100 Wicked…


A great place to peruse for all things photographic and design is layers magazine .
Just as a starter try 100 Wicked tips.

How about  these using photoshop CS4:

Adobe Photoshop CS4

By John Nack & Bryan O’Neil Hughes

Bird’s-eye view (a.k.a Bye-bye Navigator panel)
Photoshop CS4 leverages the power of your graphics card (GPU) to enable fast, smooth panning, zooming, and more. If you’re working with high-resolution documents, try zooming in, holding down the H key, and then clicking-and-holding your mouse button. You’ll see that Photoshop instantly (and temporarily) zooms out to show the whole document. You can then reposition your cursor, using the little rectangle under the Hand cursor as a guide, to see what’ll be on screen when you release the mouse button.

Spring-loaded tools
In CS4, you can temporarily jump from any tool to any other tool by pressing-and-holding the other tool’s shortcut. For instance, to jump from the Brush tool to the new Rotate View tool, just hold down R, click-and-drag the canvas to rotate it, and then release R to jump back to the Brush. Although it saves just one click at a time, those clicks can add up.

Clip adjustment layers automatically
It’s always been possible to “clip” adjustment layers so they target a single layer instead of all the layers below it, but now you can toggle this behavior on as a default. Click the little multi-circle icon in the lower-right corner of the Adjustments panel to set new adjustment layers to be clipped automatically.

Nondestructive perspective transformations
Prior to CS4 you couldn’t easily apply a perspective or distort transformation to a smart object. With the new release, you simply go into Free Transform mode (Command-T [PC: Ctrl-T]) and hold down Shift-Option-Command (PC: Shift-Alt-Ctrl) while grabbing-and-dragging the corner of the object (just hold Command [PC: Ctrl] to distort). Your perspective and distort edits will remain fully editable.

Converting a layer to a 3D postcard
Besides smart objects, Photoshop Extended offers another way to apply perspective transforms nondestructively: Select any layer or layers, then choose 3D>New 3D Postcard from Layer. Photoshop will map your layer(s) onto a 2D “postcard in space.” You can then use the various 3D object manipulation tools (K) and camera tools (N) to change the orientation and appearance of the layer.

3D: Finding “paintable” areas
Photoshop uses a project-based painting model which means that 3D objects need to be positioned parallel to the screen so that paint can be properly applied. Setting the Preset mode (from the 3D panel) to Paint Mask will show you the ideal position/resolution that your model should be in for clean paint to be applied: white areas indicate optimal positioning, blue indicates sub-optimal, and red indicates not ideal. The Select Paintable Areas option (in the 3D menu) will select the areas that are in the ideal position for painting.


MINTAKA COURTESY GOOGLE 3D WAREHOUSE

3D: Auto-hide layers for better performance
To greatly improve performance while interacting with 3D objects, you can turn on Auto-hide Layers for Performance in the 3D menu to activate direct-to-screen drawing (enabled by OpenGL). This will temporarily hide all other layers while you’re interacting with the 3D object.

Presets, presets, presets
In addition to freeing the power of adjustment layers from a static, modal dialog (via the Adjustments panel), CS4 now supports the loading and saving of adjustment layer presets, such as Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation, and Selective Color. (You can select these options from the Adjustment panel’s flyout menu.) The presets files are very small and easily distributed. To share your own, just copy the corresponding file from the Preset folder (inside the Photoshop Applications folder) and pass it on.

Old behaviors in the new Curves dialog
Curves, long the backbone of image adjustment, continue to grow both more powerful and easier to use. In CS4, the new On-Image control (circled) in the Adjustments panel makes adjustments as intuitive as clicking on the image and dragging up or down; of course, a few keyboard shortcuts are worth noting with the On-Image adjustment button:

• Preview circle on curve: Hover cursor over image (CS3: click-and-hold)
• Add point to the active curve: Click the image (CS3: Command-click [PC: Ctrl-click])
• Delete point on active curve: Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) image in area where Input/Output values of point are the same (preview circle will appear over point in curve)
• Select the next point on the curve: Press the + (plus) key (CS3: Control-Tab)
• Select the previous point on the curve: Press the – (minus) key (CS3: Shift-Control-Tab)
• Toggle through channels: Option-2 through 5 (PC: Alt-2 through 5) (CS3: Command-~ through 3 [PC: Ctrl-~ through 3])
• Preview clipping: With Black or White Point Eyedropper tool, hold Option (PC: Alt) and mouse over image.

Auto-Blend and much, much more
New to the Auto-Blend control in CS4 is the ability to choose between a panorama and a stack of images. Stack Images draws data from however many similar images you give it. With varied depth of field, this can effectively buy you light (several shots taken at a shallow depth of field can be combined into one image, all focused). More unusual still is the ability to have a prominent, focused foreground and focused background with a soft blur between. Prior to CS4, this was photographically impossible. Lastly, the Seamless Tones and Colors option in the Auto-Blend Layers dialog helps balance exposure between images. With varied focus this means countering for the shifts of light between images, but when you take one shot with a flash and another without, the feature can really start to shine.

WICKED??

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~ by Ray Harris on June 1, 2009.

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