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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.
I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Big New irises.psd, so called because we've taken these irises, we've copy-merged them from the original liquefied portions of the image, then pasted them into place, and enlarged them using the Free Transform Command. Now, we have to try to do a little bit of detail matching, by which I mean, we need to take these very softly focused eyes at this point, not that they were shot soft in the first place, but rather we have made them soft by applying the Liquefy Command, which did a lot of damage actually, and of course by scaling them with a Free Transform Command.
Now, we don't have to get too twisted up about exactly how sharp we make these eyes, because the detail inside the image vacillates a little. For example, this cheek right here, you can see the pores really crisply. So it's rendered quite nicely. Whereas the detail across her brow is obviously very stretched by the application of Liquify. So what I'm saying is, most of this stuff is going to get covered up, as soon as we start adding all those blue layers right there, and as soon as we add the war paint in particular.
We're not going to notice the stretching nearly as much as we do now. And we're going to hide some of the light focus of the eyes too, using a sequence of layers and some layer effects and so on. However we do want things to be better than they are now. So I'm going to turn off the blue group, and I'm going to make sure the new irises layer is selected, and I'm going to sharpen the detail by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Sharpen, and choosing Smart Sharpen, and that loads up the Smart Sharpen dialog box. Now, notice, neither of the irises is fully inside the preview area.
So I'm going to drag this left iris over and I'm going to click this Plus button in order to zoom in on the detail. Now, notice, thanks to Liquify and Free Transform, the detail inside this iris is very murky. And what's interesting in addition to the fact that we can see the silhouette of one or two people, one of which I presume to be the photographer, this you might mistake for the camera, but this area right there is actually the squished pupil. So that's how far we went with the Liquify Filter, we really made a mess of things.
However, even though we don't have really all that great detail to work with in the first place, we can make it look better. So I'm going to raise this amount value quite high, to 300%, so that we're applying a lot of sharpening to this image. And then I'm going to set Remove from Gaussian Blur to Lens Blur, in order to tighten up those edges a little bit. And then I'm going to increase the Radius value. Now, here what's Smart Sharpen does, it goes ahead and draws halos on either side of an edge. An edge is an area of rapid luminance transition, where you go from bright to dark very quickly.
And then, Smart Sharpen exaggerates the darkness of the dark side of the edge and the lightness of the light side of the edge by tracing dark and light halos, and the thickness of those halos is determined by the Radius value. So what that means to us is that we need the halos to be at least as thick as the murky detail. So I'm going to have to raise this Radius value to about 2 pixels, should work out well for us, and we end up getting this result here. Now, if you want to see it before and after, you click and hold on the Preview. That shows you before.
And then as soon as you release, you'll see the after view, like so. So you can see that we've got some sharper detail inside of this iris. It's not necessarily great detail, we're going to be covering a lot of it up, but it will serve as a good base. Now I'll click OK in order to apply the filter, and you can see that the iris on the left here is quite sharp, while the one on the right is quite soft. So we still have that natural captured focus working for us inside of this image. Now, the next step is to go ahead and mask these big old irises inside of the eyes.
And you can do that very simply, if you want to, by grabbing this layer mask in front of irises and just dragging it and dropping it onto your new irises, if you're working along with me. And then I would go ahead and turn off the old white irises right there. But the problem is that your irises might not match up. For example, in my case, my new irises are a little bigger than my old irises and they're not fitting the layer mask exactly right. Besides, it's really incumbent upon me to show you how I created this layer mask.
So what I'm going to do is press Ctrl+ Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo the movement of that layer mask. I'm going to turn off the irises layer and I'm going to create this layer mask in real-time, in the next exercise.
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