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Using the Shadows/Highlights filter

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Using the Shadows/Highlights filter

All right, I think we are making marvelous progress so far. We are definitely on the right track. And I've gone ahead and saved out my progress as Nested Smart Object.psd. So called because we have one Smart Object nested inside of another inside of this composition. Let's go ahead and compare this image to the original. I also have opened Soft portrait.jpg, which is the image as it was captured by Joey Nelson. Subject of course to some interpolation that I provided to the scene in the form of rotating and scaling the image. Now, the original image has great framing, it's got great lighting, the model looks beautiful and so on, but you could use some sharpness, or you could use some color punch and that's what we have going on in the version of the image so far. So it's definitely looking better. However, is it looking best? No, I would say not.

Using the Shadows/Highlights filter

All right, I think we are making marvelous progress so far. We are definitely on the right track. And I've gone ahead and saved out my progress as Nested Smart Object.psd. So called because we have one Smart Object nested inside of another inside of this composition. Let's go ahead and compare this image to the original. I also have opened Soft portrait.jpg, which is the image as it was captured by Joey Nelson. Subject of course to some interpolation that I provided to the scene in the form of rotating and scaling the image. Now, the original image has great framing, it's got great lighting, the model looks beautiful and so on, but you could use some sharpness, or you could use some color punch and that's what we have going on in the version of the image so far. So it's definitely looking better. However, is it looking best? No, I would say not.

One of my concerns with the image is that the left side of the face is awfully hot. We've got this fantastic amount of glow. And as a result, we are losing some of the contour detail right there. So if we go back to the original image, you can see that we do have some nice volumetric contouring going on. This nice play of light chiaroscuro, all that jazz that I would like to reinstate, and we can restore some of that detail and actually make it even better using the Shadows/Highlights filter. So let's go ahead and switch back to Nested Smart Object.psd. Make sure that Smart Girl is selected and you should see the Red Luminance Mask right next to the words Smart Filters, and Gaussian Blur below just to make sure that you are working on the correct Smart Object inside of this composition.

Then I want you to go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments and notice that we have just two color adjustments available to us, Shadows/Highlights and Variations. What gives? What if we wanted to apply for example Vibrance to this image? Well, if you wanted to do that, all you need to do is apply Vibrance from the Adjustments palette. So let's go ahead and select Smart Girl again; I accidentally deselected her. Then I'll expand the Adjustments palette and then I'll click on Vibrance. Now notice that Photoshop has decided to do another one of its half preview updates here.

Let's go ahead and turn the Vibrance layer off for a moment, and actually that's just a different kind of messed up. Let's go ahead and turn off the Smart Filters and see if that helps, and that doesn't. Interesting, and let's turn it back on, and see if that makes things better. It did, good. Now let's turn on Vibrance and it doesn't make any difference. Good. That's the way it should be. So little bit of a screen redraw problem. Bear in mind that we haven't made any changes to Vibrance so far. So we should not be seeing any effects from that adjustment layer. Now, let's go ahead and turn up the Vibrance. I'll just crank it through the roof, so that we can see what you can do using the Vibrance control, if you want to. So any of those color adjustments, levels, curves, brightness, contrast, hue/saturation, all of those guys are available and you can apply them as adjustment layers to a Smart Object regardless of how many Smart Filters you have applied.

I am going to go ahead and press the Backspace key to get rid of that Vibrance layer, because I don't want it. Now, the thing about Shadows/Highlights and Variations, which we can see up here in the Image>Adjustment sub-menu, they have never been available to us as adjustment layers, because they are not traditional color adjustments. Rather, they are calculated as filters. In particular Shadows/Highlights, bears a strong resemblance to Unsharp Mask and the other radius-based filters, because it's comparing neighboring pixels and making decisions based on edge detail.

So if you choose Shadows/ Highlights, you will go ahead and assign Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter to this Smart Object. And that makes perfect sense if you know what's going on in the background with Photoshop. Anyway, I'm going to reduce this Shadows amount value to 5% and you could turn on Show More Options, so that you can see every single one of these items here. But I'm leaving everything that's otherwise hidden set to its default setting. So I'm not making any special modifications to Tonal Width or Radius or Color Correction or any of those guys.

So my feeling is at this point in the game, what we don't need is more complexity. So let's turn off this check box and just stick with the simple stuff. How much do we want to change the Shadows? Not very much at all. How much do we want to sink the Highlights? A lot, because we want to restore some of that mid-tone detail there. So I'll take that Highlights value up to 35%. So 5% and 35%, click OK. We now have a new Smart Filter in the stack. I'm going to take that new filter, and I'm going to move it below Gaussian Blur, and I want you to watch the image on screen there, and see how it changes and notice that we just restored more mid-tone detail in the left side of the woman's face, her right side, of course.

Now, because the color saturation is a little out of control, thanks to a default setting inside the Shadows/ Highlights filter, let's go ahead and get rid of that unnecessary increase in saturation by double-clicking on the slider icon. We'll get that warning about the filter is being stacked and you are only going to see the filter that you are working on, fine, click OK. Then I'll change the mode from Normal to Luminosity. That's going to lose some of the saturation, and it's looking pretty subtle in this view. But as soon as you click OK, it's going to make a bigger difference.

Now, we are seeing the results of both Shadows/Highlights and Gaussian Blur stacked on top of each other. Just to get a sense of what Shadows/Highlights is doing; let's turn it off for a moment. So you can see there we are with the blanched side of the face once again. We are losing way too much detail, and then if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to restore Shadows/Highlights, we get back that wonderful detail, and we have nice volumetric forms going on, wonderful shading. That's thanks to leveling yet another filter on the stack here inside of the Smart Object composition.

In the next exercise, the final exercise where this project is concerned, we are going to apply a pixel-level edit and we'll see how that goes. Stay tuned.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

147 video lessons · 27820 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 21m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 34s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
      51s
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 23m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 33s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 34s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 45s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
      58s
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 7s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 54s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 54s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 32s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
      46s
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 41s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 51s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 38s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 42s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
      42s
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 50s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 51s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

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