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The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.
In this movie I'll introduce you to selection bleed, and the idea is this: If you select a portion of an image and you apply any of the filters in the Filter Gallery, then you can choose whether or not to bleed the deselected portion of the image into the selected region. Now when you're using a filter like Gaussian blur, this happens automatically. The great thing about Field Blur and the others is that it doesn't happen automatically, and I'll provide you with a couple of examples. Over the course of this first project, which is going to bleed, if you will, into the next movie.
we're going to take this Wall Street Bull from the Fotolia Image Library and we're going to turn it into something that has a lot more impact, a much more interesting composition in my opinion. So, let's start things off by making a copy of this Smart Object. Notice I have a Smart Object selected. And if you go up to the Filter menu, you'll see that there aren't that many filters that you can't apply to a Smart Object. There's Liquify and there's Vanishing Point, and the only other ones are located in the Blur submenu, and they include the first three filters, which comprise the Filter Gallery, and then we've got Lens Blur.
So everything else can be applied to a Smart Object. So what do we do in this case? How do we turn this Smart Object into a flat image layer? Well one way to work is to press Ctrl+A or Command+A on a Mac in order to select the entire image and then press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on a Mac in order to jump the selection to a pixel-based layer. And I'll go ahead and call this layer backdrop and then I'll click OK. And we now, as you can see by the lack of little page icon here in the thumbnail, we now have a flat image layer.
Now I want to select a region of the image by switching to the Channels panel, and you can see I have a couple of alpha channels set up in advance. Recall that white represents the selection and black represents the deselected area. So I start by drawing this basic selection outline using the Polygonal Lasso tool. Then I used the Refine Edge command in order to clean it up, and we'll learn more about Refined Edge in a later chapter in this course. But for now what I want you to do is just load this selection by Ctrl+Clicking on the Refine Edge Channel; on a Mac you'd Command+Click on it.
Then switch back to the RGB image, switch over to the Layers panel, and because we want to blur the background and not the bull, we need to reverse the selection by going up to the Select menu and choosing the Inverse command. Or you can press Ctrl+Shift+I or Command+Shift+I on a Mac. All right, now just to make sure that we're starting from scratch and we're not applying any old settings, just go to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and once again choose Field Blur. And you'll end up seeing this number here, with the marching ants surrounding the selected background and a single default pin set to a Blur Radius of 15 pixels.
All right, I am going to drag this pin to this region there, right under the animal's arm, and I'm going to increase the amount of Blur. Just so we can really tell what's going on here, I am going to increase it to 30, by dragging clockwise inside the ring. And then I'm going to set another blur point down here by clicking, and I am going to decrease its Blur value to 4. I don't want to send it all the way to 0; I want to keep some blurriness there. And these two, you want to make sure that these two pins are more or less in line with each other.
And you have to do that manually, by the way; you're just going to have to eyeball it. But you can check the mask if you want to, by tapping the M key. And if the M key doesn't stick, by the way, if the mask ends up blinking in and then blinking out, just tap the M key more quickly. And what you should see is a pretty straight gradient. You don't want to see a lot of angle to this gradient. All right, I am going to tap M again and now notice this Selection Bleed option right there. It's set to 0%. I am going to press, by the way, Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac to hide the marching ants. That also goes ahead and hides my pins, by the way.
Right now, it's set to 0%, which means that we don't have any halo around the selection, so the deselected bull is not bleeding into the selected background. If we wanted to change that, I could crank that value up to 100%, and notice now the horn, for example, the deselected horn, is bleeding outward; the blur is actually bleeding outward into the background. So the Blur Gallery is taking the deselected area into account. As I say, that's the way it works with Gaussian blur, and with just about every other filter inside of Photoshop, but the Blur Gallery is special.
Anyway, I don't want that much selection bleed; I just want a little, so I am going to take this value down to 35%. Then we'll go down to the Blur Effects here. Notice that the Bokeh is turned on; however, the values have reset to their defaults. At least that's what you should see. I am going to go ahead and turn Bokeh off, because I don't want it for this specific effect. Then I'll go up to the top of the window and click on OK in order to apply that blur to the selected layer. All right, we'll finish this project in the next movie when we discuss Iris Blur, but in the meantime, I'm going to switch to another image. Let's say I want to blur this background, which is separated from the glasses by the way, so we've just got this beach in the background, as you can see if I Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eye in front of the beach layer. I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click again. I am going to press Ctrl+J or Command+J on the Mac to make a copy of this layer, and then I'll switch over to the Channels panel, and notice I have this alpha channel that contains a gradient.
So it's going to protect the bottom portion of the beach, and it's going to reveal the waves and the entire background and make that available for blurring. So I'll press the Ctrl key or the Command key on a Mac and click on that channel to load it up as a selection outline. Then I'll switch back to the RGB image, return to the Layers panel, and then press Ctrl+Alt+F or Command+Option+F on the Mac in order to reload the last settings applied. And this is really interesting. Notice now that we can't see the pins, but we can see the marching ants, which is great. Now I'll press Ctrl+H ,and it reverses, so you don't see the marching ants anymore--we wouldn't want to see those--but we can't see the pins, which is pretty darn useful.
Then go up to the Options bar here and click Remove all pins, so that we can start over. And I'm going to click to set a pin right at this location there. And a Blur value of 15 pixels is a little high for this effect, so I am going to take it down to 10. And notice what's happening here: if you look closely, you'll see that the blur is not so much unblurring--in other words the landscape is not coming into focus as it comes toward us; instead, the blur is just becoming more translucent, which really doesn't make that much sense. Two ways to deal with that. One is to go up to the Selection Bleed and let's crank that up to 100, so we are bleeding as much of the deselected area into the selection as possible.
And the other thing you want to do is set another pin. So I am going to click down here at the bottom of the image, and I'll drag inside the ring until my Blur value is 5 pixels. All right, now I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. Wait for the Progress Bar if it comes up. Then what I want you to do, because I actually want the entire background to be slightly blurred, I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac to deselect the image. I'll press Ctrl+Alt+F or Command+Option+F on the Mac in order to bring back up my last settings. This guy remains selected, as you can see there, so I'll just press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac to get rid of it.
Then I'll select this other pin, and I am going to take the Blur value this time down to just 3 pixels. And so in other words, we're heaping one field blur on top of another. This one is very simple. It doesn't have a selection. We're not adding multiple pins. Just click OK in order to apply that final effect. And that's how you take advantage of the Selection Bleed option, available to all three filters included in the Blur Gallery.
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