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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques! Now, I am going to start things off by taking you on a little stroll down Memory Lane. Do you remember when you first started using Photoshop? If you're like most people, you spent those first formative hours by choosing commands from the Filter menu, and you were like, "Oh my gosh, this is so cool! I can't believe what the program can do!" And then about two weeks later it dawns on you that actually I don't want to use the Extrude filter in order to create a bunch of spikes coming out at my face, and then you pretty much abandon the entire filter set, with the exception of Smart Sharpen, Gaussian Blur, Reduced Noise, High Pass, and a few others.
Well, Photoshop ships with this awesome filtering engine that most folks don't use to filter images. It's called Adobe Camera RAW, and you can apply it to your RAW images, as well as your JPEGs and TIFFs. And in this movie I'll show you five different filtering effects that you can pull off in all. We'll start with this image right here, and then I'll apply a soft glow, followed by a bleached effect, followed by a cross-processed effect, followed by an etch effect, and then we'll end things with super etch-- five different filtering effects that you can apply to any image that you like.
Here, let me show you exactly how it works. The first step is to find yourself a RAW photograph, or you can open a JPEG or TIFF image inside Camera RAW, and then go ahead and use the options inside the Basic panel in order to develop that image to taste. So we want to lay down a baseline image. Once you've done that, press and hold the Shift key and then click on this Open Object button down here in the bottom-right corner of the Image window in order to open the image here inside of Photoshop. And notice that the image opens as a Smart Object.
That way we can just double-click on the thumbnail in order to revisit the image inside Camera RAW. We don't want to harm our original image, so let's go ahead and right-click in an empty portion of that layer there inside the Layers panel, and then choose New Smart Object via Copy. That way we can edit this new layer independently of the other one, so each one of these layers that we create will be wholly independent. I am going to go ahead and rename this layer soft glow. That's where we'll start. And then I'll double-click on that Image thumbnail in order to open the image inside Camera RAW. All right, here is what you do to create a Soft Glow effect.
It's actually pretty simple-- not too much going on here. You take the Clarity value down, so you're essentially reducing the amount of edge contrast. We'll take that Clarity value down to -50. And this is less of a softening effect and more of an anti-sharpening effect, if you will. Then I am going to take the Vibrance value down to -100, and I'll increase the Saturation value to +50. And the reason we're doing this is to more or less establish the original Saturation levels. Then I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification. So that's effect number one.
Right-click in an empty portion of the new layer. Choose New Smart Object via Copy. Let's go ahead and call this new layer bleached. Double-click on the layer thumbnail once again to open the image inside of Camera RAW, and this time I am going to take the Clarity value up to its maximum, which is 100. I'll leave the Vibrance value set to -100, and then I'll reduce the Saturation value to 0. In order to produce a bleached effect, you want to go ahead and take this Temperature value and crank it down. Now, the degree to which you crank it down is up to you. I am going to take it down to its absolute minimum, which is 2,000 degrees.
I'll leave the Tint value set to 3. All the other values are fine as is. Click the OK button in order to accept that effect. Now for the cross-processed effect, I'll go ahead and right-click in an empty portion of the most recent layer, choose New Smart Object via Copy. Let's go ahead and call this guy cross-processed. And the idea behind this effect is we are taking one kind of film and we're bathing it in a chemical bath designed for an entirely different kind of film, so we end up with a strange color effect. I'll double-click on the thumbnail for the new layer to open it up inside Camera RAW. Let's raise that Temperature value to 10,000 degrees this time around.
That's going to warm up the image significantly. And then I am going to take the Tint value down to -75. In order to enhance this effect, I'll reset the Clarity value to 0, I'll leave the Vibrance value at -100, and then I'll increase the Saturation value to +100. So you can see how combining opposite Vibrance and Saturation values can deliver an odd, but highly desirable, effect. Now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, to etch the image, I am going to go ahead and right-click on the original layer at the bottom of the stack, and I'll choose, as usual, New Smart Object via Copy.
Go ahead and drag that new layer to the top of the stack, rename it etched, and then double-click on its thumbnail in order to open the image inside Camera RAW. The first thing you want to do is take both the Recovery and Fill Light values and raise them significantly. In this case, I am going to take them both up to 70. You also want to take your Contrast value up to 100, and you want to take the Clarity value up to 100 as well. Now, the blacks will no doubt have to come up quite a bit, and you can figure out just how dark to make the blacks by Alt+Dragging or Option+Dragging on that slider triangle.
In my case, I have got to take the blacks all the way up to the maximum value of 100. I'm also going to Alt+drag or Option+drag that Exposure triangle. And I like what I see at an Exposure value of about 0, but I hasten to add that you may come up with entirely different Exposure and Black values for your image. Now I am going to take the Brightness value down considerably to, let's say, about +35. Of course the colors are completely overwrought, so I am going to take the Vibrance value down to its minimum of -100. I am also going to reduce the Saturation value, in this case, to -20.
Again, these values are subjective, so the values you come up with may be totally different than mine. I am going to warm up the image by raising the Temperature value to 7,500 degrees. Then I am going to tab to the Tint value and press Shift+Down Arrow a couple of times to take the value down to -17. And this is my final etched effect. I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, let's say at this point it's just not etched enough; you want to go still farther. Well, here is what you do. Right-click inside of an empty portion of that new layer, choose New Smart Object via Copy in order to create a copy of it, go ahead and rename this layer, let's say, super-etched this time around.
Double-click on its layer thumbnail in order to open the image inside Camera RAW, and I am going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit in order to take the image in that much more closely. I am going to start things off by switching to the Tone Curve panel. Go ahead and click on the Parametric tab so that you're seeing the Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows values, and I want you to set each one of these values alternately to +50 or -50. Here is how it works. I'll take the Highlights value up to +50. I'll take the Lights value down to -50. Then I'll take the Darks value up to +50, and then I'll take the Shadows value down to -50.
And the idea is we're trying to stretch these various Luminance points away from each other in order to exaggerate the difference between luminance levels inside the image. Now let's switch to the Detail tab. And there's no sense in being subtle here; I am going to increase the Sharpening value to its absolute maximum, which is 150 degrees. I'll also take the Radius value to its maximum of 3 pixels, and I'm going to raise the Detail value to 50 pixels. You want to leave Masking set exactly as is. Assuming there is not all that much noise inside the image, you can leave the Noise Reduction options alone.
Then switch back to the Basic panel. Then I am going to select that Vibrance value, and I am going to take it up to -50. And that is the final effect. Go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification. Now I am going to go ahead and fill the screen with the image, zoom in, and maybe scroll down just a little bit here. And now, just to give you a sense of what we've have been able to accomplish, this is the original version of the image. This is the soft glow effect. This is that bluish-bleached effect. Then we went ahead and threw the image in the wrong chemical bath in order to produce this cross-processed effect.
Here is the etched version of the image. And then finally, here is that super-etched effect. All created is basic filtering effects, using the most basic options in Adobe Camera RAW.
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