Photoshop Top 40, Feature #6: RGB, CMYK, and Lab

Feature #6: RGB, CMYK, and Lab

Color is a wild beast. One that you admire, exalt, and even brood over. But the second you think you have it figured out, it can change on you. It looks different in print, it transforms on the Web. Color cannot be caged and will not be tamed.

Even so, Photoshop tries. It knows you adore color. But it also knows the beast. Photoshop sees color for what is it, a 3D landscape of luminance levels, clawing at each other and competing for your attention.

There is RGB, the creature that is captured. And CMYK, the monster chained and offered to the world. And finally there is Lab, the beast itself. Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #7: Undo, History, and Revert

Feature #7: Undo, History, and Revert

If you're anything like me, you sometimes make mistakes. For example, a few weeks ago, before recording the Photoshop 20th anniversary Martini Hour, I broke my foot falling down a short flight of stairs. Which was fun, because years ago, I had broken the other foot falling down a long flight of stairs. Not to mention the time I busted my teeth on a the bar of a trampoline. Or accidentally yanked a speaker down onto my head and bled so badly I had to replace the couch.

Then there was that time I cautioned a woman not to help a group of us lift a heavy object (it was a car) because she was pregnant (she wasn't). Or the time I called that other woman "Sir." Or when my buddy and I were trash-talking this guy for half an hour---I mean, really laying into what an absolute jerk he was---and then strolled out of my dorm room and found him sitting in a near fetal position by my door. Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #8: The Eyedropper

Feature #8: The Eyedropper

Just as most of us take for granted clean water and fast food, we give little thought to the fact that Photoshop offers an eyedropper. Press the I key to get it. Then click in an image to sample a color and use it elsewhere. The tool is simple, ubiquitous (the target adjustment tool is the most recent derivation), and it's not even an Adobe invention. When Photoshop first set the Macintosh world on fire 20 years ago (three years in advance of the PC version), all 12 of the program's competitors offered some kind of color-dipping "dropper."

But a couple of years later, after Photoshop proved itself the only pixel editor with a future, its eyedropper was virtually the last one standing. And just picture a world without it! Even the most run-of-the-mill JPEG image offers 16.8 million color variations. Imagine the time you would waste if you had to dial in every one of those colors numerically or select it from a science lab-style color field. And as the video shows, lifting a foreground color is merely one of the eyedropper's many abilities.

For those of you tracking the contest, this week's winner is ovityons, who guessed "The eyedropper tool" within 15 minutes of the contest going live. Congratulations, ovityons!

Now it's time to guess Feature #7. Hint: You can't save this trio of functions, but they can save you. (How's that for a riddle?) Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #9: Levels

Feature #9: Levels

Feature #9 is my favorite adjustment command: Levels. Adjusted only slightly since its introduction in Version 1.0, this seminal feature lets you set the black and white points, as well as correct the midtones without harming either. It refrains from clipping colors unless you tell it to. It boasts Photoshop's first on-board histogram. And it works as well in CMYK and Lab as in RGB.

(Well there's another clue for you all.)

We had nearly twice as many entries last week as the week before, with 19 of you correctly guessing Levels or some variation. The winner is earthrat, whose guessed "Using Levels to work." Congrats to earthrat!

Now it's time to guess Feature #8. Hint: It's the ultimate convenience tool. All members have been sent an email invitation with a URL to enter the contest. (No direct URL this time around.) Join dekeOnline now to receive a reminder and an invitation to next week's contest!
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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #10: Color Settings

Feature #10: Color Settings

Hey gang,

The word is out: Feature #10 is Color Settings, Photoshop's command for regulating all things related to color management. It affects every image you create. Color Settings is located under the Edit menu, in case you're wondering.

For those of you tracking the contest, the winner is jude, who guessed "Edit... Color Settings...," which is spot-on.

Fully 25 of you guessed this feature (or something very much like it, as in "color management" or "color profiles," both of which are fundamentally correct). And frankly that amazes me. It means a surprising minority of you are reading my mind with an alarming degree of accuracy.

Which is excellent news. Because now it's time to guess Feature #9. Hint: It takes something bad and makes it good. Click here to take the survey (or skip it if you filled it out last week) and submit your entry! Read more » 

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