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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 we're going to further correct our image using a combination of High Pass and Lens Blur. The function of High Pass will be to sharpen the details inside the image, and then the function of Lens Blur will be to compensate for the elevated noise levels. Now you could just go ahead and combine everything into a Smart Object in order to apply High Pass as a Smart Filter, but the Lens Blur filter which is the second part of this cannot be applied as a Smart Filter. So we're better off using static adjustments. So here's how we'll proceed.
First, make sure the top layer which is the Vibrance layer is active, and then press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E or Cmd+Shift+Option+E to merge all the visible layers onto a new layer, and we'll go ahead and call this New layer High Pass. Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Other, and choose the High Pass command or if you loaded dekeKeys you can press Shift+F10. This is a pretty high resolution image, so I'm going to crank the Radius value up to 4 pixels and then I'm going to click OK. This is also going to permit us to see just how much noise still resides inside of this composition, Now we don't want these colorful edges so go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments and then choose Desaturate, or if you've loaded dekeKeys you've got a keyboard shortcut of mash your fist U.
Ctrl+Shift+Alt+U or Cmd+Shift+Opt+U on the Mac, and that results in a grayscale version of this effect. Now I need to drop out the grays and keep the halos around the edges by clicking on the Blend mode pop-up menu in the upper-left- hand corner of the Layers panel and changing it from Normal to Linear Light, which is the most intense of the contrast modes. And we end up getting this effect here and you can see that it does a real number on the image. The detail is much sharper, but so is the noise, so this is a composition as it appeared a few moments ago.
With the noise reduced dramatically, however, not entirely gone, and this is the version of the image as it stands now. With the noise once again elevated by the High Pass filter. So what we need to do is create another layer of anti-noise underneath High Pass in the form of Lens Blur. So I'm going to turn High Pass off for a moment, click on the Shadows layer once again. Let's create another merge version of the image by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E or Cmd+Shift+Option+E on the Mac. This time I'll go ahead and rename the New layer Lens Blur, and I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose the Blur command and choose Lens Blur.
And Lens Blur brings up this ginormous dialog box as you can see here. Its purpose is to simulate the kind of blur you get when the lens element is out of focus. By default the radius value is set to 15. All I want you to do is crank the Radius value up to 30. You've got tons of other controls to work with, none of which are going to do us a lick of good where this specific effect is concerned. So take Radius up to 30, don't worry about the others, and click OK in order to apply that filter, and you'll get this dramatically blurred version of the image.
Now of course that ends up not only blurring away the noise, which is a good thing but it blurs away the detail as well. Now you can reinstate some of that detail by turning the High Pass layer back on. And quite frankly, it's not a half bad effect. In fact, if I turn both Lens Blur and High Pass off, you see that we have this crazy level here. I'll go ahead and zoom in. This crazy level of edge artifacting, so we've got color fringing all over the place around the bug's face, and when we turn those two layers back on, that artifacting goes away.
Now we have some strange halos and some other stuff going on, also we've lost lot of the good color inside the image. So what we need to do is mask the effects of both the Lens Blur and the High Pass layers, and I'll show you how to do that quickly and easily in the next movie.
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