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

Customizing a Levels adjustment


From:

Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

with Deke McClelland

Video: Customizing a Levels adjustment

In this movie, I'll show you how to customize your levels adjustment to get even better results. I'm currently looking at the auto adjusted version of the image. Notice down here below the histogram. We have three triangles. The first one represents the black point. The last one represents the white point, and the middle one, the gray one is the gamma value. I'll show you how to modify the black, and white points in this movie and then in the next movie, we'll deal with the gamma value. Now, notice down here at the bottom, there's this option that allows us to reset the adjustments to their defaults.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 4s
  2. 29m 46s
    1. The best of Photoshop automation
      35s
    2. Introducing the Patch tool
      3m 43s
    3. Using Content-Aware Patch
      5m 42s
    4. Retouching with Content-Aware Patch
      2m 5s
    5. Using the Content-Aware Move tool
      3m 9s
    6. Using Content-Aware Extend
      2m 4s
    7. The Content-Aware Scale command
      6m 35s
    8. Scaling in multiple passes
      2m 22s
    9. Protecting skin tones
      3m 31s
  3. 32m 55s
    1. Editing the histogram
      1m 50s
    2. The new automatic Levels adjustment
      4m 33s
    3. Customizing a Levels adjustment
      4m 53s
    4. Understanding the Gamma value
      2m 7s
    5. Opening up the shadows
      2m 48s
    6. Previewing clipped pixels
      3m 40s
    7. Retouching with Output Levels
      4m 25s
    8. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      2m 19s
    9. Faking a gray card in post
      2m 51s
    10. Assigning shortcuts to adjustment layers
      3m 29s
  4. 57m 43s
    1. How sharpening works
      1m 38s
    2. Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter
      6m 56s
    3. Understanding the Radius value
      5m 20s
    4. Gauging the best sharpening settings
      5m 45s
    5. Addressing color artifacts and clipping
      5m 49s
    6. The Remove and Reduce Noise options
      4m 22s
    7. The Shadows/Highlights options
      7m 36s
    8. Correcting for camera shake
      6m 47s
    9. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      5m 45s
    10. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      4m 44s
    11. Painting in sharpness
      3m 1s
  5. 1h 9m
    1. Vector-based type
      1m 35s
    2. Creating and editing point text
      5m 58s
    3. Font and type style tricks
      7m 10s
    4. Type size and color tricks
      6m 42s
    5. Kerning and tracking characters
      8m 7s
    6. Creating and editing area text
      3m 50s
    7. Selecting and formatting paragraphs
      6m 36s
    8. Setting text inside a custom path
      5m 32s
    9. Creating text along a path
      6m 12s
    10. Adjusting baseline shift
      4m 45s
    11. Creating and stylizing a logo
      6m 49s
    12. Masking text into image elements
      6m 14s
  6. 57m 13s
    1. The other vector-based layer
      1m 39s
    2. Dotted borders and corner roundness
      8m 14s
    3. Drawing and aligning custom shapes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating your own repeatable custom shape
      5m 43s
    5. Selecting paths and isolating layers
      4m 11s
    6. Combining simple shapes to make complex ones
      5m 59s
    7. Cropping, adjusting, and merging shapes
      5m 50s
    8. Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle
      6m 22s
    9. Saving a resolution-independent PDF file
      6m 42s
    10. Turning a small image into a huge one
      8m 38s
  7. 1h 14m
    1. Depth, contour, and texture
      1m 28s
    2. Imparting depth with a layer effect
      9m 9s
    3. The power of the drop shadow
      7m 37s
    4. Modifying a layer and its effects
      6m 21s
    5. Saving custom default settings
      4m 12s
    6. Creating a custom contour
      8m 5s
    7. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      8m 8s
    8. Multiple effects and multiple layers
      7m 45s
    9. Global Light and rasterizing effects
      8m 5s
    10. Gloss and surface contour
      6m 4s
    11. Adding texture to Bevel and Emboss
      7m 21s
  8. 34m 48s
    1. Styles store settings
      1m 38s
    2. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      3m 41s
    3. Redefining a style and styling a word
      5m 38s
    4. Creating and styling a placeholder style
      5m 43s
    5. Applying and creating layer styles
      5m 45s
    6. Loading and customizing layer styles
      5m 42s
    7. Merging and saving layer styles
      6m 41s
  9. 56m 48s
    1. Meet the transformations
      1m 55s
    2. Transformations and Smart Objects
      5m 46s
    3. Adjusting the interpolation setting
      5m 10s
    4. Rotating a layer with Free Transform
      5m 22s
    5. Scale, duplicate, and repeat
      4m 30s
    6. Creating a synthetic star field
      5m 20s
    7. Warping a logo with Arc and Flag
      5m 34s
    8. Distort, perspective, and skew
      4m 15s
    9. Using transformations to draw and correct
      7m 0s
    10. Bolstering text with layer effects
      5m 43s
    11. Adding highlights with Lens Flare
      6m 13s
  10. 43m 36s
    1. Removing the weight that the camera adds
      1m 7s
    2. The Warp and Reconstruct tools
      6m 44s
    3. Brush size, hardness, and opacity
      4m 29s
    4. The Pucker, Bloat, Push, and Twirl tools
      7m 12s
    5. Saving and reapplying Liquify settings
      4m 9s
    6. Lifting and slimming details
      9m 42s
    7. Warping legs, arms, and fabric
      5m 33s
    8. Improving a model's posture
      4m 40s
  11. 58m 46s
    1. Shoot in color, convert to black and white
      1m 55s
    2. Three ways to grayscale
      5m 36s
    3. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 31s
    4. Simulating an infrared photograph
      6m 39s
    5. Creating a sienna-infused sepia tone
      5m 38s
    6. Creating a hyper-saturated image
      5m 26s
    7. Introducing the Black & White command
      3m 16s
    8. Customizing the Black & White settings
      4m 50s
    9. Black & White meets the Channel Mixer
      7m 29s
    10. Infusing an image with tint and color
      5m 9s
    11. Grayscale and Split Tone in Camera Raw
      5m 17s
  12. 41m 34s
    1. The many ways to print
      1m 41s
    2. Using the test document
      3m 18s
    3. Print, position, and size
      5m 57s
    4. Description and printing marks
      3m 3s
    5. Establishing a bleed
      3m 44s
    6. Getting reliable color
      5m 54s
    7. Special printing options
      5m 1s
    8. Previewing an image at print size
      4m 16s
    9. Creating contact sheets
      4m 49s
    10. Creating a multipage PDF
      3m 51s
  13. 31m 9s
    1. Making Internet imagery
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing Save for Web
      4m 39s
    3. Creating the perfect JPEG image
      5m 14s
    4. Creating a high-contrast GIF image
      6m 23s
    5. The two varieties of PNG
      3m 57s
    6. Downsampling for the web
      5m 59s
    7. Adding copyright and contact info
      3m 51s
  14. 1m 3s
    1. Until next time
      1m 3s

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Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
9h 51m Intermediate Aug 19, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop CC One-on-One is back, and this installment teaches you how to build on your basic knowledge and achieve next-level effects with this premiere image-editing program. Industry pro Deke McClelland shows you how to seamlessly move and patch areas of a photo with the Content-Aware toolset; stretch the brightness of a scene with automatic and custom Levels adjustments; create intricate designs with text and shapes; and morph an image with layer effects and transformations. Deke also shares his techniques for sharpening details, whether addressing noise and highlight/shadow clipping or camera shake, and converting a full-color image to black and white. The final chapters show you how to best print and save images for the web, making sure all your hard work pays off in the final output.

Topics include:
  • Performing automatic retouch, scaling, and more with the Content-Aware tools
  • Editing the histogram
  • Customizing a Levels adjustment
  • Making channel-by-channel Levels adjustments
  • Sharpening with the Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass filters
  • Working with vector-based type
  • Kerning and tracking characters
  • Creating text on a path
  • Drawing and customizing shapes
  • Creating depth, contour, and texture with layer effects
  • Liquifying an image
  • Simulating an infrared photo
  • Adjusting print position, size, and color
  • Creating the perfect JPEG image
  • Downsampling for the web
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Customizing a Levels adjustment

In this movie, I'll show you how to customize your levels adjustment to get even better results. I'm currently looking at the auto adjusted version of the image. Notice down here below the histogram. We have three triangles. The first one represents the black point. The last one represents the white point, and the middle one, the gray one is the gamma value. I'll show you how to modify the black, and white points in this movie and then in the next movie, we'll deal with the gamma value. Now, notice down here at the bottom, there's this option that allows us to reset the adjustments to their defaults.

I'm going to go ahead and click on that. So that we can see the unadjusted image. Notice these values below the triangles. They correspond to each one of the points here. So by default, the black point is zero, which is the value for black. And the white point is 255 which is the value for white. I'll go ahead and once again click on the Auto button so that you can see those values update. Now we're seeing the white point is set to 229 and the black point is set to 4. What this means is anything with an a luminance level of 4 or darker in the image is going to be clipped to black.

And that does include a few pixels inside the image, whereas everything from 229 and brighter is going to be clipped to white. Which includes nothing inside the image so far as the histogram is showing us here. Now, if you're ever curious whether the histogram is accurate or not, you can always update it by clicking on this little icon. And that will go ahead and give you more accurate histogram. In our case, it didn't really change the shape of the histogram at all. Now what I'd like to do is move this white triangle farther to the left so that we're brightening up more of the highlights inside the image.

So at this point with the values set to 198, anything with a Luminance level of 198 and brighter. Is now going to be white. And that does include a few pixels as we can see right there. Now one way to get a sense for the accuracy of your modification is of course to just subjectively evaluate the image there and in the image window. But an even better way to work is to bring out the Histogram panel. So I'll go up to the Window menu and choose the histogram command. And that brings up the panel. In my case over here on the right hand side of the screen. Now currently it's not as large as it could be, so I'll go ahead and click on the Flyout menu icon and use Expanded View in order to get a larger view of this histogram.

It also has some accuracy problems potentially. That's a function of Photoshop caching that histogram data which makes it possible to more quickly display the information. But I'm going to click on this little caching icon to update it like so. And I'm also going to switch from Colors to RGB. So that we're seeing analogous information between the Histogram panel and the Properties panel over here. Now you may wonder why the Properties panel is showing one histogram and the Histogram panel is showing something totally different. Well we're seeing the original version of the histogram, over here inside the Levels panel.

Whereas we're seeing the new updated version of the histogram, over here inside the Histogram panel. Notice that we've got some break between the lines? That tells us that we're missing luminance at this location. So in other words Look down here at this level information and the count right below it. And if I hover over this pretty big break right there, you can see that at a level of 82 our count is zero. Meaning that we no longer have any pixels with that particular luminance level. Meanwhile, we've got these big spikes where the luminance levels have been kind of jumbled together.

So at 146, for example, we've got more than 98,000 pixels that have been crammed into that area. So what that mean is we are creating a kind of destructive modification as we're applying the Levels command or any other color correction for that matter. The true advantage to working with an Adjustment layer here is that we can change the settings any time we like. And I think for my part, I'm going to go ahead and reduce that black point value to zero so that we don't have any black clipping going on at all.

But I will tell you this. You can also click inside these values and raise them from the keyboard. So I could press the Up arrow key to increase that value in increments of one. Or I can press Shift+Up arrow to increase that value in increments of 10. I'm going to go ahead and take it down by pressing Shift+Down arrow to reduce it in increments of 10 of course. And then I'm also going to click inside the Y point value and take it down a little bit more to 194 which I found worked very well for this image. You can check to make sure that you're not clipping too many pixels by clicking on this little Update button in order to refresh your histogram.

And you'll see clipped pixels on the far right side, in the case of anything that's been clipped away. So we have a little clipping, but not too much. And then if there's any clipping going on, on the black end, then you'll see a little line over here on the far left-hand side. And we're not really seeing any clipping at all in this case. So that's how you apply a custom modification using the black point and white point values. In the next movie, I'll show you how to work with the gamma value.

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