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Scientific images (SEM)

Daniel Geiger

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Very simple task, just cutting out and combining seven images, some lettering and scale bars. From my research on morphology of some orchid flowers. Images done by critical point drying and variable pressure scanning electron microscopy. Masterfile is just shy of 10,000 pixels wide. Target for this work is a peer reviewed science journal.


Noticeable is the much better edge finder in AP, which cuts way down on manual eraser work. Access to brush palette is also much easier. The hovering preview with eraser is also excellent. The absence of rotate-scale: commit step is great. File size is smaller as well (63 vs. 83 MB for .psd).


Things to improve:

- When entering Select - feather, automatically highlight the value, so that I can immediately enter numerical value (no mouse double click on value field then enter value), then I can hit double enter to apply. Small thing, but in mass production every speed improvement helps. 

- Histogram in Levels should be scaled so that highest peak is at 100%. It seems that levels frequently looks at layer and all the empty space surrounding it, producing very flat histogram.

- Text tool: should remember last fill/stroke settings. Had to reselect with every new letter/box. Eventually just duplicated text layer, then changed letter, which works OK. May also make master letter file, so that I just drag the required letters into the current document.

- Separate view does not have the context options in the top area of each window. Find myself switching separate views on/off regularly, and have not figured out how to predictably get the right window on top when switching off.

- Default value on brushes is 25% spacing, which leaves irregular edges (was the same in PS), 5% gives much smoother edges and brush does not jump upon moving it.

- Enable keyboard page up, page down, home and end keys. This speeds up cleaning up/spotting of images immensely.

- Not sure about autoselect layer. I'm used to select layer in layers palette, then click anywhere and move. I think I may like it in the end, but currently I'm still in old habits.

- Layered .tif files are not recognized as layered. Had do batch process a few hundred files from layered .tif to psd using PS.


Most of this is just teething problems on my end. Once I get the work flow sorted out, AP will be a very nice production tool. Looking forward to the macro editor.



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