Week 2 – What is a digital image?

What is a Digital Image Overview

What is a digital image?
A digital image is called a bitmap, which is a two dimensional mapping of pixels that are themselves made of bits. This is like a large mosaic of tile pieces. The tile pieces are the pixels and the more tiles you have the more resolution you have.

What is image resolution and megapixels?
Image resolution refers to how many dots-per-inch or dpi an image has. We can also describe this analogously as ppi or pixels per square inch. If you have a higher image resolution you will be able to print in a bigger size or format. Generally, a better quality digital camera, will be capable of delivering a higher image resolution. You will see this capability promoted as a camera’s megapixels.
A megapixel refers to a million pixels. If your camera is capable of taking a photograph 1200 pixels wide and 850 pixels tall, then 1200 x 850 = 1,000,000 pixels (approximately) or 1 megapixel.

How many megapixels do I need my camera to have?
It depends on how big you want to print your images. Technically, you can print your image as big as you want, however it will only have photographic quality and detail if their are 360 dots per inch worth of resolution. Some schools of thought think you can go down to 300 dpi or even 220 dpi and maintain photographic printed quality. My experience tells me 360 dpi is photo quality. So if that is the case how many megapixels would you need to produce a fantastic 8″ x 10″ print? An 8″ x 10″ photograph needs 8″ x 360 = 2880 pixels tall and 10″ x 360 = 3600 pixels wide. 2880 x 3600 = 10,368,000 pixels which mean you would need a 10.4 megapixel camera to produce a fantastic 8″ x 10″ image. My camera is 12.3 megapixels which means I can take 8″ x 12″ at 360 dpi or a 9.5″ x 14″ at 300 dpi.

What is a pixel?

Pixel stands for picture element and it is one tiny square, a combination of color and light, on your screen. It is analogous to one color dot… except that it is a square. The color of a pixel is determined by how many bits of memory have been allotted to it. That is called the ‘bit depth’.

For additional information about pixels: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megapixel#Megapixel

What is bit depth (color depth)?
How many bits of memory are being used to color the pixels of an image are its bit depth. You have probably heard that computers are just made up of ones and zeros and that is true. A bit or binary digit has only two values one and zero. So if your image’s bit depth is a 1 bit your picture can only be two colors black and white. For instance zeros would be used represent the black pixels and ones for the white. The point is that each pixel can only have two values 1 or 0, black or white. The binary number system functions just like the decimal except that instead of counting with 10 digits (0 through 9) binary is just 1 and 0. So for instance a grayscale image can have a bit depth of 8 bits meaning each pixel has 256 diferent combinations of 0 and 1, or 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 256 values of gray. A color image can have a bit depth of 24 bits. 8 bits for red, 8 bits for green, and 8 bits for blue (RGB) that means each pixel is made up of a possible 256 values for each channel of red, green, and blue. Total combinations of 1s and 0s is 2 to the 24th power or 16,777,216 different colors. The higher the bit depth the larger the file size and the more colors that are possible. It is important to know that there are different types of image files and each format may have a different bit depth and therefore a different file size.

For additional information about bit depth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_depth

What are the image file formats (saving images)?

You can save your images in different image formats which will result in different file sizes, bit depths, and other capabilities like transparency and saving layered information. Photoshop’s native file format is a .psd file which supports layer information. When saving photographs for posting to the web JPG and PNG are the most popular formats. PNG images can support transparent backgrounds whereas JPGs cannot, but if you do not need transparency JPG images are smaller files and quicker downloads. When saving an image as a JPG you can specify the amount of compression and therefore the quality of the output image. When saving an image as a PNG file you can specify whether to include transparency or not. Here is a table outlining some of the common file formats and their features:

File Format File Extension File Size Transparency Layers Colors/Bit Depth Compression Type
Joint Photographic Experts Group .jpg,
Small Files
No No 24 bit color Lossy
Portable Network Graphics .png Small Files
Large Files
Yes No 24 bit
8 bit
Graphics Interchange Format .gif Small Files
Yes No 8 bit
256 colors
Photoshop Document .psd Very Large
File Size
Yes Yes

32 bit

Tagged Image File Format .tiff
Large File Size No No

24 bit,
48 bit

Windows Bitmap File .bmp Very Large
File Size
Yes No

32 bit

Raw Image File Format
Multiple Formats (No industry standard)
.raw, .dng,
.crw, .cr2,
.nef, .3fr,
.dcr, .k25,
Very Large
File Size
No No




Learning At Lynda.com – What Videos to Watch

These are the videos I recommend watching this week at Lynda.com. Choose the Lynda title to watch based on your version of Photoshop or maybe check out both!:

  • Photoshop CS6 for Photographers – with Chris Orwig

    Introduction – Watch all of the videos.
    1. Strategies for Success – Watch all of the videos.
    3. Color Settings and Preferences – (Optional) If you are interested in configuring your photoshop color settings then check out these videos out.
    4. The Foundations of Color Management – (Optional) If you are interested in configuring your monitor settings then check some of these videos out.
    5. Getting Started with Photoshop – Great videos for learning the Photoshop interface. Watch as many as you want.
    6. Understanding Digital Images – Watch all of these videos!

  • Photoshop CC for Photographers: Foundations – with Chris Orwig

    Introduction – Watch all of the videos.
    1. Strategies for Learning Photoshop – Watch all of the videos.
    3. Settings Up Photoshop – Color and interface configuration settings.
    4. Getting Started with Camera Raw – (Optional) If you have a nice digital SLR camera that can shoot Raw photo format you may want to check out these videos.
    6. Getting Started with Photoshop – Videos for learning the Photoshop interface. Watch as many as you want.
    6. Understanding Digital Images and Resizing – Watch all of these videos!

Week 2 Assignment 1 – How to Save a Photograph in Different Sizes and File Formats Using Photoshop
Week 2 Assignment 2 – How to Crop and Straighten an Image


A Flash Spaceship with Movieclips and Buttons – Actionscript 2 & 3


A basic tutorial on Flash interactivity. In this project you create a Flash spaceship movieclip with 3 different states: thrusting, stopped, and shields. You will write the Actionscript code for three buttons, that will move the movieclip to three different animated states.

In the video tutorials below, I demonstrate how to create this project in Flash Professional CS6. The project uses: keyframe animation, movieclips, buttons, frame labels, instance names, the gotoAndPlay() and gotoAndStop() function, and the onPress event handler.

Video Tutorials 

In part 1, I create the spaceship movieclip and the three button symbols

In part 2, I create a looping animation and write the actionscript to control the timeline playhead using Flash buttons

In part 3, I set the button activation area, create timeline keyframe animation, use frame labels
with the gotoAndPlay() function, and use the onPress event handler to create a custom button function

In part 4, I show how to convert the Flash file from Actionsctipt 2.0 to 3.0


First Generation Video Tutorials

The videos below are early tutorials that I created for this project. In the videos, I am using an older version of Flash. The videos are examples of some of my earliest attempts at creating video tutorials. Even though the project was created with Flash CS3, the scripting is still valid Actionscript 2.0 code and will work in current versions of Flash.

Watch the videos and create the project. Save your flash authoring file (.fla) and email it to my gmail account as an attachment.

Note: The tutorials above were created in Flash CS3, but can easily be created in Flash CS4 or CS5. Make sure to choose Actionscript 2.0 when creating a new file to work from.

Week 1 – Welcome to Photoshop


Hello my name is Dan Alberghetti and I love Photoshop! I have been using Photoshop since 1988. Ouch! That is a long time; still I learn new things all the time in Photoshop. My original pursuit was fine arts, but on a friend’s suggestion I started using computers and Photoshop. Years later, it is easy to see how I fell in love with computers because of Photoshop. Whether graphics or web design, hardware or software, programming or networking, it all started because of Photoshop. So beware, Photoshop might turn you into a computer nerd too.

As an artist and web designer I hope that Photography and not just Photoshop grabs a hold of you as a lifelong pursuit. We will be learning how to use Photoshop in this class. When it comes to digital imaging and manipulation there are other programs out there, but none that are quite as good as Photoshop. In this class, I will utilize video tutorials from Lynda.com, as well as my own video tutorials that are hosted at YouTube.com. I will also provide written instructions for my assignments. Every week there will be an assignment or creative project.

Class Materials

The content of this class is designed to help you learn Photoshop image manipulation from a novice to intermediate level. In order to provide a wide range of learning material we will utilize video tutorials from Lynda.com. Lynda.com is the leader in providing online, accessible learning and training materials created by professionals in the field. Each of the Photoshop titles at Lynda.com offers a different perspective on Photoshop and digital photography.

In additional to the Lynda.com titles, I write my own assignments and lessons and use my own video tutorials which are hosted online at http://youtube.com/danscourses

For this class, you should have access to a digital camera. It would be great if everyone had a nice entry level, digital SLR like a Canon EOS Rebel or a Nikon. If you have one great! If not, that is okay too as long as you have some sort of point and click digital camera. This class focuses on teaching you digital image manipulation using Photoshop, not Digital Photography in general or how to use your digital camera. For many years, I taught darkroom film photography, yes I said “film,” so you may end up learning things that will help you to take better photographs and make better images!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use Photoshop at the college?
    Even if this is an online class there is no reason why you cannot drop into the Library or any college lab and use Photoshop.
  • I am an online student, and I can’t get to college?
    If you cannot use Photoshop at the college you should consider purchasing it. As a college student you qualify for student pricing on Adobe products like Photoshop.
  • Should I purchase Photoshop?
    Adobe is moving all of their software products to a subscription model, the Adobe Creative Cloud. I recommend purchasing Photoshop CS6 if you can find it.
  • Should I subscribe to Photoshop through the Adobe Creative Cloud?
    As a student, you qualify for a discount monthly subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. You can subscribe to the entire Adobe Suite of software products or just a single program like Photoshop. Either way, you should try the free 30 day trial of Adobe Creative Cloud and PhotoshopCC.
  • How can I assure that I will be successful?
    The students that attend class regularly, by logging in online weekly, even daily, will be successful. For my online classes, I recommend that students sit down and create a weekly schedule of times that they will work on class assignments.
  • How will I turn in assignments?
    Assignments will be turned in online through the college Blackboard system.
  • How will I be graded?
    I grade on a point system. Every week you will have the opportunity to earn points by doing projects. This class involves project based learning. Each week you will be asked to take photographs, import them into your computer, and edit and manipulate them with Photoshop, it’s that simple! The projects and  assignments are mostly created form my own experiences. To earn full points on a project or assignment, you will need to follow the instructions and accomplish the tasks presented to you. Beyond taking images and using Photoshop, assignment tasks may require research, creative thinking, or posting a comment or an image online. If you follow the instructions and apply yourself in a thoughtful manner I am sure you will receive full points! Ultimately your final grade is based on scale of total points earned versus total points possible.

Week 1 Overview

As soon as possible you will need to purchase your Lynda.com learning materials. To do this, you will need the course invitation code which I will email to you. the cost is going to be under $30 and will give you access to 5 amazing titles for the length of the class. By default, I will send your Lynda.com course invitations to your college email accounts. Please look out for an email from Lynda.

Online students will need access to Adobe Photoshop to do the class assignments. Note: Adobe Elements is not Adobe Photoshop. All of the assignments can easily be done with Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS5.5, CS6, CC. Most of the assignments can be done with an earlier version of Photoshop like CS2 and CS3.

Course Requirements

  1. Acquire access to Adobe Photoshop – using either a free 30 day of Adobe Creative Cloud, a computer at the college lab or library, purchasing directly from Adobe.com or creationengine.com, or purchasing a subscription to the Creative Cloud.
  2. Purchase the Lynda.com course materials – using the hyperlink invitation code sent to you by college email, you will need to purchase access to the course materials through Lynda.com directly.

Week 1 Assignment – 6 Word Memoir

    1. Create an online photo sharing account – to share your projects and images with the rest of the class. There are many popular free photo/image sharing websites like Instagram, Flickr, Photobucket, Imgur, DeviantArt, and Shutterfly. Picasa has been enveloped by Google+ web albums. If your personal photo sharing account supports it, try creating a web album or special folder for your class projects.
    2. 6 Word Memoir – I want you to introduce yourself to the class with a single Photograph and 6 word title. The photograph has to have a creative, maybe even esoteric 6 word title. First, listen to this short audio piece on NPR about 6 word memoirs . The photograph and the six word title should function together in an interesting and poetic way. In other words, the title shouldn’t just be “Me and Joe at the Beach,” but something that is maybe incongruous to the picture or opens up some other meaning that can’t be seen in the image. The assigment is complete when you have submitted a hyperlink to your Photograph with 6 Word title in Blackboard. Remember that this assignment, image and image title will be shared with the whole class.
      Technical Note:
      You need to make sure that the link to your online photograph works. Many times in the past a student will send me a link to a photograph that is locked or only viewable to the owner of the online account.
Picasa Video Tutorial

Welcome to Linux Fundamentals

Introducing Linux

This class is going to introduce you to working with the Linux operating system. If you are a networking student then it is to your advantage to know how to use Linux. Linux is an operating system with both enterprise commercial, and freely downloadable and installable distributions. The Linux operating system uses open source software licensed under the GNU Free Software Foundation. By using Linux you take advantage of a community of programmers dedicated to the distribution and availability of freely accessible and distributable software. Linux is the preferred operating system for running servers, including Apache web servers, BIND DNS servers, and running one of many network monitoring applications. Linux is an excellent alternative to Windows due to its stability and the worldwide community of developers freely contributing software development. In this class we will be working with Debian based systems like Ubuntu and Mint, Fedora, and the CentOS Linux distribution. Students may choose to work with other distributions as well.

Class Materials

The content of this class maps to the Comp TIA Linux+ certification exam. The curriculum used in the class is TestOut.com’s Linux+ Powered by LPI curriculum. You can purchase the software directly from the TestOut.com website. First, go to http://www.testout.com and create a user account, next go to http://www.testout.com/home/student-resources/student-purchasing , enter the promotion code (which I will provide you with), then click on “Linux+ Powered by LPI” LX0-101 and LX0-102 under the CompTIA Products area. This webpage describes the curriculum: http://www.testout.com/home/it-certification-training/labsim-certification-training/Linux-. With the promotional code, the student discount priceis $89. You can get the promotional code for the discount pricing from your instructor or if you have a legitimate .edu email account and you are a current student you can contact TestOut.com directly and request the discounted price. When you purchase your curriculum make sure to list your college and the name of your instructor.

Additional reading materials, tutorial videos, and class lab assignments will be given on a weekly basis here at danscourses.com. My video tutorials are organized in a YouTube playlist here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8A83A276F0D85E70 .

Class Schedule and Policies

  • Where can I find the class syllabus?
    The syllabus is located in Blackboard or you can download it here and save it for your records: syllabus
  • How do I turn in assignments?
    All assignments will be turned in using the college Blackboard system or as an email attachment. Contact your instructor for which method will be used.
  • What will I be graded on?
    I grade on a point system. You will be graded on the following items:
    1) LabSim chapter assignments
    2) Weekly Lab Assignments (non-LabSim)
    3) Attendance
    4) Final Exam

    LabSim Chapter Assignments – Every week I will assign a chapter or portion of the LabSim Curriculum for you to accomplish. For you to earn the points you will need to:

    • Watch the videos and demonstrations – I can tell if you have only watched the video for 30 seconds and clicked away. LabSim records the amount of time and how many visits you spend on the different sections. As your instructor I will have access to your user interaction and scorses within the curriculum. LabSim has a button that allows to print a transcript of the videos this is very usefulfor review, studying, and to save for your records!
    • Read the Lesson Documents – LabSim will provide you with documents. Read them and print them out for your records (You only have access to this product for a limited time … one year I believe)
    • Accomplish the Interactive Lab Simulations – You can take and retake the simulations as many times as necessary. It often takes more than one attempt to complete a lab successfully. You will not be graded down for retaking!
    • Pass the Chapter Exams – Some of the chapters will have a multiple choice end of chapter exam for you to take and pass. You can take and retake the chapter exams as many times as necessary. It often takes more than one attempt to pass a chapter exam. You will not be graded down for retaking the exams!As you make your way through the LabSim curriculum your progress is recorded. I will give you credit (points) for passing through the different chapters. If I see that you spent little to no time, or skipped a particular section, I will take away points.

    Weekly Lab Assignments (non-LabSim) – Every week I will give a hands-on lab assignment based on either the TestOut LabSim curriculum, my own experiences and experimentations, or other additional material. To earn full points for a lab, you will need to follow the instructions, complete the lab, and submit documented proof of lab completion. The lab may require you to do additional research, write a short paper, or participate in an online discussion by submitting a post to a comment board or forum.

Week 1 Overview

First, you need to purchase the Linux+ curriculum from LabSim Testout (see class materials above). You will need to create a TestOut user account, put in your promotion code, purchase your activation license, and enter your activation code to unlock the curriculum. Once the curriculum is unlocked you can start the Week 1 LabSim Assignment below.

Second, for the week 1 lab assignment you will need install Linux both in the classroom and on your home computer system. I will give more information about how I would like you to go about this in class. You will also find more information about the lab assignment under Week 1 Lab – Installing Linux (see below).

Week 1 LabSim Assignment (due Sunday)

Complete all of section 0.0 – Introduction

  • 0.1.1 Instructor Introduction
  • 0.1.2 Linux+ Certification Overview
  • 0.1.3 Linux Operating System Introduction

Complete all of section 2.0 – Installation and Localization

  • 2.1 Installation Design
  • 2.2 Linux Installation
  • 2.3 Localization

    The LabSim curriculum will consist of materials to read, videos demonstrations to watch, and interactive simulations to accomplish. At the end of some of the chapter subsections there are multiple choice exams. All of these tasks to be accomplished can be retaken and you will find yourself redoing some of them more than once or even twice. This is not a bad thing. I will be able to chart your progress through TestOut.

Week 1 Lab – Installing Linux (due Sunday)

In order to practice using Linux and work on lab assignments, you will need to have access to Linux both in the classroom and at home. Here are the choices for installing Linux at home, in my suggested order of preference.

  1. Install Linux in a virtual machine on your Windows or Apple computer using VMware or Virtualbox (If you are new to Linux this is the method I recommend)
  2. Install Linux on an old computer.
  3. Install Linux alongside Windows or OSX in a dual boot scenario.
  4. Install Linux on a USB thumb drive or Live CD (need a CD or thumb drive 4 to 8 Gigabytes recommended)

Click here to go to Installing Linux in a Virtual Machine (Mint 14.1)

Click here to go to Install Linux Mint 14.1  (Spring 2013)

Click here to go to Install Ubuntu 11.10 (Spring 2012)

Click here to go to Install Fedora 16 (Spring 2012)

Turning it in:
Depending on your particular instructor, submit a screenshot of your Linux installation by Blackboard or as an email attachment. In the class environment it is preferable to install Linux as a virtual machine using VMware or Virtualbox. Using virtual machines makes it is easy to jump back and forth between different Linux distributions as well as create custom designed installs for specific purposes.