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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Okay so in the last exercise I showed you how to use the surface blur filter a modestly capable filter at best as it turns out. In order to smooth away skin imperfections not that freckles are imperfections I think I have said enough in that vein but this is just a stand in for a blemish X that you might want to remove you know tightly packed blemish X that you might want to remove in somebody's face. Anyway surface blur does a pretty good job so forward on an intense deadline and we are just trying to get this done or we have got you know 15 images we need to smooth out then this is okay this is without the surface blur layer and this is with it, so it definitely downplays those freckles.
In this exercise we are going to say you know surface blur, you are getting sort of 50% the way there and doing you know half paid job that's not good enough. Let's go ahead and try to do a better job by throwing the dust and scratches filter into the mix as well. So ahead and click on the background layer if you are working along with me and turn off the surface blur layer which I just did well I was yammering at you as it turns out. And I am going to go ahead and jump this guy to an independent layer as well by pressing Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac and now I am going to double click on the name of this layer and I am just going to call it good old D and S because I know what that means always.
It's only one filter in Photoshop that's DNS and that's dust and scratches which as you may recall fixes neither. Alright anyway with the DNS layer active let's go up to the Filter Menu choose noise this time around, choose dust and scratches even though it's no good for removing dust and scratches inside of an image it's great for averaging skin tones while living the digital noise that's inherent inside the image intact and the idea being that we need that digital noise because we are going to later paint in and just a few seconds here we are going to paint in this effect into the image and we need to make sure that our transitions between the painted areas and the unpainted areas is nice and smooth.
Alright so the values that I want you to enter I will just go sort of cut to the chase with this one, is a radius value of 25 so I am going to take that radius value up just in an attempt to blur away more of these freckles and I am going to leave the threshold value set to 15. For you it might be something different so go ahead and enter these values 25 and 15 so all neighboring pixels that vary from each other by less than 15 luminous levels they will stay, they will not get blurred. Hence we retain the digital noise as you can see if you inspect this image.
I will go ahead and zoom in on the image and you can see that we do keep those random pixel variations inside the image but we get rid of the big stuff so we can see this little noise here but then the lips are very blurred. Alright so go ahead and click OK in order to except that modification. Now like the surface blur filter right after we apply it the effect is no good, right we have just goofed up the image something fair so I don't know what could we have done this image. We have kind of smooth over her freckles I guess but at the expense of some pretty nifty details inside of her face like her eyes and her nose and her mouth for example.
And notice that I am not bothering with the selection by the way I am like who cares about the background inside of this image if it gets a little blurred away that's okay. But we do worry about the face and the hair and so on so we are going to start with this filter turned off with this layer turned off. And I am going to add a black layer mask, alright and black in a layer mask means transparency, right so we will start by turning off the entire layer with the transparency mask and then we will brush in white in order to brush in the layer. And here is I want do it make sure the DNS layer is active then press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and click on this little square with a circle inside of it that little layer mask icon and notice when you Alt click or Option click on that icon you add a black mask instead of a white mask.
So you get to play the bad guy in the movie for once. Excellent alright now go ahead and get the brush tool the standard brush tool right here, we haven't really spent anytime with it yet very common tool inside Photoshop, allows you a just brush away inside of an image. And I have increased the brush size a little bit actually I might take it up another notch so I have got a 125 pixel brush, doesn't really matter you can brush it any size you want to but it is important that mode is set to normal opacity a 100% flow 100% and this guy right here the air brush icon turn that off if it's on.
But these are the default settings by the way, and then white should be a foreground color because you are working inside of a mask. So make sure the mask is active so that we are painting in right part of the image and then make sure that white is your foreground color and start painting and see while we get here we are now painting in these details and I am going to make this brush actually bigger here. And I am painting in along the skin I am painting in this effect I am painting in the dust and scratches effect so that it's not applied all over the place and you can see how this takes a little extra work in.
Feel free to paint over the hair we are going to bring that back in a moment so don't be thinking well that looks terrible which of course it does. But go ahead and paint over the hair we are just going trying to hit all these skin tones I am going to have to make the brush smaller. I am sizing the brush of course by pressing the left and right bracket keys and now I am going to paint over in this portion I am just painting away every single freckle area that I can and I am trying to avoid edges like the edge of the nose for example or the edge of the mouth. But I will paint right into the mouth. Actually you know what I am going to paint into the lips just a little bit.
Oh and I should say I have a very soft brush active too. You should have a soft brush active as well meaning that the hardness value up there in the options bar which you can get to by bringing up that Popup Palette up here that hardness value should be set to 0 so that we have really soft transitions between the areas where we have applied the dust and scratches filter and the areas where we have not applied the filter. Now go ahead and paint in down here a little bit as well and this is looking pretty darn good, actually a little bit of overkill of course.
I have gone too far with the effect but that's alright we can always back it off. Now check out the mask Option Click or Alt Click on this mask icon here inside the Layers palette. Doesn't it look exactly like that guy from the movie Scream? All of a sudden she is very scary she has got this Halloween theme going on in the background and here's why it might look a little different that that, it might look even scarier spooky, spooky. Alright Alt Click or Option Click once again on that mask in order to bring back the full color composite image and the next thing that you need to do is just reduce the opacity of this layer so go ahead and click on one of the selection tools and then I want you to press something like let's press the 5 key again in order to reduce the opacity of that layer to 50%.
And this is what the image looks like without that layer. This is what it looks like with the layer. We have nice smooth transitions between the painted areas and the unpainted areas. Thanks to the fact that I was able to retain the noise, a level of noise from one area from the painted area all the way through to the unpainted area. So we are looking at the inside of our mouth that I didn't paint. In that way that people aren't likely to notice that harsh transition that where your noise suddenly disappears. That would be a give away that you have been inside the image and you know in as much as where saving ourselves time and trying to do quick and dirty job that doesn't mean we want our effect to be sloppy or look like garbage.
It's just modesty effective it's what it comes down to. I have got this DNS layer set to 50% now I am going to also turn on the surface blur layer I am going to click on it and I am going to reduce the opacity value for it to 30% by pressing the 3 key and so this is basically it folks. This is the final version of the effect. Once again it gets this you know let's say 85% the way there or conservatively 75% the way there. I don't know how we would graph or measure such a thing but this is the original version of the image and this is the revised version of the image thanks to a dust and scratches layer with a layer mask and an unmask surface blur layer that's set to a low opacity value.
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