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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I have saved my progress as Black and glowy.psd found inside the 10_layers folder, and I want to go ahead and paint a little bit of glow into the left-hand side of that big black blob that I'm working on. So I'll press the F7 key to revisit the Layers panel, make sure that splash is selected as it is. And I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+ Click on the eyeball in front of splash so that we can see it independently of the other layers and the Blend mode is temporarily turned off, even though it says Screen, it's actually temporarily turned off because there is nothing to blend with at this point.
And now I want to paint with white inside of this layer so I'm going to get the Brush Tool and I've already changed white to my foreground color by pressing the x key. And now though if I increase the size of my cursor by pressing right bracket or something along those lines, if I just start painting, notice that I just replaced pixels inside the image, and that would be terrible. Press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. What I want to do is stay inside the lines that are provided by the pre-existing glow by the transparency information inside of this splash layer, and I'm going to do that by turning on this option right there.
It's called Lock transparent pixels, it's right next door to the word Lock, click on it, and what that does is it freezes the transparency of the layer, so the opaque pixels will remain opaque and the transparent pixels will remain transparent, and the translucent pixels will remain translucent. So the effect is, as I paint inside of this layer I paint inside the lines. It's hard to see this white against this bright checkerboard, might be able to see this effect better if I go ahead and press Shift+Tab in order to bring up my right side panels and I'm going to increase the Saturation value to 100% so I have red as my foreground color, and now I'll paint, and you can see that Photoshop is fiercely determined to keep me inside those lines.
I can paint over the lens flare because all this information is opaque. But once we get into the transparency that's locked and I can't change it, which is awesome by the way. So anyway, I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. I want you to know that there is a keyboard shortcut for this function and that is the Slash key. Notice that Slash turns the transparency off, Slash turns it back on, and this is a Forward Slash that shares a key with a Question Mark on an American keyboard. I'll press D and then X to make the foreground color white.
I am going to go ahead and increase the size of my brush, like crazy, pressing the right bracket key until I get to a diameter of 1200 pixels. I want to see what I am doing, so I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on this eyeball again, and I'm going to press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity value to 50% and click right about there in order to add a little bit of a flare on the left side of the image. And that's it for the brush work for now. I might come back to and do a little more, but first I want to add some adjustment layers.
And the first adjustment layer that I'm going to add needs to basically sort of simmer down all this brightness associated with the lens flare. I want to make it darker, and so I'm going to go to the Adjustments panel and I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on the first icon, Brightness/Contrast, and I'm going to call it dimmer because that's going to be its purpose, and I'm going to turn on Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask. That way I'll clip this adjustment layer to the splash layer so it will have the same effect a starmaker does with noise, that is, this adjustment layer will affect splash only instead of the entire composition.
Click OK, make sure Use Legacy is off this time, very important we don't want to Use Legacy on, that was just for the starmaker layer, that's it. And then I'm going to reduce the Brightness value to -40, Tab and increase the Contrast value to 30, and we end up getting this effect here. So I'll go ahead and scoot things over so we can see what's going on here. This is what the lens flare looked like without that adjustment, and this is what it looks like with the adjustment. Alright, now I want that purplish coloring instead of this red and brown and green and stuff.
So I will go back to the Adjustments panel, I will click on this left pointing arrowhead in the lower left corner and I will Alt+Click or Option+Click on Hue/Saturation, and I will call this guy purplish, like so, and again Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask because we're only trying to colorize this layer. We don't want the color to bleed out everywhere. So click OK and I'll turn on the Colorize checkbox and I'm going to change the Hue value to 270, which is going to give us violet, and then I'll Tab down to the Saturation value and reduce it to 10, so we just have a very low level kind of lilac coloring of the background there.
Then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that modification. Now I'll press Shift+Tab in order to make those panels go away, and I do want the Layers panel for just a moment because I want to move down to the splash layer, and I can do that by the way by pressing Alt+Left Bracket a couple of times or Option+Left Bracket on the Mac, you can see that the transparency is still locked. So press F7 to hide that panel again and I'm thinking of clicking right there, that's too much, absolutely too much. I'm clicking with the Brush Tool by the way.
Press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. I'm going to press the 2 key to reduce the Opacity to 20% and then I'll try clicking again. And that could work, that might be okay, but that's enough, I don't want too much glow out of this big black blobby layer. So I'll switch back to the Rectangular Marquee Tool. In the next exercise we're going to darken things further especially down here at the bottom of the composition using a Gradient layer. Stay tuned!
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