Chapter 1. Using Channels

In This Chapter

  • Understanding what a channel is

  • Working with the Channels panel

  • Editing channels

  • Creating alpha channels

  • Using the Channel Mixer

If you're reading this, it probably means that you didn't quickly thumb through this chapter, say "Yuck, boorrrrringgg!" and move on to sexier topics such as blending, filtering, and retouching. You knew that would be a huge mistake.

The wonderful thing about channels is that they offer you greater control and selectivity when doing those very things — blending, filtering, and retouching. Channels give you one more level of control when editing your images. You can use individual channels for layer- blending options and filters, as well as starting points for masks.

Using Channels

Channels also come into play when saving selections for later use or for adding spot (custom) colors to your image. You can also use channels to turn color images into nicely contrasted grayscale images. And finally, you can play around with the colors in an image by mixing up the channels. So bear with me. The topic of channels may be a bit dry and technical, but in the end, channels enable you to hold the envious title of Master Editor.

To understand how channels work, you'll find it helpful to know a few things about colors — specifically, the various color modes, which I cover in Book II, Chapter 2.

Understanding Channels

When you look at a color image, you ...

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