Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Blending multiple ACR portraits


Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Blending multiple ACR portraits

In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to yet another way to create a Camera Raw Smart Object and yet another way to employ Camera Raw Smart Objects as well, something that's a little more practical I believe. So let's say I'm assembling this advertisement here for new line of products. I'm not sure exactly what they are going to shake out to be, whether it's fashion or it's fragrance, something along those lines, but we are calling it McClellando and this time I'm my own client so that's handy. But I have already got the composition worked out here, at least a little bit.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 21m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 34s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 35s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 46s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 8s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 55s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 55s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 33s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 42s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 52s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 39s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 43s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 51s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 52s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 7m Advanced May 29, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the Online Training Library®.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Defining the essentials of masking
  • Resizing images with content-aware scaling
  • Adjusting perspective with Vanishing Point
  • Applying Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Using the Auto-Align tool to build composite images
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Blending multiple ACR portraits

In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to yet another way to create a Camera Raw Smart Object and yet another way to employ Camera Raw Smart Objects as well, something that's a little more practical I believe. So let's say I'm assembling this advertisement here for new line of products. I'm not sure exactly what they are going to shake out to be, whether it's fashion or it's fragrance, something along those lines, but we are calling it McClellando and this time I'm my own client so that's handy. But I have already got the composition worked out here, at least a little bit.

I have some text that I have rasterized. I have got a background layer. That's about it so far. I need some imagery in here and actually what we are going to do is combine a couple of shots of the same model. And this is sort of your traditional yearbook technique you will see. So you can use it in a lot of different ways. All right, since I already have my composition open, I'll go to the File menu and choose the Place command and I was telling you that the Place command always generates a Smart Object and this is true when you import Camera Raw images as well. And if you loaded Dekekeys you have got a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+Alt+D, Command+Shift+Option+ D. Mash your fist, D, and that will go ahead and take you to the 26_smart_ objects. Scroll down the list and you will see two images called Madhu-1.dng and Madhu-2.dng both of them. So they are both Camera Raw images.

Now this technique, you've got to have raw images in the first place. This isn't going to work for your JPEGs and your TIFFs. You will just bring in your JPEGs and TIFFs as standard pixel- based Smart Objects like we saw with the germ. But because these are raw images, we'll have Camera Raw Smart Objects. By the way, Madhu is the name of the model. The images come to us from photographer Paul Piebinga of, who kindly provided us these images. They are not even part of the iStockphoto library. These are custom just for us. All right, so go ahead and grab Madhu-1. dng. You can only place one image at a time.

I have already set my settings the way want them. You can adjust them, if you want. I'm not going to, I'm just going to click OK. And notice I don't have an Open Image button and Open Object button, anything like that. It's just the OK button once again, as we saw with the Camera Raw Smart Object when we were editing the Camera Raw Smart Objects. That's because that's what we are going to get. We are going to get a Camera Raw Smart Object. All right, so click OK. It comes in. We got the place boundary and everything. 82.2% is what fits inside of my composition. So I'll just go ahead and accept that by pressing the Enter key and then I'll move this image into position here and I want it right about here, so her neck is between the N and the O in Unknown (& Inexpensive) Model For, because I couldn't afford to hire a celebrity is the idea. So I'm just going with the absolutely beautiful human being instead.

All right, and you can see that this is a Camera Raw Smart Object, awesome. I'm going to go ahead and collapse the Adjustment palette for a moment. Right now, let's go ahead and place the other image. So I'll press that keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+D or Command+Shift+ Option+D on the Mac, but that's only if you loaded Dekekeys. Otherwise you are going to have to choose Place from the File menu. Then get Madhu-2.dng, click on the Place button. I have already set up the settings the way I want them. I'll click OK. The second view of our model comes into view here, heaves into view, if you will and I'll go ahead and move my composition over just a little bit and snap her into place and this looks wonderful and I press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and there she is.

And now of course at this point I go, no, not so wonderful actually. I don't want her being the exact same size. She is looking at her nose or I don't know what's going on here. I want her, this her the one in profile, I want that to be big like she is near us, like she is closer to us so that they are at different depths away from us that I. So she is a little more distant, she is closer and warmer and it's more intimate that kind of thing. All right, so she needs to be bigger, it's what that means. So I can press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac and this is going to be a nondestructive transformation. We still have all that stuff. We still have nondestructive transformations and we still have instances and all that wonderful jazz even when we are working with a Camera Raw variety of Smart Object and so I go up here to the Options bar and I go, no, not 54.8%, let's go ahead and click on that link and let's change it to 82.2%, which is how the other version of the model came in.

That looks good and then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and now let's go ahead and move her into the proper place. I want her chin sort of wrap it around the A right there and her lip, the bottom of her lip should be right beyond the V, between the I and the V right there. And I actually want to move her up just a little bit. Let's take her up to about there. I think it's going to work out pretty nicely. Now you may look at and say Deke, you are out of your mind. That doesn't work nicely at all. I can't help but notice and maybe you did too, that this white background is shaving away her other face and that's a terrible thing. Hey! That's okay, because we can address this. You might think masking? No, we don't need masking. All we need is the Multiply blend mode.

So if you go up to the Blend Mode pop- up menu right there and choose Multiply, you will notice that the white drops away completely and then we see the other version of the model in the background. Isn't that great? And no masking necessary, just a blend mode. Blend modes work just as well with Smart Objects. All your parametric operations are going to work just as well with your Smart Objects as they do with your Adobe objects, your regular old pixel-based layers. Now then, she is in the foreground, she is in the background. She is in the light, she is in the darkness. She should be a little closer to us, little more intimate, a little darker in terms of her tonality. So tell you what we are going to do, we are going to edit her as a Camera Raw Smart Object. That's no surprise.

So go ahead and double-click on the thumbnail for Madhu-2 for the model in profile and we are going to take the Brightness value down to 0. That's nice and then I'll tab down to the Saturation value and take it down to +10. So I'll press Shift+Down Arrow to change it from +20 to +10. Click OK in order to return to Photoshop and we get this effect right there. That is a nice composition I think and so easy to put together. Thanks to Camera Raw Smart Objects and the Multiply blend mode working together.

Now if you would shot your images against a dark screen, because you know the classic yearbook look and you have the model looking light against that black screen, let's say, try to keep it black if possible, then you can of course, adjust your settings inside of Camera Raw to get that background as black as possible, just as I adjusted my settings inside Camera Raw to make sure my backgrounds were as white as possible. Then you would use the Screen mode instead of Multiply. So just so you know when you are trying out your own compositions that resemble this in any way, shape or form.

In the next and final exercise of this chapter, I'm going to show you how to take this text right here and turn it into inversion text. Text that inverts everything behind it. This is such a cool trick. Stay tuned.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: My Polygon tool is locked into a very small size. I can use the Transform tool to increase it's size once drawn, but I must have something set that will not allow me to freely draw it like I can the other shapes. What could be causing this problem?
A: This could be caused by a value associated with the Radius option of the tool. Click the down-pointing arrowhead to the right (a few tool icons over) from the Polygon tool in the options bar at the top of the screen. This brings up pop-up panel. If the Radius option has a number value, select that value and press Delete or Backspace to clear it out. That should fix the problem.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.