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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.
I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Grayscale mix.psd. Now we've seen how adjustment layers offer the option of editability, and you can turn them off and on and so on, modify their settings to your heart's content, really great, so they're very, very flexible. But not only that, you can also assign layer masks to them. The advantage of that is let's say that I want you change everything in this image to grayscale, except for her Irises. I want to bring back the color of her Irises. Well, if I had applied a static color modification, I would have gone under the Image menu, chose Adjustments and chose Channel Mixer right there. I would have needed to make sure in advance that I had selected the region that I wanted to change. When you are working with adjustment layers however, you can decide after the fact, after applying the color adjustment, which areas you want to effect, and which areas you don't want to effect.
Now currently my adjustment layer, which I'm going to rename, I'm going to go ahead and call it monochrome. Currently it does not have a layer mask, because I turned that function off here inside the adjustments palette, as you may recall. When you are looking at the list of color adjustments, you can choose whether to add a mask by default or not, and I've gone ahead and turned mine off, just because if I'm not using mask, it can just clutters up the pallet. If I want to add a mask in this case, all I need to do is just click on this add layer mask icon down at the bottom of the layer's palette, and I now have a all white layer mask. Now what that means is that the layer is opaque, so every portion of this layer that is opaque, because I can change its opacity, and blend mode and so on.
But portion that is opaque is as opaque as it is going to get. We are not erasing any holes so far in the layer. Now we are going to erase some holes however, by getting the brush tool, go ahead and grab that guy, and then I want you to make sure that the foreground color is black, so press D & X key, just to conform that the foreground color is black. And then you can paint inside of the image to bring back the color image. Now why is it that I'm just bringing back a little bit of the color? Well, that's because my opacity is down to 30%, so I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. Press the 0 key to change the opacity to 100%, and then I can paint her back in wherever I want. All right, I just what the Irises, I'm going to be very, very selective here. So I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and I could reduce the size of my cursor - and what I did was I pressed the left bracket key a few times to get down there.
But I also want a harder brush, so I'm going to press Shift+Right Bracket a couple of times, and the idea is that I want a hardness value of 50%, so that we have a little bit of softness around the Irises. Now we can see that the brush is too big, so I'm going to press the left bracket key, and that takes my brush down to 100, which is too dinky. So what I need to do is take advantage of that new CS4 trick for resizing the brush. And on the PC that's Ctrl+Alt+Right Drag, on the Mac that's Ctrl+Option+drag, Ctrl, not Command+Option+ drag. And I want to take my brush sizes somewhere in the neighborhood of about 109 pixels, works pretty good, and that's what I was able to achieve. And I was just watching this value up here in any options bar, which is now 109 if you can see. Now I'm just going to click right there, just center of my click on the Iris like that, and I'll just bring back the color of the Iris beautiful, wonder bar, and because this is a full on shot here, we are not in the three quarter view or something like that. Other Iris is about the same size, it isn't declining in respective or anything along those lines, and we now have two beautiful sweetly, warmly wonderful Irises. We also have a little bit of color in her eyelids, which we don't want. So let's go ahead and increase the hardness of the brush by pressing Shift+Right Bracket twice, that will take us to 100% hardness, and I'm also going to reduce the size of my brush a little bit here to about 70 pixels, whatever.
And then I'll press the X key in order to establish white as the foreground color, and that allows me to paint back in my color adjustment, my adjustment layer here, and you can see how could be fairly murderous thing to do, using selection aligns, it's very possible to do, but it's not as easy and straightforward as it is for just painting inside of a layer mask, so simple to do, and there is the effect. Isn't that awesome? This is the full color version of her; this is her in grayscale with pretty colorful Irises. This is what she looks like with grayscale Irises, if shift click on that layer mask thumbnail, pardon me, then I'll turn it back on. She looks so wonderful.
All right, in the next exercise I'm going to show you how to mix a black and white version of an image, using a black and white adjustment layer. So good.
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