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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 exercise we are going to add a combination of parametric effects. We are going to add some adjustment layers, we are going to add layer effects, we are going to work with layer masks as well and now we are going to see how they all integrate seamlessly along with our parametric Smart Filters. So I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Photo filters.psd and we are going to start off by turning on this colorize layer right there. And if you turn it on, you will notice that the image turns somewhat blood red and this colorize layer is actually a gradient map layer. You can double-click on it to check out the gradient that I have applied and notice that the blend mode here, I'll go ahead and scroll down my list a little bit because it's such a gargantuan palette. Blend mode is set to Normal and the Opacity and Fill values are both set to 100%, so I'm completely switching out the colors that were formerly inside of this photograph and that's what I want.
I want this blood red effect. I was saying I'm employing a gratuitous use of filters to employ the gratuitous violence in my film. So we won't actually be seeing the film here because this is rated G experience but know that in the background, oh my goodness. I'm going to go ahead and hide the Adjustments palette. We've got the colorize layer at work. Next I want to separate out the eyes, because we are losing the model's eyes in this mix here. So I'm going to go ahead and turn on this eyes layer and you can see that it's a Levels adjustment, it's what it is actually and if I were to double-click on Levels in order to bring up the gargantuan Adjustments palette again, the main modification is that I raised the Gamma value to 1.9. So we have really increased the brightness of the midtones.
Now I'm not sure that I've done the image any good, in fact, it looks terrible. But that's because I never intended to modify the entire image this way, just the eyes. But once again, collapse the Adjustments palette and I'm going to Shift-click on the layer mask thumbnail that's associated with the eyes layer in order to turn it back on and now we get this effect right there. Well, that's still not quite what I'm looking for. In fact, I would go so far as to say we are still pretty far off base actually. I want to dig down to the original eyes inside of this image and so I'm going to use this mask right here, this white area to cut a hole in the Smart Filters.
So go up to the eyes adjustment layer and Ctrl-click or Command-click on the Mac on that layer mask thumbnail. Then drop down to the filter mask that's associated with the model layer and then make sure that your background color is set to black which you can do just by pressing the D key, because we are working inside of mask, the default colors are white for foreground and black for background. Then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to go ahead and mask all of those Smart Filters away and by all of them I mean, Reticulation and Poster Edges.
All right, now I can press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect that region, still not looking the way I want it to look. So go back to the eyes layer and I'm going to change the blend mode here from Normal to Vivid Light in order to create a high impact, high color effect like this one right here. Now it is both too high color and too high impact at this point, so I need to reduce the Opacity value, right. So I'll press the Escape key so that the Blend Mode option is no longer active, not necessary on the Mac and I could reduce the Opacity to 50% by pressing the 5 key but that just reduces the impact of the effect; it just doesn't have the oomph I'm looking for.
So let's restore that Opacity value back to 100%. You may recall that Vivid Light is a member of the Fill Opacity Eight, so it responds differently to Fill than it does to Opacity. So let's press Shift+5 in order to reduce the Fill value to 50% and that's a lot closer to the effect that I want. In fact, it's exactly the effect I want. Now I want to create a little bit of edge on either side of the eyes; above and below the eyes and I'm going to turn on this layer effect that I have created in advance here, by clicking in front of the word Effects in order to turn on what is actually a Drop Shadow.
Now it may look nothing like a drop shadow, and just bear in mind that's one of the wonders of layer effects inside of Photoshop is that they start off with their default settings, they look like shadows and glows and so on but they can be used for a variety of different purposes. And if you want to see how this is put together, just go ahead and double- click on the words Drop Shadow there in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box and you will see that this all hinges on the fact that we have a low Distance value combined with a high Size value. And as a result, see if I were to make this Distance value larger, we would create a shadow that's going one direction or the other but I want it to more or less centered, just with a little bit of offset here. I have got a big size value in order to distribute that effect either outward or inward, of course and then we have got a lot of spread going on right there.
So it didn't have to look like that, I could take the Spread value all the way down in which case we get something that we normally associate with drop shadows which are very blurry effects, but I want something sharp so that's why I have this set to 80%. But here is the big deal where this specific effect is concerned. I went ahead and created a custom contour that has just all kinds of wacky loops associated with it. To get a sense of how that works, let's try out a different drop shadow that I have also applied to the same composition in advance so that you can turn it on. I'm going to Cancel out of this dialog box to restore the original drop shadow as it looked when I first turned on the effect just a moment ago.
Let's drop down to the model layer right here and turn on its effects and you will see this red down here at the bottom, sort of a double striping of red and a very thin striping of red at the top. Now that red isn't nearly as red as it ought to be. If I were to turn off this colorize gradient map layer right there, you could see that I have some very bright red drop shadow action going on here, some very bright red color striping and it's this colorize gradient map layer that ends up sinking the reds to more of a sort of a brick red which is not what I want. I want blood red.
So I'm going to go ahead and assign the adjustment layer only to the layer itself. So I'm going to clip it by pressing and holding the Alt key here on the PC or the Option key on the Mac and clicking on this horizontal line that divides colorize and model and now you can see I've gone ahead and restored by bright red drop shadow because the effects of gradient map are located just inside of this layer mask right there and they do not extend out to the drop shadow. Now go ahead and double-click on the Drop Shadow if you want to see how it's put together because it's another unusual Drop Shadow with a low Distance value, high Size value, relatively big Spread value as well and then a custom contour. This time it's Ring, it's one of the contours that ships along Photoshop. I have created my custom contour from Ring, I actually clicked inside of this little Contour Preview right there and then I set around and modified these points, just as if I were working with a curves graph inside the Curves dialog box.
All right and you can play with that to your heart's content, get all kinds of different effects out of it. I'm going to Cancel out, because I was happy with what I had and notice that the Angle of both of these drop shadows is 90 degree so that they are going straight down with a little bit of over edge at the top, thanks to the low distance combined with high size. I will go ahead and click Cancel so that I don't modify my settings at all and that is my wonderful combination of various parametric effects. We have got adjustment layers and layer effects and layer masks and Smart Filters working together organically inside of this amazing parametric composition here inside Photoshop.
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