September '21

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 102

S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G T H E D I G I T A L E Y E | S T E P H E N R O M A N I E L L O 2 4 G R A P H I C S P R O S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M PRESETS CREATE AND SAVE CUSTOM TOOLS AND COLORS I t sometimes amazes me how many tools are required to complete a dig- ital image. It's like working on an old car. Specific wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, gauges, etc., need to be within reach when working under the bonnet or it means several trips to the hardware store to purchase the perfect implement every time a unique situation presents itself. These tools collect in your tool- box, hence over time, fewer trips to the hardware store. While digital graphics software offers a huge array of virtual implements, like a mechanic's toolbox, the perfect tool is not always within reach. PRESETS I should say here that at least 50% of the pixel-based software workflow is about cre- ating custom tools that work to perform functions specific to the image that is being manipulated. Many tools that are created on the fly can be saved and stored to panels that can later be reused on the current im- age or even down the line on other images. These new features that you as the operator create are called Presets, and they eventu- ally accumulate into an arsenal of custom features that can be accessed at any time and applied to any image. In this article, I describe the working procedures for creating and storing pre- sets in Adobe Photoshop CC. Similar systems for creating and saving custom tools are also available in other graphics packages. When you create presets by adding unique document specs, custom brush- es, individual colors, vibrant gradients, and a multitude of other options, you are customizing your copy of the soft- ware and making it more compatible to your workflow. In other words, you're filling your toolbox with items that you regularly or intermittently use, thereby saving time and labor each time you use the software. BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING Typically, an existing image is opened at the beginning of a workflow to be manipulated in any of a thousand ways. The image is a specific size, resolution, and color mode, so it has its own set of characteristics that can be edited. But what about a new image? By default, it's just a grid of white pixels on a background layer. In the process of generating a new image, it's easy to specify characteristics in the New Document dialog box (Figure 1). In fact, the top of the dialog box presents eight general categories of document characteristics including presets for Print, Web, and Film & Video among others. When any one of these categories is selected, several size and resolution options are pre- sented in a neat list, including those for most types of documents. On the right side of the dialog box (the Control panel) is where modifi- cations can be made to the specifica- tions of any new document. Click- ing on the arrow to the right of the Figure 1. The New Document dialog box can save document specifications for later use. (All images courtesy Ste- phen Romaniello)

Articles in this issue

view archives of GRAPHICS PRO - September '21