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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, 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 CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In this exercise, we're going to see how black-and-white fairs when compared with Channel Mixer because conventional wisdom has it that Channel Mixer is the old-school way to do things. And that the black-and-white function which came around about a decade later is the better way to do things. And that's not actually necessarily the case, the two are just two very different approaches to mixing black-and-white images. So I'm back inside this familiar image from Scott Griessel this time it's called Gothic mixes.psd, and this represents the last version of the image we saw with that Shadow/Highlights layer in place there.
I'm going to go ahead and turn Off our existing modification so that we restore the full-color version of the image. And then I'm going to press my keyboard shortcut so you can press it if you got it as well. Ctrl+Shift+B in order to not only bring up the Adjustments panel, but also ignore the fact that a Brightness/Contrast layer is selected so we don't have to click on this left pointing arrowhead. And automatically take us to a black-and-white function so we're generating a new black-and-white layer and we can name it at the same time. So as performing three or four steps in one for us I'm going to go ahead and call this B&W and click OK.
And we've now got a new Black & White layer. And so far we're just seeing the default settings, it looks a little drabbed, so let's try the Target Adjustment tool and see where we get here. At this time we might have a little bit more luck because we do have a wider range of colors to work with. I'm going to start by dragging inside of the young woman's face here upfront, and that allows me to modify Reds as you can see in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. And let's see if I drag inside the shadows of her eyes I might be able to get Yellows, but I should be able to because they are definitely rampant in this area, but regardless of where I'm dragging in the eyes I'm still getting Reds.
So I guess I'm going to have to adjust the Yellows value manually. Then let's see if I drag inside of this other woman's lapel, I believe I get Blues, yes indeed I do, and I'll go ahead and raise that Blues value to about 50, works pretty well for this image. And finally, I've got this little earring detail right there, and this little bit of plastic ends up being identified as Cyan, they're inside the Adjustments panel. So I'm going to take the Cyans, in order to bright that earring I'm going to take it up to a 100.
And of course, I could go farther than that if I wanted to, I can make that earring very bright and deep, but I think that's too much. All right, so reduce that to a 100 once again. Let's checkout these Yellows they are all over the place notice that I just was not able to target them with that Target Adjustment tool. So I'm going to take this Yellows value to 130 right there, not much in the way of Greens going on. If you take a very close look down here in the bottom middle region of the image you'll see that it's brightening when I tweak to heck out of the Greens when I take them up to 300 and it's darkening a little bit when I take that value down to -200, which is a minimum setting, I'm just going to go ahead and match the Yellows at 130 there.
I already set Cyans, I already set Blues, let's dropdown to Magentas. Now, Magentas is something that I have to emit, black-and-white has the advantage over Channel Mixer where this specific modification is concerned. Because notice that I can identify the hair basically, the rear woman's hair really lights up with these Magentas. So I could make her hair light indeed if I wanted to, as if it's neon or something, and this is fairly analogous to what I was demonstrating with relative parametric versus perceptual.
Where relative parametric is concerned I could supersaturate that hair, but it will come at the expense of the edges so I would have all sorts of aberrant edges going on, whereas, with perceptual I'm going to dim down that hair, but I'm also going to have better edge transitions. Anyway, I'm going to take down where Magentas is concerned I'm going to take that value down to 70. And then let's go ahead and settle the Reds down a little bit as well. I'm going to go ahead and take that value down to about 60 just for the sake of following along with me and we end up getting this effect here.
Now, we're pretty close to having the effect I'm looking for, but the more time I spend inside this image I'm not really liking what Shadows/Highlights has done to this forward woman's eye, it looks a little bruised. So I'm going to apply a layer mask in order to reveal the original version of the eye just a little bit. So I'll double-click to the right of the word Masks right there in order to collapse the Adjustments panel. Then I'll switch to the Shadows/Highlights layer, the S/H layer. And let's go ahead and add a layer mask by clicking on the Add layer mask icon.
And then I'll press the B key in order to my get my Brush tool and if I right-click you can see that I have a very large soft brush going. And that maybe a little large for our purposes, but it might work out pretty well too, I'll just hide that panel by pressing the Escape key. And I'll paint with black, this is very important by the way, by default I don't think you're going to see black as your foreground color. So make sure black is showing up there as foreground, if not, go ahead and switch him by clicking on the Switch icon or pressing the X key. And then paint that eye away like so, you don't have to be all that careful, you can paint it to the hair a little bit if you want to.
And then I'm really not going to be careful with this woman in the background here, not because she doesn't deserve care just because she doesn't need it. I'm just going to paint inside of her face in order to brighten her up a little bit. And now, we have two blobs here inside this layer mask thumbnail. Now, I think this is too much contrast now between the Shadows/Highlights version of the image and that original version. So first of all I'm going to press M key, I switch back to the rectangular Marquee tool, so I don't accidentally paint inside the mask.
And then I'm going to bring up the Masks panel by clicking on the Masks tab and I'm going to reduce that Density value. So if I take the Density value all the way down to 0, of course, I am once again revealing the Shadows/Highlights version of the eye so I making the layer mask entirely white at this point getting rid of my modifications temporarily of course. Whereas, if I go ahead and split the difference somehow I'm going to take it actually to 70, works out pretty well for this effect. And we get a very nice black-and-white mix going.
Now, the question becomes, how does this compare with our final Channel Mixer adjustment? And we'll evaluate that in the next exercise.
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