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The elusive alpha channel remains one of the most misunderstood yet powerful tools in Photoshop. Alpha channels are collections of luminance data that control the transparency of an image, and they inform just about every aspect of Photoshop. As he builds transitional blended layers, fashions a depth map, makes edge adjustments, and takes on extreme channel mixing, Omni Award-winning expert Deke McClelland teaches Photoshop users that where there's a will, there's a way. Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks: Advanced Techniques covers mapping texture on an image, turning flesh into stone, using vector masks, working with all different channels, creating a rustic edge effect, and much more. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Channels and Masks from the Exercise Files tab."
Photoshop 3 had this thing called the Filter Factory that allowed you to design your own filters. One of the first filters I wrote with the Filter Factory was a little thing I called the Channel Mixer. It lets you mix custom amounts of the green and blue channels into the red, red and blue into the green and green and red into the blue. Fast forward a few years, Adobe discontinues the Filter Factory sighting lack of interest, my Channel Mixer no longer works. Then, and what are the chances, Photoshop 5 ships with its own Channel Mixer that lets you and get this mix custom amounts of the green and blue channels into the red channel, red and blue into the green and green and red into the blue. Sound familiar, but Deke you say, Adobe's Channel Mixer doesn't look anything like yours and your slider bars didn't really appear to make nearly as much sense.
Yeah, I imagine that's precisely what Adobe wants you to think. Perhaps, now you're beginning to understand how diabolically crafty these Photoshop programmers can be. What's next Adobe? An online video-based trainer feature, with a goatee and this shirt, but even if the Channel Mixer is my love child; I recognize it for what it really truly is, a great feature. You'll see it and much, much more in these next exercises.
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