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Introducing the Adjustment Brush

From: Photoshop CS6 for Photographers: Camera Raw 7

Video: Introducing the Adjustment Brush

In this movie I want to introduce you to a fascinating and powerful tool which allows you to paint in adjustments into specific areas of your photograph. And this tool is really unique, because typically when we're working in Camera Raw, we're making big or broad or global adjustments. In other words, typically what we do is we make an adjustment which affects the entirety of our photograph. Here if I'm in the Basic Panel, we know that we can increase or decrease our Exposure; this affects all of our picture. Yet, if we click on the Adjustment Brush, you can click it here in the Tools Panel, or if you press the K key for its shortcut, what this allows you to do is to paint in say Exposure or Contrast or Highlights or any of these controls that you can see here.

Introducing the Adjustment Brush

In this movie I want to introduce you to a fascinating and powerful tool which allows you to paint in adjustments into specific areas of your photograph. And this tool is really unique, because typically when we're working in Camera Raw, we're making big or broad or global adjustments. In other words, typically what we do is we make an adjustment which affects the entirety of our photograph. Here if I'm in the Basic Panel, we know that we can increase or decrease our Exposure; this affects all of our picture. Yet, if we click on the Adjustment Brush, you can click it here in the Tools Panel, or if you press the K key for its shortcut, what this allows you to do is to paint in say Exposure or Contrast or Highlights or any of these controls that you can see here.

As you notice, when you select this tool, it disables all of these tabs; they're now gone, and it takes you directly to the settings for this tool. Next, when you position the cursor over your image, or in this case, over this demo file here, you can see that you have these two circles. The inner circle, that's your Brush Size; the outer circle, that's the transition area or how the effect will kind of softly fade to that edge. That's the Feather Size. As you can see in this demo file, I've included a few shortcuts for changing those elements.

The Right Bracket key makes your brush bigger; Left Bracket key makes it smaller. And then we can press Shift+Right Bracket for more Feather, [00:01:2 .89] or Shift+Left Bracket for less Feather. If you forget those shortcuts, no big deal; you can always scroll down to the base of these controls, and at the base you see that you have some options or some sliders here for your Brush Size, Feather, Flow, and Density. We'll be talking about all of these elements and I want to do that so that we can really understand this tool, and then we can apply what we've learned by working on a few images later in this chapter.

Well, before we get to our brush, let's go ahead and take a look at the many different controls that we have. We've seen these in other places, right? Temperature and Tint. We have all of our tonality controls, Clarity, Saturation, Sharpness, Noise Reduction. So we can paint these adjustments in into really specific areas. Well, how does the painting work? Well, what you do is before you use the tool, you dial in some sort of an adjustment. In this case, let's say we want to increase our Exposure. Next, scroll down to the base of the area where you have these options.

You want to choose a Brush Size. I'll make my brush a little bit smaller and then also a Brush Feather amount. Well, what's Feather? Well, if I click-and-drag here, creating a straight line, you can see that this increased Exposure, well, it's really kind of soft. If we decrease the Feather, here I'll remove it all the way, and click-and-drag that same straight line, here you can see that we have really hard edges. Okay, well what then, or how then, does Flow work? Well, if you decrease Flow, here I'll make this really low, and if I paint across the image and then paint back and forth and back and forth, you can see that we can build up this effect.

This will become even more clear if we use some Feather. So what I want to do is I want to delete these kind of sample lines I've created here. So you can see I have this pin selected. When you have a pin selected, just press Delete or Backspace and it will remove that adjustment. Next, I'm going to increase my Feather all the way up. Here I'm going to make my brush a little bit smaller. And now with this low Flow, you can see as I paint this line here, it's pretty faint. But then as I go back and forth, I can build this up over and over again.

So why would you want to use a low Flow amount? Well, typically when you're painting an Exposure or maybe you're reducing Noise in a certain area or fixing your image, you want to typically progressively build that up; you don't want it to happen, boom, all at once. So the Flow slider allows us to be a little bit more delicate, or to kind of build up the effect brush stroke by brush stroke. Well, how then does Density work? Well, Density, you can think of kind of like as overall intensity. If I take this down to say about 46, and I paint back and forth, it doesn't matter how many times I paint back and forth, it will never be as bright as this line.

That's because I've decreased the Density. Again, so the Density kind of sets a cap on all of these different adjustments. Well, now that we've made these adjustments, let's say we want to make some changes to them. Well, you can go back to any of the sliders that you've used and you can change the amounts. Rather than brightening it this much, we could brighten it more or we could even darken this area. So you can always change this after the fact. Another way you can change the area that you've worked on is you can click on Erase. When you go to the Erase Brush, what you can then do is click and paint over the area that you've affected and here I'm just erasing all that I've done.

Well, let's say that we want to add multiple adjustments to one image. To do that, click New. Here I'll hover over the image. I'm going to go ahead and paint a line. In this case, let me go down here and increase my Density so we can at least see this, and so here I have this one brightened area of the photograph. And then I want to brighten another area, so I'll click New again. But I want to brighten this area a little bit less, so I'll go ahead and paint over here a little bit. And then I can click New again and I'm going to paint over here a little bit in a different shape.

And in this way you can see that you can work on these different areas of your photograph and you have these pins which show you the different adjustments. You can always click on one of the pins to activate it and then change that adjustment. You can also click on one of these pins and press Delete or Backspace, and in doing that, you can get rid of that adjustment. So as you can see, this tool, it gives us a lot of flexibility. And what's great about this flexibility is it's nondestructive. You can always undo it or erase it, and there's also no save or render time.

So things that we used to previously have to do in Photoshop with perhaps a new layer or a curves adjustment and a mask, now we can do this directly on our photograph here in Adobe Camera Raw. And now that we know a little bit about this tool, let's take a look at how we can put what we've learned into practice by working on a few images, and let's do that in the next few movies.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Photographers: Camera Raw 7
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers: Camera Raw 7

117 video lessons · 12500 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 9m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Should I use Camera Raw or Photoshop?
      3m 22s
    3. What is Adobe Camera Raw?
      3m 45s
    4. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 21m 13s
    1. An overview of Bridge and Bridge preferences
      3m 19s
    2. Setting Camera Raw preferences
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring RAW vs. JPEG or TIFF files
      4m 3s
    4. Choosing a native raw file or a digital negative (DNG)
      4m 25s
    5. Converting or saving to the DNG format
      6m 17s
  3. 29m 36s
    1. Project overview: cover photo shoot
      1m 33s
    2. Auto-toning and correcting white balance
      2m 19s
    3. Cropping and composing
      3m 21s
    4. Enhancing color and tone
      2m 44s
    5. Removing distractions
      3m 58s
    6. Sharpening and noise reduction
      2m 59s
    7. Converting to black and white
      2m 11s
    8. Adding a vignette
      1m 45s
    9. Making a localized correction
      2m 53s
    10. Creating snapshots of memorable looks
      2m 1s
    11. Re-editing camera raw settings
      1m 38s
    12. Working with multiple adjustments
      2m 14s
  4. 15m 2s
    1. Navigating the interface and the toolbar
      2m 15s
    2. Exploring image-adjustment tabs and panels
      1m 32s
    3. Using the histogram
      5m 12s
    4. Previewing the before and after of different adjustments
      2m 43s
    5. Working with multiple files
      3m 20s
  5. 29m 28s
    1. Opening raw files in Bridge
      4m 35s
    2. Opening JPEGs and TIFFs in Bridge
      4m 43s
    3. How to open a photo in Photoshop and skip Camera Raw
      1m 47s
    4. Accessing Camera Raw from Mini Bridge
      3m 9s
    5. Resizing in Camera Raw with workflow options
      6m 35s
    6. Opening an image as a Smart Object
      3m 3s
    7. Saving from Camera Raw
      3m 17s
    8. Creating a duplicate file
      2m 19s
  6. 11m 19s
    1. Recomposing with the Crop tool
      2m 58s
    2. Clarifying your voice by cropping
      3m 20s
    3. Straightening and cropping
      2m 54s
    4. Cropping creatively
      2m 7s
  7. 9m 9s
    1. Improving color balance
      4m 21s
    2. Color correcting with white balance cards
      1m 48s
    3. Using the White Balance tool and controls
      3m 0s
  8. 18m 32s
    1. Deconstructing the basic adjustments
      3m 33s
    2. Correcting overexposure
      2m 52s
    3. Correcting underexposure
      3m 13s
    4. Making exposure enhancements
      2m 52s
    5. Recovering highlight and shadow detail
      3m 38s
    6. A speed tip for making basic adjustments
      2m 24s
  9. 14m 14s
    1. Demystifying Clarity
      2m 36s
    2. Increasing Clarity
      3m 52s
    3. Understanding Vibrance and Saturation
      1m 50s
    4. Improving color with Vibrance
      3m 52s
    5. Making creative color adjustments
      2m 4s
  10. 11m 48s
    1. Learning about the parametric and point-tone curves
      4m 4s
    2. Using the parametric-tone curve
      2m 19s
    3. Using the point-tone curve
      3m 22s
    4. Creating a unique color look with the point-tone curve
      2m 3s
  11. 15m 38s
    1. Introducing the Spot Removal tool
      3m 42s
    2. Removing distracting background elements
      3m 12s
    3. Removing blemishes on a face
      3m 29s
    4. Removing dust on the lens or the camera sensor
      2m 58s
    5. Removing red-eye
      2m 17s
  12. 51m 20s
    1. Introducing the Adjustment Brush
      6m 18s
    2. Correcting exposure
      6m 23s
    3. Working with Auto Mask
      4m 16s
    4. Changing the background color
      4m 30s
    5. Changing the color temperature
      3m 15s
    6. Making multiple color and tone adjustments
      5m 47s
    7. Enhancing the color, tone, and sharpness of the eyes
      5m 11s
    8. Whitening teeth
      3m 20s
    9. Brightening shadows and darkening highlights
      2m 51s
    10. Creating a black-and-white effect
      5m 36s
    11. Removing moiré patterns
      2m 19s
    12. Creating Adjustment Brush presets
      1m 34s
  13. 10m 0s
    1. Enhancing the foreground and background of an image with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 7s
    2. Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 0s
    3. Exploring creative effects with the Graduated Filter tool
      2m 53s
  14. 13m 23s
    1. Exploring noise reduction
      3m 27s
    2. Applying input sharpening
      4m 9s
    3. Using the Basic and Detail panels together
      3m 33s
    4. Edge sharpening an architectural photograph
      2m 14s
  15. 12m 53s
    1. Introducing HSL
      2m 8s
    2. Enhancing color and tone
      2m 7s
    3. Using the Basic and HSL panels together
      2m 24s
    4. Removing colors with HSL
      3m 1s
    5. Making color changes
      3m 13s
  16. 21m 57s
    1. Using the black-and-white controls
      1m 44s
    2. Exploring simple black-and-white conversion
      6m 17s
    3. Using multiple panels to create a black-and-white image
      6m 17s
    4. Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape
      7m 39s
  17. 11m 1s
    1. Exploring traditional black-and-white toning
      3m 19s
    2. Adding split toning to color photographs
      3m 49s
    3. Creative toning of a color photo
      3m 53s
  18. 16m 49s
    1. Removing extreme distortion with a lens profile
      2m 2s
    2. Working with the manual Lens Correction controls
      2m 33s
    3. Improving a portrait with lens corrections
      3m 26s
    4. Adding a darkening vignette effect
      1m 28s
    5. Combining lens corrections with creative cropping
      3m 35s
    6. Adding distortion for a creative effect
      2m 29s
    7. Correcting chromatic aberration and defringing
      1m 16s
  19. 15m 10s
    1. Understanding the effects controls
      7m 8s
    2. Adding film grain and darkening edges
      3m 56s
    3. Cropping and brightening edges
      2m 32s
    4. Creating a defined edge
      1m 34s
  20. 9m 29s
    1. Introducing the Camera Calibration panel
      3m 41s
    2. Creative color with the Camera Calibration controls
      3m 25s
    3. Exploring camera calibration resources
      2m 23s
  21. 5m 14s
    1. Introducing presets
      3m 19s
    2. Exploring free and fun ACR presets
      1m 55s
  22. 10m 19s
    1. Quick raw processing of multiple files
      2m 21s
    2. Applying raw processing in Bridge
      2m 34s
    3. Recording an action
      3m 37s
    4. Batch processing multiple images
      1m 47s
  23. 7m 52s
    1. A creative color mini-project
      5m 12s
    2. Using Camera Raw controls in a non-traditional way
      2m 40s
  24. 6m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 25s
    2. Camera Raw and Lightroom
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye
      40s

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