making figures in photoshop

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Postby Myotis_rufopictus » Aug 14 2008 8:18 pm

Photoshop is a pain in the neck for the average user because it's way overpowered for basic users. It has way too many functions, which would be great if you were a professional photographer or graphic designer, but just for making figures it's a waste of time.

If you are using a computer with Windows I recommend using Paint.NET, it's a free program that's very functional. (Not the same as the basic Paint application that comes with Windows!) It's much simpler to use but still has a number of fairly sophisticated tools should you need to use them. It also lets you save in several different file formats.

If you want to create your figures as vector graphics another free program is Inkscape, I haven't tried it yet though.
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Postby Roag » Oct 29 2008 2:19 pm

Having been relegated to the task of preparing most of the images for my own and neighbouring lab's publications, I'll clue you in on a few things.

Powerpoint only outputs at 72 dpi, which is well below the graphical and photographic requirements of publications, typically being 300 dpi and 600 dpi, respectively.

Photopaint is good for adjusting brightness and other very basic manipulations, of photographs. Great care should be taken when doing this, and author notes for intended journals should be consulted with regards to just what you can change on an image (the answer is not much, contrast aside). Photoshop should be used to resample images to the correct size, and images should preferably be saved as an uncompressed TIF file. This is a non-lossy format, so data are not lost in the save as they are when using a compression format like JPG/JPEG.

Any text that you embed into your image will become part of the bitmap structure of the image, i.e. it is not vectorised. So when you display your image at any greater size (i.e. you have resized using powerpoint), the text will begin to pixellate.

The way round this is to use a vector graphics package, such as Adobe Illustrator (my preferred program) or Corel Draw. The advantage of Illustrator, for those transferring from Powerpoint as their main poster/image assembly program, is that you can essentially copy and paste from PowerPoint to Illustrator. Or you can just create all the lines, text and graphics using Illustrator (or Draw) as you wish. You would typically copy and paste your photographic image from PhotoPaint into Illustrator and assemble the graphics around it to create your figure.

As Illustrator and Draw create vector files, there will be no pixellation as you zoom in, and when it comes to exporting the figure to PowerPoint (for presentations) or for publication, you can simply export it as a TIF, at a resolution of 600 dpi and at the required dimensions. This file will contain text that does not pixellate when resized.

Hope that helps.
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Using PowerPoint to create 300 DPI images for publications

Postby Chiclids » Oct 30 2008 3:16 pm

Actually you are able to use PowerPoint to create 300 DPI images which can be accepted by most of journals. Here is a post that describes the details.

http://www.protocol-online.org/forums/i ... opic=32881
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Re: making figures in photoshop

Postby josefina » Oct 05 2009 9:33 am

When you make pictures on photoshop, how do you usualy start? I just got photoshop for making pretty pictures and I'm excited but I dakno how to use it :/. I hear some people will draw something usually and then scan it on there and then add color and effects. Is that how you do it? To make gorgeous pictures that look bright and vivid with color? I'm happy cuz this is so much better than paint (lol) but it's also a lil confusing!!? Please help me!
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Re: making figures in photoshop

Postby Chiclids » Oct 05 2009 3:43 pm

Making nice looking figures for presentations and publications is a very time-consuming task. A company Motifolio Inc developed thousands of pre-made drawing diagrams – biology, anatomy, cell signaling pathway, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, immunology, to help you create quality illustrations for presentations and publications. Those drawing diagrams are placed in the PowerPoint slides. If you have PowerPoint installed on your computer, you simply open pre-made slides and copy/paste diagrams into your slides. The big advantage is fully modifiable. You are able to make any changes – line, color, shape to make your own illustrations. Here is a link you can download free sample slides.

http://www.motifolio.com/sampleslides.html

Consideration of using PPT slides as figures for publications.

By default, when you save a PPT slide as an image file, the resolution is 96DPI. However most of publishers require 300DPI or higher for figures. It will be very time consuming to recreate figures by using other graphic software, e.g., Adobe PhotoShop. Actually you can save a slide up to 300DPI high resolution image file (TIFF, JPG, PNG, et al) directly from PowerPoint without other programs.

If you are using PowerPoint 2003 or 2007 (without service pack 1), you can follow the step-by-step instruction in the following papers to create 300DPI image files directly from PowerPoint.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/827745
How to change the resolution of a slide that you export as a picture in PowerPoint.

http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/185/1/273
Using PowerPoint to Create High-Resolution Images for Journal Publications.
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Re: making figures in photoshop

Postby smith2287 » Oct 20 2009 8:56 am

dawnsong wrote:Hi, I am trying to remade figures in photoshop since the figures I made in powerpoint and copy-paste to photoshop gave me smeary letters. Could anyone instruct me how to add letters and characters in photoshop? Thank you very much!


In photoshop by adding text control you can add your letters and characters.
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Re: making figures in photoshop

Postby quandelee » Jan 04 2010 9:21 am

How can I put photoshop pictures into windows movie maker? I heard that you can put your designs that you did on youtube and all that stuff. How can I put my photoshop pictures into windows movie maker?
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Re: making figures in photoshop

Postby bbrij87 » May 07 2011 11:11 pm

Hello Dear. Contact me via private messaege and i will let you know via tutorial via Teamviewer. I am expert in photoshop.
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Re: making figures in photoshop

Postby Abhijeet Bakre » Dec 03 2014 8:24 pm

Hi All,
You all may be better off using Inkscape, a vector illustration tool similar to Adobe illustrator. In a vector imaging environment, your resolution is independent of the magnification so fonts or images look crisp and clear at any magnification. I dont understand the mathematics of it, but it works for me so I use it.
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Re: making figures in photoshop

Postby sarahah » Sep 11 2017 12:11 pm

I was trying to unlock the background in Photoshop but was not able to do it. Any help :(
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