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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.
All right, just to recap, I am working inside the Masked sunny.psd image, and I am reevaluating the layer mask associated with the sunny layer using the Refine Mask command. I've raised the Smooth value as you can see here to 20%, the Radius value is set to 70 pixel and Smart Radius is turned on. Now, all those options working together are making a generally positive contribution to this layer mask. We are getting smoother hair details, smoother edges around the knuckles and around the sweater as well. Bear in mind, because we're looking at the On White preview, wherever we see white in the background here that represents exposed areas of background and wherever we are seeing the model herself, represents areas that are revealed inside of the mask.
So, what in the world is going on with these blue details inside of the fingers? Those are trapped areas of her original background that are somehow still showing through, even though we've previously masked them away. So, if I turn on the Show Original check box you can see that those areas should be going away. They are turning white on us right there. But by virtue of our settings here we are somehow adding those areas back in. Well, to get to the bottom of it I could adjust these values here. I'll go ahead and turn Show Original back off so that we are seeing the modified version of the mask, and I'll reduce that Radius value to 0 pixel and sure enough that white region is coming back.
So, apparently while this Edge Detection calculation here is generally doing a really great job on my layer mask it's not doing a great job here inside the fingers. So, somehow I need to remove this region from the calculation and that something you can do manually using this Refine Radius tool right here, which is selected by default. By the way, it remain selected too as long as you don't switch over to the Hand tool or the Zoom tool here in the top left corner of the dialog box. As long as that tool is active, then you can paint inside of the Image window in order to manually add to the Edge Detection area or if you press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and paint then you are subtracting from the Edge Detection area.
That is not the same as adding to the selection or subtracting to the selection as we are used to when using other selection tools inside of Photoshop. So, let me show you the distinction. I'm going to go ahead and set that Radius value back to 70 pixels, press the Tab key so we can let it do its thing. I'm also going to turn on the Show Radius check box right here, so that we can see the radius coursing through this image. Of course, this area of exposed imagery at this point represents the area that we've opened up to the Edge Detection option using this combination of the Radius Value and Smart Radius.
Well, we can add to it by painting with this Refine Radius tool. Now, there's two varieties of the tool just so you know there is the Refine Radius tool that adds to the radius, and there's the Erase Refinements tool that subtracts from the radius, but you can already get that function by Alt+Dragging or Option+dragging. So, you don't have to actually switch tools if you don't want to. I'll just leave that guy set to its default setting right there. You can also adjust the size of your cursor either by going up to the Size option here in the options bar or by pressing the Right Bracket and Left Bracket keys.
Problem here on a PC is if you have a numerical value active then the Right and Left Bracket keys don't do anything. So you have to switch emphasis somehow to some other option. I am going to go ahead and turn off Smart Radius for a second and then turn it back on. Now, notice because this option is active I can press the Right Bracket key to make my brush bigger or the Left Bracket key to make to make the brush smaller. On the Mac, you should be able to do that all the time. Anyway, notice that I can see these little regions of white that are showing up inside the hairs.
These little areas of white were added by Smart Radius, because I have Show Radius turn on; that area is not going to be evaluated by the Edge Detection function. So, in my case I do want those little white wedges to be evaluated, so I'll paint over them like so in order to get rid of the white. Now, I am going to go ahead and actually increase this Radius further around these hair details. As soon as I released my mouse button, I should see some very subtle modifications occur inside of those hair details. So, we are seeing the hair get reevaluated; thanks to my manual modification to that Radius value.
So again, even though I've got a Plus sign inside of this cursor, I am not adding to the selected region. I'm adding to the evaluated region of the image. I also let's say want to go ahead and subtract these areas inside of the fingers, and I can subtract them while we're looking at the radius, but if I do that, it's going be hard to see the results because that Radius preview is going to cover everything up. So, why don't we turn off the Show Radius check box for a moment, and then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac to get that minus inside the brush, and I'll paint inside of the fingers, like so.
I'll just paint inside this entire region, wait a moment, and you can see that the white comes back because after all we are restoring the results of returning the Radius value to zero pixels. So, again we are not subtracting from the selection; I want to make that clear. We are subtracting from the Edge Detection Calculation there. Now, that isn't necessarily doing everything we want it to do. I am going to go ahead and zoom in here and click on a numerical option so I can press the Spacebar and then drag my image around.
Anyway, notice that I am now revealing some blue inside of this matrix of hair which means that I do want to paint that Edge Detection radius back in to this location. So, painting away the Edge Detection worked on the bottom region inside of these fingers. However, it didn't work so well where the hair is concerned. So, I'll go ahead and paint inside of here using the Refine Radius tool, and you can see things get much better. However, not all the way best because we now have some halos on the insides of these fingertips and then on the top edge of the index finger.
We also have this very light cluster of hair right there. So, I'm going to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and I'm am going to paint over the fingers like so in order to get rid of those halos right there. I'm going to reduce the Size of my cursor by pressing left bracket a couple of times, and I'm going to Alt+Drag along the index finger in order to get rid of that halo as well. Now, I am going to go ahead and reduce the size of my cursor farther, and I'll Alt+Drag through that hair cluster, and that goes ahead and makes the hair nice and dark once again.
What about this area here? These hairs shouldn't be so light either so I'll Alt+Drag through them, and that goes ahead and darkens them up. I'll Alt+Drag through these hairs as well, and that darkens them up. So again, by painting using this Refine Radius tool you're adding to the avenue, the channel in which the Edge Detection feature can reevaluate the layer mask by Alt+Dragging or Option+Dragging, you are subtracting away from that avenue or channel or however you want to think of it. Now, we are not going to do anything by further painting inside of here, even though we have these rounded areas that are being created by the Smooth option; they are not affected by this Radius setting.
So, they're not affected by your painting with a tool. All right, but other portions of the image are. If we panned over to the left-hand side of the image here, you can see that our neck has a little bit of halo down into her shoulder region as well. So, I am going to press the Right Bracket key a few times in order to increase the size of that brush and then Alt paint or Option paint along that neck and then down into the shoulders as well. Notice I'm painting next to the edge, not directly on the edge, which is very important. Then when I released, the halos go away.
Actually, I have to say this looks pretty darn good. I might go ahead and paint in this region as well in order to remove that area from the Edge Detection calculation. We now get this much more acceptable result here. We are seeing through the fingertips that's the main thing of course. In the next exercise, we'll take a look at the final option available to us, Decontaminate Colors.
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