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Non-Destructive Editing

Lesson 20 from: Photoshop for Beginners: Essential Training

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

20. Non-Destructive Editing

Mark explains the difference between destructive and non-destructive editing. You will learn why it’s best to edit non-destructively as much as possible.
Next Lesson: Working with Layers


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Class Introduction


Introducing Photoshop


The Class Materials


How To Open Files


Using The Home Screen


Exploring The Interface


Getting Additional Help


Understanding Workspaces


Lesson Info

Non-Destructive Editing

let's talk about the difference between destructive editing and non destructive editing, destructive editing means that you are making changes to your file that can never be undone once you save that file, the changes that you've made are there forever. You've destroyed the original image information. You don't want to do that unless you absolutely have to nondestructive editing means that you can make changes to your image and you can always go back and modify those things or undo them because it's non destructive. So let me just give you a really down and dirty example of the difference between the two things using a very similar filter in Photoshop. So what we're gonna do here is we have this image of Karen and I want to convert this to black and white so I can go to image. Well I need to click on that image adjustments and there's all these adjustments that I can make here. Now just so you know these adjustments are destructive, these are destructive things. So what we're gonna do ...

is we're gonna change this image to a black and white image by saying image adjustments black and white. And then it's gonna ask me for a black and white mix. So how am I gonna just that? I'll say okay now this image is black and white but if I saved it and I wanted to go back to the color image I can't I have destroyed all of the color information. It's not there. The history palette is going to be wiped out. So I can't undo it there it's forever. Black and white. I don't want to do that. That's destructive editing. So what I'm gonna do is use the history palette to go back to the beginning of this edit. And instead of using the image adjustments, I'm going to use something that we're gonna learn about a little bit later called an adjustment layer. So I can go down here to the lower right hand corner, there's this little half circle here, half moon and I can click on this and say black and white again, I get the same exact dialogue box that can make the same exact adjustments and then it's done now if I want to save this it will save just like it is and you'll see over here we have two different layers and then if I in the future think you know, I'd really like to have that to be color. Well I can I can undo that change that I made. It's nondestructive. So there are all kinds of techniques that allow us to change our images and then anytime in the future into infinity if we want to undo those we can and so as much as possible if there's a choice to do something destructively or non destructively, we always want to choose the nondestructive edit. So in the future we can change things anyway we want and speaking of changing things anyway, we want one of the most powerful features for nondestructive editing and other types of editing in Photoshop are layers

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Ratings and Reviews


Mark did a great job at explaining things and going over them multiple times throughout the lessons. My only issue was that sometimes it went a little faster than I could keep up and I needed to rewind it a bit and start again. But from someone who has never worked in photoshop before I 100% recommend this class to anyone trying to learn.

Terri Schwartz

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