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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we are going to begin to bring over the clock hands and rotate them and scale them into place and I'm going to show you how to gain a high degree of control over that process because it's important where the hands are concerned as you will see. I have got a couple of images opened, the usual Clock parts.tif, of course, it's opened. And I have also gone ahead and saved my progress as Merge faces.psd. But if you are still working inside that original cardinal Etondo document, then by all means stick with it. Wait till you see this, it's awesome. Go over to Clock parts.tif. My clock face is still selected just sitting here waiting for me.
Now at this point, I want to select the hands of course. Actually, what we have got, we have got ourselves the hour hand, the minute hand, and the second hand, and I'm going to start life with the minute hand because if you look at the way the centers are organized, the minute hand wants to be in front and then the hour hand immediately behind it and then the second hand at the back of the stack and that will become ever so clear as we put the clock together. All right, but what's needed I guess is I need to go to the Channels palette and reload that mask selection and then find the intersection with the minute hand there. But another way to work, you could back step. You can press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z on the Mac in order to back step one operation, and that takes us back to before I found the intersection with the clock face, and if I bring up the History palette, you can see that's true that the History palette is just showing that I have opened the document, I have load the selection, and then I used the Rectangular Marquee to find the intersection with clock face, so I had only the clock face selected.
Now, the reason I mentioned this is not because it's that much easier than Ctrl+Clicking or Command+Clicking on the Mask channel here but because it's possible, Photoshop's brilliant handling of history, it handles history on a document by document basis. So even though you only have 20 history states that are saved at any given time by default, you can change that. But they are saved on a document by document basis. So if you have 100 documents opened, then Photoshop is tracking 2000 different operations potentially. So there is a lot going on and it does it so wicked fast. Even if it's a very difficult operation, most of the time, you can back step extremely quickly.
All right, anyway so I'm back to the big selection and now using my Rectangular Marquee tool, I'm going to press the Shift and Alt keys or the Shift and Option keys on the Mac and drag around this guy like so and that finds the intersection with just this hand and then I'm going to Ctrl+Drag it or Command+Drag it up to the Merge faces. psd tab, hold it long enough for the cardinal to greet me and then drag the image into the Image window and then release. Look at that, that's what I was telling you that happy accident, look at that hand just mysteriously sort of appearing in back of the cardinal's face. I think that's really cool. That's not the effect I'm going for though. So I'm going back to the Layers palette, and I'm going to go ahead and rename this guy Minute, and then I'll drag it up the stack to here, just below the Frame layer, why don't we? Now let's go ahead and scale, and rotate this hand into place. I'm going to go up to the Edit menu, and I'm going to choose the Free Transform command, Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac to repeat that scaling operation. So it takes my clock hand down to 43% and change of its original size, and then I'll move the clock hand into the center like so just to get a sense of whether it's going to fill in that whole, because I definitely want to cover up that hole on the cardinal's face, and that doesn't quite do it actually but I bet the other hands are going to fill in that space, and I actually need this hand to be a little smaller than it is now so that we can see one hand on top of each of the other hands. In other words, the central dial of each of the hands should build on the one below it.
So let's make this guy slightly smaller by dialing in a numerical adjustment and what's great about this by the way, the fact that I can repeat a transformation inside the Transform mode, which I have already said is the feature I really love. Another great thing about it is, it serves as a starting point for your next transformation. So I can adjust it, I can say, okay 43% is good, but not only do I want to adjust the scaling, I also want to add a rotation to it and I can do that all in one seamless operation, so that I'm not heaping one transformation onto another which is a destructive process unless applied with the smart object as we will see in a subsequent chapter but the way we are working, it would be destructive.
So I'm going to go ahead and turn on the Link icon right there and I'm going to change the Width value or the height value, either one to 41% like so, and that will change both of them in kind and then, I'm going to rotate this guy a little bit. But first, let's go ahead and press the Enter key because right now the Width value is active right there. Press the Enter key to accept it, or the Return key on a Mac. We are still in the Free Transform mode. I'm now going to press the Up Arrow key and the Right Arrow key and whatever arrow keys I need to until I get that hand aligned in the center of the cardinal, and then I'm going to rotate this hand. Notice if I move my cursor outside of the transformation boundary, it changes into a rotate cursor. If I start to drag, then I rotate the hand, well what's the problem with that? I am rotating around the center of the hand, which is in no way, shape or form what I want to rotate around. I want to rotate around the center of the dude's face. So Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac. What I need to do is I need to move this origin point right there and you see what I'm talking about this little, well now you don't see it, it's completely invisible. You can totally lose these things.
In the old days, it used to be a little more clear. But anyway, there is the target right there, that's where you want to move. This is the origin for the entire transformation process. I would scale around that origin, I would rotate around that origin and so forth. If I want to scale around that origin, I have to press the Alt or the Option key like this. Otherwise, I scale with respect to the opposite control handle. So Alt or Option does that, go ahead and undo that modification there. I want to make that point because I was telling you Alt or Option allows you to scale with reference to the center of the layer, and that's true because the origin point starts off in the center. But if you move the origin point to a different location, Alt or Option is going to scale with reference to that new location. You don't have to press Alt or Option when rotating; you always rotate around the reference point.
So now I can just start dragging like so, and l am moving the hand of course around the clock, and we are going forward in time, but really, wouldn't it be better to go backward in time? There you go. There is the favor I'm doing for you. Now let's take this hand I would say back to well I don't know something around 10 o' clock. I think I was pretty happy with 112 degrees. I'm watching this little value up there. I'm going to go ahead and change it to exactly 112 degrees, why don't I? Notice by the way that this grid right here is now completely empty, this little matrix and that's because it's working from the manually positioned origin point right there. So it's trying to respect that point and they just can't show it in its little matrix.
All right, great. Now we are done. Then go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac a couple of times in a row actually, once to accept the Rotate Value and then the second time to accept the transformation as I have done here. Then I'm going to press Ctrl +Right Arrow just to completely center this hand right there inside of the cardinal's cheek hole. All right, so there we have it. That's our first hand, our minute hand in place. In the next exercise, what the heck, we will add the hour and the second hands.
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