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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right gang, we are still inside Liquefy, which you can get to of course by choosing the Liquefy command from the Filter menu, and I have got the Warp tool selected as by default. Now the tools coming up is just being huge, this default brush size here, that's because we were working inside of a low-resolution image and I'm choosing to work inside of a low-resolution image for two reasons, first of all this is a piece of classic art work and it was hard to come by a scan and this is one I have found. But even more to the point whatever you can do successfully to a low-resolution image, you can do even better to a high-resolution image. So this image is going start to show the stress of liquefying it much more quickly than a high-resolution image would.
I am always a big believer that if you can learn to work under the worst circumstances possible then when you actually do your work under better circumstances you are going to get just the best results possible. So anyway that's why we are here and I have got the Forward Warp tool selected, big old brush. I want to make the brush smaller. I can do that by changing the Brush Size value right here or I can just take advantage of my bracket keys. So if you press the left bracket key, you are going to make the brush incrementally bigger and you can see that there are very slight modifications. Each time I press one of these keys, I'm only changing the brush size by two pixels. So it's very subtle, which is why you also have the option of pressing Shift with one of the bracket keys.
So this is Shift+Left Bracket and it drops the brush size by 20 pixels now, and this is Shift+Right Bracket to make it bigger or you can press and hold on the bracket key, either way in order to make the brush bigger or smaller on the fly, and you will be doing that a lot. So definitely come to terms with those bracket keys combinations, because they are much easier then going over here to the Brush Size option and playing around with it. You also have Brush Density, which is analogous to the hardness of the brush outside in the larger world of Photoshop. So if you have a very high Brush Density value you are going to make edits that basically cover the entire size of your brush there. Let me show you. I'll make my brush a little bigger like so and I'll drag out from her cheek and you can see how I'm basically moving almost all of the pixels that were inside of my brush whereas go ahead and undo that modification. If I reduce the Brush Density to let's say 0, which is as low as you can go. So this is measured as a percentage value then I'm only tugging right there at the tip, right at the cross inside of my brush and everything else is moving much, much less, so that I have pretty much a big fluffy brush at this point when I have a very low density value.
I tend to leave that value mostly alone I must admit. 50%, I find to be a really great value. And then if you want to change how much work you are getting done at a time then you would change your Brush Pressure. Right now it's maxed out to 100, but if you were to take that down you will see that it will take a lot more brushing to get any work done with this tool. All right so I'm going to go ahead and restore the image. I don't want that eyeball doing that. Let's go ahead and take the Brush Pressure back up to a reasonable value, something like 85 I think can work pretty nicely for us. Then I'm going to make my brush smaller and notice this area on her jaw right there.
It definitely needs to come in and so what I would suggest is that we start dragging the image inward like so and I might actually work with a larger brush here, so that I can get a little more work done at a time. Now the interesting thing about large versus small brushes is that if you work with a little brush you are obviously going to make more subtle modifications but you can also end up sort of rumpling the surface like that and creating some little weird blockiness right there, that's what I call it. Anyway I'm going to undo those modifications.
Whereas with the big brush you are going to make big whopping changes at a time but you are also going to have less problem with sort of wavering edges and you want fewer problems with wavering edges is what I think. Couple of other things to note, even though here I'll make a big modification again because it's easier to see the stuff that way, you can press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and what that's going do is going to turn your Warp tool into this tool right here which is the Reconstruct tool. So if you Alt+Drag or Option+Drag in a Mac you are basically going to erase everything that you paint over like so. All right. But I don't want to erase this stuff. I want that back. So I'll go and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac and then I'll just Alt+Drag or Option+ Drag around this series to put it back and I'm going to get my Warp tool and I'm going to just drag this area out just a little bit. Notice as I'm moving this back out that I'm starting to gain back some of the detail inside of this image. So I'm un-smearing as I put the pixels back where they were before and that is the function of this Mesh once again.
The less damage you do with the mesh, the less damage you are going to do to the image, the more you damage that the mesh, the more you rumple it then the more smearing that you are going to apply as well. All right so I am just going to move this until I feel good about it, and that looks pretty good for now where warping is concerned even I know to continue, don't I? Gosh, I'm still moving this around as I speak. Anyway in the next exercise I'm going to show you how to work with some of the other tools including this guys right here Pucker and Bloat. Join me.
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