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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.
I've gone ahead and saved my progress such as it is as Super frog kernel. I'm going to go ahead and try out a different Pixel Bender filter, and I'd love it if you join me as well. I'm going to go ahead and turn off CircleSplash in order to deactivate that little item there. Then notice if you go up to Filter menu, you'll see the first item is CircleSplash, which is that specific kernel that we applied from the Pixel Bender Gallery. So if I were to press Ctrl+Alt+F or Command+Option+F on the Mac, I would revisit the Pixel Bender Gallery, and I would see my last applied setting, CircleSplash right here. Let's switch to something different, so I'm just going to run through a few here.
Convergence, which is very much like something I wrote in the old days. I mentioned when I was gassing about the channel mixer long, long ago. Then I'd come up with a channel mixer years before Photoshop and I had written it with this thing called the Filter Factory, which shipped with Photoshop 3.0 way, way back when, and I created this thing that tore apart the channels, just like this. So it was absolutely just as useless as well. Here it is, back again. Convergence allows you to offset the Blue, Green and Red channels from each other to some extent as measured horizontally in the case of 0, and vertically in the case of 1 and so on. Then we've got Fisheye, and bear in mind, before I say too many negatives things about these filters, because Convergence is pretty silly. But imagine if it were animated, a lot of these filters are designed with After Effects in mind or something like Flash as well. So they work in After Effects, Flash and Photoshop.
I'm going to go ahead and switch over to Fisheye, were we to put the Center point in a better location, notice this time they went ahead and divided up the axes here so that they could name them better, whoever came up with this. Then I can assign a Radius value in order to make the frog small or big, like so. Then we've got Hole. The Hole creates a traveling hole inside of the shape. It also has some distortion. Now that's kind of cool. You can see how it'd be useful if it's animated. You can make it big or small. It's pretty interesting actually. I'm not going to use it or anything.
Then we have Edge smoothing that goes from smooth at 0 to not the least but smooth at 3. So we got Kaleidoscope, that one rocks! I'm saving that one. We'll go to Pixelate right there. Pixelate allows you to pixelate the image. We already have a mosaic filter, actually, inside of Photoshop. We've had it for years. So you can already do pixelation of the image like this. However, the difference is that we have the option of creating non-square pixels like these, if you want to, using this Pixelate function, which is interesting. RippleBlocks is another one that we'll come back to. Smudge goes ahead and creates this kind of pattern here, very easy to work with this one.
It's not a Smudge, I don't know what's so smudgy about it, but it does allow you to refract the image through a rippling lens. Next, we've got Spherize. It's going to make you think hey! We have a new technology version as Spherize, which begs even more the question why were you using the old Spherize in that previous example. The answer, of course, is because this one is not nearly as useful. You can set the center of your Spherizing effect, which is great, because you can't do that with the old style Spherize filter. You're always looking from the center of the selection.
So this one, you can move around as much as you want and you can't drag it around, but you can change its numerical location. You can also change the radius of the Spherize effect and you can change the amount of Refraction, whether it's spherizing a lot or a little, so whether the things are getting very, very convex indeed or not. You can't go concave with this. ? That's something you can't do with old style Spherize. So, one of the reasons it's not all that great. Again, you're working across both the vertical and horizontal axes. You don't have independent control. So, I won't probably be using that that much, but you might. We've got SpinRadialBlur, which is actually fairly awesome. I have to say this. This command right here is better in my estimation, having worked with it a little while, then the SpinRadialBlur filter. You can change the amount of blurring and you can see the Preview right there and you don't have to suffer with low quality and all those other settings.
You can specify exactly where the center of the blur effect is. I'm going to move mine, not that far down and not that far to the right, closure to -- why don't we once again center it on the eyes since I know those coordinates, 1089 and 522. You can go ahead and Tab from one value to another, which is really great. Notice sometimes you're going to see some flashing of the preview, and that's going to be based on what's going on with your video card. So if your video card has a lot going on, it may end up flashing a little bit, but it should settle down. So you can change the amount of your blur in real time.
The Radius of influence is how much of the image going out from the Center point is being affected. So if you want the entire image to be affected, then you would increase the heck out of your Radius of influence. But note that you are leaving transparency in your wake. All right, we'll come back to that one in just a moment. Then we've got TubeView, which is great for your James Bond effects, of course. So I'll go ahead and change again, the Center point to 1089 and 522. Then we can change the Background color, this is very interesting, 0, 1, 2, 3, when you see that, typically what it means is Red, Green, Blue, Transparency, because you're working in that 32-bit space here. So you can control your alpha channel information at the same time.
So, for example, if I wanted to make my image like blood red, of course, because this frog is a killer man! Then I would go with a high 0 value and these are going to be measured from 0 to 1, incidentally. So they're normalized values for what that's worth. I take down my Green value and leave my Blue value down as well. If I wanted Transparency, I would take down that 3 value right there, but I wanted to stay nice and opaque. Then we have Edge fade option, so we can do this number right there. You also have Distance fade so that I can just introduce a little bit of the Red on the outside. Then we have some Radius control, like so, it's pretty cool. Let's see, what was I looking at, something more along the lines of this. Then Turbulence changes the twirl that's going around the frog.
So a value of 0 is going to give you less twirl, a value of -3 is going to give you a clockwise rotation. You can also get a counterclockwise twirl by going with the positive value. Then finally, we've got Twirl right here, which applies a pond ripple to the image. You can goof around with that to your heart's content. You also have the ability to make it a Gaussian sort of Twirl, in which case, by the way, if you're going to do that, you have to increase the Radius, like so. There it goes. Nice animation function right there, or you can go with the Sinc style. Those are your only options, 0 or 1. So you either Gaussian at 0 or Sinc at 1. So you get an idea of just how wacky these things are and you just sort of have to be a little bit clairvoyant to come to terms with them.
So we were saying that there are two that we're going to come back to. One is Kaleidoscope and the other is RippleBlocks. We'll discuss RippleBlocks first, starting in the next exercise.
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