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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I have saved my progress as Nested smart objects.psd and we have been able to increase the edge contrast inside this image in order to create a more volumetric effect using the Shadows/Highlights Filter and we have also used Gaussian Blur to create a kind of brightness balance and we have applied High Pass for sharpening. Problem is that we have this very dark shirt region, this dark foreground as well; all of our shadows are over darkening so we need to assign a luminance mask. But to gain access to the original wonderful luminance mask information we need to go back into the Nested smart object.
So I want you to double-click on the Dead calm image thumbnail here inside the Layers panel in order to open up the temporary Dead calm.psb image that contains the nested Smart Object. Now if I go ahead and turn off Smart Filters so I am temporarily hiding the effect so the Shadows/Highlights command. Then I am seeing the original unmodified image data and now I can go over to the Channels panel and load that Red channel. It's the selection outline by Ctrl+Clicking on it or Command+Clicking on a Red channel on a Mac.
Now if I want to use this selection outline inside of the larger image there is two ways to do it and forgive me I am going to show you how to do both, just for those who are curious. The easiest way to work is to make sure that your cursor is inside of the selected area and the best way to do that is to move your cursor inside of his forehead. For example, one of the Selection tools should be active. So either one of the Marquee tools, one of the Lasso, or one of the automated selection tools that is Magic Wand or Quick Selection tool and then go ahead and drag from inside of his forehead up onto the Title tab if you are working in the tabbed window display.
Then move your cursor back down into the image window, press and hold the Shift key so that we are right just doing the selection in the place and then release your mouse button and then release the Shift key. So that's one way to work. There is another way to work which is to inside this image, the larger composition Nested smart objects.psd, you can go the Select menu and you can choose Load Selection and then you can load a selection from another image. Once you are inside the Load Selection dialog box you can say okay I don't want to load the selection from Nested smart objects.psd because that's where I am, I want to load it from Dead calm in my case2.psb which is the temporary file that Photoshop is made to house the Nested smart object.
Go ahead and choose that and then you have just one option Dead calm Transparency that's not going to do you any good. Dead calm is the nested smart object which is a big rectangle so it doesn't have any selection information to impart. Why don't we have red or green or blue, why can't we just select one of the channels or I have got the selection outline just sitting there, why can't I load the selection outline? Well there is no use asking why you just can't. For some reason Photoshop has just decided you can't. So here is what you need to, cancel out. Let's go ahead and deselect this guy by the way, just so that I can demonstrate how we are going to regain this selection in just a moment.
Go back to the Nested smart object at hand, might as well deselect it as well because its selection outline isn't doing us any good in this context. Here inside Channels panel, grab the Red channel, drag it down to little page icon and drop it and then you will make a copy of that Red channel and just so we can confirm that this is our guy I will go ahead and name this channel, this is our guy and then press the Enter or Return key. Then switch back to the RGB image, return to Nested smart objects.psd, the composition in progress.
Go up to the Select menu, choose Load Selection. Then inside of this dialog box change document to Dead calm2.psb which is this file over here the nested smart object. We don't want Dead calm Transparency that will just select the entire image by the way. What we want is, this is our guy, that alpha channel that we just created and then you click OK and there it is. So now we have that selection information. What are we going to do with it, well we are going to take it over to Layers panel and we are going to apply it to the Filter Mask.
This is where things get kind of additionally complicated, how are you going to assign it to the Filter Mask? You really want the area outside the selection to be black and the area inside the selection to be white. So what that means is you have to go up to the Select menu and choose the Inverse command and then after having done that you would fill the selection with black. It's a two-step operation that I don't find to be particularly intuitive even if you understand what's going on. This is easiest thing to do. Just right-click in the existing Filter Mask, in fact I wish Photoshop wouldn't automatically give you a Filter Mask by default.
So go ahead and grab that guy, right-clicking him and choose Delete Filter Mask. Then after you have got rid of the old Filter Mask which was empty and useless really, then right-click on Smart Filters and choose Add Filter Mask which will add a filter mask that's automatically based on our existing selection outline and we get this effect right there and if you Alt+Click or Option+Click inside that Filter Mask thumbnail to view it by itself independently the rest the image you see that good unspoiled Red channel, there it is.
The skin tones are very, very bright, the shirt in the foreground are fairly dark. All right, let's switch back by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking once again on the Filter Mask thumbnail and you can see the effects of applying this luminance mask. So we have a much brighter shirt than before, in fact we are digging down to the Shadows/Highlights version of the shirt as well as the beach here in the foreground. Now we also have some brighter shadow details underneath his jaw and underneath his brow and so on. It's a little bit too bright though for my taste, so we need to knock down the effects of his mask a little bit and you do that by going over to the Masks panel and you can either bring it up by clicking on this icon here inside of the panel column or you can go to the Window menu and choose Masks and then I want you to reduce the Density value to 50% and that's going to bring back some of the shadow details as you can see it's going to darken it up.
But not nearly as dark as it was in the first place before we created the Filter Mask. So this is a nice rich composition as a result of these modifications. I am going to hide the Masks panel and of course reducing the Density value there which reduces the intensity of the mask and thereby brings back the effects of High Pass and Gaussian Blur. So it's a kind of reverse opacity where the Filter Mask is concerned. That's also a parametric adjustment so you can change your mind later just by selecting the Filter Mask, then going up to the Masks panel and increasing the Density value if you so desire.
Anyway, as I say, I am going to leave it set to 50 and now we will go ahead and compare the effects of our various compositions. First of all I am going to switch over to this Nested smart object. We don't need it so I am going to close out. I am going to be asked if I want to save my changes, no I don't. Because I didn't do anything inside of the Nested smart object, all I did was turn off Shadows/Highlights just so that I could access that Red channel, nothing more I added an alpha channel. So well we don't need it anymore, we don't want it because it's just duplicate of the Red channel. So click No here on the PC or Don't Save on a Mac.
All right, so here is the effect we were able to achieve and just for the sake of comparison here is the exact same effect that we achieved at the end of this project back in Chapter 17, which is great. So we have been able to do the exact same thing using Smart Filters, so one Smart Filter nested inside of another. However, instead of being a static effect Shadows/Highlights, Gaussian Blur and High Mask; every single one of these effects is an editable Smart Filter which is a great things, so we have a lot more flexibility.
However, this isn't necessarily the best effect we can achieve. We have gone ahead and assigned shadows highlights in the context of an RGB image using Red, Green and Blue channels. However, the truth of the matter is that the real power of Shadows/Highlights comes out when we work in the LAB mode. So just imagine what we can achieve if we apply Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter in the LAB mode just as we will do in the next exercise.
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