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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.
All right, welcome to the second project in this chapter. This time around as opposed to adding Smart Filters to a flat image with the intention of correcting that image, we are going to integrate Smart Filters into an elaborate layered composition that even already includes a Smart Object, with the intention of adding special effects. So what we've got here is some editable text in the foreground. In the background another image from photographer Joey Nelson, the exact same model. I know she looks very different this time around. You can compare them and see that.
And it might even be the same photo shoot. She is wearing the same earrings. What we are going to do is we are going to turn this image into this over the top movie poster right here. It might seem a little derivative, this Kill Jill thing going on here, but it's very different concept. It's not about killing Jill, its Kill, Jill; the punctuation changes everything, this time Jill will be doing the killing. So a little bit different, it's still a gratuitously violent film. Hence my gratuitous use of filters inside of Photoshop here. And my point is to show you that you can do all of this, everything that we are seeing here, parametrically. We haven't permanently changed a single pixel in the image.
Even the editable text right here remains editable, and yet we have applied Motion Blur to it, and it's a pretty elaborate application of Motion Blur as you'll soon see. All right, so let's go ahead and take a look at the images that we have opened right now. I'm going to press the F key to return to the Standard View mode, and press Shift+Tab to bring back my right-side palettes and I went ahead because I need a little more headroom here under Windows. So I went ahead and hid the Options bar, but you can bring it back, not only by choosing the Options command from the Window menu, you can also just press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and that will redisplay the Options bar.
All right, so I have two images opened right now, Kill Jill art.psd and then Movie poster madness.psd. I'm going to switch back to the base version of the artwork, Kill Jill art.psd, and I want you to see something about this image. We've got some text, we've some other text that setup, right ready to apply, some adjustment layer, some base stuff that we'll be working with. And I also have this Smart Object that I have created in advance. Now what's interesting I think, and this is not all that different that what we've seen before, it just a slightly different spin on things, but it's a little bit of an eye opener.
Notice that I'm working with a very low- resolution piece of artwork here. So we are seeing the image at the 100% View size, and the reason I'm working so low res is just because Smart Objects are computationally intensive. We start ladling on the Smart Filters and things can really slow down to a crawl, at least where training purposes are concerned. And I don't want to have a lot of tears and pain and anguish over this so I just want to keep things moving quickly. When you are creating your own high- resolution artwork, it's one thing, but when we are trying to work through a project together it's important to be speedy. But interestingly enough, this image in the background where I've placed high-res artwork into a low-res composition.
Now we already saw that happened with the germs, we had big huge germs that we shrink down to a small size. So it's just more nondestructive scaling inside Photoshop, thanks to Smart Objects, but it opens the eye when you see it. If I go over here to what is obviously a Smart Object because it has the little icon down there, and I double-click on it, you can see there she is at 33% View size. If I scale her to make her larger, look how big she gets, and she could even be bigger than that. I could have thrown in the entire huge high-resolution piece of artwork. I chose a medium resolution instead.
So just an example of a nondestructive transformation as applied to Smart Objects inside of Photoshop. Now this Smart Object happens to include two layers, the original image by Joey Nelson, and that Curves adjustment layer. And I'm going to go ahead and double-click on that Curves adjustment layer thumbnail in order to bring up the Adjustments palette, and we can see that I have made the shadows lighter, and the highlights darker. We would normally by the way see these midtones plateau and as a result turn kind of gray inside of the image. And were I to press Shift+Alt+N or Shift+Option+N on the Mac to return to the Normal blend mode, you would see exactly what I'm talking about.
Look at those midtones along the bridge of the nose, around the eye, down here underneath the nose, up here in the forehead, around the hairs and so on, behind the eyebrows, they are turning incredibly gray, and they look just awful, as a result of the modification that I'm applying. Now I needed this Curves adjustment because if I turn it off you can see that her shadows are too dark, and her highlights are too light. So it makes a big meaningful wonderful difference to the image. When I turn it back on, it's just that it still looks really ratty.
Well the solution of course, and we have seen this before but again why not hone our skills here, is to change the blend mode from Normal to Luminosity, and that goes ahead and keeps those original colors and mixes in the new luminance levels and makes the image look just super-duper gorgeous. So this is the difference that Curves makes now. This is with it off, and this is with it on. So it just smoothes out the contrast inside the image. All right, I'm going to go ahead and close the Smart Object. I'm not going to save the changes, so click No or click don't save, because after all we didn't make any real changes, we just toured the file, and we don't want to waste a bunch of time updating the larger composition.
I am going to go ahead and collapse my Adjustments palette again so that we have a little more room to work here, inside the Layers palette. Ultimately for the final version of the movie poster, we've got a parametric wonderland artwork here. With just a handful of layers, as you can see, just seven layers in all working together a lot of elaborate stuff going on of course. A lot of gratuitous use of filters, but not a single pixel harmed in the process, and we shall assemble this composition together, starting in the next exercise.
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