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The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.
All right, I went ahead and applied that Shadows/ Highlights modification that I showed you in the previous movie and we end up getting this sunburn effect. Turns out I'm going to be using those exact same percentage values, 10% for the Shadows and 45% for the Highlights, in order to achieve our final much better effect right here. The big difference is I was able to distribute my radius, and let me show you what that looks like. I'll go ahead and switch back to the image in progress here, and because I'm working with the Smart Object I applied Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter. I'll go ahead and double-click on the words Shadows/Highlights to bring up my settings because after all Smart Filters are fully editable.
And I'm going to turn on this Show More Options checkbox. So the idea is there is a Product Manager somewhere saying, we can't have this many options inside this filter, because it will just overwhelm folks. And there is this engineer in the background saying, no, you know what, we need all these controls, which we definitely do. So let's give the user the option to turn them on or off. Anyway, in our case we need them turned on. We've got a couple of Tonal Width values, notice that right there, and what they determine is how much of the image comprises shadows and highlights. So right now by default we're saying that the darkest 50% of the image are shadows, and the lightest 50% of the image are considered highlights.
And it drops off over the luminance range. So in other words, if I were to increase that Tonal Width value to 100%, then I'm saying that black is definitely a shadow and white is considered just barely to be a shadow and everything else is ramping in between. So you can see as a result by cranking up the Tonal Width value, I'm brightening more the image than I was before. So if I restore this value to 50% that's what we were seeing before, just the brightening of the darkest 50% of the colors. And if I change this to 100%, now we're brightening to some extent or rather all of the luminance levels inside the image.
The thing is when in doubt I recommend you leave this set to 50%. If you're going to modify, you want to modify the other value and kind, for example, if I'm saying all right, 70% of the colors are in the shadow range, then I don't want 50% of the colors to be in the highlights range, because that would mean that 20% of the luminance levels inside the image are being first brightened and then darkened, which doesn't make any sense. So I would take this value down to 30% in order to compensate, but in most cases you want to leave both values set to 50, and in this case I do as well.
What I'm really interested in changing where this image is concerned, and this will be true for most of the images you work on as well, is this Radius Value. Right, now both values are set to Radius of 30 pixels. And if I were to crank this value down, let's say I take the Radius value for Highlights down to 10 pixels here, you'll see that I have much sharper halos around the image, especially between the collar and his neck, and it's almost like we're applying a kind of sharpening effect. What you want to do is get rid of those halos by distributing them as much as possible, and that means raising this radius value as high as you can go, really, and get the effect you want to achieve inside the image.
For example, if I take this value up to 100 pixels that means that I'm going to get rid of my halos, as you can see they're almost altogether gone throughout the image. However, that also means that I'm not going to produce much of an effect inside the Highlights for example, inside the eyes, because I just don't have enough room to work. There isn't a 100 pixels worth of information inside of those eyes. So it's a bit of a trade-off, but in my case 100 pixels works just fine, and I'm also going to take the Radius value for Shadows up to 100 pixels as well, and you could take it even higher if you wanted to.
We can try something like 200 pixels and that definitely spreads the shadows out that much more. So let's go for it. All right, now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply the modifications we've made so far, and just to give you a sense of the dramatic difference we've been able to achieve here, I'll press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac; you can see that my previous application of Shadows/Highlights was much flatter and surreal, as well, by comparison. And if I press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac in order to reapply those modifications, my halos will almost entirely disappear and we'll get a lot more volumetric information.
Problem is, we still have too much color saturation in the form of that synthetic sunburn there, and we might want to bring out a little bit of midtone action as well, and I'll show you how to do just that in the next movie.
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