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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 gone ahead and saved this massive multilayer file, which is now 228 MB in memory as Panorama and me.psd found inside the 32_photomerge folder. Now, we need to work on simplifying the image, because we're going to turn around and color-correct it, we're going to apply a couple of Smart Filters, and then we're going to crop our final composition as well. We don't need all of these layers intact. Now, we've already saved them off, just in case we need to come back to them at any point in time later.
But really, honestly, there's nothing we can do with these layers that were produced by the Photomerge command. We're not going to move the layers around because that would destroy their alignment. We're not going to change any of the layer masks because they're all codependent. So if we change one layer mask, we would reveal problems inside of another mask. So you're talking about changing at least two layer masks to get anywhere. So what I suggest you do is go ahead and merge all of the layers that make up the panorama. So click on the bottommost layer to select it, and then scroll back up the list and Shift+Click on this layer directly below seams.
So you've now selected 14 layers in the stack, the 14 layers that make up the Photomerge Panorama, everything but seams and me, incidentally. Now, I want you to go up to Layer menu and choose the Merge Layers command or press Ctrl+E, Command+E on the Mac to merge them together. We'll go ahead and rename this layer panorama. Now, we don't need the seams layer anymore. We've already figured out where the seams are. We're pretty confident that they're not going to be seen, but I'm even more confident that I'm going to be cropping them away, because if you take a look at this edge up here, unless I want to somehow distort it downwards, I'm going to have to crop to this corner.
Notice if I project that corner across the entire bottom of the image, why that goes ahead and crops away this weirdness down here where the seats don't align with each other. So really, we have no problems. All right! So go ahead and zoom out from the image, in order to center it, or at least that's what I'm going to do. Then I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image, and with the seams layer active, I'll press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of it. So bear in mind, those seams are still saved along with Panorama and me.psd.
I will not be saving over this file. The next thing I want to do is color-correct the image. So currently, to my way of thinking, it's too cool. That is, there is way too many blues inside of this image. Also, it's a little bit light, a little bit washed out, a little bit purplish in places. So I'm going to correct the image on a channel-by-channel basis, using a levels adjustment layer. So, I'll click on the top layer in the stack, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and click the Black/ White icon and then go ahead and choose Levels.
I'm going to call this new layer "fixer." That's it, and then I'll click OK. That brings up my Levels options here inside the Adjustments panel. I'm not going to do anything to the composite histogram; instead, I'm going to switch over to Red. And I'll click in this first option, and these are just trial and error values that I came up with. So I'm going to raise the black point value to 15, actually. And then I'll tab to the Gamma value and take that up to 1.02, so just up ever so slightly. What we're trying to do with the Gamma value is warm up the image a little.
That's why we're raising it. We're going to lower the Gamma value for the green and blue Channels. All right, then I'm going to tab over to white, and I'm not going to change that at all. All right, so forget that guy. Let's move on, here. I'll press Alt+4 or Option+4 on the Mac in order to switch to the green channel, or you could just choose green from the list. But I like to work with these keyboard shortcuts. Anyway, now I'm going to increase the black point value to 10, and I'll tab over to the Gamma value, take it down to 0.9, by pressing Shift+Down-arrow, and then I'll take the white point value down to 245 by pressing Shift+Down-arrow as well.
Then I'll press Alt+5 or Option+5 on the Mac to switch to the blue Channel. As long as I've got my white point active, it's still active there, I'll press Shift+Down arrow to lower that value to 245. I'll press Shift+Tab to move back to the Gamma value, press Shift+Down arrow to lower that value to 0.9, press Shift+ Tab to move to the black point value, and then press Shift+Up arrow twice to increase that value to 20. That's it! Then I'll go ahead and hide the Adjustments panel, and you can see the difference now if I turn the layer off and on.
So this is the original version of the panorama, that is the original colors as produced by Photomerge in combination with the Auto-Blend Layers command. This is my corrected version of the image, which is quite a bit warmer, a little bit darker as well, as you can see. So it has a little bit more weight associated with it. All right! Now, let's grab this panorama layer, which I actually called parnomara. That's not spelled properly. Let's go ahead and get rid of that R there. All right! Now with the panorama layer selected, I'm going to convert it to a Smart Object.
Two reasons for this. One, I want to apply some filters namely Shadows/Highlights, and Smart Sharpen. I would like to apply them as editable Smart Filters in case I change my mind later, where I want to scale this image, and I want to apply different sharpening settings for the screen, for example. Also, I want to be able to nondestructively crop the image using any tool I like, which is something you can do when you're working with the Smart Objects. So the Smart Object always protects every pixel inside the image. So with panorama selected, go up to the Layers panel flyout menu and choose Convert to Smart Object, or press Ctrl +Comma, Command+Comma on the Mac if you've loaded dekeKeys.
We now have a Smart Object with me in front of it. So I'm still independent which is very important because that way I'm still a little action figure that you can drag around inside your composition to your heart's content. Anyway, I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that move, and we also have an adjustment layer at the very top, color-correcting everything. In the next exercise, we will take our Smart Object, and we will apply some Smart Filters, and then nondestructively crop this image.
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