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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, 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 CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
All right, I'm still working inside the Lips.jpg image. I've gone ahead and shows in the Color Range command from the Select menu. I've clicked and Shift+Clicked at a couple of points that are surrounding the lips. Remember that white represents the selected portion of the image, or the area that will be selected as soon as I click on the OK button. Black represents the deselected portion of the image. Any grays represent varying levels of selection. So, light grays are mostly selected, dark rays are mostly deselected. Now I still need to add this border of white around the lips.
That's an area that just wasn't covered by the photograph. I want that area to ultimately be filled with black. But I need to select it first, if I'm going to approach the lips in opposite order, i.e. if I'm going to select the stuff that I don't want to select ultimately, which is the way I'm working now. That means I can either Shift+Click inside of the image window here - I have this little strip of white to work with -, or I could go ahead and Shift+Click inside of the Preview as well, here inside the dialog box. So that works too. That went ahead and added that white area to the selection.
Notice now that I have this slight area of gray right there below into the left of the lips. To see that area in more detail, if I want to see the masked version of the image inside of the image window, then I change the Selection Preview from None to Grayscale right there. Now I'm going to see the black-and- white mask along with all the gray values in extraordinary detail. I can even zoom in on my image if I want to. I can press Ctrl+Plus to zoom in, and Command+Plus on the Mac, or Ctrl+Minus or Command+Minus to zoom out.
I also have the option of viewing the image here inside the dialog box by switching to the Image. I can click on that Image radio button. Something else I should tell you is you reverse what you're seeing here inside the dialog box when you press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac. So every once in while, when I'm telling you a keyboard shortcut that involves the Ctrl key or the Command key, you may end up seeing this little preview inside the dialog box flicker onscreen. That's why I'm going to go ahead and switch it back to the Selection, because I want to see the Selection both inside the dialog box and out.
Now notice this little area right here of gray. It's light gray, which tells us that this area is mostly selected. However, I might want it to be entirely selected. So I could once again Shift+Click inside of this area to add another key color, or get this. This is something you can't do with a Magic Wand tool. You can press the Shift key, and drag over a range of colors' likes. Then that entire dragged area gets added as a key color to your selection. So you spend a lot less time Shift+ Clicking all over the place using the Color Range command, in favor of just a few Shift+Drags.
Also notice here, and in order to show this off a little more effectively, I'm going to have to click inside the image once again. Anytime you click, you're going to go back to a single key color, as I have now, just a little bit of flesh in my case. Notice I've got this Fuzziness value. By default, it's set to 40. It's measured in Luminance levels. In case that sounds familiar, that's exactly what's going on with the Tolerance option that's associated with the Magic Wand tool. By default, with the Magic Wand tool, the Tolerance is set to 32, meaning, when you click on a color inside of the image, then you're going to select 32 Luminance levels lighter and 32 luminance levels darker.
Then that clicked color in each one of your color channels, red, green, and blue. Same thing happens here with Fuzziness. In this case, the default value is 40. So you're going to select 40 luminance levels brighter and 40 luminance levels darker, then that key color in each one of the color channels. Then Photoshop is going to average out that information in order to figure out the composite selection. However, there are two big differences. With the Magic Wand tool, the Tolerance value is static. It affects the next selection outline you make. The Fuzziness value works on the fly.
It's a dynamic setting that you can use to either increase the selected area by raising that Fuzziness value, or decrease the selected range of colors by decreasing the selected value. That modification happens absolutely on the fly. The other great thing about Fuzziness is rather than being an on-off proposition, with the Magic Wand tool that Tolerance setting, 32 brighter, 32 darker, once you arrive at 33 brighter or 33 darker, bang! You're cut off.
You're not selected. Then there is a little bit of fake anti- aliasing that's thrown around the edge. So you get a little bit of smoothing around the selection outline, but not much. What you get with Fuzziness is a tapering. So in other words, the color I clicked on is absolutely selected. Anything that has a luminance level of 71, either brighter or darker is absolutely deselected. Then everything over the course of this Fuzziness range is progressively deselected as we get farther and farther away from the key color.
So we're matching the natural luminance transitions inside of the image, which means we get a much more organic selection outline out of Color Range than we could ever manage using the Magic Wand tool, or for that matter, Quick Selection, or any of the other selection tools that are available here inside the toolbox. So, the big morals here are, remember that you can Shift+Drag in order to add a range of colors inside of an image. Also, remember that your Fuzziness value is dynamic, and that Photoshop goes ahead and tapers the selection over the course of those luminance levels, thereby ensuring that you get organic results.
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