Adobe Photoshop Tutorial. Copyright Michael B. Karbo.
With Photoshop version 7.0 comes a completely separate graphic program called ImageReady 7.0. It make sound peculiar, but that’s how Adobe has designed the programs: ImageReady is a web graphic program, which comes with Photoshop.
To web graphic
Figure 82. ImageReady is a separate program, which comes with Photoshop.
It is very easy to open ImageReady from Photoshop. When you have opened a picture, you need to click on the bottom button in the tool box:
That starts ImageReady, and the current picture is read in:
ImageReady can also work independent of Photoshop. You work in a window, where there always are four tabs. It acutally loks like the dialog box ”Save for Web” in Photoshop. The idea is among others that you can test different compression methods and degrees and see their results, before you save the picture. The compression is controlled in the Optimize palette:
Figure 83. The work window in ImageReady has four tabs, and the Optimize palette is very central.
Animations and slicing
You can make animations with ImageReady. Those are GIF format files, which contain multiple pictures that can be shown in sequence – kind of a mini cartoon:
Figure 84. The animations palette in ImageReady.
Another typical web function is slicing. The idea is that you slice a picture, so it is divided into smaller pictures. Amg other things the advantage is that the individual slices can be saved in different file formats and with different compression. In that way a large picture can be optimized to a very small file size, and that is important when you make graphic home pages.
In Figure 85 we have made a front page for a web site. That is a picture occupying 500 x 600 pixels. We use the Slice Tool to divide it in four retangles. The center rectangle is a a colored drawing that need to be saved in JPEG format. The rest of the picture (the other three rectangles) are saved with limited color depth in PNG format. In that way the combined file size can be kept to 23 kilobytes, which is not very much.
ImageReady not only saves the individual slices in separate image file; the program also makes a HTML file, which combines the four slices to a small home page. You can also design buttons and make menus etc. – all in ImageReady; that is really smart.
Figure 85. Using slicing a large picture can be divided into smaller units.
Read much more about slicing etc. in the booklet ”Web graphic – teach yourself”, where you also find a thorough description (with exercises) of animations in ImageReady. We can recommend that.
If you work a lot with Photoshop, you wil also encounter the plug-ins concept. That is typically filters, which are installed as small extra modules in Photoshop. So Plug-ins are program additions.
Plug-ins are small files, which are placed in a certain folder like C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop 7.0\Plug-Ins\Filters. Once the filters are in place, they can be seen and activated with the Filter menu, where you see the filters as the last menu item:
Figure 86. Filters, which are installed as plug-ins (Virtual Painter).
There are numerous plug-ins. Some are in large, commercial program packages. As examples those could be Kai’s Power Tools, Eye Candy or Virtual Painter. These plug-ins can have their own, quite special user interface.
Other filters are more individual, and they have most often the file name suffix .8BF. There are numerous of them on the Internet – often as freeware.
Figure 87. The filter package Virtual Painter from Jasc Software.
You can see examples of pictures that are produced with Virtual Painter on the home page for this booklet.
32. Continue on your own
Now you are going to work on your own with Photoshop and digital pictures. It is our experience that you work with Photoshop can result in a lengthy acquaintance. This program can do so incredibly much that it takes years to learn it all, and you probably never get finished.
If you want to pursue a career as creative picture producer, we recommend that you look for Photoshop knowledge on the net and in professional magazines.
Photoshop has material for many years studies. We still experience finding new functions, which we did not know existed. In that situation we always start experimenting and playing. If the function seems interesting, we look for information in help files, on the net (where there are many good articles) and in thick books. In that way we continually expand our knowledge and abilities.
Remember also to visit Peter G. Christiansen’s online gallery at the address www.pgc-webart.dk.
Function and shortcut keys
Let us conclude by reminding you about the incredible number of ways to work in Photoshop. As an example, there are over 400 different keyboard shortcuts! Here you see the function keys:
Figure 88. The most used function keys.