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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 gang, here we are still inside the Maddalena.jpg image. I'm doing my thing; you are doing your thing. Your results are bound to be different than mine. I'm working of course inside the Liquify plug-in. I think I'm going to have to go at this using the just the old Warp tool here because that's probably going to get me the best results in the shortest amount of time. Now I was telling you at the end of the previous exercise that I was going to show you the Mask tool and show you it, I shall my friends because it's a very useful tool indeed. And so let's say what I want to do at a certain point here, I don't want to make her shoulders too sharp but let's say I want to move some of this arm here inward. So I want to push it the other direction. If I just start dragging like so, notice that I go ahead and reveal the background and that's a big problem, quite obviously.
So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z a few times in a row to reinstate that background. Here is what you can do. If there is a portion of the image you do not want to modify and you want to protect it, then you go at it with this Freeze Mask tool. I don't know why they call it that. This is the Make Mask tool and this is the Unmask tool but instead, they call them Freeze and Thaw. So one paints the mask in and one erases the mask. I am going to go ahead and get the Freeze Mask tool and reduce the size of my cursor. Now what's interesting about this tool is it really gives you a sense for what brush density looks like. So I'm going to go ahead and take the Brush Density up to 100 and I'm going to paint a line and that's as hard as your brushes get here inside of the Liquify plug-in. Compare that to the minimum Brush Density value of 0 and you can see that, that reduces the size of the brush to an extent but it also increases the softness of that brush.
So that's as good as it's going to get in terms of trying to see what's going on with these guys. You can change the color by the way of the mask if you want to, to something other than red but red works out pretty nicely inside of this image. All right, anyway, I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z a couple times in a row as I so often do while I'm working here inside Liquify and then I'm going to paint onto the background like so. And I have got the minimum brush density value going, so I'm getting a soft brush stroke. I am going to go at it with the Thaw Mask tool, the eraser in order to back it off slightly here because I don't want it to come back close anymore pixels than all that to work with. I just need to make sure that I'm protecting this edge and now then, with that done, I could go to the Push Left tool. Let's see what that looks like, if I drag up, I believe it's what I would want to do just to move those things over. It's interesting and then it's kind of okey-dokey I suppose.
I will leave it just so that I can say that I used a few different tools here, but we do have the problem where this ribbon is concerned that I went ahead and kind of deformed it. So I'm going to change its shape a little bit with the ever popular and very powerful Warp tool here, really the one tool that you need inside of this filter and then we have got some choppy edges right there that are not my fault. These choppy edges came with the image but we are going to unchop them using the Pucker tool here. So we can really, you will see, we can really smooth things out tremendously using that tool like so. Really great function.
I go back there, list that guy, ended up sort of sending it down a little with the Pucker tool, didn't want to do that, move this in. And by contrast, if you end up getting an edge that's too hard, you can try the Bloat tool and that will end up softening it just ever so slightly. But in the course of softening, you can also kind of get this effect where you end up creating a lump, so you just need to watch that. A little bit of softening can work pretty well, let's see if we can get a lower Brush Rate going out of this guy, something like 50% might give us better results. Well, or not, we will just make a mess of the image. You never know.
All right, so little more over on this side. We want to go ahead and take this down as well and smooth this out and the question becomes, do we want that hair to be protected or not or do we want to kind of drag it down with everything else and that's just the question we will have to answer on the fly here. Let's try a bigger brush and see if we can raise things and let's get a little farther away from there, why don't we? We are going to raise this shoulder a little bit and by the way, another use for that masking tool inside of this image at anyway. I used it up here on the forehead when I was bringing the forehead down, not that I want to make her look dumb or anything like that, it's great to have a big forehead. However, there is no harm in covering it up a little bit with some hair. She had a little bit of a lower hairline that might be nice. So what I did was I grabbed once again my Mask tool and then painted over the top of the hair like so in order to protect it because I don't want to mush her head. I want that head to remain in good shape and then I'm going to reduce the size of my cursor a little bit, paint this as well and then I'll switch over here to the Thaw Mask tool or let me try this, yes, look at that, I thawed my work. If you Alt+Drag or Option+Drag with this tool on the Mac, then you are going to erase on the fly, that's nice, that's handy.
All right, then I'm going to grab my Warp tool, make it pretty darn big I think and now I could drag this area down and notice I'm dragging up here and I'm not hurting the masked area at all because it's nicely protected. All right folks and then if you don't want the mask anymore, if you just want to get rid of all of the mask inside of the image, you come over here to these Masking Options and you Click None and that will unmask. You also have the option of masking everything and then erasing the mask working in that direction if you want to protect most of the stuff inside the image, that's an option.
All right, so we are almost done with this image. I might make a few more modifications offline here. Do not Click the OK button yet, I want you to watch the next exercise because you never just want to go up here and Click OK out of this dialog box. Believe me, you will live to regret it. What you want to do is first save your mesh and then Click OK, and that way, you can always come back to your last settings and I'll show you how that works in the next exercise.
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