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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 Itsy bitsy leaves.psd, so called because I have imported some nicely masked, but awfully dinky leaves into our large composition. I am going to zoom out so that we have more room to scale these leaves. Now you might say to me hey Deke! Why didn't you just import some bigger leaves in the first place, why didn't you find some larger leaves? Well, I'm here to tell you, I found a very large image as I am going to show you. I'll go ahead and switch over to the bridge right here. This is the entire image zoomed out. It's quite large.
it's several million pixels. It's just that in order to integrate this tree with my composition, I had to use just a small part of it. I wasn't getting use this entire 3D tree, by the way. I think it's an illustration as opposed to a photograph. I just wanted to use just a tiny bit of the tree over here and then I flipped it horizontally, in order to get the fragment that we're using right now. So it is just a question of trying to find something that's going to serve my needs. You may look at you what we've got here especially after we get done scaling it and say, this doesn't serve our needs at all of this dinky little thing.
But then we are going to modify those leaves and they are going to work out nicely as you'll see. All right, so I'm going to move the leaves up a little bit, so they're up here in the general upper-left corner of the image. We're going to scale these leaves like crazy, by going to the Edit menu and choosing the Free Transform Cmd, or you can press Ctrl+T, Cmd+T on the Mac. I am going to go ahead and lock down the upper-right corner of this layer by clicking the upper-right point in this little Reference point matrix here and that will lock down that point and scale everything else with respect to it, and then I am going to click on this Chain icon in order to link the Width and Height values.
I'm going to change the Width value or the Height value, doesn't matter which one, to 1200%. So 1200% is what we are going for here and that looks like it's going to look terrible. This preview is just showing us the big exaggerated pixels. It's going to render out better once I press the Enter key a couple times or the Return key on the Mac. But I would hardly say it's going to render out well. It still looks just awful and this is a function of upsampling.
Upsampling in Photoshop really doesn't ever turn to work out very well. You're always going to get very blurry, chunky, ugly pixels, and that's because Photoshop can't make up detail. It doesn't know these are leaves and it wouldn't know how to draw the leaves anyway. Only your camera is capable of gathering that information, or a scanner, or the like, not Photoshop. Anyway, having done such a horrible job, let's go ahead and move these leaves up to a better location and I think I want them to be about right there, somewhere in this zone and you can nudge the leaves from the keyboard if you like, by pressing the arrow keys.
I can go ahead and compare this to the final version of the image, by pressing Ctrl+Tab to advance to it, that would be Cmd+Tilde on the Mac, if you've got them both open. Then I'll come back again, it should go down, shouldn't it? I want this to be a pretty darn near match if I can get it, maybe a little farther over. That looks pretty good. But you may notice that these leaves look far superior to the leaves that we've got thus far and that's because our current leaves are more or less sharply focused.
I wouldn't call what we have sharply focused at this point, but they're certainly not blurry or out of focus. We want them to be far in the foreground, outside the field of focus here. So we are going to apply Photoshop's most capable blur function. Under the Filter menu, you go to Blur and then you choose Lens Blur. That brings up the Lens Blur window and I want you to raise the Radius value to 75, so that we have some ultra blurry leaves, like you see right there. Now, your Preview should be set to Faster instead of more accurate, otherwise it is going to take forever to display and it does take forever to apply, I should mention that. We're only really seeing an area like about this big of these leaves.
So, a lot of the leaves are outside of the canvas, they are still inside of the composition and they still have to be calculated, so it takes a little bit of time to apply. And you'll see that when I click on OK, and that we do get a progress bar and it takes its sweet time to apply to the image. If it takes longer on your computer than it does on mine, that's probably because we went ahead and accelerated the feature in the video. Also, this is the 64-bit version of Photoshop, so it's designed to work very quickly, as quickly as humanly possible, given that it's not a human.
And we get this leaf effect here, which looks pretty darn good, considering we started with about five pixels in the first place. We've made very good use of them, I think. What I don't like about it is this weird lightness that's happening around the leaves, and also I don't feel like the leaves are integrated into the composition as well as they could be, and I'll show you how to solve those problems, or at least how I solved them, in the next exercise.
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