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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.
And for just those of you who may have had some problems with Photomerge on older machines, because it does require a fair amount of processing power. I've gone ahead and saved my progress as Alcatraz panorama.psd found inside the 28_auto_align folder. Right now, I do have some issues. Actually the seams look great to me. I'm not seeing any seam problems, you could go through and inspect it very closely, and see if you find anything, but I didn't really. I'm more concerned with overall sort of color impact of the scene, which is pretty washed out really.
And the image is sort of listing down into the right. I just want to correct those problems. I also want the image to have sharper focus. So what do we do? Well, we are going to be taking advantage of a Smart Object, a Smart Filter and a couple of adjustment layers in the Lab mode. Just a really pile on the best of Photoshop here. So all right, here is what I want you to do. Let's go ahead and hide the Adjustment palette for a moment. I want you to take all of these layers, which are presumably selected if you have been working along with me. But if not, press Ctrl+Alt+A, Command+ Option+A on the Mac. And then go up to the palette menu and choose to Convert to Smart Object. If you load the Dekekeys, that's Ctrl+Comma, Command+Comma on the Mac.
We have a multi layered Smart Object which is awesome. And I'll go ahead and rename it Alcatraz, instead of after the automatic photograph names. And the reason I'm doing this is because that way instead of a relying on a Crop tool, I'll go ahead and apply a Free Transform. And that will be now a destructive transformation of course, because I have a Smart Object. All right, so let's Shift+Tab away the layers palette for a moment. And then I do want to get the Crop tool. So I have a sense of what in the world I'm doing here. I'll go ahead and zoom out. I'm just not going to rotate with the Crop tool. I'm just going to crop. And I'll crop pretty far out. I want to be able to see. I don't really care about this tree in the foreground, but I do want to see this little bits sort of tide that are showing up here. And the shadow, all the way out as well.
So I want to keep that, give the scene a nice amount of width after all. And then we'll drag down, because we are running out of sky over here in the right hand side that I just didn't capture it. And because I'm so close to the top of that mountain, I don't really like that, look very much, I'll shave it off, I'll take it in like so. So that it looks like a deliberate crop, instead of some accident. And then up here in the Options bar, Cropped Areas is set to Hide. I just wanted you to see that, this is a visual training series, so you should see things. And then I'll press Enter key, or the Return on the Mac.
Now we still have the listing, still going down right. So what do we do? Switch back to the Marquee tool, just because I don't want to have the Crop tool selected anymore. And then I'll go up to the Edit menu, and I'll choose Free Transform or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. And I'm going to go the Angle value here. If I raise the angle, it's going to go the wrong direction. So I want to lower the Angle value, and I'm just going to press the Down arrow key, which changes that values in increments of 0.1 degree, which is really great. Because that's the kind of control you need.
Until things look straight right across this line here, and you could actually through in a guideline, so you can see what you are doing. But you have to do it before you enter Free Transform, because of the dopey way this command works. And -0.5 degrees gets me there. Over here we are not too concerned, because the land is actually coming downward naturally. All right, so this is good. With a value of -0.5 degree that's all I want. I'll go ahead and press the Enter key a couple of times or the Return key a couple of times on the Mac. And then, as long as we got ourselves a Smart Object, oh look, very important to keep track of this kind of stuff. I have revealed a little bit transparency down here at the bottom.
So I'm going to press Ctrl+Down arrow or Command+Down arrow a few times, until I crop that area away. Let's make sure we are nor revealing anything at the top of the image. Well, I'm giving myself a tiny little bit of sky at the top there. But I'm going to go ahead and accept that, because I'm felling benevolent for the moment. All right, as long as we are working with the Smart Object, let's go ahead and Shift+Tab back up the palettes here. There is my Smart Object. Go to the Filter menu, choose Sharpen, choose Smart Sharpen. If you load your Deke keys, you got Shift+F6, and then I'm going to enter these exact values you see right there, which is my new-over the top, because I just keep changing this over the top setting. But it's an amount value of 250%, Radius value of 1pixel.
Remove set to Lens Blur. More Accurate, believe it or not, turn it on. Because this is the landscape scene. We don't have any of those problems associated with people and all that jazz. Now notice that the scene looks awfully darn sharp in the background here. That's because we are at in odd zoom ratio. As soon as you click OK, it's going to go ahead and settle down, and it's going to show you a more reasonable version of the Sharpened Image as you are seeing right there. And that's looking pretty good. We now have a Sharp version of Alcatraz, I went ahead and zoomed in to 100%, so we can see it up close in personal. We still have the lackluster colors however, and I'm going to show you how to address those colors in the next exercise.
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