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In this movie, I'll show you how the output levels work down here at the bottom of the Properties panel. So, for starters here, you've got this gradient bar, with yet another black triangle and white triangle, and they correspond to these values down here as well. Black goes with zero, white goes with 255, and what they're saying is, these are the values that levels is going to output. In other words, the darkest color is going to go from ten to zero in this case. And the lightest in this case is going to go from 255 to 255, it's not going to change.
Why don't we go ahead and switch to level one so you can see that in this case a value of 194 will become 255. Now if you change these values, for example, if you raise the black point. Then, in my case, I'm going to make the darkest color 83, so I'm going to map everything that was zero to 83, and as a result, we're going to lose a ton of shadows. And if I was to drag this white point, like so, I'm now mapping colors that used to be 194 down to 172, which means that I have a really low contrast ugly image, so you might wonder Why in the world you would ever use these controls.
Well, one more curiosity, just in case you're interested. You can cross the beams here, if you want to. And that's going to go ahead and invert the image as you see, and you can also control the degree of inversion if you like. But a more practical use is a common retouching technique. It should be familiar to those of you watched chapter ten. Notice that I got rid of the blur layer so that we're seeing more details, more pores, in this woman's face. And the blur layer involves some masking that we're not going to have to do this time around.
So this is sort of a poor man's technique, if you will, for a kind of quick and dirty glow. So the first thing I'll do is select this re-touch layer and then I'll press Ctrl+Alt+j, or Cmd+Opt+j on a Mac, to jump it and name it. And I'll call this one blur. And then I'll click OK. Next you want to go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Gaussian Blur. And enter a really whoppingly big number like 20 pixels or if you're working with a higher resolution image then you would possibly double that value.
Now click OK and the next thing you do is go over here to the split g/ mode Pop-up menu in the upper left hand corner of the Layers panel. And you change it from Normal to Overlay and you end up getting this kind of glow effect. Now Its over the top at this point and we're compromising the colors terrificly because we have way to much saturation now we're losing our shadow and highlight detail so drop down to the black white icon and if you want to name an adjustment layer while you create it. You press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac before you click on the icon, and then in our case we'll choose Levels.
And I'll go ahead and call this one Low Contrast because that's what I'm going to do is reduce the contrast of the image using those output levels. And I'll click OK. And now I'll click inside the first output level's value, the black point, and I'll press Shift+up arrow five times in a row. In order to increase that value to 50, then I'll tab over to the second value, the white point. I'll press Shift+down arrow five times in a row to reduce that value to 205. Now quite naturally you might look at this and still wonder where in the world we're going, why we would want this kind of effect.
Well what you want to do is relocate this adjustment to just the Blur layer. And you do that by clipping. So, you can see this icon right next to the eye, it tells you that it's going to clip the layer. Go ahead and click on it, and that goes ahead and gives us back some of that contrast once again. Now we want to emphasize the Glow effect a little bit more than this. So, I'm going to press the Alt key, or the Option key on the mac. And drag this level adjust down like so in order to create a copy of it. Between the Retouch layer and the Blur layer. And then lets change the settings here by pressing Shift+down arrow for the black point value so it's now 20.
And then press Shift+up arrow three times in order to raise the white point value to 235. And we end up getting this effect here so, just to give you a sense of our progress I'll press the F12 key to revert the image. This is the original version of the image that has the pores and all that stuff. And then if I press control z, or command z on the mac, this is that same image with a little bit of additional glow provided by blur, along with a couple of applications of output levels
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