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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to back off the Burn effects using Fill Opacity, and it's a really great technique that makes these burn modes much more useful than they would otherwise be. So here is the idea. I'm going to switch to Multiply and I'm going to press the Escape key of course and I'm going to take the Fill value down to 40%, so that's what 40% looks like when it's applied to Multiply. Let's go ahead and take it back up to 100% and then take the Opacity value down to 40% and now let's compare the two from History.
So this would be the Fill Opacity Change right there, and this is the Master Opacity Change and notice the only difference is in the glow. Opacity, affects the opacity of the glow effect and Fill Opacity does not, but where the head inside of the layer is concerned where the statue is concerned, there is no difference. So let's try a different mode I'm going to press Shift+Plus to advance to Color Burn right there and now we are seeing 40% Opacity applied to the Color Burn mode. Let's go ahead and take it up to an Opacity value of 100% and then I'll press Shift+4 for a 40% Fill Opacity and notice how very different these effects are.
This is 40% Opacity which just looks washed out, it looks terrible. It doesn't look any better than 100% Opacity here. It just looks more muted and weaker, but we have pretty much the exact same transitioning going on inside the layer. Compare that to the Fill Opacity Change, which still leaves us with some nice rich shadows, but starts to brighten up the highlights. So it's more like we are messing with the gamma inside of this layer right here. So Fill Opacity can be just terrific when combined one of the Burn effects and just to show you, we can go even lower. This is a Fill Opacity value of 20% and I still have some nice shadows up here at the top of the statue's head.
So I just love Fill Opacity applied to Burn. All right, let's try another experiment here. I'll switch the Fill Opacity value back to 40% and I'll press Shift+Plus for Linear Burn, so that's 40% Fill applied to Linear Burn. Now back to 100% Fill, 40% Opacity, you can see it right there, because I pressed the 4 key, and here is the difference. Well, let's look at 40% Opacity first. It looks terrible, it looks awful it's just a muted version of 100% Opacity. Whereas if we compare it to 40% Fill Opacity, it looks awesome. And we are really starting to let the image breath a little bit and if I take it down to something like a Fill Opacity of 20% by pressing Shift+2, we get an even nicer effect potentially. God! If I could take it down to Shift+1 for 10% Fill Opacity, it still retains the general appearance of this image.
All right, but what I'm going to do, I'm going to take it up to 40% that's where we are going to stick here. So this is where I want to leave things, we have got a Fill Opacity value of 40%, Opacity of 100% and of course, Linear Burn those are our operative blend modes so we have applied to the Statue layer. Now at this point you might think, God, gosh Deke , it's hard enough to keep up with these blend modes as it is to sort of wrap your mind around it, especially if this is your first time slogging through them, but if you expect me for ten minutes to remember that Burn reacts differently to Fill Opacity, than it does to regular opacity and the other blend modes don't I mean how am I'm going to keep track of that? Well, in case you want to, you may not want to keep track of that, but if you do. Well, I get you covered I'm going to switch over to this document right here, blend mode keys.psd, you may it recall it from a couple of exercises ago, and notice right at the top of the stack here is this group called top secret.
I want you to twirl it open. There in you will find a layer called Fill Opacity, turn it on, and then you will see the 8, only 8, 8 out of 25 blend modes that are affected differently by Fill Opacity than they are by Standard Opacity and by differently I mean better. And they are Color Burn and Linear Burn, Color Dodge and Linear Dodge, so that kind of makes sense, right? The ones that are combinations of those two, Vivid Light and Linear Light and then Hard Mix which would be the rottenest mode on Earth, if it wasn't for Fill Opacity as you will see, and Difference.
So those are them. Remember you got your top secret layer right there with Fill Opacity so that you can turn that on and be the smartest guy on blend modes that you know, because nobody knows about this by the way, completely an unknown thing. How do I know? I have my ways and I'll share more of those ways with you in future exercises. Stay tuned.
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