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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I've saved my changes as Better saturation.jpg. Now at this point, let's say you think you might have gone too far with your modifications, and you'd like to be able to see the original version of the image, so you can do that before-and-after comparison. Well I can't revert, because I just got done saving this image. So the saved version is the same as what I'm seeing on screen. If I go to the History panel and scroll down, you'll see that it's one application of the Sponge tool after another followed by two applications of the Burn tool, I've completely lost all my Dodge tool states.
Not to mention the flipped original version of this image, had I not taken the time to go ahead and create this flipped original snapshot right there, and I'll move this up a little more, so we can see the entire panel, which means that I can click on it to go back to my original flipped version of the image. So this is what it looked like when we more or less started this project and if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z, this is what it looks like now. It looks brighter, obviously there's more work to be done, and it was too dark to start with, but I think the new eyes are a little too bright.
So let's say you just want to slightly back things off. Why then you make sure that Flipped Original state is set as your History Brush Source state, as it is for me, you just click in that little slot to do that. Then hide that History panel and switch to the History Brush like so, and then I'm going to increase the size of my Brush and I'm going to paint across the eyes. Now if I do that, I'm painting in the original eyes. I don't want that, so I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command +Z on the Mac, I just want to brush in a little bit of the original image.
So I'll reduce the Opacity value. You can do that from the keyboard by just pressing the number keys. So for example, I'll press the 2 key in order to reduce the Opacity value to 20%, and then I'll paint over the eyes and it's not going to make much of a difference at a time, which is why we're working so low, so that you can paint multiple times if you have to. So I painted once on the right-hand eye here, my left eye and then I painted twice on the left side, and I end up achieving this result here. So that's pretty straightforward. You can play around with that.
Just make sure that you have that option available to you, so you can go back and forth with your modifications, because you have to bear in mind, you're working on a flat image, so you're making distractive modifications. That is, you are changing the colors of pixels permanently inside of this photograph. What if you don't want to work that way? What if you want to work with layers? Well, you're not going to get exactly the same results, but you can try Dodging and Burning with layers with some degree of success and I'll show you how. What you do is we'll go over to Layers panel by going up to the Fly-out menu and choosing the New Layer command or pressing Ctrl+Shift+N Command+Shift+N on the Mac and I'll go ahead and call this guy Overlay paint.
The reason is we're going to set it to the Overlay Blend mode, so go ahead and do that right now, choose from the Mode pop-up menu, Overlay. It's the same as choosing Overlay from the top left pop-up menu in the Layers panel, only you do it as you create the layer. Then click OK. It's going to be an Empty layer set to Overlay as you see right there. Now, I'm going to switch over to the Brush tool. Go ahead and click on it, and increase the size of that Brush, make sure it's soft. We want a hardness value of 0%, Size I might take up to 100 pixels, even bigger, and then I'll press the Enter key a couple of times to hide that panel, and now I'm going to switch my background and foreground colors.
Essentially, if I paint with black, I'm going to get a kind of burn effect and that's going to look absolutely ridiculous. That's because our Opacity for this layer is 100%, we can back that off. It is a good idea to paint at 100% Opacity though generally speaking, because most times, you'll want to control the opacity of the entire layer from the Layers panel. Anyway, that's kind of a burn effect although a little bit over the top and then if you want a kind of Dodge effect, then you switch the foreground and background colors and you paint with white. So I'll paint over the eyes like so and of course my goodness, I couldn't have brighter lights being fired directly into my eyes.
That's why I would reduce this Opacity value to something like 10, and then press the Enter or Return key a couple of times. So this is without that layer, this is with that layer, and it does provide a certain degree of brightening. Now, the reason is not quite as good as the Dodge and Burn tools. As I'll go ahead and click on the Dodge tool, it's very much like it used to be back in the old days with Protect Tones turned off. So you do have to be very careful with these Overlay Paint Layers. In other words, keep their opacity way down and if you need to pile them on top of each other, go ahead and do it.
But an Opacity of 10% is about as high as you want to go, you might take it down to something like 5, or something in that neighborhood or check this out. I'm just going to go ahead and delete the contents of this layer by pressing Ctrl+A which selects the entire layer. That's the same as going Select All. And you can't see it because I'm so zoomed-in, but we now have marching ants around the entire image. Then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of that whiteness. I'm going to go ahead and zoom-in again, and show you that another thing you might want to do after pressing Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image, as you might want to brighten the eyes.
So this technique works great for brightening eyes and brightening smiles. You select the eyes or the mouth, you go ahead and feather that selection and then you fill it with white on a greatly reduced opacity overlay layer. I'll go ahead and do it to my eyes here using the Elliptical Marquee tool. So I'll drag around the top of the eye like so, use the Spacebar in order to get that selection into position. That looks pretty good to me, we don't have to be too exacting, and then I'm going to move things down a little bit and press Shift+Alt or Shift+Option on the Mac.
And notice when you have those two keys down, you switch to this final icon up here in the Options Bar which finds the intersection of two selections. So Shift+Alt+Drag or Shift+Option+ Drag on the Mac around this area, and I'm using the Spacebar in order to orient this selection outline a little bit as well. Then release and you'll find the intersection of those two selections. Now I can't select the other eye yet, because there's no way to add this loss in shape. In other words, I could do this. I could add by Shift+Dragging.
But then if I Shift+Alt or Shift+ Option+Drag like so, I'd lose that eye. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+Z a couple of times, Command+Option+Z a couple of times on the Mac to restore the left-hand eye. I'll go up to the Select menu, choose Modify, choose the Feather command, Ctrl+Alt+D or Command+Option+D if you've loaded dekeKeys, change the Feather Radius to a value of 2 pixels. That's great, click OK. Then I will fill that area with white by pressing Alt+Backspace, or Option+Delete on the Mac because my foreground color is currently white.
So that's Alt+Backspace or Option+ Delete on the Mac, Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. So this is what the image looks like without that layer, this is what it looks like with that layer. If that's not enough, you can take it higher. I really wanted to emphasize the effect, I could take it up to 20% for example; looks pretty good actually. Then I'll go ahead and drag around this eye like so, and Shift+Alt+Drag or Shift+Option+Drag around the bottom portion using the Spacebar to help me orient. And then once I'm done with that, I would go back to the Select menu, choose Modify, choose the feather command again, Ctrl+Alt+D, Command+Option+D on the Mac, Feather Radius: 2 pixels, click OK, Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete in order to fill that selection with white and then click off in order to deselect the image, and we end up having these very bright eyes.
I think it's a little too much quite frankly, we need a little bit of that darkness restored. So I'm going to take that Opacity value down to 10% and because my Marquee tool is still selected, I can do that from the keyboard just by pressing the 1 key. Notice that takes the Opacity of the entire layer down to 10% now. So this is what the eyes look like without that layer, this is what they look like with that layer. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to lighten your load by getting rid of eye bags. Stay tuned!
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