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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time lynda.com author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.
In the movie, we're going to take those base rays that we created using the Lasso and Marquee tools and we're going to turn them into rays of light using a filter called Radial Blur. Now this step has nothing to do with selection outlines but it's a really cool trick. I'm going to start off by zooming out a little bit. Now I need more room to work in order to pull off this technique. So I'm going to expand the canvas using the Canvas Size command. Go up to the Image menu and choose Canvas Size. And then inside the Canvas Size dialog box, change the unit of measure to Pixels.
Now I want to add 1,000 pixels horizontally and vertically. So rather than trying to do the math, I'm just going to enter in relatives values by turning on the Relative check box, then I'll click on Width and change that value to 1,000, press the Tab key a couple of times here in the PC, just once on the Mac, and change the Height value to 1,000 as well, and then click OK. And you can see how that expands the overall size of the image. Now with the Rays Layer selected, go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and then choose the Radial Blur command.
Radial Blur is one of Photoshop's old school filters, meaning that it doesn't provide a preview. So you need to make sure that this Blur Center item is centered, so that dot right there should be absolutely at the center of the square as it is by default. If it isn't for you, drag it around until it looks right. And then I want you to switch the Blur Method to Zoom and crank the Amount value up to its maximum, which is 100, then click OK and you'll end up zooming the rays outward as you see here.
Now we need to repeat the filter a few times. If you go up to the Filter menu, you'll notice that the first command is now Radial Blur and it has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac. I'm going to use that keyboard shortcut because that's the easiest way to work. So I'll press Ctrl+F or Command+F once and then twice, and then the third time, and then finally, a fourth time. So you want to repeat that filter four times after applying it in the first place. Now we want to add a little bit of blur around each one of the rays of light and you do that by repeating that filter again, except with different settings.
And that means making the dialog box come back up on screen, and you do that by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F here on the PC or Command+Option+F on the Mac. Inside the Radial Blur dialog box, reduce the amount value to five and change the Blur Method to Spin and then click OK, and those are our final rays. Now we need to restore our original canvas size. So go up to the Image menu and choose the Canvas Size command again. The Relative check box should still be on.
You need to change the units back to Pixels again, then click on the word Width and change it to -1000 this time. Tab your way to the Height value and change it -1000 as well and then click OK. Photoshop will bring up an alert message telling you that the new canvas size is smaller than the current canvas size, we already knew that, and some clipping will occur. Well that's not actually technically true. We are going to end up clipping away pixels from the background, but that's okay, because we'll just be clipping those white pixels away.
The independent layers will be unaffected. They'll continue to be the same size they are now. So go ahead and click the Proceed button to nondestructively crop the canvas. All right, I'm going to zoom back in. We don't need the guides anymore, so you can either hide them or get rid of them. If you want to delete them, then go up to the View menu and choose the Clear Guides command. Now I want to move the rays so that they're centered on the moon and I'll do that by pressing and holding the Ctrl key or Command key on the Mac to temporarily get the Move tool.
And then I'll drag the rays so that they more or less appears centered inside of that moon, like so. And now, the great thing is you can move that moon and the rays together, if you like, by going over to the Layers panel and Shift+Clicking on the moon layer, so both rays and moon are selected. And now, if you press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and drag, then you can move the moon and the rays to any location inside your composition that you like. However, before I get too carried away, I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that move, because this is exactly where I want these items to be.
So that's how you create a ray of light effect using the Radial Blur filter. Our next step is to mask the rays behind the tree, and we'll do that using a few of Photoshop's automated selection functions.
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