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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this chapter, we are going to be discussing three automated functions that were introduced in Photoshop CS3, but have gotten damn much better inside Photoshop CS4, and these include Auto- align, Auto-blend and this thing that's actually a combination of the two, which is Photomerge, and we'll see examples of all of them of course. We are going to start with one that I've used a lot over the last couple of year, because it's such a great demonstration and it's so simple. So I apologize if you've seen it before, but obviously you can skip the movie if you want to. Then after we get done with this very simple example, we'll move on to something more complicated.
Now I have got this photograph of me on-board, the deck of a ship, and basically, I wanted to get a shot of I and my wife together. We wanted to set it up so that I would basically mask her in the place, as oppose to relying on the automatic timer on the camera, because we'd have to set it up, and then run back here, and make sure we were in place, and then hope we had framed it right, then come back, and all that jazz. So it just was easier if she shot a shot, and then I shot a shot of her, and then we just kept things framed more or less the same. Now we didn't have a tripod, so things shift a little bit as you will see. So this is a photograph of me, and this is the photograph of Elizabeth, my wife, and by the way, the names of these images, that's kind of important.
Our Photoshop Fling me.jpg and Photoshop Fling Elle.jpg, then go ahead and press the Ctrl or Command on the Mac to temporarily get the Move tool, drag me up to the other image tab right there, and then when Elizabeth appears on screen, go ahead and move the cursor back into place, and Shift+Drop me into place. Very important that you do a Shift+drop there so that you register the two of us together, because both images are exactly the same size. Now that doesn't mean that they are exactly registered with each other. This is Elizabeth in the background. I went ahead and turned off my layer, and this is me.
So things are just slightly moving, a little bit of movement going on in the scene in general, a few degrees out of kilter, and best of all, I sort of knocked this foot stool right here with my foot when I sat down, and as a result, it's slightly out of alignment with everything else. And of course, we've got wicker to work with here. You know, I want to paint me in a place inside the photo of Elizabeth, but if I do it, I'm not going to be aligned properly. I'll show you what I mean. I'll go down to the bottom of the Layers palette, and I'll Alt-click or Option-click on the Layer Mask icon, to add a black mask, then I'll go ahead and get my paint brush, and then I'll make sure that my foreground color is set to white by pressing the X key. So it's white right there. I'll make my brush larger, we should have a mode of Normal, opacity, 100%, nice soft brush is great. And I'll paint me in the place. And you can see, oh, that's a great match right there.
I mean, look at the champagne wiggling around. Look at the wicker being completely out of place. We've got some softness that's now developing. I didn't completely paint me and we'll just finish that there, I don't have to do just the most ratchet job on earth, but we have some elements that are out of alignment, and that's actually a really tragically bad thing, actually I would go ahead and paint away that shadow too. There we go, so that it's not obvious that I'm over there shooting a shot of myself. That won't make any sense. Now the thing is that's okey-dokey I guess if you're a remedial Photoshop user, and you don't really know how to use a program properly, but if you want good results, this is terrible. So what in the world do you do? Well, I'm going to go ahead and right- click on this little mask thumbnail right there, or if you don't have right mouse button, you'd Ctrl-click on the Mac and choose Delete Layer Mask so that it goes away. What we need to do is we need to align these two photographs, and I'm going to show you how to perform that alignment, and then mask the two of us in a place properly, so that we actually look like we are in the scene together, in the next exercise.
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