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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.
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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