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This course 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 going to take this costumed child, because after all it is Halloween, but this image is so bland and washed out and it's an iPhone photograph after all, notice how shallow it is. Everything's in focus. And we're going to turn it into this fully developed photograph, complete with this wonderful depth of field. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Alright here's our final effect and here's our scary starter photo, scary because it's in such terrible shape.
Now, in all, I need to apply three Smart Filters to this image. So, I'll start things off by double-clicking on the background here inside the Layers panel to convert the image into an independent layer, and I'll go ahead and call it tiny photo because it's only five megapixels and then I'll click OK. Next, I'll right click inside the image window with the rectangular marquee tool and I'll choose Convert to Smart Object. Now we want to blur the background so that we have a depth of field effect, which is going to help to set off the subject of the photograph, but this filter's only available as a Smart Filter inside Photoshop CC.
If you have that version of the software then go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur Gallery and choose Field Blur. Now notice we have a pin that is set to the default blur value of 15 pixels, which is just fine for our purposes, but I do want it to be located above Sam's shoulder and then I want another one over Sam's left shoulder. So I'll go ahead and clone the first one by ctrl + alt + dragging it, that's a cmd + opt + drag on the Mac. Now of course I want to keep the face in focus, so I'll click right about there, and I'll dial down the blur value by dragging inside this ring to zero pixels in order to keep the face nice and in focus, like so, and then I'll ctrl + alt + drag, or cmd + opt + drag, that pin over to the lefthand cheek.
Now you always want to keep the eyes in focus, so I'll ctrl + alt or cmd + option pins onto the eyes and then another one onto the nose and then yet another onto the chin. Now I'm going to spacebar drag down to the bottom portion of the image and I'm going to set pins with default blur values of 15 pixels along the bottom of the vest, including right here on the button. Then I'll create another pin right here on the tie and I'll dial down it's blur value so it's in relatively better focus to five pixels, and I'll go ahead and ctrl + alt + drag copies of this pin to the shoulders so that they're moderately in focus as well.
And then I'll ctrl + alt or cmd + opt, drag another one onto the bow of the tie and I'll take it down to a lower blur value so that it's in relatively better focus still. Alright, now what we need to do is blur away the background because you never know, there might be dishes in the sink or something. So I'll go ahead and create a blur pin at this location and another pin up here and then I'll create one over here and down at this location, let's say. Now we need to keep that hair in focus, so I'll ctrl + alt + drag the pin that's on the eye over onto the hair and down a little bit here as well.
So each time I'm making a copy of a pin, I am ctrl + alt or cmd + opt, + dragging it. Now what you want to do is test your blur by pressing and holding the "m" key, which is going to show you the masks that's being applied to the blur. So anywhere where you see black, that means no blur is occurring and where you're seeing white, that's the maximum blur that's being applied inside the image. So I can see that I need a little more blur right about there, so I'll just click to create a new blur pin, like so and I'll just drag it out a little bit.
And I think I need to create copies of the zero pixel pins so I'll release the "m" key for a moment, and I'll spacebar + drag down like so, and then I'll ctrl + alt, or cmd + opt, drag this guy right there onto the brow and I'll ctrl + alt or cmd + opt, + drag a couple more inside the head. Now what you want to do is press the "m" key, again to test your blur, we're missing a few points right here and here and I'll take care of that in just a moment, but I want to trace along the contours of the cheek here and the reason I'm tracing this, is because we have a transition from no blur to blur and I want to make sure we have that transition at the right location, so I'll go ahead and now release the "m" key and you can see that I'm still tracing along that cheek which is a good sign.
Now I'll do the same thing over here and it looks like we've got this cheek resolved properly as well. So we had a couple of gaps right here and right here, so I'll go ahead and ctrl + alt or cmd + opt, + drag a pin to this location and over to this location as well. Now it looks to me like we've got got a pretty darn good effect. So I'll go ahead and click the OK button in order to apply that filter. Alright now I'm not interested in applying a filter mask, so I'll right click inside this white thumbnail here inside the Layers panel and choose Delete Filter Mask.
But I do want to add a couple of more Smart Filters, including the Camera Raw Filter, which once again, is only available in Photoshop CC. But the great news is it's really going to allow us to correct the heck out of this image. So I'll go up to the Filter menu and choose Camera Raw Filter in order to bring up Camera Raw here on screen, and then I'll just go ahead and zoom in. I'm going to make quick work of these first options here. For starters, I'm going to take the Highlights value down to -65, and I arrived at all these values through trial and error, and I'll now take the Shadows value up to +50.
I'll leave the Whites value alone, but you can see that we have a tragically washed out image. I need to reduce the Blacks value and in order to see the clipping here inside the preview, I'll alt + drag or opt + drag that triangle to the right until I see a ton of colorful clipping on the screen which happens at about -75. And you can see that gives us a much better effect. This is the before-version of the image, and this is after, and I'm just turning that value on and off by pressing ctrl + z, or cmd + z on the Mac.
Now I'll tab to the Clarity value and take it up to +50 so that we have a nice amount of edge contrast, and I'll take the Vibrance value up to +35. Alright now, you may notice that we have a couple of spots on this vest. To get rid of them, I'll select the Spot Removal Tool up here in the horizontal toolbar and then I'll paint a big generous blob around this bit of gook down here at the bottom of the vest. Notice the Size value over here in the righthand panel is set to 12 pixels and Type is set to Heal and Photoshop sees fit to sample from this location right here, which seems to look okay, I can press the v key, by the way to hide those elements for a moment, and then press the v key again to bring them back, because v turns on and off the Show Overlay checkbox.
Alright now I'm going to zoom in on this location there and paint a big, huge brush stroke over this region. When dragging with the Spot Removal tool, you always want to paint too big, give yourself way too much room, and that way you'll get a nice healing as we're seeing here. I'll press the v key in order to see what that looks like and actually that looks pretty good, but I might be able to do better by dragging this guy over to this location right about there. And now we have more of a continuous transition where this fold in the vest is concerned.
Alright now we want to make some selective hue modifications. If you've seen the most recent version of the Joker recently, you know that he wears a green vest and a purple jacket. Well Sam already has a green shirt, so I figured I might as well turn his vest purple and I'm going to do that by switching back to the Zoom tool and that way you bring back your right side panels, and then go ahead and select the HSL/Grayscale icon right there. Make sure the Hue panel is up on screen and then go ahead and switch to the Targeted Adjustment tool, again up here in the horizontal toolbar, and drag inside this blue area to the right and that will make it purple.
Now what I'm looking for is a Blues value of +60 and a Purples value of +20 and a Magentas value of +15. Now I also want the hair to be less greenish like this, less full-on green, and more yellowish because that's the way the Joker's hair really looks. So I'll drag inside the hair to the left, but I don't want to go too far, but ultimately I'm looking for a Greens value of -75, I'm going to go ahead and restore the Yellows value to zero, and I also want these lips to look a little less magenta so I'm going to bump up the Reds value to 40, which is going to make it a little more scarlet.
And I'm also going to increase the saturation of the reds by clicking on the Saturation tab and taking the Reds Saturation value up to +40. Now you may notice that this image has a ton of noise in it as just about every smartphone photo does, so I'm going to switch over to the Detail panel now and, for starters, I'm going to crank the Amount value for Sharpening up to 150, and I'm going to take the Radius value up to 2, because I do want to see the noise that I'm going to get rid of and I want to see these good edges as well.
We don't want to see this microsharpening however, so I'll take the Detail value down to it's minimum which is zero. Next you want to drop down to the Noise Reduction values and I'm going to take the Luminance value up to 80 which is going to smooth the heck out of the image. I'm also going to take the Detail value down to 15 and the Contrast value up to 50. Now, because we have a lot of color noise inside of the image, I'll take that Color value up to 50, I'll take the Detail value down to 15, once again, and I will take the Smoothness value up to 100 and that way we get nice smooth transitions between our remaining colors.
Alright now if you press ctrl + 0, cmd + 0 on the Mac, you can see that this bottom portion of the vest is extremely dark. I want to brighten it up and I'm going to do so using the Graduated Filter and then I want to zero out all of my options, except for this guy, Shadows, so I'll click on the plus sign next to the word Shadows and I'm actually going to take that value up slightly more to +30. Then I'm going to drag from the button right here in Sam's vest, up to the bow of the tie and I'm pressing the shift key as I do so to constrain the angle of my Graduated Filter to exactly vertical and then I'll go ahead and release.
And because we have a ton of weird edges down here, I'm going to reduce the Sharpness value to it's minimum of -100 and I'm going to take the Noise Reduction value up to it's maximum of +100. Now I want to darken up the eyes just a little bit, make them appear still more sinister and I'm going to do that using the Adjustment Brush. I'm going to start things off here by clicking on the plus sign in front of Clarity this time and ultimately I want this value to be +80 and notice that zeroed out all the other values, and I'll go ahead and take the Tint value up to +25 because I want to get rid of some of the green inside of this area.
And I'm going to go ahead and scroll down to the very bottom of this list here and make sure that the Auto Mask checkbox is turned on. It's very important you have that turned on. Go ahead and crank your Size value down to 5 pixels because that's going to give you the most control here. And then zoom on in and paint inside of the dark portion of the eyes like so, and if you want to see the region you're effecting, go ahead and turn on the Mask checkbox. In my case, I've got the overlay set to blue and I did that by clicking on this little swatch here, and setting the brightness all the way over to the right and I clicked inside of a blue in the color field.
I'll go ahead and cancel out there. And I'm going to paint inside of the whites of the eyes as well because I want them to be effected and then I'll go ahead and paint in this lefthand eye and notice what a great job Camera Raw is doing, because of that Auto Mask checkbox, of staying inside the eye region. Now that I've accomplished that, I'll go ahead and switch back to the Zoom tool so we can see the much darker eyes. Alright, now I want you to notice the noise inside of the image. We still have a fair preponderance of noise inside of the face, but there's no noise in the background, it's utterly smooth.
Well that's not the way things would look if this were real depth of field, we'd see noise in the background as well. So we're going to have to add some post noise by switching over to the fx icon. And then I'm going to take the Grain value here up to 25 and notice that gives us uniform noise throughout the image. Should be a little larger however, so I'm going to take the Size value up to 75 so that it's not obviously digital noise. I'll leave the Roughness value, however, set to 50 as by default.
Now press ctrl + 0, or cmd + 0 once again and you can see that the background is just way too bright so I'm going to add some Vignetting here. So I'll start by taking the Amount option down to -40 and then I'll take the Midpoint option down to 30, and you can see that brings the Vignette farther in. I'll leave the Roundness value set to 0 and the Feather value set to 50, and then I'll take the Highlights value, which will boost the highlights in the background. See how they're turning blue right now? That's terrible so I'll take the Highlights value up to 65 which makes them look normal and then I'm going to change the Style from Highlight to Color Priority because where this image is concerned it just happens to look better.
And now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect and you can see that is a big, huge change from this, the original photo, to this better developed version of the image right here. But I want it to be sharper as well and the best filter for sharpening portrait shots without clipping any of the highlights or shadows is High Pass. So I'll go up to the Filter menu and choose Other, and then choose the High Pass command. This works just fine in previous versions of the software, incidentally.
And I'm going to go with the Radius value of 5 pixels which will determine the thickness of my edges. Notice that all the non-edges are going gray, but we're keeping some highlights and shadows around those edges, so I'll go ahead and click OK. And now to drop out those grays, but keep the highlights and the shadows, you want to double-click on this little slider icon to the right of the words High Pass and in a moment or two that will bring up the Blending Option Style box at which point you want to go ahead and change the mode to the most radical of the contrast modes, which is Linear Light and that will keep as many edges as possible and you can see that we get quite a bit of sharpening.
The halo's a little bit too obvious, however. You can see this white halo along the bottom of the jaw. So I'll take the Opacity value down to 50% and click OK. Alright now, I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times to switch to the full screen mode and I'll go ahead and drag my son downward just a little bit. And to give you a sense of what we've been able to achieve here, I'll press the F12 key in order to revert the image to it's saved appearance. That is the original version of the iPhone photograph and this is the corrected version of that photo with great depth of field thanks to Field Blur, some wonderful development and grain thanks to the Camera Raw Filter, and all the sharpness we need thanks to the High Pass Filter, all at work, here inside Photoshop.
Alright, I think this kid's done a great job. He's got the right attitude. (changes voice) Still he's nothing but a child is he? Which is why if you're a member of the Lynda.com Online Training Library, I have a followup movie in which I show you how to carve expression lines into his face in order to create this more authentic Joker right here. Lynda.com/Deke gets you a free week, by the way. If you're waiting for next week's free movie, it's Election Day across this great country, which is why I'm going to show you how to create a persuasive campaign poster inside Adobe Illustrator.
Deke's Techniques each and every week. Keep watching.
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