Adobe Photoshop help

  Devious Dave 13:54 04 Mar 2004

Hi, I am in the process of starting an alloy wheel business which involves photographing the alloy wheels and displaying them on my website. I have bought Adobe Photoshop as I was told that it was brilliant for editing photographs.

What I am trying to do is make the photo look like it was taken in a studio. I.E a white background. I have found a tool called the magic wand and find that it doesn't really do the job good enough.

Does anybody know how do what I want. Also are there any downloadable tutorials for Photoshop.

  Taran 14:34 04 Mar 2004

Photoshop is indeed superb, but very, very complicated when you first try to get to grips with it. It is one of those programs that really requires training to get the best out of.

The helpfiles built into Photoshop are quite thorough but unles you know the processes involved in what it is you are trying to do you probably won't even know what to look for in them.

The Adobe site has a lot of good resource information:

click here

The excellent WebMonkey site has a good introduction to Photoshop [as well as tutorials on pretty much everything else to do with computing]:

click here

Some very impressive guides are on this site:

click here

The processes you want to be looking at are layering and masking. Using layers and masks it is possible to put several images on top of one another [aka layering] and selectively blend elements from each image to create the whole effect you want [masking].

For fine control you can alter the parameters of the 'magic wand' to control your selection a little more precisely.

For very detailed work you can't beat a graphics tablet and PC World are selling some entry level graphics tablets for under £50. A graphics tablet basically gives you an electronic pen on a drawing board and the pen controls the mouse curser onscreen. They are superb for close control of edge selections and general artwork.

A software solution that is truly excellent for edge selections is Corel Knockout. It operates as a plugin to any mainstream image editing software [including Photoshop] and it allows extremely tight control over what you do and do not select from an image. Once your selection is made, you 'knock out' either the selection to keep and transfer it to the image you want to work on as a mask, or you can simlpy 'knock out' the area to remove.

Photoshop is a bit on an enigma to many. I'd agree that it is possibly the single best image editor available in terms of what it is capable of, but its reputation and features outweigh most buyers requirements. Once you get your head around things there'll be no stopping you.

  Jarvo 19:19 04 Mar 2004

Futher to Taran's advice try to photograph the wheels against a simler background as you intend to use on the finished image, for an example a simple white sheet could save hours of cutting round spokes on a bbs style wheel, and reduce the acuracy of edge selection needed.


  Jarvo 19:25 04 Mar 2004

It may also be worth asking your suppliers if they have promational photographs you may use for web/advertising. Many manafatures produce high quality images to distrabute free of charge to resellers as this always shows their products at there best (always ask though or you will probably break copy write laws and if you can get permission in writing)


  PurplePenny 20:33 04 Mar 2004

I second that! It makes life much, much easier. Serif's Gadget Store is selling one for £25 at the moment (though it has a serial connection). It isn't very big but I use one this size and find it fine.

click here


  AndySD 11:54 05 Mar 2004

Use a Layer Mask
click here
click here or look it up in help.

  Devious Dave 12:04 05 Mar 2004

Thanks for all your suggestions, i will give them a try.

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