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In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you want to add an effect to just part of an image, you can use the Smart Brush tools. They're located here in the toolbar. I'm going to start with the Smart Brush tool. The Smart Brush tool does two things at once. It makes a selection much like the Quick Selection tool and it fills that selection within effect. As soon as I select the Smart Brush tool, this Style Picker opens from the options bar. In this dropdown menu in the Style Picker, there are categories of preset effects. There are Black and White effects and Color effects and Lighting effects.
I'm going to choose the Portrait effect category and that displays this list of Portrait effects. I'm going to choose the Lighten Skin Tones effect and then I'll click in the options bar to close this box. Now I'm going to come into the image, I'll make my brush small and I'm going to click on this foot and drag. The Smart Brush tool goes right ahead of me selecting on the basis of color and tone and it recognizes the edges of the foot and creates a selection all around the foot. At the same time that it created that selection it filled the selection with a Lightning effect.
So that's all fine, except that I really don't want to include this area in the selection. Now I could get the Subtract from selection tool and try to remove that, but I've had a little difficulty doing that. So I'm going to approach it in a different way. I'm going to delete the adjustment that I just made and that is done by right clicking or Ctrl+clicking with a one- button mouse on this small red icon that represents this adjustment. That brings up this menu with several options. One of those is to delete the adjustment. Now at this time I'm going to train the tool before I apply it and I'm going to train it as to what I want to leave out of the adjustment.
So first I'll click and drag a bit of the selection and then from this trio of icons that appears right near my cursor, I'm going to select the Subtract from selection icon and now I'm going to move over this area that I don't want to include in this selection and I'm just going to drag along its edge. And I'll drag along the water here as well and what I'm doing is telling the Smart Brush tool that I don't want to include these parts in the selected and lightened area. So now I'm ready to continue to add to the initial selection.
I'll click on the Add to selection icon here and I'll click in the image and I'll drag and in just a second, the Smart Brush tool has selected just the area that I want and applied a Lightning effect to it. I'd like to hide the marching ants for a moment, so that I can evaluate the edge of the lightened area. I'll move over this red icon and I'll right-click that's Ctrl+click with a one-button mouse and from the menu, I'll choose Hide Selection. The selection is still active. It's just that we can't see the marching ants.
So I see that the bottom of this area is quite jagged. I'd like to smooth that out. So to do that, I'm going to go up to the options bar for the Smart Brush tool and I'm going to click the Refine Edge Button. That opens this dialog box the Refine Mask dialog box. Mask refers to the layer mask that has been created automatically when I applied the Smart Brush tool. I'd like to soften the edge of that mask. So in the Refine Mask dialog box, I'm going to drag the Feather slider slightly to the right and as I do, I can preview here in the image that the edge is getting softer.
So I think that looks a lot better. I might try to also smooth out the edge by dragging the Smooth slider to the right and then I'll click OK. So I'm pretty happy with these results, except I see that there's a little bit of the toe that's been left of things, up here. I could try to add that to this selection using the Smart Brush tool, but because I need a little more control to get into that tight area, I'm going to use the Detail Brush tool. First, I'm going to remove these marching ants by pressing Ctrl+D on the keyboard, Command+D on the Mac keyboard.
Notice that in the layers panel, the selected layer is an adjustment layer that was added by the Smart Brush tool. That adjustment layer is selected and now I'll go over to the toolbar and I'll choose the Detail Smart Brush tool. The Style Picker opens again and I'll make sure that I still have Lighten Skin Tones selected and then I'll click in the options bar to close the Style Picker. Now I'm going to come into the image. I'll make my brush much smaller so it fits this little area above the big toenail and I'll click and drag there to paint in a Lighten Skin Tone effect in that area that was left out by the Smart Brush tool.
Now if I go too far like this, it's okay, because I can just come up and click on the Subtract from selection icon and then move into the image, maybe I make the brush a little bigger and I'll click and drag over that area to paint away that effect. So that's how you can use the Detail Brush tool to fill in the details around the edges of a Smart Brush tool effect. Now I could have more than one Smart Brush tool effect. So I'm going to go over to the layers panel and I'm going to click off of the adjustment layer that represents the Lighten Skin Tone effect.
I'll click on another layer, like the Background layer. Then I'll go back and select the Smart Brush tool again and I'll go up to the options bar and from the Style Picker, I'm going to choose the Lipstick style from the Portrait category. Now I realize there are no lips in this image, but I can use this style on the toenails just as well. I'll click in the options bar to close that box and then I'll move into the image and I'll click and drag over the toenails and the Smart Brush tool quickly selects the toenails and it applies this red lipstick color inside the selected areas.
If I want to I can change that color by right clicking or Ctrl+clicking on this icon that represents the Lipstick effect and from here, I'm going to choose Change Adjustment Settings. Some of the Smart Brush tool effects can be edited and this is one of them. So I'll choose Change Adjustment Settings and that opens the Color Picker and from here, I can choose a different color maybe a pinkish color and I'll click OK and you can see that the color changed inside those selections. I'll remove the marching ants by pressing Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac keyboard.
So that's how to use the Smart Brush tool and the Detail Smart Brush tool to apply color, lighting and special effects to particular areas of a photo.
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