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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.
All right, I've gone ahead and quit Photoshop and restarted the program using a Cache Level Setting of one, which allows me to switch between layers and apply other modifications without ever having to redraw the histograms, either here is that the Histogram panel or elsewhere inside the program. Now I'm not going to not to leave the Cache Level at 1, that would be absolute madness. It would completely undercut Photoshop's ability to navigate inside of an image and redraw the image onscreen. Things would slow to a crawl very quickly, I'm not willing to tolerate that. So I'll eventually raise that Cache Level's value back to it's default setting of 4.
In the meantime however, a setting of 1 is highly expedient for showing off the different Auto Commands. Here inside this image, it's called Father for our money.psd. And notice that it features a detail from an old-style one dollar bill, repeated four times on four different layers. And the money has a certain green color cast associated with it. Now it's not a color caste that was added by the scanner. In this case, rather it's native to the money of course. But there is nothing like an old-style greenback for demonstrating how the Auto Commands work as you're about to see.
Now might look at this image and think, Holy Smokes Deak! This is money. Should we even be opening this, is this legal? And the answer is yes. Here in the States, money is treated as a kind of shared resource. And so you can actually scan money and incorporate it into your art work as long as you don't try to pass it off as actual legal tender, because that would land you in prison for counterfeiting and as long as you stick to certain guidelines. And if you want to learn about those guidelines, you can go to www.rulesforuse.org and that will keep you in a clear. Now, what few people know is that Photoshop actually has currency detection algorithms built into it.
So then it might actually refuse to open or print modern bills, fives, tens, twenties, that kind of thing as well as Euros and other international currency. And if you compare those bank notes to each other, you'll see similar repeating patterns and that's what Photoshop is detecting. So this is in the international conspiracy, designed to keep us from counterfeiting money inside of Photoshop and other applications. For real, I'm very serious about this. Now there are work arounds and I've set this document up so that you can open it without any problems, and of course you're not going to be able to use this document for counterfeiting purposes because we jut have a bunch of money fragments, and we never do see a full one, so we have no idea how many dollars this is actually.
Anyway as I say, it's going to provide us with an excellent demonstration of how the Auto Commands work. Now I'm going to go ahead and switch to the auto tone layer. Because the control layer, we're going to leave that one alone for the sake of comparison. I also want you to see what's going on inside of the Histograms, and I want you to be able to read the Histograms on the Channel by Channel basis. Then I want you to notice that the Source option is currently set to Entire Image. And if you look at each one of these Histogram, you'll see a spike, a red spike over here on the right hand side of the Red Histogram, a green one of the Green Histogram and a blue one on the Blue Histogram.
They are all on the far right side, so that means we've got a lot of white inside of this document. Well, that's the white background between the layers that we're seeing there. We don't want to see that because that's going to throw off our understanding what's going on here. So I'll switch the Source option from Entire Image to Selected layer, so we're seeing just one layer at a time. Now let's get a sense of what's going on here. You'll see that each one of the Histograms looks pretty similar to the other ones, that is to say, we have very little in the way of dark shadow detail. We have a spike of light shadows, a bunch of mid-tones and then a big spike of dark highlights.
And I see dark highlights because there's nothing over here in the bright highlight region, where the Red Channel and especially the Blue Channel is concerned. And the fact that the Histograms look pretty similar, means that we have a more or less monochromatic image with some variations of course. The image is a little bit greenish and we do have this green serial number and seal. But otherwise, it's a fairly monochromatic, that is black-and-white composition. Now, check out the Colors View of the composite Histogram and make sure, Channel is set the Colors right there.
And wherever you see gray, that means the three Color Channels overlap each other and we have something in this region resembling neutrality. And when I say an area is neutral, that means that it's colorless. However, check out these shadows here. The darkest of the shadows show up as magenta which is an overlap of the Red Histogram and the Blue Histogram, and as a result, we're seeing greenish Shadows. Now that may seem counter intuitive that, if blue and red are showing up, why would the shadows be greenish.
Well, it's because green doesn't kick in until we get to this gray region right there. And whatever channel is brightest, is what shows up at that luminance level inside of the image. So if you're shadows are brightest in the Green Channel, then your shadows are going to show up as green. This also goes for the mid-tones and there's not much of a story to tell you there and for the highlights. So, because our blue Highlights are the darkest, our red highlights are in between and our green highlights are the brightest, the highlight show up as green with a little contribution from red which makes them appear a little bit yellowish.
The green serial number and seal are also contributing to those green highlights incidentally. So that's what we have going on right now. Now each of the Auto Commands, you might think that they just applies some sort of predefined settings and that's it. In fact what they do, is they evaluate the existing Histograms and compensate accordingly, either on a channel by channel basis, where Auto Tone and Auto Color are concerned, or a crossly entire composite image in the case of Auto Contrast. Now, something else to note about these commands.
Because they're all under the Image menu, they're all static commands, meaning that they permanently change the pixels inside of our layers. If you wanted to apply any of these commands temporarily, then you would either add a Levels or Curves Adjustment layer and then you'd click on the Auto button in order to apply by default Auto Tone. But you could Alt or Option+Click on that Auto button, Alt+Click on the PC, Option+Click on the Mac, in order to switch over to one of the other Auto Settings that is Auto Contrast or Auto Color and I'll be showing you how that works.
All right so that's all the background information. In the next exercise, we're really going to get down to it. You'll see examples of Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color, and I think you'll have a sense of what's really going on.
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