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Photoshop CS5 Top 5

with Deke McClelland

Video: Common-sense enhancements

Covers five of the most important new features in Photoshop CS5.
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  1. 1h 9m
    1. Common-sense enhancements
      10m 15s
    2. HDR Pro
      11m 33s
    3. Refining masks
      15m 37s
    4. Puppet Warp
      14m 56s
    5. Painting a photograph
      17m 36s

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Photoshop CS5 Top 5
Video duration: 0s 1h 9m Intermediate


In five movies, author Deke McClelland covers five of the most important new features in Photoshop CS5 and shows how these powerful functions can be integrated into workflow immediately and efficiently. Photoshop CS5 Top 5 starts with the small stuff—the Straighten button, the Mini Bridge, and content-aware fill—then builds up to powerhouse features such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) Pro, the new Refine Edge command, and Puppet Warp. The course winds up with a demonstration of how to use the bristle and mixer brushes to convert a portrait photo into a hand-drawn painting. In the end, we hope you'll feel inspired, empowered, and ready to take on Photoshop CS5.

Topics include:
  • Making sense of enhancements
  • Applying HDR Pro adjustments and effects
  • Refining masks
  • Using the Puppet Warp tool
  • Painting a photograph
Design Photography

Common-sense enhancements

Hi! I'm Deke McClelland. I'm here to introduce you to the best new features in Adobe Photoshop CS5. Rather than merely show you how each new feature works, I'll put it through its paces, so you can see if it's any good. Plus, you'll have a sense for how to use the feature to augment your own artwork and photographs. I'm going to start things off with a collection of what I'm calling common sense enhancements. For example, there is now a Straighten button that makes an image upright and crops it in one click. For those of you who've been using Photoshop for any amount of time, these are the small tweaks and fixes that are most likely to leave you gasping and saying 'finally!' It's all in response to direct customer feedback and every enhancement is more welcome than I can say.

So these are the little things. In later videos, we'll see the big ones. Sometimes a lot of little features adds up to a great big one, and that is certainly the case inside of Photoshop CS5, particularly if you are an experienced user. You're going to fall in love with these little features. Currently, I'm looking at an image from the Fotolia image library about which you can learn more at This image needs a little bit of straightening. So you may be familiar with the technique where you click and hold on the Eyedropper tool, you choose the Ruler tool from the flyout menu, you drag along the horizon line using the Ruler, and then you go ahead and choose this command called Arbitrary.

Well, it takes a little while to fish around for that Arbitrary command. It's so much easier that now inside of Photoshop CS5, you have a Straighten button. And all you do is click on that button up there in the Options bar. Photoshop not only straightens the image; it also automatically crops it. If you don't like the crop, you want to perform your own, then you press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo just the crop and leave the image straightened. You can also merely straighten an image by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on that Straighten button.

I'm now going to go ahead and define the crop boundary using the Crop tool. I'll drag around this area, like so. Notice after I get done drawing a crop boundary, I automatically see the rule of thirds. So I can see how my image is divided up, very useful for compositing and framing purposes. I'll go ahead and drag this edge down a little bit. That's going to leave a wedge of white over here on the right-hand side when I get done applying the crop boundary. Fortunately, Photoshop CS5 ships with the saying called Content Aware-Fill.

I'm going to go ahead and grab my Lasso tool, and drag around this wedge over here on the right-hand side. Notice I'm not trying to be careful about my selection. Now I'll press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac, and because I'm working on the Background layer, that automatically brings up the Fill dialog box, set, by default, to Content-Aware, which means Photoshop will look at the area outside the selection and integrate it into the selection. I'll go ahead and click the OK button, and Photoshop goes ahead and fills that selection automatically. I'll press Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac.

You can see that it's a seamless fill. It's very similar to the kinds of effect you would achieve using the Healing Brush, but much easier to apply. Here is a creative example of Content-Aware Fill. I've got ahead and selected the area outside of this butterfly. As soon as I apply Content-Aware Fill, I end up getting this effect right there. So in other words, Photoshop has taken the information inside the butterfly and used it to fill the area outside the butterfly. I think you're going to have an absolute blast using this feature. Let's look at a few other changes.

I'm going to switch to this layered composition here, and say at this point, that I want to take these three layers of martini glasses, and I want to reduce the Opacity of each one of those layers to 50%. In the old days, I would have to apply the Opacity value to each layer independently. Now, I can go ahead and click on one layer, Shift+Click on another to select all three, then change that Opacity value either manually, or since I have a Selection tool active right now, I can just press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity of all three layers to 50%.

If you spend a lot of time working with Layer Effects, you're are going to appreciate the fact that you can adjust the default setting for each and every one of the 10 main layer Effects. Let me show you how that works. Say that I want to go ahead and create a stroke around this text right there. Then I might grab the Rectangle tool, and draw a rectangle around that text. It doesn't matter what the fill color is, although I do need to pop it to the top of the stack. So I'll go ahead and move it up here. I'll rename this stroke, because I want to use this rectangle in order to house a stroke effect.

Then I'll reduce the Fill Opacity to 0%, pretty standard way of working so that you're seeing through the layer, but you'll keep the layer effect as you'll see in just a moment. I'm going to go ahead and turn off the Vector mask, and then I will switch down here to the FX icon and choose the Stroke option. Now by default, you apply 3 point black stroke when you're first using the software. I'm presently creating a Web graphic, and I'm creating the graphic at four times the size it will ultimately appear. So I want to use a 4-pixel stroke.

I want the color of that stroke not to be black, but rather to be white. This is the kind of stroke that I create on a regular basis. So you know what? Rather than having to enter these settings over and over again every time I enter this dialog box, I'm going to click on Make Default, and those will now be my default settings for the Stroke Effect from now on. All right. Now I'll go ahead and click OK to accept that new stroke. Photoshop also offers the option of pasting in place, by which I mean this. I'll go ahead and switch over to this alternate view of these martini glasses, and say that I want to copy and paste the magenta glass into the previous composition.

Well, then I'll Ctrl+Click or Command+ Click on that glass 2 layer right there to define a selection outline. Then I'll go up to the Edit menu, and I'll choose the Copy command or press Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac. Now I'll switch back to my previous composition. I want to go ahead and paste that glass right into place. But if I go up to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command or press Ctrl+V, Command+V on the Mac, it comes in at absolutely the wrong location. All right. So I'll go ahead and undo that Paste, and move down to stack, click on glass 2, because that's the layer in front of which I want to paste the magenta glass.

Then I'll go up to the Edit menu, and choose a new command. Under Paste Special, we have Paste In Place, which also has a keyboard shortcut. It's Ctrl+Shift+V or Command+Shift+V on the Mac, and that goes ahead and nails that glass right into place as you can see, here. I can change the Blend mode to Screen. Then turn off the previous glass 2 layer, in order to integrate that magenta glass into my composition. Those of you who spend a lot of time using Adjustments layers will really appreciate this next one. I'm going to switch over to this image. Notice that it has a Levels adjustment layer applied to it, but I still need to make some more modifications.

So I'll go ahead and double-click on this Adjustment layer to bring up the Adjustments panel. Here is something new. By default, you can set up the Adjustments panel so that you Auto-Select a Parameter. What that means, by the way, is you're going to automatically select the first numerical value every time you bring up this Adjustments panel, which is great. Because then it means you can go ahead and modify that first value, tab to the next value, modify it as well and burn your way through your adjustments rather than spending a ton of time clicking around inside of this panel.

This is basically a fix for something that kind of went wrong inside of CS4 that used to work better inside of CS3. And by the way, I'll go ahead and press the Enter key in order to accept that value right there, if at any time, you want to, once again, select the first numerical option inside the Adjustments panel, however, you're not switching focus to it, so Photoshop doesn't have any reason to automatically do it for you, you can press the very simple keyboard shortcut; Shift+Enter or Shift+Return on the Mac will go ahead and select that first value.

Then of course, pressing the Enter or Return key will send you back out of that value, and return focus to other settings inside Photoshop. A couple of other features that I think you'll really love. We have this new MINI Bridge, which runs directly inside of Photoshop and allows you to browse your files on disk without having to switch to the big Bridge application. Plus, you can take advantage of things like clicking on an image and pressing the Spacebar in order to preview that image at full screen, just like you do in the Bridge. When you escape out, however, you'll return right back to Photoshop.

Here is something else worth noting. Whether you're working inside the MINI Bridge right here, which I'm going to close for just a moment, or whether you're working with a folder at the Desktop level, I'll go ahead and switch to a folder of images right here. That's that same folder of images from Felix Mizioznikov that we saw inside the MINI Bridge. Notice that you can go ahead and drag and drop files from either the Desktop or the MINI Bridge into Photoshop in order to create a multi-layer composition. So in this case, because I'm dragging and dropping five different images, I will have the opportunity to go ahead and accept the introduction of five images into my layered composition. There they are.

They all look a little overly saturated, because I have this Vibrance adjustment layer sitting on top of them, but talk about convenience. Look at all these new layers placed sequentially into Photoshop and each and every one of them, by default, comes in as a Smart Object. Now, for what might be the biggest timesaver of them all. If you spend a lot of time working in multiple windows inside of Photoshop, and at the end of a project, you want to close all the windows, get it over with, for years, we've been able to go to the File menu and choose the Close All command or press Ctrl+Alt+W, Command+Option+W on the Mac.

However, you had to confirm whether you wanted to save your changes or not for every single one of your open images. Now notice this, Apply to All. Then if you want to save your changes, you click Yes. If you don't want to save your changes, you click No. In either case, you click the button once, and you're done. Those are what I call the small but considerable common sense features new to Photoshop CS5.

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