July 18, 2013

in Software Review

application: a computer program that performs useful work not related to the computer itself. Examples include word processors, spreadsheets, art and music programs.

bitmap: a binary representation in which a bit or set of bits corresponds to some part of an object such as an image or font. A bitmap is usually associated with graphics objects, in which the bits are a direct representation of the picture image.

blending mode: In Adobe Photoshop, the blending mode controls how pre-existing images or image layers are affected by a painting or editing tool.

clone stamp: a tool that allows the user to duplicate areas. The clone tool can be used to create a crowd out of a small group of people, cover a gap left by deleting an area, or put a third eye on someone’s forehead.

dialog boxes: Secondary windows that appear when the user activates a particular action in a primary or secondary window. They inform users on different aspects: error conditions, warnings, success, or information. The message states the problem and offers a solution so the user can proceed without outside assistance. These boxes/windows disappear from the screen when the user triggers a task-related action (e.g. clicks “OK” or “Cancel”).

digital: representing information as electrical signals that correspond to binary digits and can be stored in computer memory. Digital signals have two advantages: they can be copied exactly, without even the slightest loss of quality, and they can be further processed by computers.

eyedropper: a tool that allows the user to match a color in the existing picture, and cause it to become the active or selected color.

filter: in paint and photopaint programs, a tool for modifying the image to mimic real-world materials, lighting, or textures.
interface: the way a piece of software interacts with the human being who is using it.

keyboard shortcut: a series of keyboard keystrokes that equates with a computer application command or function. They are a faster way to access a command without having to use the mouse to select it from a menu. (e.g. Ctrl + S is the keyboard shortcut to save a document.)

layer mask: allows the user to obscure an entire layer or layer set, or just a selected part of it. You can also edit a layer mask to add or subtract from the masked region. A layer mask is a grayscale image, so what you paint in black will be hidden, what you paint in white will show, and what you paint in gray shades will show in various levels of transparency.

magic wand: in Adobe Photoshop, the magic wand tool lets you select a consistently colored area (e.g. a red flower or a white background) without having to trace its outline.

modeling: to build a 3D computer object.

overlay: a blending mode in Adobe Photoshop which multiplies or screens the colors, depending on the existing color or image. Patterns or colors overlay the existing pixels while preserving the highlights and shadows of the base color/image. The base color is not replaced but is mixed with the blend color to reflect the lightness or darkness of the original color.

palette: in computer graphics, a range of colors used for display and printing, or a collection of on-screen painting tools, or a toolbar that contains a set of functions for any kind of application.

paint bucket: in Adobe Photoshop, the paint bucket tool fills adjacent pixels that are similar in color value to the pixels you click.

paint program: one type of program for drawing pictures on a personal computer. The user draws with a pointing device and tools are provided for drawing circles, lines, rectangles, and other shapes, as well as drawing freehand and choosing colors.
photopaint program: a type of bitmap editing program with special tools and filters for manipulating photographs. In many ways, photopaint programs are the professional versions of the limited paint programs that come bundled with operating systems.

pixel: stands for picture element. It is one of the individual dots that make up a graphical image and is the smallest part of every image you see on the monitor.

resolution: the measure of the amount of detail that can be shown in the images produced by a printer or screen. For printers, resolution is expressed as the number of dots per inch (dpi) (e.g. 300 dpi means 300×300, or 90,000 dpi). The resolution of a screen or image is given as the total number of pixels in each direction (e.g. 640×480 pixels across the whole screen).

rigging: the process of preparing a 3D character model for animation, including setting up an underlying skeleton, complete with constraints, controllers and kinematic systems, and linking it to the mesh of the character model.

stock images: royalty-free photographs or illustrations that are often compiled in CD/digital or print catalogs.

stylus: a pen-shaped instrument that is used to “draw” images or point to menus within a computer interface.

undo: a command that allows the computer user to reverse the effects of the most recent operation(s) or action(s).

WYSIWYG: acronym for “What You See Is What You Get.” This means that the appearance of the screen is supposedly an exact picture of how the document or image will look when printed.

zoom: To change from a distant view to a more close-up view (zoom in) and vice versa (zoom out). An application may provide fixed or variable levels of zoom.

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