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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'll design a custom gradient to turn this low color image, without even converting it to black and white, into this duotone right here. Although technically speaking it's a quad-tone because it contains four distinct colors. So I'll go ahead and switch back to our starter image here and I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, click the Black/White icon at the bottom of the panel and choose Gradient Map, and I'll call this layer quadtone and then I'll click OK. Now we'll start things off, if you're working along with me and you have access to the exercise files, with this guy called Complementary VY.
Now if you don't have the exercise files, that's totally okay, I'll be showing you how to create the final gradient for yourself, this is just a good point to start at, and then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to hide that list of gradients, and I'll click inside the Gradient Bar to bring up the Gradient Editor dialog box. Now I'd like you to treat these little color stops in the gradient as if they are points along the bottom of a Histogram, like we're working in Levels dialog box, so we've got black over here on the left and we've got white over here under right. We are currently mapping black which is at a Location of 0%, too black, so our shadows are remaining black inside the image.
And then at the 100% position which you should think of is being a 100% white we have white and then all the other colors or luminance levels in between. So we're going to start things off by changing these colors around, I don't want them to be this highly-saturated, so I'm going to double-click on the first yellow color stop in order to bring it up, and I'm going to reduce the Saturation value by pressing Shift+Down Arrow and then Down Arrow a few times to get it down to 25%. Otherwise these color values are fine, a Hue of 50 degrees and a Brightness of 85%.
Now I'll go ahead and click OK and you can see that that goes ahead and reduces the saturation inside the highlights in this image. Now I'll double-click on the orange color stop and I'm not going to take it down quite as much, I'm just going to take it down to 45%, a Hue of 35 degrees is just fine, and I'll take the Brightness value down to 70% as well, then click OK. Next I'm going to double-click on this very dark blue Color Swatch to bring it up and I'm going to modify the Hue value slightly, I'll take it up to 220, then I'll take the Saturation value down to 25% and I'll raise the Brightness value to 55%, which is going to seem strange at first, but we're going to move this color stop to another location, so I'll click OK and notice now if I want a darken things up I'll go ahead and move the Color Stop over to the right.
So typically when you're working with progressively lighter color stops like these if you move the stop to the left, you're going to brighten the image, if you move it to the right you're going to darken the image. What you're really trying to do is map this color to a specific group of luminance levels inside the image and at about 45% I get the effect I'm looking for. Now I'm going to have to move the other Color Stops in just a moment, but this is good for now. And then I'll click on this dark violet Color Stop that has a location of 10%, double-click on it to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, I'm going to take the Saturation way down to 15%, and I'm also going to take the Brightness value down to 15% as well, and then I'll click OK in order to accept that change.
So we've got black, we've got a very dark purple, mapping the darkest luminance levels inside the image. We've got the sort of washed out blue here that's mapping these midtones, and then we've got these two guys that aren't quite set to the right locations, so I'm going to click on this orange Color Stop that's had a location of 75% and to brighten the colors up a little bit, I'm going to press Shift+Down Arrow in order to reduce that location value to 65%. And then I'll click on that final Color Stop, the pale yellow one, and I'll take its Location value down to 80%.
Now what I recommend you do at this point is you go ahead and name your gradient and save it in case you want to use it later. And you do that in a strange way, you don't click the Save button. Rather you first name the gradient, so you have to give it a name first, and I'm going to call mine Denim & bone, after the colors that I'm seeing here inside this image, and then you click on the New button and that goes ahead and adds that gradient to the list and it's important that you name the gradient and then click New. If you just click New, you're going to create a new unnamed swatch.
All right, now click OK in order to accept that change. All right, now let's say just for the sake of demonstration that this is the fifth or sixth such gradient that you've created and you're starting to feel like you want to backup your gradients, so that you don't lose them, which is a really great idea by the way. Then what you do is go to the Edit menu and you choose Presets and then you choose Preset Manager and you can see if you loaded dekeKeys I've given you a shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+P or Cmd+Shift+P on the Mac. Then switch Preset Type from Brushes to Gradients and you'll see a list of all the gradients that are presently loaded, let's say you want to go ahead and backup the one you just made of course as well as these three right here, then you go ahead and click on one Shift+Click on the other to select an entire range. If you want to select nonadjacent gradients then you Ctrl+Click on them on the PC or Cmd+Click on them on the Mac.
Then go ahead and click on the Save Set button and then give your gradients a name such as I'll go ahead and call mine My custom grads, and I think I've got a little problem there, so I'll hit Forward Delete key and click on the Save button and you've saved out those specifically selected gradients, then click on Done and you are backed up. And that's how you go about creating a custom gradient for the purpose of creating a duotone, a tritone, a quadtone or what have you here inside Photoshop.
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