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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. This week, we're in Photoshop and we're going to do some photography stuff actually. I'm going to show you how to take a bunch of different exposures, merge them to an HDR image in the 32 bit per channel mode. And then develop that image in camera RAW. So the idea is this, you start with typically bracketed shots and how you bracket depends on your camera. This works with DSLR, so you need high end cameras to pull this off.
You want to shoot to your RAW format. Look in the manual for how the bracketing works. But, but essentially the idea is you're going to be holding down the shutter release in order to auto-focus hopefully at one point in time. Oh, it's very dark in here, so this isn't something that the camera wants to do. And then I hold down the shutter release And can you hear those five different shots being rattled off there. Now they went a little slowly. They would of gone rapid fire, if I had enough light, but we're in a low light environment don't you know. So anyways you just sit there and hold it, and get.
A bunch of different exposures, so handheld is just fine. And then you merge them to HDR, and you have to do so in a 32 bit per channel mode, which means that you end up with these whoppingly huge images. But new to Photoshop CC, you can then take that image. And develop it inside of Adobe Camera Raw, which completely transforms the HDR experience inside of Photo Shop. Now by way of example, I went on a vacation on Arche's National Park, and that's in Utah by the way, in Eastern Utah.
Wonderful place can't recommend it enough, and I shot a bunch of different arches. This is Pinnacle Arch. Just a single exposure, and this is what I was able to accomplish by merging to HDR 32 bit per channel mode and then developing the image inside Camera Raw. This is what's known as Skyline Arch. I'm up on this big chunk of rock that fell out of the arch. Because these things do fall apart over time, and this is what it looks like in 32 bit per channel mode developed in Camera Raw.
This one here is what's known as Tower Arch, and this time you can see all the shadow detail that's kind of. Folk color as well. You can go as nuts as you want. So you don't have to create these over the top shots like this. But what I'm going to show you is my favorite arch of all, Landscape Arch. This chunk right here fell off, and almost smashed a bunch of people so you can't get very close to it any more. But I was able to come up with this amazingly detailed HDR shot here. Here. Let me show you exactly how it works.
All right, just so you can see things on screen. Here's the HDR image that Photoshop comes up with by default, which is pretty disappointing. And here's the result of developing the image in the 32 bit per channel space, using Camera Raw. And I'll remind you that this only works with Photoshop CC 14.1 and later. So the first thing that we need to do is do up to the File menu and choose Browse in Bridge and this assumes you have installed Bridge using the Creative Cloud application.
And you'll see that I've created five exposures for you right here, beginning with Landscape arch 1. And ending with landscape arch five. Now before we merge them together into an HDR image, you first need to develop the photos inside of Camera Raw. These are all RAW images saved to the DNG format. So what I'm going to do here is with the five images selected, I'll Right Click inside any one of them. And choose, Open in Camera Raw, or you can just press Ctrl+R, or Cmd+R on the Mac.
And then, inside of the big Camera Raw window, the first thing you want to do, this is a very easy step to forget, is click on the Select All button, in order to select all five of the exposures. And these are bracketed exposures, by the way, if I press the Down Arrow key to advance from one exposure to another. You can see they vary slightly in position, and that's because these are hand held shots. First thing you want to do is switch over to the Lens Corrections tab, and then you want to go to Profile right there and turn on Enable Lens Profile Corrections.
And assuming Camera Raw is aware of your camera's lens, then it'll go ahead and correct for it automatically, as you can see here. So this is the before version, with a slight barrel distortion, and this is the after version, which has become slightly pin-cushioned. Now switch over to the color tab, and you want to select Remove Chromatic Aberration. Now you want to switch over to the detail tab right there. The one that looks like a bunch of pointy things. And I'm going to marquee around this portion of the arch, and zoom in a little bit.
And you could see that it's very possible, especially if I switch to one of these darker exposures. So Alt-Click or Option-Click in the thumbnail for landscape arch two.dng for example. And you can see that we've got some noise inside of this shot. And if we apply some sharpening at this point and time, then that sharpening is just going to get magnified later. So the first thing you want to do is take the amount value for sharpening down to zero. Definitely do that at this point in time, and then take the luminous noise reduction value up to 25.
That all automatically change luminous detail to 50 and luminous contrast to zero. That's fine. You should see a color value of 25 followed by color detail and smoothness value of 50 each. That is all great. Now go ahead and click the Done button in order to apply your changes and return to Bridge. And you'll see each one of the thumbnails update as well. All right, the next thing you want to do is go up to the Tools menu, choose Photoshop, and choose Merge to HDR Pro. And that's going to throw the images over to Photoshop, and Photoshop's going to proceed to merge them together.
Now you'll see some images flashing around over here inside the layers panel. But between you and me, this is a very slow process. It's going to take several moments, by which I mean very possibly more than a minute. So we're going to ahead and fast forward in time to the point at which you see the Merge to HDR Pro window. And by default, you may see that the mode is set to 16 bit. You want to switch it to 32 bit. At which point you'll see this checkbox down here, Complete Toning in Adobe Camera Raw. You also have the option to remove Ghosts.
And Ghosts are little areas where things don't line up correctly. If I were to zoom in to 200%, what you can see is, the farthest you can zoom in, and it's also not actually accurate. We're seeing blown up pixels. Which is wrong because we actually have way more resolution where this image is concerned. But if you notice any weird details showing up. Then you can turn on a Remove Ghost checkbox. In our case, it's not going to do us any good. But we do want this checkbox here turned on. In which case, you can ignore all the other controls and just drop down to this button and click on it.
Now, this part of the process is also quite slow. Basically, what Photoshop is doing is generating a flat image file. And then it's putting that file inside of a smart object. And then it's going to apply the Adobe Camera Raw filter, which is included along with Photoshop CC. Now, as soon as the Camera Raw window comes up on screen, I'm just going to go ahead and click, OK. I'm not going to make any changes. I'll just click OK, for now. And I want to demonstrate here that if I were to turn off the smart filters, which include just the Camera Raw filter.
You can see that even though I haven't done anything that I'm making a difference. So this is Photoshop's idea of what the HDR image should look like, which of course is absolutely terrible. And this is the default Camera Raw correction, which also is terrible. And we can do a much better job just by double-clicking on Camera Raw filter in order to revisit the Camera Raw window. And these are some settings that I just came up with through trial and error. I'm going to take the temperature value up to 6500.
I'm going to leave the tint set to ten, because these rocks are a little bit red. And then I'm going to take the exposure value down to negative 0.25. And then I'll take the contrast value up to 80. And this is going to start looking bad at first. But these values do work. Then I'll take the highlights value down to its absolute lowest, which is negative 100, which helps to bring out the sky. As well as that jet trail right there. And then I'll take the shadows value up to positive 100.
The whites value needs to come up a little bit. And to gauge that, you want to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag that white slider to the right. And at about, well in my case about 65 or so, I start to see that I've got some clipping. I don't want to go nearly that high. So I'm going to take this guy up to plus 40. And then I'll take the blacks value. And once again I'm pressing the Alt key or the Option key as I drag, so that I can see a clipping preview over there on the left hand side.
I'll take that value down to negative 5. Now this is completely up to you if you want to go this nuts. But I'm going to take the clarity value up to its absolute maximum of plus 100. Like so, which makes a heck of a difference where this image is concerned. So if I turn off the preview check box, this is what it looked like before, and if I turn it back on, this is what it looks like now. We do need to make some adjustments to the detail here. So I'm going to switch over to the detail tab, and I'm going to crank the amounts value up to 150.
And then I'll go ahead and zoom in on this portion of rock here, so we can see what's going on. Also take the radius value up to 2.0, so that we have some thicker edges there. And I notice that we've got a lot of wormy detail. That's because of this detail value. I am not a fan. I never use it. And the reason is it does a heck of a job of ruining the image in my opinion. So I'm going to go ahead and take the detail value down to 0. Again, up to you what you do. I will also take the luminescence value for noise reduction up to 25 and then I'll tab down to the color value and take it up to 25 as well.
Otherwise, the default values are just fine. Press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on a Mac to Zoom back out. And I'll switch over to the HSL gray scale tab right here. And you also want to make sure that you're looking at the Hue value so click on Hue tab if necessary, and then go ahead and grab this Targeted Adjustment tool. Up here in the toolbar. And then you want to drag to the left inside of the rocks in order to make them a little more red because in real life they are quite red. And I don't necessarily want them to be quite that pink, so I'll drag back over to the right.
And I'm ultimately looking for an oranges value of negative 25 and a yellows value of negative 5. Now lets switch over to Luminence. I want to brighten up the rocks a little bit, so I'll drag inside of them over to the right this time. And I want to take orange's value up to plus 25. I also want the yellow's value to be plus 5 for what little difference that makes. And then I'm going to drag to the left inside of the sky in order to darken it up, and I'm going to take the blues value down to negative 50 if at all possible.
And I want to an aqua's value of negative 10 is fine. Previously I've come up with negative 15. Again it doesn't make all that much difference inside the image window. The thing about the sky right now is it looks beautiful on screen, and it's going to work great as a web graphic and so forth. But if you try to print the sky, it's very possible that it's going to end up bending because it has too much saturation for most printers. So I'm going to switch over to the Saturation tab right there.
And I'm going to drag inside the sky to the left in order to take the blues value down a negative 75 like so. And I'm also going to take the aquas value down to negative 25. In order to produce this effect here. And that takes care of it. So, I'll go ahead and click OK, in order to apply my changes. And this part actually goes fairly quickly. So, pretty much all the big delays are over with here at this point.
And that is the final version of the image. So, just to give a sense once again, this is the 32 bit HDR image that Photoshop came up with by default. Just absolutely ghastly. And this is the version that we came up with. I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times, so we can see it even bigger on screen. Thanks to our ability to develop 32 bit HDR images, using Camera Raw inside Photoshop CC 14.1 and later. Alright if there's a problem with what I just showed you, it's that we've created a monster.
This image file when saved, in the native PSD file format, consumes 962 megabytes on disk. That's almost a gig. For a 22 megapixel still frame. That's ridiculous. Plus, many of Photoshop's best features do not work in a 32 bit per channel mode. This includes shadows highlights. You can't assign reduced noise, for example. The healing brush doesn't function. Color range doesn't work.
You can't even create a curves adjustment layer. Which is why, if you're a member of the lynda.com online training library. I show you how to take this image and down-sample it to 8 bits per channel of data. That's what we're seeing right now, incidentally. In which case we can now use all of Photoshop's features of course, and save the flat image file. To the JPEG format at the highest quality setting, it's just 16 megabytes. That's 1.5% as large as the 32 bit per channel image.
It's a very useful, very non-intuitive process. If you're waiting for next week's free movie. We're taking next week off because it's Christmas Eve. We'll come back after the New Year, and I'll be showing you how to ring in the New Year using dynamic effects inside of Illustrator. This one's totally awesome. Deke's Technique's each and every week, except of course next week. Keep watching.
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