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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.
All right, this first exercise has to do with fading filters. Notice that we have another one of these diagram files that contains four different layers, and in case you're wondering about the naming convention, it's 1, Top Left, 2, Top Right, 3, Bottom Left, and 4, Bottom Right. Now, the second, third, and fourth layers there have already been shaded. I haven't shaded the top left layer, because I want you to see, started off like this. I just made this little face here inside of this noise pattern. But then I decided it needed some shading and I was able to pull off this shading in a fairly unexpected way. I went up to the Filter menu and I chose; I've got by the way the 1 TL layer active, and I chose Other > High Pass, or if you loaded Deke Keys, you could press Shift+F10.
Notice at very low Radius values you get very pronounced effect. So there is a Radius value of 1 and you get a high impact effect from the High Pass command, which is weird. Most of the time you get smaller effects from lower Radius values and bigger effects from bigger Radius values, but where High Pass is concerned, it's exactly the opposite. So if I were to raise this Radius value to 200, for example, you would have a much lower impact effect than what we saw before. So it's a much more distributed effect. Anyway, I arrived a Radius value of 100 right here, which gave me this cool sort of vignetting effect; both around the outside of the layer and the outside of this dude's face right there.
Then I clicked OK. Now. I didn't really like how murky it was, and what I've done is I have brought up the Fade dialog box. Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Shift+F on the Mac. Fade will go ahead and fade the last filter. Even if you undid the application of that filter, the Fade command is still right there waiting to fade it. There it is and that's from that undone application of the filter. Let's go ahead and replay that. I'll go ahead and go to the Filter menu and choose High Pass once again, and this time instead of pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to Undo, I'll press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z to step backward. So I'll employ History instead of the standard Undo function, and then notice if I go to the Edit menu, Fade is not available. So this is strictly a function of undoing, that you can Undo before you Fade, if you like.
So let's go ahead and do that. I'll just go up to the Filter menu, apply High Pass, then I'll undo it. I could just of course Fade at this point. I'm just trying to demonstrate that this is possible. I'll go ahead and undo by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac, and then I still have the option of Fading the application of that High Pass, and I'm Fading the most recent undid application of High Pass, not the one before or something like that. This is the very last one I applied. Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Option+F on the Mac. Then all I did, because I wanted to do this by this point in time, I'm no longer confused, imagine that, and I change the blend mode to Luminosity, and I got this nice effect here, where we're integrating the shading effect along with the original colors, and then I clicked OK.
Then I went up to the File menu, I chose the Save As command, and I created our sample file for the first portion of this chapter, which is called Angry blocks. Because that's what they are. They're a bunch of angry Cyborg blocks that we are going to defeat and obliterate and soften and average and so on using the blurring and averaging functions, as you'll begin to see in the next exercise.
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