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Get the ultimate foundation in Adobe Photoshop CC, in this update to the flagship series Photoshop One-on-One. Deke takes you on a personalized tour of the basic tools and techniques that lie behind great images and graphic design, while keeping you up to speed with the newest features offered with Creative Cloud. Learn to open images from multiple sources, get around the panels and menus, and work with layers—the feature that allows you to perform masking, combine effects, and perform other edits nondestructively. Then Deke shows how to perform important editing tasks, such as cropping and straightening images, adjusting the luminance of your image, correcting color imbalances and enhancing color creatively, and finally, retouching and healing.
In this movie, we're going to blend and adjust and scale the moon. I'll also show you how to align a couple of image elements in Photoshop. Specifically, we're going to align the moon to the tree. Now if you've ever taken a look at the moon during the daytime, you know that it's brighter than the sky around it. You don't see any of the brownish coloring and the shadows of the moon don't actually darken the sky. So we need to apply a blend mode that's going to make the moon brighter than everything around it. By clicking on the word Normal in the upper left-hand corner of the Layers panel and choosing the most useful of the brightening modes, Screen and we end up achieving this effect.
We don't have near enough contrast, so what I want to do is maximize contrast using a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. So I'll press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and then drop down to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Brightness/Contrast command. Now because I had the Alt or Option key down, that forces the display of the New Layer dialog box. I'll call this new layer Contrast, and I'll turn on the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask check box, so that I'm affecting the moon and not the background.
Then I'll click OK. You can see that the Adjustment layer is clipped inside the moon, because it's indented, and it has that little arrow. Now I'll increase the Contrast value all the way to 100, and then hide the Properties panel. So it's making a pretty subtle difference so far. If I turn the Contrast layer off, this is how the moon looked before. If I turn it back on, this is what it looks like now. Now I'm going to select the moon layer to make it active again. Let's say I want to move it to a different location. I could manually select the Move tool which you can also get by pressing the V key, but you can get the Move tool on the fly when another tool is selected by pressing and holding the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac.
So if I have the Ctrl key down and I drag the moon, then I can move it to a different location, such as for example this upper-left region of the sky. We have a few remaining problems with the moon. It's too big, it's covering up some clouds, and it's bizarrely colorful. So we have some remnants of that brown mixing in with the blue sky. If you want to neutralize the colors of a layer, then go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and then choose the Desaturate command, and that will go ahead and leach all those colors away, so we're seeing the luminance of the moon mixed in with the blues of the sky.
All right, now let's scale the moon by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Free Transform command or you can press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. If you want to scale the moon proportionally with respect to its center, you press both the Shift+Alt keys or the Shift+ Option keys on the Mac, and drag a corner handle. So it's the same keys that we used to draw an ellipse outward from the center in the previous movie. I want to go ahead and take the size of the moon down to 25% of its former size. So I'm going to click on this Chain icon between the W and H values to lock down the proportions.
Then I'll click on the W to select its numerical value, and I'll change it to 25% and then I'll press the Enter key a couple of times in order to invoke that change. Now you can move this moon pretty much anywhere in the sky and it looks pretty darn natural as long as you don't put it in front of a cloud or the tree or on the ground or something like that. I want it to be somewhere over in this region. And just to ensure that you and I are getting the same results, let's go ahead and align the moon to the tree like so. Make sure your Rectangular Marquee tool is selected, then go up to the Options Bar and switch Style from Normal to Fixed Size and that allows you to dial in a size for your rectangle and pixels.
I'm going to click on the Width value to select it, and then enter 420, then tab over to the Height value, and enter 580. You may wonder why these values? Well just because they end up working for this example. Now press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and I'll click inside the image window. I'm actually dragging to move the marquee around, and notice that I can't change its size because it has a fixed size now of 420 pixels wide by 580 pixels tall. I'm going to move that marquee over until it surrounds the tree, and it aligns to the base of the trunk.
And now with the moon layer selected inside the Layers panel, I'll click on the Move tool at the top of the toolbox to select it. Then I'll click on the first align icon, Align top edges to move the moon down, and I'll click on the last align icon, Align right edges to move the moon over. Now press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. With the Move tool selected, I want you to press Shift+Right arrow to nudge the moon to the right 10 pixels. And as you can see, if you look at the final composition, that is the exact final placement of the moon.
That's how you go about blending a layer with its new environment, and aligning one image element to another here inside Photoshop.
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