Photoshop Basics for Artists 2022 - Class/Homework Thread Part I

Here you will find all of the information (appropriate links (including Dropbox folder links for homework), notes, reminders, etc.) for Anthony’s Photoshop 101 (Photoshop Basics for Artists)

NOTE: Please respect the work, rights, and privacy of participating artists. You may view the uploaded homework efforts from the class within the Dropbox folder, but you may not download or manipulate their work in any way. Anya and I will be downloading uploaded homework or classwork images when needed/appropriate, but we will never share anyone’s images outside of the class without express permission from the author. All files in the Drobox folders will be deleted at the end of the course. In addition, please know that classes will not be recorded to respect each participant’s learning experience.

If there are files required for the week’s homework, then they will be available in a folder called “WeekX_Resources” in the appropriate week’s folder. You will need to download to files in this folder to complete the week’s homework. However, please be sure not to remove or add anything to this folder.

WEEK ONE:

Select fundamental concepts about digital images and related Photoshop image management.
The resources folder for this weel will contain one large example image file for personal homework use if you do not have a large file of your own. This will be addressed in class.

DROPBOX FOLDER LINK:

Today we discussed several fundamental aspects of digital imaging. We covered the pixel, the dot, ppi, dpi, resolution, image size, image quality (compression), file size, megapixel, megabyte, and file formats (psd, tiff, jpeg, png, gif, raw, cr2.)

Some definitions we used:

  • MP (Megapixels)
    A pixel is a smallest possible element of a digital picture. A megapixel is 1 million pixels. A pixel is not necessarily a square, though for ease of use most photo imaging software suites will render them as such; it is more easily referenced to as a measurement of area.

  • Resolution
    This is the number of pixels in height and width across a screen or digital image. For example, an image with a resolution of 1024 x 768 would have 786,432 pixels or 0.8 megapixels (rounded up).

  • PPI (Pixels Per Inch)
    Pixels per inch is the density of pixels over a 1 inch area. You can determine the PPI of a device by taking the resolution and dividing it by the physical width and height of the device. 300 PPI is generally the highest aimed-for density, as the human eye cannot tell the difference in image quality beyond that. Displays generally use subpixels of RGB color to generate actual pixels.

  • DPI (Dots Per Inch)
    In terms of physical printed images, dots per inch is the density of individual ink dots that a printer is able to generate. In comparative terms to PPI, you can’t compare the two. DPI is for printed photos, and PPI is for digital displays. In terms of conversion from resolution, a printer can treat pixels as dots and in such case a higher DPI setting would result in higher quality but also in a smaller picture. Although a printer may say “Can Print up to 2400 DPI,” that doesn’t mean that you’ll actually ever print anything with that high of a density.

We also discussed two common ppi settings relative to our focus: 72ppi and 300ppi.

In general, 300ppi at the original size is considered minimum to reproduce the photograph well at the size of the original.”— A passage from the Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative’s Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials.

Keep in mind how many of these concepts are tied together. One example given today was “a 1 megapixel image (approx. 1 million pixels) taken with a DSLR camera with a 2:3 aspect ratio would be 1200x900 pixels.”

HOMEWORK: Due in Dropbox by Oct. 12th

Scenario (please read carefully!!!): A popular gallery contacts you for a “high-res jpeg” image of one of your artworks for use in an upcoming feature in a magazine. In addition, they would like to add the image to their website. Their IT person is pretty busy as the moment and asked if you could make a second image ready for website upload. They request “a smaller version with a height ranging anywhere from 700 to 1000px.”

Please put the two files you would send to the gallery in this week’s Dropbox folder. Each “correct” file submitted in time is worth 1 point.

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Homework submission for Week 1 is now closed.

NOTE: * No homework will be accepted beyond the deadline date without significant score penalty (specifically after 12pm on deadline date.)*

Great job everyone! Most errors were very minor. Easy fixes!

Scores for this week are listed below (by initials.)
A maximum score of 2 points was available this week.:

GM: 2
SS: 1
AA: 1.5
LP: 1.25
DDC: 2
JC: 1.25
LS: 1.5
JM: 1.25
MB: 1
NF: 2
RM: 2
SSh: 1
ES: 1
SB: 1
WK: 1.5

All results will be explained during the intro recap for Week 2 (Thurs., 10/13, 2 PM EST.)

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Here you will find all of the information (appropriate links (including Dropbox folder links for homework), notes, reminders, etc.) for Photoshop 101 (Photoshop Basics for Artists) Week Two.

NOTE: Please respect the work, rights, and privacy of participating artists. You may view the uploaded homework efforts from the class within the Dropbox folder, but you may not download or manipulate their work in any way. Anya and I will be downloading uploaded homework or classwork images when needed/appropriate, but we will never share anyone’s images outside of the class without express permission from the author. All files in the Drobox folders will be deleted at the end of the course. In addition, please know that classes will not be recorded to respect each participant’s learning experience.

If there are files required for the week’s homework, then they will be available in a folder called “WeekX_Resources” in the appropriate week’s folder. You will need to download to files in this folder to complete the week’s homework. However, please be sure not to remove or add anything to this folder.

Today we discussed the homework from Week 1, the new file format WebP, why a jpeg’s file size is larger when opened in Photoshop, file naming, goals and controls (e.g., Save As/Export), the Helmholtz–Kohlrausch effect, Color Modes (RGB, CMYK, and Grayscale,) Image Resampling, and Color Bit Depth (8, 16, and 24 bit.)

As to file naming: Moving forward, images should have the following format (where fields are appropriate):

Name_Title_Size-in-inches (height first)_Medium (if applicable)_Price (if applicable)_SMALL/MED/LARGE-or-PPI

Some definitions we used:

  • Image Size Resample
    This is an option in the image sizing window that, when checked, allows the changing of the actual number of pixels in the image.

  • Color Mode
    Color modes or image modes are the basis for the representation of a pixel’s color value. These modes determine how an image will be represented on screen or in print. For instance, use CMYK color mode for images in a full-color print brochure, and use RGB color mode for images in web or e-mail to reduce file size while maintaining color integrity.

Different color modes:

1. RGB mode ((Red-Green-Blue) This is a universal mode which your desktop and camera use. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue so it manages colors via configurations/combinations of red, green, and blue. This mode has the largest gamut of the modes we discussed.
2. CMYK mode ((Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black) The next most common mode. This mode manages color in a way that is conducive to common printing processes. This mode has a smaller gamut than RGB as print media may not be able to “hit” all the colors that your computer displays can.
Fun Fact: The K in CMYK is known as the Key, because it’s the key plate that prints all the detail in a printed image. In printing, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow plates are properly aligned with the Key plate.
3. Grayscale mode This is the most basic mode, consisting of a single channel that maps values to grays, from black to white.

WHEN CHANGING MODES:

You can change an image from its original mode (source mode) to a different mode (target mode) by going to IMAGE>MODE. Keep in mind that when you choose a different color mode for an image, you permanently change the color values in the image. For example, when you convert an RGB image to CMYK mode, RGB color values outside the CMYK gamut are adjusted to fall within gamut. As a result, some image data may be lost and can’t be recovered if you convert the image from CMYK back to RGB.

TIP: Before converting images, it’s best to do the following:

• Do as much editing as possible in the original image mode.
• Save a backup copy before converting. Be sure to save a copy of your image that includes all layers so that you can edit the original version of the image after the conversion.
• Flatten the file before converting it as the interaction of colors between layer blending modes changes when the mode changes. (We will get to this next week!)

  • Color Bit Depth
    Bit depth quantifies how many unique colors are available in an image’s color palette in terms of the number of 0’s and 1’s, or “bits,” which are used to specify each color. This does not mean that the image necessarily uses all of these colors, but that it can instead specify colors with that level of precision. For a grayscale image, the bit depth quantifies how many unique values are available. Images with higher bit depths can encode more shades or colors since there are more combinations of 0’s and 1’s available.

Every color pixel in a digital image is created through some combination of the three primary colors: red, green, and blue. Each primary color is often referred to as a “color channel” and can have any range of intensity values specified by its bit depth. The bit depth for each primary color is termed the “bits per channel.” The “bits per pixel” (bpp) refers to the sum of the bits in all three color channels and represents the total colors available at each pixel. Confusion arises frequently with color images because it may be unclear whether a posted number refers to the bits per pixel or bits per channel. Using “bpp” as a suffix helps distinguish these two terms.

image

Most color images from digital cameras have 8-bits per channel and so they can use a total of eight 0’s and 1’s. This allows for 28 or 256 different combinations—translating into 256 different intensity values for each primary color. When all three primary colors are combined at each pixel, this allows for as many as 28*3 or 16,777,216 different colors, or “true color.” This is referred to as 24 bits per pixel since each pixel is composed of three 8-bit color channels. The number of colors available for any X-bit image is just 2X if X refers to the bits per pixel and 23X if X refers to the bits per channel.

TIP: The available bit depth settings depend on the file type. Standard JPEG and TIFF files can only use 8-bits and 16-bits per channel, respectively.

HOMEWORK: Due in Dropbox by Wednesday Oct. 19th, 12pm EST

Homework: Locate a “high-res” color version of a favorite masterwork online and save it to your desktop. Using that file, generate two grayscale versions—one should be an “unweighted” desaturation and the other, a curated, weighted version that you feel best compensates for the loss of what hue and chroma (saturation) contributions. Upload both to the homework folder as “high quality” jpegs in the ballpark of 200ppi@5x7. This is worth 4 points!!!

Bonus Scenario: You have been invited to participate in an upcoming book that explores how artists might reinterpret the value structure of their own color paintings, drawings or photographs if they were limited to grayscale. The publishers request 2 images of a single work, one with a simple unweighted desaturation, and one with an artist-curated, weighted desaturation. Both files should be print-ready, high-res (300ppi@8x10inches) but small enough to be sent via email. Please upload the two files you would send, formatted and appropriately labeled to this week’s homework folder. This bonus is with 2 points!!!

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Very informative session. I tried increasing to 16 bit but found the file size doubled (and would NOT email per Anthony’s instructions) and also that printers prefer it 8 bit so I retained mine at 8. It was interesting to jump ahead and read on my own that when using Camera Raw it will shoot in a higher bit, giving you leverage to edge down as needed. I look forward to hearing more about this. Understanding 8-Bit vs 16-Bit Photos for Beginners.

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Hi Omg I don’t know why I am having issues with getting the saved image on my desktop to open in Photoshop…Help?

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Oh no! What kind of error are you getting when you try and open it? And how are you trying to open it?

it says “could not complete your request because it is not the right kind of document”

I have it saved on my desktop and then in photoshop try grabbing it

Ok, if you “opposite” click on the file on your desktop, you should see in the pop up menu a “properties” option. Click on that. You should then be able to see a “File Type” field. What does the File Type field say?

it says Webp

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There’s the issue. While the latest (or upcoming) version of PS is said to open WebP, any previous or current version can’t open it. Mine can’t open them yet either. I’m sorry but you’ll have to find an image that isn’t WebP. :cry:

It shouldn’t be an issue for long as the newer versions should be ubiquitous soon.

Anya hasn’t closed the folder yet (and she’s eating lunch. Lol) so you still have time. :joy:

ok then!!! I will get busy!! Thanks

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Homework submission for Week 2 is now closed.

NOTE: * No homework will be accepted beyond the deadline date without significant score penalty (specifically after 12pm on deadline date.)*

Great job everyone! I was excited to see that so many did the bonus challenge!!!

Scores for this week are listed below (by initials.)
A maximum score of 6 points was available this week. (2 of those points were for the bonus challenge!):

GM: 6
SS: 6
AA: 6
LP: 6
DDC: 6
JC: 0
LS: 6
JM: 1.5
MB: 4
NF: 6
RM: 6
SSh: 4
ES: 3
SB: 6
WK: 6

All results will be explained during the intro recap for Week 2 (Thurs., 10/20, 2 PM EST.)

Here you will find all of the information (appropriate links (including Dropbox folder links for homework), notes, reminders, etc.) for Photoshop 101 (Photoshop Basics for Artists) Week Three.

NOTE: Please respect the work, rights, and privacy of participating artists. You may view the uploaded homework efforts from the class within the Dropbox folder, but you may not download or manipulate their work in any way. Anya and I will be downloading uploaded homework or classwork images when needed/appropriate, but we will never share anyone’s images outside of the class without express permission from the author. All files in the Drobox folders will be deleted at the end of the course. In addition, please know that classes will not be recorded to respect each participant’s learning experience.

If there are files required for the week’s homework, then they will be available in a folder called “WeekX_Resources” in the appropriate week’s folder. You will need to download to files in this folder to complete the week’s homework. However, please be sure not to remove or add anything to this folder.

Today we discussed Photoshop layers!

Photoshop layers are like sheets of stacked acetate. You can see through transparent areas of a layer to the layers below. You move a layer to position the content on the layer, like sliding a sheet of acetate in a stack. You can also change the opacity of a layer to make content partially transparent.
Transparent areas on a layer let you see layers below.

You use layers to perform tasks such as compositing multiple images, adding text to an image, or adding vector graphic shapes. You can apply a layer style to add a special effect such as a drop shadow or a glow.

A new image has a single layer. The number of additional layers, layer effects, and layer sets you can add to an image is limited only by your computer’s memory.

You work with layers in the Layers panel. Layer groups help you organize and manage layers. You can use groups to arrange your layers in a logical order and to reduce clutter in the Layers panel. You can nest groups within other groups. You can also use groups to apply attributes and masks to multiple layers simultaneously.

Sometimes layers don’t contain any apparent content. For example, an adjustment layer holds color or tonal adjustments that affect the layers below it. Rather than edit image pixels directly, you can edit an adjustment layer and leave the underlying pixels unchanged.

Photoshop Layers panel overview

The Layers panel in Photoshop lists all layers, layer groups, and layer effects in an image. You can use the Layers panel to show and hide layers, create new layers, and work with groups of layers. You can access additional commands and options in the Layers panel menu.

  • Marquee tool is the basic selection tool that can select your Photoshop layer in several shapes, like rectangle, ellipse, single-pixel vertical and horizontal line, square, and circle, etc. By default, the marquee tool makes the rectangular selection. But you can change to another variant of the marquee tool according to your needs.

To learn more about this tool:

  • Move Tool
    The Move tool helps you position selected content or layers when customizing your work.
    Just as the name says, the Move Tool moves things around your canvas. Whether that be layers, text, or selections, this tool has you covered. It can also be used to align layers to your canvas or an active selection.

– What Can The Move Tool Move?

Entire Layers: Whether it be smart objects or a regular layer, the Move Tool can select and reposition an entire layer at once.

Text Layers: The Move Tool can reposition any text layer simply by clicking and dragging the text to a new position.

Selections: Any selection can be repositioned with the Move Tool, but the selected layer behind the selection will come with it.

  • Cut/Copy/Paste/etc
    You can use the Move tool to copy selections as you drag them within or between images, or you can copy and move selections using the Copy, Copy Merged, Cut, and Paste commands. Dragging with the Move tool saves memory because you don’t use the clipboard.
    When you paste a selection or layer between images with different resolutions, the pasted data retains its pixel dimensions. This can make the pasted portion appear out of proportion to the new image. Use the Image Size command to make the source and destination images the same resolution before copying and pasting, or use the Free Transform command to resize the pasted content.

Understanding the Copy and Paste commands

  • Copy (Ctrl-C)
    Copies the selected area on the active layer.

  • Cut (Ctrl-X)
    Removes the selected area on the active layer and adds it to the clipboard.

  • Copy Merged
    Makes a merged copy of all the visible layers in the selected area.

  • Paste (Ctrl-V)
    Pastes a copied selection into another part of the image or into another image as a new layer. If you have a selection, the Paste command places the copied selection over the current selection. Without an active selection, Paste places the copied selection in the middle of the view area.

Additional tools from today:

  • Eraser Tool
    The Eraser tool changes pixels to either the background color or to transparent. If you’re working on a background or in a layer with transparency locked, the pixels change to the background color; otherwise, the pixels are erased to transparency.

  • Transform controls
    The Transform feature allows users to alter their object or selection in a variety of ways, such as scale, rotate, distort, or flip (mirror). To use the Transform feature, select a layer or create a new selections. Got to Edit in the menu, select Transform, and select the type of transformation you wish to make. (Ctrl-T.)

Special Mention: Gaussian Blur

What is Gaussian blurring?

Named after mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (rhymes with “grouse”), Gaussian (“gow-see-an”) blur is the application of a mathematical function to an image in order to blur it. “It’s like laying a translucent material like vellum on top of the image,” says photographer Kenton Waltz. “It softens everything out.” A type of low-pass filter, Gaussian blur smoothes uneven pixel values in an image by cutting out the extreme outliers.

For more information on this filter:

Homework: 2 options: Please complete at least one of the following: 2 points.

1. Using the supplied hot-air balloon “for-use” image, please add an additional balloon. You must use only the digital materials available within the image. Figuring out how to change the color is up to you! (We cover that next week.) You need only submit the edited version as a jpeg which should be the same image size as the original (but not necessarily the same file size as you are changing information.)

2. Using a “high-res” landscape image—please add at least two elements that might further promote the perception of depth in the picture. The resulting image should be no smaller than 200ppi @5x7”. Please submit the original landscape image along with the edited version to complete this challenge.

Bonus Scenario (2 points.): With a show coming up on you quickly, you realize that you do not have much time for experimentation and/or exploration within your latest work in progress. However, you begin to think that the work might be significantly improved if a certain element was added. You know that if you don’t like it, the removal and “restoration” involved to get back on track will cost valuable painting hours. Luckily—you remember your Photoshop prowess and realize that you can take an image of the work in its current state and “photoshop” the element in there to see how it looks. Keep in mind that this exercises is focused on the impact to composition and spatial relationships. Stylistic appearance, consistent lighting. edgework, etc… will not be taken into account when grading this bonus challenge. Please include both the before and after image at no less than 200ppi @5x7”.

Completing all three challenges can earn you 6 points for this week! Good luck!

I just sat down to do the HW and saw it was closed. I didn’t notice the noon deadline. I apologize. I am going to complete and submit the HW for the experience gained from doing it. Please don’t kick me out of the class.

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:joy::joy::joy::joy: I would never do that! Just send the homework to me at yychuls@gmail.com and I’ll upload it.

:joy::joy::+1:t2::+1:t2:

Anthony, I just uploaded it to Dropbox. I’ll email it to you as well just in case you wanted it there instead.

Awesome homework. Thank you. It was very useful. I plan to use this in the future to analyze my value structures in paintings to see how they communicate and how they might communicate better.

Not sure where you uploaded it but I don’t see it anywhere in the folder. :man_shrugging:t2:

Anthony, the files appear to have only saved locally in my Dropbox. Hopefully you got the images I sent via email around 5:30 pm CST. I am guessing the upload option was shut off at the due date/time, and I mistakenly thought the files were uploading to the class folder. Looking forward to class tomorrow. HW 2 was a great exercise for me.

Me trying to “brute force” a convincing balloon reflection using the eraser tool:
image

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