Photoshop Creative Effects Workshop
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Blending an effect with a background


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Photoshop Creative Effects Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Blending an effect with a background

In this lesson, we're going to combine a sketch effect with a layer mask, in order to create an image that is partially only a sketch, and partially a sketch blended with the original photo. Let's get started. I'm first going to duplicate my background image layer, by dragging the thumbnail for the background image layer, to the Add Layer button, at the bottom of the Layers panel. This will create a background copy and I can use this layer to apply the filter effect. I'll choose filter, stylize and then find edges from the menu and I'm going to also apply adjustments that affect the appearance of this particular image.

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Creative Effects Workshop
2h 19m Intermediate Apr 30, 2011

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Digital photographers using Adobe Photoshop sometimes get so caught up in working efficiently and mastering complex techniques that they can forget photography is at heart a creative endeavor. In this course photographer and author Tim Grey encourages you to explore how you can leverage the power of Photoshop to express your creative vision. Learn how to apply various creative effects related to tonality, color, artistic filters, creative borders, image montages, and much more. Along the way, see every detail of how these effects are achieved so you can adapt them to suit your own purposes. The course concludes with a series of projects that involve the use of multiple creative effects for a single image. Note: This course was recorded in Photoshop CS5, but was created with users of both Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS4 in mind.

Topics include:
  • Safely experimenting with creativity
  • Creating a black-and-white effect
  • Using Curves presets for creative effects
  • Applying a vignette
  • Using the Filter Gallery
  • Applying a Gradient Map adjustment
  • Creating a multiple exposure effect
  • Hand-painting an image
  • Creative projects
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Blending an effect with a background

In this lesson, we're going to combine a sketch effect with a layer mask, in order to create an image that is partially only a sketch, and partially a sketch blended with the original photo. Let's get started. I'm first going to duplicate my background image layer, by dragging the thumbnail for the background image layer, to the Add Layer button, at the bottom of the Layers panel. This will create a background copy and I can use this layer to apply the filter effect. I'll choose filter, stylize and then find edges from the menu and I'm going to also apply adjustments that affect the appearance of this particular image.

In this case, I want to both desaturate and enhance the contrast, but first I want to be able to see how the effect is applying to the original image. So, I'm going to change the blend mode to multiply. This will darken the underlying image, and as you can see, creates a basic sketch effect. Will make things a little bit more dramatic here by enhancing contrast, so I'll add a Levels Adjustment Layer and then I'll bring in my white point and my black point but as you can see it is currently effecting the overall image. As I make adjustments it's effecting both the sketch and the underlying image but I can cause the adjustment layer to only effect my background copy layer by putting it into a clipping group using the background copy as a clipping mask for this adjustment.

I'll go ahead and Click the button at the bottom of the adjustments panel in order to accomplish that. And now you can see that my adjustment is only affecting the actual filter effect on my background copy layer. I want to create a little bit stronger effect here so I'm going to pull the black point in a little bit, and I'm also going to add a hue saturation adjustment so that I can completely de-saturate this particular layer. Once again, I want to put this adjustment into a clipping group with the background copy, so I'll Click my button at the bottom of the Adjustments panel.

And I'll go back to levels and perhaps fine tune things a little bit there. And that looks to be a pretty good starting point, at least we can always revisit this a little bit later to fine tune the effect. The next step is to add a white layer between my background copy layer and my background layer, so that I can have essentially a blank sheet of paper that I'm drawing the sketch on, and will have the photographic image blend in partially into this effect. The next step is to add a white layer in between my background copy layer and my background layer.

And this will serve essentially as the piece of paper that the sketch is being drawn on, but then we will partially block that sheet of paper to allow the original color image to show through. So I'm going to Click on my background image layer and the Click on the create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. And I'll choose Edit > Fill in order to fill this layer with white, setting white as the use popup value with the blending set to normal and 100%. I'll go ahead and Click OK, and you can see that now I have only a sketched image, I'm not seeing the underlying color image at all, but I can change that through the use of a layer mask.

We'll go ahead and Click on the Add Layer Mask button, the circle inside of a square icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and this will add a layer mask that is filled with white. That means that this layer is being completely revealed, but I can change that by place black or shades of gray onto the layer mask, blocking portions of this image layer. I'll go ahead and choose my gradient tool. And I'm going to set the gradient to the first option which is my foreground color to background color gradeint and I'll also set the style to the linear gradient.

We'll keep the blend mode at normal and the opacity at 100%. And now I'm ready to drag across the image in order to add a gradient ot my layer mask. Since black is my foreground color, I want to drag over on the right side of the image. And drag toward the left. In this case, since I want to block the right portion of my blank sheet of paper here, I'm going to drag from the right. Black is my foreground color, white is the background color. So dragging from right to left will cause a gradient that goes from black to white.

Black will block this sheet of paper and white will reveal it, and since I'm using a gradient, there will be a smooth transition in between. I can hold the Shift key to constrain the gradient to one of the 45 degree angles, which in this case allows me to create a perfectly horizontal gradient. I'll go ahead and release the mouse now and you can see that I've now added a gradient to my layer mask which transitions from black to white. That means that the white sheet of paper that I've created here is being blocked over on the right side of the image and gradually revealed as we move further to the left side of the image. The result is to create an image that blends the photographic image underneath because I'm blocking the white sheet of paper and therefore allowing that background image to show through.

And transitioning into a pure sketch effect, where there is only the white background. By blending the use of a filter with a layer mask and an additional layer, we've been able to create an image that goes beyond a traditional photographic image. And in fact beyond even a typical interpreation of a photographic image into something of a much more graphical result.

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