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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now as I mentioned in the previous exercise, we are working inside of an image called terriblebattle.psd that's found inside the 14 Groups Comps folder and this features an image that I shot in the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and we are going to be building it up into a layered composition or rather fantastical composition that's going look like a still frame from live and developing news coverage of two wicked creatures locked in fierce battle with each other. You know just an absolutely epic struggle covered on you know DNN as it turns out the Dinosaur News Network with little of zipper text along the bottom of the screen.
But before we do that we have to build up the base layers, I am going to go ahead and press the F key in order to switch to the Full Screen mode and move my composition over to the left a little bit, so that I leave room for my Layers palette. I will press the F7 key to bring up the Layers palette and here are my base layers that we have to choose from. So there are a lot of layers already going on inside of this composition including, for example the Stretch Layer, if you will go ahead and turn that one on for me. And that's just a stretched version of the Background Layer that's all that's going on with it.
And I made it just by selecting the Background Layer, pressing Ctrl+J or Command-J on the Mac and then with that layer selected that new Jump layer selected, I went up to the Edit menu, I chose the Free Transform command, we will see more from this command later. And once I had entered the Free Transform mode, I just went ahead and drag the side handles associated with the bounding box for this image outward in order to stretch the image horizontally, so not too much going on there. So that's our Stretch Layer.
Now I want to point out something to you very, very briefly, this is just little bit of a side note, you can switch I was telling you this in the previous chapter actually that you can switch between, it turns out between visible layers inside of an image by pressing Alt or Option on the Mac along with the bracket keys. So for example, if I press Alt+Right Bracket over and over, I will just keep cycling between these two visible layers inside of this image. Well what happens if only one layer is visible, I will go ahead and turn off Stretch for a moment so that you can see.
Now if you press Alt+Right Bracket or Option right bracket on the Mac, you will not only select different layers but you will also make them visible by themselves, so this is a way to just check out layers by themselves inside of an image. So here I am pressing Alt+Right Bracket to go up here, I am pressing Alt+Left Bracket to go down. Just a little bit of FYI in case you are interested. Anyway let's turn on Stretch, next I want you to turn on the Dark Blur layer and this is an image, a completely unrelated image that I shot and I blur the heck out of this image, but I am not sure whether it's some grass or whether it's some you know sea green element or whether it's some painting that I put together and then blurred I am really not sure what the history of it is, I just forget as it turns out, because I am addle minded you know.
But what's great about this is I can use it in order to enhance the colors inside the stretch dinosaur image and I am going to do that by going up to the Blend mode menu here in the Layers Palette and switching from Normal to Difference, like so. And what Difference does is it uses the colors inside of the Dark Blur layer in order to invert the colors in the layers below and white anywhere where the Dark Blur Layer is white. It completely inverts all the colors below it and anywhere where it's black, it doesn't invert the colors at all and all the other intermediate colors invert to intermediate degrees.
And as a result I will go ahead and sort of zoom in on some of these elements in the skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus Rex here. You can see that it makes a pretty big difference in terms of what we can see, so this is without the Dark Blur layer and this is with the Dark Blur layer. So it creates this wild highlight inside of the animal. And down here it creates this interesting sort of fountain of colors inside of what turns out to be the shadow on the wall, the shadow that the great creature's skeleton is casting on the wall here, so I think it's pretty nifty.
Anyway I just want to show you how it's working, I will go and zoom back out here to the 50% zoom ratio and move things over a little bit, so that we can see what's going on. Finally at the top of these 4 layers that is finally we have the blur dinos layer I will go ahead and click on it as well as showing it to you. And I created this layer by jumping the background layer and moving it to the top of the stack and applying the Gaussian Blur filter with a radius of 12, so not too much going on there. I want you to change the Blend Mode assigned to the blur dinos layer to lighten, so that we just keep the lighter colors on a channel by channel basis.
And as I say we are going to devote an entire chapter to Blend Modes, come and write up, but for now just go ahead and choose the light mode then press the Esc key if you are working on Windows to make sure that the Lighten option is no longer active. And then I want you to press the 5 key in order to reduce the opacity value to 50% and this assumes that you have one of the selection tools active here. And that's another variation on the Captain Kirk-in love effect I am not sure if he was ever you know, if he ever took a fancy to smell dinosaur's skeletons or not but if he was going to take a fancy to them, this would be the shot that caused him to take a fancy to them.
Anyway so we have got a combination of these 4 Base layers, working mostly together really actually the background layer is being covered up, so it's just these 3 layers working together. In the next exercise, we will add something called an Adjustment layer to heighten the saturation inside of this composition and then we will take our first look at a layer group coming right up.
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