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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.
I have gone ahead and saved the final version of this image as Final trek effect.psd. Let's go ahead and toss this film grain layer for a moment and by toss I mean I'm just going to turn it off. I'll just keep it around. It's not taking up that much space. And I'm going to show you an alternate way to create a neutral layer and bear in mind, we were creating a neutral layer where film grain is concerned because we are making a gray layer and then setting it to Overlay and then using that as the beginning for our Noise effect.
We could have done it more simply, I showed it to you the way I did because I wanted you to see every step in a process and understand the rationale behind everything I was doing but now I'll show you if you were going to be doing this kind of thing on a regular basis or even a semi regular basis then there is a shorter way to approach to that involves fewer steps. Select the vaseline layer right there. It looks a lot like baseline. It's baseline, that's what it is. And then press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac to create a new layer and I'll call it alt film grain and I'm this time going to choose the mode in advance. I know I want to work with the Overlay mode and then you have this option to fill with Overlay neutral which is 50% gray, so we don't have to go to the Fill command. And you just say sure I'll do that, you betcha. Click OK and you won't do anything to the image because you just filled it with nothingness where the composite view of the image is concerned. But if you look over here we do have a new layer called alt film grain that is filled with gray and set to the Overlay mode.
So see how much time we saved ourselves. Now we are working a little bit blind, well not really, because we are going to be able to see our noise develop on the fly, aren't we? So we are not working blind. We can see perfectly now. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Noise and choose Add Noise. All right, so an Amount of 10% I would stick with but you experiment with settings, this way I could see well what's the difference if I go Gaussian? Too much, right. So let's stick with Uniform. What's the difference if I turn off Monochromatic? Well then it's a more subtle noise compositionally speaking here but we do have a lot of aberrant color that's showing up in the background and so on. As I say that might work for certain images, if you are trying to match the noises already there.
I am going to keep Monochromatic and of course you can play with the Amount value to your heart's content then click OK. I'm going to stick with the same settings as before. So I'll go to the Filter menu, choose Blur and choose Gaussian Blur and 0.7 still works very nicely for me and I'll click OK again. So just a different approach, you can do all that stuff that we saw with making a layer and then filling it with gray and then changing it to the Overlay mode. You could do that all from a central dialog box, all at once. Isn't that wonderful? In the next exercise I'm going to show you how to apply the same technique again, the Diffuse Focus technique that we saw a couple of exercises ago to a different image, so you can see how it is actually a really practical effect for your day-to-day imaging editing needs. Stay tuned.
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