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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. Say gang, have you ever wanted to clone yourself? You know, to be more productive? Well, sure you have. That way you can hold down three or four jobs, make tons of money, get some work done around the house, go on a spending spree, you got all that money and take a vacation. Wouldn't that be great? Well, sure it would, and now thanks to Photoshop, human cloning is possible. Check it out. I've got this friend Jacob Cunningham who took a bunch of photos of himself in different activities, wearing different clothes, and then I went ahead and merged them together into a single composition using layer masks.
He is having a regular party with himself. Well sure he is. The thing about cloning in Photoshop though, it doesn't make you more productive. In fact, it takes a lot of time out of your busy day. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, here is the final version of the composition with the 12 variations of Jacob, and here is where we are going to start. So we've got 12 photographic images in all, and the thing I want you to note about these images as we move through them, is that everything is lit by a strobe, and this is a traveling strobe meaning that the lighting for every single shot is going to be a little bit different.
And that does present you with certain masking challenges. If you want to avoid those masking challenges, then you want to make sure your light is uniform from one shot to the next. Anyway, I am just going to move through these guys by pressing Alt+right bracket, that's Option+right bracket on the Mac, and you can see that that strobe is moving around. Here is the problem strobe, and I'll tell you why. First of all, it's a little too close to Jacob, it'd be nice if it was farther to one side or the other of the frame, but also the arm of the strobe there is blocking something that it's lighting. So it's blocking part of the pool table which is going to present us with a challenge later.
So I will press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Now I am just going back up the stack by pressing Alt+right bracket or Option+right bracket on the Mac. This is a shadow that I painted in, that we will bring in later. And you can see in this case, the strobe is well out of the way of the subject that it's lighting, so that's perfect. And it's even better if the strobe is entirely out of frame as it is in a couple of upcoming shots here. There is another little shadow that we will be adding in later. In this shot for example, the strobe is far enough over to the right-hand side that it's out of frame, that's also true for this shot here, and then finally we've got a strobe that's coming directly at us in order to light up Jacob in the foreground.
Now I will press Alt+right bracket, Option+right bracket on the Mac to cycle back to the first layer, and I will turn on this wallflower layer here, and click on it to make it active, that's this guy over on the left-hand side. And I am going to mask him out of the shot temporarily by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. I'll go ahead and grab my Brush tool which I can get by pressing the B key. I will increase the size of my brush quite a bit here and I will right-click inside the Image window just to confirm that the hardness is set to 0%, which is what I am looking for, because we are just going to be creating a pretty general mask at this point.
My foreground color is white, so I will just go ahead and paint in this layer like so, and notice that I am painting in a shadow. That's very important, and I painted away the strobe over here on the right-hand side. I might just want to add a little bit of additional masking there to ensure that that strobe is out of site, because we don't want any strobes left over after we are done. Now I'll scroll up left a little bit, increase the size of my brush quite a bit, and then just paint this general region over here in order to add a little bit of light to the scene. Now let's go ahead and switch to the next layer up which is mirror man.
If I click on the layer to make it active, you can see that we've got a strobe that's pointed at Jacob over here on the right-hand side, but the portion of the image that we are interested in is the reflection over here in the mirror. So that's the only part of this layer I will be keeping, and this is an incredibly easy mask to create. Just press the M key to switch to the Rectangular Marquee tool, and you go ahead and marquee this area right there, scooting over to the left about a pixel away from Jacob's face so that we keep that edge. And then I will drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon and click on it, and we end up masking that mirror image perfectly.
Click on the next layer up, it's this one called shot caller, I'll go ahead and select it as well. That's this guy right there with the problem strobe, so let's see what we can do with it. I'll drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on it in order to mask that version of Jacob away, and then I will switch back to my Brush tool once again and I will go ahead and brush in this rough region of Jacobness here, along with his shadow and I want to brush up possibly a little bit into some of these mid-tones and ceiling.
I definitely want to keep the table, we will come back to it, but I have masked away too much and we've got this ghosting elbow over on the left-hand side, so I am going to reduce the size of my cursor quite a bit, and I am going to press the X key to make my foreground color black, and then I will go ahead and paint that elbow back in place, and I will paint this portion of this blue pool table along with that version of Jacob playing pool in the background in order to bring those elements back. Now I want to work on the pool table, because you can see we've got this phantom cue ball here.
I will press the L key to switch to the Lasso tool and then I will press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click around the green felt portion of the pool table, like so, in order to enclose the entire thing, so you just have to click four points there, pretty easy to do. Then I suggest you go up to the Select menu and choose Modify and then choose Feather, and set the Feather Radius to 1 pixel and then click OK. Now I want to fill this selection with white, white is my background color, so I will press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to mask in the surface of the pool table.
Now will press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. Here is our problem right there, you can see that we've got a little bit of that strobe stand that's showing up inside the pool table, and our only option of course is to mask it away. So I will go ahead and switch to the Gradient tool which you can get by pressing the G key, and I am seeing a black-to-white gradient up here in the Options Bar, I am going to click on that down-pointing arrow head and select the second gradient in, which is Foreground to Transparent, and assuming that your foreground color is black, then you just want to go ahead and drag from this location over, and I am pressing the Shift key as I drag so I am creating a horizontal gradient, and then I will go ahead and release, and you can see that it's an imperfect solution because we do have a darker bit of felt over here on the right-hand side, but it's about the best solution we are going to come up with.
Press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac in order to zoom back out. Now let's check out some of these layers that I have masked in advance. There is this guy back there and you can see that the image is offset, in this case. I have moved it over to the right a little bit, and I am going to Shift+Click on the layer mask thumbnail in order to turn that mask on. I've just gone ahead and masked Jacob in the background along with just the shadow head, not the rest of the shadow along the back of his body because we didn't really need it. All right, now I will turn on the reactor layer which is this guy because he's reacting to the fight scene, and I will Shift+Click on its layer mask thumbnail in order to turn it on, and then I will skip up to St. Patrick, which is this guy over here on the far left-hand side.
Shift+Click on its layer mask thumbnail in order to turn it on. Click on homie, which is this guy back here, Shift+ Click on his layer mask in order to turn him on. And you can see that this is a pretty rough mask job over here on the left-hand side of his arm, and the reason I left it rough like that is because the next layer is going to cover up that region. So I will go ahead and turn on this layer called clown and then Shift+Click on its layer mask in order to turn it on. You can see that the version of Jacob in the plaid shirt ends up covering up that portion of the homeboy in the background.
Now I will turn on this fighter layer, Shift+ Click on its mayer mask thumbnail to turn it on, click on bouncer and Shift+Click on his layer mask to turn it on as well. Now something to note about these particular masks, they were very hard to create. I am going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on the layer mask thumbnail for the bouncer layer and you can see that this is a very detailed hand-brushed mask, and because of the dramatic differences in the lighting between one shot and the next, this sort of perfectionism was absolutely necessary. I just had to hand-brush it, and I am talking about a couple of hours of work in order to pull this off.
All right, now I am going to switch back to the full color image and turn on the foreground layer in order to bring this guy in a place, let's go ahead and mask it as well. So I will click on that foreground layer, and then drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel and Alt+Click or Option+Click on it, and now I will go ahead and grab my Brush tool once again. I'm still working with a very soft brush and my foreground color should be white, so I will go ahead and press the D key in order to establish that, and I will go ahead and paint this version of Jacob into place, and you can see that I am painting in pretty roughly which is fine because I can always go back and paint in black in order to mask some of these details away, and I am going to need to do that, because you can see we've got this weird sort of green thing that's popping off the hat.
So I'm going to right-click inside the Image window and I am going to change this Hardness value to let's say 77%, just because it's easy to enter, and then I will press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that change. Reduce the size of my brush and press the X key in order to make my foreground color black, and then I am going to paint around the hat like so in order to not only get rid of that green highlight but to bring back the light edge of this table as well. And now we've got some problems here with this guy's legs, so I am going to click and Shift+Click, and when you Shift+Click with the Brush tool, you paint in straight lines, which can be very useful for this kind of hand-masking, and I might paint back in some of this reflection over here as well.
I want to click and Shift+Click like so in order to bring back that guy's legs right there, and I am going to reduce the size of my cursor and paint back some of these details like that, because we want the reflection from his pants in the pool table, the metal portion of the pool table, but we want a little bit of extra highlight as well, so I'll press the X key and paint some of that highlight back into place, like so. You may find that you want to split the difference a little bit, in which case right-click inside the Image window, restore the Hardness value to 0%, press the X key in order to paint with black once again, and click just right about there in order to create a softer highlight at that location.
I am going to right-click inside the Image window, restore that Hardness value to 77%, press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac, and you may wonder why I don't just work with the Hardness value of a 100% and the reason is I do want some softness if only to mask the actual details in the scene. Go ahead and paint in this side of the pool table, as well as that guy's legs right there, that got cut-off, and then I'll press the X key to switch back to white and paint some of the highlights back into the hair of this guy in the foreground. And I might want to paint back in that bright felt as well.
So there we have it, the 12 variations on Jacob, one original, one would assume, as well as 11 clones, collected and masked to perfection, here inside Photoshop.
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