Moving Up to Photoshop

Making the move to Photoshop means joining forces with just about every image-editing professional on the planet. It's that ubiquitous.

Figure 18.10. Adobe Photoshop is the undisputed Mac/Windows image-editing tool of choice.

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Adobe has ensured that making the move from Elements to Photoshop will be easy. With the exception of some palette tab locations, the Photoshop workspace, shown in Figure 18.11, has a look and feel that's very similar to Elements.

Figure 18.11. The Photoshop work space nearly duplicates Elements.

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Although you get some real power in Elements, Photoshop offers much more flexibility and additional tools.

Elements simplifies some processes with presets, but that limits creativity. Photoshop offers deep customizability. The Layer Style dialog box in Figure 18.12?very reminiscent of Premiere's Title Designer?is a case in point. Everything you need is at your fingertips.

Figure 18.12. Photoshop's Layer Style dialog box puts major functionality within one intuitive interface.

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The drawing tools and Artwork palette in Photoshop virtually duplicate those in Elements. Using them, it takes only a few minutes to create a graphic like the one in Figure 18.13.

Figure 18.13. Photoshop's intuitive drawing tools speed up graphics creation.

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Photoshop adds some professional paintbrush tools?Charcoal, Pastel, Oil Paint?to that palette. Using them with a graphics tablet, such as the pressure-sensitive Wacom Intuos, means you can apply more or less texture as you draw.

Other Photoshop features include the following:

  • A "healing" brush that does amazingly accurate and automatic dust, scratch, and blemish removal while compensating for differences in lighting, shading, and texture.

  • Auto color correction, which analyzes an image and balances color with a single click. This works well on photos shot under fluorescent lights.

  • More powerful Web integration.

  • A spell checker. This may not seem like a standard image-editing tool, but graphic artists have clamored for it.

Of primary importance to the scope of this book is just how strongly Photoshop is connected to Premiere and to video production.

An obvious example is Premiere's Edit Original command. Place any Photoshop graphic on the timeline, right/Ctrl-click it, and select Edit Original. This opens Photoshop and lets you immediately edit the graphic. Once saved within Photoshop, the new version of the graphic shows up in Premiere.

Here are three of my favorite Premiere/Photoshop connections:

  • Premiere offers a "filmstrip" feature specifically designed to work with Photoshop. Convert video clips into filmstrips?collections of individual frames?using File, Export Timeline (or Export Clip), Movie. Click Settings. For File Type choose Filmstrip and then choose the frames to export from the Range menu. Open the frames in Photoshop and paint directly on the clips using a process called roto-scoping.

  • Export a frame of a video to Photoshop to create a matte to mask or highlight certain areas of that clip. Here's how: Create a shape using the Marquee or one of the Lasso tools. In the Tool Options bar, set Feather to about 15 px to give it that soft border. Fill the interior with black to make it transparent. Fill the rest with white to make that part opaque. Within Premiere you can use this mask as a track matte to adjust its location and size and to follow action. Plus, you can line up the original clip on both Video 1 and Video 2, apply some blur to Video 2, and use the soft-edged matte to highlight an element in your clip while throwing everything else out of focus.

  • You can use Photoshop to cut objects out of a scene and fill in the gap using the Clone tool or the new healing brush. Then place the removed object in a separate layer so you can animate it using Premiere's Motion Settings dialog box. Monty Python-esque comical situations come to mind. Consider a photo of a statue in a park. Move it off the pedestal and slide it next to an unsuspecting park patron seated on a bench.

Before you can start using these features, you'll need to learn the fundamentals. If you choose to add Photoshop to your digital video production repertoire, peruse the tips for first-time users provided by a Photoshop expert in the following sidebar.



    Part II: Enhancing Your Video
     
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