Design Skills - Resources and Training for Designers

Image Editing
Navigation break
Navigation break
Navigation break
Navigation break
Navigation break
Navigation break
Navigation break
Navigation break

Image editing is at the heart of creative acts when using photographs. Being able to edit an image means you don't have to look for that perfect image to complement your design and it is possible to adjust old or damaged images.

| Digital manipulation | Printing | Saving formats |

Digital manipulation

Some specific areas of image editing are:

Resize, crop, rotate, correct perspective distortion, blends
Remove unwanted elements
Adjust brightness, contrast, colour
Adjust portions of an image
Sharpen, blur, erase, fill, etc

Duplicate an image before editing and work on the copy so that the original is safe. It is also best practice to work in layers so that each addition/manipulation can be easily removed or altered afterwards.
On the right are examples of image editing. On the first image, unwanted elements such as road signs were removed and the colours restored. On the second one, the colours were altered.
Image editing - alterations -  - Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image
Image editing - colour change - Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image

As well as removing objects and changing colours, it is possible to add elements to an image and then correct their size and perspective to match the oiginal. Interior designers, for example, may produce and render the principal elements of a space, to scale, in a vector based software such as VectorWorks ®, create a perspective view and export the drawing to a bitmap based software such as Photoshop ®.

The drawings on the right were created in VectorWorks®.

Subsequently, existing elements belonging to the familly, (plant, paintings, lighting,etc) were added to the design by cutting them from the original image and dragging them into the drawing, so they could be shown in situ.
Original drawing - Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image
Drawing with added elements - Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image
> Back to top


The pixel dimension is the screen size of an image while its print size is the size at which it will print. The higher the resolution, the smaller the size of each pixel and the more pixels per inch, the better the quality of the print. For example, professional printing requires a minimum of 300dpi while 150dpi to 300 is sufficient for inkjet.

Printers use CMYK in four-colour process printing. All monitors display colours using the RGB model, CMYK colours are merely simulated. This is why there is sometimes discrepencies in colours between the screen and print version of an image so always check first.

> Back to top

Saving formats

Many image file extensions are cross-platforms. The Adobe Photoshop ® extension .psd also works with many other Adobe ® programs. Similarly, the Adobe Illustrator ® format .ai is compatible with many other Adobe ® programs. Both these formats enable the user to work in layers.

It is important to understand that Photoshop ® uses bitmap images and Illustrator ® vector graphics. Once an Illustrator ® file is opened into Photoshop, it takes on the attributes of a bitmap image. However, the reverse is not true. A bitmap image opened in a vector graphic software still remains a bitmap image. Some software offer options to trace the bitmap image in order to reproduce it as a vector graphics. This works best on simpler images.

Other format such a .bmp, .jpg or .tif are used for flat documents (documents with only one layer). A .jpg offers good compression levels, often used for bitmap images. The .gif format offers the advantage of an optional transparent background aroung the graphic. This feature can be useful for, for example, placing a graphic on a website when the background differs from the original background of the graphics.

> Back to top

Skills CAD Training

> About CAD > Scale > Basic Geometry > 2D Drafting > 3D drawing > The Overlay Method > Graphics > Image Editing

| Design Principles | Communication | CAD Training | Resources | Skills Store | Frequently Asked Questions

Design Skills Forum | About us | Testimionials | Contact Us | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer

Panacentric Limited
46-48, Rothesay Road. Luton. Beds. LU1 1QZ. UK.

Registered in England No: GB 417 8342
All content copyright © 2001 - 2007