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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I've saved my changes as Blended starfield.psd found inside the 10_layers folder. If you compare our progress so far to the final Martini Hour banner.psd file, you'll notice that the latter is much brighter, and it's radiating with this kind of purplish glow. Part of the glow is a function of this automated filter called Lens Flare inside of Photoshop, and part of it is this thing that I captured with the camera. I'll go ahead and show you that thing, is the next file in line here; Splash.tif.
Also found in the 10_layers folder. The way I created this was I took a little point-and-shoot camera, turned on its flash, and fired it directly into a mirror. Then I took what I thought to be kind of the coolest of these photos, and I exaggerated the heck out of the contrast. So I turned it just black-and-white. Then I up sampled it, it actually looks cruddy, really awful image if you inspect it. But, it's going to work out beautifully inside of our composition. A couple of ways we could introduce this image into the composition. One is of course you could press the Ctrl key, Command key on the Mac in order to get that Move Tool.
You could drag it up there onto that Title tab, move it back into the Image window, press the Shift key, and release. We've seen that technique in the past. That gave us some unfortunate results because of where it landed inside of the stack. I'll press the F7 key in order to bring up the Layers panel. You can see that this layer got sandwiched between Starmaker and Noise. So it's part of the Clipping Mask, and as a result, it doesn't look the way I want it to. I would just go ahead and move it on top of Starmaker and then I need to unclip it so that it's not clipped inside noise.
And I would do that by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on this horizontal line. Then we have this glowy layer inside of our composition. That's one way to work. I am going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of that layer because we are going to reintroduce it using a new feature inside Photoshop CS5. I'll go ahead and bring up the 10_ layers folder inside the Exercise Files folder, here at the desktop level of my computer. This would be at the Finder on the Mac. You could actually just do a drag -and-drop like so into an image.
You've never been able to do that before. It's the first version of Photoshop that's allowed that. Apparently, this was the number one requested feature of Photoshop from users. So hopefully a lot of you are pleased with this. The thing that I want you to note about working this way is as soon as I press the Enter key or the Return key in order to accept that placement, because at first Photoshop is asking me if I want to size the image? If I press Enter or Return then I am accepting the size, and it becomes a Smart Object. Now, we are not going to get to Smart Objects until a chapter in the Mastery portion of this series.
For most purposes, Smart Objects are a little bit of overkill. They are really, really super useful. But, I am not sure that you want every single image that you drag-and-drop from the desktop to be imported as a Smart Object. So I am going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac. I am going to have you press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac in order to bring up the Preferences dialog box. For those of you who think you are going to be doing a lot of dragging-and-dropping from the desktop, decide whether you want to work with Smart Objects. If you think you do always, then leave this checkbox on.
If you think most of the time you are not going to want to work that way, turn this checkbox off. So that when you drag raster images which are photographs by the way into Photoshop, they will not appear as Smart Objects. Then, click OK. But, now you are going to have to be a little more vigilant about your drag-and-drops. I'll go ahead and switch over to that folder once again. I am going to drag Splash.tif into the Image window and drop it like so. Then, I am going to need to make sure that I resize this image before I place it because otherwise, if I turn around and need to resize it again, that's going to be a destructive operation.
So with the exception of Smart Objects, you want to scale your layers once and only once. So anyway, I am going to come up here to the Options bar, click on the Chain to constrain the proportions, and I am going to change the Width or Height value to 100, because I don't want to scale this graphic at all. I just want it to be a big layer. Then, I'll press the Enter key a couple of times in order to accept that. That would be the Return key twice to accept it on the Mac. So that's the way to work. That is not how we are going to import this specific layer however; I just wanted you to see that, that's an option.
Please press the Backspace key if you are working along with me or the Delete key on the Mac, and switch over to Splash.tif once again. What we are going to do is something that's really going to make more sense as we do it beginning in the next exercise.
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