
  8.  Notice that you have a Mask (white) associated with your Motion Filter
  9. Set the foreground color to black in the Tool Bar
  10. In the Tool Bar select the Brush tool
  11. Try these brush settings:
    • Via right-clicking on the image, set the Brush Master Diameter (size) to 200 and hardness to 50%
    • In the Tool Option Bar set both the Opacity and Flow to 50%
  12. With the Motion Filter mask selected, paint back over the skydiver's face
  13. Tap the letter 'f' until you are in the black screen mode - a great place to admire/critique your work
  14. Hit Tab to hide the workspace
  15. Hit cmd [ctrl] 0 to maximize the image
  16. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...skydiver.psd
  17. From the Menu Bar - File > Close
Printing 4x6" photo paper prints at Kaimuki Camera

Exercise 10 - Printing 4x6" paper prints at Kaimuki Camera

In this exercise we will walk through the basic steps needed to modify an digital photo for printing, to specific print specs, at a local camera shop.

Step by Step »

  1. Prior to creating this exercise I went to Kaimuki Camera and asked the owner 4 vital questions regarding how to prepare images for photo paper printing at his shop
    • What Physical Size should I prepare my images? From a variety of choices, I choose 4x6"
    • At what Resolution should I set my images? - 300 ppi
    • In what Color Space should I set my images (RGB or CMYK)? - RGB
    • What File Format would you like me to provide the images in? - JPG (Highest Quality)
  2. Armed with the vital information above (i.e. the 4 print specs), I was now ready to prepare images (and this exercise), in Photoshop, to be printed on 4x6" photo paper @ Kaimuki Camera
  3. In Adobe Bridge, open kaimuki-camera folder
  4. Double-click to open 01.jpg
  5. Immediately notice that the image is in RGB - 1 print spec down, 3 to go !!
  6. From the Menu Bar got to Image > Image Size
  7. Turn of the Resample button off
  8. Enter 300 into the Resolution box - 2 print specs down, 2 to go !!
  9. Check the Document Size width and height values - ask yourself "Do I have enough pixels to make a 4x6" print @ 300?"
  10. Hit Ok to Exit
  11. From the Tool Bar select the Rectangular Marquee Tool
  12. In the Tool Options Bar, set the Style drop down to Fixed Ratio
  13. Enter 6 for the Width and 4 for the height
  14. Starting from outside the image, drag a selection over the whole image - notice that cameras do not capture at standard print ratios
  15. Drag out a selection over the area of the image you want to print
  16. From the Menu Bar got to Image > Crop
  17. From the Menu Bar got to Image > Image Size
  18. Turn of the Resample button on
  19. Enter either the width value (4") or the height value (6") in to the Document Size
  20. Hit ok
  21. To double-check go to Image > Image Size - 3 print specs down, 1 to go !!
  22. At the point you may want do any number of things to improve your image
    • At the very minimum...check your Levels
  23. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...01.psd
  24. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...01-kc.jpg
  25. When a dialogue box asks you what quality you want to save your JPG choose the highest
  26. 4 print specs down, all done !!
  27. From the Menu Bar - File > Close
  28. Double-click to open 02.jpg
  29. From the Tool Bar select the Crop Tool
  30. In the Tool Options bar set the Width the 6 in and the Height to 4 in
  31. Set the Resolution to 300
  32. Drag out a crop box - hit return [enter]
  33. From the Menu Bar go to Image > Image Size - 3 print specs down, 1 to go !!
  34. At this point you may want do any number of things to improve your image
    • At the very minimum...check your Levels
  35. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...02.psd
  36. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...02-kc.jpg
  37. When a dialogue box asks you what quality you want to save your JPG choose the highest
  38. 4 print specs down, all done !!
  39. From the Menu Bar - File > Close
Printing 5x7" Postcards from gotprint.com

Exercise 11 - Printing 5x7" Postcards from gotprint.com

In this exercise we will walk through the basic steps needed to modify a digital photo for printing, to specific print specs, with an online printing service.

Step by Step »

  1. Prior to creating this exercise I went to goprint.com and looked for the answers to 4 vital questions regarding how to prepare images for postcard printing
    • What Physical Size should I prepare my image? From a variety of choices, I choose 5.1x7.1" (which includes a bleed)
    • At what Resolution should I set my images? - 350 ppi
    • In what Color Space should I set my images (RGB or CMYK)? - CMYK
    • What File Format would you like me to provide the images in? - TIFF or JPG
  2. Armed with the vital information above (i.e. the 4 print specs), I was now ready to prepare images (and this exercise), in Photoshop, to be printed as 4x6" postcards @ gotprint.com
  3. I was also given to other bits of important information:
    • 1. Maximum upload size in 30mb
    • 2. A free, postcard template is available for download in Photoshop (.psd) format
  4. In Adobe Bridge, open got-print folder
  5. Double-click to open postcard.jpg (the free, template) and 01.jpg
  6. Immediately notice that the template is in CMYK and that the image is in RGB
  7. From the Menu Bar got to Image > Image Size
  8. Turn of the Resample button off
  9. Enter 350 into the Resolution box - 1 print specs down, 3 to go !!
  10. Check the Document Size width and height values - ask yourself "Do I have enough pixels to make a 5.1x7.1" print @ 350?"
  11. Hit Ok to Exit
  12. From the Tool Bar select the Rectangular Marquee Tool
  13. In the Tool Options Bar, set the Style drop down to Fixed Ratio
  14. Enter 5.1 for the Width and 7.1 for the height
  15. Drag out a selection over the area of the image you want to print
  16. From the Menu Bar got to Image > Crop
  17. From the Menu Bar got to Image > Image Size
  18. Turn of the Resample button on
  19. Enter either the width value (5.1") or the height value (7.1") in to the Document Size
  20. Hit ok
  21. To double-check go to Image > Image Size - 2 print specs down, 2 to go !!
  22. At this point you may want do any number of things to improve your image
    • At the very minimum...check your Levels
  23. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...01-RGB.psd
  24. Flatten the RGB image from the Layers palette menu
  25. From the Menu Bar go to File > Save as...01-RGB-flat.psd
  26. From the Tool Bar pick the Move Tool
  27. Drag 01-RGB-flat.psd to the template - Colors automatically switch to CMYK (print colors)
    • If you do not have a CMYK template to work with, to convert an RGB image to CMYK go to Image > Mode > CMYK
  28. Check to see if you are following the template recommendations
  29. Delete the template instruction layer
  30. Flatten the image
  31. Save the file as a JPG (highest quality) or TIFF file to meet the print spec
  32. Your CMYK image is now ready to be uploaded to gotprint.com for postcard printing

In closing: Where might you go from here?

  1. Check out the FREE videos from Adobe
  2. Check out the Free/Pay videos @ Lynda.com
  3. I like this book: Adobe Photoshop CS3 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques by Chris Orwig
  4. I like this Book: Adobe Photoshop CS3: Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks by Lynette Kent
  5. I like this book: Teach Yourself VISUALLY Adobe Photoshop CS3 by Michael Wooldridge & Linda Wooldridge

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