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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, I'll show you how to take the 32 bit per channel HDR image that we created in the previous movie. And we'll both brighten up the shadows and convert the image to an eight bit per channel RGB image. Which makes the image much smaller, and much more flexible to boot. So, let's start with the size issue. This image here, the 32 bit per channel image, weighs in at 962 megabytes on disk. That's almost a full gigabyte.
Now, this is a 22-megapixel image that I captured with a Canon 5D, but there's no excuse for this file being that massive, whereas. If we go ahead and down sample it to eight bits per channel, then we can save it as a JPEG file that's less than 16 megabytes. That is to say it's only 1.5% as large on disk. Which makes this a pretty attractive scenario, but it's a little trickier than you might think. So, for starters, I'll go back to the 32 bit per channel image.
Let's say that I want to brighten up these shadows inside of the foliage. Well, one option, normally. Would be to go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and then choose Shadows Highlights. Because you can apply Shadows Highlights as a smart filter to a smart object, but not at 32 bit per channel. In fact, there's just one option open to us, which is HDR toning. Which you're not going to want to touch, between you and me. So you might think, oh gosh, I could apply some other filter, but a lot of the filters are missing.
Notice we have a lot of dim filters at this bit depth including lots inside the noise and stylize sub menus. And then finally, we might use a curves adjustment layer. But if you drop down to the black/white icon at the bottom of Layers panel, you'll see that curves is dimmed. Nor do we have access to brightness contrast which might come in handy. You can apply levels, but it's not going to do us any good for just breathing life into these shadows. And you have exposure, which is about the worst adjustment function that there is.
So, what do we do? Well, really the only option open to us at this bit depth is to go up to the Filter menu and choose Camera Raw filter, or you can press Ctrl+ Shift+A, or Cmd+Shift+A on a Mac. Again, you have to be working inside Photoshop CC14.1. Or later. Now, you might think, well that's silly to apply another helping of Camera Raw. Isn't that going to be a destructive modification? And the answer is, absolutely not. Now, we've done as much modification using Camera Raw, so far, as we can.
Because you may recall, from the previous movie. We brought that shadows value up to plus 100%, which is high as it goes. So if we want to go higher, we have to choose the command again. And it is not harming anything. Because all this thing is, is a 32 bit per channel image that's tucked away inside of a smart object. Otherwise it's a flat image file. And because it has so much dynamic range, we can apply this filter pretty much as many times as we like. So, I'll go ahead and choose Camera Raw filter from the Filter menu. It may take a moment to come up on screen.
Now, you're going to notice that the image changes by default. And that's because Camera Raw always changes the image. Even if you don't do a darn thing, it's going to do something. We have too high of a temperature value, so we're going to have to take that back to 4500, but you're going to find different images work differently. So that value in particular is going to require different attention depending on the image that you're working on. You want to take the tint value down to 0, always, by the way. You want to start with a tint value of 0.
You also want to take the exposure value down. I'm going to take it all the way down to negative one. And then I'm going to take the contrast value down to negative 50. Now, at this point you probably would normally want to compare what you've done so far to the original image, right? So that you can tell if you're starting from zero. But if you turn off the preview check box, all you're going to see is what Camera Raw was doing right at the beginning when you brought it up on screen. So that's not doing you any good. Instead what you have to do is turn the preview check box back on, so you can see what the image looks like right now.
And then go ahead and switch out of the fullscreen mode if you're working in it so, that you have a smaller version of the Camera Raw window and drag it down. This is old-school previewing folks, so that you can see the original version of the image in the background and then you can drag this thing and go hm, yeah, that looks pretty good. Or you could click OK in order to actually apply that second helping of Camera Raw. And you will see that things change slightly. So if I press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac. This is what things looked like before at the outset of the movie.
And if I press Ctrl+ Z or Cmd+ Z again, this is what they look like now. Which is to say, if anything, our shadows have gotten darker, which is not what we want. So go ahead and double-click on that top application of Camera Raw filter, which is the newest one. So the most recent filter is listed on top in Layers panel. Then let's go ahead and toggle the fullscreen mode, which you can do by pressing the F key, for what that's worth. And I'm going to increase the shadow's value, because I do want the shadows to brighten up all the way to plus 100 again.
So we breathe as much as life into those shadows as possible. We're starting to get some pretty teeny detail here. Don't worry about that, we'll solve that problem in part by bringing the contrast value back up to zero. And then I'm also going to take the clarity value up halfway, to plus 50, in order to produce this effect here. And then finally, I'll switch over to the Detail tab. We don't need any more sharpening. We've applied all the sharpening we need. So I'll reduce that amount value to zero, and then I'll go ahead and click OK, in order to apply that modification.
Now, obviously, I've gone too far, which is why it's so great. Then I can back off the effect by double clicking on this tiny little slider icon to the right of the top application of the Camera Raw filter. And that will eventually bring up the blending options dialogue box. You're going to have to wait out a progress bar or two, however. But then, at some point, we're going to see that dialogue box like so. And then I'm going to take the opacity value down to 50%, and we end up with this much more reasonable effect here.
Now you might figure, it would be a good idea to change the mode from Normal to Luminosity, that way we're not messing up any of the original colors, inside the image. After all, we only wanted to breathe life into the shadows. But if you do that, you're going to get some very low saturation foliage. That is what it looked like before. That's about how colorful it was prior to the second application of Camera Raw. I think it looks a lot better nice and vivid, which is the effect we get by returning the mode to normal.
Notice when we're working in 32 bit per channel mode, many of the blend modes are not available to us, including, very surprisingly in my opinion, screen. And I say that's surprising because a, that's a very common blend mode, and b, multiply is available to us. And the math here isn't that complicated so I'm not exactly sure what's going on. But I do want you to notice that, that is the case. So, blend mode normal, opacity 50% click OK in order to apply that modification. Now, at this point, you could go ahead and save your changes if you wanted to.
And I would probably recommend that you do that. But I also want you to notice what you can't do at this point in time. For example, let's say I want to save this off as a smaller eight bit per channel image, so that I can modify it. For example, if you go up the Select Menu, you can see that the color range command is dimmed. Really useful command, but you can't use it. You can't use the Healing Brush and the 32 bit per channel mode. So there's a lot of stuff that you just can't do, which is why you might want to save it off as either 16 bit as I say, or eight bit per channel image.
But notice you can't use the conventional commands. For example, Save for Web is dimmed, and if I choose Save As, you can see that no matter what, even if I turn my layers checkbox off, I do not have the option of saving off a JPEG file. I can save off a TIFF file, but it's still going to be a 32 bit per channel file. And I can't even, I'll go ahead and escape out here, I can't even change the color profile. So I can't convert to a different profile because this command is dimmed. So what do you do? Well, you go up to the Image menu, because you don't want to ruin the original, right? You go up to the Image menu and you choose the Duplicate command.
Notice I can't merge the layers together right here. So I'll have to do that in a second step. I'll just go ahead and very hopefully call this new image eight bit high def landscape arch, because this is the landscape arch at Arches National Park. And then I'll click OK. And then I'll go up to the Image menu, choose Mode, and choose eight bit per channel. You can also choose 16 bits per channel if you like, but there's not really any need to, at this point. We've done all the big HDR heavy lifting that we need to. So I'll choose eight bits per channel.
And you'll see this alert message here, and now normally I would tell you don't merge, because you want to keep your smart object and your dynamic smart filters. But if you do that, then everything will go kaflui. It won't look right at all. So go ahead and click on the Merge button instead in order to flatten the image. Then you'll get this very unfortunate dialogue box here, that threatens to apply catastrophic modification to your image. That's because method is set to local adaptation. What you want, instead, is exposure and gamma.
Not because you want to take advantage of those controls. But because that's the way to do nothing inside of this dialog box. Leave these values alone. They're just plain dangerous. And then go ahead and click OK in order to down sample that image to eight bits of data per channel, which you can see up here in the title tab. It's now RGB slash eight instead of RGB slash 13 as over here on the left hand side. Now you might as well go up to the Layer menu and choose Flatten Image because all you've got is that one static layer.
You don't have anything to work with. So I'll go ahead and choose this command. And now. You've got access to everything inside of Photoshop, including, there's your Color Range command, under the Filter menu everybody's available to you here. And under the File menu you've got Save for Web, if you want it, or you can just choose the Save As command and you can save this image in any format that's available to Photoshop, including the JPEG format right there. So I'll go ahead and escape out because I've already saved this image in advance, and I'll press the F-key a couple of times, and I'll zoom in on the image.
And that, friends, is the final eight bit version of the HDR file that we were able to merge from five bracketed automatic exposures as well as develop with the help of Camera Raw.
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