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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
So far we have managed to create a pretty darn incredible glass composition just by dragging the glass against a different background, and setting it to the Hard Light mode, which is why I have called this version of the image Hard Light comp.psd found inside the 23_ masking folder. But I think we can do better. If you take a look at this Glass on pattern.psd file also found inside that same folder, you will see that we have a richer background going on. So it's not quite so dark, and we have some much better highlights, much brighter, more vivid highlights.
Now we can take care of the background by just dimming down the layer a little bit, by reducing the Opacity of the layer. So I'll switch back to this Hard Light comp image, because the layer is selected and my Marque tool is active. I press the 8 key to reduce the Opacity of the layer to 80%, and that brightens up the background quite a bit actually. But it also dims down the highlights. All the more recent to reintroduce the highlights, to select them and then reintroduce them into the composition. So let's go back to Splash in glass, this image right here, the original image from photographer Chris O'Driscoll, and let's select it.
Now I'm going to show you two different ways to select the highlights in this glass. One is to do it very exactingly using the Color Range command, which is a familiar command to us as well. It gives us a lot of control. Then I'll show you the quick and dirty way to do it, just by using a Found Mask, so easy, you will not believe it. It doesn't give you as much control but in our case, we don't need the control as you will see. All right, so here we are. We are looking at the glass. Go up to the Select menu, choose the Color Range command. Or if you loaded Dekekeys, mash your fist on the keyboard, and press O. That's Ctrl+Shift+Alt+O on a PC and Command+Shift+Option+O on the Mac. Up comes the Color Range dialog box, these are the default settings so we are seeing the masked version of the selection inside of the dialog box. And Selection Preview set to None so that we are seeing the original image out here in the image window. Fuzziness is set to 40, Localized Color Clusters is off, Invert also turned-off, we want both of those options off actually.
First thing I want you to do is click in a highlight, such as right here, this highlight right there in the water, works out beautifully. And at this point, you will see that you haven't really selected all that many highlights inside of the image. So let's go ahead and crank up the Fuzziness, and I want you to take that Fuzziness value up to about 125, and now we are selecting quite a few more highlights inside the image. The one thing that's not a highlight that we do definitely need to select is this lime because otherwise we are going to have a translucent lime, and we don't want that. So Shift-click on the lime in order to add the lime to the selection. And notice now that you have a lot of frothy highlight goodness going on inside of the Selection Preview. And if you want to see that Selection Preview, big and beautiful inside of the image window, then change the Selection Preview function right here to Grayscale.
You can also, by the way, this is pretty useful, you can preview the selection against a Black or White Matte, meaning that you will just see the selection set against white for example, which isn't terribly helpful to see, white highlights against the white background. Black though is very useful in the case of this image. So you can just see what a wonderful selection you have created. Can you believe this, that quickly? All we did was click and Shift-click and set the Fuzziness to 125, and we get this deliriously awesome effect. Thanks to one of the most wonderful features inside of Photoshop, the Color Range command. I just love this command.
You can also preview the selection as a Quick Mask, if you want to, not particularly useful to us, but there it is. Anyway, let's just see a Grayscale version of the mask. There it is. Looks nice. Now if you are having problems getting this result, I don't see how you get that problems, but I did go ahead and save off my settings. And you can load them if you want to. If you click on the Load button, you will see that you have got Highlights, which is just the highlights without the lime, and you can click Load to check that out. So notice that the lime is black in this case, so deselect it. Of course, you can go ahead and add it in by Shift- clicking on it if you want to. That will add in that lime. It does a terrific job. Or if you want to get the selection you were seeing just a moment ago or something very much like it, then click Load and select Lime & highlights.axt and then click Load. And you will get this result right there. Or just do it yourself click and Shift-click. That's all there is to it, so easy. Set the fuzziness to 125, wonderful. Click OK, you now have a selection outline, awesome.
Now I want you to press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac in order to get your Move tool on the fly. Make sure that you are seeing a little pair of scissors next to the Move tool cursor. Right now, I'm not. You do want to see the scissors. That will tell you that you are inside the selection, very important. Now Ctrl+drag, look at that. That's amazing. I'm selecting just the highlights. It's so awesome. And I'm so shrill while I'm amazed. And I'll go ahead and drag this guy up here to the title once again, wait for the image to switch over, then drag back down, press and hold the Shift key along with Ctrl or Command and drop. And you get these highlights right there in place, so beautiful.
Now, you might say well, not really. If you start zooming in, we have got some pretty sort of weird transitions going on. We do have the lime, no coconut, but we do have a little bit of orange in the background right there, so that's all right. But then we have got these kind of weird dark areas that don't quite go with the new background. Well, that's because we don't have it set to the right mode. So let's go ahead and rename this layer, color range. Why don't you? And then I want you to change the mode from Normal to, we are just trying to keep the highlights and we are trying to blend those highlights with the background, so we want to drop out the dark colors, so Screen is our guy.
The when in doubt keep the light colors mode and it works out beautifully. Look at that. Now there is one downside, if you are a stickler. There is the downside of the lime turning into a lemon because we are screening the green against the orange, it does go yellow on us. I'm not thinking that's a problem. If you want a lime, you have to go back and grab your greens. You could select the greens independently using Color Range, and then bring them in to this image. And so certainly you can do that, and why don't we just give it a quick trial.
I will go back to Splash in glass right there, press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Go back up to the Select menu. Choose Color Range, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+O or Command+Shift+Option +O on the Mac. It's very important that you deselect the image first before choosing Color Range because otherwise the Color Range command will find the intersection of the existing selection and the new one that you are trying to create, which is going to be a mess. So anyway, start with the deselected image and then just click. Wow! It's like it's psychic or something. And that's because the last thing I clicked on was the lime and so that became the foreground color because that's what happens when you click on a color with the Eyedropper. And the Color Range command is set up to automatically grab that foreground color, so it's grabbing the lime.
Incidentally, by the way, we do have the option of just setting Select to Highlights. Just select the highlights without doing any clicking whatsoever, or any other group of colors. But it doesn't really work very well for our purposes. That's what the Color Range command considers to be highlights, which is to say oh, golly, and bad transitions too, really sharp harsh edges, I don't like it, not going to work for the glass. So anyway let's go back to Sampled Colors, and it should go back to our lime. Cool, I'm not going to do anything, if you are not seeing the lime selected, you could click on it. And then click OK.
And then, let's just do another Ctrl+ drag. Make sure you could see the scissors next to your cursor. Ctrl or Command+ drag that lime right there, that little wedge of lime up to the tab. And then wait it for it to switch, and then drag back down and then press and hold the Shift key along with Ctrl or Command and drop it in the place. And now you have got a lime, totally up to you. And you might be able to blend it a little better by setting it to the Color mode or something along those lines, so that it looks like it's little more integrated into the scene. You could also experiment with something like Overlay. I'm totally making this up on the fly, people. So I'm not sure if it's going to work out. It didn't.
I'm glad I provided you with that warning upfront. Wonder what Linear Burn would look like? It would like a rotten lime. So I don't think that's the way I want to go. I probably would go with Color. But I tell you what? You know what I would really do? I would really leave it off. I like the lemon. I think the lemon looks great. Anyway, I'll just go and call this lime just so I know from whence it came. Okay, so that's one way to work, pretty easy. I don't think that was hard or anything, I think that was pretty stinking easy, especially since we are selecting glass. I mean this is one of those things that just seems like it would so darn tough, but it gets even easier to select those highlights. And I'll show you just how easy it can be, you don't need to choose a command, you don't need to go clicking with the Eyedropper, you don't need to click twice with the darn thing. You just need to work with a Found Mask and I'll show you how to work with that Found Mask in the next and last exercise.
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