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Introducing the Auto commands

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Introducing the Auto commands

We're going to spend most of our time in this chapter on just two functions. Located under the Image menu, you go to Adjustments and they're located right there, Levels and Curves. And they're both available as Adjustment layers as well by the way, and we'll see all that of course. Now, these rank among Photoshop's most essential capabilities, they are the two most powerful color correction features inside the software. In many ways they duplicate each other, they work differently, but their goals are the same. And what they do is this, they allow you to correct the luminance of an image on a channel by channel bases.

Introducing the Auto commands

We're going to spend most of our time in this chapter on just two functions. Located under the Image menu, you go to Adjustments and they're located right there, Levels and Curves. And they're both available as Adjustment layers as well by the way, and we'll see all that of course. Now, these rank among Photoshop's most essential capabilities, they are the two most powerful color correction features inside the software. In many ways they duplicate each other, they work differently, but their goals are the same. And what they do is this, they allow you to correct the luminance of an image on a channel by channel bases.

And the practical upshot of that is, you can correct the brightness of an image, you can correct its contrast, and you can also compensate for color cast, all from one dialog box, or panel, or what have you. Now, as I say, they're both working toward the same goal, so there's no reason to use both of them on the same image. You want to make a clear call, you're either going to use Levels, because that's all you need, it's the simpler of the two commands, or you need more control and you're going to switch up to Curves, that's the way it works. But they both include a handful of duplicate options.

So I'll go ahead and choose the Levels command to bring up the Levels dialog box. And you can see right there that there is an Auto button and an Options button, both of these buttons appear inside the Curves dialog box as well. And if you click on Auto, and I'm going to go ahead and do that, I'll click on Auto here in order to apply one of three flavors of automatic correction to this selected layer. And I'm currently working on the control layer incidentally, inside this image called Father of our money.psd. You control which flavor of Auto you apply, because notice, Auto just does its thing.

You change the flavor of Auto by clicking on the Options button. I'm going to Cancel out. The reason I mention this is that, those three Auto functions are also available under the Image menu as independent commands. We have Auto Tone right there as well as Auto Contrast and Auto Color. And you can think of them as being the children of some kind of crazy marriage between Levels and Curves, because they are taking all the power of Levels and Curves and applying them automatically and without any further conversation. Notice there is no ellipses, no ... after any one of these commands.

So you just choose a command and it does its thing, like so. And incidentally, Auto Tone produces the exact same effect as just clicking on the Auto button, without changing the options inside either Levels or Curves. Anyway, again, I'm going to undo that modification. I want you to understand where these names are coming from, because Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, Auto Color, fairly cryptic and a little bit misleading as well. The word Tone is synonymous inside of Photoshop for luminance or brightness, what have you.

So what Auto Tone is doing is its correcting the luminance levels on a channel by channel basis. And as a result, not only do you change the brightness and contrast of an image, but you modify its color cast as well. And notice that I'm saying modify the color cast, I'm not saying correct, because you typically replace one color cast with its opposite color cast. And we'll see how that work shortly. Auto Contrast corrects the composite image. It does not look at the image on a channel by channel basis, and as a result it does nothing to the color cast whatsoever.

And in fact, you only use the command when the image does not have a color cast, when you're happy with the colors. And otherwise, it goes ahead and changes the brightness, possibly enhances the contrast as well. And then this Auto Color command, strictly speaking, has nothing to do with color, what it does is that it examines the channel by channel Histograms, just as Auto Tone does. So it examines the image on a channel by channel basis, goes ahead and corrects the brightness and contrast, and then it seeks to neutralize the Highlight, Shadows, and Midtones in an image, with the goal of getting rid of any color cast, and sometimes it's successful, other times it's not.

Now, in order to really understand how these commands work, so that you have some way of predicting the outcome, I don't want you to just sit there and choose the commands willy-nilly and hope for the best, we need to be able to keep tabs on the Histogram for the image that we're working on. And to do that, I'm going to bring up the Histogram panel. And you get to the Histogram panel by going to the Window menu and choosing the Histogram command, or if you loaded dekeKeys, my custom keyboard shortcuts, then you can press Alt+F8 or Option+F8 on the Mac. Now, a couple of other changes I want to make to this panel.

I want to be able to see a larger version of the Histogram, because right now we can't see all 256 different luminance levels. So in order to see the full 256 pixel wide Histogram, you go to the panels flyout menu and you choose Expanded View. And that gives you a bigger Histogram. You also see some technical statistics down here at the bottom of the panel. I want you to be able to see the Channels and Colors, so make sure that this Channel option is set to Colors , like so. And that way you'll see each of the independent Histograms; one for the Red Channel, one for the Green Channel, and one for the Blue Channel, all at the same time overlapping each other.

So we can see in this case, for example, that the Blue Channel is darker than the Red Channel, which is a little bit darker than the Green Channel. So the Green Channel has the most highlights, and the Blue Channel has the fewest highlights. I also want to be able to keep track of those Histograms independently. So I'll go to the flyout menu again and I'll choose the All Channels View. As soon as I choose this command though, I'm going to run into problems. I'm going to get this error message, that's essentially telling me it is now impossible to view the Histogram panel, because it's too darn big.

And so I'm presented with one of three different solutions; I can close the other panels in the dock first. Well, they're already smooshed closed, so that's not going to do any good. The third suggestion is to increase my monitor resolution, which is a great idea, except I can't for the sake of this video. And then the final option is to move this panel out of the dock. That's the one I'm going to do. You could say, Don't show again to this message, but then if you ever run into it again, you're going to have no idea what the problem is, you just won't be able to see that panel. So I would suggest you don't turn that check box on, just go ahead and click on the OK button.

I'm going to drag the right side of this title bar over and drop the panel so it becomes a floating panel, like so, then I'll double-click in this region in order to expand the panel. I'll double-click over here to expand the Layers panel once again, because it got smooshed close. And then finally, I'm going to go ahead and switch my view of each one of the independent Histograms. Because of the way the labels read, notice Red, which is pretty high up, goes with this Histogram right there, even though it looks like Green is its label.

So because of the way the labels are placed, I think they're misleading. Let's remove the ambiguity by going to the flyout menu and choosing Show Channels in Color. And then I know, there is the Histogram for the Red Channel, there is the one for the Green Channel, and there is the one for the Blue Channel. All right! So now we have this whoppingly huge Histogram panel. It will allow us to examine each one of these images in all sorts of detail, as we apply the various Auto commands. Just one last problem, and that's this little warning that keeps appearing. Notice it's telling me that I need to Click the Histogram for the uncached data, which is to say, if you really want an accurate Histogram, you need to click on this warning in order to update the Histogram, but notice that it happens every single time I switch to a different layer.

So again, I have an inaccurate Histogram, again I have to update it. This is going to get really old, really fast as we work through this demonstration. So I'm going to make a change, and along the way I'm going to explain how cache levels work inside of Photoshop, in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

247 video lessons · 33097 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 40m 2s
    1. Welcome
      2m 1s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 6s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. What you can do with Photoshop
      1m 46s
    2. The mission-critical eyes
      2m 44s
    3. Copy Merged and Paste in Place
      6m 52s
    4. Sharpening details to match
      4m 34s
    5. Masking eyes
      9m 22s
    6. Working with clipping-mask layers
      9m 5s
    7. Shading with layer effects
      8m 10s
    8. Color and highlight effects
      4m 2s
    9. Refining layer masks
      5m 43s
    10. Fabricating the highlights in the pupils
      7m 33s
    11. Using a merged copy to sharpen
      5m 34s
  3. 2h 14m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      1m 16s
    2. Introducing the Auto commands
      7m 23s
    3. Adjusting Cache Level settings
      6m 8s
    4. Reading a channel-by-channel histogram
      6m 21s
    5. How the Auto commands work
      5m 22s
    6. Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color
      7m 7s
    7. Blending the Auto results
      4m 4s
    8. Introducing the Levels command
      6m 15s
    9. Using Levels as an adjustment layer
      3m 12s
    10. Applying custom Levels adjustments
      6m 8s
    11. Understanding the gamma value
      7m 39s
    12. The futility of Output Levels
      2m 56s
    13. Selections and adjustment layers
      5m 48s
    14. Opening up the shadows
      3m 40s
    15. Previewing clipped pixels
      4m 51s
    16. The black, white, and gray eyedroppers
      5m 7s
    17. Gray card tips and tricks
      6m 5s
    18. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      7m 29s
    19. Introducing the Curves command
      7m 44s
    20. Curves dialog box tricks
      7m 16s
    21. Curves adjustment layer tricks
      5m 45s
    22. Correcting an image with Curves
      5m 32s
    23. Filling in the highlights
      5m 42s
    24. Neutralizing casts and smoothing transitions
      5m 37s
  4. 1h 46m
    1. The art of enhancing edges
      1m 26s
    2. How sharpening works
      6m 2s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      6m 7s
    4. Introducing Unsharp Mask
      6m 19s
    5. Radius and Threshold
      6m 24s
    6. Sharpening colors vs. luminosity
      5m 56s
    7. Gauging the ideal settings
      8m 59s
    8. Unsharp Mask vs. Smart Sharpen
      7m 1s
    9. Using the Remove settings
      9m 30s
    10. The More Accurate checkbox
      6m 8s
    11. Saving your Smart Filter settings
      5m 31s
    12. The Advanced sharpening settings
      7m 52s
    13. Accounting for camera shake
      6m 18s
    14. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      6m 43s
    15. Sharpening with High Pass
      9m 23s
    16. The new and improved Sharpen tool
      6m 22s
  5. 1h 34m
    1. Edge's evil twin: noise
      1m 12s
    2. Color vs. luminance noise
      7m 21s
    3. Reducing color noise
      7m 45s
    4. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 59s
    5. Relegating an effect to the shadows
      6m 27s
    6. Switching between layer and mask
      6m 59s
    7. The Dust & Scratches filter
      4m 56s
    8. Adjusting shadow saturation
      5m 52s
    9. Combining High Pass with Lens Blur
      6m 57s
    10. Masking a layer of Lens Blur
      7m 34s
    11. Painting away High Pass sharpening
      8m 22s
    12. Building up a noise pattern
      6m 40s
    13. Converting noise to texture
      4m 24s
    14. Bleeding colors into paper
      6m 16s
    15. Matching different noise levels
      8m 31s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. We are the stuff of light
      1m 24s
    2. Applying automatic lens correction
      5m 53s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 44s
    4. Shadows/Highlights in depth
      7m 59s
    5. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      4m 43s
    6. Sharpening on top of blur
      7m 3s
    7. Sharpening the merged composition
      6m 16s
    8. Grouping and masking layers
      5m 40s
    9. Adjusting the density of a mask
      7m 14s
    10. Creating a Shadows/Highlights shortcut
      5m 47s
    11. Restoring detail with Shadows/Highlights
      6m 23s
    12. Changing the Shadows/Highlights defaults
      6m 21s
    13. Smoothing skin details with Gaussian Blur
      3m 56s
    14. Smoothing with High Pass
      5m 44s
    15. Lowering contrast with Gaussian Blur
      7m 4s
    16. Inverting a sharpening effect
      7m 5s
  7. 2h 32m
    1. Color becomes monochrome
      1m 31s
    2. Converting an image to grayscale
      6m 49s
    3. Extracting luminance information
      7m 37s
    4. Introducing the Channel Mixer
      10m 23s
    5. Aggressive channel mixing
      9m 42s
    6. Proofing CMYK colors
      7m 49s
    7. Color settings and intent
      7m 6s
    8. Practical Channel Mixer variations
      4m 30s
    9. Saving variations as layer comps
      7m 57s
    10. The default grayscale recipe
      8m 55s
    11. Creating a custom black-and-white mix
      6m 59s
    12. Shadows/Highlights in black and white
      4m 58s
    13. Introducing the Black & White command
      5m 55s
    14. Adjusting Black & White settings
      9m 39s
    15. Mixing a Black & White portrait
      6m 32s
    16. Black & White vs. Channel Mixer
      9m 21s
    17. Adding tint and color
      8m 0s
    18. Introducing the Gradient Map
      7m 10s
    19. Loading custom gradients
      4m 32s
    20. Editing gradient color stops
      9m 58s
    21. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      7m 13s
  8. 2h 10m
    1. Two great commands working great together
      1m 18s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 13s
    3. Setting key colors and Fuzziness
      5m 38s
    4. Predefined vs. sampled colors
      3m 57s
    5. The Localized Color Clusters option
      5m 41s
    6. Defining a selection with care
      4m 44s
    7. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      5m 20s
    8. Testing edges with the Magic Wand
      5m 14s
    9. Hand-brushing a selection
      5m 39s
    10. Saving and loading an alpha channel
      4m 35s
    11. Converting a selection to a layer mask
      2m 46s
    12. Switching between an image and a layer mask
      6m 58s
    13. Protecting elements with a layer mask
      8m 5s
    14. Duplicating and editing a layer mask
      7m 34s
    15. Introducing the Refine Edge command
      4m 46s
    16. Accessing the various Refine Edge options
      5m 35s
    17. Refine Edge's preview options
      6m 21s
    18. The Adjust Edge values
      4m 11s
    19. Edge Detection and Smart Radius
      6m 5s
    20. Using the Refine Radius tool
      8m 8s
    21. Using the Decontaminate Colors option
      7m 30s
    22. Old-school masking adjustments
      7m 7s
    23. Four micro mask adjustments
      8m 33s
  9. 3h 13m
    1. Photoshop's vector exceptions
      1m 11s
    2. Making text in Photoshop
      6m 18s
    3. Creating and editing a text layer
      6m 56s
    4. Font and type style
      7m 35s
    5. Type size and color
      7m 52s
    6. Combining layer effects and type
      10m 57s
    7. Drawing a custom shape layer
      8m 34s
    8. Side bearing, kerning, and tracking
      10m 36s
    9. Point text vs. area text
      8m 26s
    10. Selecting and formatting a paragraph
      5m 19s
    11. Copying and pasting unformatted text
      7m 45s
    12. Creating text inside a custom path
      6m 26s
    13. Creating text along a path
      8m 13s
    14. Adjusting baseline shift
      6m 16s
    15. Drawing a fading arrowhead
      7m 29s
    16. Fading a shadow with a layer
      5m 32s
    17. Logo creation and Fill Opacity
      7m 44s
    18. Stretching a background element
      6m 9s
    19. Drawing with shape outlines
      6m 18s
    20. Combining vector-based shapes
      6m 42s
    21. Masking vector-based shape layers
      6m 7s
    22. Correcting spacing problems
      7m 44s
    23. Drawing the ultimate specular sparkle
      8m 45s
    24. Preparing text for commercial output
      5m 9s
    25. Saving a high-resolution PDF file
      7m 11s
    26. Inspecting the final PDF document
      7m 8s
    27. Saving large poster art
      9m 32s
  10. 2h 36m
    1. What filters ought to be
      1m 25s
    2. Layer effects vs. filters
      6m 14s
    3. Carving with an Inner Shadow effect
      7m 45s
    4. Selling an effect with Drop Shadow
      7m 17s
    5. Creating blurry shadow type
      5m 30s
    6. Saving custom default settings
      6m 22s
    7. Creating a custom contour
      7m 3s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 35s
    9. Adjusting Angle and Altitude
      7m 8s
    10. Exploiting global light
      8m 11s
    11. Gloss and edge contour
      5m 8s
    12. Applying and creating layer styles
      6m 45s
    13. Loading, saving, and merging styles
      6m 17s
    14. Creating a textured bevel effect
      6m 56s
    15. Using shadows as highlights
      7m 39s
    16. Combining filters and effects
      6m 58s
    17. Working with random effects
      6m 55s
    18. Smoothing with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 13s
    19. Masking blacks from whites
      4m 37s
    20. Applying liquid styles
      4m 36s
    21. Simulating liquid reflections
      8m 12s
    22. Finessing and cropping a liquid effect
      7m 25s
    23. Initiating a displacement map
      6m 17s
    24. Applying a displacement map
      7m 37s
  11. 1h 12m
    1. Two words: Free Transform
      34s
    2. Scale, rotate, and constrain
      6m 30s
    3. Using the transformation origin
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a slant (aka skew)
      3m 37s
    5. The four-point "perspective" distortion
      7m 51s
    6. Two ways to make gradient text
      5m 59s
    7. Building complexity from a simple shape
      4m 42s
    8. Duplicating a series of transformations
      6m 3s
    9. Rasterizing a layer with its effects
      6m 41s
    10. Applying a custom warp
      7m 24s
    11. Blending and softening a warped layer
      4m 39s
    12. Creating spherical highlights
      6m 30s
    13. Using a center-source inner glow
      3m 51s
  12. 2h 42m
    1. Distorting reality
      1m 33s
    2. Extracting a foreground element
      6m 45s
    3. Introducing the Puppet Warp command
      7m 20s
    4. Setting and manipulating pins
      7m 48s
    5. Rotating pins and switching warp modes
      6m 41s
    6. Expanding and contracting the mesh
      6m 11s
    7. Changing the Density setting
      8m 0s
    8. Adjusting the pin depth
      5m 18s
    9. Winding an image into a pretzel
      6m 2s
    10. Applying Puppet Warp to type
      6m 30s
    11. Warping single characters
      6m 25s
    12. Editing puppet-warped text
      8m 24s
    13. Extending an image with Free Transform
      8m 46s
    14. Extracting from a white background
      10m 5s
    15. Tracing a shape with Puppet Warp
      9m 1s
    16. Introducing the Liquify command
      5m 4s
    17. Warp, Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat
      8m 53s
    18. Saving and loading a mesh
      5m 59s
    19. Push, Mirror, and Turbulence
      11m 49s
    20. Lifting and slimming details
      8m 22s
    21. Warping fabric, arms, and legs
      7m 1s
    22. Masking and finessing the results
      10m 8s
  13. 3h 3m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 44s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw
      7m 40s
    3. Adjusting white balance
      7m 0s
    4. Selecting and synchronizing images
      6m 9s
    5. Making automatic adjustments and saving changes
      7m 19s
    6. Creating and managing snapshots
      8m 23s
    7. Adjusting the Exposure value
      6m 24s
    8. Working with clipping warnings
      5m 5s
    9. Adjusting Brightness and Contrast
      7m 35s
    10. Vibrance, Saturation, and Clarity
      9m 25s
    11. Recovery and Fill Light
      6m 57s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      7m 2s
    13. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      9m 44s
    14. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      7m 49s
    15. Applying manual lens corrections
      7m 19s
    16. Vignette and chromatic aberrations
      6m 21s
    17. Introducing the Tone Curves
      6m 9s
    18. Parametric curves and targeted adjustments
      6m 26s
    19. Correcting a low-noise photograph
      7m 35s
    20. Sharpening and high-noise photos
      8m 25s
    21. Selective Hue/Saturation adjustments
      5m 34s
    22. Selective Luminance adjustments
      5m 39s
    23. Adding grain and vignetting effects
      5m 23s
    24. Mixing a subjective black-and-white image
      7m 53s
    25. Colorizing with the Split Toning options
      4m 29s
    26. Opening a raw image as a Smart Object
      5m 39s
    27. Camera Raw wrap-up
      8m 38s
  14. 55s
    1. Until next time
      55s

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