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This time I have saved my changes as Independent filter masks.psd. It's found inside the 06_filter_masks folder. Now what I need to do is I need to finish off this effect, so that we don't have any sort of weird transition between the blue of the sky around the guy's hair and the larger low saturation area of sky on the left hand side of the image. I don't want that at all. I am not happy with that distinction right there. So tell you what I am going to do. First of all, I am going to try to find out what in the heck happened to my Variations non-filter that's applied as a Smart Filter to my Smart Object photograph.
It's not appearing here inside the Layers palette and yet we are seeing the effect of Variations out in the image window. We are also seeing this little icon there that tells me that I have a Smart Filter applied. Well, the filter has collapsed by default, so you need to click this down pointing arrowhead, and then you will see Variations along with its own little filter mask, which we don't need. We do not want to mask the effect of Variations. We want to apply Variations across the entire image. So right-click on the filter mask and choose Delete Filter Mask, like so, then it's gone.
The other thing I am going to do, before I reduce Variations to normal level. It's still way over the top, but I want to be able to keep track of what's going on here. So I am going to leave it over the top until I solve my problem. I'm to go ahead and double-click on the Smart Object thumbnail in order to of course see the alert message, click OK, and open up the contents of my Smart Object. And notice now this is like one of those things where it was there all along, so we've been seeing this weird haloing effect here for the last several exercises. It just didn't become a problem, we didn't become aware of it, until we threw Variations on top of the mix.
So we need to get rid of it. Now you might think the solution is to create a very highly detailed hair mask, which could do something for you, but it's not going to solve this specific problem, because it's not the mask's fault. Watch this. If I Shift+click on this mask to turn it off and restore his ridiculously gray hair, we are still seeing the haloing. That is a function of Shadows/Highlight. Because we threw on that intense application of Shadows/Highlights in order to create the fake HDR look, we also ended up creating a halo that extends away from the hair into the sky.
How do I know that's true? Well let me show you. I will go ahead and Shift+Click on the filter mask. Once again, it turned to back on, because we don't want that weird gray hair, and I'll click on the eyeball in front of Shadows/Highlights. And now that halo goes away and the reason that halo goes away, it wasn't really a halo that was coming off the hair. It was the fact that we were reducing the brightness of the sky all the way up to the hair. And so that's what we need to deal with somehow and I will show you how we are going to do that.
Go ahead and turn Shadows/Highlights back on and I can do that by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo the hiding of that Smart Filter. And then I am going to go ahead and zoom out so that I can take in the entire image. I want to be able to see all the way to the boundaries, so that I can see a little bit of pasteboard off to the sides. And then I'm going to get my Brush tool. It should still be pretty darn big, but notice it's showing me this little no-can-do Ghostbusters icon, and that's because I have the Smart Object selected, not the filter mask.
So I need to click on the filter mask thumbnail in order to make it active and then I still have a big brush. I will make it even bigger by pressing the right bracket key a few times. Make sure that black is your foreground color, so that you can paint away the mask. You want to paint away the filtered effect inside the sky and just get rid of that, because it doesn't help the fake HDR portrait to have anything happen in the sky. It's not about the sky. It's about his face. I am not painting, by the way, I am just gesturing. To a lesser extent about the colors that were achieving luminance levels that we were able to bring out inside of his jacket.
That's also important. All right, so I am going to reduce the size of my brush by pressing the left bracket key a few times, and I will paint this area of sky away, and then I will paint this region of sky away as well. So now your filter mask should look something like this. I will Alt+click or Option+click on the filter mask thumbnail so that you can see what it looks like here inside of the image window. So we are seeing just the filter mask and nothing more. Now the reason it looks gray even though we are painting with black. Bear in mind our Density value up here in a Masks palette is reduced to 70%. If I go ahead and take that back up to 100%, I will see exactly what I am painting away and what I am not painting away.
I might as well paint away this little area and this area as well, because those are areas I missed, and maybe later on I would see what was going wrong inside the image. I am not painting here. I am just gesturing once again. I don't want to paint away this area's sideburn action there, because that's supposed to be that way. Now let's go ahead and restore the image to the image window by Alt+clicking or Option+clicking on this filter mask once again. Now his hair is too black in my opinion. We need to bring back some of the details inside the hair.
So I am going to reduce that Density value, but you know what? I am going to take it down to 80% this time. I don't want to take it all the way down to 70%. I think that was too low. All right, that looks great. By the way, zoom in, perfect. We don't have any of that weird haloing going on anymore. Awesome! Now what I want you to do is go ahead and close this window, the window that's associated of course with the contents of the Smart Object. You will be asked if you want to save your changes. Yes or Save is your answer. That way you will save the changes back to this image right here.
And now we can go ahead and press Control+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to see the before version. You see that it's very obvious transition now, between the blue around his hair and the gray far away from his hair. And this is after, if I press Control or Command+Z again. Much, much better. Now we are in a position where we can reduce the Variations effect to a reasonable level, and I am going to do that by double-clicking on the slider icon, bringing the eye into the picture, so I can see what I am doing, and I am going to take the Opacity value down to 15%, so that we have just a little bit of warmth that we are applying with Variations.
So it's a more subtle effect. Click OK in order to accept that subtle effect. Let's go ahead and zoom out, so that we can take in the image wide, see the entire thing. And now we'll see what Variations is doing for this image. This is the image without Variations, little bit cooler. This is the image with Variations. I like it better. Thanks to your ability to assign separate filter masks, and no masks in one case, and quite articulated masks in the other case to independent nested Smart Objects inside Photoshop.
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