Using Image Size in Adobe Photoshop CS3

Category Archives: Tutorials

Using Image Size in Adobe Photoshop CS3

Images often need to be resized, and the Transform option may seem like the best tool for this. However, images can easily be ruined due to stretching. The Transform option isn’t the best option when working with images because it doesn’t maintain any image resolution and it doesn’t constrain proportions.

It is quite easy to resize images using the “Image Size” tool that is located under the image menu.

Open the photo you wish to resize.

Click on the Image menu and a menu will drop down that includes the “Image Size” option.

Click on “Image Size” and an option box will appear on the screen.

Before making any changes to the photo make sure the “constrain proportions” and “scale styles” are selected. This will ensure that the image is not distorted. Also make sure that the resolution stays the same while you are typing in numbers.

The photo was brought in at 503×604 pixels and it needs to be a width of 300.Change the width number to 300. If the “constrain proportions” and “scale styles” options are selected, Adobe Photoshop will mathematically change the height number to a correct proportion. In this case, 360 is the number that was given.

Click “okay.”

The image will resize with the proportions and resolution intact.

This tool is one of the easiest to use in Photoshop CS3 and it helps your images look clear and keep their desired appearance.

If you need to increase the image size, you’ll want to make sure the resolution doesn’t diminish. You can easily increase the image size by typing in the resolution that you desire and Photoshop will match the resolution with the size that will work. Never increase the size more than once because the pixels might get blurred and create “noise” within the image.

The re-sample option below “constrain proportions” and “scale styles” allows you to specify how you want your image to be resized. These options include “Nearest Neighbor,” “Bilinear,” “Bicubic,” “Bicubic Smoother,” and “Bicubic Sharper.” Here’s an idea of what these options do and when to use them:

“Nearest Neighbor”: Produces a smaller image file but also a lower image quality, used mainly for illustrations. Resizes by replicating pixels.

“Bilinear”: This option produces medium quality results and resizes by adding pixels that match the surrounding pixels’ colors.

“Bicubic”: This option produces a higher quality result because it uses precise calculations to determine what values are being used within the image. Because this is more precise and higher quality, it takes a little bit more time.“Bicubic Smoother”: This option gives the smoothest results when enlarging images.“Bicubic Sharper”: This option is best used when you’re reducing your image and you want to maintain detail. It re-samples your image and at the same time sharpens your image.

Using Live Trace in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Adobe Illustrator CS3 includes a tool called “Live Trace” that turns pixels into a vector. A vector can be scaled up or down and it will not lose its quality, so this is a better choice for designs that may be used in a number of different contexts, such as a business logo.

Live Trace is the easiest way to convert a photo or piece of art into a vector, and using the tool’s options will give you a controlled and personalized rendering. Give yourself time to explore all the options, and you’ll find that you have lots of creative new ideas, as well as the technical benefits.

To try out Live Trace, first bring a photo into Adobe Illustrator Cs3. In this case, we’re using a photo of a flower.

When you click on the photo with the selection tool you will notice the Live Trace feature at the top of your screen. To get an idea of what the Live Trace feature does, click on it. As you can see, the result is unclear and doesn’t resemble the original photo. Live Trace will always put out a black and white rendering unless you use the options palette.

Let’s take the photo back to its original state. A shortcut to undo the Live Trace is “control + Z (PC)or Apple + Z (Macs)

Once the photo is in its original state, click on it again with the selection tool. Next to the Live Trace button there is a small drop down arrow. To keep the image photo-like, try modes such as “color 6,” “color 16,” or “photo low fidelity” and “photo high fidelity.” Those options will try to render the graphic in a photo-like fashion.

The “photo high fidelity” option was used to create our flower vector.

But what if you want your flower to look like an illustration?

Within the option bar there are more choices. The very last of the choices is “Tracing Options.” Return your photo to its original state, click on it with the selection tool and click on “Tracing Options.”

A box will pop up with numerous options for you to choose from. Now’s the time to start playing with the different effects! Check the Preview box on the right side so you can see what changes you’re making to your photograph. Play with the different possibilities to see what best suits your taste.

To get the vector flower as shown below, we used the color mode with the number of colors set at 5.

The possibilities are endless with Live Trace. Try the other options and see what cool renderings you can come up with.

Using the Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Adobe Illustrator CS3’s Blend tool creates a sequence of shapes or colors that results in entirely new design effects. With it, you can make three-dimensional effects, interesting abstract backgrounds, or well-controlled gradients.

To try it out, begin by making two shapes: one large and one small. Have your big shape and your small shape separated from each other so it’ll be easy to see what’s happening.

The Blend icon in the Illustrator toolbox looks like a square and a circle being connected with dots. To get to the Blend tool options, double click on the icon in the tool box. Within the option box are three options for different types of blending: Smooth Color, Specified Steps, and Specified Distance. In this example, the two shapes will be “blended” using the Specified Steps option. This means that you can specify the number of steps between the objects simply by typing a number into the box. For this example, the number 5 was entered.

Click “OK” to accept the number you’ve typed in, and select each of your shapes with the Selection tool. The cursor will become a square resembling the icon in the toolbox. When you are above a point of the shape the square will turn black to show that you’ve reached a point.

Click one point on each of your shapes to implement the Blend tool. The shapes are now connected with shapes that mathematically reduce in size from the larger to the smaller shape.

If you don’t have the effect you want, select your shapes again with the Selection tool and double click the Blend tool to get the option box back up. Enter the new number, and when you click “OK” the Blend tool will automatically change the shapes.

The other options within the blend tool can be used in the same way. Play around with the Blend tool starting with lines to see some of the other possibilities. You can place one shape on top of the other or put a smaller shape within a larger one. Try out color effects and see how the Blend tool interacts with other tools as well. Once you see the myriad possibilities, the Blend tool will be one you’ll reach for often.

Using the Rotate tool in Adobe Illustrator CS3

The Adobe Illustrator CS3 tool called Rotate can be used to make the popular sunburst effect. The Rotate tool mathematically spaces and rotates the shape so there is no guesswork.

The Rotate tool is located in the Adobe Tool box and looks like an arrow made into a circle.

Create a triangle shape for the sun rays. This can be done by creating 3 points with the Pen tool, or by going to the star shape maker and pushing the down arrow to form a triangle.

Select the sunray and then click the Rotate tool. You will see an axis point in the middle of your shape. Click once to place the axis point at the bottom of the shape. The shapes will rotate around the axis point to form the sunburst effect.

Once the axis point is in place, hold down Alt + shift. This will duplicate the shape and rotate it around the axis.

To get the rest of the sunburst, all you have to do is click control (or apple) D, which is the shortcut for Duplicate. Repeat this shortcut until the sunburst shape has copied and rotated all the way around the axis point.

Now that you have your sunburst you can manipulate it however you choose. For instance, you can grab the white arrow and change the color of some rays or even go to the effect > filter gallery and put effects on the sunburst to make it pop.

Helpful shortcuts used in this tutorial:

Duplicate:(PC) Control + D(Mac) Apple + D

Copy and Rotate:(PC) Alt + Shift(Mac) Opt + Shift

Using Replace Color in Adobe Photoshop CS3

You’ve chosen the perfect image for your project, but the color palette doesn’t fit your needs. What can you do?

The Replace Color option is your solution. This tool allows you to change a specific color within an image quickly and easily. It isn’t hard to use, and you can save your settings and reuse them on other images.

Replace Color can be found under Image > Adjustments > Replace Color. Within the Replace Color palette are options such as hue, saturation, and lightness.

Suppose you have a photograph of stadium seats and you need to change the color from bright red to a cool blue. It only takes a few easy steps using Replace Color.

Before you begin, create a Background Layer Copy ( control > J for PCs and Apple > J for Macs) so the original is safe behind the photo in case something goes wrong.

Bring the photo into Photoshop. Make sure “Preview” is checked under the save option. This will show any changes being made to the actual photograph.

Go to Image > Adjustments > Replace Color. The Replace Color palette will appear on your screen with a few options inside.

Choose the Selection option. (This will show you what is being selected in the Preview box above. Masked areas are black and what’s chosen by the Eyedropper will be in white.)

Select the Eyedropper tool with a plus sign and use it to select the red tones in the image.

Click around on the seats with the plus sign Eyedropper until all of the seats appear in the Preview box. When everything is selected, move on to the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness options.

To change the seats to blue, work with the Saturation and drag the slider to the left. The image will show the color change if the Preview option is selected. You can also select a replacement color manually by clicking on the square color preview box.

When the seats are the desired color, choose “okay.” The original red seats have been changed to a cool blue in no time.

Using Actions in Adobe Photoshop CS3

There is a user friendly tool in Adobe Photoshop called Actions that can be found in the window drop down menu.

The default list in the Action palette ranges from Sepia Toning to Save as a Photoshop PDF. Using Actions can save a great deal of time especially if you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again. Actions are great because you can perform an Action on an entire folder instead of performing the Action on each individual file within the folder.

Think of the Actions palette as you would a VCR. There is a record button, play button, and a stop button. To use one of the Photoshop Actions you simply push the play button and Photoshop will perform that Action.

For instance, suppose you have a photo of a flower that you would like to manipulate. Under the Actions menu you will find “Neon Edges” and decide that is exactly what the photo needs.

  1. Open the photo in Photoshop
  2. Open the Actions palette
  3. Choose “Neon Edges”
  4. Push play
  5. Save the manipulated image

If you want to create your own customized Actions it is quite easy.

  1. Open the file you are wanting to perform the Action on
  2. Click the new Action button
  3. Push the record button and begin doing things to your file
  4. When you’re finished push the stop button. Photoshop has recorded everything done to the file since the record button was pushed.

Suppose you want a suitcase photo to look like it has been watercolor painted with a vignette around it’s edges. Go to Filter > Watercolor and click okay. Then go to Filter > Lens Correction and add the Vignette to the image.

Photoshop is now ready to play your customized Action on any photograph or file you bring into Photoshop.

To learn more you can go to Http://www.adobe.com/support/photoshop or simply type in Photoshop Actions in Google and there are tons of websites devoted to helping people discover new ways to use Actions everyday!

Photoshop CS3, tips

We recently upgraded most of our design computers with Photoshop CS3. So far, all I can say about the new Photoshop is that I’m impressed. Check out this mockup we were working on:

Part of why this version is the best one yet is the productivity increase from the tools that allows us more time for designing and creativity. This is good for clients and designers because the best product is achieved.

Time Saving Features:

Copy Layer Style” is one of my new favorites. Use this when you need to quickly copy a layer style to one or more other layers. Tip: press and hold CTRL or Shift while clicking and selecting layers, then right click and “Paste Layer Style” to copy it to the selected layers.

“Replicate text style” — OK, that is a name I came up with, but the time-saver is much cooler. Using CTRL or Shift to multiple select text layers, pop-out the new character menu and change any attribute of those selected text layers all at one time.

Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, but I’m sure I’ll be posting more thoughts in the future.