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'Photoshopping' has become part of the language over the last few years, the way its talked about when it comes to airbrushing celebrities or faking dramatic images you'd think it was as easy as a few quick clicks to 'photoshop' something and get a great result. Sadly this is not the case, Photoshop is quite a complicated design programme and takes a lot of practice to get to grips with, but its definitely worth it and in my opinion is the best photo editing software out there.
I don't use photoshop professionally, so my review will be about its uses for hobby and home users rather than design professionals or serious photographers. Its quite expensive to get the latest version, but CS3 is a few years old by now and is good as a cheaper alternative while still being a sophisticated and incredibly useful bit of software. You can get it on ebay, or second hand on Amazon marketplace, probably on places like Gumtree.
Photoshop is designed to help you work on, edit, adjust and improve photographic images. Its not a drawing programme, although there are some drawing elements. There is a huge range of tools to help you achieve the results you want and the toolbars containing them can be a bit confusing at first, you'll need to spend a fair amount of time experimenting and getting the hang of all the different options. The menus are very user friendly luckily and you can arrange your 'workspace' to suit you, keeping only the windows and tools open that you need and want rather than having a crowded, confusing, complicated screen to deal with! You can add more tools and palettes as you feel more comfortable.
The help menu is actually really helpful, it can be a little hard to navigate as there's a heck of a lot of information in there, but it will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about what the various tools do and how to achieve the results you want.
The options for what to do with your images after you've edited them are great. You can save in a huge variety of file formats in any size so that you can use the image pretty much anyway you choose. Photoshop images are also completely compatible with all the other programmes in the Adobe CS3 suite such as Illustrator or InDesign, you can even drag and drop between the programmes.
Photoshop is great for anybody who wants the ability to 'mess around' with their digital photos, scanned photos and other images. You can do everything from just getting rid of 'red eye' or covering up a spot to creating whole new images using the parts of the existing ones you've got.
Here's a little tip, once you've got the hang of Photoshop and are enjoying using it, pay a visit to a website called 'photoshop disasters' to get a hilarious insight into what NOT to do!
I have been thinking of doing a review of Photoshop CS3 because I am highly impressed by this version but my only source of the indecision was its price and on top of that this excellent program is not really meant for home and casual users, Photoshop CS3 is really meant for professionals and those who do web designing on professional level. I think it will be prudent to say that for home users there are hardly any difference between Photoshop 6 and this version but believe me if you know how to use it there are 'n' number of additions all of which has its usability and specialty.
1988: Original Mac version was written by Knoll brothers (Thomas and John)
1990: First version by adobe appeared on the Mac
1992: The first Windows version (v2.5) was available
1994: Introduction of layers with Version 3.0
1998 Introduction of multiple undo history in Photoshop 5.0
2002: Addition of camera RAW support in Photoshop 7
2003: The real harmonization came with whole array of Adobe's other programs with concept of Creative Suite in Photoshop 8 (also known as CS i.e. Creative Suite):
* After Effects
As expected an update to CS came up in 2005 (April) with further additions of Smart Objects, red eye tool and the most valuable and significant Spot Healing brush.
2007: (May) Probably the most ambitious 10 the version Photoshop CS4 (but as a stand alone program)
System requirements: At least 1GB RAM
Hard disk space required: 1.3 GB
For best performance of Adobe Bridge 512MB physical memory is a must
Probably the biggest program available in the market and naturally it comes in a DVD but it is possible to split the program and stuff in CDs (not available in the market) with the caution that although technically possible it requires some skill to do it and mind you Adobe Photoshop CS3 is priced at £340 even at amazon.com., better not mess around with it.
Before you start installing Adobe Photoshop CS3 it will be a good idea to disable your internet connection otherwise you might be baffled by massages like "Set up failed, please disable Internet Explorer" or yahoo messenger. I don't know why but even after disabling i.e. and yahoo messenger or similar other outside application the same message was displayed. Even once I had to delete i.e. altogether and only then CS3 installed.
The time required with Windows XP is 32 minutes.
The key is never asked for during the process of installation, only when you launch CS3 that the key is required otherwise you are allowed a trial version. The CD has a keygen and it's wonderful that you can use the same CD for installation in multiple computers because clicking on the 'generate' button of the keygens provides you different keys. I will always suggest not skip the Adobe Photoshop CS3 registration process because later on you will find the registration comes very handy.
It's to be noted installation of Photoshop CS3 doe not create Desktop or quick launch short cut automatically.
Creating Desktop and Quick launch shortcut:
*Right click and click on 'create desktop shot cut' from the drop down menu. But it is to be noted that for some quire reasons this process does not work always, if it fails, then
*Open All programs right click on the CS3 icon copy and then paste it on the desktop. Since the shortcut will be created at the point of insertion to arrange the icons just right click and choose 'arrange icons by name'.
To create a quick launch short cut, enable quick launch tool bar, just right click on the status bar and enable quick launch toolbar from the pop up menu. Now just drag down the Photoshop CS3 icon to the quick launch tool bar sitting on the status which give one-click launching of the program.
If the installation has gone through smoothly in the start menu you will have the following programs installed. (I mean if you hover on 'all programs')
# Adobe Bridge CS3
# Adobe Device Control Center
# Adobe ExtendScript Toolkit 2
# Adobe Sock Photos CS3
# Adobe Photoshop CS3
Although advanced users can have their desktop icons according to their priority but I will advice to have only the Adobe Photoshop CS3 icon on the desktop for faster access, there is no point crowding the desktop since it does consume system disk space unnecessarily.
===GLIMPSES OF SOME IMPRESSIVE FEATURES:===
To me one of the most impressive features is the new Photoshop CS3 Refine Edge tool. Even if you take the trouble of creating pixel-level selections, the Refine Edge is just perfect cleaning up rough and messed up edges and extraneous pixel, going further just make selection of the image or part of it and the radius, contrast level and smoothness can adjust with the neat little tool's slier.
Since I use dual monitor setups Photoshop CS3 introduces a very important and necessary interface upgrade that gives the option of resizable palette buttons having fly out capabilities.
This is useful for single and double monitor users since this give you the ability to reduce button sizes to tiny ones or just tear off the palettes and position them around your screen. Another useful option is that you can arrange them in one/two columns and then choose the palettes you require.
The new Quick Selection tool of Photoshop CS3 is another impressive upgrade. Now it is far more easier to act upon a chosen portion of an image as with this toll you no longer require to jam on the Shift key to add to the selected image, just click on the areas of the image you want select and that does it, isn't simpler?
This tool workers wonderfully with sharp, high-contrast images in fact it works more like magic wand tool but with the exception that it is some times not as reliable as the magic wand tool since it seems to get confused after a few clicks and selects the entire image, which I think is due to its lack in tolerance setting but all the some it works just as well.
This program will make DSLR very happy, first because CS3's Auto Align Layer capability gives you the option of combining multiple images and then this tool matches common parts or elements in the images and lets you choose portion/portions of which ever image you want. Wonderfully efficient with photos taken in rapid succession by dSLRS.
As the price tag suggests it's something meant for the pros you just don't own it for simple uses. But the performance is fabulous.
The screen shot is taken from my computer with Windows XP Pro. I have no problems with till now.
===ISSUES TO GRUMBLE:===
Besides the price tag the only thing to grumble about is its launching time which understandable considering the size of the program. What I feel although the recommended RAM is 1GB, a 512 MB will solve this problem, in fact it has decreased the launching time by quite a bit after I added a mere 256 MB to my RAM.
(The one I have review had the extended version also which has new tools and capabilities for video postproduction tasks, 3D texture-map editing, or scientific image analysis I have not gone on into them to keep the review as it should be for Photoshop CS3.)
*Also at other sites under the same user name