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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.
All right gang, here I'm looking at this photograph of me with a dirty feet and all that jazz, and what I did was I took the photograph of Photoshop Fling me, and I dragged it into the image here, Photoshop Fling Elle.jpg, so they are both merged together now, and you'll have to do that on your own, because it's not the least bit hard. Now the next thing I'm going to do is move Elizabeth onto an independent layer by double-clicking on this background layer and I'll say Elle like so, and click OK. And then let's go ahead and rename me Deke or whatever you want to call me, and then move me under. You can do it either way, but I have more fun doing it this direction, and masking Elizabeth in place.
Let's go ahead and select both layers by clicking on one, Shift-clicking on the other, and then there is a couple of different ways to perform an auto-alignment which is what we need to do, so that the wicker matches and everything. Bear in mind, we've got these two scenes that almost match each other, but not quite, and to perform an auto-align, you can either go to the move tool right here, click on it and then you'll see up here in the options bar, the final icon is these two little faces here. Those will auto-align the layers, just the goofiest place to put this feature, but there it is.
Anyway, a more sensible place to get to the feature and let's say you have some other tool, other than the move tool selected, then you go to the Edit menu and you choose this command here, Auto- Align Layers, and then you are going to see this dialog box, which is asking you what kind of alignment you want to perform, and we have got new alignment options going inside Photoshop CS4. So you can either try to distort the images to match each other, which is Perspective, or you can perform a Collage, which will do rotation and scale, but it will not do distortion. And you can do a Cylindrical distortion, which means you are going to wrap the images around a cylinder right, so that they are bowing out at you, or you can do the opposite, so that they are bowing away from your, or you can only Reposition without any distortion or scaling, whatsoever.
Or you can ignore all of these options and just click Auto, and 99% of the time, you are just going to let it go to auto and let Photoshop figure out what to do. You only want to use one of these others, if for some reason auto is not doing it for you. You also have the option of doing some Lens Correction, some Vignette Removal which means you are getting rid of the darkness, most likely around the outside edges of your photograph, and you'd want that specifically if you are correcting a panorama. Not really useful for what we are doing here. But it is an option. And then Geometric Distortion, if there is a lot of lens distortion associated with your image, you can try to remove it, but it's best if there is some sort of information built into the metadata to help these two checkboxes.
So some cameras will capture that information, put it in the metadata, Photoshop can then read it, and make determinations about whether to turn these options on. If it finds some metadata, it will turn the checkboxes on automatically. In our case, we ain't got any special metadata. We don't care a lick about this entire dialog box, because it's set to auto by default. All we want to do is click OK. Then you just wait for it, and it doesn't look like anything happened, but check it out. This is how the wicker matches now. Isn't that amazing? Look at how close these two scenes are now. We are even matching the scenes in the wood, and we are matching the wicker patterns mostly, and it just kind of ignores Elizabeth and I, it just looks that everything that's the same and anything that's different, it just says, oh, I'm not going to try to match that at all, just match everything that's stay the same in the scene, and then you can turn around and paint one image into place on top of the other, as we'll do in the very next exercise.
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