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Correcting the composite image

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Correcting the composite image

Now that you know all of the special tips and tricks for working inside the Curves panel, here inside the Adjustments palette, let's see how we go about actually correcting this elephant. I'm still working right along here, inside High-contrast elephant.jpg. Tell you what, we can either just go ahead and reset our settings by clicking on this Reset button down here next to the Trash Can, in the lower right corner of the Adjustments palette, and that should restore my diagonal line here inside of the Curves panel.

Correcting the composite image

Now that you know all of the special tips and tricks for working inside the Curves panel, here inside the Adjustments palette, let's see how we go about actually correcting this elephant. I'm still working right along here, inside High-contrast elephant.jpg. Tell you what, we can either just go ahead and reset our settings by clicking on this Reset button down here next to the Trash Can, in the lower right corner of the Adjustments palette, and that should restore my diagonal line here inside of the Curves panel.

But if you weren't with me in the previous exercise, all you need to do is open this elephant right here. I'm just going to go ahead and Delete this layer, and then by pressing the Backspace key of course or the Delete key on the Mac, and then go to your Adjustments palette and just click here on Curves in order to create that new Curves adjustment layer. Then here's what we're going to do. We're going to start by adding a very light point. We could go ahead and lift it from the image if we wanted to. Make sure that you have the Eyedropper selected if you're going to go that route. Here in the toolbox is where you would select the Eyedropper.

Then you would Ctrl+Click or Command+ Click some place in a light portion of the elephant. I'm going to undo the addition of that point right there. I'm going to recommend that we lift a point from the wall here. So I'm going to Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on the Mac, here inside the wall. That's going to add a point, very high, inside of the graph. Notice for me, the Input and Output values are both 245 right now. They might be something different for you. But I'm going to go ahead and change my Input value to 250 right here.

Now, this is very, very misleading in my opinion. Even though the Input value is listed second here inside of the Adjustments palette, it should be listed first. We should see an Input value mapping to an Output value, that's how it works. So I do not know who in the world decided that Output should be first and Input second, but that's absolutely wrongheaded in my opinion. But I'm going to talk in terms of Input first and Output second, just so you know what I'm up to. Then I'm going to press Shift+Down Arrow to reduce that Output value to 235. So we're mapping what were formerly pixels that had a Brightness value, a Luminance Level of 250, we're now mapping them to a Luminance Level of 235. So we're darkening those colors.

Notice we're sending this graph now on a precipitous decline. We have this sun cliff here, and then we're blacking out a ton of colors. Obviously, we don't want anything like that. So I'm going to go ahead and add another point pretty close. Notice if you get this cursor right there, that looks like a little move cursor, which is what it is, the little four arrow cursor, that means you're going to end up moving the points. So you don't want that if you're going to add another point. You want to make sure that you got the cross, like this, and then you can click, but notice, anytime we move close to the line, it wants to move that point again.

So I've got to move pretty far down right to about there, I can get my cross cursor, and that means I can click to add a point at that location. This time I want the Input Level to be 242, so that means I'm going to have to nudge this point over. I'm doing it from the keyboard. I'm just pressing the Left Arrow key, in my case, a couple of times to move that Input value over to 242. This is all trial and error, folks. I just came up with these values in advance for you, but you could mess around and find out your own values if you wanted to. But I'm going to take that Output value to 219 right there. So we're taking what were formerly pixels with a Luminance Level of 242 and now mapping them to an Output Level of 219. Notice that sends the graph back up. This is, by the way, this luminance curve right here, it's a Spline Curve, just in case you're curious. What that means is every point is redirecting the line in a different direction. So the points act as directional handles, in addition to making the curve go through the point.

All right. So the next point that I want to add; I want something close to the center this time around, so I'm going to go ahead and click around this location, right about there. I want an Input value this time of 146 and I want an Output value of 131 is what I'm looking for. Again, I'm just reading this off this piece of paper that I have in front of me; I just went ahead and did this in advance, so it's pre-baked. Next thing, let's add a point around this location right here. I'm going to move it to an Input value of 54 and an Output of 76 this time around. Isn't this fun watching me change these points? It's even more fun if you're working along with me, if you have access to this file. But if not, you can get a sense of what kind of contributions each one of these points is making to the condition of the colors inside of this animal right here. So you can see it on a fly, as it happens. It's as exciting as watching the paint on an elephant dry.

All right. I'm going to go ahead and add a point. Actually, I'm going to add a couple of points down here, couple of shadow points. Let's go ahead and select this point right there first. I'm going to take it to an Input value of 7 and an Output value of 28. Now, watch what happens, notice how I've got this hump right there in the curve, and it would get worse if I move this guy farther down. What this is called by the way, when you have a curve that's going up-down, up-down like this, that's called an arbitrary map. An arbitrary map will just ruin the appearance of a continuous tone photograph, as we're seeing right here.

The reason that it ruins the appearance of the continuous tone photograph is because any place where we have flattening of the curve; we're going to get grays, these weird gray areas inside of the image. Then of course, if we're going the wrong direction all of a sudden, we're going down when we should be going up, then we're going to have colors reversed and invert inside of the image, and that's just not going to look good. Arbitrary maps can be super useful when you're creating masks; as I explore in my Photoshop Channels and Mask Series, you should check it out, right here on the lynda.com Online Training Library by the way, just hours and hours of material available to you there. But for correcting continuous tone images, I don't recommend arbitrary maps. I recommend that you keep your curve nice and fluid is the idea.

So let's do something about this point right there. He's in a bad position, I think, so let's make him better. I'm going to take the Input value to 15, so move it very close to that other point right there. So we have one Input value at 7 and another at 15, and then I'm going to take this guy up to an Output value of 43. Notice what a nice smooth curve we have now and what a nice gorgeous elephant we have as well. Let me give you a sense of the contribution of this adjustment layer. This is before; this is the image as it originally appeared, with such a black background, notice that, the interior of this pachyderm container or whatever it is, this unfortunate cage back here, is so very, very dark, and with the Curves layer turned on, it is illuminated, and we can see a little bit of that disturbing form back there, but not enough to truly be disturbing, not enough to be as icky as it was before. But we're really bringing in a lot of detail.

By the way, really quickly, in case you're curious here, we have a total of eight points on this curve, which makes this a pretty point intensive curve by the way. If you're curious what those points are, I'll go ahead and move back to the first one here. Notice it starts with Output and Input of 0, and then the next point up, that guy right there, is Input 7, Output 28. Then we go to Input 15, Output 43. Then we have Input 54, Output 76. I'm just repeating this for those of you who may be struggling to keep up here. Input 146 for the next one, Output 131. Of course, I'm discussing them in the opposite order of their listing. The next one is Input 242, we have Output 219. Then we have 250 Input, Output 235, and then finally we have the White Point, which is 255, 255, just locking down the whites there.

The beauty of it is this elephant is in much better condition than he was before, but he is too; she, I'm sorry, I think it's a she, she's too pink, much too pink, she should be more of a grayish color, and this grass should be greener. You'll see. We're going to correct it. But we're going to correct the color cast of the animal now using Channel by Channel modifications here inside of the Curves panel, and we're going to do that in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

218 video lessons · 23903 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 22m 32s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Advanced
      1m 43s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 17s
    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
      6m 4s
  2. 2h 43m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      49s
    2. Low contrast, bad meter
      5m 57s
    3. Auto tone, contrast, and color
      8m 1s
    4. Cache levels and the Histogram palette
      7m 16s
    5. How the auto commands work
      10m 15s
    6. A first look at Levels
      6m 11s
    7. Target colors and clipping
      9m 6s
    8. Modifying input levels
      9m 44s
    9. Adjusting the gamma value
      7m 34s
    10. Previewing clipping
      7m 17s
    11. The futility of output levels
      4m 56s
    12. Channel-by-channel edits
      11m 54s
    13. When levels fail
      4m 34s
    14. A first look at Curves
      8m 46s
    15. Static Curves layer tricks
      7m 45s
    16. Dynamic Curves layer tricks
      7m 25s
    17. Correcting the composite image
      8m 30s
    18. Neutralizing a color cast
      6m 52s
    19. The Target Adjustment tool in Curves
      8m 29s
    20. Correcting an image in Lab
      10m 7s
    21. The Shadows/Highlights filter
      4m 18s
    22. Radius and tonal width
      8m 11s
  3. 1h 48m
    1. Edge-enhancement tricks
      1m 13s
    2. How sharpening works
      3m 48s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      4m 29s
    4. The Unsharp Mask filter
      7m 57s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      6m 25s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 47s
    7. Previewing how sharpening will print
      3m 37s
    8. Measuring and setting screen resolution
      6m 56s
    9. Tweaking the screen resolution
      4m 28s
    10. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 23s
    11. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      4m 23s
    12. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      5m 50s
    13. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 16s
    14. When to leave More Accurate off
      3m 48s
    15. When to turn More Accurate on
      4m 23s
    16. The advanced options
      7m 57s
    17. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 23s
    18. Accounting for camera shake
      7m 7s
    19. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      9m 8s
  4. 2h 16m
    1. Why would you blur?
      1m 8s
    2. Fading after an undo
      3m 27s
    3. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      5m 43s
    4. The linear Box Blur
      3m 6s
    5. Add Noise vs. Median
      4m 50s
    6. Despeckle vs. Dust & Scratches
      6m 31s
    7. Smart Blur vs. Surface Blur
      8m 13s
    8. The Motion Blur filter
      4m 33s
    9. Radial Blur's Spin and Zoom variations
      5m 48s
    10. Mixing filtered effects
      3m 56s
    11. The "Captain Kirk in Love" effect
      5m 4s
    12. Diffusing focus with Blur and Overlay
      8m 50s
    13. Simulating Vaseline and film grain
      8m 2s
    14. Filling a layer with a neutral color
      2m 55s
    15. Old-school contrast reduction
      3m 39s
    16. Three steps to diffused focus
      7m 36s
    17. Averaging skin tones
      9m 45s
    18. Addressing the stubborn patches
      5m 26s
    19. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      6m 1s
    20. Blurring surface details
      3m 2s
    21. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      8m 6s
    22. Reducing digital noise
      8m 47s
    23. Striking a smooth/sharpen compromise
      4m 36s
    24. Smoothing over JPEG artifacts
      7m 38s
  5. 2h 31m
    1. Independent layers of color adjustment
      1m 7s
    2. Undersea color channels
      4m 2s
    3. Inventing a Red channel with Lab
      8m 20s
    4. Mixing color channels
      6m 55s
    5. Making shadows with Levels
      7m 5s
    6. Applying small color adjustments
      6m 0s
    7. Further modifying Levels in Lab
      8m 50s
    8. Creating a dynamic fill layer
      4m 38s
    9. Brushing and blending color
      4m 42s
    10. Working with "found masks"
      7m 31s
    11. Saturation, sharpen, and crop
      8m 9s
    12. Mixing a monochromatic image
      7m 2s
    13. Masking an adjustment layer
      4m 45s
    14. Working with Opacity and blend modes
      3m 39s
    15. Adding a black-and-white adjustment
      5m 53s
    16. The Target Adjustment tool in black and white
      6m 12s
    17. Tinting a monochrome photo
      3m 19s
    18. Introducing Gradient Map
      4m 17s
    19. Adjusting both color and luminance
      5m 44s
    20. Infusing elements with different colors
      6m 22s
    21. Adjustment layers as creative tools
      4m 33s
    22. Inverting and brightening the background
      5m 14s
    23. Blurring live, editable type
      5m 43s
    24. Hue, saturation, and darkness
      6m 51s
    25. Filling type with a color adjustment
      3m 24s
    26. Using one adjustment to modify another
      3m 21s
    27. Breathing color into the title
      3m 38s
    28. The Hue/Saturation humanoid
      3m 44s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 23s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 16s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 46s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      6m 4s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      7m 8s
    7. Darken, Multiply, and the Burn modes
      6m 33s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with Fill
      4m 43s
    9. Saving a blended state
      4m 18s
    10. Lighten, Screen, and the Dodge modes
      8m 22s
    11. Linear Burn = Add minus white
      5m 31s
    12. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 52s
    13. Fill Opacity takes priority
      6m 19s
    14. Difference and exclusion
      5m 21s
    15. Using difference for golden highlights
      4m 2s
    16. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 8s
    17. The brush-only modes: Behind and Clear
      10m 31s
    18. Layer groups and the Pass Through mode
      8m 54s
  7. 1h 53m
    1. It's all about the presentation
      58s
    2. Moving a layer a specific number of pixels
      6m 59s
    3. Adding a pixel mask to a layer
      5m 48s
    4. Editing a layer mask
      7m 19s
    5. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      6m 19s
    6. Introducing the Advanced Blending options
      4m 45s
    7. Using the luminance blending sliders
      7m 26s
    8. Forcing through underlying luminance
      4m 32s
    9. Masking with a path outline
      5m 45s
    10. Refining a mask from the Masks palette
      7m 18s
    11. Creating and modifying a layer group
      3m 29s
    12. Establishing a knockout group
      5m 29s
    13. Fixing last-minute problems
      6m 23s
    14. Introducing layer comps
      6m 40s
    15. Exploring layered states
      6m 43s
    16. Deleting layers and updating comps
      6m 18s
    17. Saving a basic composition
      6m 21s
    18. Assigning and saving appearance attributes
      7m 15s
    19. Layer comps dos and don'ts
      7m 27s
  8. 1h 56m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
      56s
    2. Establishing default formatting attributes
      4m 5s
    3. Saving formatting attributes as a preset
      8m 5s
    4. Making a point text layer
      6m 18s
    5. Editing size and leading
      6m 44s
    6. Working with vector-based text
      6m 12s
    7. Formatting area text
      4m 16s
    8. Creating a layer of area text
      3m 20s
    9. Resizing the text frame
      4m 34s
    10. Changing the anti-aliasing setting
      3m 58s
    11. Obscure but important formatting options
      6m 31s
    12. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      8m 44s
    13. Creating a cast shadow
      6m 1s
    14. Blurred shadows and beveled text
      7m 16s
    15. Drawing a path outline
      4m 51s
    16. Creating type on a path
      6m 39s
    17. Flipping text across a circle
      3m 18s
    18. Vertical alignment with baseline shift
      4m 16s
    19. Warping text
      4m 57s
    20. Scaling your text to taste
      3m 33s
    21. Applying a custom warp
      6m 24s
    22. Creating an engraved text effect
      5m 11s
  9. 2h 17m
    1. Bending an image to fit your needs
      53s
    2. Creating a canvas texture
      6m 48s
    3. Masking objects against a white background
      5m 42s
    4. Scaling an image to fit a composition
      8m 9s
    5. Aligning one layer to fit another
      3m 51s
    6. Changing the Image Interpolation
      8m 10s
    7. Merging faces
      5m 32s
    8. Rotating the first clock hand
      7m 17s
    9. Adding hands and pasting styles
      6m 40s
    10. Series duplication in Photoshop
      4m 35s
    11. Masking objects against a black background
      6m 34s
    12. Skews and perspective distortions
      7m 57s
    13. Envelope-style warps
      9m 2s
    14. Old-school distortion filters
      8m 50s
    15. Introducing the Liquify filter
      4m 9s
    16. Reconstructing an image
      6m 55s
    17. Using the Warp tool
      5m 16s
    18. The Pucker and Bloat tools
      5m 53s
    19. Push, Turbulence, and Twirl
      6m 41s
    20. The Freeze and Thaw mask tools
      5m 45s
    21. Saving and loading a mesh file
      3m 59s
    22. Creating and applying a texture layer
      8m 30s
  10. 1h 28m
    1. Effects vs. styles
      1m 11s
    2. Of layer styles and masks
      4m 37s
    3. Everything about drop shadow
      8m 2s
    4. Adding a directional glow
      4m 39s
    5. Colorizing with Color Overlay
      5m 18s
    6. Stroke and fill opacity
      5m 48s
    7. Creating a multicolor Outer Glow
      9m 22s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 48s
    9. Contour and Texture
      4m 35s
    10. Simulating liquid reflections
      6m 28s
    11. Saving layer styles
      6m 18s
    12. Applying and appending styles
      4m 36s
    13. Saving and swapping style presets
      3m 16s
    14. The five effect helpers
      3m 47s
    15. Blending the effect before the layer
      5m 1s
    16. Colorizing a signature
      3m 30s
    17. Clipping an effect with a mask
      4m 5s
  11. 1h 50m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw in the Bridge
      5m 44s
    3. The Camera Raw 5 interface
      4m 39s
    4. Adjusting the white balance
      5m 0s
    5. Finessing and saving changes
      7m 55s
    6. Using the White Balance tool
      2m 43s
    7. Working with the Exposure controls
      7m 34s
    8. Straightening and cropping a raw image
      5m 53s
    9. Applying automatic exposure adjustments
      6m 6s
    10. Exposure warnings
      5m 44s
    11. Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation
      4m 47s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 33s
    13. Dodging with the Adjustment brush
      9m 24s
    14. Tone Curve adjustments
      6m 54s
    15. Using the Spot Removal tool
      2m 48s
    16. Removing noise and sharpening detail
      4m 5s
    17. Adjusting HSL values
      4m 18s
    18. Adjusting luminance, color by color
      4m 14s
    19. Black and white and split toning
      5m 16s
    20. Camera Raw tips and tricks
      7m 32s
    21. Correcting JPEG and TIFF images
      4m 42s
  12. 57s
    1. Until next time
      57s

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