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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 the results of the previous project as RGB SH objects.psd, so called, by the way, because we are working in the RGB mode, SA chore shadows highlights was our primary Smart Filter, and of course we were working with Smart Objects the whole time, nested Smart Objects in fact. In the next of couple of exercises, I am going to show you how we can achieve more nuanced results using shadows highlights inside the lab mode and when I say more nuanced results, I mean way the heck better. Now Lab is an alternate color model to RGB. As you know RGB stands for Red Green Blue, it's the color model of light; it's also the color model employed by image capture devices, including scanners and digital cameras and so on.
Lab, on the other hand, is device independent, it doesn't have anything to do with any image capture device, any display, any printer or anything like that, rather it's designed to emulate the way that we see colors, the way we perceive colors in fact, and when you are working inside the Lab mode you are working with three color channels. So you have one channel called Lightness that contains all of the luminance information, then you have a and b, which are arbitrary designations for two perpendicular axes of color. And if you go back to our discussions in Camera Raw, remember how we had the Temperature axis going from blue to yellow, and then we had the Tint axis going from essentially turquoise to pink. Well a and b work the same way except the other way around.
a is Tint, so it goes from turquoise to pink, and b is Temperature, so it contains the blue and yellow information. Now that's not all that important that you wrap your brain around that, the main thing is that we are cleanly dividing the luminance information from the color information, which affords us greater control where shadows, highlights, and many of the other Smart Filters are concerned. So here is what we are going to do, we are going to switch over to Washed-out man.psd, you may recall that's this photograph expressed as a smart object, nothing more, and we are working inside the RGB mode, so let's remedy that by going up to the Image menu, choosing mode and choosing Lab color.
Anytime you switch color models when you have a smart object going, Photoshop gives you this alarming error message, very disconcerting as well because it says do you want to rasterize your objects and there is no reason to rasterize your Smart Objects 99% of the time. Even though Photoshop is gleefully suggesting you do it because Rasterize is the default button, click on Don't Rasterize and now you are working inside the Lab color mode, now you should know that your original image that's contained inside of the Smart Object is still RGB.
That doesn't really have any effect on what's going on inside the composition. So that's totally okay. Anyway so here we are inside Lab. I am going to go up to Image menu, and I am going to choose Adjustments and I will choose Shadows/Highlights. And we will start things off by applying the same color modifications that we did last time around inside the RGB mode, so I am going to change Amount to 10% and then I will tab down to Radius and take that up to a 100% because that's the value we used last time. Highlights is 50-50-50 so every single one of these items Amount, Tonal Width and Radius should be 50, and then I left Color Correction alone essentially because as you may recall we applied the luminosity blend mode, so wiped out the color correction value which we had set to a 100 but just for the sake of demonstration.
The key thing though is that I raised Midtone Contrast up to 60. We get a very different effect as you can see, it's a much flatter effect, it's still fairly washed out actually, he seems to have just this iron jaw at this point, but the interior of his face doesn't appear to contain that much volumetric detail. For example his cheeks right here are pretty flat where the shading is concerned, so I am going to adjust these values to get different results. First of all, I see no reason to breathe life into the shadows.
We didn't have dramatic shadows in the first place quite frankly. They are not all that dark, so let's leave them as dark as they were by setting the amount value down to zero, these values, Tonal Width and Radius don't matter anymore because the Amount is set to 0%. Nothing is happening here. I am going to tab my way down to Highlights and I am going to just pound at the Highlights, I am going to take that value up to 75%, so we are making the Highlights much darker than they were before and as you see, I was trying to draw some detail out in the cheeks and the forehead and so on and then, I am going to tab my way down to Midtone Contrast and I am going to take that guy down to 30 and that is going to soften the effect a little now, it looks pretty tepid, we are really taking some of the wind out of the image but actually it's going to work out beautifully for us.
Now once again what we are going to do is we are going to apply the Luminosity blend mode to the Smart Filter, so just so that you can really see the effects, I am going to take this Color Correction value back up to a 100 so you can gauge for yourself what a ridiculous horrible setting it is. I just don't like it at all. Anyway, I am going to click OK and now I will go over to Shadows/Highlights and I will double-click on that Settings icon that brings up the Blending Options dialog box and I will change the Blend mode to Luminosity which of course is going to completely undercut that awful color value and by the way it's going to get rid of any other color anomalies that we might have set up using the Shadows/Highlights Filter because you never know what kind of color modifications are going on under the hood.
Usually they are pretty subtle if you leave that Color Correction option set to zero but it's still worth getting rid of them entirely by setting the Blend mode to Luminosity and clicking OK. So, so far so good we want to get rid of that Filter mask because it's not doing anything for us, so Right Click inside the Filter Mask thumbnail and choose Delete Filter Mask. Already we have a very different result than we had last time. Now otherwise, we need to approach the image in the same way. So I am going to take this Smart Object and place it into another protective Smart Object by going up to the Layers panel flyout menu and choosing Convert to Smart Object, it should really be placed inside Smart Object. If you loaded dekeKeys it's Ctrl+Comma Cmd+Comma on the Mac. Takes a few moments to happen, and then you will see the Smart Filter disappear because now we have one Smart Object nested inside another.
Now what I suggest you do before you apply Gaussian Blur or High Pass, just go ahead and load the Luminance channel as a selection outline. So switchover to the Channels panel and Ctrl+Click or Cmd+Click on that Lightness Channel and that will load the core Luminance information as a selection outline. So this is a different approach that we took with RGB as well. I am not making you go back into the original image this time around. It's fine to work from the affected image. All right I am going to switch back to Layers panel and notice because we have a selection outline as soon as I go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and then choose Gaussian Blur and notice many of the Filter submenus are now dimmed because all of those Filter Gallery effects do not work inside Lab, they work only inside RGB but the best of the filters, the ones that you use on a regular basis, still work inside Lab so choose Blur, choose Gaussian Blur and then I will apply a Radius of 15 pixels just as before, click OK and notice two things happen. We get a new Gaussian Blur Smart Filter and we also automatically get a Filter mask that's going to work for us.
So we are not going to have to load a Filter mask later, it's already there. Now double-click on the Settings icon in order to bring up the Blend Options dialog box, change the Blend mode to Overlay, click OK, these are the exact same steps we took last time around. Now I want you to go up to the Filter menu, choose Other and choose High Pass or if you loaded dekeKeys, you have got a keyboard shortcut of Shift+F10 and a Radius value of 5 pixels just as before is absolutely fine, click OK, go over to the Settings icon to the right of High Pass, here inside the Layers panel, double-click on it and let's go and change the Blend mode to the Big Contrast mode, Linear Light and then click OK once again in order to apply that effect there. And then finally I want you to click on the Filter mask thumbnail, go to the Mask panel icon, click on it to bring up the Masks panel and change the density to 50% and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to accept that value.
Close the Masks panel and that's your final effect. Now the one thing that I am not sure I like about this, because this is a more subtle effect, check it out, I will go ahead and compare it with the RGB version of the correction and this is the RGB SH objects.psd file that I showed you at the outset of this exercise, notice how much more sun burnt he appears and how ruddy the shadow details look and how nearly washed out the Highlights are. So it's a much higher contrast effect whereas if we switchover to the Lab version of the image, it settles down dramatically and we have a much more naturalistic effect with the exception of the Saturation values which are a little bit over the top. And I will show you how to reduce the Saturation levels in a really great way, using a levels Adjustment layer of all things, in the next exercise.
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