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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Photoshop Tutorial - File Formats

This is the next in a series of tutorials on Photoshop by Guru Dan Peters. Since the TriCasters don't ship with a paint application many users are using Photoshop to build graphics for use in CG designer or directly in the DDR so Dan the creator of  a series of video tutorials called Master The Basics Of Adobe Photoshop in under 2 Hours is here to help us out.

"A File Format for Every Occasion"

As you learn and become more familiar with Adobe Photoshop you will likely notice that Photoshop allows you to save images in many different formats or file types.

Having a working knowledge and understanding of these different image formats is essential to making the most of your digital photo projects.

While they are many different image types the following is a description of the most common file types you will use when working in Photoshop.

Digital Image File Formats

PSD

If you use Photoshop for your digital photo editing then PSD is probably the most important file format that you need to know. A PSD file is a Photoshop file format and is your best option when working on digital photos for two main reasons. First of all, PSD files allow the user to work in layers and channels and save work being done without compressing the layers. This of course usually results in a large file size. Secondly, PSD files do not lose image quality as you work on images because there is no compression when the file is saved resulting in lost data. It is always best to save your work as a PSD file until your image is finished and then you can save into the format most appropriate for your project.

JPEG

JPEG, which stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, is one of the most common and well known file formats. JPEG files are good for web use as well as a variety of applications due to their small file size. Due to compression JPEG images loss data (image quality) each time change the file is saved.

GIF

GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, is a popular file format for web use and other Internet applications. These files are typically small in size and load quickly in Internet browsers. GIF files are limited to a maximum of 256 colors. 


PNG 
PNG is the new replacement for GIF that is popular for web use and is actually the preferred format in the TriCaster and VT systems. They can contain up to 16 million colors and include an alpha or transparency channel.

TIFF

TIFF, or Tagged Image File Format, are high quality images but are not really used that often and are not good for Internet use.

Although there are more file formats than we have listed here these are the formats you will want to use in your Photoshop photo editing projects.

For the most part, the only formats you will use on a regular basis are PSD, JPEG, and GIF or PNG.

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