Premium Content articles are the very best articles from the world's leading internet technology, subject-matter experts. We have many categories of content below on a wide variety of subjects that has all been commissioned from both big name authors.

 

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What colour to paint the house?
by David Nicholls

What colour to paint the house?

You've probably seen those video consoles in home improvement stores or paint suppliers which allow you to apply different paint colours to a house photograph, to see how the colours go together and what the house will look like when painted.  They work OK, but there's one big problem.  The house they use in the example looks nothing like the one you want to paint.

This exercise shows you how to use Photoshop layer masks and a photograph of your own house to get the same effect.  And who knows, the paint shop proprietor might even pay you to do it as a service to clients!

We'll start off with a bit of photographic tweaking and then use a variety of selection tools to select areas and convert them to adjustment layers.  Then you can change to colours of your house (within limits) to your heart's content (and so minimise wasted paint!).

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Photoshop Tips & Tricks for Web Designers
by Zac Van Note

Photoshop Tips & Tricks for Web Designers

There are hundreds of tools and features in Photoshop. Learning the basics requires an investment of time and mental energy. Moving beyond the basics into true mastery requires even more time and an adventurous spirit. Of course, it helps to pull on the countless years of accumulated experience that millions of Photoshop users have amassed. That’s what this article is all about: distilling the useful tidbits learned by years of poking, prodding and just having fun experimenting with this great tool.

Most of the tips presented will work in Photoshop 7, CS (8) or CS2 (9), but in some cases there are techniques that only work if you have certain tools and features. The screen captures were taken in Photoshop 7 and CS2.

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Restoring old photographs
by David Nicholls

Restoring old photographs

Everyone has an album (or box full) of old and faded photographs. Usually these are in poor condition, either through wear and tear or because they were poorly printed in the fist place.  Often the photos were taken with an old box camera, with a lens of dubious quality. But some of the photos have value as family heirlooms and are well worth preserving and restoring. The question is, can you extract the underlying image from the damaged and faded photograph?  The answer is almost always "yes", sometimes miraculously so.

This article runs you through an exercise in photo restoration, using Photoshop's Levels and Curves tools, plus the Healing Brush and Clone Stamp tools. Using this exercise as a starting point, you'll be ready to hone your skills on the family's precious photos of Auntie Nellie and Uncle Fred, and earn the admiration of all your relatives! (Of course, there could also be commercial opportunities, too!)

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Exploring the power of Photoshop CS2
by Zac Van Note

Exploring the power of Photoshop CS2

A new version of Photoshop and ImageReady means another upgrade and a decision of when to purchase or if you should even bother. Depending on your needs, you may find just a few gems in the new Photoshop CS2 or you may consider the dozens of enhancements life savers. I’ve found myself somewhere in the middle, amazed at how many truly useful innovations Adobe has crammed into this version while still maintaining the familiar interface we’ve all come to know.

Because this is a site for web professionals, I will be concentrating on tools that will be useful to the average web designer. First, some interesting decisions on the part of Adobe. While Photoshop and ImageReady continue on as separate entities, their capabilities now overlap more than ever. For instance, Photoshop has had the ability to slice and optimize images for the web using Save for Web, but now they even include the GIF animation palette right in Photoshop. What’s left in ImageReady? You can still slice, optimize and animate in ImageReady and it is the only place to create Image Maps and Rollovers. It also provides some features Photoshop doesn’t match for optimizing, slicing and tweaking the HTML and Javascript that is generated.

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16056 Users read it.

Creating Animated GIFs with Photoshop & ImageReady
by Zac Van Note

Creating Animated GIFs with Photoshop & ImageReady

Love them or hate them, you just can’t avoid animated GIFs. The often-maligned animated GIF may not be the favorite visual device it once was, but it still serves very legitimate purposes. From banner ads to slide shows to dynamic simulations, animated GIF files are often the best solution on a web page. Flash is excellent at creating animations, but for many reasons Flash is not always a viable option. This leaves animated GIFs as the most effective way to create movement on a web page without resorting to scripting, plug-ins and ‘invalid markup’.

There are a number of tools to create Animated GIFs. From stand-alone tools like ULead GIF Animator, to high-end software like Fireworks and Photoshop, there’s a tool available to fit your needs. Because most web authors have a copy of Photoshop, that’s what we’ll focus on in this tutorial. However, many of this article’s methods will apply to other software as well.

Photoshop has long been the standard for pictures destined for printing. With version 5.5, Adobe started including ImageReady, a separate but similar program, which focused on creating images for the web. ImageReady makes it possible to slice, optimize and animate your Photoshop images. It also gives you the ability to create interactive elements like rollover buttons and image maps. Of course, for our purposes in this article, we’ll focus on creating Animated GIF files in Photoshop and ImageReady.

I used Photoshop CS and ImageReady CS on Windows XP for this tutorial, but most of the steps will be similar to the Macintosh version and previous versions on either platform. The process of creating Animated GIFs hasn’t changed much in the last few versions.

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