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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to change the numerical settings and the blend settings that are associated with a Smart Filter and this is all very recent stuff. As recently as Photoshop CS2, you could not do this. Once you assigned a filter, you had changed the pixels forevermore and that was it. But starting in Photoshop CS3 we have got Smart Filters, still got them in CS4, obviously, wonderful things. So I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Crunchy portrait.psd.
The idea being that we've gone way too far with our sharpening and we have rendered the image not sharp, but rather crunchy. So we can see every pour in her skin, we can see all these fine hairs including her mustache. We can see the edge that's associated with a highlight on nose. That's just ridiculous. So we need to back it off. Go over to the Layers palette and notice right there is this item that's called Smart Sharpen. That is your filter and if you double-click on it, you will bring back the Smart Sharpen dialog box right here. I'll click on her eye once again, because it's the window into the soul.
It's also the window into the reflection of the photographer and that kind of stuff. You know what, let's go ahead and reduce the amount value to 350%. Still over the top, so we can leave that setting but not as ridiculous as it was before. So click OK in order to accept that modification and to get a sense of what kind of difference it made, I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac, there is before and then Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac, there is after. If you want to see that more up close in personal, then I'll go ahead and zoom in, this is before and this is after.
So we have gone from ultra crunchy to just pretty darn crunchy. Let's take it back even more. Now notice, if I scroll over to the hair, that we have some color aberrations going on here. So her hair -- were we to turn off the Smart Sharpen filter for just a moment here, you can see that her hair is a fairly standard blonde color. Whereas, once I go ahead and re-invoke the Smart Sharpen filter and I'll do that just by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, so you can undo turning on and off the filter.
You will see that we have these garish yellows that are showing up, borderline greens and that's because the Blue channel is slightly offset from the other one, just ever so slightly out of kilter and as a result we are exaggerating that difference and we are seeing the complimentary color which is this garish yellow right here. We need to get rid of those aberrations and we can do that by changing the Blend setting. Now there are two ways to change the Blend settings that are associated with the Smart Filter. One is to right-click on the filter name here in the Layers palette and then choose this command Edit Smart Filter Blending Options. So that's one way to work.
The other way and the simpler way in my opinion if you can get in a habit of doing it is to double-click on this little slider icon right there and if you do, then you will bring up the exact same dialog box you would have seen if you'd right clicked and chosen that command there and that's Blending Options (Smart Sharpen). The first thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to change the mode to what, we saw in a previous chapter after you get done sharpening an image, a great mode to apply to make sure you are sharpening just the luminance information is Luminosity down here at the bottom of the list. So as soon as you choose Luminosity, notice all of those yellows went away.
So this was normal, I'll just go ahead and compare them for you. Lots of garish yellow showing up and this is luminosity right there, much more desirable, I think. Then let's go ahead and reduce the Opacity value to 40% and then click OK in order to accept that modification and this is before and this is after and I'm just doing that by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac. Let's scoot over to the eye, so we can really tell what's going on. This is before and this is after and we still have a lot of sharpness associated with the application of the Smart Filter just not nearly as much as before, just a much more mitigated normal amount and to give you a sense of what I mean by that, I'll just go ahead and turn off the entire filter stack here by clicking on the eyeball for Smart Filters.
This is the original unsharp version of the image and this is the sharpen version with some over-the-top settings muted to a normal extent here using the Luminosity blend mode and 40% Opacity value.
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