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Going Overboard. Who Should Read This Book. How This Book Has Been Written. What You Will Need. Contacting Me.
What is Photoshop, Anyway? When to Use Photoshop. What's New in this Version? Setting Up Photoshop Before Work Begins. Some Resolutions are Worth Keeping. File Sizes. Color Modes. Format for all Occasions. Creating New Images and Opening Existing Ones. Mommy, Where Do Images Come From? Summary.
Before We Paint: Understanding Associated Painting Palettes. Brushes Sizes: More than What You See. Now We Can Start To Paint. Lines and Shapes. Applying Color. The “Manipulation” Painting Tools. A Historical Perspective. Summary.
Getting Up to Speed: Making Simple Selections. A Walk-Through Example. When Standard Tools Won't Do the Job. Being More Specific: Adjusting Selections. The Modify Commands. Other Fun Things in the Selection Menu. Quick Sample: Using Guides for Selections. Working with Channels Part One: Selections. Putting It All Together—Cool Things You Can Do with Selections and Channels. The Crop Tool. Summary.
Creating Paths. Creating Paths with the Pen Tool. Creating Curved Paths. Working with Straight Lines and Curves. Creating Paths from Selections. A Quick Guide to Other Path Functions. Summary.
Working With Layers—A Quick Intro. Copying, Cutting, and Pasting Items. Moving Items and Linking Layers. Aligning and Distributing Images in Layers. Transforming Objects. Working with Text and Text Layers. Making Quick Selections and Finding Items in Layers. Merging and Flattening Layers. Layer Effects: The Lazy Man's Guide to Design. Designing with Layer Masks. Summary.
Reasons Why…. Downloading the Images. Real Life Examples. Channels Part 2: Color. Blend Modes. It Ain't Easy Being Green (In a CMYK World): A Few Random Thoughts About Color. Summary.
One Program, So Many Projects. Resolution Issues. What Resolutions to Use. Printed Pieces. Digital Design. Web Sites. CD-ROM and DVD Interface Design. Summary.
The Actions Palette. Filters: The Muscle Behind the Brains. Cool Effects. Textures. Text Effects. Creating a Collage. Summary.
A Description of Each Effect. New Layer Effects in Version 6.0. Layer Effect Functionality. Some Last, Rambling, General Layer Effects Info.
I distinctly remember the week when I realized that I had been spending way too much time working in Photoshop. It started one particularly early morning, around 5:00 a.m. I usually never wake up that earlyI'm much more of a nighttime kinda guybut I think I had a meeting or something so I had to be at the office earlier than usual. So, still half asleep, I drag myself out of bed and stumble into the bathroom, banging into a few walls on my way. I remember standing in front of my mirror to brush my teeth, and being confused for a second as I looked around my countertop. Where had I put that Magic Wand, so I could make a selection of my teeth? And then how would I be able to access the Level command so that I could make them whiter? Oh, right. This is the real world, not Photoshop. And in the real world, we use brushes and toothpaste to whiten our teeth, not selection tools and color adjustment devices.
Twenty minutes later, when I cut myself shaving and immediately looked up and to my left to see if I could find the Undo command, I knew that I needed a break from designing.
That break never came, of course. I could have forced myself to take one, I suppose, but I really didn't want to. Photoshop is just one of those programs that is too much fun to play with to ever really put away. Unlike your average Sega game that you eventually conquer, pass on to a friend, or just toss in a closet, Photoshop never gets boring. It turns work time into playtime, and makes hours fly by faster than Ben Johnson before the drug test. And the best part about it is that for as much fun as it is, and as much of a game as it can be to try to figure out the best way to do certain things...you can never really win. Any piece that you do can always be improved, any amount of talent can always be heightened. Photoshop gives the design worldprint, Web, CD interface, etc.to you, and say "do what you can." It's your job to figure out what to do with it.
It's my job to help show you how to get it done.
Considering I earn a commission on each book sold, my natural belief is that this book should be read by everybody. Twice. We should have missionaries wandering to the most remote parts of the jungles, teaching even the gorillas the principals of good Photoshop technique. And each one should buy a book.
That's the way the world works in my personal fantasy land (the same land where I win the Pulitzer for my outstanding work in Photoshop 6 Primerbut that's another fantasy altogether). In the real world, not everyone needs to read this book. And not everyone should read this book. Basically, this book is for you if you fall into one of the following categories:
If you fall into one of those categories, then this book is for you. I tried to start each chapter with some basic info to get beginning users up to speed quickly, and enough advanced information to ensure that experienced users learn new things as well.
For everything that this book is, it is certainly not the "everything you never really wanted to know about Photoshop" book that you might expect. Instead, it's a clear, to-the-point text that that doesn't bother with the boring stuff that you don't really need to know. For example, the section about file types gives you what you need to choose a proper file type for your images, but stops short of explaining how a JPEG image is built or how color palettes are indexed. I know you want to get into the creation process as quickly as possible, so aside from my witty interjections, most of the fluff, or "fat" if you will, has been trimmed out.
It is not necessary for you to read this book in a linear fashionin fact, I'd recommend jumping around from section to section. If possible, try to read this book at your computer. There are a lot of follow-along examples for each topic, and practicing while you read is the best way to learn.
Another thing that you may notice as you read is that most all references, including screen shots, are taken off the Macintosh version of Photoshop. When I give an example and include a keyboard command, the command configuration will be for Macintosh, and the equivalent Windows command will follow in parentheses.
In Web Photoshop 5 To Go, I recommended having at least 32 megs of RAM in your computer. Good luck with that.
Photoshop 6 has pushed the term "RAM hog" to new heights. Because of some of the additions and changes, you'll need far more than 32 megs to get anywhere with this program. On my Mac, I allocate 80 megs just to Photoshop alone, and sometimes that wasn't enough.
I recommend you have at least 128 megs installed and either a G3 or Pentium II system at the very least. I'm not going to tell you whether to use a Mac or a PC. I'm not that suicidal, and I've written this book for fans of both.
Of course, you should also have a copy of Photoshop 6 lying around, but it's not crucial. You can read this book on a plane or in a waiting room and still get a lot out of it. But, because of some of the radical changes that were made in version 6.0, you probably won't do too well if you are still working on version 5.5, so go and get the upgrade.
You also need a browser. I'd recommend IE 4.0 or higher, but for the purposes of this book any browser will be fine.Contacting Me
I am an everyday person, and although proper etiquette and political correctness mandates that I say something like, "I really look forward to all of you contacting me, and I've been simply overjoyed with all the people who called me and sent me letters from my last books," I can't say that with a straight face. The truth is, I don't mind when someone contacts me--it's kind of cool, especially when I get a letter telling me how much you've learned from my books. That's awesome. Even if you write to tell me that you didn't like my books, and you make your case for why you didn't like it, that's cool too. And I'll always respond. So if you have any questions, or comments, or want to show me some of the work that you've done using some of the techniques that I've written, then please, contact away! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, that is not an open invitation to contact me regularly (like the guy in Canada who called here once a week for months at a time), or to write in telling me about the typo on page 92. And it's definitely, definitely, definitely not an invitation for anyone to come up to me in an airport, invade the "stranger space" (what I typically refer to as the two-foot radius of space around me that strangers should keep outside of), and feel that because I've written Photoshop books, I must want nothing more than to talk about graphic design and stuff during the five-hour trip from Newark to Paris. I don't care if your son did get a lot out of my book, sir, I just want to sleep.
Ah, fame. Tiger and I have often been caught talking about the price of it.
Lastly, it's time for me to make my standard plea, which has become a tradition in my books: my printed serenade to Katie Couric. To recap recent history (I've also recapped this in Web Photoshop 6 Primer), my very first book had a brief mention of how I had an "enormous crush" on said newscaster. To which she replied, "get in line," when a friend of a friend had her sign my book.
But it hasn't deterred me. So, Katie, if you're reading this book (and why wouldn't you be? There's nothing like a good passage about Layer Masking to put you to sleep at night), I'm a nice, cute, single guy (who's really not obsessed or insane--I'm just having fun writing). But if it's not meant to be, then I guess I'll have no choice but to take extreme measures: give up on you completely, and pursue my other enormous crush, Lynda Carter.