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Balancing shadows and highlights

From: Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

Video: Balancing shadows and highlights

Okay gang I have got a couple of images open on screen right now. One is called Background & Text.psd and the background image that we are seeing right now, it originated as an Illustrator file actually created by a guy who goes by the handle AndyDesigns at istockphoto.com. Now I have modified the art work significantly and I rasterized it and bought in to Photoshop but this swirling artwork here is all a function of the original artist as I say "And He Designs".

Balancing shadows and highlights

Okay gang I have got a couple of images open on screen right now. One is called Background & Text.psd and the background image that we are seeing right now, it originated as an Illustrator file actually created by a guy who goes by the handle AndyDesigns at istockphoto.com. Now I have modified the art work significantly and I rasterized it and bought in to Photoshop but this swirling artwork here is all a function of the original artist as I say "And He Designs".

And you can see that I have got the background artwork and then a couple of rasterized text layers that are turned off currently. The Background layer should be active inside the Layers palette. Then I want you to open this image called "water in glass.jpg" and incidentally both of these images are found inside the 11_Layer_Masks folder. This image comes to us also from an ice. photo.com artist, photographer Isabella Haber. And what we are going to do is we are going to move the Glass layer from this image into the other composition and the easiest way to do that is to select the Background layer here, go to Layers palette menu, choose Duplicate Layer.

Let's go ahead and call it glass, what the heck, actually we are going to call it "glass shadows" and I am going to choose from the Document menu, I am going to choose Background & Text in order to move it into that Background & Text image and then I am going to click OK. Now let's Ctrl+Tab over to the Background & Text image, right here and you can see that we now have a new layer in front of the Background layer that's called "glass shadows" and the reason I am calling it glass shadows is because I want to retain the highlights and shadows in this glass layer but I am not really going to be able to get away with applying a Contrast Blend mode. We can try that actually just to get a sense of what it will do. So with the glass shadows layer active and one of the selection tools active as well, we can press Shift+Alt+O or Shift+Option+O on the Mac to switch to the Overlay mode.

And that looks just terrible. It's way too tepid. So we are keeping the highlights and shadows, we are dropping out the mid-tones which is a good thing, that's what we want to do with glass but the result is just way too light. So let's try out something else. If I press Shift+Plus we will go to Soft light, that's not going to be any good. Shift+Plus again gets us Hard light, and that's probably the best of the contrast modes where this glass is concerned. The problem is we have way too many highlights inside of this glass layer. This entire upper region is just filled with Highlights because that's where the light source is and it's absolutely ruining the effect.

So we don't stand a prayer with the blend mode, as basically when it comes down to, but just so you believe me, we might as well try the other ones. Here is Vivid light, terrible. Here is Linear light, not much better. Here is Pin Light - oh my goodness! Yuck! And then of course, Hard Mix; who expected that to work? Nobody. All right so let's approach the Shadows and Highlights independently. I am going to switch back to the number one Shadow mode, right. Which is Multiply. Shift+Alt+M or Shift+Option+M on the Mac. All right. You know its okay, it's again a little tepid, I would say, the shadows aren't surviving all that well and specially against this busy vivid background here. So we need something that is a little beefier.

So let's go ahead and press Shift+ Plus for Color Burn. Well that's got more contrast but it has also got crisper edges and I don't really like that. I want something smoother and higher contrast. And that's going to be Linear Burn. So I will go ahead press Shift+Plus to advance to Linear Burn or if you want to just cut to the chase you can choose a Linear Burn Blend mode from the blend mode pop up menu here. So much for the shadows, they are turning out pretty darn good actually. Let's now attempt to preserve the highlights in some way shape or form.

I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+ Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac in order to jump this layer and let's call it highlights and I am going to change the Mode from Linear Burn to let's try Screen, right see how that looks and I will click OK in order to accept that new layer. And this is the screen version of the glass. Oh my goodness! How over the top is that? I mean, we are just blasting this composition with the lightness from this layer and we could back it off by trying something like the Lighten mode. If I press Shift+Minus but that's not looking any better to me and none of the other highlight modes are going to look better. Because they are more than screen, right. If we switch over here to Color Dodge. Oh my goodness! And Linear Dodge, that would just look wretched.

So let's go back to Screen, may be we can take advantage of Luminance Blending if we are lucky. Let's go ahead and double-click on the highlights layer thumbnail right here inside the Layers palette to bring up the Blending Options panel with the Layer Style dialog box and we could try forcing through the Underlying Layer like so but that's not really going to work for us. The slider bar that's more likely to work is this layer and I could go ahead an try to remove some of the highlights like so maybe down to here and then Alt+Drag in order to create a transition between the two points. But then we end up losing the good highlights down here inside the glass and then we could get rid of the shadows, of course, as well and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag that triangle apart.

Actually this is just looking like a big mess. This isn't working out for us at all and that's basically the way it is. These Luminance Blending functions, albeit extraordinary powerful, are not going to work for this specific image. We are going to have the resort to a layer mask instead. So go ahead and press the Escape key in order to abandon all the hope where the Blending Options are concerned and we will begin to create our layer mask starting in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

190 video lessons · 26279 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2h 13m
    1. The Odyssey Continues
      2m 39s
    2. Mapping one image onto another
      7m 12s
    3. Making a custom contrast mode
      7m 10s
    4. Luminance blending
      8m 40s
    5. Forcing the visibility of underlying layers
      4m 4s
    6. Adjusting the appearance of clipped layers
      4m 34s
    7. Selecting a Blend If channel
      6m 12s
    8. Enhancing highlights by hiding them
      5m 9s
    9. Smart Object first, layer mask second
      7m 22s
    10. The Fill Opacity Eight
      4m 30s
    11. Blending Smart Filters
      7m 24s
    12. Cleaning up edges
      7m 39s
    13. More fun with luminance blending
      6m 22s
    14. A first peek at the Calculations command
      12m 11s
    15. Masking a softly focused model
      11m 46s
    16. Moving layers and masks between images
      7m 35s
    17. Matching colors
      9m 13s
    18. Building transitional blended layers
      6m 33s
    19. Restoring normal colors
      6m 50s
  2. 2h 33m
    1. Layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
      1m 20s
    2. Rotating and stretching
      7m 54s
    3. A jet of motion blur
      9m 18s
    4. Keyboard tricks
      5m 4s
    5. Merging sky and landscape
      6m 3s
    6. Masking an adjustment layer
      6m 37s
    7. Creating two windows into an image
      7m 42s
    8. Whitening teeth and adding other highlights
      3m 46s
    9. Mapping a texture onto an image
      4m 1s
    10. Isolating a texture with a layer mask
      6m 44s
    11. Welcome to the glass composition
      3m 18s
    12. Balancing shadows and highlights
      5m 51s
    13. Masking the glass
      7m 24s
    14. Masking the text
      9m 23s
    15. Adding and blending the goldfish
      8m 45s
    16. Assembling the perfect group photo
      5m 12s
    17. Aligning photographs automatically
      5m 26s
    18. Masking in each person's best shot
      5m 18s
    19. Masking densely packed people
      6m 17s
    20. Crafting the perfect final poster
      5m 16s
    21. From the improbable to the impossible
      1m 56s
    22. The fantastical "world of clones" effect
      10m 0s
    23. Upsampling and blurring a background
      8m 39s
    24. Adding a knockout mask
      8m 3s
    25. Choking edges with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      3m 46s
  3. 2h 27m
    1. The corrective power of masking
      1m 6s
    2. The amazing luminance mask
      7m 22s
    3. Brightening and neutralizing the eyes
      8m 22s
    4. Adjusting a nondestructive composition
      5m 52s
    5. Creating a corrective mask
      6m 4s
    6. Averaging away irregular flesh tones
      3m 52s
    7. Modifying specific colors
      7m 46s
    8. Initiating the color mask
      6m 0s
    9. Refining the color mask
      6m 40s
    10. Adjusting the edges around fabric
      7m 56s
    11. Perfecting hair
      9m 35s
    12. Sharpening with a High Pass layer
      10m 12s
    13. The also-amazing density mask
      4m 48s
    14. Adjusting the knockout depth
      8m 48s
    15. Fashioning a depth map
      6m 12s
    16. Invoking a depth mask from Lens Blur
      6m 38s
    17. The perfect depth-of-field effect
      6m 25s
    18. Sharpening an archival photograph
      7m 7s
    19. Creating an edge mask
      8m 29s
    20. Making a High Pass sandwich
      7m 46s
    21. Applying the edge mask
      6m 2s
    22. Customizing your sharpening effect
      4m 6s
  4. 2h 3m
    1. Channel Mixer, I am your father!
      1m 39s
    2. Three ways to gray
      7m 49s
    3. Meet the Channel Mixer
      8m 26s
    4. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 10s
    5. Creating a professional-level sepia tone
      5m 36s
    6. Employing the Black & White command
      8m 1s
    7. Extreme channel mixing
      4m 50s
    8. The infrared photography effect
      6m 43s
    9. Taking shadows to the brink of black
      3m 56s
    10. Elevating highlights, leeching saturation
      5m 58s
    11. Deepening a black-and-white sky
      5m 49s
    12. Infusing luminance levels with color
      5m 44s
    13. Creating an opposing colorization scheme
      4m 58s
    14. Bolstering contrast with the Green channel
      5m 37s
    15. A tiny improvement to a terrific technique
      7m 39s
    16. The simple (but wrong) approach to red-eye correction
      6m 39s
    17. Channel-mixing red pupils
      9m 18s
    18. The expert approach to red-eye correction
      5m 20s
    19. Fixing problem coronas (pupil edges)
      8m 9s
    20. Making pupils match
      4m 8s
  5. 2h 33m
    1. Chops are dead; long live maskops
      1m 37s
    2. The Calculations command
      8m 16s
    3. Blue Screen blending
      7m 40s
    4. Refining the Blue Screen mask
      5m 53s
    5. Brushing away color fringing
      7m 24s
    6. Locking the transparency of a layer
      6m 22s
    7. Nondestructive layer painting
      7m 36s
    8. How the Add blend mode works
      8m 40s
    9. How the Subtract blend mode works
      6m 43s
    10. Focus, noise, and other masking challenges
      5m 33s
    11. The Add mode in action
      7m 51s
    12. The Subtract mode in action
      8m 25s
    13. Comparing two channels with Difference
      5m 24s
    14. Enhancing the contrast with Curves
      9m 11s
    15. Gathering details with Apply Image
      9m 43s
    16. Dodge highlights, burn shadows
      6m 6s
    17. Dodge and Burn in action
      8m 24s
    18. Painting in the scalp
      10m 1s
    19. Painting away the face and chin
      4m 53s
    20. Compositing complementary images
      4m 13s
    21. Multiply, Minimum, Blur, and Apply Image
      6m 40s
    22. Crafting the final composition
      7m 7s
  6. 1h 57m
    1. Mark of the Pen tool
      1m 35s
    2. The big paths project overview
      6m 51s
    3. How to make a path
      8m 25s
    4. Corner points and freeform polygons
      8m 6s
    5. Editing paths with the arrow tools
      5m 2s
    6. Adding and deleting endpoints
      5m 15s
    7. Adding and deleting interior points
      6m 6s
    8. Converting a path to a selection
      3m 35s
    9. Converting a path to a mask
      6m 38s
    10. Smooth points and control handles
      8m 57s
    11. Making cusp points
      6m 0s
    12. Combining paths in a vector mask
      7m 55s
    13. Turning a path into a shape layer
      8m 57s
    14. Combining paths to make a layer mask
      7m 52s
    15. Mixing layer and vector masks
      10m 14s
    16. Editing character outlines as paths
      8m 39s
    17. Using the Convert Point tool
      7m 8s
  7. 3h 17m
    1. Where there's a will, there's a way
      1m 18s
    2. Masking natural cast shadows
      4m 10s
    3. Applying the cast show
      4m 2s
    4. Creating a difference mask
      3m 7s
    5. Applying an arbitrary map
      3m 50s
    6. Making the flesh mask
      7m 17s
    7. Roughing in an object mask
      6m 49s
    8. Drawing missing details with the Lasso tool
      4m 7s
    9. Combining flesh and object masks
      3m 53s
    10. Amplifying the cast shadow
      4m 10s
    11. Selectively choking edges
      3m 58s
    12. Power duplication in Photoshop
      7m 9s
    13. Masking blond hair
      5m 48s
    14. Using Levels to mask iterations
      3m 14s
    15. Drawing an iteration boundary
      4m 55s
    16. Merging the best of two Levels iterations
      4m 4s
    17. More fun with Dodge and Burn
      6m 14s
    18. Fixing edges with the Pen and Stamp tools
      7m 29s
    19. Pulling from another file with Apply Image
      4m 52s
    20. Blending clipped layers independently
      5m 43s
    21. Building the flame mask
      9m 22s
    22. Amplifying the flame
      3m 53s
    23. Masking an image against a busy background
      5m 15s
    24. The Freeform and Magnetic Pen tools
      6m 52s
    25. Masking with arbitrary maps
      9m 32s
    26. A more deliberate approach to arb maps
      10m 51s
    27. Combining arb maps with paths
      9m 28s
    28. Masking with the help of the History brush
      11m 38s
    29. Creating a High Pass mask
      7m 25s
    30. Coloring in the outlines
      8m 31s
    31. Mastering Calculations
      7m 29s
    32. Subtracting and merging the beak
      11m 6s
  8. 1h 33m
    1. The meaning of bit depth (and why you care)
      2m 50s
    2. Scanning line art in 8-bit and 16-bit
      5m 9s
    3. Measuring the 16-bit difference
      8m 9s
    4. Correcting 8-bit images in the 16-bit space
      9m 31s
    5. Opening a raw image directly in 16-bit
      6m 13s
    6. Editing in Camera Raw, opening in 16-bit
      8m 22s
    7. 16-Bit/channel vs. 32-bit/channel (HDR)
      8m 18s
    8. Working with auto-bracketed photographs
      5m 6s
    9. Using the Merge to HDR command
      6m 0s
    10. Adjusting the HDR preview
      6m 0s
    11. Building a 32-bit sky mask
      6m 29s
    12. Properly exposing land and sky
      4m 25s
    13. Modifying a layer mask in 32-bit
      4m 56s
    14. Converting to and correcting in 16-bit Lab
      12m 7s
  9. 2h 8m
    1. Photoshop flirts with the third dimension
      1m 13s
    2. The displacement map
      8m 24s
    3. Making custom waves
      7m 14s
    4. Creating a Gaussian distribution
      4m 32s
    5. Using a two-channel displacement map
      6m 28s
    6. Creating a rustic edge effect
      8m 21s
    7. Distorting and shading with a DMap
      6m 34s
    8. Moonlight reflecting off water
      8m 48s
    9. Mapping the reflection onto the water
      7m 7s
    10. Dipping the moon into the water
      6m 18s
    11. Turning flesh into stone
      7m 55s
    12. Wrapping the stone around the face
      7m 27s
    13. Softening a displacement map
      8m 5s
    14. Making a repeating watermark pattern
      9m 22s
    15. 3D embossing with Lighting Effects
      10m 48s
    16. The amazing credit card type effect
      6m 56s
    17. Lightening the credit card letters
      6m 16s
    18. Wrapping the background around the text
      6m 27s
  10. 1m 43s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 43s

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