Photoshop, Filters, Speed

Paris in the Spring

A lot of the images that I work on in Photoshop are big. Really big. And no, I'm not digitally manipulating pictures of Paris Hilton, though that is an interesting thought. I can see her sporting a stylish goatee and mustache. Now when I say big, I generally am addressing pictures whose smallest dimension is larger than 3000 pixels.

As it happens I frequently want to experiment with the Photshop filter set to see what impact different filters have on the image. It is especially interesting to see the results of combined filter effects. The problem is that even with a fast PC with loads of memory, Photoshop will take some time to process the complete image and I am just to impatient to wait.

My solution is as follows. First, I identify a section of my original image which is not only representative of the entire image but includes part of the image area for which I am most interested in seeing the filter's effects. I try to keep the dimensions of this area to that of my screen at 100% resolution – so we're talking approximately 1400 by 1000 pixels. Using the Rectangular Marquee tool, I then select that area of my image and Ctrl-C to copy it. Then Ctrl-N to open the new document dialog. Just click the OK button and then Ctrl-V to paste the selection into the new document. For the pictures that I work with, on average this new document represents about a 90 percent or more reduction in the number of pixels Photoshop has to work with.

I am now free to speedily experiment with different filters and different combinations of filters. Once I've figured out what I want to do, I then go back to the source image and apply the desired filter effects.

So next time you have a really big image and want to test out some filter effects, consider working with a only a portion of your image.

Ad Astra, Jim

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 at 11:38 am and is filed under Photoshop.