Snapshot command - Adobe Photoshop

The Snapshot command is a little safety net that lets you make a temporary copy(or snapshot) of the composite image of your canvas. The new snapshot is listed at the top of the History palette, allowing you to use it with the History brush. More importantly, you can experiment with filters and other image processes, but revert to a snapshot, recovering your original state. Alternately, you can run several different tests, compare, and choose the snapshot you prefer.

Creating a Snapshot

Before you can fully realize the usefulness of snapshots, you must be able to create them. Luckily, creating a snapshot is, well, a snap!

  1. Open your document. By default, your initial state is always saved as a snapshot.
  2. Alter your image as you normally would.
  3. Go to the History palette’s dropdown menu and choose New Snapshot.
  4. Creating a snapshot.

     Creating a snapshot

  5. In the New Snapshot dialog box . give your snapshot a descriptive name.
  6. Snapshot dialog box.

    Snapshot dialog box

  7. Choose the source of its contents next. You have these choices for the snapshot’s content sources:
    1. Full Document creates a snapshot of the composite of your document.
    2. Merged Layers creates a snapshot that merges all layers in the image at that state.
    3. Current Layer creates a snapshot of only the selected layer.
  8. Click OK and continue to the next section. Your snapshot is listed in order of creation in your History palette. To switch to your snapshot configuration, simply click the box next to the snapshot’s name.

Using Snapshots with the History Brush

The History brush lets you paint a copy of one state or snapshot of an image into the current image window. This tool makes a copy, or sample, of the image and then paints with it. The limitation is that it can only paint from a snapshot to the same location on the canvas, which is actually a boon when you are trying to line things up perfectly or paint in an exact but limited area. To try using the History brush, open any file and follow these steps:

  1. Open your document and apply an obvious filter to the image like the one in Figure .
  2. For this example, I chose to apply the Hue/Saturation filter

    Hue/Saturation filter

  3. Click the Create New Snapshot button on the bottom of your History palette. A new snapshot named Snapshot 1 is created.
  4. Press Option+Z (Win: Ctrl+Z) to undo the filter.
  5. Select the History Brush tool by choosing Y. Make sure the History Brush icon is clicked next to Snapshot 1, like in Figure.
  6. Setting up the History brush.

    Setting up the History brush

  7. Start painting the areas that you want to have the filter effect. Figure is an example of my work.
  8. Fantastic, isn’t it?

    Fantastic, isn’t it?

I have brushed into the eye area to bring in the glowing red I had created with the Hue/Saturation filter. This is a little more controllable than selecting the eyes and applying the filter to just that section, and it is easier to organize than a plethora of duplicated layers. The down side is that snapshots are lost upon closing the document. If working on an image that you know will take days to accomplish, you organize your file differently most likely using layer comps.

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