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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I've saved my progress as Overlay eyes.psd. In this exercise, we are going to work on these eye bags here in a couple of different ways. But first I want to show you the advantage of having this Overlay paint layer so now I can use it anytime I want to. So for example, I'll go ahead and grab my Brush tool here. I'll switch the foreground color to black by pressing the X key. So now you can see foreground is black. I want to make the bridge of my nose a little darker. So I'll just paint down it a little bit like that. And because the opacity of the Overlay layer is down to 10%, it makes a pretty modest contribution which is good.
I could also paint directly on the front of my nose if I wanted to, but I think that goes too far. So I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that. There is this area right here I want to paint on for the sake of consistency just to make that a little more even. Then there is this line on my face. I don't know what the heck that's about. But I am going to reduce the size of my Brush to quite small like this and paint over it. If I feel like that goes too far which I think it does actually. In fact you know what? I am going to increase the size of my Brush and try that again; Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac.
When you work with very small brushes, they also tend to be tighter; meaning that they don't feel as soft as big brushes. So I am going to try painting over that area with a big soft brush. That goes too far. In other words, the Brush is too thick. So now I am going to come at it with the Eraser tool. If you are really wanting to finesse things, you could layer mask this. But there is not really any reason to go to that extreme at this point. So I am just going to select this Eraser tool, press the E key if you want, right-click because by default the Eraser is set to a Hardness of 100%, back that off to 0%, maybe increase the Size value a little bit as well if you want to; although, you can do that on the fly of course, press the Enter key a couple of times, Return key on the Mac in order to hide that panel.
When you are erasing on a layer, you actually erase pixels to get rid of them. So I could paint around that brush stroke to get rid of the bad stuff I don't want. Because right about there, it's kind of making the skin look weird, kind of grayish, and then I'll paint that off as well. That will just get rid of that little line hopefully that I had there. That's without that layer, this is with the layer. So I think that looks better. Now, for the eye bags as promised, I am going to press the L key to switch to the Lasso tool, and I am going to select around this region right here, so pretty big selection; that might be a little bit too much.
So I'll Alt+Drag like so or Option+ Drag on the Mac to deselect that region. Then I want to feather. So I'll go up to the Select menu, choose Modify, choose Feather once again, Ctrl+Alt+D, Command+Option+D on the Mac, and leave the Radius value at 2 pixels, click OK. Now then, press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac in order to hide the selection outline so we can see what we are doing, and switch to that Background layer because we need to edit that layer; that's where the eye bag is after all, and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac.
In CS5, that brings up the Fill dialog box with this new Content-Aware option. So set Use to Content-Aware, Blending: Normal, Opacity: 100%. Let's see how well it fares, and it fares terribly. It doesn't work very well. It tends to work fairly well inside of textures and landscapes and that kind of stuff. But I don't find that makes particularly good choices inside of portraits. So I am going to press Ctrl +Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Instead, I am going to take advantage of this tool right here; the Healing Brush. Go ahead and click-and-hold on it, and switch to the Patch tool.
I'll demonstrate the Healing Brush shortly. But we'll start with the Patch tool here. The Patch tool allows you to drag a selection around to a different area. So go ahead and grab that Patch tool. You can get to it by pressing the J key a couple of times if you want to. Let's move into the selection. You can tell that you are inside the selection there, because you can see that little dotted marquee in the lower right corner of the cursor, just a tiny guy there. Drag that selection down until you get into an area that doesn't have quite so many problems which is about there. That's really going to be the only good area of the face.
You can't go to the other side because that's going to introduce totally different lighting. You can't come down here because I might have whiskers under my eyes. You can't go to the forehead because my goodness, that would just add more wrinkles. So drag down here, and then release. Notice that it does a pretty darn good job of covering up that blemish. Now, you don't want to just leave it that way because that looks like an unnatural dent in my face. You want to marry this healed version of the image with the original. You do that by going up to the Edit menu, and choosing Fade Patch Selection or press Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Shift+F on the Mac.
If you take the Opacity all the way down to 0, you lose your edit entirely and if you take it up to 100%, then you don't see the original image at all. So somewhere in between is good. I'd say somewhere around 65% for this eye does a pretty decent job. Then click OK. Then we might go ahead and do the same thing with the other eye. Now, we can stick with the Patch tool incidentally. It works just like the Lasso tool. So you can drag around an area like so or press Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac to deselect that area. If you don't have anything selected, you can Alt+Click in order to get the Polygonal Lasso function.
So that's how the Patch tool works, just basically a variation on the Lasso tool. Then I am going to go up to the Select menu, and I am going to choose Modify yet again, choose Feather, Ctrl+Alt+D, Command+Option+D on the Mac if you've loaded dekeKeys of course, Feather Radius: 2, click OK. Let's go ahead and drag it down here this time around, and release, and see how that fares; Press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac. That looks okey-dokey. We have a little bit of weird brightness right there that I could work on if I wanted to.
But instead I am just going to go to the Edit menu and choose Fade Patch Selection, Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Shift+F on the Mac. Let's take this down to 50 % and see how that works. That looks pretty darn good. I like that. Click OK in order to accept that modification. Then you know what? I am going to zoom here. I don't like this edge very much. So I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac, deselect the image, and I'll see what I can do with the History Brush. Go ahead and click on it to select it, reduce the size dramatically of course and then try painting across that seam.
You might want to paint multiple times. Eventually, you should get a better seam out of it. That looks pretty good, I think. I'll go ahead and zoom back out. Those are the improved eye bags. What I see a lot of folks do inside of Photoshop is go too far with this kind of thing. For example, let's say you decided you want to get rid of these creases a little, which is by the way generally speaking a very bad idea. I do not recommend you get rid of creases under people's eyes to any extent. If you are going to do it, you need to do it very lightly because it makes people look like absolute freaks.
It's one of the most common things that I see early re-touchers do. But anyway, let me show you how to do it well just in case you are really hankering to do it. Again, I am going to press Ctrl+Alt+D, Command+Option+D to apply the Feather command, 2 is great, sounds good, drag this down with the Patch tool and release, press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac in order to see what we have done. Notice that just takes the definition out of the person's eye. This is why I think it makes people look freakish. It's an obvious sign of retouching. I mean nobody's eye is formed like this.
A newborn baby has a crease under its eye. Anyway, so what you would do knowing full, well that you've gone too far is you would now press Ctrl+Shift+F or Command +Shift+F for the Fade command, and you would take this way down to like something like 20% maybe. If you wanted to take it to 30%, fine, but not too much higher, click OK. Then of course you do pretty much the same thing on the other side here. I would drag around this area of the eye like so. In order to select it, press Ctrl+Alt+ D or Command+Option+D for Feather, 2, click OK, drag down in order to find a good area, release, press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac, so you hide the selection outline. Oh! My goodness, you have gone too far, Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Shift+F on the Mac, dial in 30, see how it looks.
Let's take it down a little more on this one, 25%, click OK, and we are done with those eyes. Now, one thing you want to do when you are healing inside of Photoshop is you want to take a look at what you've done, and make sure that you don't have too much repetition of detail going on. If you do find repetition of detail, then you can fix that up using another application of the Patch tool or the Healing Brush or something along those lines. We'll see those guys in more detail later. But for now I just want you to know that, that can happen.
You can end up seeing textures duplicated again and again once you start healing and cloning inside of Photoshop. Let's get a sense of what we've done. I'll go ahead and press the F12 key so we can see the original gnarly details under these eyes. So that was then, this is now. Have to admit, I think it is better. In the next exercise, I am going to show you how to even out these yellowish skin tones.
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