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Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo

In this movie, I will show you how to take some bad artwork that gets foisted on you, for example, by a client, and then integrate it seamlessly with your wonderful composition using a combination of darken and lighten blend modes. So let's say, for example, that we are looking at that comp that I created at the end of the movie before last, and my client wants me to take this light bulb, not some other light bulb, but this light bulb that's this piece of line art that they printed out. They hired a guy to draw some Sharpie lines on it, and then they didn't even scan it; they took a digital photo, and applied as much JPEG compression as possible.

Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo

In this movie, I will show you how to take some bad artwork that gets foisted on you, for example, by a client, and then integrate it seamlessly with your wonderful composition using a combination of darken and lighten blend modes. So let's say, for example, that we are looking at that comp that I created at the end of the movie before last, and my client wants me to take this light bulb, not some other light bulb, but this light bulb that's this piece of line art that they printed out. They hired a guy to draw some Sharpie lines on it, and then they didn't even scan it; they took a digital photo, and applied as much JPEG compression as possible.

And I'm supposed to integrate it into my composition in order to create this seamless effect here. Thanks to blend modes, the answer is, no problem. So I am going to go ahead and switch back to this image. So first thing that we need to do is get rid of all these weird aberrant colors. So I am going to go up to the Image menu, choose Mode, and just choose Grayscale. I don't need to create a custom mix. I will get that alert message; I will click on the Discard button. Now we have a Grayscale image. The next step is to increase the Contrast, and I am just going to do that using a static adjustment, so I will press Control+L, or Command+L on the Mac, to bring up the Levels dialog box.

And then I could grab the white Eyedropper tool, and then click somewhere in what should be page white in order to clip that background to white. And that's not quite enough, so I will try clicking at this location instead here. And I am still seeing some noise around the light bulb, so I am going to take that white point value down to 90, let's say, and then I will increase the black point value to 20. I figured that works pretty good for this image, and then finally I'll click in the gamma value, and press Shift+down arrow a couple of times in order to take that middle value down to 0.8, and I will click OK.

Now we need to get rid of all the folderol around the light bulb, and I am going to do that by first confirming that I've got white, and only white, around the bulb, and so I will go ahead and click and hold on the Quick Selection tool, and select the Magic Wand from the flyout menu. This is a great use for the wand, by the way. I will press the Enter key in order to highlight the Tolerance value, and then I will change it to 0, and I will turn off the Anti-alias checkbox, and then I'll click somewhere in that background, and I can see that I have got this big area of white surrounding the bulb.

That's great. I want to get rid of the stuff that's not selected, so I will go up to the Select menu, and choose the Inverse command, or press Control+Shift+ I, Command+Shift+I on the Mac. And then, of course, I want to keep the bulb, so I will go ahead and switch to the standard Lasso tool, which I can get by pressing the L key, and I will press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, which allows me to subtract from the selection, and I will just drag around the bulb, like so, and then I will release. Now everything that remains selected needs to be white, so I will press the D key to ensure I have got my default colors, and I will press Control+Backspace, or Command+Delete on the Mac, in order to get rid of all that garbage.

All right, now I will press Control+D, or Command+ D on the Mac, in order to deselect the image, and I am going to go ahead and double-click on this background inside of the Layers panel, and I'll rename this new layer lightbulb, and click OK, and now I will copy the image to my composition by right-clicking anywhere inside the image window, and choosing Duplicate Layer, and I will set the Document to Wrestlers simplified, which is the name of my image, and I will click OK. All right, now I will switch back to that image, and you can see that the light bulb is doing a great job of covering up the composition, but the composition is here.

I will turn the lightbulb layer off, so you can see. Now I will turn it back on. Now, you may think the thing to do, and frequently I will hear this from folks; the thing to do to get rid of that white background is to reselect the Magic Wand tool, and then click inside the image, and delete the white, and you will end up with a bunch ratty edges, and it'll look terrible. That's not what you want to do at all. Instead, you want to just go ahead and select that when in doubt darken mode: Multiply. And because I have the Selection tool active, I can just press Shift+Alt+M, or Shift+Option+M on the Mac, and that automatically drops out the whites. And it does so temporarily, of course.

It is still there; you can see that in the layer thumbnail, but we are able to exactly get rid of them, and seamlessly integrate the light bulb with one blend mode, and nothing more. All right, I am going to press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool, and now we need to transform the light bulb; scale, and rotate it, and apply a little bit of distortion as well, so it properly matches the scene. And actually, I want to transform the light bulb nondestructively, so I'll go ahead and convert the lightbulb to a Smart Object. Now, generally speaking -- this is just by way of advice -- generally speaking your best off applying the blend mode after you create the Smart Object.

You don't have to work that way, but it gives you the most flexibility. So I am going to reset this layer to Normal by pressing Shift+Alt+N, or Shift+Option+N on the Mac, then I will go to the Layers panel flyout menu, and choose Covert to Smart Object, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Control+Comma or Command+Comma, and now I will press Shift+Alt+M, or Shift+Option+M, in order to apply Multiply to the overall Smart Object. Now let's transform it, so I will go up to the Edit menu, and choose a Free Transform command, or you can press Control+T, or Command+T on the Mac, and I want to start things off by reducing the size of this bulb.

I happen to know that it wants to be about 55%. So I will click on the chain icon up here in the options bar, click on W to select that value, and change it to 55, and now I will go ahead and drag this guy up a little bit, and rotate the bulb by dragging outside the bounding box, and I'm rotating it at this one about 26.5 degrees, but you can go your own way. And now I'll move this guy up, and he is a little slanted, as you can see here. So I will Control+Drag or Command+Drag one of the side handles until the bottom of the bulb looks pretty darn straight, and I think that's going to work, but I'd like the bulb to be a little taller as well.

So I'll go ahead and drag on the bottom handle, and that ends up making the bulb look a little crooked, I am thinking here. So I am sort of going back and forth, just eyeballing things. I will Control+Drag or Command+Drag the bottom handle, in order to slant the bottom of the bulb to the right, and this ends up looking pretty good to me. All right, now I will press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to apply that transformation. Because we are working with a Smart Object, this is a nondestructive modification, so obviously if you want to make further changes, all you have to do is press Control+T, or Command+T on the Mac, to re-enter that Free Transform mode.

All right, so that gets us about half the way there, but you may recall that we are actually interested in coloring the light bulb, as well as taking those black rays, and making them bright, and I'll show you how to pull off those modifications, again with the help of blending, in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

124 video lessons · 19197 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 30m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 19s
    2. Loading the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 5s
    3. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    4. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    5. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    6. The interface and performance settings
      5m 31s
    7. Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
      7m 0s
  2. 47m 0s
    1. Smart Objects
      1m 36s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      3m 6s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 11s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 20s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Styling and blending Smart Objects
      2m 44s
    12. Editing originals; updating clones
      3m 41s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 51s
  3. 29m 59s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      4m 39s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  4. 49m 10s
    1. Using Curves
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Winning Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors and smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 57s
  5. 1h 31m
    1. Camera Raw
      2m 11s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      8m 1s
    3. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    4. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 8s
    5. Working with archival images
      7m 54s
    6. The Spot Removal and Graduated Filter tools
      6m 4s
    7. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 23s
    8. Tone Curves (and why you don't need them)
      5m 57s
    9. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 17s
    10. Applying manual lens corrections
      5m 14s
    11. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 49s
    12. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      6m 36s
    13. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    14. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    15. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  6. 32m 30s
    1. Duotones
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Noise vs. Details
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 35s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Brushing away blur and sharpening
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  8. 44m 30s
    1. Blur Gallery
      1m 36s
    2. Creating depth-of-field effects in post
      5m 29s
    3. Modifying your Field Blur settings
      4m 57s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      6m 15s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      7m 29s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 59s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 35s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 18s
  9. 1h 34m
    1. Blend Modes
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  10. 44m 20s
    1. Color Range
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  11. 59m 43s
    1. Refine Edges
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
  12. 1h 18m
    1. The Pen tool
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 57s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 36s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 21s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

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