Photoshop Elements Image Size and Resolution: How Adobe Uses Dimension Pixels and DPI in Print and Screen Photos

Photoshop elements

When using functionally-rich image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, it is important to understand the principles of resolution (dpi) and size (dimension) as well as how these relate to print, web and screen images. This will help avoid confusion when, for example, images are printed too small or huge photographs are displayed on the screen.

What is the DPI of an Image?

DPI is a fundamental concept in dealing with images both online and in print. DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and is an approximate measure of the resolution of an image. The key ideas can be explained simply as follows:

  • Imagine a square one inch long. The dpi measurement would be the number of dots that fit along the edge of the square. It is possible to draw the edge of the square with many or few dots and still recognize the edge.
  • Imagine an image printed on stretchy material. The actual image will stay the same, whether the material is stretched or not, but the density or resolution of the image will change. If the image was printed on loose material and then the material was stretched a long, long way, then the quality (resolution) of the image would decrease as it would be harder to see the details. On the other hand, if an image is printed onto a stretched-out piece of material and then the material is released, the resolution of the image would be higher and quality would look the same or improved.
  • On a computer screen, everything is displayed at 72 dpi – that means that for every inch on the screen there are 72 dots making up the image.
  • High-quality printing typically takes place at 300 dpi. So for every inch, 300 dots are printed.

A photograph, which may be scanned into a computer at 300 dpi, ready for printing will display on a 72 dpi screen much larger than the real-life photograph. Similarly, when creating an image in Photoshop Elements at 72 dpi, it may display at an expected size on the screen, but when printed at 300 dpi it will look much smaller on paper. This is due to a resolution.

Dimension (Length) Measured in Inches, cm, mm and Pixels

An image can have fixed dimensions such as length, width or height. For example, 10cm, 100mm or 8 inches.

Photoshop Elements allows all images to be manipulated based on both dimension (lengths such as mm, cm or pixels) and resolution (dpi).

The dpi dot is often referred to as the pixel and images can also be set to a length of a certain number of pixels. 

Changing Image Size

A common requirement is to change the size of an image and in Photoshop Elements this can happen in a number of ways.

An understanding of the resolution and dimension of an image are important when completing many tasks in Photoshop Elements. A typical task could be taking a high quality photograph and then displaying it on a web page. The photograph may have been taken on a digital camera and stored on the computer at 300 dpi (or more) and be too large for a web page. All screens display at 72 dpi so there is no point having a huge, high quality file on the web page. The resolution needs to be set to 72 dpi and the picture dimensions need to be reduced to fit the design of the web page.

In Photoshop Elements 6.0, once the file has been opened and the photograph is displayed, the following selections should be made:

  • From the menu, ‘Image’
  • ‘Resize’
  • ‘Image size’

The resolution should then be set to 72 pixels/inch – the dimension of the image (in pixels) will be automatically updated to keep the dimension the same. The dimensions can be changed if required, either by changing the number of pixels or by changing the length in cm, mm, etc.

If a change to a photograph has resulted in the image on screen looking much larger or much smaller than expected, it is probably due to the incorrect resolution being used.

An understanding of image size in terms of resolution and dimension will help users to exploit Adobe Photoshop Elements functionality.

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Computer-Aided Design Software: What Are They?

Computer aided design

Every discipline of engineering relies on a variety of software products to assist them with design, evaluation, and management tasks. Computer-aided design (CAD) software is one of the most commonly used engineering program categories and is used in nearly all branches of the engineering profession.

History of Computer-Aided Design Software

At its roots, CAD software was a direct analog of drafting functions: to create two-dimensional design prints. The output prints were essentially identical to those previously created by draftsmen. The proliferation of desktop personal computers in the 1980s allowed companies such as Autodesk to develop CAD software and market directly to engineering companies.

AutoCAD was first released by Autodesk in 1982, and rapidly became the most widely used CAD software package in the world. Even today, AutoCAD is still the primary 2D design program, used by engineers and architects.

Evolution of Computer-Aided Design Software

CAD software has evolved as computing power has increased since the 1980s. The expanding processing power has allowed software developers to include more functionality and performance in their products. The greatest leaps in CAD software evolution can be grouped into two categories:

  • Integration with Other Functions – While the early CAD software packages were basically computerized drafting, today’s CAD programs seamlessly integrate with a variety of other engineering functions, including computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), finite element analysis (FEA), product lifecycle management (PLM), and many other functions. The CAD software is now just the center of a network of design functionality.
  • Migration from 2D to 3D Design – The second significant evolution in CAD software was the development of 3D design software systems, led by Parametric Technology Corporation’s (PTC) release of Pro/ENGINEER in 1988. Pro/ENGINEER was the first parametric feature-based solid modeling software and allowed engineers to more easily design components and complete systems. Today, several 3D CAD programs are available. The 2D CAD software is still widely used in some industries, such as architecture.

In addition to these primary evolutions, the overall system performance and inherent functionality of CAD software have increased as general computer technology has improved. Current CAD software can create mechanism animations and realistic surfacing, among other features.

The cost of individual seats of CAD software has also decreased significantly. In the 1980s and 1990s, CAD software licenses were often so expensive that only larger companies could afford to invest in the seats and the continual upgrades. Software developers have created “light” versions of many of their products that are more affordable to smaller businesses and engineers who don’t need the full functionality of the complete versions or do not have the budget to purchase the full version.

The CAD software is one of the tools that is used by just about all engineers across all disciplines of the engineering profession

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A Guide to GIMP Photo Editing Software: Can This Free GNU Image Manipulation Program Deliver Good Results?

Photo editing software

Commercial photo and image editing programs don’t always come cheap. Although there are many different freeware alternatives that can be used to replicate some of the features of commercial packages, many users find that they just don’t have the same clout as the big names.

GIMP’s photo editing free software package, however, is often favorably compared to Photoshop in terms of its functionality and features.

What is GIMP?

GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) was first conceived in 1995 and has seen various version releases over the years. The software is designed to allow users to edit, compose, manipulate and retouch photos and images.

As part of the GNU free software program, GIMP is free to download and to use. Users can simply use the base program if they wish or they can extend its functionality to suit specific needs via a wide range of free plug-ins.

What Does GIMP do?

The software can do just about anything in photo and image editing terms. This may, of course, depend on the plug-ins that are downloaded and used on projects. Some users will use it for simple tasks such as retouching occasional photos. Others may use it for more complex projects such as animation production and video editing. Some of the more popular features of the program include:

  • Drawing/paint tools
  • Video editing capabilities
  • Animation tools
  • Photo retouching/enhancement
  • Image/photo editing and manipulation
  • File format conversions

The software works via a series of different tabs or windows that can be hidden or shown as the user wishes. This can be especially useful when working on more complex projects. Initially available for Unix users, GIMP can now be downloaded on to various platforms, including:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Mac OS X
  • Sun OpenSolaris
  • FreeBSD

It can, of course, still be run on GNU/Linux operating systems as well.

The Advantages of Using GIMP

One of the main advantages of using GIMP is that it can be as simple or as complex as its user wishes. The program is easy to learn how to use yet offers the kinds of features and functions that tend to be otherwise reserved for commercial products. Unlike many another freeware photo/image editing packages this solution probably comes closest in terms of matching overall functionality to the commercial market leaders.

Cost is also a primary factor for many users trying out this kind of package for the first time. The fact that GIMP allows a user to access advanced kinds of photo/image creation, editing and manipulation tools completely free of charge may make it worth a look. Given the high costs of commercial software packages in this sector, many will try out GIMP as an alternative first so this may be worth doing.

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Photoshop through the Ages: How Photoshop Began and Where it Stands in the Market Today

Photoshop through the ages

Adobe’s popular image editing software, known as Photoshop, or Adobe Photoshop has undergone major transformations since its inception in 1987. Today, it leads the image manipulation and commercial bitmap markets and is also commonly described as the “industry standard for graphics professionals,” according to CNN.com. Written in the C++ language, Photoshop began as a tool for professionals and print work, but has also become widely used among amateurs and online as well.

The Beginning

Photoshop was first developed in early 1987 when the University of Michigan Ph.D. candidate Thomas Knoll started a program on his early Macintosh Plus computer that would show grayscale images on his black and white screen.

He called this rudimentary program ‘Display,” and showed it to his brother, Industrial Light and Magic employee John Knoll, who suggested that Thomas develop it into image editing software. In 1988, Thomas and John worked on the program, now called Photoshop, and worked out an arrangement with the scanner company, Barneyscan, to distribute the program along with their scanners, says Derrick Story in his article, ‘From Darkroom to Desktop.’

While Barneyscan was distributing Photoshop under the program name Barneyscan XP, John showed the program to software technicians at Apple computer and the art director at Adobe, and both companies loved the presentation. Adobe purchased the rights to distribute Photoshop in late 1988.

Photoshop Today

The newest Photoshop included new support for the Intel-based Macintosh platforms, which were released in 2006, and improved their Windows support to include Windows Vista. Adobe also changed the logo. The iconic feather was now replaced by an icon of white letters on a blue square, an image that correlates with the periodic table of elements themed icons.

They introduced new features to the Camera RAW plug-in and also altered the channel mixer, brightness and contrast, print dialog, curves, vanishing point and black and white conversions. Brand new components include automatic aligning and blending, as well as smart filters that can be applied without destruction.

Adobe improved cloning tools as well as the healing tools and altered the program so that it launches significantly faster. Following the release of CS3, Adobe introduced Photoshop CS3 Extended that added capabilities for scientific images, three-dimensional imagery, along with professional film and video.

Photoshop may be the standard image editor in the industry, but it has also gained popularity among amateurs, and its high market prices have led to an incredibly high rate of piracy among its products. Along with this problem of illegal program use, other companies began releasing graphics editing programs at a lower price to accommodate these amateur editors.

To combat both the piracy and the competitors, Adobe released Photoshop Elements, a version of Photoshop that has many of the professional features removed, and is aimed directly at the general consumers.

Since version 1.0 in 1990, Photoshop has evolved through 10 versions to become the industry leader in image editing. Adobe has adapted to the changing market by adding and improving more tools, security features and plug-ins to their new programs, and they have even combated competitors and illegal use of their programs by introducing a commercial version of their high-end products.

Photoshop has become so popular that its name has been used as a verb to refer to image editing, as in ‘photoshopping’ an image. Adobe highly discourages this, in an attempt to preserve trademark, but it has become a widely used and accepted verb. Photoshop is an excellent example of a program that has successfully met consumer and professional needs, along with providing success and prestige for Adobe.

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What Is DMCA and Why It Is Important for CAD Designers

DMCA

The rise and popularity of the internet have changed the  way we create and share content. We have come a long way from the good old days of peer-to-peer sharing to the modern cloud-based sharing platforms. You can access any information in just a few clicks, even if you are sitting in a remote corner of the world. What we often ignore is the downside to this free access.

What do you do when someone takes your copyrighted material and uses it as their own? Owing to the vast expanse of the internet, tracking every incident of copyright infringement may not even be feasible. While this is particularly alarming for digital content creators such as YouTubers, bloggers, etc., it can also affect CAD designers. Fortunately, there are laws and legislation to safeguard the intellectual property (IP) rights of CAD designers and their clients.

Before we take a closer look at one such law, let us understand why CAD designers need to be cautious of copyright infringement. 

Computer-aided Design (CAD) and Copyright Infringement

Imagine a hypothetical scenario. You take hours to design the 3D model of a new walking stick for your client. This prototype is used to create tangible products and sell them in the market. A consumer purchases this product and is highly impressed with its utility. Somehow, they manage to get hold of your CAD files and a 3D printer and create a duplicate version of your original product.

Further, they create multiple copies of the product and start selling them online at a cheaper price. They may even use your client’s brand name and logo on the duplicate products. Apart from diluting your client’s branding and authority, it also puts your reputation at risk. The worst part is that you may not be aware of the scam since it could be happening in another country or continent.

You might think that the likelihood of the occurrence of such an incident is negligible. But, the abundance of 3D printers and their declining costs have made it easy for today’s consumers to create their own products. Moreover, cybercriminals can hack your computer and get access to all the CAD files, prototypes, and models developed by you. In the worst-case scenario, they could release these files online, allowing anyone to create duplicate products using your designs.

What if there was a way to monitor and report any such duplication? How do you take action against those cybercriminals who leaked your CAD files? What about the end consumers who create low-quality duplicates of your original product? As a CAD designer, you should be aware of your IP rights to protect your work and reputation.

Let us now understand what is DMCA and how it protects CAD designers.

Decoding DMCA

DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a copyright law that was passed in the U.S. in 1998. It put into action two treaties formulated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The main aim of DMCA is to protect the IP rights of bloggers, YouTubers, designers, musicians, filmmakers, etc. It also addresses the rights and obligations of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) whose servers host content that violates copyright laws.

Simply put, DMCA lets you take action against anyone who uses your legally protected work under their name on the internet. You can send a DMCA notice to the violator and ask them to remove the copyrighted material from their website. The term “copyrighted material” refers to audio clips, tunes, videos, images, text, designs, prototypes, etc.

It is, however, crucial to understand that ISPs and platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc. are free from the legal repercussions of DMCA. DMCA gives a sort of “safe harbor” to these platforms. They aren’t required to monitor the content that is being regularly uploaded. However, they are obligated to take down a piece of content when a copyright violation is reported against it.

When you detect any copyright violation of your content, you can send a DMCA takedown notice to the website owner or ISP. The ISP removes the infringed content and sends a notice to its publisher. The publisher, in turn, can send a counter-notice to fight the takedown. If you don’t respond to the counter-notice within a given period of time, the ISP is obligated to restore the removed content.

If you want to understand the application of DMCA, just run a quick Google search for “watch Big Bang Theory online”. Scroll to the end of the first page of search results. Here’s what you will see:

What has likely happened is that the show’s producers or studio executives have issued a DMCA notice to Google. Google, in turn, has obliged by delisting the violating website from its search results. The producers may also have sent takedown notices to the website owner and associated ISP.

Now re-imagine the previous example of the walking stick under the purview of DMCA. When you find out that your prototype is being replicated, you can send a takedown notice to the website hosting the prototype. The owner of the website is legally obligated to immediately remove your CAD files.

It is worth mentioning that certain websites like Thingiverse and Shapeways abide by the DMCA guidelines. CAD designers are free to share their licensed work on these platforms. The only catch is that if their work is distributed beyond the scope of these websites, DMCA can’t protect the rights of the owner.

Another major challenge with DMCA is that it requires you to keep a close eye on any possible infringement of your work. This is not feasible always, considering the endless scope of the internet. This is where a DMCA service can be of great help. Think of it as an agency with a team of experts who work round-the-clock to detect copyright violations and issue DMCA takedown notices.

Conclusion

As a CAD designer, you invest a lot of time and effort to create models and prototypes of new products. It can be disheartening to witness your ideas being replicated and used to sell low-quality products in the market. It raises questions on your credibility and reputation. Additionally, it jeopardizes the safety of the consumers who buy the duplicate product.

DMCA is a law that attempts to protect copyright owners against incidents of infringement on the internet. While the law is mostly leveraged by content creators, it is also helpful for CAD designers. You just have to watch out for any online material that violates your IP rights and issue a takedown notice to its owner. You can even enlist the help of a DMCA service for this purpose.

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