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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.
All right, after that propeller head exercise, I feel like we can all use a little fun in our life. So why don't we have some fun for once inside of this composition. We are going to do something that has nothing to do with transformations. We are going to merge this cardinal's face with the clock face and this has everything to do with Blend modes and you will see, it gets us closer to our goal though; it gets the project done, and I think you will learn a thing or two along the way. We are inside of a document called Extra faces.psd and it does contain the extra faces. I have gone ahead and put the extra clock faces inside of this Extra Faces folder right here so there is Monster and there is Sharper, in case you want to play around with them some more, they are there waiting for you.
Anyway, what I want to do, I want to take face, this clock face, the good one, and drag it below portrait like so, so that the portrait is in front and then, I want to merge the portrait and the clock face together. But there is a couple of different ways I could do it. For example, I could grab the portrait right here, and I could multiply it into the clock face so that the two are merged together by going up here to the Blend Mode menu and choosing the Multiply command and then we would see the black numbers in the background. But I look at this and I think you know what, the numbers want to be white. Do they not? Because the cardinal is so dark.
So what we want to do is we want to inverse the face and then screen the cardinal in a place. So that's what we are going to do. So first I'm going to go to the Face layer, Click on it to make it active and I'm going to press Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac to invert it, and that's also by the way just so as you know, I have shown you this in the past but that just invokes the Invert command here under the Adjustment sub-menu under the Image menu. Now, we have a face that looks like this. If I were to turn off the portrait shot for a moment, it looks all blue because that light beige color, its color complement is blue, and dark blue of course. Then the stains around the edges end up looking like kind of fluffy clouds, actually pretty cool.
All right, now we would go to the Portrait layer, turn it back on, and select it. We'll change its Blend mode from Multiply to Screen. So that we basically keep the dark portions of the cardinal and screen away to bright numbers. And this looks pretty good, the only problem that I have with it is we now have an awfully blue cardinal at this point and I'm not sure that I want that. I kind of want a lightened cardinal like this, because we could. If we wanted to, we could really sink that clock face. Let me show you what I mean. I could go ahead and Click on the clock face right there to make it active, and I could make the background black and that way, the cardinal would not be colorized and it wouldn't be brightened at all either. So with the clock face active, that Face layer active, I would press Ctrl+L to the Level command, Command+L on the Mac and I would get this Black eyedropper, something I don't normally use because it's not very useful for image correction, but it is useful for effects.
I will go ahead and select it and then I'm going to Click, there is kind of a bright color, I just happen to know this from working with this image, right there toward the inside circle and I'm going to Click right on it and notice that, that goes ahead and sinks the clock face to black. You can see that here in this thumbnail and then it brings out the cardinal's colors in full rich regalia, so that basically we have his original colors intact and I'll Click OK in order to accept that modification and just to show you that it's true, that those are the original cardinal colors, I'll go back to the portrait layer. Let's change it back to the Normal mode, and all we should see is the numbers disappear nothing more and sure enough, that's what we are getting. So this allows us just to super impose those numbers into place by choosing the Screen Mode of course and let's see what else is going on here.
If I Click on the Face layer and then turn off the Portrait layer for a moment, you can see that we have got white numbers against the black background, so that's really great. But we do have a little bit of color sort of anti-aliasing around the edges, that is of the letters you can see that colorfulness and if that's a problem for you, I don't think it really is in our case, I don't think we are really seeing it once we put the cardinal on top. But if it's a problem, you can go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and choose Desaturate or Ctrl+Shift+U or Command+Shift+U on a Mac and that will leach the color out and we will just have gray edges around the text, and then we aren't introducing any new color into the cardinal portrait at all.
So that's a way to work, but I want more contrast with the hands that I'm going to be throwing on here, the clock hands and the clock hands, if you go back to the Clock parts.tif image, they are pretty dark as a rule, and so I'm afraid dark, on dark we are going to kind of lose things. So I'm going to return to the Extra Faces document, and I'm going to undo some of our steps. So I'm going to bring up the History palette which of course you can also get to by choosing the History command from the Window menu, and I'm going to go back to before we applied the Level command like so and that's going to restore the bluish version of the clock face which in turn makes the cardinal bluish as well, and I don't like the bluishness. What I'd rather see here, so I would rather see that be neutral. So that we are not infusing any color into the cardinal.
So we are just retaining his original colors. I'll go back to the clock face layer. You know, I'm sick of having to say this is the clock face layer, when we have got other faces. I'm going to rename it Clock Face, there we go. Now, I can call it the clock face layer. That's not how you spell clock face. It's got a space in the clock face. All right, there it is. Now, I'm going to go back to the Image menu, choose Adjustments and choose this command right there, Desaturate, and now we get that effect. So we are not infusing the blue into the cardinal. I like that a lot better, don't you? All right, so a kinder gentler exercise this time around and I think we have a nice effect to show for it. In the next exercise, we are going to bring some clock hands into this clock and we are going to rotate them into place.
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