Photoshop Snippets

October 26, 2017



These are just raw notes on Photoshop. They aren’t necessarily organized in any specific way, this is more of a board to place things I learn about the program. I used to have these unorganized within the notes app on my phone, but by placing them here I hope that someone else can use them too. If you have any questions on the notes or a question on a particular snippet feel free to reach out to me using the form at the bottom of this page.

Resampling Quality Types

Nearest Neighbor: This setting is the most basic interpolation mode and seeks to preserve the hard edges in an image by simply enlarging or reducing the pixel data as mentioned above. This may be good if your image doesn’t contain many gradients but will produce an over-aliased, pixelated image if you are significantly changing the size.

Bilinear: Slightly more intelligent than Nearest Neighbor and uses a weighted average of the 4 nearest pixels to increase the number of pixels. This method produces an anti-aliasing effect which eliminates harsh pixelated edges but can produce a blurry image as a result.

Bicubic: Bicubic is the most complicated method and samples from the nearest 16 pixels. As with bilinear, this method results in anti-aliasing to keep out any unwanted artifacts.

Bicubic Smoother: Best for enlargement

Bicubic Sharpener: Best for reduction

Put a ~ in front of a plug in folder to have it be ignored

File-automate-crop and straighten for multiple photos in one image

By reducing the blues and purples, the reds, greens, and yellows are less intense

Command Y to view in CMYK or what it will look like when printed

0-255 colors per channel 3 channels total makes 16.7 million color possibilities (8 bits per channel) 16 bits would be 281.4 trillion

Use higher bits per channel to make alot of changes then change back to 8 bit, data lost/changed cannot be detected by the human eye

Image with 32 bit per channel is considered HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Select group of images in bridge–> output; to create a pdf/web gallery of multiple images

Tools–>photoshop–>image processor to convert multiple files to jpeg, tiff, or psd

Camera Raw

Holding down shift and double clicking an image bypasses the camera raw dialog box

Change all images in camera raw to 16 bits per channel by clickng the blue text at the bottom BUT REMEMBER to change the image back to 8 bits while in Ps otherwise every image following that will be in 16 bits

When changing image size in camera raw the options with a + next to them will make it larger and the ones with a – will make the image smaller

Recovery slider looks for color detail in extreme highlights and brings them back in play (recover blown out areas)

Fill light slider lightens the shadows in the photo works when background is much darker than foreground or vice versa

Brightness slider reduces contrast and should be user after adjusting exposure and blacks

Contrast slider makes dark midtones darker and light midtones lighter

Clarity slider reduces hazy or dull images to make the colors pop

Vibrance slider is like clarity slider except it only saturates the areas that are less saturated, not the entire image

Saturation slider increases or decreases how much colors pop

The three sliders on the graph in parametic curve should be even throughout the histogram

Move from bottom to top with parametic sliders, usually –

For points on the curves histogram choose strong contrast

Adjustment brush density=opacity

When adding grain in camera raw it is more heavily applied to areas that are out of focus, roughness adds contrast between the grains

Highlights slider in vignette pulls highlights out of the darker areas to create depth

Chromatic aberration is a color fringe usually found around highlights

You can get rid of a vignette created by the camera by using the settings under the lens correction tab

The higher the iso (sensitivity) setting on the camera, the more noise

Noise reduction:

Sharpening radius is bigger for more detailed images

Selections layers & channels:

‘grow’ expands selection adjacent based on color

‘similar’ expands selection using the entire image, not just adjacent

Red overlay=rubylith

Anti alias creates a smoother-edged selection

In color range fuzziness is the same as tolerance

Use the eraser tool to add or subtract to the quick mask mode selection

In refine edge- use lower radius if the selection is close to the edge

In refine edge-check decontaminate colors to reduce halos

Blending Modes

When using color blending modes add a levels layer afterwards to make it look better

Vector and text layers can not be adjusted by using image –> adjustments tab, they can only be adjusted by placing a fill or adjustments layer in the layer panel

Adjustment layers change the lightness or color of the image

Use global light makes all the lighting settings the same

Anti aliased = softer edges

Layer knocks out drop shadow keeps the drop shadow from being seen through a transparent layer

Jitter randomizes the colors for a gradient glow

Right click create layers to change a layer effect into its own layer

A selection can’t be used to create a vector mask and a path can’t be used to create a pixel mask

To change a mask to a selection choose load selection from mask in the mask option menu

Color is based on the mix of channels, thats why ehen only one channel is viewed it is displayed in greyscale

Constant option in channel mixer to the right adds more white, to the left more black

Channel mixer is the correct way to change an image to black and white

To swap color channels in the channel mixer (for example) red chanel set red to 0% and blue to 100% then go to blue channel and set blue to 0% and red to 100%

Use individual channels to create higher contrast for better selections

Alpha channel doesn’t contain color content, but has information on how to process the data (transparency information)

When you link a layer mask to layer, the layer mask appears in the channels panel

Trapping is when you create small overlaps between adjacent colors in an image (used with spot colors)

Workflow: straighten, lighting, color, healing tools, effects, targeted lighting, targeted color, effects, reduce noise, sharpen

Option click on auto in adjustments panel to bring up auto dialog box

A neutral color is when the sliders of RGB are all the same

You can save a preset of an adjustments layer for later use

Use contrast and brightness when working with 8 bit and 16 bit, and exposure when working with HDR

Underexposure increase brightness then increase contrast, overexposure decrease brightness and increase contrast

In exposure tool, offset lightens darker pixels when adjusted up, gamma correction lightens or darkens the image based on gamma value

Exposure tool – use eyedroppers first then adjust exposure so that as much detail is possible (image may be faded) then adjust offset in opposite direction of exposure and then use gamma correction to make image look better

Use color balance to fix images that are dominated by one tone


Use match color to take the color scheme from one image and use it in another

Use the exposure tool to fix lighting problems in images

Use the photo effects adjustment to simulate the effects of lens filters

The curves adjustment is useful in restoring detail to images

Adjust individual color channels to makes colors pop without effecting other colors

Replace one color with another to change the look of a photo

Sharpen edges is more aggressive in areas with higher contrast

In unsharp mask, for amount, a greater value makes a more dramatic sharpening, for threshold use a value between 4 & 20

Gaussian blur is an all around smooth blur

Box blur gives an edgy blur

Shape blur is like box blur but can use other shapes

Surface blur leaves the edges of an object nice and crisp

Create an alpha channel and use it for the depth map under lens blur

To create an alpha channel make a selection and click the save selection as channel button in the channels panel

Two types of noise-color(chroma, don’t match the image color, more apparent when zoomed in) & luminance (bright grey pixels, sometimes grainy images and halos)

Median filter cleans up noise, but if used too much can cause loss of detail

Three types of painting tools:

Hold down shift while on a painting tool, click once somewhere, and click again somewhere else and it will create  a straight line between the two points

Difference between brush and pencil tool is the brush tool has anti-aliased strokes

Blur tool effects the actual pixels, smudge tool samples the base pixels and applies more pixels on top

Shift + enter creates a new line,  just enter creates a new paragraph

Command H hides/shows guidelines and editing aids

You can change the type from horizontal to vertical by right clicking the text layer and selecting vertical

Best bet, use metrics kerning in the type menu

In the open type menu select fractions to make ex.  “1/2” smaller

Type menu select no break is the same as no hyphenation

Type menu select reset to make the text back to default

Use perspective under warp options to fix tilted buildings or tall leaning objects (hold command + option and drag the anchors)

Puppet Warp

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