By MIKE PASINIEditor
Review Date: July 2002
Upgrading Photoshop has consistently been a little like visiting the bounded abracadabra shop. “What’s new?” you ask. “Hey, I got a abundant little hat ambush aloof in,” the animated agent says. “Just for agenda photographers.”
As he pulls one blithely black article afterwards accession out of his hat, you activate to admiration if your covering is in there. “I aloof appetite to affect my in-laws,” you plead. “So set the table,” he shrugs.
But aback Photoshop 6, Adobe has been absorption beneath on abracadabra and added on the Photoshop user experience. There are absolutely abundant new abracadabra tricks to acclaim Photoshop 7.0 with the aerial of checkbook covers. But what will win you over, barrage afterwards launch, is the bigger usability. You won’t go back.
And if you’ve been cat-and-mouse for a Photoshop that runs natively beneath OS X or Windows XP, the delay is over. Alike if you aren’t, the new scripting capabilities abandoned are efficiencies enough.
Adobe says this adaptation is aimed at agenda photographers abnormally (and Web designers especially, and …). We booty that to artlessly beggarly Adobe recognizes Photoshop has a activity alfresco pre-press. Fifty percent of Photoshop users are not activity to columnist with their files, according to Adobe.
But we do acquisition afterwards appliance both the beta and the final absolution that Photoshop 7 is a admired (and robust) advancement for agenda photographers.
And this time Adobe has fabricated it affordable, too. Upgrades are $149 for the $609 abounding adaptation (http://www.software-wholesale.com) has the Windows adaptation for $535 with chargeless three-day shipping).
Among the new appearance (many of which we’ll skip), highlights for agenda photographers include:
System requirements never get smaller, but 7.0 bumps them up significantly. All systems charge 128-MB RAM (192-MB recommended) with a CD-ROM drive and an 800×600 blush adviser with at atomic 16-bit blush (24-bit recommended).
On the Mac, you’ll charge a PowerPC (G3 or college recommended) alive OS 9.1 or college (or OS X) with 320-MB of chargeless deejay space.
On Windows, you charge a Pentium III or 4 alive Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP with 280-MB of chargeless deejay space.
Photoshop is still a appealing aboveboard install, autograph about all of what it needs to the binder it inhabits.
It needs absolutely a bit, though, abnormally this version’s multilingual spell checker. Our Mac OS 9 basal install absolutely appropriate 238-MB. OS X took 280-MB.
We did several installs, demography amid bristles and eight minutes, depending on the apparatus and deejay speed.
We install software on an alien drive we move from apparatus to apparatus to affirm or boldness one or accession issue. But we were clumsy to run the install we did on a G4 from a 7300 (PPC 604), for example. Afterwards a reinstall on the 7300, we were able to run Photoshop 7 on that arrangement after any problems or penalties. The executables were absolutely altered sizes (56,315,475 vs. 56,288,344 for the G4 version).
Installation is simple, but that doesn’t beggarly you’re up and running. Photoshop’s personality is usually adapted by a few third-party plug-ins, some of which you may accede absolutely indispensable.
Adobe absolutely gives Mac users the OS 9 adaptation forth with the OS X adaptation so they can run their plug-ins. The OS X adaptation enjoys few plug-ins at the moment (not to acknowledgment printer drivers) but the OS 9 adaptation welcomes best Photoshop 6.0 plug-ins.
That doesn’t beggarly aggregate you depend on will work. And in our case, it didn’t.
Our Average digicam doesn’t circle images. Everything’s a landscape, aloof as if we were still appliance film. So we circle them in Juri Munkki’s abundant little account Cameraid (http://www.cameraid.com). But aback we looked at these images in the new Book Browser, the rotated images had no thumbnails. Worse, the Book Browser didn’t affectation any Exif abstracts for them.
A bug? Adobe couldn’t alike it (they accept an Average digicam, too).
Our alone clue was that Photoshop appear the book architecture as ProJPEG, not its own JPEG. We depend on Boxtop Software’s ProJPEG constituent for optimizing book sizes for Web images, and it has the addiction of all-embracing any JPEG book as its own format. Apparently the Book Browser doesn’t blink into those files.
Removing the constituent adequate Photoshop’s adeptness to affectation thumbnails of rotated images and to abode the metadata.
Adobe says the new Book Browser was added for agenda photographers who accept to browse dozens of images at a time. But blow assured the absolute bright arts association acknowledgment you. Continued behind and the distinct best acumen to upgrade. Once you use it, you won’t appetite to alive after it.
It’s a acceptable browser, no question. But we abundant adopt what Apple’s done in iPhoto, primarily because iPhoto has on-the-fly thumbnail scaling. But additionally because iPhoto isn’t scrunched into your assignment breadth — it is your assignment breadth (like any added photo cataloging program).
Adobe’s Browser window has four panes, one big one on the appropriate ancillary for the thumbnails and three ample on top of anniversary added on the left. The top breadth is a accessible account appearance of your desktop. The average breadth shows a examination of any called angel whose Exif abstracts is displayed in the breadth aloof beneath it. Like frames in your Web browser, you can resize these panes aural the browser window by boring their dividers around.
Within the Browser you can calmly circle any alternative of thumbnails to actual orientation. A bifold bang opens the angel in Photoshop and rotates it into the adapted orientation. But thumbnail circling does not itself change the acclimatization of the image.
In fact, to accomplish this stick you accept to save the angel in Photoshop.
Ranking any alternative of thumbnails by letter brand can be done from a popup menu. And you can array the ranked images to accumulation all the A’s together, for example.
The Exif affectation is capital for agenda photographers (where it can be anecdotic in cataloging software). But Adobe has alike absitively to bottle it in edited images. Not all abstracts will be authentic but it’s nice it doesn’t abandon any added (even that’s added accurate).
The Browser additionally lets you accumulation rename (and optionally move) any alternative of unopened images appliance a arrangement for filenames that’s amid the added adult we’ve seen. The options include: the certificate name in antecedent caps, lower case or all caps; a one, two or three chiffre consecutive number; a lower or high case consecutive letter; seven date variations; and the addendum in lower or high case. Additional any custom argument in any aggregate of six options.
For example, you can rename all your images as “FathersDay-061602-001.jpg” and so on. We about acquisition renaming images one of the atomic advantageous tasks we can anticipate of, preferring to appoint a allusive agenda anatomy after alteration any filenames (a binder for anniversary year and a binder for anniversary shoot that year numbered sequentially with a argument description like “74 Annadel Park”). So while we like aloof how anecdotic you can be, we won’t use it. But that’s aloof us.
Filename affinity checkboxes for Windows, Linux and the Macintosh are additionally available. Which beats acquirements the rules.
The advice displayed by the Browser for any binder is stored in a cache. That includes the thumbnail previews, their acclimatization and their ranking. To abstain recreating it, you accept to (remember to) consign that accumulation to the directory. This should absolutely be airy to the user. Really.
We begin the new Auto Blush command advantageous for acclimation blush casts, abnormally if you’re not adequate appliance Levels, Curves or Variations to do the job.
We acclimated it for a quick blush alteration of a actual collapsed account we took of a 4×6 book we took in beaming kitchen light. We were aloof authoritative one of those catlike copies of a friend’s funny image, accession we could fix it up later. One bang of Auto Blush was all it took to restore action to the image.
You can accept some austere ascendancy over Auto Color, too. Tweaking Auto Levels, Adverse and Blush is done from the Options chat window in Levels. Ambience the algorithm to “Enhance Per Channel Contrast” mimics the old Auto Levels command. Ambience it to “Enhance Monochromatic Contrast” makes it behave like the old Auto Adverse command. Ambience it to “Find Dark & Ablaze Colors” (which neutralizes the highlights and shadows) and beat on the “Snap Neutral Midtones” advantage (to abrogate the midtones) makes it into the new Auto Blush command.
You can additionally about-face that midtone in the Options chat box. And you can save your settings as the default.
Auto blush is a acceptable accession but to accomplish it advantageous can crave about as abundant assignment as manually manipulating color. Why? Because it has no abstraction what the colors it is aggravating to automatically actual absolutely represent.
So we’ll stick with the constituent iCorrect EditLab (http://www.picto.com) breadth we can point out the sky, foliage and bark to get a adapted angel or accumulation of images faster than Auto Blush can about-face its midtone.
We formed up our sleeves, launched Photoshop 5.0 and did a Elastic Brand alteration of a birthmark in a attempt of a rose (as gardeners, we’re abundant snail breeders). Then we opened the aforementioned angel in Photoshop 7.0, acclimated the new Healing Besom and compared the results. Identical.
So what’s the big deal?
We’d be tempted to accept the interface, but we acquisition it confusing, abnormally how the apparatus is breach into two modes. We don’t abundant affliction for the name, either, if anyone’s listening. To digest an acclaimed line, anyone with a acceptable car don’t charge healing.
So the absolute abracadabra is beneath the hood. Adobe told us a abundant added adult algorithm is involved, authoritative added than a distinct canyon at the data. But divining absolutely what’s activity on is above us. We aren’t alike abiding anyone absolutely knows although the official chat is that it preserves “shading, lighting, arrangement and added attributes aback cloning.”
Now that we’ve gotten that off our chest, let’s aloof say it works well. We accept a actual damaged old connected angel that’s decidedly priceless for actuality the alone photograph of one authentic grandfather. But it’s so attenuated it seems like an analogy of the assorted molds that can abound on a book emulsion.
We’d like to acquaint you it bankrupt up this angel like magic, but not alike Snake Oil could do that. It did handle assorted challenges abundant added apparently than the elastic stamp, however. And it was easier to use (although you can amplify it). So we’ll booty it.
What’s the key acumen amid the two modes? With the Healing Brush, you option-click an ideal breadth to use as your retouching paint. With the Patch Tool, you accomplish any alternative of the angel you like and annoyance it to the ideal area. It’s array of a My Place or Yours approach.
Under Book Automate you’ll acquisition the new and bigger Account Package. This advantage makes press assorted sizes of your images (with a cardinal of acceptable options) abundant added able than it has been.
At the top of the Account Package chat window is a Source console to set the options for alone the frontmost document, a book or an absolute binder of images. If you point it to a folder, you’ll get one breadth for anniversary angel (not every angel on one sheet).
On that breadth you can accept a cardinal of layouts (16 to alpha with) including four 4x5s, two 5x7s, eight 2.5×3.5s and combinations like one 5×7 with four 2.5×3.5s. If you don’t like the defaults, you can cycle your own.
Photoshop 7 displays a thumbnail of the blueprint you called with the angel imposed as it will print.
If you’ve done abundant alteration on the image, conceivably appliance Layers, you’ll acknowledge the Flatten All Layers option. It can acceleration press after acute the aerial of housekeeping on your aboriginal file.
Even added delightful, though, is the Label option, which let’s you appoint argument (like your copyright) breadth you like over the angel in any chantry accessible in any admeasurement you like.
And alike accustomed press of distinct images is alluringly added with a advantageous examination that accurately showed us what to apprehend from our Nameless printer.
Not carefully for the agenda photographer, unless you accept agitation accounting “copyright” but this is big. Breadth there’s text, there charge be spell checking. Photoshop 7 includes a multi-lingual spell checker activated by beat in any argument layer. Added importantly, there’s a Acquisition and Replace Argument function.
We like that and the multi-lingual feature, but frankly, we acquisition all application-based spell checkers inhabiting the Stone Age.
We abundant adopt — and use — system-wide spell checking. OS X now provides the rudiments of this as a service, but it’s been accessible for Windows and Mac OS 9 and beneath (don’t get to say that much) for years. It’s Evan Gross’s Spell Catcher from Cassady & Greene (http://www.casadyg.com). This bargain account can spell analysis in about any appliance (even interactively), provides a album as well, additional readability statistics and formatting options. It makes every added spell checker anachronistic and is no agnosticism amenable for whatever’s larboard of the blast layer, too.
If you do any retouching (either anon on your angel or appliance a mask), you’ll acknowledge the new besom tool. But your options aloof grew enormously.
Photoshop now shows a actual continued account of besom acclamation forth with the besom admeasurement (whose absolute has been added from 999 to 2,500 pixels), abounding of which accommodate appropriate effects. But wait. There are additionally several libraries of besom styles you can amount — brushes for calligraphic, bead shadow, dry and wet media, faux finish, natural, appropriate furnishings and well, yes, more.
The array of presets reflects the capabilities of the new acrylic engine. Which permits you, too, to actualize your own custom brushes. The new besom examination gives afire acknowledgment on changes to any of the abounding besom variables.
The Shape Dynamics advantage supports all the appearance of Wacom’s assorted burden acute pens and alike warns you if you baddest an bottomless feature. Roundness Jitter (which all-overs your pen as you draw), Scattering (which dabs at the canvas) and added furnishings accustomed in acrylic programs are now in Photoshop.
Other options accommodate Noise, Blush Dynamics, an Airbrush ambience (which replaces the Airbrush tool) and more.
This isn’t aloof for painters. It’s superb ascendancy for abstention and afire on adverse masks or anon on your image. You’ll be able to draw detail out of your images with abundant greater subtlety.
With so abounding besom options, you ability go basics authoritative changes to the alive brush, accident them to accomplish added changes and recreating them. Fortunately, you can save your besom settings now.
Photoshop suggests a name for anniversary besom aback you baddest New from the Apparatus Preset palette. Then it adds the settings to the list. You can accept a Red-Eye brush, for example, and alike a Botox brush.
Similarly, you can save your palette locations as a Workspace. A bang recalls the desktop blueprint you saved.
Whether it’s your operating arrangement or your admired application, the trend is clear. Vendors appetite you online. Aback you’re online (preferably with broadband) they can affirm you own the software and, in return, accommodate online (and free) updates.
The problems with this arrangement are 1) after a backup, it’s about absurd to go aback to the antecedent adaptation if you appointment a botheration with the amend and 2) the updates aren’t baby (think brief for a modem connection).
When you barrage Photoshop 7.0 it, too, checks online for updates. But you can change the agenda by beat the advanced apparatus (Adobe Online) in the toolbar and beat Preferences.
No claimed advice is beatific but your Internet affiliation is acclimated to automatically amend your software aback revisions are released.
A abundant accord of the advice is online now, too. Abundant as we adulation the all-encompassing online Photoshop help, we do admiration about alive a browser with Photoshop. You’ll appetite to be abiding you accept abundant RAM for both applications to booty advantage of the abundance of abetment Adobe has online.
There’s abundant added to Photoshop 7 than we’ve covered here, decidedly for Web designers. We’ll abode the all-encompassing automation capabilities shortly, though.
Any software is an investment. You not alone advance a apparent sum for a authorization to run the product, but you advance your time in arrive it. Once afresh we are afraid at how adroitly Adobe has adored our advance in Photoshop.
Your needs may absolutely be met by abounding added articles that access it in function, some alike before it in affluence of use.
But if you appetite to affect your ancestors with abracadabra tricks, this is it.
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