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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.
Now I should mention in case, I am not conveying my message properly here. I like the Dust & Scratches filter, I think it's great, in fact I am going to go so far as to show you a really wonderful practical application of the filter in an upcoming exercise. I just think it has a bad name, that's all, alright so Dust & Scratches misleading name, end of story. They should call it Median with Threshold, sure tons of people would call it and say what happened to my beloved Dust & Scratches filter that I use so often to remove dust and scratches, that is the price of progress.
Alright, I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+C, Ctrl+Alt+C, a couple of times here, Command-Option-C, Command-Option-C and the reason is I am undoing the application of Dust & Scratches and the Median filter, so that my bottom two rectangles are returned to their original states, so that I can apply some other Blur functions to them. We are going to go back to the Blur submenu now and check out some of the secondary blur functions, I would go so far as to call them. Now notice up here in the tittle bar you can see that the two TR layer is selected in parenthesis, you see the name of the active layer and then the Color mode and the bit depth for the image as it turns out.
So when you undo an operation that's going to apply to a layer, Photoshop goes ahead and takes you back to the layer that was selected before the application of the filter in this case. So I have to go back to Layers palette and click on 3BL to make it active once again and you should do that as well. And there are other ways to select layers by the way, but I am just trying to keep it clean. Once we get into our layering chapters, I will show you a bunch of quick ways to switch between named layers, anyway I have got this bottom left layers selected here and I am going to go back up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and very quickly, and let me show you the filters that I am not going to be discussing in an analytical fashion, the Average filter, which just averages all colors on a given layer, I will show you that one later actually, it can't be useful, but it's kind of a brain-dead function.
And then there is Blur which just applies tiny bit of blur, notice these guys don't have "..."after them, so they are single-shot blur functions. Blur More, which just blurs a little bit more, not useful commands. We saw Box and Gaussian Blur here, Lens Blur, a big function that allows you to blur a background so create a real focal blur and if you want to check out that function because there is a lot of stuff associated with Lens Blur, if you want to see that function in operation, we did see it a little bit in operation back in Chapter 10 when we were discussing Masking, but if you want to see a really great application, check out my Photoshop Channels and Mask series, there is just so much going on in that series, I don't want to repeat it.
And then you can check out Chapter 8 which is called Specialty Mask. And there is a couple of Depth-Mask discussions, a couple of exercises on creating Depth-Mask and one of them is called Fashioning a Depth-Mask and the other is called Blurring the Background. Those two exercises, check them out, you can learn all about Lens Blur if you want to. We will be seeing Motion Blur and Radial Blur in just a moment. Shape Blur blurs in predefined shapes, it's just a nutty function, never figured out an application for it. If you find one, ride in, won't you. Smart Blur absolutely not a smart function, unlike Smart Sharpen which is just an awesome feature inside the program.
Smart Blur is absolutely the opposite, it is completely counterintuitive, it is designed by monkeys, I swear to it and what it does is much better accomplished by the Surface Blur function. And if anything is not, it's another "S" word, it's not smart though, it's another "S" word that I have been trained by my little children, we don't say in this house "daddy" alright so another "S" word. You know what I am talking about right, that's right, stupid, oops I said it, stupid blur though. Alright anyway, I am going down to Surface Blur. Let's start with Surface Blur, this is really useful one. See I just went through the list, right okay.
So here is Surface Blur, I am going to choose it so that we can see how it works. And the idea is that it's design to blur the surface detail in an image without harming the big transition, so it's sort of the opposite of what we were seeing with Dust & Scratches except that it's a Blur function instead of an Averaging function. A Dust & Scratches averages the big stuff and leaves the little stuff behind. Surface Blur, blurs away the little stuff and leaves the big stuff behind. Now I am going to go ahead and take the radius value up to 20 because that is our value that we have been applying over and over here.
And I am going to take the Threshold option, this is an upside-down threshold by the way. I am going to take the Threshold option up to 255 levels. And that saying that's when you are blurring everything inside the image because you are saying any 2 pixels as long as they are 255 luminance levels, different or less, alright, that or less is what's coming in the play here. Then they will get blurred, so everything gets blurred at 255 and you can see what the blur looks like, it's a little weird sort of linear blur variation as it turns out. Looks kind of like the Box blur with little bit of stuff left behind in the background.
As you take this value lower you are going to begin to rule out the big details. So if I take it down for example, let's just take it down to 60 and see what it does here. Notice that it's saying in this case if two neighboring pixels are 60 luminance levels different or more then they don't get blurred, if they are 60 luminance levels different or less then they do get blurred. Alright, so let's end this, I am just going to end this with a Threshold value of a 100 luminance levels and then I am going to click on the OK button in order to accept that modification.
This is another one of those functions and I am going to show you in the context of a practical application, the creative practical application in a later exercise. In the next exercise, we are going to see our Motion Blur filters beginning with Motion Blur and then we will see Radial Blur.
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