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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
I'm still working inside the image called 30 minutes later.dng. You may recall in the previous exercise we went ahead and corrected Megan's blouse independently of Megan's head, using the Graduated Filter tool right their. Incidentally, I've got a Show Overlay turned off. If I turn it back on, then you may get this effect too where you see instead of a red circle and a green circle connected by a dotted line, you have two white circles. What that's telling you is that this item is no longer selected. So if you were to drag with the Graduated Filter tool again, you'll create a new application of that tool, which is totally fine. You can heap on as many applications of the Graduated Filter tool and the Adjustment Brush as you want.
But if you want to change the settings associated with an existing application of the tool then you Click on one of these items to select it and then it becomes active and there are your settings right there and it's even set to Edit as you can see. You change you mind, Click on New and you can start the new one. All right, anyway let's go over to the Adjustment Brush and you can get that by pressing the K key and I'm also going to zoom in on Megan right here, because we're going to be dodging essentially her eyes, brightening them up and brightening up the shadows inside of her hair as well.
Notice our settings, these are the settings right here that affect the Size of your brush, so there is the Brush size which is pretty easy to understand and then there is a Feather value which is by the way the opposite of the hardness values. So high Feather values result in blurrier brushes and the blurriness is represented by the difference between the solid line and the dotted line in those circles that we're seeing right there. Then lower Feather values result in a harder brush like this. All right, so I'm going to leave that set to 50 and then Flow is how many dollops the paint get laid down that overlap each other in order to create what appears to be a continuous paint stroke. You can adjust those if you want, but I'm going to leave them the way they are. You also have the option incidentally of pressing the Bracket keys to increase the size of the Brush, so Right Bracket makes the Brush bigger, Left Bracket makes the Brush smaller. If you press Shift+Right Bracket, you make the Brush softer. So this is exactly the opposite of the way it is in larger world of Photoshop, because we're making the Feather value bigger, which is the opposite of hardness. And then Shift+Left Bracket makes the Brush harder because we're making the Feather value go down.
Another way to work, and this is also different in the way it works that inside a Photoshop, is you can Right- Drag+Click with this Brush, just Right-Click+Drag, less and more in order to make it bigger or smaller. And if you don't have a right mouse button on the Mac then you can Ctrl+Drag to get the same effect. And if you want to change the Feathering on the fly, you add Shift. So this is what it looks like to Right-drag with the Shift key down and on the Mac, if you don't have right mouse button, you would Ctrl+Shift+Drag. So yet another way to work and yet again different from the way it is inside a Photoshop where we have that bizarre keyboard shortcut that doesn't really translate across the platforms.
Anyway, let's go ahead and paint into Megan's eyes like so and this is all part of one brush stroke right there. Notice if you hover over this pin, then you're going to see the brush stroke represented right there. You're going to see how big it is. And this makes me think, well, I really don't like this brush stroke at all. It's way too big. So, I'm going to undo the application in that brush stroke in the first place. Let's make my Brush smaller here and I'm going to turn on Show Mask, so I can see what I'm doing for a moment. By the way, the Show Mask checkbox you can get to by pressing the Y key in order to toggle that on and off. So this is without seeing the mask, this is seeing the mask.
It appears white by default, because that's the mask overlay color, but you can change it to some other color if you like. If you wanted to Click on it and make it red, for example then you've got a red mask and the mask is actually the area or painting. It's not traditionally used for the word mask. In Photoshop the mask is an area that's being protected inside Camera Raw the masked area is the area that's being affected. So, anyway, go ahead and paint over her other eye as well like so. Now let's go ahead and turn off that mask, now that I know I've painted some reasonable areas here. I'll turn that mask off and everything is part of this one brush stroke, notice that, because we're just adding to the brush stroke here. Thanks to that Add radial button.
Now my Exposure settings are terrible. So let's go ahead and take care of that. It should be bright exposure, not dark and I'm going to leave the Brightness value alone actually and the Contrast could go up, but I don't think it should go up that much. Let's take it down to like +15 or something along those lines and I don't think we want to apply White Balance modification so I'm going to go ahead and Click on this Color swatch and I'm going to set it to White in order to get rid of any setting. Notice that goes ahead and replaces the Color Swatch with an X. now these Minus and Plus controls are very misleading in my opinion, they are permitting you to create new adjustments with specific presets, by the way. So if you Click either - or +, what's going to happen, watch this. If I Click -, thinking I'm getting rid of my color, because they would make sense as opposed to what it really does. If I Click -, I start a new adjustment, right there it's already for me to paint in a new adjustment that has this color that I just minused as a preset, and then it clears out all the other values. It makes like no sense whatsoever, but that's the way it works.
Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and make sure that this pin is active and I'll do that by Clicking on it like so and that created a new pin. That's weird. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo the new pin. Now this pin is active, I can tell, because it's in color. It has a little color associated with it and a little black ball in the center. And we're back in Add mode, which is a groovy thing. So now let's say that I want to take advantage of the Auto Mask feature and the Auto Mask feature is really great and you can toggle it on and off by pressing the M key for mask of course. But we want to see the mask in order to see how great it is. So watch this. Now I'm adding to the mask and as I do, watch how the Mask tool is automatically going into areas that share similar luminance levels.
So it's a lot like, remember back with that Refine Edge command that we saw oh-so-long-ago back in the Fundamentals portion of this series? There was that Radius control that goes ahead and it expands into certain regions intelligently inside of your image and that's what this Auto Mask feature is doing as well. So I'm going to paint over some of the hair details right there. Notice it's avoiding getting her face, which is so smart of this tool. It's actually really cool. We can Click and drag inside of this shadow region as well, maybe inside of her ear. I don't know why we'd want to brighten her ear, but we could and so forth.
Then you can also by the way erase. You don't switch tools, you can erase either by selecting the Erase option right here or guess what, pressing and holding the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac will also affect in Erase. Now if you want to change the Size of that darn brush, as you may will, then you need to switch to the Erase option right there. Then you could reduce these options or something a little more reasonable like so. I'm going to take the size of that Eraser down quite a bit actually. I don't want it to be nearly that big. Something like 10 is going to work nice I think.
Then we'd go back to the Add mode and then you'd press and hold the Alt key or Option key on the Mac in order to do a little erasing, if you want to and then I'd paint again into this area to fill it in and of course you could erase into the eyes. Now I don't really recommend you erase with Auto Mask turned on or paint with Auto Mask turned on around the eyes, just based on experience with this image, it seems to sort of accentuate some of the skin texturing, and that doesn't look it quite right. It doesn't do quite the job you're looking for it to do.
So I'm going to press the M key to turn off this checkbox and then the Y key to turn off this checkbox and now let's just make sure we're getting the effect that we want. I might take the exposure value up, like really pretty darn high. I want to really get a sense of how my edges are working out. So now I can see exactly where the bright areas are. That works out for me. So I'll go ahead and take this value back down again, maybe, something like +0.5 would work out pretty well and then you can use a Preview checkbox. This is the before version of the eyes and the hair and this is the after version and I'd say the after version is much better. I like it a lot; I think this tool's has done a very nice job for me.
And that's it my friends. You can also by the way, the pin, if you get to sick of seeing this pin going into her eye then you can turn off the Show Pins checkbox. It's one again the V key. In order to turn off the interface folder all right there and then V to turn it back on. That's it. I'm done. I'm going to Click on the Done button in order to celebrate my doneness and return to the Bridge, and you can see how that's done, just a terrific job of dodging the shadows in Megan's face. Thanks to those new tools, Graduated Filter and the Adjustment Brush, here inside of Camera Raw 5.
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