Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustration by Richard Downs

Refine, integrate, and complete


Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Refine, integrate, and complete

In this movie, we're going to introduce the daisy into the larger composition, we're going to refine its edges, and we're going to add some finishing touches, so the flower looks at home in its new environment. I'm going to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool, which I can get by pressing the M key. And then I'm going to click on the background item here at the bottom of the Layers panel, so that when I bring the flower in it'll appear directly above the background. Now I'll switch back to the Masked daisy image, and I'll right-click inside the image window and choose Duplicate Layer.
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  1. 19m 15s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 27s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      4m 7s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      4m 9s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      2m 45s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      1m 16s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      2m 32s
    7. Closing one image and Closing All
      1m 59s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. Navigating your image
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      4m 27s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      4m 29s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Adjusting a few screen prefs
      4m 16s
  3. 45m 58s
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      3m 3s
    3. The Image Size command
      3m 27s
    4. Common resolution standards
      3m 20s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      4m 36s
    6. Changing the print size
      6m 16s
    7. Downsampling for print
      4m 12s
    8. Downsampling for email
      3m 11s
    9. The interpolation settings
      5m 22s
    10. Downsampling advice
      4m 36s
    11. Upsampling advice
      6m 10s
  4. 53m 18s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 13s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      2m 58s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 19s
    1. The art of saving
    2. Four things to know about saving
      6m 0s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 38s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 41s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 19m 36s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      3m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      3m 1s
    4. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    5. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    6. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 42m 6s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      3m 19s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 5s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 34s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color cast in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 9s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 47s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 11s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
6h 39m Beginner Apr 26, 2012

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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.

Topics include:
  • Opening an image from Photoshop, Bridge, or Camera Raw
  • Navigating, zooming, panning, and rotating the canvas
  • Adding, deleting, and merging layers
  • Saving your progress and understanding file formats
  • Cropping and straightening
  • Adjusting brightness and contrast
  • Identifying and correcting a color cast
  • Making and editing selections
  • Enhancing portraits by retouching skin, teeth, and eyes
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Refine, integrate, and complete

In this movie, we're going to introduce the daisy into the larger composition, we're going to refine its edges, and we're going to add some finishing touches, so the flower looks at home in its new environment. I'm going to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool, which I can get by pressing the M key. And then I'm going to click on the background item here at the bottom of the Layers panel, so that when I bring the flower in it'll appear directly above the background. Now I'll switch back to the Masked daisy image, and I'll right-click inside the image window and choose Duplicate Layer.

And I'll switch the Document to Brightly shining moon.psd and I'll click OK. Now I'll switch back to that image and you can see that the flower is in place. But I want to slightly adjust its positioning. So I'm going to zoom out here and I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform command. And the reason I'm doing this is not because I want to rotate the flower or scale it or anything like that. What I want to do is reposition it and Free Transform can be very useful for that purpose because you have numerical coordinate controls.

Notice up here in the Options bar, we have this Reference point indicator. Currently it's set to the center. Meaning the numerical coordinates are measured from the center point. I'm going to switch it to the upper left corner by clicking in that upper left point right there, and I'm going to click on X to select the X value and I'm going to change it to -150 pixels, then I'll tab to Y and change it to -70 pixels. And then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac a couple of times in order to accept that change. And that just happens to be the position where I want the daisy to land.

If you zoom in, you might notice we have some slightly rough edges here and there. So it's probably worth cleaning up these edges using Refine Edge. But instead of cleaning up the selection outline, we need to clean up the layer mask. So click on the Layer Mask thumbnail over here inside the Layers panel and then go on to the Select menu and choose the Refine Mask command. It's the same function. It just goes by a different name. Now your View should be automatically set to On Layers, so we can see how the flower interacts with its background.

But if you prefer, you could change it to On White or On Black or one of the other ones, just to get an additional sense on what's going on. I'm going to leave it set to On Layers and I'm going to crank up that Radius value again just to see what ends up happening. And you can see that Photoshop is having a tendency to grow the selection outward a little bit. So I don't want to take that value too high. I'm going to take it down to 10 pixels. And I'm going to tab my way down to the Shift Edge value and choke this edge to negative 25% once again, just to move the edge in.

And we'll get a little bit of interaction as you can see here between the background and the petals of the flower. All right, now I'll click OK in order to accept that change and I'll zoom back out. Even though the edges are in a good shape at this point, they may look a little bit rough here and there, but once again, if you zoom in to 100%, things should look a lot better. Anyway, I'm going to zoom back out so I could keep an eye in the entire composition. Now I look at this flower and I think, all right, here's the flower against the background. I don't believe for a second it actually belongs here.

So we need to integrate it into the scene. And the simplest integration tools tend to be layer effects. So I'm going to drop down to the FX icon and choose Inner Glow so that we have a little bit of glow on the inside edges of those petals. And the default settings end up working great. So we have this pale yellow, Opacity is set to 75%, Blend Mode is set to Screen, Size is set to 5 pixels, that's just fine. Now I'm going to click on Color Overlay. And what I want be able to do is lift the color from the image, but I'm not going to be able to because my layer mask is active.

If I click on the Color Swatch and then click inside the image window, notice I end up lifting black outside the flower or white inside the flower and that's because my layer mask is selected. So I'll just go ahead click OK for now, click OK again, and I'll just go ahead and click on the full color thumbnail for the layer to make it active. And now we'll edit the Color Overlay Effect by double-clicking on it. That will bring up the Layer Style dialog box once again. Click on the white swatch and move your cursor outside into the image window and click.

And this time, assuming you click in the sky, you should lift the shade of blue. I'm going to raise that Hue value to 220 degrees. I'm going to take the Saturation value up to 65%. And I'll take the Brightness value all the way to 100% and click OK. And then I'm going to change the Blend Mode so that we have a little bit of interaction between the blue and the flower from Normal to Overlay, and we end up achieving this effect here. Now I'll click OK and what we have is an integrated flower, I think.

It's awfully bright and cheerful, however. I'd rather have something of a brooding flower in the foreground and I want it to be a little darker suggesting that it's not catching the light. So I'm going to add a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment layer by pressing and holding the Alt key or the Opt key on the Mac and then clicking in the black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choosing Brightness/Contrast. And I'll go ahead and call this Layer deepen, and again, turn on Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask, so that we affect just the flower layer and not the background. Now I'll click OK.

Now here's another great way to use Adjustment layers. In addition to changing their values, you can also change their blend modes. So if I switch from Normal to the main darkening mode which is Multiply, it's as if I'm using the image to darken itself. And we end up getting this rich orange colors as well as these dark shadows toward the center of the flower. Now I'm going to select the Brightness value and I'm going to dial it down to -25 to darken the flower even further. And now I'll hide the Properties panel because after all, I'm done.

So I'll go ahead and press Shift+F in order to switch to the Full Screen mode and zoom in as well. And that's our final, fairly other-worldly composition thanks to the power of Photoshop's geometric free form and automated selection tools.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Where can I learn more about graphic design?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting graphic design on
Q: When I double click the welcome.psd file included with the exercise files, I get the following error message:

"Some text layers contain fonts that are missing. These layers will need to have the missing fonts replaced before they can be used for vector based output."

Unlike the TIF and JPEG files which display and open correctly, all the icons for PSD files are blank but other than the welcome.psd file, they seem to open correctly without the error message. Is this a problem that I should address (perhaps re-download the files or find the missing fonts)?
A: The TIFF and JPEG files are flat, so they don't contain fonts and the operating system can interpret them (and generate thumbnails) without help from Photoshop. The PSD files have two issues:

First, they may contain editable text complete with font info. The files are designed with fonts that ship with Photoshop, so you don't get error messages, but Adobe sells some versions of Photoshop without fonts. This may be your issue.

Second, the PSD files contain no flat previews. This makes for smaller files, but it means the operating system, Mac or Windows, cannot generate previews. That won't effect your experience in Photoshop, but it does mean you can't see the file until you open it.
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