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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right gang, what is to be done about the stubborn patches, I ask you? And now I answer you. We are going to correct them using a pretty similar technique but this time instead of averaging the skin tones using the Average filter, we are just going to pick a color and work with it. So grab yourself the Magic Wand tool once again. And yes, in case you are curious, does Magic Wand tool work better for this purpose than say the Quick Selection tool? Oh, my goodness, yes, definitely. Selecting these guys' skin tones with the Quick Selection tool is a demonstration of how not quick that tool is. I'm here to tell you.
All right, I'm going to change a Tolerance value to 20 for this effect, because we are just trying to limit our modifications to small areas inside the image, and I'm going to turn off Contiguous. So basically in one click, hopefully, we are going to select everything we want to select more or less. And now I'm going to go down here. Let's actually go to the Background image. You've got a selection active probably if you have been working along with me. I am going to press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac, and sure enough there is a selection. Let's get rid off it, Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac. This is the most obvious patch, that wonderful little soul patch that he is developing right there on his chin. I'll go ahead and click on it and notice that selects these patches all over the place and it does miss this thing on this guy's nose. So let's go ahead and do him a favor and pick it up.
Otherwise, I'm feeling like we are looking pretty good here, we could try to select some other regions as well. If you have a mind too you can try that. But I'm just going to give this a try. This is a pretty small selection. You may have something larger at this point, which is just fine. It's perfectly okay if we get slightly different effects. Now I do want to get rid of this stuff going on in his coat. So I'll press the M key for the Rectangular Marquee tool, and I'll Alt+Drag around this region or Option+Drag. Now we need to do another Refine Edge because otherwise they are bad selection outlines.
So I'll press Ctrl+Alt+R or Command+ Option+R on the Mac to bring up the Refine Edge command or I could just click on the Refine Edge button. My goodness, that's an option too. Wow, this is really going to be small. And actually if I wanted to I could integrate more pixels by increasing the Contract/Expand value and I'll take it up to like +30. Let's see how that fairs. Ootherwise, I'm using very similar values to the once I used before. So these are the defaults, 1 for Radius, 0 for Contrast, 3 for Smooth and 1 this time around for Feather. Again you go your own way, you are bound to get something halfway decent out of this.
So there, selected those pixels. Isn't that lovely? And then I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac and I'm going to call this layer stubborn bits, like so, because they are vexing us that far and then I'll click OK in order to create that new layer. Now let's just fill the old fashion way. Let's get ourselves the Eyedropper by pressing the I key and click right there, which is a nice area of color on this fellow's face. Something we'd like to match. And that lifts this light color over here. It puts it inside of my toolbox, makes it the foreground color of course. I'm over-annotating I think. I'm going to press Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete on the Mac to create this attractive effect here.
All right, so then I'm going to go over here to the Layers palette. I want to mix these very light pixels that don't match their surroundings in the least, with the original pixels by switching from Normal to Screen; the great Glow mode, the Halo mode inside of Photoshop. And notice that makes it look perfect. See, I told you we'd get it. No... we still haven't. All right. So this time what I'm going to do, I'm going to press the Escape key so that the blend mode is no longer active. And then you can press the 2 key is what I think works for this image, so let's give it a shot. I press the 2 key in order to reduce the Opacity to 20%, and that blends pretty well.
So let's go ahead and check out the difference. This is before and this is after. And that actually does a very nice job on this guy's face. I'm thinking it's not so realistic on this fellow's face. And it's just the transitions that I'm not so fond of. So I'm going to get myself the Eraser tool of all things. You could go with the rule of thumb that says never use the Eraser tool on a layer, always use the layer mask. But why in a world would you do that on such a hastily crafted layer as this? I figure we'll just go ahead and erase. And I'm making my brush bigger of course by pressing the Right Bracket Key a few times. It's also a very soft brush. It doesn't start out that way by default. So press Shift+Left Bracket several times in a row. Four or more times whatever.
And then, I'm going to go ahead and paint away some of the areas that I don't think looks so spiffy like so, just to return this guy's face to sort of a more normal appearance. And that looks pretty nice to me. Or you could obsess over this guy's face too if you want to, might bring back that big cleft in his chin. All right, so these guys are completely corrected now I figure. This is before how they looked. Look at that redness. My goodness, it looks like they've been beat on the face with fly swatters. And here is the corrected version of this image, dandy I tell you.
In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to combine Gaussian Blur and Average in a wonderful surprise technique. Stay tuned!
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