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Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush


Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush

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.
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  1. 40m 2s
    1. Welcome
      2m 1s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 6s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. What you can do with Photoshop
      1m 46s
    2. The mission-critical eyes
      2m 44s
    3. Copy Merged and Paste in Place
      6m 52s
    4. Sharpening details to match
      4m 34s
    5. Masking eyes
      9m 22s
    6. Working with clipping-mask layers
      9m 5s
    7. Shading with layer effects
      8m 10s
    8. Color and highlight effects
      4m 2s
    9. Refining layer masks
      5m 43s
    10. Fabricating the highlights in the pupils
      7m 33s
    11. Using a merged copy to sharpen
      5m 34s
  3. 2h 14m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      1m 16s
    2. Introducing the Auto commands
      7m 23s
    3. Adjusting Cache Level settings
      6m 8s
    4. Reading a channel-by-channel histogram
      6m 21s
    5. How the Auto commands work
      5m 22s
    6. Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color
      7m 7s
    7. Blending the Auto results
      4m 4s
    8. Introducing the Levels command
      6m 15s
    9. Using Levels as an adjustment layer
      3m 12s
    10. Applying custom Levels adjustments
      6m 8s
    11. Understanding the gamma value
      7m 39s
    12. The futility of Output Levels
      2m 56s
    13. Selections and adjustment layers
      5m 48s
    14. Opening up the shadows
      3m 40s
    15. Previewing clipped pixels
      4m 51s
    16. The black, white, and gray eyedroppers
      5m 7s
    17. Gray card tips and tricks
      6m 5s
    18. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      7m 29s
    19. Introducing the Curves command
      7m 44s
    20. Curves dialog box tricks
      7m 16s
    21. Curves adjustment layer tricks
      5m 45s
    22. Correcting an image with Curves
      5m 32s
    23. Filling in the highlights
      5m 42s
    24. Neutralizing casts and smoothing transitions
      5m 37s
  4. 1h 46m
    1. The art of enhancing edges
      1m 26s
    2. How sharpening works
      6m 2s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      6m 7s
    4. Introducing Unsharp Mask
      6m 19s
    5. Radius and Threshold
      6m 24s
    6. Sharpening colors vs. luminosity
      5m 56s
    7. Gauging the ideal settings
      8m 59s
    8. Unsharp Mask vs. Smart Sharpen
      7m 1s
    9. Using the Remove settings
      9m 30s
    10. The More Accurate checkbox
      6m 8s
    11. Saving your Smart Filter settings
      5m 31s
    12. The Advanced sharpening settings
      7m 52s
    13. Accounting for camera shake
      6m 18s
    14. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      6m 43s
    15. Sharpening with High Pass
      9m 23s
    16. The new and improved Sharpen tool
      6m 22s
  5. 1h 34m
    1. Edge's evil twin: noise
      1m 12s
    2. Color vs. luminance noise
      7m 21s
    3. Reducing color noise
      7m 45s
    4. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 59s
    5. Relegating an effect to the shadows
      6m 27s
    6. Switching between layer and mask
      6m 59s
    7. The Dust & Scratches filter
      4m 56s
    8. Adjusting shadow saturation
      5m 52s
    9. Combining High Pass with Lens Blur
      6m 57s
    10. Masking a layer of Lens Blur
      7m 34s
    11. Painting away High Pass sharpening
      8m 22s
    12. Building up a noise pattern
      6m 40s
    13. Converting noise to texture
      4m 24s
    14. Bleeding colors into paper
      6m 16s
    15. Matching different noise levels
      8m 31s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. We are the stuff of light
      1m 24s
    2. Applying automatic lens correction
      5m 53s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 44s
    4. Shadows/Highlights in depth
      7m 59s
    5. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      4m 43s
    6. Sharpening on top of blur
      7m 3s
    7. Sharpening the merged composition
      6m 16s
    8. Grouping and masking layers
      5m 40s
    9. Adjusting the density of a mask
      7m 14s
    10. Creating a Shadows/Highlights shortcut
      5m 47s
    11. Restoring detail with Shadows/Highlights
      6m 23s
    12. Changing the Shadows/Highlights defaults
      6m 21s
    13. Smoothing skin details with Gaussian Blur
      3m 56s
    14. Smoothing with High Pass
      5m 44s
    15. Lowering contrast with Gaussian Blur
      7m 4s
    16. Inverting a sharpening effect
      7m 5s
  7. 2h 32m
    1. Color becomes monochrome
      1m 31s
    2. Converting an image to grayscale
      6m 49s
    3. Extracting luminance information
      7m 37s
    4. Introducing the Channel Mixer
      10m 23s
    5. Aggressive channel mixing
      9m 42s
    6. Proofing CMYK colors
      7m 49s
    7. Color settings and intent
      7m 6s
    8. Practical Channel Mixer variations
      4m 30s
    9. Saving variations as layer comps
      7m 57s
    10. The default grayscale recipe
      8m 55s
    11. Creating a custom black-and-white mix
      6m 59s
    12. Shadows/Highlights in black and white
      4m 58s
    13. Introducing the Black & White command
      5m 55s
    14. Adjusting Black & White settings
      9m 39s
    15. Mixing a Black & White portrait
      6m 32s
    16. Black & White vs. Channel Mixer
      9m 21s
    17. Adding tint and color
      8m 0s
    18. Introducing the Gradient Map
      7m 10s
    19. Loading custom gradients
      4m 32s
    20. Editing gradient color stops
      9m 58s
    21. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      7m 13s
  8. 2h 10m
    1. Two great commands working great together
      1m 18s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 13s
    3. Setting key colors and Fuzziness
      5m 38s
    4. Predefined vs. sampled colors
      3m 57s
    5. The Localized Color Clusters option
      5m 41s
    6. Defining a selection with care
      4m 44s
    7. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      5m 20s
    8. Testing edges with the Magic Wand
      5m 14s
    9. Hand-brushing a selection
      5m 39s
    10. Saving and loading an alpha channel
      4m 35s
    11. Converting a selection to a layer mask
      2m 46s
    12. Switching between an image and a layer mask
      6m 58s
    13. Protecting elements with a layer mask
      8m 5s
    14. Duplicating and editing a layer mask
      7m 34s
    15. Introducing the Refine Edge command
      4m 46s
    16. Accessing the various Refine Edge options
      5m 35s
    17. Refine Edge's preview options
      6m 21s
    18. The Adjust Edge values
      4m 11s
    19. Edge Detection and Smart Radius
      6m 5s
    20. Using the Refine Radius tool
      8m 8s
    21. Using the Decontaminate Colors option
      7m 30s
    22. Old-school masking adjustments
      7m 7s
    23. Four micro mask adjustments
      8m 33s
  9. 3h 13m
    1. Photoshop's vector exceptions
      1m 11s
    2. Making text in Photoshop
      6m 18s
    3. Creating and editing a text layer
      6m 56s
    4. Font and type style
      7m 35s
    5. Type size and color
      7m 52s
    6. Combining layer effects and type
      10m 57s
    7. Drawing a custom shape layer
      8m 34s
    8. Side bearing, kerning, and tracking
      10m 36s
    9. Point text vs. area text
      8m 26s
    10. Selecting and formatting a paragraph
      5m 19s
    11. Copying and pasting unformatted text
      7m 45s
    12. Creating text inside a custom path
      6m 26s
    13. Creating text along a path
      8m 13s
    14. Adjusting baseline shift
      6m 16s
    15. Drawing a fading arrowhead
      7m 29s
    16. Fading a shadow with a layer
      5m 32s
    17. Logo creation and Fill Opacity
      7m 44s
    18. Stretching a background element
      6m 9s
    19. Drawing with shape outlines
      6m 18s
    20. Combining vector-based shapes
      6m 42s
    21. Masking vector-based shape layers
      6m 7s
    22. Correcting spacing problems
      7m 44s
    23. Drawing the ultimate specular sparkle
      8m 45s
    24. Preparing text for commercial output
      5m 9s
    25. Saving a high-resolution PDF file
      7m 11s
    26. Inspecting the final PDF document
      7m 8s
    27. Saving large poster art
      9m 32s
  10. 2h 36m
    1. What filters ought to be
      1m 25s
    2. Layer effects vs. filters
      6m 14s
    3. Carving with an Inner Shadow effect
      7m 45s
    4. Selling an effect with Drop Shadow
      7m 17s
    5. Creating blurry shadow type
      5m 30s
    6. Saving custom default settings
      6m 22s
    7. Creating a custom contour
      7m 3s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 35s
    9. Adjusting Angle and Altitude
      7m 8s
    10. Exploiting global light
      8m 11s
    11. Gloss and edge contour
      5m 8s
    12. Applying and creating layer styles
      6m 45s
    13. Loading, saving, and merging styles
      6m 17s
    14. Creating a textured bevel effect
      6m 56s
    15. Using shadows as highlights
      7m 39s
    16. Combining filters and effects
      6m 58s
    17. Working with random effects
      6m 55s
    18. Smoothing with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 13s
    19. Masking blacks from whites
      4m 37s
    20. Applying liquid styles
      4m 36s
    21. Simulating liquid reflections
      8m 12s
    22. Finessing and cropping a liquid effect
      7m 25s
    23. Initiating a displacement map
      6m 17s
    24. Applying a displacement map
      7m 37s
  11. 1h 12m
    1. Two words: Free Transform
    2. Scale, rotate, and constrain
      6m 30s
    3. Using the transformation origin
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a slant (aka skew)
      3m 37s
    5. The four-point "perspective" distortion
      7m 51s
    6. Two ways to make gradient text
      5m 59s
    7. Building complexity from a simple shape
      4m 42s
    8. Duplicating a series of transformations
      6m 3s
    9. Rasterizing a layer with its effects
      6m 41s
    10. Applying a custom warp
      7m 24s
    11. Blending and softening a warped layer
      4m 39s
    12. Creating spherical highlights
      6m 30s
    13. Using a center-source inner glow
      3m 51s
  12. 2h 42m
    1. Distorting reality
      1m 33s
    2. Extracting a foreground element
      6m 45s
    3. Introducing the Puppet Warp command
      7m 20s
    4. Setting and manipulating pins
      7m 48s
    5. Rotating pins and switching warp modes
      6m 41s
    6. Expanding and contracting the mesh
      6m 11s
    7. Changing the Density setting
      8m 0s
    8. Adjusting the pin depth
      5m 18s
    9. Winding an image into a pretzel
      6m 2s
    10. Applying Puppet Warp to type
      6m 30s
    11. Warping single characters
      6m 25s
    12. Editing puppet-warped text
      8m 24s
    13. Extending an image with Free Transform
      8m 46s
    14. Extracting from a white background
      10m 5s
    15. Tracing a shape with Puppet Warp
      9m 1s
    16. Introducing the Liquify command
      5m 4s
    17. Warp, Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat
      8m 53s
    18. Saving and loading a mesh
      5m 59s
    19. Push, Mirror, and Turbulence
      11m 49s
    20. Lifting and slimming details
      8m 22s
    21. Warping fabric, arms, and legs
      7m 1s
    22. Masking and finessing the results
      10m 8s
  13. 3h 3m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 44s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw
      7m 40s
    3. Adjusting white balance
      7m 0s
    4. Selecting and synchronizing images
      6m 9s
    5. Making automatic adjustments and saving changes
      7m 19s
    6. Creating and managing snapshots
      8m 23s
    7. Adjusting the Exposure value
      6m 24s
    8. Working with clipping warnings
      5m 5s
    9. Adjusting Brightness and Contrast
      7m 35s
    10. Vibrance, Saturation, and Clarity
      9m 25s
    11. Recovery and Fill Light
      6m 57s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      7m 2s
    13. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      9m 44s
    14. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      7m 49s
    15. Applying manual lens corrections
      7m 19s
    16. Vignette and chromatic aberrations
      6m 21s
    17. Introducing the Tone Curves
      6m 9s
    18. Parametric curves and targeted adjustments
      6m 26s
    19. Correcting a low-noise photograph
      7m 35s
    20. Sharpening and high-noise photos
      8m 25s
    21. Selective Hue/Saturation adjustments
      5m 34s
    22. Selective Luminance adjustments
      5m 39s
    23. Adding grain and vignetting effects
      5m 23s
    24. Mixing a subjective black-and-white image
      7m 53s
    25. Colorizing with the Split Toning options
      4m 29s
    26. Opening a raw image as a Smart Object
      5m 39s
    27. Camera Raw wrap-up
      8m 38s
  14. 55s
    1. Until next time

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
26h 24m Intermediate Aug 13, 2010 Updated Aug 31, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Using blend modes, adjustment layers, and layer styles
  • Organizing a layered composition so it is fluid and editable
  • Creating and editing type in Photoshop
  • Using blur effectively
  • Using adjustment layers to add color
  • Combining layers into a clipping mask
  • Working with Camera Raw
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Presets/Keyboard Shortcuts

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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