PI8 Basics #1: What's New in PI8?

PI8 has many new features, so many that you may not find them until you really explore all of the menus and submenus. Here's a screen shot of the work space.

There are many wonderful new features in PI8 for photo enthusiasts. The following will give you a brief overview of PI8's new goodies:

File Menu: When you want to open an image that has already been split to CMYK, now you'll be given the choice of opening it as a single image or opening each color channel separately. As for the last two versions, the Export command lets you create a web album or web slide show, but now you can elect to burn the album or slide show to an autostart CD. When you send the CD to family or friends, it will start up automatically when they put it in their computer's CD drive, and they won't need any special viewer or program to see it. Also under the File menu commands, Print Multiple has been replaced with More Print Functions-->Print Multiple and Print Poster, which lets you print out large posters on overlapping sheets of paper.

Format Menu: Three fabulous new commands have been added. Color Replacement lets you select by color and edit the selected color's properties, making it easy to select and replace only certain colors within an image. Threshold allows you to separate image pixels into black or white extreme values, and is useful for making selections to get rid of unfortunate color casts in photos. Dynamic Range Extension automatically combines images with different exposures to achieve optimal image quality.

Selection Menu: Color Range lets you select by Color Similarity or by Highlight Midtone Shadows. It is a powerful tool for increased accuracy in selection.

Object Menu: Defringe blends an object’s edges with the base image by removing unnecessary pixels. It makes redundant pixels transparent, creating a seamless blend between the object and the base image. Match Background Color Blends an object with its background based on color Similarity. It locates regions in the object similar in color to the base image then replaces them with a similar tint. And here is something that will make veteran PI users very happy -- you can now make selections on objects!

Effect Menu: The commands have been re-categorized more logically. For example, the Magic, Light effect now appears as Illumination, Lights. In addition, many Effect menu commands have been improved to afford more fine-grained tweaking. The Photographic category includes sophisticated new effects: Diffuse Glow, Enhance Lighting, Film Grain, Graduated Filter, Lens Distortion, Spot Filter and Star Filter. The Blur menu has new Flatten Uneven Area and Edge Preserving Blur filters. The Distort category contains Custom Effects, newly revamped Creative Transform effects, and a new Shear filter. The Video category includes a much-requested De-Interlace filter. The Creative category now houses the Paint on Edges command, which used to be part of the Format menu. The Material Effect category has a super new Texture Filter which you can use with your own custom textures.

Tool Panel: There are tons of new features in the Tool Panel. The Text tool now lets you add text directly to the image -- no more Text Entry Box! Just type in your text and edit from the Text Panel, which opens automatically. The Lasso Selection tool has been improved by adding editable path control points for precise selections. The Crop Tool's Attributes toolbar now features by default a "Shield cropped area" option which adds a semi-transparent mask to the area falling outside the selection area, and there is a new Perspective Crop option too. You can also crop to a predetermined size. Just select the Crop tool, a preset Shape in the Attributes toolbar and choose Effect, Auto Process, Crop. Many popular photo sizes are included among the Shape presets, or create your own custom preset. The Transform tool still allows you to resize or distort a selection, but you have to click the Selection button in the Attributes toolbar first for it to work on selections. The Fill tools now include a Texture Fill tool. You're going to love this one, which lets you fill with PI8's textures or your own, and you can resize the fills to fit the size of the selection area or object. A new Measure tool is available through the Eyedropper flyout menu. It measures the height, width, length, and angle of any given area, selection or object within an image, as well as its horizontal and vertical coordinates at any two given points.

Panel Manager: A Selection Manager has been added to make it easy to store multiple selections on images you're currently editing. It makes it easy to bring back a selection, even several different selection areas, while you're editing an image. The Color Panel has been redesigned to allow access to colors in one handy location.

EasyPalette: The Template library includes a selection of Slide Show Templates which, when sliced, allow you to add interactive slide shows within cleverly designed web pages via the Slice Panel.

Uploaded 9/22/02

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