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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 changes as Non-aligned automobiles.psd so called because the cars are the only things that aren't aligned in some of this composition. I've also renamed the layer so I've got white minivan on top, and then on the bottom here, I have blue hatchback, based on what little information I have about this car. All right, I'll go ahead and turn the top layer on. Now, our next step is to blend these two images together to get rid of the cars and we can do that one of two ways, once again. We could manually blend these two images together or we could have Photoshop do it for us.
Well, in this case the manual route is going to be the better route. However might as well give the automated command a chance. So I'll click on white minivan, Shift+Click on blue hatchback to select both of the images. Then I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose Auto-Blend layers. Now, this isn't really the purpose of this command but as I say it's worth a shot and it gives us the first glimpse into how this feature works. So, I'll choose the command, brings up a little dialog box. Either we're blending to create a Panorama - and I believe that's the default setting, that's not the one you're going to use very often because if you're creating a Panorama, you are probably doing it using the Photomerge command in which case Photoshop takes care of this setting for you.
What we need is Stack Images because these are two images that are stacked directly on top of each other and share mostly the same visual information. So, go ahead and turn on Stack Images. Then finally you want to turn on Seamless Tones and Colors, which corrects the exposure of the shots so that they share similar brightness, contrast, and color values. All right, then you click OK and you wait. Now, this one is fairly time- consuming, it's trying to do a lot of work. So, it's really, by the way changing nearly every single pixel in both of the layers because it's having to color correct those pixels.
It's also building these automatic masks. Every single pixel inside either of these layer masks that it just created now are either black or white, there is no fuzziness in between. So, it's pretty amazing that's able to accomplish what it did but it isn't right. Quite valiantly, the command has decided that it should do it's best to keep both of the cars but they ought to be ghost cars. So, it's really kind of a magical composition and I think that Auto-Blend has to be given points for creativity here and imagination but it didn't do anything that we can keep.
Just to give you a sense here let's check out these masks, first of all. I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on this top layer mask. Just check that out. It is so incredibly complicated and so assertive because either we are going to show pixels in this layer or we are not going to show them. None of this namby-pamby vagueness that you and I would come up with when we are masking a scene. Anyway, I'll go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click and that mask again so that we can see the entire image. Another thing I want you to notice here is you can't just simply say, Well you know, I'll turn off this layer mask or I'll re-create it or something along those lines.
I'll go ahead and bring my own mask into bear here. If you do, if you Shift+Click for example on this layer mask to turn it off. Then you look at the scene and you go what in the world. You are seeing now the top image subject to Auto-Blend's exposure modifications and it actually applies its exposure modifications just to the pixels that remain opaque. So, it doesn't modify the entire scene. The masked away pixels remain the same as they ever were. So it's actually useless to us, there is nothing we can do with this because it only works for the mask that was created for it.
Meanwhile, notice how Photoshop was actually trying to blend the road here so it would match the blue hatchback. Pretty extraordinary but again not something we can use. So, I am going to go up to the History panel, and I'm going to click on my Open option right there, or you want to click on whatever came before Auto-Blend layers. Then you want to manually blend the layers, because between you and me, it's just not that hard. And I'll show you how to do it in the next exercise.
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