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Color basics

Pixels

The screen image in Photoshop is a bitmap, which is a geometric arrangement (mapping) of a layer of dots of different shades or colors on a rectangular grid. Each dot, called a pixel, represents a color or shade. By magnifying an area of an image, you can edit pixels individually . Every Photoshop image is a bitmap, whether it originates from a scan, from another application, or entirely within Photoshop using its painting and editing tools. (Don’t confuse Bitmap image mode with the term “bitmap.”) If you drag with a painting tool across an area of a layer, pixels under the pointer are recolored. Bitmap programs are ideal for producing painterly, photographic, or photorealistic images that contain subtle gradations of color.


A close-up of an image, showing individual pixels



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