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January 14, 2008

Professional Photoshop (Macworld 2008)

First day of MacWorld 2008 is sitting in a Photoshop tutorial with Michael Ninness (Adobe Systems). Back in the days of Photoshop 3 and 4 I knew everything there was to know about Photoshop. As I transitioned from graphics and design into software engineering I've tried to keep up, but definitely not like I used to. I have used Photoshop over the years for work when the expertise was needed and for all kinds of personal/family things. Looking forward to getting a crash course to get more up to speed. I'm doing more with Photoshop at work these days as the lead of a UI upgrade project.

Michael is using Photoshop CS3 (me too!).

First section of the two-day tutorial is an hour and a half of power shortcuts, including Photoshop configuration, settings, keys.

Someone asks about Lightroom/Aperture vs Photoshop. Michael only uses Photoshop when specific pixels need to be touched, for photo management Photoshop isn't necessary.

Michael starts by giving a nice overview of the CS3 UI changes and ways to organize the workspace. Very helpful. I waste a lot of time because I don't have panels I use most exposed and the stuff I never use hidden.

Goes through all of the keyboard shortcut to change the tools (move, clone, text, brush), and some used for control:

I know a handful of these that I use all the time and I can't imagine having to use the GUI for, I really need to know more shortcuts.

Also, CS3 has a new brush cursor option, lets you see the entire area affected by the brush and the cursor shows the gradient/fade at the edge of the brush. Definitely switching to that.

Michael talks about some practical jokes to play with Photoshop. Since each menu command is scriptable you can do things like when a file is opened run a script to rotate it 180 degrees, or whenever a user creates a new file close the application.

Two new features in CS3 that are awesome for merging/tiling photos. Auto align layers lets you get multiple photos lined up exactly. Useful for taking multiple photos of the same thing and then getting them aligned correctly. Auto blend magically removes seams on photos that are tiled on top of each other.

Another awesome command is the lens correction filter, lets you adjust the image in all kinds of ways. Michael shows an example of fixing a problem with camera angle.

The tutorial included a DVD with 90% of what Michael went over.

Posted by mike at January 14, 2008 4:17 PM