• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 1. The Basics > Production techniques

Production techniques

  • To undo the last modification, choose Edit > Undo (Ctrl-Z/Cmd-Z) (Note: Some commands can’t be undone.) To undo multiple steps, click a prior state on the History palette or use the History Brush tool to restore selective areas.

  • Periodically click the “Create new snapshot” button at the bottom of the History palette to save temporary versions of the image. Click a snapshot thumbnail to revert to that version of the image.

  • Use an adjustment layer to try out tonal and color adjustments, and then later merge the adjustment layer downward to apply the effect, or discard the adjustment layer to remove that effect. Use the Layers palette Opacity slider to lessen the effect of an adjustment layer. Create a clipping group with the layer directly below an adjustment layer to limit the adjustment effect to just that layer.

  • Use Edit > Fade (Ctrl-Shift-F/Cmd-Shift-F) to lessen the last-applied filter, adjustment command, or tool edit without having to undo and redo—and choose an opacity and blending mode for the operation while you’re at it.

  • Interrupt screen redraw after executing a command or applying a filter by choosing a different tool or command. (To cancel a command while a progress bar is displaying, press Esc.)

  • Choose the lowest possible resolution and dimensions for your image, given your output requirements. Vector layers (editable type, shapes, and vector masks) print at the printer resolution—not at the file resolution. Once you become proficient in Photoshop, you can create a practice image at a low resolution, saving the commands you use in an action, and then replay the action on a higher resolution version.

  • Display your image in two windows simultaneously, one in a larger view size than the other, so you don’t have to constantly change view sizes.

  • Save a complex selection to a special grayscale channel, called an alpha channel, which can be loaded and reused on any image whenever you like. Or create a path or a vector mask, which occupies significantly less storage space than an alpha channel and can be converted into a selection at any time.

  • Use Quick Mask mode to turn a selection into a mask, which will cover the protected areas of the image with transparent color and leave the unprotected area as a cutout, and then modify the mask contour using a painting tool. Turn off Quick Mask mode to convert the cutout area back into a selection.

  • Since CMYK files process more slowly than RGB files, you can work in RGB Color mode, use View > Proof Setup > Working CMYK to preview your image as CMYK Color mode, and then convert it to the “real” CMYK Color mode when it’s completed.

  • Memorize as many keyboard shortcuts as you can. Start by learning the shortcuts for choosing tools. Use onscreen tool tips to refresh your memory, or refer to our shortcuts appendix. Shortcuts are included in most of the instructions in this book.

  • Try to allot at least 50% of available RAM (at least 128 MB) to Photoshop, or four times an image’s RAM document size.

  • Choose the Edit > Purge submenu commands periodically to regain RAM that was used for the Clipboard, the Undo command, the History palette, or All (of the above) . The Purge commands can’t be undone.

    Use the Purge submenu commands to free up memory.

Build your image using layers

You can work on one layer at a time without affecting the other layers, and discard any layers you don’t need. To conserve memory if you’re working on a large image, merge two or more layers together periodically.

Using a layer mask or a vector mask, you can temporarily hide pixels on an individual layer so you can experiment with different compositions. When you’re finished using the mask, you can either discard it or permanently apply the effect to the layer.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint