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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we are going to take this composition that I have created for you and called Cardinal i Tondo.psd. It's a combination of a few different classic High Renaissance artists working together in a collaborative way here. We have got a painting of some cardinal dude by Raphael and he's set in this frame, that's normally associated with a piece called Doni Tondo painted by Michelangelo that's hanging in the Uffizi Gallery. But I've gone ahead and just taken the frame out and then in the background we do have some Michelangelo; this is the fresco.
So all these High Renaissance artists working together and we are going to clutter up this composition by turning it into a clock and I have also got this other image here for you Clock parts. tif. This comes to us from the Low Renaissance artist, Nicholas Belton of iStockPhoto.com and a really awesome piece I must say. Before we get into the transformations and the distortions and all that good stuff, I'm going to start things off by showing I a couple of really cool things that are associated with these two composition. So first, I have got a texture that's going on the cardinal's face here. I want to show you how to make it, because it's a really useful awesome technique and then I have also got a mask that's associated with the clock parts and I want to you show you how I created the mask, because it's a really simple technique.
We haven't gotten the masking yet, but this is something that I think you are going to find really inspiring and it's going to help you on a lot. So let's start with the texture. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on this guy's face and I have got this texture layer right here, it's called emboss. I'm going to turn it off for a moment so that you can see what the original image looked like and I'm basically zooming in further here so that we can see. There is a ton of compression artifacts and this is in the image that I found on the web. Raphael is out of copyright, of course, but it's not always easy to get out of copyright artwork. If you want to use classical paintings, sometimes you are going to have to suffer with low-resolution stuff, high JPEG compression stuff, so low quality artwork. Something like this emboss layer can really make things better.
Notice if I turn this emboss layer back on, we have a nice texture on this painting that is obscuring the JPEG compression artifacts. So it's sort of making the image look smoother by actually making it look rougher. You might also use it as just sort of a canvasing technique for a portrait if you wanted to, you could work that way. Let me show you what this really looks like. I'll go ahead and change the blend mode from Overlay to Normal and I'll up the Opacity to 100% just by pressing the 0 key there and back off a little bit and that's what it looks like. It's just a bump pattern. So how in the world do you make such a wonderful useful texture? Well, let me show you, it's so easy. Let's go ahead and turn this layer off, because we are going to make it all again. Turn on the portrait layer, at least Click on it to make it active and then I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac to make a new layer and we will call this grayness, because it is going to be a layer of gray. We want to use the previous layer to create a clipping mask, yes, and we want the mode to be ultimately set to Overlay and then this allows us to fill the layer with an overlay neutral color which of course is 50% gray, as you may recall from our blend mode discussion.
So I'll go ahead and turn that on and Click OK and now we have a layer of gray. Now just so we can better see what we are doing, I'm going to change the blend mode from Overlay back to Normal and I know that sounds like a weird decision, because we have just made it Overlay a moment ago. But I really just made an Overlay so that we could fill it with 50% gray. Now I'm going back to Normal so we can see what we are doing. I hope that makes sense. Now from here on it, it's a combination of three filters working together, Add Noise, Gaussian Blur and Emboss, in that order. So go up to the Filter menu, choose the Noise command and then choose Add Noise and this is the Amount of noise I use. You can goof around with the Noise as much as you want. But you want it to be Monochromatic so that you don't have any weird color aberration.
Gaussian is going to give you more contrast between the dark and light noise and then you can adjust the Amount to taste, I set it to 20%, you do want you want. Click OK and really what it comes down to is the more compression artifacts you have, if that's what you are trying to do is squash the appearance of those compression artifacts, the more noise you want. But really what it ultimately boils down to is, more noise is going to give you more texture. All right, so we have got a fairly high texture effect that we are going for here. Now I don't want single pixel noise, which is what I have right now, where every single pixel is completely different from its neighbor, because that's going to provide us with too much roughness. The texture is going to look unnaturally rough if we do that. So we need to blur it up a little bit, just a tiny bit.
So I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, choose Gaussian Blur, Shift+F7 if you have loaded Dekekeys and I'm going to set the Radius value to 0.5 pixels. That's a really good value for this kind of effect. But you can go higher, if you want to. You can take this as high as 1, if you want a more gradual texture effect. But I want something that has a little bit of oomph associated with it. So 0.5 pixels, just a little bit of blurring. Click OK, and then the next and final step ultimately is where the filters are concerned is to the Filter menu, choose this guy right here Stylize and then choose Emboss and what Emboss is going to do is what you are seeing right here, it's going to create essentially a bump map pattern. Anywhere where we don't have a lot of contrast is going to turn gray and where we do have contrast we are going to get highlights and shadows.
So it resembles the effect of casting a light on to our noise pattern. It's a complete fake. But we are going to get the best result out of it if you have a 45-degree angle or some multiple of 45 degrees or one of the other 45-degree angles or something close to it. We want something in that neighborhood. I'm going to go back to 45 and a Height of 1 pixel is probably going to work out best for you. Now the higher you take the Height value, the more weird the effect becomes and the more unnaturalistic it appears, because what you are really doing is, superimposing one version of the image on to an inverted version of that same image, so you start getting something that doesn't look like a bump pattern at all. It just looks noisy and weird.
The default value I believe is 3. I take it down to 1 and then adjust the Amount value as much as you want. Now bigger amounts are going to give you harsher noise, harsher highlights and shadows, and a lower amount value is going to give you more gradual transitions like so. I want a fair amount of contrast, so I'm going to set this to 200% and then I'm going to Click OK and you are done and you have got yourself a canvas texture, right ready to go. Now what you do is you go up to the Blend Mode pop-up menu and you choose Overlay. That drops out the grays, keeps the texture and you get this effect right here. So try it not only with a cardinal dude from an old Renaissance painting, but also just try it with a portrait to see what you think, it can be quite useful effect actually.
Then what I did ultimately, I'll press the Escape key to deactivate the Overlay blend mode item there. Then I pressed the 5 key to reduce the Opacity of this layer to 50% and that's our effect. In the next exercise I'm going to show you how to separate out these clock parts using this mask right here and I'm going to show you how you create it. It's really easy, stick with me.
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