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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, I'm going to introduce you to the Adjustment Brush, which allows you to paint in localized luminance modifications. You can also paint in warmth or coolness, if you so desire. And I have applied a few modifications here inside the Basic panel and you may recall those from a couple of exercises ago, but I haven't done everything I might, because the foreground T-Rex still appears too dark for me, too shrouded in shadows, and not good shadows either. He just looks badly backlit. So I want to brighten him up so that his metal really shines.
And that's not something I'm going to be able to do with a Graduated Filter, because he's not a gradient after all. Instead I need to brush in the brightness, and I'm going to do that using the Adjustment Brush, which you can get by pressing the K key, for what that's worth. Now, these options are divided over here on the right side of the dialog box into two groups. We have the Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, etcetera, those same options that we saw a moment ago associated with the Graduated Filter, but we also have these Brush options. Now, the top values are dynamic, that is, they affect the active brushstroke, whereas the bottom values affect the next brushstroke you paint, and so that can be a little confusing and I think it's actually kind of messed up frankly, but that's the way it is.
Now, notice my brush, what it looks like. I've got this solid outline toward the center and a dotted outline around that. The solid outline indicates the solid area of brush, the most opaque brushstroke you're going to create, and then the dotted outline basically represents the feathering of that brushstroke, how soft it is. And you can see that we have Size and Feather controls right there. I can change the Size on the fly by pressing the Right Bracket key to increase the Size value or the Left Bracket key to decrease the value. I can also change the Feather value, but this works exactly the opposite way it does with regular brushes inside of Photoshop.
So if you press Shift+Right Bracket, then you're going to make the brush fuzzier instead of firmer, so that's Shift+Right Bracket to increase the Feather value. And then Shift+Left Bracket decreases the Feather value and thereby makes the brush harder essentially, so it's less soft. I'm going to leave the Feather value set to about 50, and that would be 50% by the way. I'm going to decrease the size of my brush a little bit by pressing the Left Bracket key. I couldn't care less about Flow and Density. They have their purposes I suppose. Density is effectively the Opacity of the brushstroke. Flow is how the various dollops of paint are linked together.
However, because you can't modify that Opacity on the fly, it doesn't serve you much good. So I prefer to work with the highest Density value of 100, leave Flow set to its default, I think that is at 50, and then you definitely want Auto Mask turned on. For most of your work Auto Mask is great, because it's going to automatically paint in the contours of the image. So it's going to match the luminance with the brushstroke, and I'll show you what that means in a moment. You also have the Show Mask check box, which I suggest for now you turn on, so you can see your brushstroke as you paint it and I believe that's the default color right there, the mask overlay color of white.
If you're not seeing white, then go ahead and click on that color swatch and change it to white inside the color picker. Anyway, I'm going to cancel out of there, and I'm just going to start painting inside of the Tyrannosaur here. And notice how Camera RAW just goes ahead and automatically paints inside of the shadow detail of the monstrous creature and doesn't really leak out into the sky very much, which is exactly what I want. So it's an intelligent brush. It just paints exactly where I want it to. Wouldn't it be great if the Quick Selection tool worked as well as that? So this is a heck of a tool I have to say, especially combined with Auto Mask.
Anyway, I'm going to reduce the size of my brush so I can paint in his lower jaw here and just eek up into the teeth a little bit. I don't have to cover everything exactly right, because we're going to apply a fairly tepid modification. I don't want to go too far with this, because then we'll get weird edges, and you just have to watch what you're doing. Anyway, I'm going to increase the Size of my brushstroke once again as I paint inside of the creature's gargantuan body, and that looks pretty good. I don't care about the triceratops. I'm not going to do anything with him; just the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Now, notice that each time I'm painting, I'm adding to the brushstroke because the Add radio button right there is turned on.
And I'm gesturing to this Add button over here on the right side of the dialog box. If you want to erase, by the way, there's an Erase option. You could turn it on if you want. But even easier, just press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and paint in order to erase into your brushstroke. Notice that turns on Erase temporarily over there on the right-hand side of the dialog box. Then as soon as I'm done erasing, I would press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac, because I didn't want to erase that area. Just demonstrating things for you. Now, this pin represents the brushstroke.
It represents the identification of this brushstroke as being active because you can, if you like, paint multiple brushstrokes into your image and you would do that by switching to the New option and painting some more, for example, in the triceratops, if I had any desire to do so. But I don't. I've painted what I want to paint, and so I'm going to turn off Show Mask so I can see what in the world I'm doing here. And notice that Camera RAW has just gone ahead and grabbed the last numerical local settings that I applied using the Graduated Filter tool this time and that's not really what I wanted.
So I'm going to reduce the Exposure value to 0. I don't want to change that. I am going to take the Brightness value up to +30, tab beyond both Contrast and Saturation. The Clarity value wants to be a little lower, so I'm going to take that down to 20. I'm going to leave Sharpness set to 0. And then finally, let's go ahead and zoom in on this statue a little and you may recall how we have the sort of uneven coloring going on from the orange of this kind of rusty metal to the blues where ostensibly it's reflecting the sky or the camera's just responded wrong to the colors.
I want to create a more homogeneous color scheme, and I'm going to do that using this Color option. Now, I want to add a color, so you would think click on the Plus button. Don't do that. That's just going to get you into a world of hurt. I nstead, click on the little X swatch right there and let's dial in a custom color. You can select coolness if you want to, if you wanted to cool down the dinosaur. That's a lot of coolness going on, and actually he looks pretty darn cool. That's pretty awesome, but I'm not going to accept that modification. You could dial in some warmth as well. So you basically have these color swatches that indicate temperature settings essentially, or you can dial in your own color, any color you like.
So I'm going to change the Hue value to 30, which of course is orange. And then I'm going to take the Saturation value, notice he's a little too orange now, he's just Mr. Rust, and you might like that. It's a thought, but I'm going to take the Saturation value down to 65 and click OK. And now we can see what we've done by turning the Preview check box off. This is the before version of the dinosaur. That is the way he looked when I began this exercise, and this is how he looks now. And I would say that's a fairly successful modification.
All right, now let's imagine that I want to darken up the sky a little bit. I'd zoom out, not that far. I'll press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to fit the image in the screen and I'll go and switch over to my Graduated Filter tool and I'll drag like so, in order to create some darkness from above. Unfortunately, it's brightness currently and we're adding orange, so this is totally wrong. I'm going to click on the orange swatch and I'm going to set it to white. So you don't click minus to get rid of the color. Click on the swatch, set it to white, click OK.
Then I'm going to reduce the Brightness value, quite a bit, down to -70 so we get a lot of darkness up there. Everybody else gets zeroed out. We don't want any clarity in the sky. That's not going to do us any good. Now, I do want to preserve some of those bright clouds. So I'm going to take my Exposure value up to +1.00, like so. And then I might drag the Gradient points around a little bit. I can create yet another Graduated Filter effect if I wanted to. I could click on New, drag another point, like so.
Let's go ahead and get rid of Exposure this time, because otherwise it's going to kind of brighten up the effect of the other Graduated Filter. Drag this to a slightly different position, the green spot that is, which is the beginning spot of course of the Graduated Filter effect. Let's take this a little higher, so it's not darkening the snout quite so much. And I might take the Brightness value this time down to -50, so not quite as low as before, and you can see that we now have two different Graduated Filter effects. So as long as this guy appears colorful, that is we can see the beginning and the end points as green and red respectively, then our settings affect that Graduated Filter effect.
If I want to switch to the other one, I just click on it and then it becomes active and I can see its options as well. And then, by the way, you've got the Show Overlay check box. If you want to hide those interface doodads, just turn it off. You also have a keyboard shortcut of V, for the second letter in Overlay I suppose. And then if you want to just escape this mode entirely and of course accept your modifications, you'd press the Z key to switch back to the Zoom tool. And just so we can see everything that we've wrought so far, I'm going to switch over to Presets once again, which allows me to do a before and after of all of my effects together.
So I'll turn off the Preview check box. There are the original dinosaurs, and there are the modified versions. You know what? I just feel like this guy wants to be so much bigger onscreen, because that way he is much more terrifying. This is the before version, and this is the after version, thanks in large part to our ability to apply local luminance and color adjustments here inside Camera RAW.
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