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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 Deak's techniques. This week we're going to take this photograph that I captured in White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico, and we're going to enhance the reflectivity of the model's sun glasses, so that they better match the ambient white sands environment. For which the white sands are named because, they're white. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. So, as usual, here are the before and after versions of the image on screen, just so can check them on. This is the original, and this is the heavily modified variation Complete with the enhanced sunglasses.
So how, may you ask, did I do it? Well, let me show you. Go ahead and switch back to the original. So we're going to start things off with the Rectangular Marquee tool. We want to go ahead and just marquee a large portion of the sunglasses like so. Just so we have more than enough stuff to work with. And then, press Ctrl + Alt + J or Cmd + Opt + J on the Mac in order to jump to selection and bring up the New Layer dialog box. I'll call this new layer glasses and click OK. Now you want to go ahead and switch over to the Pause panel because I've created some pause in advance. Obviously if you are working with your own photograph then you are going to have to draw your pause by hand, but because sunglasses are man made objects the best way to select them is to use the Pen tool and you can get to the Pen tool right here this guy and notice that I have a couple of paths that I've gone ahead and saved off.
And one of them's called lenses. And you can see these guys a little better if I switch to the black arrow tool, which I can get by pressing the A key. And I'll go ahead and click on this path and Shift + click on this one. So you can see that I've gone ahead and selected the lenses very carefully, by the way, I spent some time on this. I've cheated in a little bit, as you can see. You don't want to go out so that you end up brightening the frames. You want to go in, just a little, so that you have a kind of darkish edge.
I also needed to get rid of some items. And that's the function of this path right here, Edge and Nose, which includes this little edge that I drew. Just using the Ellipse tool. And I went ahead and selected the model's nose using the Pen tool, as well. So what I need to do is combine these paths together. And in Photoshop CC you can do that like so. You click on one of the panels, shift click on the other one. And then just go ahead, if there not selected already, just marquee them with a Black Arrow tool. In order to select all four paths.
And then you want to switch back to the Layers panel, click on the glasses layer to make it active, and then drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel, don't click on it, rather press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac. And click on that icon, and you'll go ahead and load this selective mask as the vector mask as I have done right here. If I turn off the background, for a moment here you'll see that the paths aren't really interacting with each other properly. Photoshop is adding all the paths together.
That's not what I want. So I'll click off the Opacity, select them. And then I'll click on the nose to select it and I'll Shift + click on the lips to select it as well, the tiny ellipse over here, in the upper right corner. And then I'll go up to the Options bar, click on Path Operations and choose Subtract Front Shape, in or to produce this effect here. And now I'll bring back the background image. And I'll press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool. Now we want to brighten the sunglasses. And we'll do so using a layer effect.
So drop down to the Effects icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. And chose Color Overlay. By default, that's going to color the sunglasses red, like so. That's not what we want. We want to brighten them. So go ahead and click on a little color swatch in order to bring up the color picker dialog box. Drag the little circle to the upper left corner so that you get white and then click OK. Now go ahead and change the Blend Mode from Normal to Overlay, and you'll produce this very bright effect right here. Now click OK, in order to accept the change.
Now notice that these edges look pretty darn good where the sunglasses are good, pretty darn bad where the edge of the nose is concerned. We can make things a little better here, by going up to the Window menu, and choosing the Properties command, in order to bring up the Properties panel. You want to make sure the Vector Mask is active, as it is in my case. And then go ahead and increase the feather value to five pixels. And that'll give us a soft edge around the sunglasses. They now look terrific. The nose looks worse than ever.
So what we need to do is redraw that nose as a layer mask. So go ahead and hide the Properties panel, make sure the Vector Mask is selected, and press the A key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool. Now in my case both the nose and the lips are selected. So I'll Shift + click on the ellipse in order to de-select it. In any event, all I want to have selected is this nose shape right there. And then I'll press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of it. Now you want to add a regular layer mask by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Go ahead and switch over to the Brush tool as well. Then press the D key to get the default mask colors which makes the foreground color white.
And press the X key to swap the colors, so that the foreground color is black. Right click inside the image window to bring up the brush panel. And you want the size to be something like 125 pixels. And you want the hardness to be 100%. So that we get a nice sharp edge. Then, press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to hide that panel and click on the tip of the nose like so. Then click right about there, in order to add a little bit of additional nose. Now at this point we need to adjust a setting, that's only available from the Brush panel.
So go up to the Window menu and choose Brush, in order to bring up this panel right here. And then change the spacing value, which by default is set to 25%, change it to 10% instead as I've already done in advance. And then you can hide the Brush panel. And you want to Shift + click right up here at the top of the bridge of the nose in order to connect the last click point with this new one. And you'll trace along the bridge like so. Now it's not perfect at this point but it's pretty darn good actually given that it's just some very basic brush work. What you want to do is double click on the layer mass thumbnail in order to bring up the properties panel.
Or if that doesn't work just go ahead and choose Properties from the Window menu. And then change the feather value to 2 pixels. So we're applying a different feather value to the layer mask, then we are to the vector mask. Which is great that you have that kind of control. And then go ahead and hide the properties panel. That's probably not going to look exactly right. And if you want to fix things, then go ahead and select the Smudge tool. Which is available in the Blur tool Flyout menu here. Drag from right about there at the bridge of the nose up, like so, and then you may have to drag down a little bit as well. What we're trying to do is create as little darkness as possible around the edge of the nose, without introducing any brightness either. So, what you might have to do is take things in as I'm doing right now, and then switch back to the Brush tool and then click, like so, right there at the tip of the nose.
Let's see if this works. In order to get rid of that extra brightness, I'll click at this point here, and then click wherever else you see extra brightness as well along the nose. This looks pretty good to me. But we are bringing out a ton of noise inside the lens. So what I recommend you do is click on the layer thumbnail to make it active. So that the layer mask is no longer active. Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Noise, and choose Reduce Noise. By default, you'll see these settings right here.
What I want you to do is crank em up. And I've already saved off some settings in advance. And they are as follows. You want a strength of 10, where this image is concerned. We want to take preserve details down to 5%, because, not really a lot of detail Inside the lens that we need to preserve, just me shooting the photograph, and then you want to take the Reduce Color Noise Value up to 50% and be sure to take sharpen details down to 0% and then click OK in order to apply those modifications and you'll have much less noise inside the sunglasses.
Finally, we need to add a little bit of a gradient inside the lenses. So I'm going to drop down to the fx icon once again. And this time, choose Gradient Overlay. You want to change the style of the gradient here from linear to reflected. So we end up getting this effect. And you also want to change the angle a little bit. So that the gradient is running at the same angle as the sunglasses. Which in the case of this image happens at about 100 as you can see. And you want to grab the gradient up so that it's cutting through the center of those sun glass lenses. And then finally change the blend mode from normal to linear dodge. So that we have an exceedingly bright effect and take the opacity value down to 50%.
And then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. And that, amazing as it may seem, is all there is to it. So I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full screen mode. And I'll press Ctrl + 0 or Cmd + 0 on the Mac, in order to center my zoom. And then we'll zoom back in and so forth, until we have a decent view. And I'll press Shift+Tab to bring up my right side panels. And if I turn off this top layer here, this is the before version of the image, with a very dark, fairly uninteresting lenses in my opinion. And this is the after version of the image with the sun and the white sand reflecting all over the place, thanks to the application of just a couple of layer effects here inside photo shop.
If you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, why then, I've got a follow up movie in which I show you how to take our image so far, and we're going to warm it up, and enhance the drama in order to create this utter. And complete work of perfection right here. If you're waiting for next week's free movie, I'll show you how to take flat vector based shape layers and dress them up with some layer effects in order to create this volume metric artwork right here. Contains not a single brush stroke. It's all shape layers and layer effects folks. Deke's Techniques, each and every week. Gosh, keep watching.
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