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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
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Creating a synthetic star field


From:

Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Creating a synthetic star field

In this exercise, we're going to begin the creation of what I'm calling the magical pattern generating Smart Filters file. The idea is this, whether you're a Premium member or not, we're going to be creating a file from absolute scratch here together, just using a combination of filters, and we're going to be inventing things using filters. We're going to start off by creating a star field, then we'll make a wall texture, and by the time we're done, we'll create this sort of bird's eye view of a bunch of land masses.
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  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 30s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
20h 1m Advanced Sep 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.

Topics include:
  • Using masks and blend modes in radically new ways
  • Mastering the Pen tool and Paths panel
  • Transforming and maximizing Smart Objects
  • Employing Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Exploring the capabilities of Bristle brushes and the Mixer Brush
  • Merging multiple images into seamless panoramas
  • Exploring the full range of luminance with HDR Pro
  • Recording actions and batching-processing images
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Creating a synthetic star field

In this exercise, we're going to begin the creation of what I'm calling the magical pattern generating Smart Filters file. The idea is this, whether you're a Premium member or not, we're going to be creating a file from absolute scratch here together, just using a combination of filters, and we're going to be inventing things using filters. We're going to start off by creating a star field, then we'll make a wall texture, and by the time we're done, we'll create this sort of bird's eye view of a bunch of land masses.

It's pretty fun actually, as you'll see. So, it's just a lark, just to give you a sense of the various things that you can do with filters inside of Photoshop. And the advantage to working with Smart Filters is that you can finesse the settings anytime you like in order to achieve different effects. So first of all, I went ahead and saved the final version of this guy as Lightning strikes twice.psd. It's found of course inside the 30_smart_filters folder. Here's what I'd like you to do now. Go up to the File menu and choose the New command or you can press Ctrl+N, Cmd+N on the Mac.

Then inside the New dialog box, I want you to create a file that's about 2000 pixels wide and 2000 pixels tall. Now, it doesn't have to be exactly that big, it can be much bigger if you like, totally up to you. It's just that this gives us enough room to play around. So make sure that your unit is set to pixels by the way, 2000, 2000, if you're going to do the same thing I'm doing. Resolution, doesn't matter, has no effect on this, unless you end up printing, and 240 is as good as any I guess. Color mode is set to RGB. That's fine. The Background Contents are - actually, let's go with Transparent. And that's it.

Otherwise we're done. Click OK and you have your new transparent file. Now, I'm going to press Ctrl+1 or Cmd+1 on the Mac to go ahead and Zoom in to the 100% view size. I'd like you to do that as well. I'm going to rename this one layer right here, Base, by double-clicking on it and calling it Base. It's all there is to that. I'm going to fill it with a pretty dark gray by pressing Shift+Backspace, which is the same as going to the Edit menu and choosing the Fill command. That brings up the Fill dialog box, so it's Shift+Backspace here on the PC, Shift+Delete on the Mac.

I'd like you to set Use to Color. Then once you bring up the Color Picker dialog box, set the Hue value to 0; actually, it doesn't really matter. Saturation to 0, very important, so that we have a shade of gray. And then the Brightness value should be 15%, so it's a dark gray. Then click OK. So 0, 0, 15, and click OK again, and we get this dark gray background. Now, because we want to work with Smart Filters, we need to convert this guy to a Smart Object. So go to the Layers panel flyout menu and choose Convert to Smart Object, or if you loaded dekeKeys, Ctrl+Comma, Cmd+Comma on the Mac, and now we have a Smart Object.

Now, it's not much of a Smart Object, there's not really anything to it, but it will now accept Smart Filters that we can edit well into the future. All right, go up to the Filter menu, and I want you to choose Noise, and I want you to choose Add Noise. Now, you may recall just a couple of filters inside of Photoshop that allow you to invent something from scratch, so that you're just creating random junk, and one of them is the Add Noise Filter, which creates single pixel noise. And then if you want to create fractal noise, there's Clouds. So those are your two guys where creating synthetic effects are concerned, we'll be using them both.

But anyway, let's start with Noise, Add Noise. Then once the Add Noise dialog box comes up, I want you to enter these values; Amount value of 20%, set Distribution to Gaussian, so that we have as much contrast between the noise particles as possible, and then Monochromatic, so that we're not introducing any color, which is not going to do us any good. All right, then click OK in order to create that Add Noise Effect. We do not need a Filter Mask. Again, we're going to get pretty jammed up here inside the Layers panel, so go ahead and right-click on that Filter Mask thumbnail and choose Delete Filter Mask in order to get rid of it.

Next what we need to do is we need to blur the noise, to chunk it up just a little bit. By the way, this first thing that we're creating here is the star field. So I was mentioning, we're going to make a star field, a wall texture, and then we're going to make a bird's eye view of a bunch of islands. So we're starting off with the star field. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. This is going to grow the noise. It will also make it incredibly blurry, it won't look like anything good. But go ahead and choose Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to 2.0.

So now we have this weird murky black oatmeal effect. Click OK. Now what we need to do is we need to make the lightest pixels white and the darkest pixels black, so that we're separating the stars out from the universe. We're going to do that using a Levels Adjustment layer. So go down to this Black-White icon, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, click and hold on this Black-White icon, and go ahead and choose the Levels command. Because the Alt or Option key is down, you bring up the New layer dialog box.

Let's go ahead and call this guy starmaker, because that will be its purpose. And then notice, there's the Histogram right there of all the darkness inside of this image. If I go ahead and drag the black point up, notice that I'm making a whole lot of background black. Then if I drag the white point over, then I'm making a whole lot of noise white as well. Now, you typically want these values, the black point value and the white point value, to be about 6 Luminance levels different from each other. So if I have the white point set to 60, I would go ahead and set the black point to 54, and notice, we got stars.

Now, if you want the stars to be tinier, then you increase the black point value and then turn around and increase the white point value by a similar amount, so 57 and 63 are still 6 Luminance levels different from each other. And now we're losing stars, and this would be perfect, by the way, if we were doing screen work. Now, if you're doing print work, you probably want to brighten things up a little, so I'll take the white point value down. I can't take it any lower than 57 actually, because these values have to be 2 Luminance levels apart.

So I'll take this guy down to 50, let's say, the black point value, and then I'll take the white point value down to 56. And now we have more stars in the sky and they're also brighter. You might wonder, well, why is this better for print work, because you're going to have dot gain and a lot of your stars are going to fill in. Anyway, I'm going to set mine to what I had them at just a moment ago, which is 54 for the black point value and 60 for the white point value. Now, you might look at this and say, well, it's pretty good, it's a little bit fakey. It's totally random of course. But you might think that people wouldn't be that easily fooled by it.

Tell you what, I actually learned this technique from a professional digital matte painter, who does work for movies. It's about 15 years ago now. They were doing star mattes for 'Empire Strikes Back' for the rerelease of 'Empire Strikes Back,' this is exactly the technique that they used. So that's how realistic it is. All right, so that's just part one, that's just the star field. In the next exercise, we're going to take the same file and we're going to build up a drywall texture.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery.


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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Presets/Keyboard Shortcuts

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
 
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