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

Removing people from a scene with Median


Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Removing people from a scene with Median

In this movie I'll show you one final use for Smart Objects, which allows you to remove people from a scene using a Stack mode known as Median, but I will warn you, this feature only exists inside Photoshop Extended. So if you have the standard version of the software, you will not have access to Stack Modes. In which case you can go ahead and skip ahead to the next chapter. I'm looking in a subfolder inside the 24_smart_objects folder called Vicenza pics. And if you go ahead and click on Teatro Olimpico-1 and Shift+Click on Teatro Olimpico-4, then you'll select four different files.
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  1. 30m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 19s
    2. Loading the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 5s
    3. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    4. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    5. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    6. The interface and performance settings
      5m 31s
    7. Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
      7m 0s
  2. 47m 0s
    1. Smart Objects
      1m 36s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      3m 6s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 11s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 20s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Styling and blending Smart Objects
      2m 44s
    12. Editing originals; updating clones
      3m 41s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 51s
  3. 29m 59s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      4m 39s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  4. 49m 10s
    1. Using Curves
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Winning Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors and smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 57s
  5. 1h 31m
    1. Camera Raw
      2m 11s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      8m 1s
    3. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    4. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 8s
    5. Working with archival images
      7m 54s
    6. The Spot Removal and Graduated Filter tools
      6m 4s
    7. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 23s
    8. Tone Curves (and why you don't need them)
      5m 57s
    9. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 17s
    10. Applying manual lens corrections
      5m 14s
    11. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 49s
    12. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      6m 36s
    13. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    14. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    15. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  6. 32m 30s
    1. Duotones
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Noise vs. Details
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 35s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Brushing away blur and sharpening
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  8. 44m 30s
    1. Blur Gallery
      1m 36s
    2. Creating depth-of-field effects in post
      5m 29s
    3. Modifying your Field Blur settings
      4m 57s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      6m 15s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      7m 29s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 59s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 35s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 18s
  9. 1h 34m
    1. Blend Modes
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  10. 44m 20s
    1. Color Range
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  11. 59m 43s
    1. Refine Edges
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
  12. 1h 18m
    1. The Pen tool
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 59s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 36s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 51s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 8m Advanced Sep 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
  • Placing and blending Smart Objects in a scene
  • Transforming and warping vector objects
  • Correcting for lens distortion
  • Mitigating halos and enhancing contrast with Shadows/Highlights
  • Adding and editing points on a curve
  • Editing multiple images in Camera Raw
  • Creating a pro-quality sepia tone or quadtone
  • Colorizing with blend modes and opacity
  • Reducing and smoothing over noise
  • Creating depth-of-field effects with blur
  • Selecting with Color Range and Quick Mask
  • Perfecting a mask with Refine Edge
  • Drawing paths with the Pen tool
  • Converting path outlines to vector masks
Photoshop Camera Raw
Deke McClelland

Removing people from a scene with Median

In this movie I'll show you one final use for Smart Objects, which allows you to remove people from a scene using a Stack mode known as Median, but I will warn you, this feature only exists inside Photoshop Extended. So if you have the standard version of the software, you will not have access to Stack Modes. In which case you can go ahead and skip ahead to the next chapter. I'm looking in a subfolder inside the 24_smart_objects folder called Vicenza pics. And if you go ahead and click on Teatro Olimpico-1 and Shift+Click on Teatro Olimpico-4, then you'll select four different files.

I'm going to press the Spacebar in order to preview the image at full screen, and you can see, as I advance from one image to the other, that while the scene is fairly stationary, I wasn't using a tripod, so things bounce around a little bit. But the biggest difference is that we have my friend Colleen walking across the foreground. So let's say, much as I like Colleen, I want to go ahead and get rid of her where the scene is concerned. Well, here's how. I press the Escape key to return to the Bridge and then go ahead and select those four images once again.

You don't want to have Stack mode Median.psd selected, because that's the final version of the file. With those four images selected, and by the way, if you were trying this with your own images, you need at least three shots to make it work. Then go up to the tools menu, choose Photoshop and choose Load Files into Photoshop layers. And that will go ahead and launch Photoshop and combine those images into a layered composition. All right, now I'll press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on the Mac in order to zoom in slightly. And I want you to see here, I'm going to click on the bottommost layer and then Alt+Click or Opt+Click on its eyeball.

And now I can press Alt+] to advance through these layers and you can see that things bounce around quite a bit. We need to go ahead and align these layers together. So I'll go and Shift+Click on the bottommost layer, so that all four layers are selected and then I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose Auto-Align layers. And that will bring up this dialog box here. You want to leave Projection set to Auto and leave the two Lens Correction checkboxes turned off, and then click OK, and Photoshop will automatically distort and align the layers, so that they better overlap.

Now let's check what's happened here. I'll click on that topmost layer to make it active, so that we have one layer active and it's the only layer that's visible. And then I'll press Alt+[ or Option+[ on the Mac to advance down the stack, and you can see now that all four of the images perfectly align. All right, the next thing you need to do is turn on all the layers, and then click on the bottommost layer, Shift+Click on the topmost so that all the layers are selected and go to the Layers panel flyout menu and choose Convert to Smart Object or press that keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Comma(,), Cnd+Comma(,) on the Mac.

All right, now for the moment of truth. Now Photoshop Extended ships with a bunch of Stack modes, but you wouldn't know it, because they're so hard to get to. You go up to the layer menu, you choose Smart Objects, then you choose Stack mode, and if you don't see this command, it's because you have a standard version of the software. And then you have access to a variety of different Stack modes that you can apply one at a time, so only one Stack mode can be applied to any given Smart Object. Now just by way of example, I'll go ahead and choose Mean, each one of these modes blends the images together differently.

And when you choose Mean you end up getting the average luminance levels from all four of the images inside of the Smart Object, and as a result we have these Colleen ghost that are traveling across the scene. So if you want that kind of effect, then Mean is the Stack mode of choice. I'm going to go ahead and expand this layer so that we can see the Stack mode listed below the Smart Object name. And as long as I'm here I'll go ahead and rename the Smart Object all layers. All right, so that's pretty interesting, there are some other ones that are available to you. I'll go up to the Layer menu, choose Smart Objects again, choose Stack mode, fairly laborious to switch between these guys.

And I'll choose Minimum and what that's going to do is keep the minimum luminance level, in other words, the darkest color from all of the layers combined. And as a result we're going to get some pretty flushed out versions of all the Colleens in the scene, because she's wearing that dark clothing. It doesn't entirely give us just Colleens, however, because she's got some lines going through the highlights in her face, which after all are brighter than the background. However, the effect I really want to achieve is to eliminate Colleen from the scene entirely. And to do that you go up to the layer menu, choose Smart Objects, choose Stack mode, and then choose this guy right there, Median.

And that will find the most popular luminance level associated with all of the layers, and because Colleen only appears on one layer at any given position, she ends up being 100% eliminated. All right, I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 once again in order to back out of the scene. And now I want to go ahead and crop things, because after all we have some weirdness down here in the corners. So using the Rectangular Marquee tool I'm just going to draw a selection about yea big here that ends up capturing what I considered to be more less the ideal composition for the scene.

It's certainly symmetrical. And now I'll go up to the Image menu and choose Crop. Now normally the Crop command is going to delete all the pixels that are outside the selection. The only exception is when you're using a Smart Object, because after all Smart Objects by definition cannot be cropped. So I'll go ahead and choose that command and we end up getting this final version of the scene. I'll press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on the Mac in order to deselect. I might want to brighten things up as well, so I'll click the black/white icon at the bottom of the panel, choose Brightness/Contrast, and I'll go ahead and take the Brightness value up to 20 and I'll take the Contrast value down to -20, and we get this final version of the composition.

Now I'll press Shift+F in order to fill the screen with the image and zoom in as well, and that's how you use the Median Stack mode to eliminate people and other moving objects from a scene.

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