Hey Everybody,
ACDSee Ultimate 8 is now here! What’s it all about? As the first digital asset management software with layers, it’s able to answer an unparalleled number of creative graphic and image composition needs. And it has all the editing power and the digital asset management capabilities of ACDSee Pro 8. Check out this video for a quick peak at what you can do with the layered editor:

Stay tuned for a more in-depth look on how you can get layers working for you.

As you may or may not have heard, ACDSee Pro 8 (and ACDSee 18) are now available! There’s a ton of new features to explore, but let’s start with the biggest. Pixel Targeting!

Generally, you use Edit mode tools to make a variety of global adjustments to your images. Pixel Targeting, on the other hand, allows you to target distinct tones, colors, and skin tones, and then select any number of Edit mode adjustments and apply them to those targeted pixels. Pixel Targeting itself does not do anything to the image, but allows you to specify which pixels the tool that you are working with will affect in your image.

What am I talking about? Well, the best way to understand is through example. There are so many applications for this that it’s hard to know where to begin. But this time, let’s start with something really simple — a targeted exposure adjustment.

I start by finding an image that could use some exposure adjustment in specific areas, but that I’m hesitant to make a global exposure adjustment to because I’ll blow out parts that are already light enough. I then open that image in Edit mode, and click on the Exposure tool.

exposure_tool

In the Exposure tool, on the top left, I press the Pixel Targeting button.

pixel_targeting_button

On the Pixel Targeting panel, you will see the Targeted Tones, Targeted Colors, Skin Targeting, and Target Mask sections. Targeted Tones allows you to target pixels based on their brightness. Targeted Colors let you pick which colors you want to be affected by the current tool, (in this case, the Exposure tool). Skin Targeting, we’re going to return to in a later tutorial. And lastly, the Target Mask, which displays in white which areas of the photo are currently being targeted.

at_neutral

You will notice that at the moment, the Target Mask is all white. This is because I haven’t specified any targeted tones or colors. All of the sliders are at Max. And if I made exposure adjustments right now, they would still by applied to the entire image.

Under Targeted Colors, I press Min. This deselects all colors. Now I can choose the specific colors I want to target. You will now observe that the Target Mask is entirely black. This means that no colors are being targeted.

at_min

Let’s take a quick moment to learn about the Target Mask. Now, let’s say that I wanted to target just the green of the grass and trees. Under Targeted Colors, I would move the green slider up somewhere between 0 and 100, depending on my desired intensity. In other words, just play with the sliders until you see the area you want to target in the Target Mask in white.

target_orange

Maybe I want to expand the target to include yellows to make sure I get all of the yellow flowers, etc.

target_orange_yellow

Hopefully this is becoming a bit clearer. Now, let’s get back on task. The sky of my selected image is very light. A lot of detail is lost. By experimenting with the Targeted Colors, I can figure out which setting I need in order to apply an exposure adjustment to just the background — the sky and the sea. Once I see the area I want to target in white in the Target Mask, I can configure the settings on the Exposure panel. These adjustments are only applied to the area that I targeted.

exposure_target

Beacon Hill a

And, the before and after.

before_after

Ta da!

Next time we talk about Pixel Targeting, I’d like to take a look at how you can use it to achieve natural, but augmented color. I also want to talk about how to combine it with the Edit Brush for absolute precision adjusting. And let’s also talk about using Pixel Targeting for fun with some effects. And targeting skin tones. And—and—There’s so many applications to explore!

 

 

 

 

 

ACDSee Pro 8 and ACDSee 18 are here! These babies are jam-packed with new features to accelerate your photography management and editing workflow. And by “babies”, I kind of mean the opposite of babies. They’re colossal applications — yet somehow move swiftly and stealthily like great golden eagles!

Check out photographer Peter Pereira’s first look at ACDSee Pro 8.

Let’s talk about customization. When it comes down to it, we’re kind of strange, persnickety creatures. Many of us have a layout in our homes that suits us. Our toothbrushes have their own special spot. Anyone who has had a roommate will validate this.You will never realize how particular you are about your stuff until someone else messes it up. The same may be true for your software workspace layout. If you are sharing your copy of ACDSee with someone else, or if you just find that you like your panes laid out in a certain way, you may find it helpful to be able to save a custom workspace. Maybe it’s for efficiency, or maybe you just like it a certain way because it feels better. You’re entitled.

So, first you need to get things just how you like them. In Manage mode: You can do this by grabbing panes with your cursor and pulling, or clicking the drop-down arrow in the pane’s top right corner and selecting Floatingfloat

Drag the pane’s title bar and hold your cursor over any of the arrows of the Docking Compass. What is a Docking Compass? Check out the arrows circled in red in the image below.

docking_options

When the shaded marquee displays the position of the pane you want, release the mouse button.

shaded marqueenew_pane_position

To return a pane to its previous location, double-click its title bar.

You can resize a pane by holding your cursor over the edge of the pane until the cursor changes into arrows and lines. resize_arrow Drag the edge of the pane to the size you want.

You can also hide panes temporarily by clicking the drop-down arrow in the pane’s top right corner and selecting Hide.

hide

To reveal it again, click View | [desired pane].

Once you have all of your panes the location and size that you want, it’s time to save your layout. Go to View | Workspaces | Manage Workspaces. In the Manage Workspaces dialog box, click Save Workspace. Give your workspace a name. I recommend putting something that identifies it as yours, if you’re sharing the application, or, if it’s a task-based layout, name it based on that. ex) “Cataloging Layout”. It will save you time if you choose a name that immediately tells you what the layout is.

save_workspace_name

Click OK, and click OK again.

To find a layout you’ve saved, go to View | Workspaces. Select the name of your layout.

If you realize you have moved the panes around to the point where you barely even recognize Manage mode anymore , and you really don’t like it, don’t panic.

I Have Made a Big Mistake

You don’t have to remember where things go. You can return the panes to their default position at any time by going to View | Workspaces | Default Workspace.

There you go — right to persnickety behavior granted!

I found this video on lighting reflectors really interesting. Sometimes it’s just cool to see how the pros do it. Get inspired here.

There was a time when I thought that I needed a variety of software to achieve a few simple tasks, even though they were somewhat related. For example, I thought I needed a screen capturing app, never bothering to realize that I can do this in ACDSee.

When you encounter hiccups in your day to day computer use and you need to communicate with the technology expert in your life, when you really want to show your friend, teacher, mom, therapist, etc just what the heck you’re talking about, when you’re too tired or lazy to use your words: a screenshot will speak volumes.

When you are ready to take a capture of any part of your screen, in Manage or View mode, go to Tools | Screen Capture… The Screen Capture dialog will allow you to configure the area you want to capture. You can select between capturing:

  • your current monitor
  • an entire window, or just the content inside of it
  • a region with a fixed size, (which you can specify from the drop-down menu), or a region that you select with your mouse cursor
  •  an object, such as a child window, or a menu under your cursor

select_region

When capturing any area, except for a region, you can elect to include your mouse cursor in the shot by checking the Include mouse cursor checkbox at the bottom of the dialog.

Next, decide on the destination for your capture. Do you want to place it on the clipboard? From here, you can paste it to a new location. Or do you want to open the captured image in your default editor? Or, choose File to have the Save dialog come up after you have taken your capture, at which point you can choose a name, location, and format for the file.

destination

Next, identify how you want to take your capture. Since you won’t want the Screen Capture dialog in your way, you must choose how to initiate the capture. If you want to choose a combination of keys to act as a keyboard shortcut to initiate your capture, enter them in the Hot key area. I chose “P” so that I can press the key and go, “Pow!” If you would rather the screenshot be taken at a designated point in time, you can use the Timer option. Choose enough time to set up whatever it is that you want to capture on your screen.

initiate_capture

To begin, press Start. If you have opted to take a capture of a selected region, drag your cursor around your desired area when prompted. If you opted to use a hot key, enter it when ready.

And, there you go. Find your capture according to where you selected to put it. I saved mine here:

saved_file

Control which areas of your photo are sharp with Digital Camera World’s Depth of Field cheatsheet.

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