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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.
I have saved my progress as Aggressive RGB mix.psd and clearly we have applied an aggressive modification to this image. You may recall this is the appearance of our original photograph. So we have some very interesting, but muted colors I would say inside of this fantastic composition. My only concern about the image in fact is the sort of mustard color shadows that we first noticed in the previous chapter. But once I turn on this channel mixer adjustment layer, the saturation levels just jumped through the roof.
So, my question would be the image looks great onscreen, it looks great in RGB, it doesn't look like we have much in a way of posterization, meaning that we don't have super sharp transitions between neighboring regions of color. Those mustard areas in general look better, they don't all look better. But like under her eye, that shadow looks to be in pretty good shape, even under the hair it's better than it was before. But will these survive the commercial reproduction process? If I hand this image off to a printer are they going to able to maintain the colors that I am setting right here? Well, one way to figure out whether that's true or not is to go up to the Image menu, choose mode and choose CMYK color.
However, if you do that you are going to actually convert the image from RGB to CMYK and that means you are going to be faced with two propositions here, by the way. One is that you don't flatten the image and you still have access to your original adjustment layer so you can continue to modify your image. However, it's not going to right at all. If I click on Don't Flatten the image is going to completely change on me. So notice how much more yellow it looks than it did before. So this is the image with the adjustment layers intact in the CMYK color model.
Notice by the way, if we go to Channels panel we do now have Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black channels. This is the way the image looked before with those same adjustment layers here inside RGB. So those color adjustments don't translate. Our other option by the way, I will switch back to Layers panel is to go up to the Image menu, choose mode, choose CMYK Color, and then go ahead and flatten the image in which case you keep your colors more or less intact so some of the colors change. we will examine that in just a moment. However, as few colors as possible changed in the transformation, but we did lose all of our adjustment layers, because the image got flattened in order to maintain the fundamental appearance of the image.
Neither of these scenarios is acceptable at this stage in the game, because I am still modifying my photograph. I am still adjusting the image. So I don't want to commit to CMYK at this point of time. Later I might want to. Right at the end once I am totally done, and I am ready to hand this image off to a commercial printer. That's when I am going to convert it to CMYK. In the meantime I am going to edit it in the RGB mode. So I will press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac to undo that modification. Up here you notice in the Title tab it says RGB/8 at the end of my file name and that tells me that I am working in an eight bit per channel RGB image.
So what I would like to do is proof the image inside of the current CMYK space, the working CMYK space that is. You do that by going up to the View menu and choosing Proof Colors which has a keyboard shortcut that I will be taking advantage of. So that I don't have to keep blocking the view of the image with this menu and that's Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on a Mac. So I will go ahead and choose the command and notice the Title tab now says RGB/8, an eight bit per channel RGB image that we are viewing in the CMYK space.
So we are seeing a CMYK preview of it, even though we are still working inside of an RGB image and we still have all of our adjustment layers intact. In other words, there are no penalties to work in this way. Now you may not have seen much of a transformation take place there. I mean basically we are seeing a ton of colors that seem to be surviving. But just to give you a sense of what changed, I will press Ctrl+Y again, Command+Y in a Mac to switch out of that CMYK proofing mode. So notice the Title tab says RGB/8, there is no CMYK this time. Notice these dark colors here, these shadows inside of this rear woman's violet jacket.
Notice how rich they are. As soon as I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on a Mac, they lighten up. We lose a lot of the saturation inside of that shadow detail. That's true inside the other shadows in the image as well. We are losing saturation in the forward woman's hair, this front area of hair right there, inside of her jacket as well and so on. So, some of the shadows are losing their luster. Also, we are losing some color up here in the rear woman's pink hairs. So this is the original RGB image, brighter hair going on and this is the image as it will appear when printed as a CMYK image.
At least, ostensibly, this is Photoshop's nearest guess given the information you have provided it with as to how the image will look. You also have to bear in mind that you are proofing CMYK colors on an RGB monitor. There is no such thing as a CMYK screen. So you are seeing something of an impossibility. This is Photoshop's best guess as to what the colors are going to look like and yet I am here to tell you if you get your color settings right and you work carefully with your commercial printer, it's a very accurate guess. Now then another command that's available to me under the View menu is this guy right there Gamut Warning.
That's Ctrl+Shift+Y or Command+Shift+Y on a Mac and what that is going to do is it's going to show in gray, I will go ahead and zoom in here. These little gray spots right, these little gray pixels inside of this forward woman's eye, also inside of the shadow detail inside of this rear woman's hair. Those indicate colors that can not be commercially reproduced. So you are requesting from Photoshop a color that cannot be accurately produced in CMYK given your current settings. That doesn't mean the colors are going to print gray, nor they are going to print outlandishly wrong and not going to just refuse to print for example and appear white instead you are going to get the closest CMYK equivalents.
But that region right there is going to flatten out. So what you don't want to see is big huge regions of gray. What we are seeing right now is just fine in my opinion. I will go ahead and zoom out a little more, take in these colors down here like this might be the closest to a problem region that we have. But if I press Ctrl+Shift+Y or Command+Shift+Y again, well, I'd guess you know that is some pretty vibrant color that's going on right there and what Photoshop is telling me is that it's going to flatten out. We are going to get a flat region of color in our final commercial reproduction.
Even though it doesn't really look like that when we are viewing the image onscreen, which tells me that what we are seeing even though I will press Ctrl+Shift+Y or Command+Shift+Y again, even though this entire area is outside the gamut, it maybe differently outside the gamut. For example, this little region right here might map to one CMYK value and this area here might map to a different CMYK value and so on. So we don't have that kind of fine degree of visual description associated with this plain gray Gamut Warning. I will press Ctrl+Shift+Y or Command+Shift+Y again to turn it off whereas we do have pretty good detailed information associated with that soft proofing preview.
That is that Proof Colors command here under the View menu. So moral the story is if you want to confirm whether your colors are going to reproduce accurately, go up to the View menu, choose the Proof Colors Command or press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac. When you are done using this command, turn it off, because otherwise it abides. In other words, it's not an image by image setting. It's not saved along with the image. It's not tracked according to which image you have opened. It's a global setting across Photoshop. So I am going to go ahead and turn the command off or again press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y to once again view this image inside the RGB color space.
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