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Besides indicating details brushwork, you can also indicate depth and visual importance with color by controlling its temperature and saturation. Atmospheric or aerial perspective is a painting technique in which three-dimensional depth is portrayed by reducing color saturation and tinting retreating colors towards blue. This mimics the effects of the atmosphere on distance. We can additionally use this optical queue to place greater importance on subject matter in a painting.
In this video, we'll take a look at how to use this technique. So here's where we are. This is the work I did since we last talked and I wanted to show you that within each of our cloning groups, there is a Hue or Saturation adjustment layer and I'm going to take advantage of that now, because I want to start to play around with this saturation of these images to provide more focus on the subject matter, which is really the cars in the foreground here.
That's the most important element. We will be adding some people into the scene later, but we want to start working already on getting the stage set for our actors that we're going to supply a little later. So I'm going to go to the Underpainting first and turn it on. What I want to do is reduce the Saturation. I'm going to overplay it here because I want to see exactly what's going to happen. Okay, so can see we've almost turned into black and white, which is too far. So I'm going to start to bring it up a bit. And like so many settings in here, I can't tell you which one is wrong or right.
I'm just going to turn this on and off and watch the image. And I can see here some color brilliance is definitely been removed, but it's not noticeable and that's the other thing you want to do in these kinds of effects. When they're done right, the eye isn't attracted to them and so even on a small scale like this, where I'm just slightly adjusting the Saturation, less is generally more. You don't want to turn that into a black and white painting in the background. It would look unnatural.
So we've done that one. Let's now go up to our Intermediate layer, Hue/Saturation, and in this case I'm going to increase it and once again I may just overshoot. Let's see what it's actually affecting and yes, it is affecting quite a bit there. So I'm going to start turn this down and I can turn the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer on and off in the Layer panel to see the difference. It's definitely changing it and I might punch it up just a little bit more.
Remember these are nondestructive adjustments, so if later on I realized gee, I kind of over did it and that taxicab is way too yellow, I can always come back and fix this, but I want to at least have the start of the visualization of how I'm going to control the hierarchy of importance through color saturation in this image. The other thing I could do, we'll just try it to see if it does anything, is if I go here I can play with the Lightness.
Let's, for example, turn it down to see what happens. It kind of hiked that a little bit. This is the kind of thing where if this was a traditional painting, you could never see these to try them out and because we have this as a safety net, I can try things out I never even would try. Who would have thought that darkening that a little bit would make a difference? And yet now that I'm looking at it, I really like it. Let's go to the Intermediate Hue/ Saturation and toggle it on and off. And sure enough you can see how that's just adding a little bit more life to what is right now our primary subject.
So what I've done here is used warm and cool color and brightness as a useful tool for focusing viewer attention to desired areas within our composition. The trick is to be subtle about it and not let it call undue attention for the wrong reasons. And in the next movie, I'm going to talk about adding texture, which is another visual element that attracts the eye.
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