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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
I have gone ahead and saved my changes from the previous exercise. First is Cute zombie.psd, because after all, with all this bluishness in her skin, she must be undead, and then we also have Sundial adjustments.psd; both are found inside the 14_levels_curves folder. In this exercise, I am going to take the results of the various Auto commands and I am going to merge them together to create the ideal color adjustment. So we'll start off inside the sundial image here. I am going to turn off Auto Color, because it's just a big disappointment. There is not much we are going to do with that.
But we should be able to mix Auto Contrast and Auto Tone together to create something pretty useful. So Auto Contrast is almost all the way there by itself. So I am going to put it in back of Auto Tone, so that we can reduce the Opacity of Auto Tone and reveal Auto Contrast in the background. Now we are seeing the yellowish Auto Tone layer, and now I'm just going to press the 2 key, and because one of my selection tools is active, the Rectangular Marquee in fact, that goes ahead and reduces the Opacity value to 20%.
So we have 20% Auto Tone mixed with 80% Auto Contrast in the background, and we end up with a pretty reasonable correction here. So I will go ahead and Alt+click or Option+click on the eyeball in front of the background layer; that's the original image right there, and if I Alt+click or Option+click again, we will see that's the corrected version of the image. So the correction is actually quite successful I think. Now I will switch over to Cute zombie. Again, I am going to turn off the Auto Color layer, although we will come back to that one in a moment. I'll click on Auto Contrast, and I want to create a 50-50 merge of this Auto Contrast layer and the Auto Tone layer below it.
I am going to do that incidentally by selecting the Auto Contrast layer and pressing the 5 key in order to change its Opacity value to 50%; notice that ends up producing a pretty nice correction right there. But I would like to see if I can bring out some of the saturation inside of her irises and maybe a little more inside of her hair as well. So I am going to turn on that over-the- top Auto Color layer right there, click on it to make it active. Then I'll go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and then choose the Vibrance command. I am going to increase the Vibrance value to 100.
Let's just really go for it there, which of course is ridiculous, as you can see; that's okay. Click the OK button in order to accept that modification. Now, I am going to reduce the Opacity of this layer. I am going to press the 3 key to reduce the Opacity value to 30%. Now, to see the contribution of the layer, turn it off, and then go ahead and turn it back on again. You can see that the irises are showing up pretty nicely, but so is the bluishness in the skin. So let's go ahead and add a layer mask this time. I will dropdown to the Add layer mask icon down here at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on it, and then I will select the Brush tool from the toolbox, and if I right-click, you will see that I am working with the Size value of 150 pixels and my Hardness is set to 0%.
I might go ahead and take that Hardness value up a little bit. Let's take it up to 25%, let's say, and then press the Enter key a couple of times in order to hide that panel. Make sure that black is your foreground color, which it is in my case. You might have to press the X key to make it so. Then go ahead and paint inside of this skin, and try to avoid the eyes if you can, paint between them. That's why I am going with a 150 pixel brush there. It just fits between her eyes. I will go ahead and paint away the nose, I will paint away a little bit of the neck as well, into the ears, over the forehead, and so on.
I might even paint a little bit over the hair. We end up getting this color adjustment right there, which I think is pretty darn successful. So to get a sense of what we have been able to accomplish here, I will Alt+click the eyeball in front of the background layer. There is the original washed out version of the image. Very apparent now that she didn't have nearly enough contrast. I will Alt+click or Option+click again and there is the corrected version of the image. I might have gone a little too far into the blue territory, but I am actually pretty fond of this correction. In the next exercise, we will move away from the Auto commands and we will see how to apply a custom correction using Levels.
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