Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
Illustration by John Hersey

Simulating an infrared photograph


Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Simulating an infrared photograph

In this movie, I'll show you how to use the Channel Mixer to create a kind of infrared black and white photography effect. I'm once again looking at the original full color photograph, which comes to us by the way from the Fotolia image library. About, which you can learn more at And lets start things off by reviewing the channels once again. I'm going to switch over to the Channels panel. And what I want you to notice are the freckles on the young woman's face. So, in the Red channel they're there, but they're the least visible. In the Green channel they start to show up more.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 4s
  2. 1h 1m
    1. The best of Photoshop automation
    2. Content-Aware Fill and Color Adaptation (CC 2014)
      7m 44s
    3. Combining two layers with a layer mask (CC 2014)
      5m 37s
    4. Content-aware healing (CC 2014)
      10m 17s
    5. Introducing the Patch tool
      3m 43s
    6. Using Content-Aware Patch
      7m 17s
    7. Retouching with Content-Aware Patch
      3m 45s
    8. Using the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 41s
    9. Using Content-Aware Extend
      2m 4s
    10. The Content-Aware Scale command
      6m 35s
    11. Scaling in multiple passes
      2m 22s
    12. Protecting skin tones
      3m 31s
  3. 32m 55s
    1. Editing the histogram
      1m 50s
    2. The new automatic Levels adjustment
      4m 33s
    3. Customizing a Levels adjustment
      4m 53s
    4. Understanding the Gamma value
      2m 7s
    5. Opening up the shadows
      2m 48s
    6. Previewing clipped pixels
      3m 40s
    7. Retouching with Output Levels
      4m 25s
    8. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      2m 19s
    9. Faking a gray card in post
      2m 51s
    10. Assigning shortcuts to adjustment layers
      3m 29s
  4. 57m 43s
    1. How sharpening works
      1m 38s
    2. Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter
      6m 56s
    3. Understanding the Radius value
      5m 20s
    4. Gauging the best sharpening settings
      5m 45s
    5. Addressing color artifacts and clipping
      5m 49s
    6. The Remove and Reduce Noise options
      4m 22s
    7. The Shadows/Highlights options
      7m 36s
    8. Correcting for camera shake
      6m 47s
    9. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      5m 45s
    10. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      4m 44s
    11. Painting in sharpness
      3m 1s
  5. 1h 12m
    1. Vector-based type
      1m 35s
    2. Creating and editing point text
      8m 8s
    3. Font and type style tricks
      7m 58s
    4. Type size and color tricks
      6m 42s
    5. Kerning and tracking characters
      8m 9s
    6. Creating and editing area text
      3m 50s
    7. Selecting and formatting paragraphs
      6m 50s
    8. Setting text inside a custom path
      5m 34s
    9. Creating text along a path
      6m 12s
    10. Adjusting baseline shift
      4m 45s
    11. Creating and stylizing a logo
      6m 49s
    12. Masking text into image elements
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 9m
    1. The other vector-based layer
      1m 39s
    2. Dotted borders and corner roundness
      8m 14s
    3. Drawing and aligning custom shapes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating your own repeatable custom shape
      5m 43s
    5. Selecting and modifying path outlines (CC 2014)
      6m 5s
    6. Isolating selected layers (CC 2014)
      6m 39s
    7. Combining simple shapes to make complex ones
      6m 31s
    8. Cropping, adjusting, and merging shapes
      8m 49s
    9. Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle
      6m 22s
    10. Saving a resolution-independent PDF file
      6m 42s
    11. Turning a small image into a huge one
      8m 38s
  7. 1h 14m
    1. Depth, contour, and texture
      1m 28s
    2. Imparting depth with a layer effect
      9m 9s
    3. The power of the drop shadow
      7m 37s
    4. Modifying a layer and its effects
      6m 21s
    5. Saving custom default settings
      4m 12s
    6. Creating a custom contour
      8m 5s
    7. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      8m 8s
    8. Multiple effects and multiple layers
      7m 45s
    9. Global Light and rasterizing effects
      8m 5s
    10. Gloss and surface contour
      6m 4s
    11. Adding texture to Bevel and Emboss
      7m 21s
  8. 34m 48s
    1. Styles store settings
      1m 38s
    2. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      3m 41s
    3. Redefining a style and styling a word
      5m 38s
    4. Creating and styling a placeholder style
      5m 43s
    5. Applying and creating layer styles
      5m 45s
    6. Loading and customizing layer styles
      5m 42s
    7. Merging and saving layer styles
      6m 41s
  9. 56m 48s
    1. Meet the transformations
      1m 55s
    2. Transformations and Smart Objects
      5m 46s
    3. Adjusting the interpolation setting
      5m 10s
    4. Rotating a layer with Free Transform
      5m 22s
    5. Scale, duplicate, and repeat
      4m 30s
    6. Creating a synthetic star field
      5m 20s
    7. Warping a logo with Arc and Flag
      5m 34s
    8. Distort, perspective, and skew
      4m 15s
    9. Using transformations to draw and correct
      7m 0s
    10. Bolstering text with layer effects
      5m 43s
    11. Adding highlights with Lens Flare
      6m 13s
  10. 43m 36s
    1. Removing the weight that the camera adds
      1m 7s
    2. The Warp and Reconstruct tools
      6m 44s
    3. Brush size, hardness, and opacity
      4m 29s
    4. The Pucker, Bloat, Push, and Twirl tools
      7m 12s
    5. Saving and reapplying Liquify settings
      4m 9s
    6. Lifting and slimming details
      9m 42s
    7. Warping legs, arms, and fabric
      5m 33s
    8. Improving a model's posture
      4m 40s
  11. 58m 46s
    1. Shoot in color, convert to black and white
      1m 55s
    2. Three ways to grayscale
      5m 36s
    3. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 31s
    4. Simulating an infrared photograph
      6m 39s
    5. Creating a sienna-infused sepia tone
      5m 38s
    6. Creating a hyper-saturated image
      5m 26s
    7. Introducing the Black & White command
      3m 16s
    8. Customizing the Black & White settings
      4m 50s
    9. Black & White meets the Channel Mixer
      7m 29s
    10. Infusing an image with tint and color
      5m 9s
    11. Grayscale and Split Tone in Camera Raw
      5m 17s
  12. 41m 34s
    1. The many ways to print
      1m 41s
    2. Using the test document
      3m 18s
    3. Print, position, and size
      5m 57s
    4. Description and printing marks
      3m 3s
    5. Establishing a bleed
      3m 44s
    6. Getting reliable color
      5m 54s
    7. Special printing options
      5m 1s
    8. Previewing an image at print size
      4m 16s
    9. Creating contact sheets
      4m 49s
    10. Creating a multipage PDF
      3m 51s
  13. 31m 9s
    1. Making Internet imagery
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing Save for Web
      4m 39s
    3. Creating the perfect JPEG image
      5m 14s
    4. Creating a high-contrast GIF image
      6m 23s
    5. The two varieties of PNG
      3m 57s
    6. Downsampling for the web
      5m 59s
    7. Adding copyright and contact info
      3m 51s
  14. 1m 3s
    1. Until next time
      1m 3s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
10h 37m Intermediate Aug 19, 2013 Updated Sep 18, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop CC One-on-One is back, and this installment teaches you how to build on your basic knowledge and achieve next-level effects with this premiere image-editing program. Industry pro Deke McClelland shows you how to seamlessly move and patch areas of a photo with the Content-Aware toolset; stretch the brightness of a scene with automatic and custom Levels adjustments; create intricate designs with text and shapes; and morph an image with layer effects and transformations. Deke also shares his techniques for sharpening details, whether addressing noise and highlight/shadow clipping or camera shake, and converting a full-color image to black and white. The final chapters show you how to best print and save images for the web, making sure all your hard work pays off in the final output.

Topics include:
  • Performing automatic retouch, scaling, and more with the Content-Aware tools
  • Editing the histogram
  • Customizing a Levels adjustment
  • Making channel-by-channel Levels adjustments
  • Sharpening with the Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass filters
  • Working with vector-based type
  • Kerning and tracking characters
  • Creating text on a path
  • Drawing and customizing shapes
  • Creating depth, contour, and texture with layer effects
  • Liquifying an image
  • Simulating an infrared photo
  • Adjusting print position, size, and color
  • Creating the perfect JPEG image
  • Downsampling for the web
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Simulating an infrared photograph

In this movie, I'll show you how to use the Channel Mixer to create a kind of infrared black and white photography effect. I'm once again looking at the original full color photograph, which comes to us by the way from the Fotolia image library. About, which you can learn more at And lets start things off by reviewing the channels once again. I'm going to switch over to the Channels panel. And what I want you to notice are the freckles on the young woman's face. So, in the Red channel they're there, but they're the least visible. In the Green channel they start to show up more.

And then they're extremely prevalent in the Blue channel. Well, imagine we were to invert the Blue channel so that her skin tones were actually darker than the freckles. And we were to apply that inversion to the Green and Red channels. And that's what we're going to do by effectively subtracting Blue from Red and Green. So, here's how it works. I'll switch to the RGB image and switch back to the Layers panel, then press the Alt+Option key. Click on the Black/White icon at the bottom of the panel and choose Channel Mixer.

And I'm going to call this layer Infrared B and W and then click OK. And now here inside the Properties panel, because we want to create a black and white image, turn on the Monochrome check box. And for a moment I'm just going to 0 these values out so that we have no luminance contribution from any of the channels as a result. We've got a total of 0% luminance, which means I just turned the image entirely black. Now, I'm going to crank the red value up to 100% so we're seeing the red channel by itself.

And I'll also crank the green value up to 100%, which means we now have 200% luminance, which is of course over-brightening the image. To compensate I'm going to subtract 100% Blue and we end up with a total of 100% once again. Now, you can see at this point we've pretty much removed all of her freckles especially in the highlight regions of her cheeks. But I'd like to go further still. So, I'm going to take that blue value down, let's say, to negative 150.

And when your just experimenting with Channel Mixer, this is the way you work, you take one value down, another value up and so forth. And I'll compensate by taking the Green value up to say 150%, so we're back to a total of 100%. Which Photoshop will tell you is okay because it's not showing a warning. But the histogram is going to tell you it's not okay at all. Because if I update that histogram you can see that I have a ton of highlights that are clipping to white. And that's not what I want. So, I'm going to try to resolve that issue by reducing the Blue value even further.

So, I'm taking it down to negative 170%. Notice that I am clipping some shadow detail to black over here on the far left side of the histogram. And anytime you're trying to address the shadows with Channel mixer, you want to go down to this constant value. And so I'm going to raise the constant value to 2% and that reduces the amount of clipping in the shadow details. But now, I have some gaps over here on the right hand side of the histogram. Meaning that I need to add to the highlights. So, I'm going to take this Green value up to ultimately 153 and then you can see, when I update the histogram, that it's quite nicely balanced.

Problem is we are starting to get some posterization. So, if you zoom in on the woman in the background, you can see that we have these patches of differently shaded gray. And so we've got some pretty rapid luminescence transmissions going on. A kind of continuous tone stair-stepping. And we have the same thing at work up here in the skies. Now, I could mitigate some of that by backing off of the these values here so that they're not so very far apart, the Blue value's not this negative. And the Red and Green values aren't this positive, but I like the effect.

So, I don't really want to get rid of it, I just want to figure out a way to downplay this posterization. So, I'm going to hide the Properties panel and I'm going to convert the background into a smart object and then apply a little bit of Gaussian Blur. So, I'll click on a background to make it active, then with my rectangular Marquee tool, I'll right-click inside the Image window and choose Convert to Smart Object. And I'll go ahead and rename this smart object photo, or something like that. Then I'll go up to the Filter menu and choose Blur and choose Gaussian Blur.

And I figured out that a radius of four pixels is about the lowest value that smooths away those transitions there. So, we still have something resembling posterization but at least we don't have sharp, jagged edges. And I'll click OK in order to apply the effect. The obvious problem is that in addition to blurring the woman in the background who was already out of focus I've blurred the woman in the foreground, which is not acceptable at all. So, I need to apply a mask to my Gaussian Blur filter and I'll do that by clicking in this white Filter mask.

And then I'll select my Gradient tool, which you can also get by pressing the G key. You want to make sure that your gradient goes from black to white. And then drag from this region, between the young woman's eye and the bridge of her nose. And while pressing the Shift key, you want to release right about here, at the point where the young woman's hair ends. And now we'll go ahead and reveal her, so she's no longer blurred, while leaving the blur in the areas that have posterization. Now, that ends up blurring the tip of her nose a little bit, which, of course, (LAUGH) doesn't look realistic at all.

So, I'm going to switch to the Brush tool, which you can get by pressing the B key. And then I'll right-click inside the Image window. The size value of 125 pixels is going to work fine. But I'm going to take the hardness value up to 50% and press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to accept that change. Make sure that the foreground color is black. And then go ahead and brush in the nose and down the mouth and the chin, like so. And you can brush in her face a little bit, although it's already in the black region.

And than you might also want to brush across that left eye and up into the forward hair like that, toward the top of her head. And that way it looks like this small area of hair over here on the left hand side is beyond the focal range. And now let's compare what we've got here. This is the effect we achieved just by choosing the greyscale command. This is the effect we got in the previous movie by mixing our own custom black and white image. And then this is the infrared effect created by subtracting in this case the Blue channel from the Red and Green.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate .

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Q: This course was updated on 09/18/2014. What changed?
A: Deke updated the course to reflect changes in the 2014 version of Photoshop CC. The updates are concentrated in "The Content-Aware Collection" and "Creating and Formatting Text" chapters, but there are new movies sprinkled throughout the course as well.
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