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A portrait can be a cherished possession for a lifetime, and now making perfect portraits is just one Photoshop course away. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his vast knowledge of Photoshop to focus on the specific tools every photographer needs to adjust images and keep them looking genuine. Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training explores this program's deep resources and inspires photographers to do their creative best with everything from blemishes to backdrops. Exercise files accompany the course.
Welcome back. We are going to continue to enhance the eyes in this photograph. Let's go ahead and zoom in to 100% and this time let's do that by a way of shortcut. If you press Command+Option+0 on a Mac or Ctrl+Alt+0 on a PC, you can zoom in to 100%. Now what do I want to do here is make a selection of the eyes. So I'm going to go ahead and zoom in even further so I can make a good selection. I'm going to do that by pressing Command++ on a Mac; that's Ctrl++ on a PC. Next I'm going to press the Q key in order to enter Quick Mask mode. Press the B key to select my brush. So again to reiterate, first press the Q key, second grab your Brush tool by pressing the B key. Now what we are going to do is we are going to paint with black, and when I paint with black, it gives me an ability to see this red rubylith overlay and I'm going to be able to make a selection of these eyes.
And I'm going to make a pretty rough selection because I can always edit or modify this later. I might as well try to make it as good as possible just so that I have something that's nice to work with. And again what I should see is that the red is overlaying the eyes and again if your selection isn't perfect, no big deal. Typically, though what you want to do is make sure your selection is bigger than the eye. It's always better to have a little bit more information than a little bit less. Because what we are going to do is we are going to turn this into a selection. We are then going to copy that selection to a new layer, and I'm just begin to take a look at how we can use some blending modes and what not in order to improve the eyes here.
So I have gone a little bit too far, which is fine. I think I'm okay with that. Now if I need to mask out anything, just hit the X key. So you paint with white and then when you paint with white, you can mask out any of these areas of the eyes here that you want to not select. Great. Well, now that we have done that, and now that we have a decent selection, let's go ahead and press the good old Q key that will exit the Quick Mask mode. Now in this case what I have selected is everything, but the eyes. So I want to inverse that. So I'm going to Select and choose Inverse. Now that I have the eyes selected, I'm going to do something kind of interesting. I'll click in the Background layer and rather than actually just copy this portion of the eyes, I'm going to copy the whole layer.
I will go ahead and click and drag this to the New Layer icon. And then I'm going to click on the Mask icon. So what I have on this layer, if I turn off the visibility of my other layers is just the eyes, or at least a rough selection of the eyes. Again, it goes a little bit too far, but I can always clean that up as I need to. And I'm going to put this layer on the top of my layer stack and turn on those underlying layer. So at this juncture, I'm not really seeing anything that's different, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the blend mode to one of those brightening blend modes and it's going to be Screen. Now when I initially do this, the eyes are going to be much too bright, but I'm going to run with this. I'm going to go ahead and say okay, you know what, I see potential here. I do see that my edges went out a little bit too far. So first I want to clean those up. So I'll grab my Brush, click in the Mask layer and I'm going to go ahead and paint with black, not paint with white there. Make sure I'm painting with black to -- I just clean up the edges.
I want to try to maintain some darkness on the edges and we will actually look at a technique where we will look to darken those edges up even more. So I'm going to go ahead and just mask those out here, just so I have nice darkness on them, and I'll make my way around. Of course, I could have done this from the get go. Although, it's nice to kind of see how we can clean that up. All right, great. Well, the intensity of that is much too strong. So I'm going to go ahead and lower the Opacity. And then one of the things that we want to begin to think about is what part of the eye should be the brightest. Well, it's the part of the eye that's opposite the light source. The light is coming from above. We can see a little catch light right there. So this portion of the eye should be the brightest. So what I need to do as well is I need to grab my brush, I'm going to lower the opacity here. I'm going to lower maybe somewhere around 50% or so.
In this case I'm going to paint with black. I'll make my brush nice and big, so I can get these nice big soft brush strokes. I'm just going to darken the top of the eye a little bit more. I want to have uniform brightness on these eyes. So now here is my before and after. We can see that the Brightening Effect is a little bit stronger in the lower portion of the eye. Again, before and after and that's a little bit more natural. All right, well let's zoom out a bit and see how we are doing. Here is our before and after. And you know what happens is a lot of times people stop right here and they say you know what? That's great. That's all that I need to do. I kind of have this super vivid bright eyes. It's actually not what you want to do, because typically what happens is when you brighten something, you lose a little bit of contrast.
So how could we quickly add contrast back to the eyes? Well, it's pretty simple. Here is all that you need to do. Copy this layer, which is our Screen layer. We will go ahead and click and drag that to the New Layer icon, so now I have a copy of it. That doubled the intensity of the brightness. That's not what I want. What I do want though is to take this to a blend mode of Soft Light, interesting. So now let's take a look at the combination of the two layers. Here is our before and then our after and in this juncture we can then bring the brightness up a little bit, bring the contrast down a touch, and again it's that added contrast on top of the eyes that makes them a little bit more realistic.
Now of course, it really depends on what style you want to go for in regards to the look in the eyes. So if we zoom out a little bit, and let me find a good zoom rate where we can evaluate the eyes. Let's take a look at our before and after. Here is before and then here is after. And of course, when you are doing these techniques you can always intensify the effect by simply selecting one of your layers, like let's say Screen and increasing the Opacity, then pressing Command+J to have even more brightness. That might be too much. So you can lower the opacity or you can mask it in this specific areas. So there is a lot of flexibility with this and what I'm trying to begin to show you is how you can work with eyes in a unique way. Sometimes what I like to do at this juncture is click on my topmost layer, then hold down the Shift key, click in the bottommost layer. Then group these by pressing Command+G for group on a Mac, Ctrl+G for group on a PC, and now I have these as a group and at this juncture I can then lower or increase the intensity of the overall effect. Here is my before and after.
In this case, a little bit more subtle eye brightening and eye sharpening, but it makes those eyes really come to life and you are going to have to determine how far to take it based on your own photograph and what the intent of the photographs actually are. Now there is one more little thing that I want to do with this particular photograph and we will do that in the next movie.
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