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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
Let's take a look at how we can use Puppet Warp in order to improve perspective and distortion when we have a person in the photograph. And in this case, I am shooting with a wide-angle lens and there is a little bit of distortion on my friend Travis, who is standing up on top of the mountains in the Cascades. One of the things I am noticing is his head is a little bit small and his arms are la ittle bit big. So I kind of want to bring his arm down a little bit, maybe his head up just a touch. Well, what we can do is press the M key to select the Marquee tool and make a pretty generous selection of this area of the photograph.
Next, press Command+J or Ctrl+J to copy that to a new layer. Let's go ahead and name this layer p1 for Perspective 1. All right next step, we are going to navigate to our Edit pulldown menu. Here we are going to correct this with Puppet Warp. Now once we have Puppet Warp what we can do is we can set points on our image. We want to set points down to create these little anchor points. Now occasionally we may click in an area where we don't want to have a point. Well all you need to do is to hold down the Option key or the Alt key.
That changes your icon when you hover over the little yellow circle, and then click. That will remove that point. All right, well let's lock down a few points here. I'll go ahead and add one on the elbow and also up here in the hands and over here as well, so we can have some control over that. And then I want to work on the head just a bit so I add one right there. All right! Next step is going to be go ahead and click in one of these points and then click and drag in order to reposition this. Now as you can see, it's affecting the background. But I am not too worried about that because I am simply going to mask in this particular warp into the top area of the photograph.
In this case, I can go ahead and bring down his hand a little bit here. And then to continually work these two together, bring down the elbow and then also bring down the hand. Next thing I am going to do is work on this side and then also this hand here. I will make this one a little bit higher. I am going to set a point over here just to stretch those fingers out a little bit and same thing over here. Stretch those as well. So sometimes you can see that you actually click on the area; other times you are going to click close to the area. For example, let's take a look at how we can do this with the head.
If I click and drag up, that's kind of nice right, but I can also click around this and then drag up, to kind of open up the other side of the face as well. Well these adjustments are pretty subtle but nonetheless helpful. Let's press Enter or Return in order to apply those. Next step, what we want to do is hold down Option or Alt and then click on the Add Layer Mask icon. In other words, we are going to create a mask that's filled with black and then paint this back in to the areas where we want it, because we don't want to have the mountains all messed up here in the background.
So I'll go ahead and hold down Option or Alt. Click on that Add Layer Mask icon. Then grab your Brush tool and here we are going to paint with white. And as we paint with White, we'll see these new adjustments being brought into the photograph. And that looks really good, pretty simple, but nice way to improve this image. Here we have our before and then our after, bringing those arms down a bit and that head up. Again before and then after. Now another way that we could do this of course would be to make a selection of Travis and then copy that to a new layer, and just make an exact selection of him.
And that works really well sometimes. Other times though, you may find it works better to just make a real broad selection and then mask it in. Again, it depends on the context in a particular image, but just keep in mind you have a couple of options there. A lot of people will say you know there is one way to do something in Photoshop. I don't buy that. Rather I believe, it's the combination of all of our different skills together and being flexible, learning how to approach an image in regards to what particular technique works best in what situation, which then ultimately leads to the best results.
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