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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we are going to go ahead and mask this teased blonde image from photographer Andrzej Burak. We will mask her so that we get rid of these weird edges here and we'll also shade her so that she looks every bit as natural inside of her new home as this Lise Gagne image of this fellow with the umbrella here. Alright, I am going to zoom out from the image and I am going to show you something that I have created for you inside the Channels palette. It's called Mask. It's an alpha channel that's called Mask.
And what I have done here is I have gone ahead and selected all of the blue canvases and set them to white and I have set all the backgrounds to black so that we can easily select the contents of each and every canvas inside the image. But you may wonder how in the world I did that. Well, it turns out to be very easy if you know the equation. And I am going to show it to you right now. Let's go ahead and click on the RGB composite image once again to switch back to the full color version of this composition. And I am now going to go to the Layers palette and I am going to Alt-click or Option-click on the eyeball in front of the background layer in order to see the Background layer and only the Background layer.
I am also going to click on that layer to make it active. Alright, so here is thing. You may recall that the guy who provided us this image Malcolm Romaine, he went ahead and thoughtfully colored every single one of the canvases blue, so they serve as a blue screen as it turns out. And if you are familiar with blue screen photography, you know that it makes it very easy to extract the foreground and place it against a different background. Well, the theory is the same here except in this case, we are going to extract the foreground images which are the canvases. And we are going to do that using a command under the Image menu that's called Calculations.
Go ahead and choose that command, and you are going to bring up, it sort of offers a bewildering array of options, if you have never seen this dialog box before. It turns out that I go into all kinds of detail on the Calculations command in my full masking series, Photoshop Channels and Masks, which is available to anyone who is a member of the Lynda.com Online Training Library. But for now, I am just going to tell you the settings that you need to apply in order to mask out the canvases inside this specific image. First of all, make sure that Source 1 and Source 2 are both set to bluegallery.psd, the image that we are working on here.
Then make sure that both of the layer options are set to Background, they shouldn't be set to Merge, we shouldn't have one set to Merge and one set to Background as at least it's the default setting for me, so both set to Background. Then set the first channel to blue, you always need to set one of these channels to blue when doing blue screen, and then set the second channel to green and then set it to invert, so that we are subtracting the green channel from the blue channel essentially. And then finally, change the Blend mode here from multiply, which is the default setting to Linear Burn.
Opacity should remain set to 100%, that's it. Click OK. Now of course, that's enough contrast, we need to bring those canvases out a little more. So I am going to press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac to bring up the Levels dialog box and I am going to move this black slider triangle to the right of that big heap of colors in histogram here, that big heap of shadow values. And the value of 50 works up pretty nicely here, an input level value of 50 for the blackish colors, for the black value.
And then, I am going to move the white slider triangle over to the left, well to the left in fact, of this white spike right there, this light spike inside of the histogram, so that the third input levels value is 140. Then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification, and we end up making the canvases white and the backgrounds black. Now, let's put this alpha channel to work and notice if you go to the Channels palette, you will see this new alpha channel that was created automatically by the Calculations command.
Once you go ahead and rename that if you want to, you can call it something like My Mask just to distinguish it from the one that I created for you, even though the two should be roughly identical if you click back and forth between them. Alright, let's restore the RGB composite view of the image, and I want you to load My Mask by Ctrl or Command-clicking on the mask thumbnail here, on the alpha channel thumbnail. Then, go over to the Layers palette and Alt-click or Option-click on that eyeball once again to bring back all of the layers to make them all visible, all except the Plains layer that is because we want that one to stay turned off.
Now, click on the Blonde layer. Notice that we have selected all of the canvases. I really just want to work with the selected area around this specific canvas. So I am going to grab my Marquee tool, which for me is already active, and then I am going to Shift+Alt+Drag around this area Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac in order to just keep the intersection of that selection along with the existing one. Alright, and we are ready to mask her out by clicking on the layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and we get this effect right there.
Is that not great? It's pretty easy to pull off anyway. We do have a little bit in the way of blue edges going on here. So I am going to show you quick and dirty way to go ahead and expand a mask, so it's a little larger so we don't see these little blue edges. Make sure the layer mask is active here inside the Layers palette. You can click on the thumbnail if you want to. Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Other and choose Maximum, and that allows you to expand the white area, the maximum brightness value, of this specific mask and set the radius value to its absolute minimum which is 1 pixel that goes ahead and expands the mask as much as it needs to be expanded to completely cover up that blue edge there.
Then click OK in order to accept that modification. So we've spread the mask out ever so slightly, just 1 pixel all the way out around the image. Now, finally, what we need to do is add the shading. And I have already gone ahead and shaded this fellow, so we can repurpose his shading. Go grab the Shading layer here inside the Layers palette, and I want you duplicate it by Alt-dragging it or Option-dragging it up the list. So just go ahead and Alt or Option-drag the Shading layer to create a copy of it at the top of the Layer palette.
Notice what a shoddy sort of shading effect this is. I will go ahead and Ctrl-drag this Shading layer over so it's on top of the Blonde layer here. And notice that it was just a matter of selecting these areas, selecting these sort of polygon areas, the straight set of selections here, and painting inside of them using a translucent brush, that's all I did. And I will go ahead and move this Shading layer into place so that we are shading the edge of the canvas right here, we want a little bit of this edge shaded and then of course, the rest of the image is shaded as well, pretty nicely.
And then finally, in order to keep the shading inside of the canvas, I want you to go up to the Layer menu and I want you to choose Create Clipping Mask. And then we clip the shading inside the canvas and we are done, that's all there is to it. Go ahead and zoom out in order to take in that new occupant of the gallery. She looks right at home. In the next exercise, we are going to add yet another painting over here on the far left wall and it's going to be a painting that's already in perspective. Stay tuned.
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