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Okay let's take a moment to make sure that we are all on the same page here. Here is what I have done so far. I have gone ahead and selected the woman along with her hair from the FaceInTheDark.tiff image from photographer Pascal Genest and I have dragged and dropped this selection into a new background here called DesertBackdrop.jpeg from photographer M Lenny. And go ahead and go to the Layers palette by clicking on the Layers tab or by pressing the F7 key and you will notice that the woman and her hair have landed on an independent layer inside of this composition.
And I am going to go ahead and change the name of this layer by double clicking on Layer 1 and I am going to call this layer Normal which may seem like a weird thing to do. But I am naming it after its blend mode notice the normal blend mode is at work on this layer, the blend mode being this item here directly below the word Layers in the Layers palette. Now the great thing about this independent layer here is that of course it is independent of the background meaning that we can edit background and woman independently of each other.
Also it's the result of an incredibly accurate mask that traces individual strands of hair, how cool is that but it did result in some dark edge fringing. And I need to get rid of those fringes and I am going to do that using a series of compositing tricks. For starters in this exercise we are going to take a look at little Blend Mode trick that will help downplay the edges not entirely get rid of them but downplay them. In the next exercise we are going to take advantage of a function called a Layer Mask and then later we are going to use the Quick Mask Mode in order to modify that layer mask.
Alright so currently she is set to normal. What we need to do is create a layer of lightness in between normal and the background layer and I am going to do that by duplicating this layer. The easiest way to duplicate a layer, you can drag it on to the little page icon at the bottom of the Layers palette if you want to or you can go to the Layer menu and you can choose New and you can choose Layer via Copy. But by far the easiest way to duplicate a layer is to take advantage of this keyboard shortcut right here Ctrl J or Command J on the Mac.
Now you might wonder why in the world is the keyboard shortcut for duplicating the layer Ctrl J and the reason is J for jump, we are going to jump the layer to a new layer. However you decide to do it, go ahead and jump that layer and notice that it's automatically named Normal Copy. I am going to double click that name and I am going to rename this layer lightness like so and then press the Enter or Return key and I am going to drag that layer downward until I see a heavy bar, notice that heavy horizontal bar between Normal and Background and then I will release.
That allows me to move the layer down the stack which is what I want you to do as well. Then let's go ahead and change the blend mode. Click on the word Normal in order to display the blend mode pop-up menu here and keep your eye if you can keep your eye on the image here inside the image window so you can see the change that occurs when I change the blend mode associated with this layer to Linear Dodge and in parenthesis it says Add. That's a new little addition inside Photoshop CS3 to show us that that is the same thing as the Add Blend Mode that's available elsewhere inside the software.
Alright anyway I will go ahead and choose Linear Dodge and notice the difference. Did you see that? I will go ahead and press the Escape key so that the Linear Dodge option is no longer active there. So this is before we changed that blend mode and this is after, significantly lightened those edges those fringes around the thick GUI sort of soft hairs near the bottom of the image. Also it did a lot, I will go ahead and zoom in to the top of the image here, it did a lot to bring out the hairs at the top of the image so sharply focussed strands of hair.
This is before. Notice how dark they are and this is after, notice how light and bright and beautiful and easy to see they are thanks to the sandwiching of two copies of the layer, one set to the normal blend mode and the other set to the linear dodge mode. As I say in the next exercise we are going to get rid of more of these fringes using Layer Mask, Quick Mask and more.
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