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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.
In this movie, we'll take the results of the previous movie, and we'll turn it into this much more dramatic composition here. Because after all, we're looking at the blinding dunes of the White Sands National Monument in Southern New Mexico. The largest such monument on the face of the planet. So we need to do it justice. And this, friends, is not justice. So the first thing we need to do is create a merged copy of our existing layers. Make sure the top layer in a stack is selected. And then you press a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Alt+ E on the PC or Cmd+Shift+Opt+E on the Mac. That is your only option for merging the existing layers onto a new one, as we see here.
And I'll go ahead and rename this guy, mergeplus + gblur 20, because I plan to apply the Gaussian Blur filter with the radius of 20 pixels. And I'll do that right now, by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Blur, and then choosing Gaussian Blur. And you can see that I've already got twenty pixels loaded. Now this is a very high resolution image, 20 plus mega pixels. If you were working with a lower resolution image you might want to reduce the radius value, that I find that twenty pixels works quite well for most portrait shots.
Then go ahead and click OK. Now the next step is to go to the Blend Mode menu. In the upper left corner of the Layers panel, and switch it to overlay in order to produce this effect here just so you get a sense of what that does. This is the before version of the image, and this is the after version. So we are not only adding some drama to the image but we are smoothing over the skin details as well. This is without the new layer and this is with the new layer, so one of the good stuff going on. This is an often aligned trick by the way of just combining galaxy and blur along with the over layer blend mode, but I tell you what It works with all sorts of different images it's a really great technique.
Now if you end up overwhelming the shadows and highlights inside the image, as we've done here. Then you can back things off by double-clicking on an empty portion of this layer to bring up the Layers Style dialogue box. And then drop down to the underlying layers slider, press the Alt key, the Option key, on the MAC and drag, in the case of this image. The right half of the black slider triangle until that value that's moving there Changes to 120, so that value after that slide's right there. And then Alt + Option drag the left half of the white triangle down to 225. So we want to keep most of those ultra hot highlights, but we want to drop away most of the dark shadows.
Then, go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. So again, so you can see what we've done, I'll press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac. This is the original overlay version of the image, and this is the new version with some of the shadows and highlights dropped out. Notice that we're kind of doing a number on the model's teeth here. So without this layer, they looked pretty darn bright and pretty neutral as well. But as soon as I add the layer we're darkening up the teeth and we're making 'em appear quite fleshy, because of the blur, associated with this layer.
So what we need to do is mask the teeth away. So switch to the Lasso tool, an then press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on a Mac. So you can draw a polygonal lasso as you see me doing here. I'm just going to go ahead and trace all the way around the teeth. You want to keep the lasso on the inside edge by the way, if you can, while fully surrounding the teeth, of course. And then drop down to the Add Layer Mask at the bottom of the Layers panel. And press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on it. And what that does is that masks away the teeth instead of just keeping the teeth.
Then go ahead and double click on the layer mask thumbnail there inside the layers panel to bring up the properties panel. If your'e working with an older version of Photoshop, you may have to choose properties command from the Window menu. And then increase the feather value to just 1 pixel in order to round things off slightly. Now go ahead and hide the Properties panel. And I'll zoom out a little bit here so that you can see that the model now has some very, very white teeth. But, that's going to get backed off in just a moment and here's how. We're going to duplicate this layer right there that we've created and get rid of everything associated with it.
And to do so, just go ahead and press Ctrl +J, or Cmd+ J on a Mac in order to jump a copy of it. And then right click inside of layer mask and choose Delete Layer Mask. And right click on this little icon right there. And choose Clear Layer Style in order to get rid of the Overlay blend mode, as well as the underlying layer slider bar adjustments. And you'll end up with that original blurred version of the image, and you may wonder, well, why did I go to all this work if I'm just going to bring back the blur.
Well now, I'm going to press the three key to reduce the opacity value to 30%. So we have just a little bit of normal blur sitting on top of that original right there. So this is the version of the image without the additional blur. This is the image with that blur. Finally what we want to do is infuse the image with a little bit of Sepia, and I'll do that by once again pressing the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac. And you want to click on the black/white circle at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Hue Saturation.
And by virtue of the fact that you have the Alt or Option key down, you'll bring up the New Layer dialog box. Just go ahead and name this guy Sepia, and then click Okay. Then, inside the Properties panel, you want to drag down the bottom of the panel, if you can't see all the options. Turn on the colourized check box, take the hue value up to 30 degree and raise the saturation value to 50% like so and we end up with this extremely orange looking image. Now you can hide the Properties panel and change the Blend mode from Normal to Soft Light in order to produce this final effect here and that is it.
I'm going to press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full screen mode and scroll the image over a little bit as well. And then I'll press the F12 key so that we can see the original version of the image. Complete with the very reflective sunglasses, but still the image lacks drama, don't you think? Where as if I press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac to reinstate our changes, we have a much more satisfying rendering here inside Photoshop.
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