A couple of PS CS questions??

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Flew, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    I just got a copy of PS CS, and I'm trying to learn how to use it (I have been using Paint Shop Pro 9.01). I had no real problems with PSP, except that everyone else seems to be using PS CS, which has meant that I can't make use of the excellent processing tips and tricks that are often discussed here at the Cafe (and other places of course). I haven't made any judgments yet on whether I'm going to like PS better than PSP from a photo processing standpoint yet, but there are several user interface anomalies that I'm hating about PS so far. :(

    First, I have never seen a modern Windows program that didn't remember the Open from path and the Save As path as separate values. Unless I'm doing something really stupid, this is what PS is doing (i.e., not saving these values separately). Specifically, if I Open from a path, the Save As path changes to the open path. When I do a Save As, the Open path has been changed when I try to open the next file (this is true whether I use the File / Open or the File Browser method in PS CS). Does anyone know how to change this behavior? I would like to be able to open from one path, and save to another, without clicking on a bunch of folders for every blasted file. :evil:

    Second, the PS display always looks so over sharpened, even when no sharpening has been applied at any point in the process (from RAW, to TIFF), that I can't judge when more (or less) sharpening is needed. What I have been doing so far, is to guess at what the sharpening should be, then saving the file, and opening it in another application to see what it actually looks like. I haven't changed any of the default settings in PS, so I don't understand why the image always looks so over sharpened.

    Third, when I crop a shot, I use the crop cursor, and get it as close to the size that I want as possible, but sometimes I can't get the value to be exact (1201 or 1199, but not 1200). In PSP, the H and W values were in an editable field, so you could actually get them close with the cursor, and then use the little up/down control next to the edit field, or actually type the values that you wanted in the H and W fields. With PS, the H and W are displayed in the Info tab, but are not editable directly. This is also driving me nutz. I really want 1200 x 800 images, not 1199 x 901 images (or whatever) when I crop :?

    I admit that PS has some really nice features (like handling the Adobe color space, and the S / H tool), but I can see where my image processing could go from 30 seconds per shot, to 5 or 10 minutes. This is not acceptable. Any help in any of these areas will be greatly appreciated.

    Frank
     
  2. Carol Steele

    Carol Steele Guest

    Photoshop remembers the last place you saved to when you use the SAVE AS option - very often because you will be making changes to a file and need to save it to a different location. However if you use the [ctrl+s] keys or simply do a normal File-->Save, it will save the file back on top of itself in the lacation you originally opened it from.

    Are you using a LCD screen or a CRT screen Frank?? Also do they look oversharpened on images you have previously edited in PSP or do they look 'too sharp' when brought in fresh from the camera??? Are you processing raw files through ACR??
     
  3. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Carol,

    Thanks for replying.

    Here's what I want to do:

    - Copy my .NEF files to my hard drive from the cam (say to C:\NEFs).

    - Process RAW files in NC4.2.1 and save theme as TIFF files (to C:\TIFFs).

    - Open the TIFF files in PS CS (from C:\TIFFs).

    - Crop, size, S / H / USM / add border and sig on each file on PS CS.

    - Save as JPG files in a different folder than the TIFF files (to C:\JPGs).

    That's all I want to do. When I open the TIFF files from C:\TIFFs in PS, process them, then do a Shift+Ctrl+S, PSCS wants to save the file back to C:\TIFFs, so I dutifully click, click, click until I get to C:\JPGs, and say OK.

    Then I do a Ctrl+O to open the next TIFF, and the fricking application is now pointing to C:\JPGs, not C:\TIFFs. My $80 copy of PSP 9.01 (and all previous versions back to 4) remembers where I want to open from, and where I want to 'Save' to, where I want to 'Save As' to, and where I want to 'Save Copy As' to. And when I get ready to open the next TIFF, it remembers that I opened last from C:\TIFFs.

    OTOH, my $600 copy of PS CS thinks that since I opened the TIFFs from C:\TIFFs, that I want to Save (or Save As) to that folder. It is maddening!! :?

    On to the sharpening issue. This is what I have done:

    - Open and process the .NEF file in NC 4.2.1, applying no sharpening or USM (i.e., USM = 0, 0, 0, and sharpeneing - 'None').

    - Save my edited file as a TIFF.

    - Open the file in PSCS.

    The image now has horrible jaggles and zigzag edges that look like I have way over-sharpened it, even though it has had no sharpening applied at all.

    Grrrrrrrr. :roll:

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Frank
     
  4. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  5. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Hmm, mine doesn't work like that at all

    Granted, I'm not using any keyboard shortcuts to open a file, nor to save them in this manner. I go to "File/Open", then the next time I go there, it remembers the folder I was in before. Same for doing a "File/Save As". It also remembers the last folder I saved to. As for the sharpening, that's wierd, and shouldn't be doing that. Dunno what's wrong there. Hang in there w/PS Frank, and I'll sent you some cool actions! ;) Also, you gotta try FM's WP Pro for downsizing pics. It's great. It does make you do a little math to figure out what the file's gonna be when you choose, say, 25% though :roll:
     
  6. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Paul,

    I am definitely not doing that. I am saving the TIFFs in a completely different folder than the original NEF files, and saving the JPGs in even another folder.

    I should say that despite these huge work-flow irritations, I am very impressed by the results, even if I have to do the sharpening several times to get it right. I now understand why many folks say that they do no sharpening or USM in NC, but rather wait until the final step in PS CS. It does work, and it works very well. I couldn't even think of doing that with PSP (I couldn't ever overcome the anti-aliasing filter with just the PSP USM without the image looking way oversharpened).

    So I am hanging in there. I just hate the slowdown in my work flow. I do now understand why Ron sets up his folders the way he does. Guess I'll just have to change my work flow.

    Steve,

    I am definitely interested in the plug-ins that you have, and I'm about to go to the FM site to check out the plug-ins there. The reputation of Fred's plug-ins is the main reason that I decided to go with PSCS in the first place (that and the cool techniques discussed here of course....;-)).

    Thanks guys.

    Frank
     
  7. NeilCam

    NeilCam

    609
    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Frank, it is a mind-shift to adjust from PSP to PS - one I went through a few years back now, but as others have said, once you get the hang of it there is no looking back. Not necessarily that one is better than the other, just very different.

    I'll only stick my oar in on two issues, the jaggies bit and the crop bit. :)

    Jaggies:
    Are you looking at the image at 100% size or at a percentage less than that? If looking at it in a smaller percentage (particularly 33% or 66%) then it will look, to put it mildly, crap. Not too bad at 25%, 50%, 75% - PS seems to handle those okay, but at 33% zoom it seems to give lots of jaggies in how it LOOKS. Remember it's just a zoomed out screen view and doesn't necessarily reflect reality. Not necessarily helpful, but it's what I've experienced.

    Crop:
    Using the crop cursor my PS7 certainly has field where you can enter the exact size you want your image cropped to. However, you have to enter the dimensions in the Width and Height boxes BEFORE you start cropping.

    Hope that helps a little.

    Neil
     
  8. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Thank you, thank you Neil!! Everyone has been very helpful, but this is what I needed to hear. I understand what you are saying about the 33.33%. I just looked at it with the TIFF that I described above (no sharpening and no USM) and a JPG that I processed earlier in NC that had the standard RR 66, 5, 4 USM (but no sharpening).

    There were definitely a bunch more jaggies at 33.33% than at say 50% for both of these files. Since 33.33% is what PSCS defaults to when opening a file, I guess I was shocked at how bad it looked. Now, if I can just figure out how to set the USM when I can't accurately see the final result. :?

    I said before though, it looks like I will be able to get much better results from this beast if I can figure out how to use it properly, and if I can get my work flow streamlined.

    Thanks again all!! Don't stop sending me advice. I can use all the help that I can get.... :lol:

    Frank
     
  9. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    check your rmail Frank

    sent ya some stuff.
     
  10. Carol Steele

    Carol Steele Guest

    You need to create an action for this, you can get the action to stop for the crop so that you can position the crop and stop at the Shadow/Highlight point in the action for you to tweak the levels. For your signature, if you open your signature file before running the batch and copy your signature to the clipboard, all you need is a paste part of the action to do this and then it can be saved into the folder of your choice.

    This can all be done from Photoshop's file browser - if you select images on an ad hoc basis (ctrl+click} on the images you want, then the action will run on just those selected images, if you have NONE selected, the batch will run on all the images in the folder.

    You will probably be able to get your work flow down to a few minutes for each folder you are processing via a batch route.
     
  11. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Carol,

    Thank you, thank you!! 8)

    I figured that this could be done with actions, but I'm still very raw at this, so it will take me a little time to get everything ironed out. You have already helped a bunch, but since this post, I posted some shots, and the process that I now using over in the Birds and Animal forum. If you have a minute, I'd appreciate your comments (if you have any....;-)) on the process that I've settled on for now.

    Again, thanks so much for your help and encouragement. I feel like a real dufus starting out with a whole new process, and all of the folks here that have helped have made a huge difference in the amount of time it has taken me to come up to speed.

    Frank
     
  12. Frank, first of all good for you getting PS CS in your hands. It is BY FAR the best "image processing software and more... ". Now, it's also the "most complicated and demanding software ".

    I suggest you buy yourself two books, one general book about PSCS Usage and Tricks & Tips and a second about Digital Photography thru PS CS. There are numerous books you can find.

    This is not to avoid giving you a hand or help, you now we're not that kind of people, but since it's the first time you use Adobe's PS and especially the CS version, the learning curve is steep and rough and any online help won't be as good as a reference book.

    Panos
     
  13. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Panos,

    Good advice. 8) I already have Scott Kelby's 'The Photoshop CS Book for digital photographers'. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Frank
     
  14. Well, I am afraid I'm not right the person for that. You see, I have ONLY read the PS CS manual (and all the manuals since Adobe's PS 3). So, for the last ten years I've studying PS by its manuals :?

    What I know though is that Scott Kelby is a significant PS user, and also author of several PS books and editor in PS magazine. So, I better get it myself... :wink:
     
  15. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  16. Carol Steele

    Carol Steele Guest

    I recommend you never use Brightness/Contrast - get used to using Curves or Levels which are far superior tools.

    Personally I do the USM in Nikon Capture on the RAW image data - and keep as 16-bit TIFF images for as long as possible - you can include a 'Covert to 8-bit' in the batch action when needed.

    When coming down drastically in size, I also prefer to do an Image-->Image Size conversion using Photoshops Bicubic Sharper option and then use the crop tool on the resultant smaller image

    For the Shadow/Highlight option, the defaults are set far too high IMHO - I have changed mine to new values which are better for me and have saved these as the new default setting.

    If you let me know the size of your original file and the size you are going to - and the size of the border which you want, I will create a batch action for you to use. You can then play with this and change it to meet your absolute needs.
     
  17. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Carol,

    See my responses above prefaced by the '*'.

    Thanks!!

    Frank
     
  18. Carol Steele

    Carol Steele Guest

    I don't use Intelli sharpen Frank, so I cannot comment on it.

    I resize first purely because I have control of how it is done (with bicubic sharper if reducing the size of the image, with bicubic smoother if increasing). The crop tool uses the simple bicubic to the best of my knowledge - so I want to get down to as close as possible to the size I want to end up at before using the crop tool.

    Can you also let me know your starting size and finished image size (i.e. without the borders).
     
  19. Frank,
    don't forget to sign in, in Adobe's Studio. All the goodies are there for you plus an excellent forum full of pros ready to help you.

    http://share.studio.adobe.com/
     
  20. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Carol,

    My images always start out at 2464 x 1632 (the standard D2H file size). I usually resize to 900 x 600 (unless the crop is to a different aspect ratio, such as 900 x 675).

    I chose 900 as the width because I want the images to be less than the max Cafe width of 960 pixels after I add my borders (my border action adds 59 pixels to the width).

    Is this what you needed?

    Thanks,

    Frank
     
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