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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
All right, now that we've cured all the luminance issues that ailed us, we're going to go ahead and merge this HDR composition and hand it off to Photoshop. But before we do, I suggest you go ahead and save off your settings, just in case you need them later. Notice up here, in the upper right- hand corner of the window, there are two flyout menu icons. Click on the top one, choose Save Preset, and let's go ahead and call this guy "Dark interiors" because that's what it is, and notice that this preset gets saved to the same location as the presets that we save from the HDR Toning command.
So, HDR Toning and HDR Pro share settings. And by the way, that location is an undisclosed folder, deep in the bowels of your hard drive. Don't change the location, because these files have to be located here in order to appear in the Preset pop-up menu. So, click the Save button. You'll now see Dark interiors listed as a Preset, and we are ready to generate that composition. Now, that's more easy for you to pull off than it is for me, because you can actually see your OK button down in the lower right-hand corner of your screen.
I cannot because my screen is so tiny it gets cut off, but it's this little sliver of blue, right down here at the bottom. I'll click on it, and that tells Photoshop to begin generating the file. Now, really, truly speaking, it's already created the file. It's got this layer composition going in the background. So it shouldn't take Photoshop long to show you the final version of the image, and here it is. Now, the interesting thing to note here is that this is a flat file. We are working in the 16-bit per channel space, but we don't have any layers available to us.
So you're not going to do anything to change the fundamental HDR Pro experience at this point, here inside Photoshop. It is now baked. If you wanted to make a change to any of those settings, you'd have to restart the process. There is no option to capture all that HDR info inside of a Smart Object. So here we are. Now that said, we can make any changes to this image that we normally would, to a flat file inside Photoshop. And in fact, the first thing I'm going to do is go ahead and convert this image to a Smart Object, for two reasons: One is I want to sharpen it using a Smart Filter.
Second, notice that we have these little edges of the lens that are showing up in the upper right-hand corner of the image, and the lower left-hand corner of the image. I assume that's what they are, anyway. They are found inside each and every one of the exposures, and so I need to crop them away. I want to do so nondestructively. The best way to ensure a nondestructive crop is to go ahead and convert it to a Smart Object. So, let's do so by going to the Layers panel, making sure the Background item is selected, go ahead and click on the flyout menu, and choose Convert to Smart Object or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Ctrl+Comma, Command+Comma on the Mac.
I'm going to go ahead and hide my Histogram panel. We have a lot of blown highlights inside of this image. That's inevitable because of all the backlighting. So, we knew that would be a problem. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and collapse the Histogram panel, so we can see better what we're doing. And I'm going to rename this layer something like "barn interior" and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. All right, let's go ahead and sharpen the image. I'll zoom in and click here. Go up to the Filter menu. Choose Sharpen. Notice that a lot of the Filters in the Filter menu don't work in the 16-bit per channel space.
Mostly it's because they're Filter Gallery filters. As you may know by now, Filter Gallery filters don't work inside CMYK. They don't work inside LAB. They don't work inside 16-bit per channel. One might even go so far as to argue they don't work, but that's perhaps unfair. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and choose Smart Sharpen, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you'd press Shift+F6, and these are the Settings I'm going to apply. Now, if I were preparing this image for a high-resolution output, I'd probably go with my print defaults that I have set up in advance, which are an Amount value of 250%, a Radius of 3.5 pixels, something along those lines.
I'm just trying to come out with some Settings, however, that look good onscreen, as you and I work through this project. So I landed on an Amount value of 300% and a Radius of 2.0 pixels. Remove set to Lens Blur. You can experiment with turning on More Accurate, because this is a still life, and that will create a wormy effect. It goes ahead and brings out some pretty interesting noise details inside of this rustic environment, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Actually, I think it looks pretty good. But when we're zoomed out from the image, it just creates a termite trail effect that I'm not too fond of.
So, I'm going to turn off More Accurate, and then I'll go up to the OK button and click on it. Now, I will right-click inside the filter mask and go ahead and choose Delete Filter Mask, and then I'll double-click on the slider icon, and let's go ahead and change the blend mode here inside the Blending Options dialog box from Normal to Luminosity, so we're sharpening the luminance information without affecting the color. Click OK in order to accept that modification. Now let's go ahead and zoom out, and this time I want to crop the image, and I'm going to do so using the Crop tool this time around, just because I want to be able to modify the corner handles and the boundary after I draw it. And I'm going to drag all the way from the left- hand side of the image, because I want to keep that left-hand information, especially these slats right here, these shelves, or whatever they are.
I also want to keep the light bulb, and I'll give the light bulb a little bit of head room. And then I will move this right side of the boundary all the way over, until it touches that blurry lens element thing. That way I can see this sort of white fang of paint hanging down, and I decided this fourth rung down here on the ladder one, two, three, four should be cut off ever so slightly, and that way we won't include any of that fuzzy lens element that's showing up down here in the lower-left corner.
Now, at this point you might argue that the scene looks a little bit crooked, and you might try to adjust for that. Good luck, I say to you. I think actually the scene is straight the way it is. After spending a fair amount of time trying to straighten various slats, it seems to me that pretty much every slat is at its own angle. As I recall I have the shot not only tripoded, but I had it little level as well that was telling me that I was indeed level with the scene. So, let's accept things the way they are I say. And I'll go ahead and select any cropped area option.
It doesn't matter if it's set to Delete or Hide, because you can't delete pixels inside of a Smart Object. I know I've hammered this over your head a million times, but every pixel inside of a Smart Object is totally safe, regardless of what you think you're doing to it. So, I'll leave Cropped Area set to Delete, and I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. And just to demonstrate that those pixels are indeed safe, I'll go up to the Image menu, and I'll choose Reveal All. And sure enough that goes ahead and restores the original version of the image, that is all of the pixels inside the image.
Anyway, I don't want them, so I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to redo the crop, and that's enough for now. In the next exercise, we will go ahead and apply a couple of adjustment layers to finish off this effect.
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