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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time lynda.com author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.
In this movie, I'll show you how the Auto Commands affect our washed out portrait and then I'll introduce you to a hidden Auto Feature that's new to Photoshop CS6 and I think you'll like a lot better. I'm working inside a file called portraitcomparison.psd found inside the O7_Luminance Folder and this time I have all my layers stacked on top on each other. So I'm going to turn off the Control layer which we are not going to change, and I'll Click on Auto Tone to make it active. And you may recall this is the one that makes the darkest pixels black and the brightest pixels white on a channel by channel basis, affecting each channel independently.
So I'll go up to the Image menu and choose Auto Tone and where once we had, really not much of a Color Cast going on, we now have a pretty pronounced Color Cast. She's turned fairly ghoulish and greenish on us. So obviously Auto Tone is not successful where this image is concerned. I'll go and turned that layer off and click on Auto Contrast, then I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Auto Contrast command. This is a command that affects the image on a composite basis and it fairs much better, because it's not introducing a Color Cast.
So this is Auto Tone, bad, where this image is concerned, and this is Auto Contrast. All right now, I'll turn Auto Contrast off and click on Auto Color. This is a command that adjusts the midtones in order to neutralize them. Every so often, you may find that it does a good job, but in the case of this image not so much. I'm going to choose Auto Color and you'll see that we introduced yet a different Color Cast. This time kind of a bluish one by comparison to the greener cast that we saw with Auto Tone.
All right, I'll go ahead and turn the Auto Tone Layer off and the Auto Color Layer off and now I'll click on the final layer down here at the bottom, it's called Auto B/C. This is Automatic Brightness Contrast and to get to it, you go up to the Image menu choose the Adjustments command and choose the Brightness Contrast command. This command brings up a dialog box with the Brightness slider and a Contrast slider. They're pretty easy controls to use and I dare say, they do a great job these days, especially if all you're interested in doing is correcting brightness and contrast on a composite basis.
Now in CS6, we have an Auto button that does something totally unlike what we've seen before, and if I click on it, you can see it takes a few seconds to apply, because it's evaluating not only the shadows and the highlights, as with the Auto Tone and Auto Contrast commands, but it's also evaluating the midtones, the way the Auto Color command does. However, the big difference is, it's doing so on a composite basis, so there's no chance that will introduce any kind of Color Cast. And as a result, we end up getting some nicely balanced luminance levels.
I'll go and Click OK in order to accept the result and just for the sake of comparison, because it is the only Auto command that actually does compare, I'll turn on Auto Contrast, so you can see Auto Contrast ended up making the shadows darker and it pulled the midtones down along with, whereas, the Auto button in the Brightness Contrast dialog box applied a more nuanced correction.
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