Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

Cleaning up whites and blacks


Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Cleaning up whites and blacks

In this exercise, we are going to address some of the tough details at the top of Russell's head right there that we need to deal with. We need to distinguish the top of his head from the O, in the word O'Reilly, my publisher. And we also need to address these very delicate hair details that are going on, on the right side of the image. This is of course the left side of Russell's head, where he's concerned. By the way, I've gone ahead and saved my progress as a document called Overlay painting.tif, so called, of course, because we were painting with a brush set to the Overlay mode. But now we're going to have to roll up our sleeves and be a little more selective here.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 21m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 34s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 35s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 46s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 8s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 55s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 55s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 33s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 42s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 52s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 39s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 43s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 51s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 52s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 7m Advanced May 29, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the Online Training Library®.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Defining the essentials of masking
  • Resizing images with content-aware scaling
  • Adjusting perspective with Vanishing Point
  • Applying Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Using the Auto-Align tool to build composite images
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Cleaning up whites and blacks

In this exercise, we are going to address some of the tough details at the top of Russell's head right there that we need to deal with. We need to distinguish the top of his head from the O, in the word O'Reilly, my publisher. And we also need to address these very delicate hair details that are going on, on the right side of the image. This is of course the left side of Russell's head, where he's concerned. By the way, I've gone ahead and saved my progress as a document called Overlay painting.tif, so called, of course, because we were painting with a brush set to the Overlay mode. But now we're going to have to roll up our sleeves and be a little more selective here.

I've been painting with black allover the place and white inside of the image and it's helpful to know where in a world your black edges drop off or your white edges drop off, and where things turn dark gray or light gray, so light or dark that you can't quite make out the transitions on the screen. There for example, if you zoom in here on the right side once again, Russell's left side of this head, you'll see that there are some sort of garbage-y dark details that aren't quite black. They may show up more prominently on your monitor or less prominently on your monitor depending on how that monitor is calibrated.

But you can see for sure, exactly where the black ends and other colors begin, using the Magic Wand tool, and this is a fantastic use for the Magic Wand tool. So go ahead and select it from the fly- out menu here. Then as opposed to having the Tolerance set to 32, set it to 0, and then turn Anti-alias to off. So we're only selecting one color and one color only. Then what I want you to do is I want you to click in an area that you know to be black in the background. So I'll click up here and notice, these are all the black pixels now, outside of Russell's head. If I wanted to make sure to select the black pixels throughout the image, then I would go up to the Select menu and I would choose Similar right there. That will jump the gaps, essentially.

Now we only still have black pixel selected, because the Tolerance value is set to 0, and that Tolerance value does affect the behavior of the Similar and Grow commands. But now we have all of the black pixels selected throughout the image. We know, for example, that these guys up there are not black and they should be black. These guys right there should be black and these guys too. So this is what I do. I now switch over to the Rectangular Marquee tool like so, and then I'll Shift+Drag around those areas that need to be picked up. Here, of course, Shift+Drag here, Shift+Drag around this guy, not anything that's really super close to the image, we're staying pretty far out here. We're just getting these guys that are up in the far flung areas of the background or if you have a straight area, like this right here, you can go ahead and try to select it as well.

So I'll add that to the selection, I might as well add these guys to the selection to the best of my ability, like so. Otherwise, just note where these problems are occurring, if you don't want to get too close to that edge. So right now we've got some areas, let's see, let's check out Russell at the same time. Right around this knuckle and the right edge of his neck right there, are areas that I'm going to have to work on. Also, around his ear and, of course, around the hair, I knew, this area, was a problem. This stuff, obviously, we're going to have to address more delicately. We can't just go in there with the Rectangular Marquee tool, but I can select here, so Shift+Drag, Shift+Drag around this area, Shift+Drag here. If you have a mind tool again, some of this stuff you can get using Brush tool in just a moment.

We have some stuff going on along the top of the hand sort of duly noted, grab this stuff, Shift+Drag around it, Shift+Drag around here. It's like we're working inside of a swimming pool or something. Shift+Drag there, Shift+Drag here, I just mentioned that as an aside because it occurred to me as I was working and I have nothing else to talk to you people about. I'm selecting stuff. I mean it's not exciting, I don't think anyway. It's feeling kind of dull, but I have to say something. I can't just sit here and be silent, because it's a movie. So this looks pretty good. I think I've selected most of the junk that I want to select. I'm going to press the tilde key to hide Russell, so that I'm just looking at the mask. Now I want to fill everything that I have selected with black, because just selecting it doesn't make it black, we have to actually fill it with black.

Black happens to be my foreground color right now, so I'll press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac to make sure all of that stuff is black. Now if deselect the image by clicking off of it, go back to the Magic Wand tool and click in the background, low and behold, I've got this entire area selected right now. All black. That's good. Then I could Shift-Click down here if I want to instead of using the Similar command, another way to work. That area is nice and homogeneously black. Let's deselect that area, click inside Russell now to check the whites. So, they are in pretty good shape, but we still do have some ratty details here and there. Shift+Drag around them with the Rectangular Marquee tool.

Why the Rectangular Marquee tool, why not the Lasso tool? Because we can get right next to the edges with the Rectangular Marquee tool and not worry about adding in any anti-aliasing. So it's just a great choice. Let's go and Shift+Drag around there, Shift+Drag around there, Shift+Drag here if I want to. Note the neck. The neck needs work anyway. I'll renew that. The hand, this is the back end of his left hand, and we've got some areas in the right hand as well, fine. Go ahead and select as much as you dare with the Rectangular Marquee tool, of course, and then once you're done, which at some point you will be, when we presume, then you will press the Backspace key, because the background color is white for me. So I just press Backspace or on the Mac I would press the Delete key, and that goes ahead and takes care of those stray non-black and white colors.

So, we're doing great. We still need to get in there and address these little hairs and those other details that we saw that weren't quite black, weren't quite white. We'll do that by painting once again, except we're going to use a more cautious mode, Soft Light, join me, won't you, in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: My Polygon tool is locked into a very small size. I can use the Transform tool to increase it's size once drawn, but I must have something set that will not allow me to freely draw it like I can the other shapes. What could be causing this problem?
A: This could be caused by a value associated with the Radius option of the tool. Click the down-pointing arrowhead to the right (a few tool icons over) from the Polygon tool in the options bar at the top of the screen. This brings up pop-up panel. If the Radius option has a number value, select that value and press Delete or Backspace to clear it out. That should fix the problem.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.