Photoshop 911 FAQ and Short tips
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- [6.1] Pesky Webmaster
- [6.2] Screen behind type
- [6.3] Image In type
- [6.4] Blending Images into Montage
- [6.5] Reviving the last settings
- [6.6] Inserting Faces, Matching look
- [6.7] Poloriod Rescue
- [6.8] Dotted Lines
- [6.9] Trouble Saving Big Files
- Pesky Webmaster
- Symptoms: "I take digital images with a nikon coolpix 5700 for submission to a website. I like to edit these images before sending them to the webmaster on cd. Editing sometimes includes cropping. However, webmaster likes to work with original images as sized by my camera and does not like to work with my cropped images. Is there a simple way in photoshop for me to take my cropped image and restore it to the exact size as recorded originally by my camera so that the webmaster will never know the difference? Many thanks!"
Diagnosis: John, repeat after me: "I am the boss. The webmaster works for me!" Now, doesn't that feel better? Seriously, believe me I'm a pesky webmaster and a pesky client -- and there is a civil answer to this dilemma. Submit your photos raw, right out of the camera, but ALSO include a smaller, CROPPED version with your instructions that you would like to have the image cropped as you've indicated. That should please you both.
I sympathize with the webmaster because as a webmaster myself, I know tricks my clients don't for getting a good image to the web. Very few clients have ever submitted web-ready photos. On the other hand, as a 30+ year designer and art director, I generally know exactly how the image should be cropped for presentation -- something few webmasters know. So in cases where I'm supplying raw photos, I will send along the crop with my instructions. Whether you're nice, or assertive about it is up to you, but always remember: the one paying the bill is the BOSS. And the BOSS is usually right unless persuaded otherwise! (Grin)
- Screen behind type
- Symptoms: "I want to put a screened photo as a background for type. Thanks"
Diagnosis: Best to do this with a simple white layer. With the background visible, tap "T" (to initiate the Text tool) then create a type layer by keying in the type you need. Utilize font, size and Paragraph settings until your type is the way it will appear.
Activate the layer where your background image resides in the layers palette. Click the "New Layer" button in the Layers Palette (Next to trash can). Now tap "M" (loading the Marquee tool) and drag a box to designate the "screened" area which will be the background for the type. Tap "D" to return to "default" colors then Control/Delete to fill the selected box with white. (Command/Delete on Mac)
Now simply use the Opacity slider for the layer to adjust the degree of "screening" you need. There are lots of other ways to do this, but this is the most direct.
- Image In type
- Symptoms: "I'd like to put a photo image into type. How do you do that?"
Diagnosis: There are a number of ways to do this. The easiest way to do it is using the "Paste Into" command:
Tap "T" (to initiate the Text tools) then create a type layer by keying in the type to your desire. For this technique you'll want some large, heavy, chunky type.
When the type is the way you want it, proceed to the image you want inside the letters, choose Select Menu All (Cmd/A, Ctrl/A) and then Edit Menu > Copy (Cmd/C, Ctrl/C). Now return to the file with your type and Cmd-Click (Ctrl-Click) the type layer and immediately choose Edit Menu > Paste Into (Cmd-Shift/V, Ctrl-Shift/V) -- you will see a new layer mask automatically generated which reveals the image through the text you created. An interesting twist on this is (with the new layer thumbnail selected) tap "V" (activating the Move tool) and you can move the pasted image around within the type.
- Blending Images into Montage
- Symptoms: "I was wondering how you blend two layers using the gradient tool. I have a picture seperate pictures that I want one to end and the other begin sort of like when you pict two different colors in the gradient tool. I tried using the blend option under layer properties but that does not have the gradient effect. Please help Woody"
Diagnosis: Right church, wrong pew. You got the right idea with gradients, but use them with a layer mask!
First, stack the photos you want in layers, in the order they're to appear. To position them, set the opacity very low temporarily while you get them into position. Now, activate the layer of the first image to be blended, then click on the layer mask button at the bottom of the layers palette. (2nd from left) A Layer Mask icon will appear to the right of the image thumbnail on its layer. Now set colors to default (tap "D") and grab the Gradient tool (tap "G"). In the Options bar click the gradient fly-out button (triangle next to sample chip), and make sure the gradient is set to Background-to-Foreground. Now click and drag making sure not to drag outside of the image. Magically your blend will appear. If you don't like it, try again.
Remember that anything that is BLACK on the mask will be "masked" and anything that is WHITE will be "transparant" or not masked. So if you need to fine-tune your blends, grab a large, soft-edged brush (tap "B") and paint away.
- Reviving the last settings
- Symptoms: "I get batches of photos from clients and usually each will require the same or very similar color adjustments. I'm really getting tired of setting the same settings. Is there a way to avoid this?"
Diagnosis: Sure, use the Option key. Open the files (memory permitting) and then adjust the first one to the way it should be. Now when starting on the next image just hold the Option/Alt key when you choose any of the adjustments dialogs. It works with the key stroke shortcuts for the adjustments too, just add the Option/Alt key.
- Inserting Faces, Matching look
- Symptoms: "I have been attempting to insert images of faces from scanned photographs into copies of black and white photographs scanned from a "coffee table" style art book as a gag wedding gift for a relative. I am having a lot of difficulty trying to match the contrast of the scans with each other and I can't figure out a way to try to duplicate the newsprint dot pattern that exists in the images scanned from the book vs. the faces I am atempting to overlay that were scanned from film. Adding grain via photoshop isn't really cutting it. (I am trying to place the faces of my relatives into pictures of Elvis Presly and his entourage). P.S. - is this an appropraite forum for this type of question? Thanks."
Diagnosis: Gosh, Jeff... you wouldn't want to give me an easy one, would you! (grinning) Wow, this is a tough one -- specially without having all the images here to decide on a plan.
Based on what you've told me, you have two choices: 1) Scan the halftone very large, and through blurring and reducing convert it to continuous tone -- convert the photos to grayscale and match the faces into the bodies, THEN convert back to the halftone look. Or 2) Utilize the scanned halftone as-is, but then convert the photos to grayscale, size them appropriately and then PRINT them to halftones, and scan them back in for insertion into the original halftone "Elvis" shot.
Either way it's going to be a tough nut to crack. You can get perfect results, but you'll have to work at it using trial and error. Did you consider making it a real "parody" by just putting the COLOR faces on the black & white bodies for a novelty shot?
- Poloriod Rescue
- Symptoms: "I have several poloroid photos that are the only photos in exsistance of my husbands grandmother. I would dearly love to be able to improve (if only a little) the quality of these irreplaceble photos. Are they hopeless/helpless? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you..."
Diagnosis: This is the type of question that really can't be answered here. However, I can point you in the right direction. First you've got to get those Poloroids scanned. Even if you have a scanner, to get the very best results, you may want to seek help in your local computer club, or any convenient photo/camera store that offers digital photo services. Our local store here would scan the images, and make the necessary corrections in minutes, while you wait, for just a couple of dollars. If you want to tackle the job yourself, then bring them home on a CD and go to work. Poloroids have a tendency to be pasty, low contrast and not very sharp. Make sure you get large scans. Then you'll want to start with the brightness and contrast controls. In many cases, the "Auto" color, contrast, focus and levels commands will probably get you close. Above all, utilize the "Help" menu in the software. You will be amazed at how well organized and written Element's help is.
- Dotted Lines
- Symptoms: "I would like to create simple vertical and horizontal lines made up of dots (would like to try different sizes - have tried a few long-winded ways of doing this, but feel sure there is a simpler method! Please help... Many thanks"
Diagnosis: Sure, use typography!
set the text tool to where you think the dots will work for you then type a series of periods. If you don't like size or spacing, just change the settings. Different font sizes will render different size dots, and different character spacing will render distances between dots. Once it's the way you want it, make a copy, and rotate once for the vertical version. You don't need to use the "size" for type once you have the look... use Edit > Free Transform to scale up or down. Remember too, you can use the Free Transform mode to affect other variations as well.
- Trouble Saving Big Files
- Symptoms: "Since we have upgraded to version 7 of Photoshop , we have not been able to save large files (>150mb) to a jpg format. No problems in Version 5."
Diagnosis: PS 7 takes a much larger chunk of memory than any version in the past. This directly affects the ceiling of file saves. When planning to work on a larger file, trim Photoshop's memory usage as slim as you can. This begins with the History states -- Photoshop will default to 20 states. This means it is saving the last 20 "states" that the file was in, or the last 20 operations conducted. This can be huge! Turn those settings down to one or two States. If it's a complicated file, flatten or merge down some of the more complicated layers with effects. Layer effects can also take a huge toll on memory. Also if you have live typography with a lot of styles applied, you'll want to rasterize that type. Sometimes it helps to do a "Save As..." and generate a new .psd file, quit the program, and then open the new file before attempting the save. When all else fails, add memory.
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