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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 do some hand painting on this image in order to introduce some warm colors because we have made some amazing progress, right? I'm working inside of this image now called Ready to paint.jpg. Just to recap we started here so we have made some darn good progress but we need to take the image to this point right here. We need it to look that much better with some oranges inside of it in order to provide some warmth to the scene and better match the scene as it was, when I actually captured it.
Now we are going to hand paint the image in order to give this effect but we are not going to just whip out a brush and start painting. Instead, what we are going to do is we are going to create what's known as a Solid Fill Layer and this is one of three different dynamic fill layers that you can create. They are somewhat related to adjustment layers in that they are group together inside of the Layers palette as you'll see. So here's how you make a solid colored layer. You go to the Layers palette, you go down to this Black White icon click on it. Now as in Photoshop CS3 and earlier, you have access to all of the adjustment layers, they are all listed from Brightness/ Contrast all the way down to Selective Color and they are grouped in the exact same groups that appear inside the Adjustments palette.
So we have got Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Curves and Exposure altogether those are the four icons in the top row and then these are the icons in the next row, Vibrance to Channel Mixer and then these are the ones Invert to Selective Color on the bottom row, just so as you know. But up here at the top, are three other non-adjustment layers and these are the dynamic fill layers. So if I choose Solid Color in order to create a layer of solid color which is what we want here and then up comes the Color Picker dialog box and I would enter the color that I want to use. Now I could also lift a color from the image but unfortunately we just went and covered it up. Oh there is nothing to lift and incidentally I should tell you this. Not only can you lift a color from an image but if you can see other applications like you have a web browser open that has an image inside of it or something like that and you can see that web browser you can lift a color from it too.
But you can't do it just by clicking because once you leave the Image Window actually, your cursor just changes to an arrow and then if you leave Photoshop and you migrate over to a different application, it becomes whatever cursor that application is going to give it, presumably an arrow. So what you do is you start dragging inside of the Image Window. So you drag like I'm doing now, I've got my mouse button down and then you move off into some other interface and look over here inside of the Color Picker dialog box. I'm lifting a color from the interface itself here. Look I'll change it to blue like the OK button. So you can see the new color will be blue right there, isn't that amazing? I'll lift it from -- no, it's not going to work from the color plain but it will pick up whatever color as long as you keep dragging around. So just a little sort of tip there.
All right this is not the color we want, we want to dial in another color. I'm going to dial in 25:80:80, is the shade of orange I want and I just happen to know that for Hue/Saturation Brightness. If later, after you have got done brushing, you decide you want a different color, you can change it just by double-clicking on this thumbnail as you will see. Anyway go ahead and click OK to create that layer of color. Now not only do we have our Solid Fill Layer, but we have also got a layer mask that's been added automatically. So even though we turned off that layer mask function so, so long ago, now so that we don't make layer masks automatically along with our adjustment layers, that does not affect dynamic fill layers; those three that are there at the top of this pop-up menu here.
So Solid Color, Gradient and Pattern are not affected by that. Hide the layer mask function. Instead if you don't want layer mask to be created automatically for these guys or the Dynamic Fill layer, you should go up to the Layers palette fly-out menu. You choose Panel Options and then you turn off Use Default Mask on Fill Layers, just turn that check box off, then click OK and then just to show you how it works, I'll go ahead and Backspace to throw away that layer, make it over again, I'll go up to Solid Color from that Black White icon. I will dial in 25:80:80 like so and I'll click OK and now I don't have a layer mask and that way I can get to my layer name easily and change it to Orange, for example because that's what it is and then click OK.
Now we are going to want the layer mask in the case of this image. So what you would want to do at this point is then come down here to this Layer Mask icon right there and instead of clicking on it because we want to brush in the effect, we want to brush in the orange. So instead of clicking on this layer mask, go ahead and Alt+Click or Option +Click on this Layer Mask icon to add black as a layer mask and turn the effect off, turn that Solid Fill Color layer off. Then we'll begin brushing inside of this layer mask in the very next exercise.
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