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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

7.What Are Channels

Photoshop uses channels to store color information about an image or to store selections. Photoshop creates color information channels automatically and all Photoshop images contain at least one channel.
Bitmap-mode, grayscale, duotone, and indexed-color images are each single-channel modes. An indexed-color image has one channel containing up to 256 levels of density.

Indexed Color

The Web Palette with its 256 colors is an index color. It ensures predictable color on the Web or the Intranet.

Color Modes

Modes are found under the Image menu item.The default is 8

bits per channel. Only in RGB mode is 16 bits per channel available.

RGB is my default working mode.

Filters and Plug-ins functional in... [spacer]

They do not function in...
  • RGB Modes
  • CMYK Modes
  • Grayscale Modes
  • Duotone Modes

  • Bitmap Modes
  • Indexed Modes

RGB Color Mode

An RGB image contains three channels made up of red, green, and blue color data as shown in the sample below.

RGB output mates well with the monitor RBG electron guns. The direct color match can produce excellent color on the monitor screen.

Professional monitors are pricey but they can be tuned or matched to very precise output settings.

CMYK Color Mode

CMYK is designed to convert well into the printer's environment with its four-color plates of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

Counter Intuitive

CMYK contains 1 more channel than RGB but it has a smaller color gamut.

Its color gamut is designed to meet the narrower color range needs of the four-color printing process.

24 Channels

Except for the Bitmap-mode image, all images in Photoshop can have up to 24 channels. These are frequently called alpha channels. Sometimes, the alpha channel can be used to decrease file size.


Study the palette titles to the left. Photoshop Layers Palette usually includes the Channels and Paths as tab selections.

I added the Actions to my Palette set by a simple drag and drop process. Grab the Actions tab and drag it off to remove it from the Palette.

A working knowledge of Selections and Masks are prerequisites to using the Channels concept effectively. Selections were already covered at the start of this section. The next Topic will be Masks.

6.The Crop Tool

The cropping tool does exactly what you would expect, it crops out a rectangular portion of your canvas and throws away the pixels outside the crop. [IMAGE]

To create a crop marquee, simply select the crop tool, click on the canvass and drag out an area.

When you do so, Photoshop will create a temporary crop selection which you can easily edit or move just like any other selection. To move the crop selection, simply position the pointer inside the area and drag. To resize, drag any of the corner points out. Drag SHIFT to scale the marquee proportionally. To rotate the selection, click drag outside the crop selection. And finally, to cancel the crop, hit the ESCAPE key.

When you are satisfied, simply click on the crop selection and it will be cropped to your specification.

Note that you can easily set, expand or contract the size of the final canvas by modifying the settings in the Cropping Tool Options Palette.

5.The Move Tool

The Move Tool is quite handy indeed. [IMAGE] This tool allows you to take any selection and move it to a different location on the canvas. It is also very easy to use. Simply click and hold on the selection and then drag the mouse to move the selection.

Note that if there is nothing underneath the selection, the area left behind will be filled with the background color. Note also that if you click the pixel-doubling checkbox in the options palette, you will speed up the refresh rate such that the move operation will be real time.

You can also move a selection pixel by pixel by using the arrow keys. this gives more precise movement but is less convenient for large moves. Note also that you can get the exact screen positions by looking at the info palette.

4.The Magic Wand Tool

This tool allows you to create a selection just by clicking on Magic Wand icon and then clicking on the canvas. [IMAGE]

The selected area is created by adding all adjacent similarly colored pixels to the selection. The range of hues selected is controlled by setting the "Tolerance" level. The larger the tolerance, the more shades of the color will be selected

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