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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 lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this final project, I'm going to show you how to select glass. Now, this isn't the only way to select glass, there's different ways to approach a glass project. This is just one way. But I'll show you a few different ways to approach it, just for fun. This isn't just glass my friends. This is water as well. So, we are going to select this water. And we are going to see-through the glass and water to a totally different background. And that background is going to be this background right here, the Star pattern background. And I should tell you that we have a few different images open here. One is Splash in glass.jpg. This image comes to us from photographer Chris O'Driscoll of istockphoto.com. The star pattern image, which is called Star pattern.jpg, it comes to us from Harold Fela also with istockphoto.com. And in this composition, this mash-up, which is called Glass on pattern.psd, it comes to us from me and from you after you get done building it. And just check it out.
You would never know, in a million years that the glass started against this background here, we have altogether eliminated that background. But we have all the glass, we have all the water, we have all the just delightful highlights, we have the shadows, we have the little glimmering bubbles here. But check out this. This is pretty impressive I think. I think you will think it's impressive too. Notice that the tabletop is sort of just gray at this point, but as soon as we introduce the new background, it becomes infused with Star pattern color as well.
So, it looks like this glass has lived against this background its entire life. And if you zoom in here on these details, you will see all kinds of stars in the background behind this water. Is that not just delicious? I think it looks so awesome and it even looks like, there is a little bit of distortion associated with the stars like the water in the glass is distorting everything that's going on behind it. That's not happening, there's no distortion. It's just simply a matter of your eyes and brain making that up. But it is a delightful trick and it looks just wonderful. And I'll show you that we have a few different variations going on. If you bring up the Layer Comps palette here, we have got one that's called found mask which is what we are looking at here, it's the easiest of the masking tricks and it's the last one I'm going to show you. And then we have color range 1 which is a little stronger, let's go ahead and zoom out here, so that we can see more of the glass at a time. This is color range 1 versus found mask and then this is color range 2 versus color range 1 and versus found mask.
So, you can get all kinds of different effects here. So, I'll show you how to do all of them. And let's start by just establishing the base composition and then in the next exercise, I'll show you how to approach this selection using the Color Range command. And then the in the exercise after that I'll show you how to use the Found Mask, which could not be easier. If it sounds like I'm talking to you like I'm insane it's because it's so easy, Found Masks are so easy to use and yet produce such great effects. All right, so, let's set things in motion here. I'm going over to Splash in glass and I want you to do that as well. And I want you to Ctrl+drag or Command+drag the glass image here, because Ctrl+dragging or Command+dragging.
That gets you the Move tool on the fly. So, Ctrl+drag or Command+drag up to the title, like so, so that it switches over to Star pattern. Move your cursor back into the image window, press and hold the Shift key along with Ctrl or Command and drop. And you are going to register these two images in place with each other, because they are both exactly the same size. Now, let's go ahead and rename this guy, something like base layer. And then we are going to take advantage of a blend mode. Now often times, blend modes can serve either to take the place of masks, so that you don't need a mask at all, or they can facilitate masking. In this case, it's more of a facilitation thing. When you are working with glass or any sort of translucent objects, typically you are interested in keeping the shadows and the highlights and dropping out the mid-tones, because the areas of mid-tones are the areas of translucency and the highlights and the shadows tend to be opaque.
So, we are going to switch this layer to one of the Contrast blend modes, because the Contrast blend modes, they keep the highlights and the shadows and they drop out the mid-tones. You might be tempted to go with Overlay, and of course that is your when-in-doubt mode, so go ahead and try out Overlay. But you are not going to get a very good result. That's going to look like garbage and we are seeing through the highlights and we are seeing through the shadows and everything is becoming informed by this orange background. And that's not what we want. So, let's go ahead and knock it up a notch, so let's get those shadows and highlight details a little more opaque by switching to Hard Light. And you will get this effect here. So, just with the application of a single blend mode, you already get a heck of a composition. I mean if that's all you knew about masking transparent objects inside of Photoshop. That would be a heck of a thing to know. Just change the object to the Hard Light mode and you are done.
But we can do better than that. And what we want to do is we want to pound those highlights a little more, meaning that we want to bring them out. So that the highlights are little more visible. That means that we are going to mask the highlights and then bring them in once again to this composition. And we'll do exactly that in the next exercise.
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