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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.
Now if you take a look at the final version of the Na'vi, you can see that behind the hair we have areas of scalp that are showing through, right here, for example, then down here and then these two little slivers. And I've made them a little bit brighter than they would normally be so that we can see that they're blue. So we're just seeing that the hair is showing up as brown against a blue background for the sake of contrast and detail, whereas in the image that we're working on so far, and I've gone ahead and saved my progress as Darker shadows.psd.
You can see that that region of scalp is extremely dark. So I want to go ahead and lighten it up using a layer mask. I've got the deepen layer selected. I've already created a very simple Alpha Channel in advance for this, and you can see it by going to the Channels panel and clicking on this deep mask channel, and that's all it is, just this area right here got painted black. So you could easily paint that mask if you wanted to. But I've already done it in advance, so we might as well just go ahead and load it up. So click on the RGB image, switch back to the Layers panel, and then I want you to go up to the Select menu, choose Load Selection, and we're going to load the channel deep mask right there, and that's it.
Make sure Invert is turned off. You're making a New Selection, click OK. It goes ahead and selects this region right here. The area that's surrounded by the marching ants is actually the deselected region. So then drop down to the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click on it, and that's all there is to it. Now you've revealed this area of scalp, but these slivers are standing out a little bit too much. They are too bright. They should be somewhat shaded, I would think. And so what I want to do is reduce the density of this layer mask, and I'm going to do that by bringing up the Masks panel, and you can also go to the Window menu and choose Masks or if you have loaded dekeKeys you can press Alt+F10 or Option+F10 on the Mac, and there's that Density option.
And what Density does is it lightens the mask so you change what was formerly black in this case to 50% gray and by lightening the mask you're reducing the effect of the mask a little, so that we're re-darkening some of these scalp details. And that saves you from having to make any permanent modifications to that layer mask. You're just temporarily backing off the masking effect. And that's all we're going to do here. Just set Density to 50%, you're done.
Go ahead and hide the Masks panel. Now I also want to add a little more shadow detail, and I want to take down the Saturation of these colors. They're too intense. The face should not be this blueberry blue color. And so that's going to require a couple of layers. First of all, I've got this face shadows layer. Go ahead and turn it on like so and then click on it to make it active. So you click the eyeball to turn it on, then click on the layer to make it active. Notice that what I've done here is I've painted just using the Brush tool, a bunch of brown brush strokes that are somewhat translucent.
We can see through them. But I'm going to use these to serve as shadows by burning them into place, and that means I'm going to apply a blend mode, which is a special form of interaction between the active layer and the layers below. By going up here to the top left corner of the Layers panel. Click on it, notice it says Normal by default and change it in this case to Multiply. Multiply is the best blend mode for burning in shadows in all of Photoshop. So go ahead and choose that command, and you'll see how those brown brush strokes now become shadows.
And to get a sense of what kind of difference you've made here, turn the layer off and then turn the layer back on. So it's done a great job of darkening up those shadows. We have more volumetric detail than ever. I'm now going to take the Opacity of that layer down to 70%. That means we're creating a blend of 70% of this layer and 30% of everything below it, subject to the Multiply blend mode. So we're just increasing the translucency a little bit. All right. Now I'll press the Enter key, the Return key on the Mac, and we're going to add one more adjustment layer.
Go to the Adjustments panel like so, notice this violate V right there, the first icon in the second row. Go ahead an Alt-Click on it, or Option-Click on the Mac, and I'll call this guy vib down, because I'm going to reduce the Vibrance and Saturation of the blue skin tones. Click OK, and now I just want you to take both of these values down to -20. So -20 for Vibrance, which is going to reduce the intensity of the colors selectively, and then go ahead and take the Saturation value down to -20 as well, which is going to reduce the saturation of the colors across the board. And that is it.
We are now done with those blue skin tones. You can see that at least where the skin tones are concerned we're getting pretty darn close to our final result. The big problem at this point is that we're still colorizing and darkening up the hair, and we're going to take care of that problem in the very next exercise.
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