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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now often times the technique I showed you in the previous exercises, all it takes to get rid of modeled skin tones. All you have got to do is select the faces, jump them to a new layer, if necessary load the Transparency mask for the layer then apply the Average command, the Average filter and then apply Hue Blend mode and you are done and everything is taken care of. But in this case, we have got a few more problems, because the skin modelling is not only a function of random hue variations, but it's also a function of some brightness and saturation variations as well especially this little bump on this guy's nose here is highly saturated and dark as it turns out.
Let's go ahead and select the red patches inside these fellows' faces and balance that to a new layer and see if we can do something to it that might benefit the image. So go ahead and turn off the average layer if you are working along with me and you created such a layer in the previous exercise, I want you now to select the background layer here inside the Layers pallet. And we are going to once again go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command. This time I don't want to see this kind of selection preview, so I am going to go ahead and switch it back to None instead of seeing Grayscale there.
And I am going to click on this guy's chin and then I am going to Shift drag across just this upper portion of his chin like so. And then I am going to Shift click on this little pimple on this guy's nose and that should pretty much take care of it. If I am worried, I need to get a few other details, I can Shift click here and there, I don't want you to select too much information inside of these faces, much better to select too little at this point. Alright, so we have some very discrete selections going on, go ahead and click OK, by the way the Fuzziness value should remain set to 40, then click OK in order to generate these selection outlines.
Now I want to refine the selections and I can do that by making sure I have one of my selection tools active and then I can click on the Refine Edge button or I can just go the Select menu and choose the Refine Edge command that works too and you will see the familiar Refine Selection Edge dialog box, new to Photoshop CS3, we saw it in Chapter 8. And these are default values, radius of one smooth set to 3, Feather Value of 1.0 that's all fine by me, actually might just leave those set as it is. Then let's just go ahead and take the Contract/Expand value up 50%, so it will expand the selection ever so slightly.
So this is what it look like originally, this is what it looks like now. So it covers a larger area and it has a smoother drop off. Now click OK in order to accept that modified selection outline, it will take a moment in order to do its math there. Now notice that the background is selected at this point, I want you to create a new layer, go ahead and click on this little Document icon down here, the Create a New Layer icon in order to generate a new layer and let's call this one Patches, why don't we and then press the Return key to accept that.
Now I haven't done anything with the selection outline, this layer is completely empty at this point, I want you to go down here to this tool right there, the Eyedropper Tool, go ahead and click on it in order to select it. And then I want you, I am going to go ahead and zoom in on this guy a little bit, this guy in right and I am going to load a color that's not selected, one of the good skin tones right there, alright that's not too pink or not too Red, go ahead and load that color by clicking on it, and what that does when you click on a color with the Eyedropper, it turns that color into the foreground color, so you should see a light sort of peachy patch down here at the bottom of the toolbox.
Then I want you to fill the selection with that color by pressing Alt+Backspace or Option-Delete on the Mac. Now that of course looks ridiculous at this point, that's okay, go ahead and press Ctrl+D in order to deselect the image. I am going to switch back to my marquee tool, I am going to change the Blend mode assigned to this patches layer, I am going to change the Blend mode to screen like so. And that's going to use that patches color, that sort of light peach color in order to lighten everything underneath it.
Again it doesn't look right, that's okay it will look right in just a moment. Now I want you to turn the Average Layer back on, so that we can see the Average Layer in front here. I want you to press the Esc key if you are working on the PC, press the Esc key to make sure that the Blend mode is no longer active inside the Layers pallet. And then I want you to press the 2 key to reduce the opacity of that layer to 20%, would you check that out. Alright, so this is what the image looks like without this new patches layer right there and this is what it looks like with this patches layer, much improved.
The transitions are not perfect and you could go in there and sort of raise at the edges little bit to soften those edges, but I doubt anyone coming to this image for the first time especially once we zoom out from it a little bit, is really going to notice that effect. They are not really going to notice that you have applied this screened layer over at the top of the original image. And if you are worried, they are of course you can adjust the image little bit you can paint into it a little bit if you want too and you could reduce the opacity further, I am going to press 1,5 to take that opacity level down to 15% so it's a little more of a subtle effect.
Now just to give you a sense of what we were able to accomplish here, I am going to Alt+Click on the eyeball in front of the background layer, those of you working on the Mac you would Option-Click on that eyeball. And that way you are hiding everything but the background layer and if I Alt or Option-Click on the eyeball again, I will see all the layers working together. So this is the original version of this image, this is the new version of the image. Thanks to some pretty simple little alterations we have gotten rid of 90% of the modeling that's going on inside of the skin and we have really come up with some nice even skin tones as a result.
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