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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
All right in this exercise we're going to take a look at some practical application, semi-practical anyway, for the new Divide Blend mode inside a Photoshop. I've opened a couple of images, first Ghostly struggle.psd which represents where we last left off with this composition. Now, I couldn't help it notice that these guys are looking pretty freaky but their light-bulb doesn't match them at all, so how might I go about achieving a matching light-bulb. Well I am going to twirl open the lightbulb layer, and see if this makes sense to you. I am going to start by selecting sharpie lines which are very bright, as you may recall, and I'm going to brighten them up even more by switching from Screen to Color Dodge because, basically we have this color dodge/divide theme running through our composition at this point.
So that does end up giving us a similar effect, albeit in the wrong colors. So I'll expand my layer effects and I'll double-click on Color Overlay and I'm going to change that color to something like, let's say, 200 and that looks pretty darn good. I am going to leave Saturation and Brightness as is click OK, click OK again. All right, the lightbulb layer is very dark so instead of applying Color Dodge to it, to match everything else, I'm going to apply that mode that does the same thing but doesn't require me to apply any inversion first, and that's Divide.
So Color Dodge is going to brighten based on brightness where as Divided is going to Brighten based on darkness so I'll go ahead and choose that Divide filter and sure enough, we end up with a brightly lit lightbulb. All right the glows is the wrong color, so I'm going to go ahead and change its Hue value to 200 here inside the Color panels, so I'll change the Hue value for starters to 200, 65 and 100. And then, once I've entered that value, I'll press Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete in order to apply that foreground color to the glow inside the lightbulb, and then I'm going to advance to Blend modes this time.
I am going to press Shift+Plus for Color Dodge that looks terrible, and then I am going to press Shift+Plus again for the Linear Dodge mode. And we end up achieving this effect. So a combination of Color Dodge and Divide working together... All right, that's not super practical though, that's just a wacky effect. Let's go ahead and switch over to this Divide mask.psd document that I've prepared for you. This is yet another approach to masking this particular image. And you may recall back in the masking chapter that I used a couple of big approaches, one was to exaggerate the differences inside of my RGB image using a combination of Dodge and Vibrance and so on and then I exaggerated the differences further by merging Channels together using the Calculations command.
Well, this time I'm going to exaggerate the differences here inside the RGB image, using the Divide mode. So here's what I've done. I'll go ahead and zoom out for my image to, let's try 40% and see if the image fits. Yes, it does. And notice I've got this foreground layer and that is the photograph itself, just popped onto a layer. I'll go ahead and turn it off for a moment, because in the background here I have this thing called background simulation. So it's the only layer on at this point; and that is totally a drawn layer.
I drew it using the Gradient tool actually. So here's what I did. I was just trying to simulate the Gradient that was a work inside the original photograph. So I'll go ahead and turn on the foreground layer and I'll get my eyedropper just to show you how I did this. I went ahead and clicked in a bright region of the image in order to lift that bright color as a foreground color and then I Alt+Click or Option+Click in a the dark area, like down here in the lower right corner of the image, in order to lift the background color. So notice that I've changed both the foreground and background colors now.
Then I created the new layer that I called background simulation. I went ahead and got my Gradient tool. I made sure I was drawing the gradient from the foreground to background color there, and then I switched to a Radial Gradient and I drew a Gradient more or less like this. Now, that end up over brightening my screen, as you can see, so I added a couple of Linear Gradients coming in from the sides. So I created those by flipping my foreground and background colors, so that the dark color is now the foreground color, I switched over to my Linear Gradient and I also switched the style of Gradient to Foreground to Transparent, and then I went ahead and dragged in from the corners, like so.
So this is a pretty rough approximation of what I did but it was something along those lines. Anyway, I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z a few times, so I undo back to the more carefully drawn version of the background. But that was the approach. Probably took me about two minutes. I didn't spend that much time on it. All right, I am going to switch back to my Rectangle Marquee tool. Now next, I figured that wasn't all that exact. I had sit there and turn on the foreground layer and look at it and say, hah! You know that's not bad, turn it back off. That looks pretty good actually, but I bet there's bigger differences that work than this.
So then I just set about using the Rectangle Marquee tool, like so, in order to select regions of the background without selecting any of the hair or any of the arms or any of the dress or anything like that. I just wanted to get rough regions of background and I also use the Polygonal Lasso tool a little bit, and what I ended up coming up with was this layer right there it's called actual. I'll go ahead and turn off the other two layers so we can see what it looks like. So, in other words I used this selection to jump the contents of the foreground layer and then I moved in it back, renamed it actual, the idea being these are actual colors from the background of the foreground layer.
So you can see when I turned foreground back on, you are not seeing any kind of change in those regions. However, if I combine actual with background sim, which is the background simulation, then I am seeing quite a few differences there. All right, so that's just there to serve as my base; now I am going to turn on foreground, and I'm going to selected it to make it active. Now I could figure out what kind of differences exist by choosing the Difference mode for this foreground layer, and I'd get this effect right there. But it lacked the punch I was looking for and that wasn't really bringing out the hair details very well.
In impression, with Difference is that it doesn't work so well with hair. It works great for big details, smooth contours, all that jazz, but when you have small tendrils of hair you're better off using your Add mode, your Subtract mode that kind of thing, as we saw back in the Masking chapter. Your Divide mode might also serve you pretty well; the problem with it is it just absolutely sends the colors over the top so you get these outrageous luminance levels, because once again you're dividing numbers between zero and one and so dividing any number produces a larger number and therefore a brighter luminance level.
Well what you have to do then is follow it up with a level of darkening. So I applied this Levels adjustment in back of the Divide layer there and I'll go ahead and turn it on. And that dramatically darkened this background information and I'll show you how I put it together, I'll go ahead and double-click on the thumbnail. This is all I did; I just took the last value, which is that second Input/Output levels value, and I reduced it to a 110. So I am saying that the brightest color is no longer 255, but instead, it's just going to be 110, right there.
And that sunk the brightness. We're not dividing by such bright colors anymore and therefore we're getting a darker mix. And notice how well the hair stands out, it's looking really good. All right, so at this point I would probably now, having exaggerated the RGB image, and I've brought out not only the hair but I have done a darn good job on the right side of the dress and on the inside edge of this right arm. And I can probably work it so that these blue regions stand out nicely from the warm or less saturated regions next of them. Anyway, I start my work on the hair so I go the Image menu and choose the Calculations command, and actually the default settings don't work half bad this time, we're just multiplying the red channel by itself, by default.
I am going to go ahead and switch one of the channels to Blue so that we are merging the Blue Channel with the Red Channel behind it. And I might experiment with one of the other modes such as Subtract, just if nothing else to remind you that we've already seen the Subtract mode inside of Photoshop, so I'll go ahead and choose Subtract. Now, this is fairly over-the-top at this point, we should invert one of the channels, I am going to invert the Blue Channel here. And we're still getting a very bright effect, because of my high Offset value. I am going to take that guy down, and I believe I figured out that an offset of 80 works pretty well for this image.
And sure enough it does. That keeps some of these very small tendrils of hair while it darkens the background quite nicely. We're losing the blue details, we would have become back to those in the second pass. But we are keeping the right side of the dress as well the inside edge of the right arm and so forth. Then I would click OK. And notice that I have created a new alpha channel, here inside the channels panel, and I can go ahead and call it divide mask, if I wanted to, or something along those lines and proceed from there. So there you have it, a couple of uses for the new Divide Blend mode, here inside Photoshop CS5.
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