Using Photoshop as Measuring Tool

We all know how powerful and you can say essential Photoshop is to a designer – It’s virtually the bedrock program for any designers. From touching up photos to creating montages to making posters, Photoshop has embedded itself firmly into the toolbox of virtually any designer.

But what else can Photoshop do besides arts/design related stuff? For instance, can it do math and scientific measurements? Jacks of Science finds that there are some functions in Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended that you can take advantage of – in particular the ‘Analysis’ menu – to go about some research problems that could otherwise be much more tedious:

Can you determine the phase of each moon based on this picture?

Turns out you can approximate very accurately – by using the Magic Wand to select a single instance of the moon, and then ‘Record Observations’ under the ‘Analysis’ menu, you get a rich panel of information, including “Circularity” (Circularity measures how circular something is. A value of 1.00 indicates a perfect sphere). By combining the moon’s circularity with the knowledge that there are 30 days between each full moon, you can estimate at which phase your moon is in!

Now, for those of you who like a challenge: how do you know how many green M&Ms are there in this picture?

Answer, and quite a few more of such examples, over at Jacks of Science.


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