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The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.
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.
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