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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
I'm back inside Lips.jpg, and in this exercise, we are actually going to select the lips. Enough information about how Color Range works. Let's actually use the command. Go up to the Select menu, choose Color Range, or if you loaded dekeKeys, mash your fist and press the O key, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+O or Command+Shift+Option+O on the Mac. I'm going to go ahead to set up my Fuzziness value the way that I'm ultimately going to apply it. I found out, through trial and error of course, that a Fuzziness value of 60 works well for these lips.
Then I'm going to click in a dark region like so, at the base here of the top lips, in order to reset the selection. Then I'm going to Shift+Drag at a few other locations here in order to add to the selection. Now, in pretty short order, if you try to get these edges, for example, I'm going to Shift+Click inside of one of these wrinkles here, and very quickly, you can end up getting too big of a selection, as you can see represented here inside of the selection preview. So, I'm selecting well outside of the lips into the flesh now.
I'll be better off, I think, if I go ahead and work with Localized Color Clusters. So I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that last modification. Turn on Local Color Clusters, and notice now as I Shift+Click inside the image that I get more discrete results potentially. Although it's very easy to exceed the area that I want to select as well, and if you find that the area is exceeded like so, I might want to go ahead and ratchet down my Range option, because currently, when I have the Range set to 100%, I'm basically covering 100% of the geographical area inside this image.
So I'm going to go ahead and reduce that value for purposes of this selection here to 40%. I've still managed to select too much of the background. So, I'll go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click inside of the flesh. Now, Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking tends to work better than it would otherwise when you've got Localized Color Clusters turned on. Again, this is just based on my experience with the command. I'm going to go ahead and Shift+Click on a few other details, because my lips are looking a little bit too gray back there, and then I'll go ahead and Shift+Drag along the top of these lips.
I'm taking special care by the way not to drag inside the highlights. You don't want those highlights, because that'll end up selecting bright portions of the image. We want to stay inside of the dark area of the lips here. Again, if you go too far, I've got a little burst on the top of the lip. Go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification, and try Shift+Dragging elsewhere in order to add more to the selection. After a point, you'll end up getting something that looks halfway reasonably good.
In order to check, actually, I am going to change my Selection Preview to Grayscale, once again. So, I can really see what's going on here, and I notice that I'm not selecting tight enough to this right-hand edge. So, I'll try Shift+Clicking inside of it. That's better. Actually, I'll do a tiny Shift+Drag right there and see if that ends up working out. It works out pretty darn well. Now, I am selecting a little bit of the flesh up top here. But that's OK. We can back that off after we finish our selection. So, I'll Shift+Click right at the top, and that ends up selecting too much of the flesh, I think.
So I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click in order to de-select that flesh. So, It's a little bit of back and forth work. It still requires a fair amount of effort, I should say, just like the Magic Wand tool does. However, the good news is it delivers excellent results. So that's a big difference, especially when compared with want the Wand. All right, so this selection to me looks pretty darn great, and if you want to get the same result that I'm getting here. If you want to make sure that your lips are selected exactly like mine, then you can go over here to this Load button. Click on it, in order to bring up the Load dialog box.
Navigate your way to the 19_range_refine folder, and go ahead and select this file right here. It's called The lip settings.axt, and that is a Color Range file that contains all of the sampled colors as well as the Fuzziness setting, the Range setting, the fact that Localized Color Clusters is turned on, and so on. So, it would work for other files as well, if those key colors, if those Sampled Colors happen to mean anything inside that image. But the settings are going to be the most effective for this lips file.
Anyway, I'll go ahead and click on the Load button, and I'll get the same results you see right here. Then I'll click OK in order to generate the selection outline. So as soon as you click OK, you're going to go back to the RGB image, and you're going to see a marching ants style selection just as you do here. All right, so that's our base Color Range selection. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to refine this selection inside the Quick Mask mode.
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