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In Photoshop CS5: Athletic Retouching Projects, Chris Orwig demonstrates how to use Photoshop CS5 to add energy, motion, and strength to portraits and shots of athletes in action. This course covers removing blemishes from the subject and the background, adding motion blur, enhancing muscle tone, and making adjustments to photos shot in outdoor lighting conditions. Sections on underwater portraits and working with multiples subjects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
At this stage in the process, one of the things that I want to do is start to organize my layers and my image, and then move forward even further. So, so far we've made some great progress and we can see that we've done some work on the shadows, some details on the skin. Also, we've brought in some nice sharpness to the eyes. Well, what I'm going to do is actually merge all of those layers together. One of the best ways to do that, if you have blending or Opacity is to merge to top and then merge to the bottom. Let's do that. So, we merge to the top by clicking in the top layer, pressing Shift+Option+Command+E on a Mac, Shift+Alt+Ctrl+E on Windows.
Click in that top layer and then Shift+Click in the bottom layer of the adjustments that you've made. So, we have all four of these layers selected. Next we press Command+E on a Mac, Ctrl+E on Windows. We'll go ahead and just name this one r1 for retouch 1, so we can see all of our adjustments here. Here's our before, and then after. We're kind of committing to this, organizing our Layers palette, which in turn gives us a bit of momentum in order to move forward. Well, the next thing that I want to do is I want to trim the image. I have this edge here that was created when I align my two images.
To do that, we can go to our Image pulldown menu and then choose Trim. We'll go ahead and choose the Top Left Pixel Color, which is transparent, and then we'll go ahead and click OK. That in turn will recrop this image so that we can now really focus in on what we're doing. All right, great, well now that we've done some of that organizational work, next I want to work on the eyes. So, let's zoom way in on those eyes. What can we do to modify those? Well, there are a number of different techniques that we can use. One technique that we can use involves adding a bit of contrast or using blending modes or even adding a bit of sharpening just to the eyes.
So, let's take a look at how we could do this. Here, what I'm going to do just for the sake of doing something different is press the Q key to enter into Quick Mask. Next, I'll press the B key to grab my Brush tool. I'll make sure I'm painting at 100% Opacity and I'll make my brush nice and small, and I'm going to go ahead and paint with black. When I paint with black on Quick Mask, I should see this red overlay on top of the area where I've painted. I know that this looks a little bit strange, but you can think of Quick Mask as a way to quickly build up a mask. If ever you paint too far like I did there, hit the X key and then go ahead and paint that area out.
All we're looking to do here is just to have a quick selection of the eyes. Now, let's exit Quick Mask by pressing the Q key. Next thing we want to do is create an adjustment. To do so, we need to determine what type of adjustment. One that might be fun to use is Curves. So, here we'll click on Curves, and then I'm just going to make a drastic Curves adjustment. Now, when I do that, I realize oh, bummer! This adjustment is applied to everything but the eyes. It's the exact opposite of what I want. Then I say to myself, no big deal. I can quickly invert this mask.
To do that, press Command+I. Well, now I have this brightness, which comes in just to the eyes there, and I can control how bright I want this to be. I can also go into my other channels like say the Red channel and add perhaps a little bit of cyan in there by dragging down. You can see it becomes more cyan or red depending on where I position that curve. Go to the Blue/Yellow channel. Bring up the blues a little bit. Here you can see you can really combine the color that you want. You can also go back to the RGB Composite and you can experiment a bit.
So, say you want to add a little bit of contrast and color saturation. You can have quite a bit of fun with modifying the eyes. Now, here, the eyes don't look very natural or realistic, so I'm going to click the Reset button to bring everything back to normal. Next, all that I want to do here is just a little bit of brightening on those eyes and just a touch of color. So, I'll go into the Red/Cyan channel, just add a little bit of cyan there, and I think that looks pretty good. Here we have before, and then after. We can, of course, go further if you want to do that.
You could experiment a little bit with how to do this. Now, in regards to my mask, it's okay, but I want to mask out the top area of the image. So, I'm grabbing the Brush tool, make my brush a little bit bigger, and I'm just going to lower the Opacity. The reason I'm doing this is I shouldn't be as bright up top. The brightness should be more down to the lower part of the eye, the opposite side of the light source there. Well, another thing that we could do would be to copy this layer. Let's go ahead and copy it, and then to try a blending mode. We could try a blending mode like Screen, which would really brighten things up.
We could try a blending mode like Soft Light, which really adds a lot of nice contrast. We can also go and try Mask and say well, how about if we just add a little bit more into that area? We could do that, paint in this mask to modify it. Another interesting thing you can do with eyes is you can have one layer onscreen. That's the brightness, copy this. Another layer on Soft Light. That's the contrast. Then lower the Opacity of these two layers until you have a nice mix of contrast and also a nice mix of brightness.
So again, here we have before and then after, just a little nice snap to those areas of the image. Now, in this case, I've kind of pushed the eyes pretty far. Here's my before. Here's my after. I'm not totally sure that this is going to work well, that this is going to be good. It might be that I've gone too far. Well, here's what I like to do. I like to zoom out. Press Command+Minus on a Mac, Ctrl+ Minus on Windows. Evaluate what you've done. Perhaps, modify the Opacity of some of your adjustments here, or another thing that you can do is click in one of these layers, hold down the Shift key, clicking another, then press Command+G for Group.
Once you've grouped those together, you can then turn this on or off, and you can also lower the Opacity so you have just the right amount of color and tone there, so that it looks realistic. It's not over the top. But so that it is in a sense bringing out some of those color and tones that are there, or it's bringing out that effect that you want to create. All right, well, so far so good! We've done some great work with the eyes or sharpness, their color and tone. Let's go ahead and push this even further. And we'll do that in the next movie.
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