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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.
Now the great thing about the Vanishing Point filter is that it allows you to edit an image in 3D perspective, so that you're matching the perspective of the scene. just so you know, the Vanishing Point filter is located right here under the Filter menu. There it is. It's actually one of these independent utilities, so it just happens to run inside of Photoshop like Camera Raw and like Liquefy, just straight there above it. It gives you a series of tools. You've got an Image window to work inside of it and so on. Now, what we want to do in the case of this image right here, and it goes by the name of Dingy subway.tif, and it comes to us from photographer Josef Kubicek of iStockPhoto.com. We want to heal away this unauthorized graffiti down here in the subway scene. Then ultimately, replace it with this trademarked logo right here, so that we are letting the good people know of the wonderful service that we've provided for them.
The whole thing is going to be rendered in perspective. It will look great, I tell you. Anyway, I'm going to return to this image, Dingy subway.tif, and that other image is called, by the way, Scrubbco banner.psd. You may wonder, well, all right, why do we have to go into Vanishing Point? Why do we have to use a totally different filter, completely different environment in order to heal away this graffiti? Why can't we just use the Healing Brush right there? Well, I'll show you. Let's go ahead and get the Healing Brush tool. This is the one that allows you to specify a source point. So I'm going to press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and I'll set the source right about there at this intersection of these bricks. That will, of course, establish as the source point. Then I'll move my cursor up so that it's aligned to the bricks properly at the beginning of this graffiti line here, this little bit of spray paint. Then I'll paint across it in order to clone it away in order to heal that away.
Paint a little more, and then go ahead and release and let Photoshop do its things. Now, ignoring for the moment, these weird, little dark and light spots that are a problem, of course. We have the larger problem that the grid that we've created, this matrix of bricks right here, does not match at all. It's not a match for the perspective of the scene. Even though, I'm healing very close to my source point. So I just move my cursor up about an inch inside of this photograph, and yet, that completely ruins our perspective effect. And that is because ultimately, Photoshop is generally speaking a two- dimensional image editor. It recognizes height and width and that's about it.
Whereas Vanishing Point can match the actual 3D perspective of the scene. So I'm going to undo that modification by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Here is what we're going to do. Switch back to the neutral Rectangular Marquee tool. Not necessary but something I like to do. Then go up to the Filter menu and choose the Vanishing Point filter. Now, once Vanishing Point comes up on screen, the first thing that I like to do is to establish my base plane and then go ahead and save that off so that I don't end up wracking it, because it takes a while to get your first plane exactly right.
Notice right here, I have the Create Plane tool selected. That's good, we want that. Now, I want a plane that covers the entire rear wall back here. I'm going to start that plane at the most obvious thing that I can marquee, and that would be this area right here between the 2 and the 3 signs. So I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on it, and I'm zooming by Ctrl+Spacebar-clicking or Command+Spacebar-clicking on the Mac. You also have this option, incidentally. If you press the X key as you're editing inside of Vanishing Point, for as long as X is down you will see a 2x version of whatever zoom level you are operating inside of. As soon as you release X, you'll go back to whatever zoom level you are operating inside of.
So, it switches back and forth between standard and 2x view. just so you know, if you want to zoom in for a moment, you press the X key, kind of a useful trick, actually. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in for real by pressing Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus on the Mac to 200%, so I can see this area between the 2 and the 3 signs. Now, when you're creating a plane, you're creating a rectangle that's rotated in 3D space sort of like a billboard. You create it by clicking at four points, each of the four corners of the rectangle. So, for example, I would click here to set the first one. And then here to set the second one, then down here for the third corner and then here for the fourth corner. Now, you're going to see one of three things, when you get done creating your rectangular plane here. The plane will be rendered in one of three colors. Either it will be rendered in Red, like so, which means that Vanishing Point hates you, is essentially what it means. It's disgusted with you.
You have created a horrible plane. It's not something you can work with. And it's telling you, buddy, shape up. I'm not going to do anything with this plane. It's not going to work for you. So Red is bad. Now, you can see that just a tiny little movement of one of these corners can send it to Blue, which is good. Blue is all the way good. That's Vanishing Point reaching out and giving you a hardy handshake and saying, nicely done, sir. I can work with that. Yellow is the other color you might see. It's scene between color, and this is Vanishing Points where it's saying that's not a good plane, but it's not horrible. And if that's the best you can give me, I'll try to work with it. It's not the best you can do.
You can do Blue. You can always do Blue. So go for Blue, don't go for Yellow or Red. Obviously, Red, you don't want to anger the gods of Vanishing Point. So Blue is good. Now then, having created a nice blue plane, I'm going to zoom out, and then I'm going to take this plane and I'm going to render it across the entire rear wall right there by dragging the side handles, like this one and then this one there. So drag it all the way to the scene between the two walls, this right edge, that is to say. Then drag this left edge all the way over to the left beyond the end of the image, so it extends out into the pasteboard here.
Now I'm not comfortable with the angle of this side, because our wall isn't angling in like that. It's not falling over. So let's go ahead and move this line outward. Now as I do, notice what's happening to these vertical grid lines. As I try to straighten this wall, I get more and more vertical grid lines, and pretty soon I get this. You don't want this. You don't want the vertical grid lines pack this tightly. That will not work for you. You'll get terrible brush strokes out of the filter. I find it very irritating that it ever does this. You want something along these lines here, so that you have these fairly open mini rectangles right there. Because these little boxes here, they represent the proportions of your brush. So a circular brush will actually fit inside of this rectangular area right there. You'll see what I mean later, but you don't want a really super thin brush, you want something that has a little bit of volume associated with it. You'll get that out of this grid, the grid that you're seeing before you right now. So try to match it as closely as you can, if you're working along with me.
Then I'm going to go ahead and drag this edge down. Notice that cursor, that left/right cursor right there, the cursor should be up and down. The cursors don't always represent the directions of your drag as well as they should. For example, I mean, this needs to be an up/down cursor as well. So what I'm telling you is don't worry about it. If you see the wrong kind of cursor, just go ahead and drag the direction you want to drag. And it will do the right thing. There's our big plane across the rear wall. Love it, love it to tears! What's tempting to do is just now start editing the image. Make whatever modifications you want to make. Don't do that. Because, if you do, you'll be tempted to go up here and click the Cancel button, especially, because we're modifying a flat image, and that's no good, you want layers. We need to create a layer before we start modifying the image.
So you'd want to click Cancel in order to avoid ruining the image, of course. But if you click Cancel, then you're going to lose your plane. You want to keep your plane. So here is how you keep your plane. Don't make any modification, just click OK. That will go ahead and save your plane. Vanishing Point is now aware of it. If you want to save the plane along with the image, you go to the File menu and choose the Save command. And planes, just like paths, the paths that we saw in the previous chapter, you can save planes along with JPEG images or TIFF images or any old file format. They take a very little space. So go ahead and choose the Save command and then you will be right ready to create some more planes.
In the next exercise, for example, we're going to create some perpendicular planes, which is very exciting, as you'll see.
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