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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now that we have enlarged the hand, we need to blend it in with its background and I could just get rid of this stuff that's outside the hand by erasing in a way using the Eraser tool right here. So if you click on the Eraser tool maybe make the cursor little bigger by pressing the right bracket key and then just paint away the offending pixels here around the outside of the hand then of course you are going to make those pixels invisible and you are just going to leave the hand behind. The problem with working this way is this is a permanent pixel level alternation and that means in the future if you decide that your transitions look wonky and you want to fix them you don't have a lot of options available to you.
So you are much better off, the more flexible route is to create a layer mask and that's what I am going to do, I am going to press Ctrl Z or Command Z to undo that Eraser tool modification then I am going to go down to the bottom of the Layers palette say this Add Layer Mask icon and I am going to click on it in order to add a new white layer mask because for starters I want to be able to see all of the hand. And now I am going to erase it away by painting black into the layer mask using the standard paint brush tool right here. So go ahead and get the brush tool.
Let's make that tool much larger actually something about 60 pixels works out pretty nicely I think. Make sure that black is your foreground color, if it's not then you would want to press the D key and then press the X key. So D key gets you your default colors and then X switches them so that you have black as your foreground color and I also want my brush to be a little harder. Right now it has a hardness of 0% by default. In order to make it harder than that, I will go ahead and press the Escape key. I am going to press Shift right bracket twice in a row so now I have a pretty hard brush going and now I can paint away notice that I am painting away by masking away the portions of the hand that I don't want, the portions of the hand layer that is to say that I don't want.
Now I am going to zoom in a little more closely here and reduce the size of my brush cursor. Now I have got kind of a straight-line going at this point along the index finger so I am going to click here and then I am going to Shift Click here in order to connect that click point and the shift click with a straight-line and then I am going to carefully paint around this knuckle like so and then I am going to paint this junk away over in this area to get rid of it. We may have some other stuff that needs to be painted away. Oops I need to paint over the thumb as well to get rid of that.
And what's beautiful about this technique about layer masking in general is note if you go too far, if you like paint into the fingers a little bit like you sort of scrape off the end of the finger like I did just there then you can paint it back in by pressing the X key to switch white to your foreground color and then just click on the finger in order to paint white into it and you will paint that finger back into place there. So it's nice to have this kind of flexibility. That's a degree of flexibility obviously that you would not have were you working with the Eraser tool.
Alright I am going to press the X key again in order to switch black to my foreground color and I am going to paint along the bottom of the hand just a little bit. Oh scraped off a knuckle that's okay, actually I am going to go ahead and gouge down into here because we have a 90 degree angle that's difficult to represent with the soft brush and now press the X key in order to switch my foreground color to white and I will paint that finger back in like so. And you can see that we are exposing a little bit of the finger underneath the little hand from underneath there. We will go back to it and paint that back into place in just a moment.
But first I want to make sure that I have got my existing layer mass the way that I want to, it looks pretty good. Now go ahead and grab your Move tool because notice one of the primary issues here is that this arrow. Saint Sebastian is holding an arrow because I believe he was pierced with one, I believe that's how he died and so he is holding this arrow and the arrow shaft goes into his hand here but then we are seeing it go between his index finger and his thumb at this location so that's a little out of whack.
So what I want you to do is I want you to grab the Move tool and then drag that hand over until you are starting to expose regions of the background finger there because we don't want the fingers, the original fingers to show up. So just go ahead and drag it over to the left a little bit using the Move tool and notice that both layer and mask move together because of that little chain icon, see that tiny chain icon between the thumbnails inside the Layers palette, that allows you to move the two with each other. If you decide you want to move one or the other independently, you just click on the chain icon to turn it off and that chain indicates a link.
Anyway I will click again in order to turn the link back on and then finally I might need to modify the layer mass just a little more. I will press the X key in order to paint back in some of this hand layer here in order to cover up some of the details that I don't want to see showing through from the hand in the background. So everything looks pretty good except that I actually have a little of a double sleeve going on over here in the lower left hand corner of the image, you can see it right there. I am going to actually press the F key to switch to the Full Screen mode so I can move this guy around.
Alright so you can see how I have a double sleeve. I am going to press the X key in order to make sure that the foreground color's black once again and then I am going to paint that excess sleeve away. And if you want to make sure that you have gotten rid of everything on the outskirts on the parameter of this layer so that you have some smooth transitions really set up and you are not missing anything then you would Alt Click or Option Click on the layer mask thumbnail in order to see the mask by itself and now you can see oops there is some area there that you should click, there is that area you know I should probably just trim this stuff up to make sure that I am not allowing anything to show through that I really don't want to show through.
Alright once I have done that then I would Alt or Option Click on the layer mass thumbnail again and everything looks actually pretty darn good. Alright so that's the enlarged version of the hand don't worry if you have a little bit of edge going on at the very, very bottom of the image. That is going to get covered up by the frame as I said before. So this is St. Sebastian with his larger more manly hand thanks to the Spherize function of course that allowed me to enlarge the hand in the first place and layer masking of which I cannot say enough positive things teal wonderful feature that you should take advantage of all the time inside Photoshop.
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