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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Okay, I did a little bit of work while you weren't looking there, just to make a little bit of progress. I didn't use any of the tools I haven't shown you so far, just it's more work with those very same tools. Couple of notes by the way about this image thus far, I moved her to forehead down just by scooting it here with the old Warp tool and I also adjusted her jawline a little bit, I brought her neck in on both sides a little bit and just sort of worked on making the eyes a little less deformed, brought up the nose a little bit, played around with her mouth. Now sometimes you are going to run into areas that get awfully soft and I have a little bit of a trick for you. If you either want to strengthen or smooth out an edge, a great tool for doing that is the Pucker tool, strange as that may sound. So what you do is you grab the Pucker tool, you go with a very small cursor and notice I have some softness going around the neck and the hair right there.
So give yourself a very small cursor and you can just paint along that line like that and then I'll paint along this line as well and you can see that in both cases, I have managed to sharpen that edge dramatically. Now that doesn't mean that I like the edit, because I went ahead and messed up some various areas here. So I'm going to go ahead and undo those two modifications and I might start farther out here like that and then I'll come in here and I'm just going to Click a couple of times as opposed to dragging, but that's what you do. It's a heck of a tool for that kind of work. So a little bit of a tip from me to you.
Some areas it's not going to work out that well. Her mouth is getting awfully smooshy looking here and I might be able to sort of sharpen things up a little bit by Clicking on her mouth. But if I do that, of course, I kind of changed her expression and I'm also going to give her thinner lips, which is not really something I'm looking for. So when you get done using Liquify of course, you can select some of the softer areas if you want and try out the Smart Sharpen filter and see just a little bit of smart sharpening can work out pretty well for areas like this.
Also, another thing to note is that you are not really going to be this close to the image when you are showing it. So if I were to zoom out from this image a couple of Clicks, she already looks way bas and she is -- I mean this is a terrible image I have to say. She is riddled with compression artifacts and it doesn't have many pixels in it in the first place, but we are just zoomed out to 100% here, so we are seeing one image pixel for every screen pixel and she looks a heck of a lot better and cleaner than she did before in terms of her details. Now then, we have got those seriously sloping shoulders, and what you need is some bones. That's what I'm thinking anyway. So we can take advantage of a few other tools here that I'd like to show you. Now the utility of the remaining tools is dramatically less than those that have seen so far. This one right here is pretty good, the Push Left tool, it can sometimes going to come in handy.
What it does -- I'll go ahead and increase the size of my brush dramatically. What it does is it moves the pixels to the left like so as you drag upward. So I'll go ahead and undo that modification. Were I to drag downward, it would move them to the right and then if I drag to the left, I move pixels down. Go ahead and undo that. And if I drag to the right, I move pixels up. And then if you want to change that behavior, you press the Alt key. So if were dragging up while pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, then I would move the pixels to the right and so on. Now I don't expect you really to remember what direction this brush goes, because I can never remember for the life of me which direction things are going to go, just remember that if you drag and it goes the wrong way, you can either reverse the direction of your drag or perform that very same drag with the Alt or Option key down.
But here is where I think things get a little more interesting. If I were to Click here like so, I just Clicked, nothing happened and then I Shift+Click at this location, I'm going to shave her down like that. I'm also going to reveal this transparent edge right here, I definitely don't want to do that but I just want you to see that, that's something that you can do. Click and a Shift+Click in order to paint a straight line of push-in pixels right there. And I wanted to do that modification, because that was wretched but I might have more like if I Click and then I Shift+ Click directly to left like so. Now she has a bone, a broken one. I think I'm fairly demonstrating that this tool is of limited utility. It can be good if you have an appendage, like an arm or leg that's a little thicker than you'd like it to be. Go ahead and try out that technique I just showed you of Clicking and Shift+Clicking and see if that doesn't work for you and if you damage the image like this, if you make too much of an edit, remember that you can reduce your brush pressure value. So if I decrease this value to 10 for example and then I Shift+Clicked, I'm going to make a much more incremental modification.
But I'm just not getting the feeling that this is the tool for my purposes. But I'll show you a few others and let's restore that brush pressure of 85, why don't you? Because that works pretty well. Some other tools that we have got here, we have got the Mirror tool. These are tools I really have never come out with a use for. The Mirror tool, it's just a fun tool. You are going to create a mirror image of the image that's next to your cursor. So here I'll drag down and see what we end up getting here and that looks pretty nice. But notice when I drag back up, she goes away.
So you are mirroring a different area depending on which direction you drag. So nice work I'm doing here, I have to admit. Very artistic. So let's go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to undo that modification. We also have the Turbulence tool. It might be Photoshop's least useful tool if you were to scrounge through every single tool available to the program. But if you just kind of Click and you just hold with the Turbulence tool, things start happening. It's a good face melter, quite obviously. It's also good if you want to open up a hole in their head. Well, we are not opening quite a hole down now; we are opening a hole in the image. The amazing thing is it keeps working as you hold.
So it just keeps doing its weird thing, which is basically entirely random, just applying random distortions to your image. We can watch her face melt all day, I suspect. But you can do that without me doing it for you. So I'll go ahead and undo that modification. Gosh! I'm tempted to keep it, but I think I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac. And then finally, just to go back into the realm of semi-utility here, we have the Twirl Clockwise tool and that will twirl like so when you Click and hold. Now you might say well that's not too terrible useful either. It can be, with eyes actually, pretty useful and other details inside of an image. One of the things you can do is if somebody has got sort of an eye that's a skew essentially, you can just Click a little bit and sort of just fix it ever so slightly and then I might Alt+Click or Option+Click a little to send that eye in the other direction if I wanted to. It can be a little bit useful sometimes for a smile.
In the next exercise we are actually going to fix those shoulders and we are going to do so with the help of the Mask tool.
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