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Lab 1.3 Exercise Answers

This section gives you some suggested answers to the questions in Lab 1.3, with discussion related to those answers. Your answers may vary, but the most important thing is whether your answer works. Use this discussion to analyze differences between your answers and those presented here.

If you have alternative answers to the questions in this Lab, you are encouraged to post your answers and discuss them at the companion Web site for this book, located at http://www.phptr.com/phptrinteractive.

1.3.1 Answers

  1. Open Photoshop and choose New from the File Menu. A dialog box appears, and from it—about halfway down—choose Mode. What is the first choice that appears?

    Answer: Bitmap is the first choice that appears.

    Bitmap is a somewhat confusing term here, since all Photoshop images—as well as images on the Web—are bitmapped. Bitmap mode in Photoshop has usually meant one-bit black and white image, where each pixel is either black or white, with no smoothing, no antialiasing (you'll learn what that means). In this mode you can't use filters or Photoshop's Smudge, Blur, Dodge, or Burn tools.

    Windows has the BMP bitmap format native to the fairly primitive Windows Paint program, which can be opened and converted in Photoshop. The Macintosh version of Photoshop can open or save to this format as well.

  2. In the same dialog box the second choice is Grayscale. What is that?

    Answer: Grayscale is an 8-bit image, like a subtly toned black and white photograph. Eight bits means 256 colors, so each pixel has a grayscale value from 0 for black to 255 for white. This means there are 254 possible grays in between them. There exist 16-bit grayscale images, which in Photoshop can be saved as TIFFs for printing, but you won't be using them on the Web.

  3. The next choice is RGB. What is that and what do the initials stand for?

    Answer: RGB is the default mode of the full-color Photoshop file you create. The initials stand for the colors Red, Green, and Blue, because colors are created with an additive mixture of those three colors. Photoshop's present default is also 24-bit color, which means a number in the millions. To the designer this power at first appears much like Carl Sagan waxing poetic about "billions and billions of stars" on his 1970s television specials.

  4. The fourth Mode choice is CMYK. What is that and what do the initials stand for?

    Answer: CMYK is the world's four-color printing standard. Its initials stand for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. You need to know if your Web design process includes collaboration with someone who's working in imagery for print. Images from print production can be repurposed for Web use much more easily than Web images can be repurposed for print, as the print images are much larger and can readily be downscaled to screen resolution. Enlarging an image from the Web is usually much less successful.

  5. From the menu bar at the top of the screen choose Image and then Mode. Here the choice following Grayscale is Duotone. What's that?

    Answer: Duotone is a grayscale image in black and gray, or a grayscale with spot color of increased tonal range. Duotones are often attractive imagery and one more way of coloring black and white images for the Web.

  6. From the menu bar at the top of the screen choose Image and then Mode. Here the choice following Duotone is Indexed Color. What's that? (Hint: It has to do with the Web.)

    Answer: Indexed Color is a method of scaling down an image's colors to 8 bits, or 256 colors. This allows for a file to be saved as a GIF. This file format's capabilities and limitations will be discussed in Chapter 10.

1.3.2 Answers

  1. After opening Photoshop, the first three choices on the File menu that are available to you (not grayed out) show you what you can do to begin working. What are they?

    Answer: New, Open, and Import.

    You can create a New file. A dialog box will come up and ask you the image Size, and this can be measured in units you choose. Next it will ask you about the screen Resolution and the Image Mode. Finally, it will ask you the contents of the File: This can be white, another background color you've selected, or transparency.

    You can Open an existing graphics file that can be read by Photoshop.

    You can also Import a file from other compatible programs.

  2. What are your choices if you choose to Import a file?

    Answer: You can import an antialiased PICT or you can import a PICT resource. You can choose a Twain Acquire or Twain Select from certain types of scanners. If your computer is connected to a scanner, check your scanner documentation to see if this is applicable.

  3. From the File menu you have the ability to set preferences for your version of Photoshop. What Preferences can be set here?

    Answer. The Preferences the user can set include General Preferences, for a variety of global characteristics that include whether to show Tooltips.

    Preferences for Saving Files include the nature of previews, thumbnails, and whether file extensions are added as necessary (such as .jpg, necessary for JPEGs to be displayed on the Web).

    Display and Cursors Preferences group those affecting the screen with choices of Standard, Precise, or Brush-sized cursors when using painting tools, or Standard and Precise pointing cursors.

    Transparency and Gamut Preferences determine the gray and white checkerboard representing transparency. The dark gray represents unprintable out-of-Gamut colors, but this is not relevant to Web design.

    Preferences for Lines and Rulers determine the units. Picas are used in the printing industry.

    Guides and Grid Preferences allow the user to choose colors and size of grids for onscreen alignment.

    Plug Ins and Scratch Disks Preferences let you block off areas of memory for the processing of your image in Photoshop.

    Image Cache preferences affect how a color histogram will be sampled from an image.

    Color Settings will be discussed in Chapter 9.

    In every tool and palette in Photoshop there will always be the default preferences, where the tool is set when you first open the application. You may be content with all of Photoshop's default setttings for this work session or particular project, or you may just find yourself changing several.

  4. Open "car.psd." You decide it's too large and want to change it to 80% of its present size. How do you do that?

    Answer: You can resize your image, but remember that information is lost with each shrinking, so it's prudent to save a copy of the original image by choosing Save As for the new version.

    From the Image menu choose Size to bring up the Image Size dialog box. It allows you to adjust pixel dimensions, pixels-per-inch resolution and note the change in file size. When you enter new values into pixel dimensions and resize the image by enlarging it, you will see everything stretched. To enlarge or shrink in only one dimension—vertical or horizontal—uncheck Constrain Proportions, and you will see the little chain icon links disappear.

    Print Size defines the size of your image for printing, if slated for paper output.

    Resolution is shown in points-per-inch, into which you can enter a new value.

    You can choose to Resample Image, for Upsampling or Downsampling. Upsampling is rarely used, because this commands the computer to add color pixels and make the file bigger. The result is often rather inaccurate or unfocused.

    Three kinds of resampling are Bicubic, Bilinear, Nearest Neighbor. Bicubic is usually most accurate, because it uses complex equations, whereas the other sets the color in relation to—or in Nearest Neighbor, simply copies—pixels around it.

It is important to remember that on the Web, a dynamic communications medium that is sending files over great distances to load on the viewer's computer, the smaller the graphics file the better. Small as possible, simple as possible. Size translates into time (and time is money), and viewers today are no longer so awed by the novelty of the Web that they'll sit still while a graphic takes 30 seconds or more to download and become visible. One guideline is that if a page takes longer than eight seconds to fully load, your viewer has likely gone someplace else.

Photoshop creates a second copy when you're working on a file, which is why it requires a surprisingly large amount of hard disk space while you are working.

Similarly, as you work in PhotoShop you balance occasionally flattening layers with the need to keep them for future modification. Further information about layers can be found in Chapter 3.

  1. You now like the size of the car in the image, but would like to have a 1" empty margin around it. How would you do this?

    Answer: To add a margin, choose from the Image menu Canvas size. This brings up a dialog box.

    Canvas size is the size of your work area. If you enlarge the canvas size by entering one or more higher numbers, your image stays the same but has more empty space around it.

    By default the Anchor is the center, and margins are added around your centered original image. Click on one of the other squares to move the anchor to the upper or lower left, center or right edges. The additional margin is then added asymmetrically.

  2. You would now like to check the exact size of the car in your image. How can you do that?

    Answer: From the toolbar choose the Measure tool by clicking on that little ruler icon. The Measure tool measures distance (D) between any two points on the image, plus X and Y coordinates of the point of origin. It also shows the horizontal (H) and vertical (Y) distances traveled from the x and y axes, plus the angle relative to the axis. Adding a second measuring line will create a protractor that measures the angle between them.

    For more information on the tools on the toolbar, see Chapters 2 and 4.

  3. You are now ready to save your file under the name "biggercar.psd." Where will you save it to?

    Answer: You may save your file to your computer's hard disk or to a portable medium like a Zip disk. Wherever you save it, it is imperative that you know where it is.

Remember to Save!

Needless to say, saving your files is important ... and since your files are important, be sure to save multiple copies.

One veteran digital media professor at a California university described her guideline. She figures that in each semester, out of a class of 20 upper-level students (seniors and grads), there will be 1 student who loses the only copy of his or her final project because of media failure—bad floppy disks, videotape breaking, etc.—and 2 more students who will lose their work because of simple bad habits (forgetting to save, leaving work on the class hard disk and returning to find it erased by lab monitors, etc.). Don't let any of these unnecessary disasters happen to you and your work. Observe excellent housekeeping habits with your work at all times. Be finicky and save multiple copies of your work after each session.

Work out a system of labeling each file and stick to it. Do your spring cleaning and erase all the old versions after the product ships (though you might want to save some alternative efforts in a personal or departmental "junkyard" for future reference).

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