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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Camera Raw has two tools that allow you to isolate corrections to a given area. The first one is the Gradient Filter and that just lets you drag out a rectangular region to apply a particular set of adjustments to. If you want to apply some adjustments just to a particular area, more that follow the contours of a specific shape or something like that, then there is a specific tool just for that as well. It's called the Adjustment Brush. So I'll choose the Adjustment Brush, and you have the same exact set of Options that you can adjust, just like you can with Gradient Filter. So Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Clarity, Sharpness and Color, but then of course, you have the ability to change the Size of the brush and decide where you're going to paint in the specific effects.
So what I want to do is first reset these settings here, so I'm going to double-click on the slider for Exposure, double-click on the slider for Brightness and double-click on the slider for Saturation, just to kind of blank everything out, back to their default values of zero. What I want to do on this particular image is just lighten their faces, pretty shadowy there and we want to bring out some of the Highlight detail there. I'm going to go ahead and use the Size slider over here on the right to change the size of the brush and there -- so I can also use my keyboard. The Left Bracket key will make the brush smaller; the Right Bracket key will make it bigger.
There are two lines on this brush. The inner line is the size of the brush. That outer line, the dashed line there, is the size of the Feather or the range of the Feather. So it depend on how much falloff you want. You can adjust the size of the Feather as well to make that larger or smaller. You can also use the keyboard to do that as well, you can do Shift+Right Bracket or Shift+Left Bracket to increase or decrease the size of the Feather. Okay, so what I want to do is maybe increase the Brightness associated with this brush. I'll take it up to say 20 and then I'll just go and simply paint over their faces.
Now what I'm seeing at first isn't exactly what I was hoping for. It looks like I'm blowing those all out to white, but actually now what's happening, you are seeing a mask. The checkbox is turned on here. I'm going to turn off the mask and now as I paint over with the Adjustment Brush I'm only seeing the overall effect of that Adjustment Brush. If I want to see the preview I can turn the Preview on and off, so there's before and there's after. It's just a very subtle adjustment. Right now, we have made the Brightness increased by 20%. If I want to maybe overall do change the Exposure as well, here's what's kind of cool about this tool is that it's actually affecting every stroke associated with this Pin.
This little Green icon here. When I hover over it, it actually shows me that mask temporarily and shows you the regions that are being adjusted by this Adjustment Brush. Now I can continue to just keep painting elsewhere and that will add to the current adjustment. So I'm just clicking and dragging around this area as well and again, if I hover over that Green pin, it'll show me that area is now been added. If I want to subtract from a particular area, that's already been painted, I can hold down the Option key or the Alt key and that will change that to the Erase Brush.
Notice over here the Erase radio button is now chosen. I'm still holding down that Option or Alt key. When I let go, it goes back to the Add Option. So again, if I've gone too far and spelled out and create a kind of a glow, although that's going to be a neat special effect, if that's what you wanted. I can come in here and fine-tune and either Add or Erase from this little mask that we're building. Okay, when I let go the Option or Alt key and I can continue painting and lightening just the areas that I want to lighten with this special Adjustment Brush. If you want to create a new adjustment and perhaps do a different set of adjustments to a particular different area in the image, then I can click the New button or simply press the letter N and that will drop-down, start creating a second pin.
I'll go ahead and just click here, just for demonstration purposes. You'll see I have two pins now. If I want to edit that first pin, I just go over and hover over the pin and click on it. That will now target that pin and I can start editing and working on that particular Adjustment Brush and those effects there. If I want to get rid of the pin, just click on it to select it, and then just hit the Delete key on your keyboard and that pin goes away. So if I want to turn off the Pin, and not see the little icon, if you have several of these pins in your Image in making multiple adjustments, you may want to turn those pins off, because they are distracting, press the letter V on your keyboard or click the Show Pins checkbox to turn that on and off and then if I want to see the effects of that adjustment again, press the letter P or click the Preview checkbox on and off. So you have it.
You actually have a way to do some very simple local edits within a particular area using that Adjustment Brush.
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