Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced
Illustration by John Hersey

Cusp points and the Rubber Band option


Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Cusp points and the Rubber Band option

In this movie, I'll show you how to create the third kind of point, that you can make with a Pen tool. And that's a cusp point. A cusp is a corner between two curve segments, or a curve segment and a straight segment. And so, the idea is that it can contain one or two control handles. But if there are two, then they're independent of each other. And we're going to use a combination of cusp and smooth points, in order to trace this gentleman's face. Now, again, he would not be hard to mask. He's dark-skinned against a light background. What could be easier? However, if we were to create a pixel based mask, then we wouldn't have super-smooth outlines.
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 0s
  2. 44m 47s
    1. Adding shortcuts and adjusting preferences
    2. Loading my dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      4m 36s
    3. Reviewing your new custom keyboard shortcuts
      14m 46s
    4. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    5. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    6. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    7. The interface and performance settings
      7m 28s
    8. Adjusting Photoshop color settings
      8m 2s
  3. 54m 30s
    1. Smart Object means "indestructible"
      1m 38s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      5m 2s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 9s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 27s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Editing originals; updating clones
      4m 38s
    12. Embedding versus linking (CC 2014)
      7m 22s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 43s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      5m 55s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  5. 49m 8s
    1. How the Curves graph works
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors; smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 55s
  6. 1h 50m
    1. Photoshop's digital darkroom
      2m 29s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      6m 3s
    3. Previewing and applying your changes (CC 2014)
      6m 41s
    4. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    5. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 9s
    6. Working with archival Camera Raw images
      6m 41s
    7. Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
      4m 9s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 52s
    9. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 53s
    10. Tone curves (and why you don't need them)
      6m 3s
    11. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 26s
    12. Auto-upright and manual lens corrections
      8m 1s
    13. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 55s
    14. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      8m 19s
    15. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    16. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 10s
    17. The Camera Raw filter and Radial Filter tool
      7m 34s
    18. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  7. 32m 30s
    1. Infusing black and white with color
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Noise isn't all bad
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 36s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Masking blur and sharpen layers
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  9. 1h 3m
    1. Why blur focuses your attention
      1m 27s
    2. Creating a depth-of-field effect with Field Blur
      4m 46s
    3. Adjusting your Field Blur settings
      5m 0s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      9m 24s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      6m 15s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      6m 42s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 31s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 54s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 5s
    10. Adding a slow flash effect with Path Blur (CC 2014)
      9m 30s
    11. Adding elliptical motion with Spin Blur (CC 2014)
      6m 12s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. Blending layers with (basic) math
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  11. 44m 20s
    1. The best automatic selection functions
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  12. 1h 24m
    1. The best automatic selection enhancements
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
    10. Creating a mask with Select > Focus Area (CC 2014)
      8m 10s
    11. Cleaning up a jagged Focus Area mask (CC 2014)
      6m 46s
    12. Real-world compositing (CC 2014)
      10m 2s
  13. 1h 18m
    1. Tracing an image point by point
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 59s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 35s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 51s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s
  14. 57s
    1. Until next time

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced
12h 39m Advanced Sep 10, 2013 Updated Sep 19, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CC 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.

Topics include:
  • Adding shortcuts and adjusting preferences
  • Placing and blending Smart Objects
  • Transforming and warping vector objects
  • Correcting for lens distortion
  • Mitigating halos and enhancing contrast with Shadows/Highlights
  • Working with the Curves graph
  • Editing multiple images in Camera Raw
  • Infusing a black-and-white image with color
  • Colorizing with blend modes and opacity
  • Correcting a noisy photo
  • Using blur to focus the viewer's attention
  • Blending inside blend modes
  • Selecting a complex image with Color Range
  • Perfecting a mask with Refine Edge
  • Drawing a straight-sided path outline with the Pen tool
  • Converting path outlines to vector masks
Design Photography
Photoshop Camera Raw
Deke McClelland

Cusp points and the Rubber Band option

In this movie, I'll show you how to create the third kind of point, that you can make with a Pen tool. And that's a cusp point. A cusp is a corner between two curve segments, or a curve segment and a straight segment. And so, the idea is that it can contain one or two control handles. But if there are two, then they're independent of each other. And we're going to use a combination of cusp and smooth points, in order to trace this gentleman's face. Now, again, he would not be hard to mask. He's dark-skinned against a light background. What could be easier? However, if we were to create a pixel based mask, then we wouldn't have super-smooth outlines.

Now, if he had any hair to speak of, that was going out into the background, then the Pen tool would be a bad idea. Because the Pen tool does not serve us well, when we're working on filigree details. But because this guy's just super smooth all the way around, he's ideally suited to the Pen tool. Notice I've created another cheat layer, a template layer if you prefer, called points and handles. And I'll go ahead and turn it on. And we can see the points and handles, that are required to trace this man's face represented in red.

And this time, because this is a much more complex path, the template is designed to be viewed at 100% or larger. All right, now I'm going to press the p key in order to select the pen tool. And as opposed to creating a work path, and then naming it later, I'm going to create the path in advance, by switching over to the Paths panel. And incidentally, a single path container can contain multiple path outlines. But I want to create a new path entirely, by dropping down to the page icon. And you can either click on it to create an unnamed path, or you could Alt+Click or Option+Click on that little page icon, to bring up the new path dialog box.

And I'm going to call this path Face Outline, and then I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac. And now we won't have to worry about whether we name the path outline later or not, because it's already saved in advance of drawing it. Alright, I'm going to start things off at this point right here, which occurs at the intersection of the guys chin, and his sweater in the background. And so, I'll go ahead drag up from that point like so, to draw a smooth point. And you can see that I'm going to be drawing this path in a clockwise direction. Again, it doesn't really matter how you start, it matters how you proceed after you begin.

So I'm establishing a pattern that will have to continue of tracing him in a clockwise direction. Alright, so there's my first point. Now I want to show you an option that you may find helpful, a lot of people swear by it, it's available up here in the Options bar. Click on that little gear icon, and you'll see one check box called rubberband. Go ahead and turn it on, and then click on the gear again, to hide that option. And now notice, that you have this kind of rubberband segment, that's connecting your cursor to the previous anchor point. The problem with this view of things is it's not quite accurate, because it doesn't account for the control handles that you're about to draw.

Notice if I click to set a corner point with no control handle, then my view of that segment did not update, because that's what it was showing me in the first place. But if I press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z on the Mac, in order to undo that point, and then I click and drag, you can see that, that fundamentally changes the shape of that segment. Alright, anyway, I'll press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z on a Mac, because that point's not in the right location. And I'll click here, and then drag, and notice that that changes the curvature of the segment, as I work.

And so, once again, you may find this Rubberband option helpful, or you may find the fact that you're getting inaccurate previews to be distracting. >> Alright, I'm going to space bar drag up this guy's face here. And then, I'll drag from this anchor point up. So, again I'm proceeding in a clockwise direction. And then, I'll drag it. What's going to be our first cusp point? Now, there's a couple different ways to make a cusp point. I'll show you both. The first is to click and drag from that anchor point, right there. And what you want to do, is you want to match up the angle of the opposite control handle.

Not the one that's under your cursor, but the opposite one that's controlling the segment that you're actually drawing. And then, go ahead and release. Now obviously I don't want to smoove point, I need a cusp, because his ear is coming out of his head at this location. So I need to redirect this control handle. And you do that by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and then you drag from that anchor point, like so, in order to sever the relationship between the two control handles. So now they're going in different directions.

And this new one, can go in any direction you like. So I'll position it right there. All right. Let's drag up his head further still, and I'll go ahead and drag from this anchor point, until the opposite control handle is in the proper location. Then I'll release, I'll press the Ctrl key, or the Cmd key on a Mac, to access my white Arrow tool on the fly, and I'll go ahead and drag this control handle down, so it matches the template once again. Alright, I'm going to zoom into 200%, because I've got a couple of tiny anchor point control handle combinations. I'll drag from this guy, to this location right there.

And then I'll drag from here to here, because I'm trying to trace along that little divot in his ear. And now, we're going to encounter another cusp point. Here's the other way to create it on the fly, so that you don't have to drag twice. You begin dragging like so from that anchor point, and you match the angle of the opposing control handle, that's always what you're looking to do, by the way, so that you're accurately tracing the top of the ear. Then when you get that handle into place, you press and hold the ALT key or the Option key on the Mac, and now you can move the other control handle independently.

But you've gotta keep that ALT or Option key down. If you release, like I did, then you're going to end up making that opposite control handle symmetrical once again. And you're going to have to re-position it like so, and then, press the Alt or Option key, this time keep it down. And independently position this control handle here. Alright, now let's go ahead and scroll up. And we've got another point that we need to create out here, in the paste board. So I'll go ahead and click and drag like so up here, because we need to trace all the way around his head.

And I'm pressing the Shift key as I drag, to constrain the angle of my control handle lever, to exactly vertical. And when you have the Shift key down, it can be any multiple of 45 degrees. So either vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Alright, I want it to be vertical, however. I really don't want to invoke an auto scroll, which I would get if I continued to drag upwards. So I'm just going to go ahead and release. And then I'll press and hold the Ctrl key, or the Cmd key on a Mac, and I'll drag this bottom control handle down like so. And again, I'm pressing the Shift key to constrain the angle of my drag to exactly vertical, and I end up getting this result here.

All right. So that's how you create cusp points in Photoshop, as well as how you make use of the rubber band function. In the next movie, I'll show you how to establish points out here in the pace board.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CC One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: This course was updated on 09/19/2014. What changed?
A: Deke updated the course to reflect changes in the 2014 version of Photoshop CC. The changes affect how you work with Smart Objects, Camera Raw, the Blur Gallery, layer masks, and other features in Photoshop.
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