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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
All right, I'm still working inside the fearsome Spanishtown dinosaurs.dng file that's found inside the 24_camera_raw folder. In this exercise we're going to checkout the new Effects options here inside of Camera RAW 6 and they include the option to add film grain to your image and a post crop vignettes. So a vignetting effect that fits inside the current crop boundaries. Now, this marks Camera RAW's first foray into the world of special effects. So I am going to highlight things by applying a little bit of effects based sharpening upfront.
So I'll switch over to the Detail panel, and whether you're sharpening to correct an image or to apply a special effect, you usually better off applying the noise reduction first. So because I want to see what I am doing, I'll press Ctrl+Alt+0 or Command+Option+0 to zoom into 100%. Then I will scroll up to the creature's eye, and I'm going to increase the Luminance value here to 50. Then I'm going to take the Luminous Detail value down to 0, so that we are, if anything, over smoothing the metallic surface of this animal.
Then I am going to increase the Sharpening Amount value to its absolute maximum of 150%. I am going to leave the Radius alone and I'll take the Detail value up to 50, like so. I end up achieving this effect here. There is a fair amount of termite trails inside of this image. We are definitely over sharpening things. But the image needs to survive all this other stuff we are going to heap on top of it. So the Sharpening is going to turn out to be appropriate. Anyway, to see what we've done turn off the Preview check box. There is the dinosaur as it appeared just a moment ago and here it is now.
Thanks to the application of these various Detail options. Now I'll move over to the Effects panel. I want to take in the entire image, because of the vignetting effect I'm about to apply. So I'll press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on a Mac in order to fit the photo into the image window. I'm going to increase the Amount value to 75%. If you think about it, this is pretty amazing that you can do this inside of Camera RAW, because there is not an equivalent filter out there in the larger world of Photoshop. There is Add Noise, but Add Noise always adds single pixels of noise and you have control over the Amount, but you have no control over the Size.
It's always 1 pixel, and you have limited control over Roughness. So what I am going to do is I am going to take this Size value way up to 80, like so, so that we get some big chunky noise. Notice that the Noise ends up affecting the focus, the sharpness of the detail inside of this image. So that's why I started off with as much sharpness as I could muster, because the grain is going to have a detrimental effect on it. Now I'll take the Roughness up to 100, and you can see where I'm going with this. I am no longer interested in this looking like a picture of a dinosaur.
I don't want somebody look at this image and say, "gosh, where did you shoot those cool dinosaurs? I've never seen those before." I want them to think I was actually being attacked and mauled by this terrible creature, and I was lucky to get away alive. So that's why I am going to add a vignetting effect. I was telling you a few exercises back that I disapprove of post-process vignettes, and I still stand by that, because after all it's an overused effect. You see in so many portrait shots, wedding photographs especially, with vignettes all over them, baby photos.
It just gets tiresome in my opinion. It's so easy to apply that it doesn't make your image look any different than anybody else's, whereas if you're getting mauled by a dinosaur, a vignette is appropriate. So, you can either apply a bright Vignette, like so by raising the Amount value, or you can take that Amount value down which is what I am going to do. Down to let's say -75, so that we have a very dark vignetting effect. Then I'm going to lower the Midpoint value, so that the vignette is creeping farther into the image, because that's going to give it a more sinister look.
Once again, at this point somebody is going to look at this image and go, "Holy cow! Were you being attacked by a dinosaur? Is that what that is?" That's exactly, the effect we are looking for. Now I am going to take the Roundness value down to -60, like so, so that we're bending the vignette into a rounded corner effect. So we're sending the vignette outward there a little bit. The Feather value should be higher. I'll take it up to 70%. Then finally I am going to raise that Highlights value, and that will allow the highlights to show through the vignetting.
So we'll still be able to see a little bit of the cloud action and so forth. I want to make sure that we're seeing the interior of the braying triceratops' mouth right there so that we know what he's up to. Now, finally, and you'll have these Style options, in case you're the least bit interested in them. Basically, the idea is Highlight Priority is going to try to protect the highlights inside the image at the expense of the shadow details. So you are going to trot all over the shadows. Whereas, if you'd rather protect the colors, that is the hue values inside your image, then you would try out Color Priority instead.
You can see how that gives us a very different effect. Then finally you have the option of just applying an Overlay effect. So, basically, it's analogous to the Overlay blend mode inside of Photoshop. That's going to give us very weak effect inside of this image. In fact, by far the best solution where this image is concerned is Highlight Priority. That is it, folks. That gives you a sense of the terrifying level of special effects that you can apply to an image here inside of Camera RAW 6.
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