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Photoshop CS Miscellaneous Ramblings
Wednesday October 8, 2003

Section 1: Miscellaneous Ramblings

When you are honored to do early beta on Photoshop and log onto the secure site to discuss the product with the engineers, you gain a lot of gems. Over the course of the beta (which I can't really discuss), there are thousands of messages going back and forth between beta's and CS team members. We get the benefit of hearing about some often undocumented or just obscure stuff about Photoshop. I've gathered some items I thought were somewhat interesting and useful as you begin to look deeper into Photoshop CS. Some of this is ultra geeky and thus, I've provided the appropriate warnings!

Camera RAW: Did you know there are actually 100 levels of undo. Command shift Z keeps going backward, and Command option Z keeps going forward. Command Z toggles between the last two states.

If for any reason you prefer to stick with the older behavior of Camera Raw 1.0, the Camera Raw 1.0 plug-in will still work in Photoshop 8.

(COLOR GEEK WARNGING). Thomas Knoll's goal for the Camera Raw 2.0 rendering was to make them more accurate by avoiding the hue-shifting problems caused by applying strongly curved tone curves in RGB space. When the brightness and contrast values are both set to zero, Camera Raw 2.0's results should basically match Camera Raw 1.0's for color reproduction. The other major difference in Camera Raw 2.0 is in highlight recovery logic, but that only kicks in with negative exposure compensation. The tone curve itself has not changed. The response to a gray ramp is the same between Camera Raw version 1 and 2. New in Camera Raw 2.0 is how the curve is applied, and how it affects non-neutral colors hue and saturation. Camera Raw 2.0 has new logic that attempts to preserve hue through tone curve changes.

Camera Raw 2.0 uses the same interpolation algorithm as Camera Raw 1.0, which is different from any of the algorithms in Photoshop CS. It is not possible to make the algorithms identical since Photoshop CS is doing the resizing math in the document's color space, whereas Camera Raw is doing the resizing math in linear YCC space.

Supported Cameras. In addition to the list official Adobe list (adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html) these cameras will also work with 2.0:

Canon 300D
Minolta A1
Olympus E-1
Kodak 720X
Kodak 760C
Kodak 14N
Leaf Valeo 22

16 bit: Photoshop deals with images either in 1 bit, 8 bit or 16 bit space. An image may only use values that can be represented by some other bit quantity, but once brought into Photoshop, it gets rounded up to the smallest value that can contain it and all values in that space are fair game from then on. If for example you bring in a 12 bit file will place it in 16 bit space and any image manipulation may well add values that require more than 12 bits to save, so the file has effectively become 16 bit. (GEEK WARNING/MATH ALERT) The high-bit representation in Photoshop has always been "15 1" bits (32767 (which is the total number of values that can be represented by 15 bits of precision) 1). This requires 16 bits of data to represent is called "16 bit". It is not an arbitrary decision on how to display this data; it is displaying an exact representation of the exact data Photoshop is using, just as 0-255 is displayed for 8 bit files.

Scrubby Sliders: Much better than scrubbing bubbles and a feature found in After Effects. Place your cursor over certain areas like popup sliders and move over the label to control the numbers by "scrubbing" with the mouse (click, drag, release). A double-headed horizontal arrow cursor with a hand indicates labels that support this. You'll find Scrubby Sliders in places like a popup slider control, (such as the Fill and Opacity controls in the Layers palette), and Opacity and Flow settings in the Options bar for brush tools. If you hold down the ShiftKey while scrubbing the numeric values will increase the amount by 10X.

Resizing algorithms: The list of interpolation methods are: Nearest Neighbor Bilinear Bicubic Smoother, Bicubic Sharper. Note that Bicubic has been made better than Bicubic in Photoshop 7 and earlier versions of Photoshop. They are primarily meant for improved upsizing, not downsizing. The Smoother Bicubic algorithm is good for upsampling, and the sharper algorithm is good for downsampling when you want more sharpness.

Text Engine: The text engine in 8 is a new engine version. Significant fixes and improvements to the layout have been made, plus it's compatible with a much newer Unicode spec. This is why there will always be a warning when opening Photoshop 6 and Photoshop 7 files in CS. You can avoid the warning by using an action to open the file.

Document size: PSB's are a new file format - Photoshop 8 only- that allows for more than 30,000 pixels (300,000x300,000). The PSD is also limited to 2 Gigabytes in all older versions of Photoshop, and 4 Gig maximum. Large Document Format (.psb) is limited to about 8 Exabytes.

Photo Filter: (COLOR GEEK WARNGING). The math is a multiplication in XYZ space -- it is significantly different from a layer in color blend mode. (Turn off preserve luminosity for the real effect).

CS now supports up to 56 channels per file and one can save PDF files with 16 bit images and channels.

When changing units (like inches, Pixels etc), high and width will change together unless the shift key is held down. Try this in Image Size and notice that document size units always change together unless you hold down the shift key.

Other Sections Available if you login:

April 2004
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May 2004
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