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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I've saved my progress as Just a drop.psd, found aside the 27_pen_tool folder, and thus far we've managed to exactingly select this drop and isolate it from the rest of the image, using a precise path outline drawn with the Pen tool. Now you may look at this drop and wonder about the precision. After all, I'll go ahead and press the A key to get my White Arrow tool. After all, it looks like this darkness down here is an area that's outside the drop and potentially, we're going too far out on the left-hand side. So if you're curious about that kind of stuff, you can just go ahead turn on this droplets layer that appears duplicated behind single drop.
You'll see here that actually this dark area is inside the droplet, whereas I might be going too far out over here on left-hand side. So I'll go ahead and click on this anchor point and tuck it in just a little bit by pressing the Left Arrow key. I will urge you that as much as you might want to get your path outline exactly right, that's unlikely to ever exactly happen because, again, you're trying to match this mathematical vector-based outline with the natural world, and the two aren't necessarily going to go hand-in-hand.
Now, I'm not advocating for sloppiness by any means. I'm suggesting you work as hard as possible to get the best results you can. However, if you're going to err on one side of the other as usual, I would recommend that you err on the side of selecting too little as opposed to too much. All right, now, in our case, things are a little more forgiving than that, because we're now going to paint in some shading below the water droplet using this droplets layer right there. So I am going to switch to the droplets layer and I am going to go ahead and zoom out a couple of clicks, so that we can see more of the image at a time, and then I'm going to add a layer mask, but I am going to add a layer mask that hides everything associated with this layer.
The reason being that we don't want most of the layer, we just want a little bit of shading down below here. So I'll Alt+click or Option+click on the layer mask icon and that goes ahead and hides that droplets layer. We are left with single drop, we can still see that. You do want to be able to see that layer as you work along. All right, I am going to select my Brush tool, which I can get by pressing the B key, if I like, and I've got a whoppingly big brush, by the way, its size doesn't really matter that much. you can change that on the fly, but it's 600 pixels for me. The Hardness should be 0% for this technique.
So I'll go ahead and hide that panel and I'm going to switch my foreground and background colors here. I'll just press the D key and that gives me my default colors for masking, which is white is the foreground color and black is the background color. That's what I want because I am going to be painting white into black in order to reveal that layer. Make sure the Mode is set to Normal, a 100% Opacity is fine, and then you just begin painting like so. And with very little effort, you go ahead and add this shading back in. Now, of course, I've done a fairly sloppy job so far.
I'm revealing these other droplets in the background as well as this little droplet upfront. So I need to press the X key in order to switch the foreground color to black, and I will paint this away, like so, so that I am not seeing the edges of the droplets, and I will paint down here a little bit as well. I end up with this shading like so, and that's really all there is to it. So that part of the experience is very easy to pull off. So once you get that path outline in place, you can paint in your shading lickety-split, just using a simple layer masking technique.
Now I'll just go ahead and zoom in so that we can see this final version of the image. I'll Shift+tab away my panels, because we have such a wide image at our disposal here. This is the final effect. again, it's achieved using a very simple layer mask and I think that's obvious, and just four smooth points surrounding this droplet. In the next exercise, we are going to take on something more complicated, namely, a person's face.
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