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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I've saved my progress as Slightly elevated saturation.psd. Now, in the previous exercise, we applied Shadows/Highlights inside of the Lab Color model. We had to use different settings, because we were getting completely different results otherwise, but in turn, we gained more control and even more importantly, we got better results, because truth be told, the Shadows/Highlights filter works better inside Lab than it does in RGB. However, even though this effect actually looks just absolutely great to me, it's a little too saturated.
So this guy's face is a little bit too ruddy. The background's too yellow. The sea is too greenish, that kind of thing. So we just want to temper the colors a little bit, take the Vibrance down essentially. However, if you were to click on the Smart Object thumbnail in order to make it active and then drop down here to the Black-White icon and try to choose Vibrance, you'll notice it's dimmed. Vibrance doesn't work inside of Lab, which is kind of ironic, because the whole idea behind Vibrance is it's designed to simulate the way Saturation, reduction and enhancement works inside the Lab mode, but it doesn't work inside the Lab mode, it only works inside RGB.
So if you want to get the effect of Vibrance while you're working in Lab mode, you need to apply Levels or Curves. Now, Levels is the simplest way to do it, so that's the command we're going to use. What I suggest you do however, so that you can name the layer as you create it, I suggest you press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac before you click the Black-White icon, then hold that key down until you choose Levels. Then we'll go ahead and call this layer naturalizer, let's say, because we're trying to make the colors more natural. Click OK. We're not going to modify the Lightness Channel, by the way, because there's really no sense in doing that.
You know, I think I'll go ahead and move these panels, so that I can see the guy's face, so that the panels aren't covering up his face as I work. Now, we don't need to change Lightness, as I say that would just brighten or darken the luminance information inside the image. We're interested in changing the Saturation. This color saturation lives here inside the a and b Channels. So once again, a is your turquoise to pink information, that is the Tint information, and b is your blue to yellow information, that is the Temperature information. Now, if I switch over to a, check this out.
We've got a very small Histogram. This is true always for the a and b Channels. Most of the Luminance information is trapped right there in the center, because were we to spread out that Histogram, like so, we would increase the heck out of the Saturation levels inside the image. Notice now, you can really see those turquoise and pinks are popping. The turquoise is over here with the Black slider triangle. Notice that affects that turquoise/green. Then the White slider triangle is controlling the intensity of the pinks or the magentas if you prefer.
Now, what we want to do is diminish the contrast. So right now by changing the Input Levels here inside the Adjustments panel, we're actually increasing the Saturation of the colors. Again, that's not what we want. So I'll go ahead and reset these guys back to 0 and 255 respectively. Instead, we're going to modify the Output Levels, because if we essentially reduce the contrast of this channel, like so, we're going to leach the Saturation out of that channel, so we're going to bunch up the Luminance information even more toward the center of the Histogram.
What that means is we're going to lose all that Tint information and we're just going to see Temperature in the background. All right, so we don't want to go that far either, but I just want to give you a sense of what we're trying to accomplish here. I'm going to click inside of the first Output Levels value. And I'm going to press Shift+Up Arrow twice in a row in order to reduce the intensity of the turquoise. So we're leaching the green out of the image. Then I'm going to tab over to 255, over to the second Output Levels value, and I'm going to press Shift+Down Arrow twice in a row in order to similarly reduce the amount of pink inside the image, so that we're retaining the same color balance where the Tint information is concerned.
All right, next I'm going to move over to b and I'm going to enter those exact same values. So I'll click inside of the first Output Levels value, press Shift+Up Arrow twice in a row, like so, in order to reduce the amount of blue inside the image, tab over to 255, which is the second Output Levels value, and then press Shift+Down Arrow twice in a row to reduce the amount of yellow. All right, let's go ahead and reinstate the Adjustments and Masks panel back inside of the panel column here by dragging the panels and dropping them into place, and now let's see the contribution of this Adjustment layer.
I'll go ahead and turn it off. This is before, so it's a subtle modification. Notice that his Saturation levels are a little bit elevated. He looks a little bit sunburned. His lips look a little dry, that kind of thing. Then I'll go ahead and turn naturalizer back on, and that goes ahead and settles those colors down. Let's go ahead and compare the various versions of the image. I've got opened the original Dead calm.jpg image, so that's the original, I think now fairly obviously washed out version of this photograph. This is the RGB modification, which not only is a much higher contrast image, a little bit over the top I think in terms of the Highlights and the Shadow detail and that kind of thing, but also we have elevated Saturation levels.
Then finally, this is the more muted, more naturalistic enhancement that we were able to achieve using the various Smart Filters here inside of the Lab mode. One more thing I want you to note. I'm going to go up to the Applications bar and click on the Launch Bridge icon in order to view these various versions of the image inside of the Adobe Bridge. Notice I've got the Bridge trained on the contents of the 30_smart_filters folder. There's Dead calm.jpg. It weighs in at just 2.4 megabytes, so just a little bitty file. As soon as we applied all those static modifications, so in other words, applying the various filters; Shadows/Highlights, Gaussian Blur, and High Pass to independent pixel-based layers, which is what we did back in Chapter 17, we took the size of the file up to 60 megabytes, so we just increased the heck out of that file size.
The RGB version of the file that uses Smart Objects shaved off some of that data, so that file weighs 53 megabytes, so it's 7 megabytes smaller than the static version of the modification. Then finally, if we go all the way up here, this is the Lab version of the modification, the file we just got done creating, I have saved in advance as Lab SH objects.psd, also found inside the same folder. And notice, we lose another 11 megabytes. So altogether this guy is 18 megabytes smaller than the various static layers on top of each other.
That's pretty significant. So sometimes you're going to run into situations where Smart Objects result in larger files than your static modifications, and other times Smart Objects are going to end up being a lot more efficient. So in other words, at least in this case, Smart Objects turn out to be more efficient, not only more flexible, but more efficient than their static counterparts, and Lab turns out to be more efficient and more successful than RGB.
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