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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, 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 CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
I'm still working inside Lips.jpg; this is one of the rare cases where it can't provide you with the progress file so you'll have to have been working along with me to achieve the same results. In this exercise, we're now going to refine our selection here inside the Quick Mask mode. Now I would be taking advantage of the Magic Wand tool, in order to gauge the accuracy of my selection outline. Now the Magic Wand tool, I don't use it on a regular basis to select continuous tone images. I wouldn't have to show you how to do that fundamentals portion.
The series just have three years experience with the tool. But the way I use it is to gauge areas of flat color and for that purpose it's a really great tool. Let me show you how that works. I m going to go ahead and select the Magic Wand, either by clicking on the slide or by clicking and choosing the Magic Wand tool from the flyout menu here. And then I am going to change the Tolerance value to zero, like so, and I m going to turn Anti-alias off. Leave Contiguous turned on; leave Sample All layers turned on. Although for our purposes it really does not matter, because we are working in an independent channel, and there are no layers.
Now I like these settings so much that I go ahead and save them of as a tool preset, and you can do the same by clicking the down arrow, right next to the Magic Wand icon, here in the Options bar and then click on this little page icon right there. I am going to go ahead and call this guy Tolerance 0, because I know when I have the Tolerance value set to zero, I have Anti-alias turned off as well. Click OK. Now you can always come back to the settings even if, notice this, if I right-click on the down pointing arrowhead next Magic Wand icon, I can choose Reset tool, and that will restore my original Tolerance of 32 Anti-alias on, all that junk, and then if I want to switch back to my zero-tolerance and Anti-alias off, I would click the down pointing arrowhead and choose that setting from my Presets list, and there it is.
All right, now why is that so useful? Now let's say I want to be able to see if my background area behind my lips is totally black, which is what I wanted to be. I don't want to select that area at all, because I m going to be applying a huge amount of Saturation to these lips, in order to make them fire engine red. So I'll click in this background to see if it's completely black and notice that much of this area is black right here, and I'm guessing it's black as opposed to a very dark gray because such a large area is selected.
Because tolerance is zero, I m going to select one and only one Luminance level. That's it, and I'm thinking it's black. If I go ahead and zoom out, I can see that I'm selecting into that white border region and all the way around. So which is this area down here below the lip, and this little area up here above the lip that is not selected. Awesome! So that means I need to somehow fill in those regions. Well, press Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. And I'm going to increase the Contrast of this mask, and I am going to do so using the Levels command.
So I got to the Image menu, choose Adjustments and choose Levels. Now you might wonder, why am I using a static application of levels as supposed to a Levels Adjustment layer? Well, you can't apply Adjustment layers to independent Alpha Channels; it just doesn't work. You have to work with static commands. So I'll choose the Levels command or press Ctrl+L, Command+L on a Mac. Then notice my Histogram right there. I can see that I've got a bunch of shadows, a lot of clipping going on. You want that inside of a mask. Whereas you don't want a clipping when you are working in a continuous tone image, when you are working on a mask, you do want clipping, because you want big regions of black to indicate deselected pixels, and you want big regions of white to indicate selected pixels.
So what I want to do actually is clip even more of the image and through trial and error, I figured out that a black point value of 50 works well for this image. But you can see that's about the point at which the Histogram starts sloping down to nothingness. And in this case, I'm saying that everything with a Luminance level 50 or darker inside the mask is going to go black, meaning totally deselected. Now I am also going to take the bright pixels inside the image and brighten them up as well, and I came up with 235.
Meaning anything with a Luminance level of 235 or brighter is becoming white. And now I click OK to see if that worked out. And the only way to check to make sure if I have done a halfway decent job is to click inside of that background with Magic Wand tool. Notice now I select this huge region of black around the lips. I have completely fixed all the problems underneath the lips, and I have got this smattering of pixels here that are a little brighter than black above the lips. But you know what? That doesn't matter.
I am not concerned about those. It's not a big area or a clump or anything like that; it's just a few pixels here and there. Anyway, I'll press Ctrl+D, Command+D on a Mac especially if you deselect the image, and you can't even see where those pixels were. That's something that the Magic Wand tool is picking up that you're probably not going to be able to pick up. All right, so if we have enhanced the contrast of our Quick Mask, we now need to go in and do a little bit of hand painting inside of these lips, and I'm going to show you how that works in the next exercise.
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