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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I'm still working inside Non-aligned automobiles.psd. I should make it clear, by the way, that even though Auto Blend layers was more entertaining than useful in the previous exercise, I will show you successful applications of the command. In the meantime, let's go ahead and blend this scene for ourselves. So what I'd like you to do is select the white minivan layer in order to make it active and then drop down here to the Add layer Mask icon, and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and click on it. That'll just mask away that entire minivan for now.
Then go ahead and grab the Brush tool, and this time around I'm just painting with the mouse, by the way. I'm not painting with the tablet, nor am I using a bristle brush. You can see that I've got a round brush and if I right-click inside the image window, then I bring up the Brush panel, my Size value is 100 pixels, that's up to you. The Hardness is 75%; that's a good idea. When you're just painting in a mask, especially when you're painting these kinds of casual layer masks, 75% tends to be a good Hardness value because it's not quite all the way hard, which would result in some curious transitions at points.
Instead you have just a little bit of softness between neighboring details, but you don't have so much softness that you're accidentally integrating elements that you shouldn't. In other words, if you took this value all the way down to 0% Hardness, it's actually easier to make mistakes that way, because you end up slightly revealing things that you might not notice the first time around. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and accept these values and next I'll press the D key in order to make my foreground color white, because I'm working inside of a mask, and then I will begin painting away this blue car like so; just paint, paint, paint to get rid of it.
Now, notice at a certain point I'm revealing the bumper of the minivan and the reason is because these two cars are right next to each other. They're almost touching here inside of our little virtual world. In fact, if I were to Shift+Click on the Mask to turn it off for just a moment, and then change the Opacity value of this layer to say 50%, you could see these guys are right next to each other but they are not touching and we do have a slight gutter between them that we can take advantage of. All right! I'll go ahead and increase the Opacity back to 100%, Shift+Click on that layer mask once again to turn it back on, press the X key in order to make my foreground color black, and then I'll just paint away that bumper, like so.
And I just went and revealed the hatchback. So I got to press the X key. Let's go ahead and zoom in. Why don't we? So I can really see what I'm doing. When you're doing this kind of layer masking, once again it's good idea to be zoomed to 100% so you can see the real layer transitions, because when you're zoomed-out, sometimes you'll see weird little jags that actually don't exist. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and paint with white to get rid of that little bit of bumper and that looks like a pretty good match to me. Now, you could go up here and play around a little more if you wanted to, paint into the curb, that kind of thing, but I think, to me, it looks like a good match.
I don't think I have any problems going on. All right! Let's go ahead and zoom-out until I more or less center the image, and then I'm going to grab the Crop tool and I'm going to drag around the scene. Now, I want to go ahead and include all of that stoplight action, and a little bit of the street in the foreground as well. I'm mostly cropping out that area that formerly had the blue hatchback in it but there is some left. And I'll go ahead and expand the size of my crop boundary until I'm right next to the tip of that island out there, in the street that is, and I'll keep things pretty tight to the top of the Capitol dome.
That looks pretty good to me. Make sure that Cropped Area is set to Hide. We've got two independent layers, so there's no sense in throwing away any pixels here, and then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to apply that crop and it looks like I went out a little bit too far. The snapping didn't work the way I wanted it to. To my eye, it looks like, let's go ahead and zoom in again, it looks like we've got maybe 4 or 5 pixels there. So I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Canvas Size command or press Ctrl+Alt+C, Cmd+Option+C on the Mac, and let's turn on the Relative check box, click on this Chiclet right there so that we're cropping away from the right-hand edge.
I will change the Width value to -6. I'll just go ahead and crop it a little bit too much, and then click OK in order to accept that modification. Photoshop lies to me and tells me at first that the canvas size is smaller, of course that's true, and some clipping will occur, which is not true. No clipping will occur, go ahead and click on the Proceed button because these are independent layers. The Canvas Size command goes ahead and respects them and just hides those edges. All right, let's go and zoom out. Check out what in the world we've done here, and this is the final version of the scene.
If I turn off the top layer, you can see down here in the lower-left corner, I still do have a little bit of hatchback even after cropping the scene. So it's a good thing and I had this other shot that I was able to exactly align to cover up that detail and reveal the pristine state Capitol.
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