Photoshop & the Visual Communications Makeover

dekePod Episode 017: If I were you, I wouldn't necessarily want to hear this story. There's an "ick" factor to it. Because it involves me in an airplane. Which is never all that fun. But, okay, that's not the icky part.

The icky part, it's about me in a bathroom. And I, then, well . . .

Okay, screw it, here goes:

I'm in an airplane and I have to pee. Quite a bit actually. And I'm drumming my fingers, waiting for the "stay buckled" light to dim. You know, that one next to the "don't smoke" light (which is forever lit, poor smokers), the one that goes off only after the flight attendant has been doing cartwheels in the aisles for 20 minutes.

Anyway, in the eventual passing of time--after feeling the sands of the hourglass dart like 10,000 needles into the tender walls of my bladder--I am finally allowed to unfold my cramping torso and make my way to the bathroom. And as I pee, I'm standing there staring at a laminated sign. And my thoughts turn to--of all people--you. (Ha, I told you! There's the icky part!) Here's why:

Signs are our friends. They help us observe the rules when we actually need to know the rules. We don’t all speak English, and tourism is a huge industry, so signs need to be language-independent. This is why immediately identifiable symbols are such an essential ingredient to good visual design, and indecipherable symbols result in commercial art catastrophes. Just think of all the bad symbols you encounter on a regular basis: Computer icons! Laundry instructions! Or Deke’s favorite: What you shouldn’t throw into an airplane toilet! Learn what works and what really, really doesn’t in this laugh-out-loud episode of dekePod.

I swear to you, I looked at this sign, and I knew: While you wouldn't want to see me--not right at that very second, anyway--you'd want to see it. (The sign. That it.)

Seriously, this is a special one. Save it for later (hell, show it to the grandkids!) by exploring one of these links:

  • For a high-quality QuickTime movie, right-click here and choose Save Target or Download Link or the equivalent.
     
  • For an M4V file that you can play on an iPod, right-click here and choose one of those same commands.
     
  • Or you can subscribe to dekePod via RSS or iTunes.

You can also check out the page at my book publisher O'Reilly Media.

Toward the end of the video, I believe I say something like: "The full-resolution, annotated, layered file is available as a free download to members of deke.com." If you're actually interested in such a thing, lemme know and I'll post it this weekend. Like a cartwheeling flight attendant, I live to serve.

Now if you'll excuse me, I seriously gotta go.

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Comments

Hi Everyone

It's a glove! :o)

Off the topic, yet intriguing

I just wanted to get a pixel count of a large image that I was working on, so I hit Ctrl+A and glanced at the histogram palette. To my surprise I found out that Histogram palette only shows 6 digit numbers for a number of selected pixels. Basically, any selection that is over 1 megapixel doesn't get counted as it should. Is there a way to count more than million pixels using a selection tool? Also, how are the soft selections counted? Is it only over 50% opacity that gets counted? -iVan Happy, happy, joy, joy! __________________________________________________

Figured it out!

Turns out I have to hit the update button in the top right corner of the histogram in order for 'shop to calculate larger numbers. Also, further experimentation showed that 50% visible selections count 100%. But 49% visible selections have 0% count. Live and learn. I think I should give myself a day before I post another question. -iVan Happy, happy, joy, joy! __________________________________________________

The Cache Levels option

is an interesting creature. (Ctrl+K, Ctrl+4 or Cmd-K, Cmd-4.) It affects far more than you think it should. And frankly, it's a tweaky option that should be addressed differently. I appreciate the need for accelerating histogram displays (and much else luminance related), but forcing you to update the histogram to discover the number of selected pixels is a flaw. This also is an interesting Martini Hour 1-888-dek-epod question--just what are Cache Levels and what in the hell do they do?

That probably means...

...that my calculation of the number of pixels that change as a result of saving file as jpg was also wrong. Cause I used the histogram palette to show the number of pixels selected after applying the difference blend mode between the JPGed and original files, and I never hit refresh. So this time I did again and I did it right. This time with an image I just finished for a local non-profit society*. The number is staggering: in this instance 84.33% of pixels changed as a result of jpg compression (at maximum quality): Langley Int'l Festival! *I changed the slogan and removed relevant advertisement text in the image above - I don't want to be accused of spamming. But I left the logo so as not to be accused of racism either. Never too careful these days :-) -iVan Happy, happy, joy, joy! __________________________________________________

Hi

Just wanted to add a hint I personally think that is not a Diaper rather a Matchbox and i think the hand is basically dropping the handkerchief Big Fan ur my mentor Mutahhar Mustafa Khan www.divinecg.co.nr