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Creative Cloud delivers the latest Photoshop updates right to your computer, but how do you stay on top of all these new features and integrate them into your digital workflows? Chris Orwig is here to provide a photocentric guide to Adobe's updates, adding new chapters every time changes are released. To start, Chris covers correcting with Focus Area and explores the Content-Aware tool changes, the Path Blur filter, and the improved Layer Comps workflow, as well as updates to Camera Raw. Check back often for new tutorials.
In this movie, I want to introduce you to a helpful new feature, which is called Focus Area. Focus Area is a selection tool, which gives us the ability, to build a selection based on areas of focus or sharpness in our photographs. Now in order to understand how this feature works, we're going to do a small project. And that project will consist of building a selection of our subjects. You can see the subjects in this photograph are in focus and because I was using a shallow depth of field, the background is out of focus.
Then, we'll take that selection and we'll create an adjustment layer based on that selection. So that the background is black and white, and the subjects are color. Alright? Well here it goes. Navigate to the Select pulldown menu, and here choose Focus Area. Again, that's Select and then Focus Area. Click on that menu item and it will open up the dialogue. And by default the auto option will be turned on so that Photoshop will do its magic. We'll analyze the image and try to figure out what is in focus, what's sharp and what isn't.
Now, this image, it did a pretty phenomenal job. You can see that it's starting to build up a selection here of this subject. If the view of your image looks different than mine, it's because we can change our view mode. Just click on this pull down menu and you can view this On White or in other ways as well. We'll talk about that more later. For now though, let's choose on Layers. You want to make sure that, that preview check box is turned on. Next, we can fine tune, what is selected and what isn't selected, by using the In-Focus Range slider.
If we drag this to the right, and here, let me exaggerate. What we'll see is that, we'll bring more into the selection. So that now we have the background, selected as well. If we drag this to the left, we can remove what's selected, and in this case, we'll see the results, in this case, I removed too much. We removed the subject here on the right. So, often you want to begin with a auto check box turned on. This is a real good starting point, and then maybe fine tune this a little bit. Perhaps you want a little bit more selected. We'll drag that to the right, in order to increase the selected area.
Next, let's talk about this option down here which is, soften edge. It's a really important check box. Most of the time you'll want to have this checked on. Let me show you why. Here, I'll grab the zoom tool and I'm just going to click to zoom in on an area of the image and I'm going to zoom way in. Way past 100% so you can see the edge detail that we have here. Now if we turn this option off, what we'll see is that the edge will be really jagged and kind of harsh. Turn this on, we'll see that they're much softer and more natural.
Next I'll zoom out. To do that, I'll press command minus a few times, so we can go back to seeing the rest of the photograph here. When it comes to improving the edges or any of the details that we have in the photograph. We can further improve the edge detail that we have, by clicking on the refine edge button which will open up, a second dialog. Go ahead and click on that and it will open up our refine edge dialog. Now, this is a tool which we've had in previous versions of Photoshop, there isn't anything new here. So, what we'll do often with this, is we start with smart radius, we can increase the radius value which gives us, better edge detection and often better results with our edges.
You can also smooth those edges out, a touch if we want or add little bit of feather or contrast. And, when it comes to shifting the edge, if you drag this to the left, you can see it will trim off the edge a bit. Or drag this to right and it will increase those edges. Let me zoom in so you can see that a little better. Sorry about that. So again, you can see how it can change that edge there a little bit. Sometimes it's nice just to take that down a little bit, to trim off a bit of the edge that we have there, if needed. All right, well, not to get too deep into refined edge but it does help us to improve our edge detail.
We'll talk more about this in another movie. Yeah, now what I want to do, jump to this idea of outputting. I want to output this to a selection. So from this pull down menu, let's choose, Selection. And then simply click, OK. Now, when we click OK, it may be a little bit anticlimactic. because right now, all that we have, is this image with a selected area. We see the marching ants, showing us which area of the photograph is selected. Well, while this is, this looks anticlimactic, it's actually pretty powerful.
Because once you have the selection, you can get really creative. You can apply corrections to this area or maybe, or maybe creative color adjustments as well. Just to have fun with this, let's apply a color adjustment, like black and white. To do that, we'll click on the black and white adjustment layer icon which is this one right here, go ahead and click on that, and we'll see that we now have an image where the background is in color, the subjects are black and white. Well that's the opposite of what I want.
No big deal, navigate over to the mask icon. And we can click on the Invert button and we can flip flop the area which is selected and be unaffected by this adjustment. And that Invert, you can see here, that changes, what's been affected. In this case, I think it works better to have the background in black and white and our subjects here in color. And we were able to create a project like this or create this effect really easily all because of that new feature, Focus Area.
And again, Focus Area gives us this unique ability to build a selection based on areas of focus or sharpness. Now, where things get really interesting is what we do with this selection. In this case, we did something kind of fun where we made the background black and white but we can do other things as well. So let's dig a bit deeper, into how we can work with Focus Area and let's do that, in the next few movies.
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