How to be a Photoshop Bad Ass


Greg Rewis is the Group Manager, Worldwide Creative Solutions Evangelism at Adobe. He came to speak to the Atlanta Web Design Group about becoming a Photoshop Bad Ass. This post is a collection of tweets along with links to help add greater understanding to what was being discussed before and during his talk. I hope you find the recap useful.

  • #awdg – Greg specializes in Adobe’s web products.
  • #awdg – Greg’s responsible for GoLive CyberStudio. (He was it’s product manager.) We won’t hold it against him ;)
  • #awdg – Mentioning again. @garazi‘s blog is
  • on screen now. :)
  • Photoshop is a noun AND a verb in Webster’s Dictionary. #awdg
  • Greg took a poll of the crowd and there was a fairly good mix of users on CS4 and CS3 or older.
  • Now chatting about Adobe Bridge CS4. Underappreciated. Very few users in the crowd.
  • Bridge was introduced with CS2 and it sucked. Bridge is now one of the most powerful tools within CS4.
  • Demoing Filters panel in Bridge.
  • “Bridge can do everything and more than iPhoto does. (Don’t tell Steve Jobs!)”
  • View > Show Items From Subfolders will let you drill down and “throw folders away”.
  • Now demoing rating and applying color labels to photos.
  • Check out Bridge Help and Support on –…
  • Now demoing Collections (grouping) within Bridge CS4.
  • Now showing different views available within Bridge. Coolest is Output view. Output to Web Gallery or PDF. (Wow! I had no idea Bridge could do that.)
  • Now showing Web Galleries via Bridge Output.
  • Web Gallery will let you add FTP info and upload directly to your remote server. All sorts of controls are available which will allow you to customize output in Flash or HTML.
  • Now showing custom views in Bridge.
  • Now showing direct import of files from a camera into Bridge. File > Get photos from camera. In demo, he’s importing .CR2 files from his Canon PowerShot G9. Bridge lets you convert to DNG while importing files.
  • DNG are an open-source formatted that was created by Adobe.…
  • DNGs are approximately 20% smaller than standard Camera Raw files. Don’t worry about embedding Raw image in DNG. You’ll lose any sort of file size savings.
  • Wikipedia entry on DNG –
  • Because the file he is demoing is a DNG he can adjust it within Bridge using Camera Raw (within Photoshop).
  • Camera Raw is available within Photoshop and Bridge.
  • Showing the amazing power of Auto within Camera Raw. Lesson learned: You’re typically not going to get the results you were hoping for if you rely on Auto.
  • Image has a bad yellow cast due to lighting. @garazi‘s showing how to adjust within Bridge.
  • @garazi using White Color balance sample tool. White balance actually = light gray.
  • “In 2 clicks I went from severe jaundice to a perfect picture.” – @garazi
  • Images that were adjusted in Camera Raw will display a small icon in the upper right of the preview.
  • Adjustments can be stored within an image or as a sidecar XMP files. (Metadata related to adjustments.)
  • Raw is non-destructive. Play around with an image and do whatever you want. Retain the original.
  • With Raw you can adjust settings independently. Demoing Exposure, Fill Light, Blacks to pull out detail in photos.
  • Now showing how to use Graduated Filters within Bridge to change coloring of over-exposed image.
  • Image @garazi is demoing is 1.18Gb image of Adobe’s headquarters. (Holy schnikeys.) He’s showing how zoom is very responsive and quick to re-render pixels on screen. It was rather impressive.
  • Some of the features @garazi is showing require an OpenGL-enabled graphics card :)
  • A lot of the performance enhancements rely on the GPU versus the CPU in previous versions.
  • Now showing how you can rotate the canvas.
  • The newest Wacom tablets can auto-rotate the canvas. New Macbooks can rotate with gestures.
  • Now showing Adjustments panel within Photoshop CS4.
  • Adjustments within the Adjustments panel results in 80% fewer mouse clicks.
  • Now showing Black & White adjustments and how to tint using masks.
  • OH: “My fingers are sticky from the coke.” lol
  • Now showing Quick Select tool – originally introduced in CS3.
  • Finger adjustment tool is awesome. All adjustments now have a “finger” adjustment feature. You can click and drag within an image to make various adjustments.
  • “Drawing with the clone stamp tool is like drawing with your eyes closed.” With the improved clone stamp, you get a preview of what you’rabout to clone within your brush.
  • Now demoing how you can correct depth of field with multiple images.
  • Now showing Blend Selected Layers based on content. In Bridge – Tools > Photoshop > Photomerge.
  • Now showing 3D postcard.
  • In Photoshop: Layer > Smart Object > Stack Mode > Median – will allow you to combine multiple shots.
  • Now showing content aware scaling. (I LOVE this feature in Photoshop CS4)
  • “We’re not stretching pixels. We’re making new ones.”
  • More on content aware scaling in Photoshop CS4:
  • Using quick selection tool. Select > Save selection. Deselect. Edit > Content Aware Scale. Notice PROTECT up top. That’s what will protect people, objects from getting stretched along with what’s in the background of the image.
  • Photoshop Tip: Save for Web > use blur with JPGs to save even more on final file size. It’ll blur the edges of the image resulting in a slightly smaller file. Also remove metadata & copyright when saving files for web.
  • Now showing Fireworks.
  • Fireworks. Export as JPG. 80% quality. File > Export. Photoshop demo image: 80kb. Fireworks demo image: 44kb. o_O
  • If exporting JPGs for the web, USE Fireworks. Filesizes will be 45% smaller. Fireworks has a better jpg compression algorithm.
  • Now talking about PNG-8s in Fireworks. Did you know Fireworks also supports PNG-32? Photoshop doesn’t have that.
  • With PNG-8s in Fireworks you can choose between index transparency (GIF-like) or Alpha Transparency. (!!!)
  • For further reading: PNG8: The Clear Winner
  • Okay. I love Photoshop and this topic was supposed be about making us a Photoshop Bad Ass… but I’m falling in love with Fireworks.
  • IE6 screws up PNG-8s that use semi-transparent pixels. But that’s okay. With semi-transparent pixels it simply doesn’t display them at all. You still retain transparency.
  • PNG-8 semi-pixel transparency’s been around since at least Fireworks 3.
  • And that’s a wrap.

Looking to upgrade? Buy through Amazon and help me out! :)

One thought on “How to be a Photoshop Bad Ass

  1. Fireworks also supports PNG-32? Photoshop doesn’t have that.

    This is actually very incorrect. Photoshop supports PNG-32 just fine, even though it labels it as 24 (wrongly). It’s counting 8-bits for just RGB and the 8-bit transparency as optional. I presume it’s done this way because the transparency can be toggled on/off, rather than having to choose another setting between 24/32. I can see how this would be confusing.

Comments are closed.