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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I've saved my progress as Glowing dragon-bug.psd, and now we're going to begin applying our Smart Filters to this Smart Object. So, if you're following along with me, make sure the top layer, dragonfly, is selected here in the Layers panel. Bear in mind that the dragonfly creature here is in front of the blurry leaves. So, it must, by necessity, be outside of our plane of focus as well. So it's got to be blurry too. But, whereas we blurred the leaves using the Lens Blur Filter, we're going to have to seek a different solution this time around, because if I go to the Filter menu and choose Blur, Lens Blur is dimmed.
The reason being, it's just basically too computationally intensive to be applied to a Smart Object. It has to be applied directly to pixels. So, I could open the Smart Object and blur the pixels using Lens Blur if I wanted to, because it's a very powerful Blur function, and it does a great job of simulating real out of focus objects. However, a close second and much quicker and more flexible because you can apply it to a Smart Object is Gaussian Blur, which is actually an incredibly useful feature inside of Photoshop.
If you loaded dekeKeys, I've given it a keyboard shortcut of Shift+F7. That'll bring up the Gaussian Blur dialog box. You can see that the dragonfly is dutifully blurring there. I'm going to take the Radius value up to 5 pixels. So the higher you go with the Radius value, the more blur you get. Now, this isn't really enough blur. If we were going to apply it by itself, I would take this value much higher. I don't know if I go as high as 15. Yeah, maybe, that looks pretty darn good actually right there. However, I want it to be able to survive a little bit of Motion Blur as well.
So I'm going to take that value down to 5 pixels, and if it's not really truly exactly as blurry as it should be, I'm not going to worry about it too much as long as it conveys the concept that I needed to inside of this composition. So, anyway, 5-pixel Radius, click OK. Now, notice I get this Filter Mask right here, and that allows me to determine which portions of the dragonfly I blur and which I don't. For example, if I clicked inside of that Filter Mask, and I went over here and got my Brush tool, let's say, and let's go with something that's more of a hard brush like this one, 45 pixels actually should work out pretty nicely.
If I were to paint with black, which is currently my foreground color, so that's good, if I were to paint with black inside of the Filter Mask, like so, then I'm going to reveal unfiltered portions of the dragonfly that are in focus. However, here's the thing. I have no desire to do that. In this case, I don't need a Filter mask. So, instead of having it there dangerously seeking my attention so I might actually use it, or just cluttering up my Layers panel, I'm going to right-click on it, and choose Delete Filter Mask, like so, just to get it out of there.
I can always add it back, and you might imagine you do it by right-clicking on Smart Filters, which is what you do, and then you choose Add Filter Mask. So, it's very easy to introduce a Filter Mask if you need it later. We'll be talking more about that when we take a close look at Smart Objects inside of Photoshop. Anyway, I'm going to press the M key now to return to the Marquee tool, and now I want to convey some motion to the creature to make it look like it's speeding by, which, of course, it would be because it's a very fast dragonfly. I'll go up to the Filter menu and I'll choose Blur and I'll choose this guy right there, Motion Blur.
I want to try to simulate the Angle of the dragonfly, I have no idea exactly what that is, but probably right about here is good, so something like negative 67 degrees. I'm just trying to match this line to the Angle of the dragonfly. If you wanted to, Photoshop's got a Measure tool that would help you out. It's available from this eyedropper tool slot right there. But, negative 67 degrees is probably close enough, and then, I'm going to take this Distance value up to 40 pixels, so there's a lot of movement going on, and then I'll click OK.
So, the idea is, we shot this image when we were on the Planet of Pandora, we captured this image with a very fast shutter speed, but still the insect was moving by so darn fast, he's still pretty blurry. All right! That is the dragonfly so far. We need him to glow more though. Notice he's got kind of this dark patch in his body, and I really wanted a vibrant glow to come off this creature. We're going to make that insect glow in the next exercise.
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