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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
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Making shadows with Levels


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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Making shadows with Levels

In this exercise, we're going to take this image right here and we're going to give it some shadows, because some shadows would be nice. And I've gone ahead and saved my changes for far as Mixed channels.psd and we're going to add another adjustment layer. This is going to be a Levels adjustment layer and I just want to give you a little bit of advice and give you a sense that we're building things in the right order. So even though you're working with adjustment layer, and sometimes adjustment layers are portrayed as if you can do anything you want. It's all non-destructive, it's a free-for-all, any order is fine and that's just not true.
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  1. 22m 32s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Advanced
      1m 43s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 17s
    3. Resetting the function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      6m 4s
  2. 2h 43m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      49s
    2. Low contrast, bad meter
      5m 57s
    3. Auto tone, contrast, and color
      8m 1s
    4. Cache levels and the Histogram palette
      7m 16s
    5. How the auto commands work
      10m 15s
    6. A first look at Levels
      6m 11s
    7. Target colors and clipping
      9m 6s
    8. Modifying input levels
      9m 44s
    9. Adjusting the gamma value
      7m 34s
    10. Previewing clipping
      7m 17s
    11. The futility of output levels
      4m 56s
    12. Channel-by-channel edits
      11m 54s
    13. When levels fail
      4m 34s
    14. A first look at Curves
      8m 46s
    15. Static Curves layer tricks
      7m 45s
    16. Dynamic Curves layer tricks
      7m 25s
    17. Correcting the composite image
      8m 30s
    18. Neutralizing a color cast
      6m 52s
    19. The Target Adjustment tool in Curves
      8m 29s
    20. Correcting an image in Lab
      10m 7s
    21. The Shadows/Highlights filter
      4m 18s
    22. Radius and tonal width
      8m 11s
  3. 1h 48m
    1. Edge-enhancement tricks
      1m 13s
    2. How sharpening works
      3m 48s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      4m 29s
    4. The Unsharp Mask filter
      7m 57s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      6m 25s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 47s
    7. Previewing how sharpening will print
      3m 37s
    8. Measuring and setting screen resolution
      6m 56s
    9. Tweaking the screen resolution
      4m 28s
    10. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 23s
    11. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      4m 23s
    12. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      5m 50s
    13. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 16s
    14. When to leave More Accurate off
      3m 48s
    15. When to turn More Accurate on
      4m 23s
    16. The advanced options
      7m 57s
    17. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 23s
    18. Accounting for camera shake
      7m 7s
    19. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      9m 8s
  4. 2h 16m
    1. Why would you blur?
      1m 8s
    2. Fading after an undo
      3m 27s
    3. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      5m 43s
    4. The linear Box Blur
      3m 6s
    5. Add Noise vs. Median
      4m 50s
    6. Despeckle vs. Dust & Scratches
      6m 31s
    7. Smart Blur vs. Surface Blur
      8m 13s
    8. The Motion Blur filter
      4m 33s
    9. Radial Blur's Spin and Zoom variations
      5m 48s
    10. Mixing filtered effects
      3m 56s
    11. The "Captain Kirk in Love" effect
      5m 4s
    12. Diffusing focus with Blur and Overlay
      8m 50s
    13. Simulating Vaseline and film grain
      8m 2s
    14. Filling a layer with a neutral color
      2m 55s
    15. Old-school contrast reduction
      3m 39s
    16. Three steps to diffused focus
      7m 36s
    17. Averaging skin tones
      9m 45s
    18. Addressing the stubborn patches
      5m 26s
    19. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      6m 1s
    20. Blurring surface details
      3m 2s
    21. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      8m 6s
    22. Reducing digital noise
      8m 47s
    23. Striking a smooth/sharpen compromise
      4m 36s
    24. Smoothing over JPEG artifacts
      7m 38s
  5. 2h 31m
    1. Independent layers of color adjustment
      1m 7s
    2. Undersea color channels
      4m 2s
    3. Inventing a Red channel with Lab
      8m 20s
    4. Mixing color channels
      6m 55s
    5. Making shadows with Levels
      7m 5s
    6. Applying small color adjustments
      6m 0s
    7. Further modifying Levels in Lab
      8m 50s
    8. Creating a dynamic fill layer
      4m 38s
    9. Brushing and blending color
      4m 42s
    10. Working with "found masks"
      7m 31s
    11. Saturation, sharpen, and crop
      8m 9s
    12. Mixing a monochromatic image
      7m 2s
    13. Masking an adjustment layer
      4m 45s
    14. Working with Opacity and blend modes
      3m 39s
    15. Adding a black-and-white adjustment
      5m 53s
    16. The Target Adjustment tool in black and white
      6m 12s
    17. Tinting a monochrome photo
      3m 19s
    18. Introducing Gradient Map
      4m 17s
    19. Adjusting both color and luminance
      5m 44s
    20. Infusing elements with different colors
      6m 22s
    21. Adjustment layers as creative tools
      4m 33s
    22. Inverting and brightening the background
      5m 14s
    23. Blurring live, editable type
      5m 43s
    24. Hue, saturation, and darkness
      6m 51s
    25. Filling type with a color adjustment
      3m 24s
    26. Using one adjustment to modify another
      3m 21s
    27. Breathing color into the title
      3m 38s
    28. The Hue/Saturation humanoid
      3m 44s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 23s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 16s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 46s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      6m 4s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      7m 8s
    7. Darken, Multiply, and the Burn modes
      6m 33s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with Fill
      4m 43s
    9. Saving a blended state
      4m 18s
    10. Lighten, Screen, and the Dodge modes
      8m 22s
    11. Linear Burn = Add minus white
      5m 31s
    12. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 52s
    13. Fill Opacity takes priority
      6m 19s
    14. Difference and exclusion
      5m 21s
    15. Using difference for golden highlights
      4m 2s
    16. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 8s
    17. The brush-only modes: Behind and Clear
      10m 31s
    18. Layer groups and the Pass Through mode
      8m 54s
  7. 1h 53m
    1. It's all about the presentation
      58s
    2. Moving a layer a specific number of pixels
      6m 59s
    3. Adding a pixel mask to a layer
      5m 48s
    4. Editing a layer mask
      7m 19s
    5. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      6m 19s
    6. Introducing the Advanced Blending options
      4m 45s
    7. Using the luminance blending sliders
      7m 26s
    8. Forcing through underlying luminance
      4m 32s
    9. Masking with a path outline
      5m 45s
    10. Refining a mask from the Masks palette
      7m 18s
    11. Creating and modifying a layer group
      3m 29s
    12. Establishing a knockout group
      5m 29s
    13. Fixing last-minute problems
      6m 23s
    14. Introducing layer comps
      6m 40s
    15. Exploring layered states
      6m 43s
    16. Deleting layers and updating comps
      6m 18s
    17. Saving a basic composition
      6m 21s
    18. Assigning and saving appearance attributes
      7m 15s
    19. Layer comps dos and don'ts
      7m 27s
  8. 1h 56m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
      56s
    2. Establishing default formatting attributes
      4m 5s
    3. Saving formatting attributes as a preset
      8m 5s
    4. Making a point text layer
      6m 18s
    5. Editing size and leading
      6m 44s
    6. Working with vector-based text
      6m 12s
    7. Formatting area text
      4m 16s
    8. Creating a layer of area text
      3m 20s
    9. Resizing the text frame
      4m 34s
    10. Changing the anti-aliasing setting
      3m 58s
    11. Obscure but important formatting options
      6m 31s
    12. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      8m 44s
    13. Creating a cast shadow
      6m 1s
    14. Blurred shadows and beveled text
      7m 16s
    15. Drawing a path outline
      4m 51s
    16. Creating type on a path
      6m 39s
    17. Flipping text across a circle
      3m 18s
    18. Vertical alignment with baseline shift
      4m 16s
    19. Warping text
      4m 57s
    20. Scaling your text to taste
      3m 33s
    21. Applying a custom warp
      6m 24s
    22. Creating an engraved text effect
      5m 11s
  9. 2h 17m
    1. Bending an image to fit your needs
      53s
    2. Creating a canvas texture
      6m 48s
    3. Masking objects against a white background
      5m 42s
    4. Scaling an image to fit a composition
      8m 9s
    5. Aligning one layer to fit another
      3m 51s
    6. Changing the Image Interpolation
      8m 10s
    7. Merging faces
      5m 32s
    8. Rotating the first clock hand
      7m 17s
    9. Adding hands and pasting styles
      6m 40s
    10. Series duplication in Photoshop
      4m 35s
    11. Masking objects against a black background
      6m 34s
    12. Skews and perspective distortions
      7m 57s
    13. Envelope-style warps
      9m 2s
    14. Old-school distortion filters
      8m 50s
    15. Introducing the Liquify filter
      4m 9s
    16. Reconstructing an image
      6m 55s
    17. Using the Warp tool
      5m 16s
    18. The Pucker and Bloat tools
      5m 53s
    19. Push, Turbulence, and Twirl
      6m 41s
    20. The Freeze and Thaw mask tools
      5m 45s
    21. Saving and loading a mesh file
      3m 59s
    22. Creating and applying a texture layer
      8m 30s
  10. 1h 28m
    1. Effects vs. styles
      1m 11s
    2. Of layer styles and masks
      4m 37s
    3. Everything about drop shadow
      8m 2s
    4. Adding a directional glow
      4m 39s
    5. Colorizing with Color Overlay
      5m 18s
    6. Stroke and fill opacity
      5m 48s
    7. Creating a multicolor Outer Glow
      9m 22s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 48s
    9. Contour and Texture
      4m 35s
    10. Simulating liquid reflections
      6m 28s
    11. Saving layer styles
      6m 18s
    12. Applying and appending styles
      4m 36s
    13. Saving and swapping style presets
      3m 16s
    14. The five effect helpers
      3m 47s
    15. Blending the effect before the layer
      5m 1s
    16. Colorizing a signature
      3m 30s
    17. Clipping an effect with a mask
      4m 5s
  11. 1h 50m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw in the Bridge
      5m 44s
    3. The Camera Raw 5 interface
      4m 39s
    4. Adjusting the white balance
      5m 0s
    5. Finessing and saving changes
      7m 55s
    6. Using the White Balance tool
      2m 43s
    7. Working with the Exposure controls
      7m 34s
    8. Straightening and cropping a raw image
      5m 53s
    9. Applying automatic exposure adjustments
      6m 6s
    10. Exposure warnings
      5m 44s
    11. Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation
      4m 47s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 33s
    13. Dodging with the Adjustment brush
      9m 24s
    14. Tone Curve adjustments
      6m 54s
    15. Using the Spot Removal tool
      2m 48s
    16. Removing noise and sharpening detail
      4m 5s
    17. Adjusting HSL values
      4m 18s
    18. Adjusting luminance, color by color
      4m 14s
    19. Black and white and split toning
      5m 16s
    20. Camera Raw tips and tricks
      7m 32s
    21. Correcting JPEG and TIFF images
      4m 42s
  12. 57s
    1. Until next time
      57s

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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
20h 57m Intermediate May 01, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Using blend modes, adjustment layers, and layer styles
  • Organizing a layered composition so it is fluid and editable
  • Creating and editing type in Photoshop
  • Using blur effectively
  • Using adjustment layers to add color
  • Combining layers into a clipping mask
  • Working with Camera Raw
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Making shadows with Levels

In this exercise, we're going to take this image right here and we're going to give it some shadows, because some shadows would be nice. And I've gone ahead and saved my changes for far as Mixed channels.psd and we're going to add another adjustment layer. This is going to be a Levels adjustment layer and I just want to give you a little bit of advice and give you a sense that we're building things in the right order. So even though you're working with adjustment layer, and sometimes adjustment layers are portrayed as if you can do anything you want. It's all non-destructive, it's a free-for-all, any order is fine and that's just not true.

So even though they're non-destructive in a sense that you can turn them off and you can turn it back on and the underlying has it really been changed and you can change your settings any time you like without harming the image or any penalty whatsoever. Here's the thing though; when you start heaping adjustment layers on top of each other, then, you are actually sometimes applying color modifications that don't really get along with each other, sometimes they duplicate each other's functions. There hasn't been given a lot of thought inside of Photoshop over the years in terms of how the various color adjustments are trotting on each other and which one should be used together and which one shouldn't.

So you want to approach things in a very deliberate order is what it comes down to and the order is to make your biggest changes first and then build towards smaller and smaller changes and also by the way, to use as few adjustment layers as you can get away with when you're doing this kind of work. Now, we have started with a right command. Even though, it seems like is the fairly small modification, we went from this to this and we haven't bolstered the contrast, for example, the contrast remains very weak. Well, we had to first invent a red channel before we can do anything with that red channel. So what was essential that we get that red channel in play first and foremost.

All right, so now we can improve the quality of those channels; all three of them, and we're going to do that with levels. So here inside the Adjustments palette, I'm going to click on the left -pointing arrowhead in order to return to the list and I'm going to go up here to this guy Levels and I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on that icon so that I can go ahead and name it contrast or something along those lines and you might think well, gosh, why change its name from Levels, after all, at least if you leave at Levels, even if it's Levels 1, Levels 2, that kind of thing, at least you know it's a Levels Adjustment.

Well, you know it's a Levels Adjustment in a couple of other different ways. So it's completely, entirely okay to name it after what you're trying to do with it. I think. That's the way I work and let me show you my rationale. I'll click okay in order to create that new layer. Notice that you are seeing an icon associated with each one of these adjustment layers and the icon matches the icon inside the List panel there inside the Adjustments palette. So that's the Channel Mixer icon, you'll come to recognize in a time if you don't already. That's obviously the Levels icon right there because it has a Histogram. You'll see, as long as you have big layer thumbnail selected, then you will see these icons. If you've got tiny, little thumbnails you won't see him.

But anyway, you could also just click on a layer and see what it's all about here inside the Adjustments palette. So if you click on a Levels adjustment layer, it's going to show you levels and it's going to show you the settings you have applied, if you go down here, to Channel Mixer, it's going to show you Channel Mixer and show you the settings you have applied. So it's pretty easy to track. Anyway, I'm going to switch back to contrast, we haven't done a darning thing so far and notice this little icon right there, it's telling us that we need to calculate an accurate histogram if we want to. So if you want to see a more accurate histogram, just click on a button and then it will calculate the precise histogram not that different actually, but there it is.

All right. I'm just going to go ahead and click on Auto, as a starter here, just to sort of see what it comes up with. It comes up with something very similar to what we've got and we were working with lab, which is to say it suddenly turned green, he is more of a forest glade. Now he's not really in the Emerald city but he did decide to throw on some purple fins, this time around. So they're are pink, we're getting closer. That's good. But we can get closer still if we seize the rains of control here inside of the Levels dialog box. So let's switch over to the independent channels. I'm going to press Alt+3 for the red channel for starters, and after playing around inside of the dialog box, here are the settings I came up with. So I just eased off of the shadows inside of the red channel. What I'm doing is I'm looking at the shadow detail and saying how balanced is that. We need to have some brown shadows in it. Do we have brown shadows? It's hard to tell sometimes, especially when everything is so catawampus inside of the image, so you don't have the way to ground yourself, so you do have to play around.

But if before, for example, they were looking like they weren't red enough, then that means I was too tight to the shadows with the black point value, and if I back off that black point value, I'm going to introduce a little bit of rosiness right there on this side of the histogram, because I've lightened up the shadows in the red channel and that will introduce red into the shadows. All right, so then I'm going to click over here in the white point value. I'm not going to do anything with the gamma, so we'll just ignore that for now and press Shift+Up Arrow a few times and then Down Arrow, I just want to change that value to 235. Now that might now look right so far but that's because we need to adjust the colors inside the other channels as well.

Now, I'll tell you something about what I'm doing. I didn't really do it in this linear fashion. And instead here go to these will be the precise values I'll use in the red channel. Now I'll go up to the green channel and place more precise value. It didn't work that way. I had to go back and forth, back and forth. I'm sparing you the back and forth. When you approach images on your own, guess what? I won't be there to spare you, so you'll go back and forth, back and forth. So anyway, Alt+4, Option+4 to switch to the Green Channel, same values turned out to work really nicely. 105 and when I see really nicely, I mean, okey-dokey, because that thing works really nicely for this image. Everything is in incremental step toward better.

But 105, 235, once again with the values I came up with, again, a lot of back and forth, but if I do Alt+3 and then Alt+4, you'll see that we have some similar histograms, not too surprising because we use 60% of green to make the red histogram in the first place. So we're just kind remaining true to that. All right. Alt+5 or Option+5 to move over to the blue channel and I'm just going to ease off this black point I'm going to take it down to 135, leave the white point to 255, we're not changing gammas and so just to give you a sense of how far we've come here, this is before, without that contrast layer, and this is after our adjustment.

Now, are we all the way there? Not even, we still have some awfully greenish legs right here and the coral around them is just kind of really grim looking, it doesn't look like the kind of place we'd want to go, it looks like he's just floating above a dead planet earth; let's hope not. And then he's got some fins that are again, far too purple. So we need to do more work is what it comes down to. In the next exercise, we're going to apply a couple of more adjustment layers, bearing in mind that we're working towards smaller and smaller incremental changes here, we are going to add a little bit of a color balance and then we're going to take on the fins, which ought to be blue, and you'll make them blue, you will, if you join me in the next exercise.

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