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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.
I am still working inside Jedi Sam.dng, and this time around, we are going to modify some of the HSL values right here. Notice I have moved over to the HSL/Grayscale panel, wherein we have three tabs right here. You can adjust the Hue and Saturation and Luminance levels of specific selective color ranges inside of an image. Notice this time around, unlike the color ranges that we've seen in the past, that are typically space from each other in 60 degree increments on the big color wheel; so we typically have Reds and Yellows and Greens and Cyans and Blues and Magentas, but this time around we have subjective colors. So we don't have any Cyans, we have Aquas, which is slightly different. We've got Blues.
We've got Purples; something we've never had before. We have Magentas. We also have the new guy right here, Oranges, which is great for grabbing flesh tones, I must tell you. But what we're interested in doing is changing the color of the light that's reflecting off of Sammy's face, and of course the color of the Lightsaber as well. So we'll start with Hue right here, and then it's a matter of just sort of messing around with the sliders to figure out who is in control of which colors. This image actually contains a lot of Blues and Purples; I know from experience working inside of it.
So notice, if I go ahead and drag this Blue's value over to the Purple side, then I add a lot of Purple to the image. I can also make the image look pretty different here. I'll go ahead and reset this Blue's value to 0, so we can see the effect of the Purple slider, which allows me to take some of the colors over to the Magenta side, if I wanted to. I'm going to go ahead and take the Purple's value to about 30, and I'm going to take the Blue's value over to about 20, like so, so that we get a little bit of Purple inside of this image, a little bit of violet actually.
If I zoom in, you'll see that this noise that we're seeing all over the place isn't nearly this bad. I have to zoom to 100% though and then you'll see that it drops off. So we do have more uniform colors than Camera Raw is letting on at this given point in time. All right. But let's try to settle things down anyway by lowering the Saturation value just a little bit. I'm going to zoom back out to 50% and just suffer the fact that we're seeing all this noise. I'm going to go over to Saturation. We now know that the colors that we're interested in modifying are Blues and Purples. You can check back there in the Hue subpanel, you can adjust Aquas and Magentas to make sure that they're not showing up, which they don't.
Magenta does just a little bit around the edge, but that's about it. So it makes a very small contribution. I'm going to go over to Saturation. We could see what kind of contribution by taking the Magentas value down, and notice right there, we have this ribbon of Magenta that's going to grayscale effectively on us. All right. I'll reset that to 0. I'm going to take the Purples down a little bit, to about -25 I think is going to work pretty well. Then I'm going to reduce the Blue Saturation as well to - 25, and this looks pretty good to me. I just wanted to compensate for sort of the over the top Blueness of this image, the way that the camera had responded to the light coming off of this little plastic toy here obviously, not a real Lightsaber. I wouldn't let my son put a real Lightsaber that close to his face. That didn't work out so well for like Darth Maul.
All right. So that's it. There is something I want to show you. I'm going to go ahead and open this image inside of Photoshop, because I want you to see, by Clicking on the Open Image button of course, that unlike Camera Raw, Photoshop has no problem showing us the effects of the smoothing and the sharpening here at any old zoom level. So notice, we're at the 50% zoom level and we don't have nearly all that noise that we saw just a moment ago, the color noise. It's a much more uniformed looking image. We do have a little bit more gray around the outside of this color effect than I'd like, so I might go back and make some additional modifications. But anyway, Photoshop will show us noise and detail and all that other stuff at any old zoom level, something that Camera Raw refuses to do.
In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to adjust the luminance of different color ranges independently. Stay tuned.
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