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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.
In this exercise I am going to show you how to change the density option when you're working along inside the Puppet Warp mode. Now it's an easy option to modify, and it's pretty obvious that you will want to a modify it as well, because you'll keep getting this one error message over and over again as you work inside the Puppet Warp mode. Problem is the suggested solution doesn't really do you all the much good, because you'll still get the error message after that point and changing the density of the Mesh can have undesirable repercussions. So when you can avoid it, you should, is basically what it comes down to.
I'll show you what I mean. I've saved my changes as Freakishly happy.psd, found inside the 23_distort folder. You may recall the end of the previous exercise, I was working along inside Puppet Warp as I am right now, and I clicked on the inside of this left-hand cheek, and I got this error message that says, hey, you can't add a pin at that location. It's too close to the existing ones. You need to increase the number of available points, that is, Mesh intersections, by choosing Density > More Points. Which is this guy right there, there is the Density option in the options bar. You need to change it from Normal to More Points.
Is what it's telling you. Well, you do not want to say don't show again, because in truth even if you take this recommendation and choose More Points, you're still going to get this error message in the future. You want to see it, because otherwise you would click and Photoshop would just ignore you, which I don't think is what you want at all. Anyway, so I am going to leave Don't show again off. Click OK, and I'm going to ignore Photoshop's suggestion for moment. We'll comeback to it, shortly. But the better thing to do is to click at a different location. For example, I'll click on the outside of left cheek, and then sure enough I've got the control I want.
Now if I start dragging this point outward like so, it might not produce the effect I am looking for. So I might delete that point by Alt+ Clicking or and Option+Clicking and then go ahead and set point a little higher, for example, in alignment with the eye so that I have a little bit of symmetry going on here. Then I'll drag it over just a little bit, like so. That's still pretty darn ugly. But hey, if I drag this pin to a different location, I've got a better looking effect. Now then if at any point in time you want to hide those pins so that you can see your distortion a little better, you don't press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H, because that brings back the Mesh.
So we will press Ctrl+H or Cmd +H again to get rid of the Mesh. You press and hold the H Key. Now the interesting thing here is I have the H key down. As soon as you release H, then the pins come back up. But while you have the H key down you can actually drag the pins to different locations. Even though they're invisible, just look for that little arrowhead cursor right there and then drag a pin as long as you are dragging you'll see all the pins like so, but as soon as you release, assuming you still have the H Key down as I do, then the pins go away.
Then when you want to see the pins again, you release the H key. So kind of a mysterious keyboard shortcut, but it is there and available to you. Let's go ahead and see the effect of that Density option on the hand. So I am going to set points at each one of the digits, like so the tips of the digits that is to say, and then I'm going to drag those points to different locations, so that we have the stretchy fingertips, and you might every once in a while see the screen redraw in a strange fashion, just wait for it to do so. Now I'm dragging all these points with respect to each other and with respect to the base of the palm.
Maybe that's not exactly where I want this point. I would go ahead and Alt+Click or Option +Click to delete the point and then set a new pin down here at the base of the palm, like so. Then drag it down a little bit. Now I might also decide I need a pin at the base of the thumb so that I can stretch the thumb that much more and drag the palm inward. Create a point right there at the base of the index finger, another point of the base of the ring finger like so, and then finally I decide I need a point right there at the base of the third finger.
As soon as I go for it, I am told, hey, you don't have enough density going on inside of your Mesh. And you say, okay, well, I guess I need to add some more density. That's what Photoshop is telling me. So you click Ok, and I just want you to see what's going on here on the right side of the window. I will go ahead and press Shift+Tab in order to hide those right side panels, so I can see his face and hand at the same time, and I am going to turn on Show Mesh for a moment so that we can see that the Mesh is made up of a bunch of triangles that meet each other at points.
That's what's meant by this Density option here. You can go with fewer points, which By the way, is going to wipe out a bunch of pins that you've set down. So if I choose fewer points notice that we will get bigger triangles and therefore fewer points at the intersections of those triangles, but I also wiped out a few of my pins and my fingers are really suffering for it. The ring finger and the pinky are in horrible shape as a result. The solution of course is to immediately go, oh my gosh, I've made a horrible mistake and then you press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that mistake and reset the Density of the Mesh, because Normal is really your best Density setting under most circumstances.
Sometimes you will want to go higher; rarely will you want to go lower. You only want to go lower if you want to set fewer pins in the first place and get more work done with them. Anyway, I am going switch this Density setting from Normal to More Points, like so, and I'm just going to hope I don't lose any pins, because you can lose pins when you increase the density as well. Notice, by the way, that I've gone ahead and added a bunch of triangles. So there are more points at the intersection of those various triangles. I've also changed the nature of the entire distortion, once again. So just to give you the sense of what's happened here, I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac in order to hide the Mesh in, and this is the before normal version of the Mesh.
Look at his face for a moment here and notice how jolly he is, and this is the higher density version of the Mesh. Notice he has this sort of simpering expression going. I don't like it at all. We also have these pins that are way beyond the ends of the digits, that is to say. So this isn't really the effect I'm looking for. I'll probably come up with new pin locations. I would have to set up a pin at the end of the fingers as opposed to off the ends. So I would have the delete the existing pin, establish a new one. But really what I am going for is the opportunity to create yet another pin.
I want to create a pin at the base of the third finger between the index finger and the fourth finger there. So now it should be able to do so, right? So I will click. And no, denied. It's still not an option, still not available to me. The reason is if I click OK in order to accept that error message there. If press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac and zoom in, notice that adding a point did not create new points between these two pins. So what I really need is I need two points between the locations of the pins.
A point there and hopefully a point right at this location, something along those lines. That would give me enough room to add a pin, but if I don't have points then I don't have pin opportunities, and I just don't in this case. You can't go any higher than a Density setting of More Points. So what I would recommend in the case of this image right here is that if I have the option to do, so I'd press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac in order to restore my previous pin locations and Density setting.
That is not available to me, so I press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z, and that didn't do anything, because, well, redo and undo don't do anything in this case. How curious is that? So what I have to do instead, I'll turn off Show Mesh here, and I'll just go ahead and manually change Density from More Points to Normal, cross my fingers, hope for the best, and sure enough he is happy again. He not simpering, and the fingers are looking a little better. So I just want to give you a sense of what's available to you there you might find density useful, I as I say routinely do not.
In the next exercise I will show you what I do consider to be a very useful and practical feature that's this guy right there, Pin Depth. Stay tuned!
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