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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, here I'm working inside the image called Three Giulianos.psd and all it is, is three versions of that Giuliano image on different layers. So there is Giuliano 3, there is Giuliano 2, Giuliano 1. They are all identical to each other. And what we are going to do is we are going to create a kind of glowing Giuliano by the time we are done, as if he's rendered in gold or something along those lines, a little bit of a simulation of maybe some gold flecks on him anyway. And we are going to do that by applying Gaussian Blur to the top Giuliano, comparing it to the layer below with Difference, and then running a couple of changes, and applying that to Giuliano 3. So here we go.
Make sure Giuliano 1, the top layer is selected. Then go up to the Filter menu, won't you? And I want you to choose Blur>Gaussian Blur or if you loaded Deke keys, you can press Shift+F7. And this is the amount of blur I want you to apply, 6 whopping pixels of Blur and then click OK. Now you may recall when we were talking about Unsharp Mask, I was telling you it really uses Gaussian Blur to create the impression of sharpness, and it doesn't use the Difference mode, it uses add and subtract actually which we saw a couple of exercises ago, but because Difference does work with subtraction, it does rather simulate the effect as we are going to see.
So I have got this blurry version. Let's mix it with the normal version. So Giuliano 1 is now our unsharp image, it's the blurred image. And Giuliano 2 is going to serve as the mask in the Unsharp Mask equation. All right, so let's go up here to the Blend Mode pop-up menu, and choose Difference. And we are going to get something that looks utterly and completely awful, that's okay. Now at this point, I want to draw forth the differences. I want to increase the contrast so we can see the differences inside of this layer right here, or inside this composite effect I should say.
I could do that using the Levels adjustment layer, but I then want to take these guys and apply them to Giuliano 3. So instead, I'm just going to flatten these two, I'm just going to merge them together, and then we'll apply a static levels adjustment. And here is how we are going to do it, go to the Layer menu and choose this command right there, Merge Down, which will go ahead and merge Giuliano 1 with Giuliano 2, which is the one below it. So down, don't you know? And that's Ctrl+E or Command+E on the Mac, and we get this effect right here. Fine, it should look the same as it looked before.
Then I'll press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac, and I'm going to change the Gamma value to 2, so some big time brightening there. And then, I'm going to change the white point value from 255 to 155 like so, that's it and click OK. Now you can see why this results in something of a sharpening effect. If you start zooming in here, you can see that you have some nice crisp edges with these halos around them now that were created by Gaussian Blur. And this is how sharpen is inside of Photoshop. It's rot. It's using these sorts of calculations, not exactly this calculation, but this one does help us to create a cool effect.
So now that we have done it, now that we have gone ahead and levelled up, increased the contrast of this image using Levels, I want you to change the blend mode now to the one that's going to give us the golden brightness which of course would be Color Dodge because it's going to create an extreme brightening effect and it's going to send the saturation through the roof which is what we want, and we end up getting this effect here, which is pretty darn cool. I think, it's a nice balance going on there. I will go ahead and Escape out of the blend mode here on the PC, and then I'm going to press Shift+7 to reduce the Fill value to 70%, because Color Dodge is one of the Fill Opacity Eight. And there you have it, this is the original Giuliano, and this is the golden Giuliano. Thanks to the Difference mode and the few other little tricks here inside Photoshop.
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