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Soft light painting

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Soft light painting

All right, we still have some more details that we need to clean up here, especially, along the sort of top right portion of the head where we have a few stray hairs, some noise details going on and this area, the top of the head that we really want to sort of shave as you will see. Alarming as that may sound, but first thing is first. Let's go ahead and work on his tricky area right here and I'll tell you what is going to be best. If Overlay is too much of a mode for you, as we'll see, you want switch back to Soft Light and then you can take down the Opacity as well, if you want to. Let me go ahead and grab my Brush tool once again. And why don't we set it to Overlay just so I can show you what's going on here, by pressing Shift+Alt+O or Shift+Option+O on the Mac.

Soft light painting

All right, we still have some more details that we need to clean up here, especially, along the sort of top right portion of the head where we have a few stray hairs, some noise details going on and this area, the top of the head that we really want to sort of shave as you will see. Alarming as that may sound, but first thing is first. Let's go ahead and work on his tricky area right here and I'll tell you what is going to be best. If Overlay is too much of a mode for you, as we'll see, you want switch back to Soft Light and then you can take down the Opacity as well, if you want to. Let me go ahead and grab my Brush tool once again. And why don't we set it to Overlay just so I can show you what's going on here, by pressing Shift+Alt+O or Shift+Option+O on the Mac.

Now as soon as you switch blend modes, you will also want to switch the hardness of the brush. So when you are working with Normal, you want a hard brush. When you are working with Overlay or one of the other modes, then you want a soft brush. So, I'm going to switch this guy down to hardness of 0% and that way, you have nice transitions between your edges. You don't have abrupt weird transitions since you are painting over the large areas of the image. So I'm going to a make my brush a little bigger here and notice if I start painting, let's say with white, I'll press the X key to make sure that white is my foreground color. I'll paint over this area, and notice that I'm not only increasing the contrast around this area, making the hair as whiter. I'm also making it bigger. So this is before, this is after, so they are getting thicker and I'm bringing out a bunch of noise in the background that I don't want.

So I want an effect that's a little more subtle than this. So press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. I'll go ahead and switch from Overlay to Soft Light, and then I'll press the Escape key on the PC to make sure that mode is no longer active. So Soft Light is, of course, more subtle contrast mode than Overlay. In fact, it's the most subtle contrast mode there is inside of Photoshop. Now, rather than painting over the hairs like this, which is still going to go a long way toward exaggerating them. I want you to instead keep your cursor inside of the hair, so you are letting the softness of the brush do the work.

So I'll go ahead and paint along this edge like so and notice that I'm just making those hairs ever so slightly lighter than they were before. Now I'll press the X key to make the foreground color black and I'll paint in this region here in the background, in order to make the background darker. And again, notice that I'm letting the edge of my brush do the work for me, so that I'm letting that softness work to my advantage. Now then at this point, you can go work on the O, if you want to just sort of scrub it away a little bit which I recommend you do, even though we are ultimately just going to get rid of that O, but I'm going to scrub over the top of the hairs. You might also try this. Press the X key to make the foreground color white and paint inside of this area of hair and then press the X key to make the foreground color black and paint around here like so.

Again letting the soft edge, do the work for you. Then paint here in these areas. I'm just clicking, by the way. I'm just sporadically here and there. And then press the X key and drag along the neck right there to get rid of it or at least that is to say to make it lighter and select it actually. Now the more times you drag over an area, the sharper your edge is going to become and ultimately, you paint too many times and you're going to get jagged edges, so you need to watch out for that. I will paint down here along the hand and then I'll press the X key and paint over this area of the hand as well. Then you can check for stray edges, if you want to with the Magic Wand tool, so press the W key for Wand tool. Once again click in the background and just see where the little noise details are showing out there and you can see that things are pretty smooth where my mask is concerned, pretty smooth along the hand and along the neck and the ear is okay, but then we start having noise detail show up along the hair. I'm not all that concerned about that. That's okay. That will work actually to my advantage.

You want the hair to have a lot of action inside of it. So that you maintain those fine filigree details; don't you know the wispy hair? All right, this is okay, cut some garbage stuff going on the hand. I might go ahead and take care of that. Now let's see you want to keep track of it, you want to keep an eye on where this bad stuff is. Leave the selection outline attached, but right now it's selecting the area that you don't want to modify. To select the area you do want to modify, go to the Select menu and choose Inverse. And now, you have selected the area that you want to change, press the B key for the Brush, once again, let's make sure we are painting with black because that's what we are interested in changing and paint along this edge, paint along this edge too.

That's going to smooth out some of those details, even though we are painting into the wrist a little bit, painting down here into the arm. Now these would be arm hairs, by the way, that we are painting away, depends if you want to keep them or not. You want to keep the arm hairs, make the guy look like he is really fury or do you want to get rid of the arm hairs to make look like he is ridiculously smooth. I mean it's kind of up to you to make that call. All right, so I'm going to press the X key in order to paint with white and I'm going to paint along the wrist here in order to make it lighter. Now let's see what happens. Let's just go ahead and grab the Wand by pressing the W key and then press Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac to deselect that area and then click again, and see if we are selecting a little tighter to the hand than we are. We do have a little bit of overage right there, a little bit of edgy stuff going on, but that's okay and I do want to have a little bit of hair, because we are all mammals, hair works to our advantage. It makes us look good and makes the composition look credible.

Now, where we still have a big credibility gap is on the top of the head. No person I know has an O coming out of their head like Russell does at the present time. And also, we have got this tuft of random hair at the top of his head. Now, that's something that we want to get rid of, we want to smooth that away and we are going to do that, we are going to make the hair look really spiffy and wonderful and good, starting in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

147 video lessons · 27823 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 21m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 34s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
      51s
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 23m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 33s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 34s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 45s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
      58s
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 7s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 54s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 54s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 32s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
      46s
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 41s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 51s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 38s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 42s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
      42s
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 50s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 51s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

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