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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now, let's take a look at the view setting starting with the Show Backdrop checkbox down here in the lower-right corner of the dialog box. Now, one of the things about working inside of a separate utility like this is that you may feel like you are seeing the layer completely out of context because after all, by default, you are just seeing the layer and not any of the other layers inside the image. The Show Backdrop checkbox seeks to remedy this situation and it does so in half successful manners, it turns out in my opinion. Go ahead and turn it on, and you will see, if I zoom out here, you will see a dimmed version of the layered composition mixed in with the modified version of the current layer.
That means that you are seeing both the original version of the layer and the modified version of the layer piled on top of each other, which makes for a very, very confusing view of this image in my opinion. Luckily, you can switch things around using these options down here, which include Use, Mode and Opacity. By default, mode is set to In Front, meaning that the layered composition is stacked in front of the modified version of the image. So if you were to raise the opacity value, you would stress the original image.
And if you were to lower the opacity value, you would stress the modified version of the layer. Alright, I am going to take that value back to 50% or so right here, so that I can show you the Behind mode which is a little better in my opinion, because it sets the layered version of the image behind the modified view of the image. That means you can then increase the opacity value to 100% so that you can see just the modified view of the image with the other layers in the background, but you are not having the modified view of the layer compete with the original version of the layers.
So that's a really good thing in my opinion. Or, even a better way to work is pick and choose exactly which layer you want to see here. Alright, so I am going to restore that opacity value to 50% so that we are all starting on the same page here. And I am going to change the used value to frame because I don't really care about, for example, the background layer which is just white or the painting layer which is that Michelangelo Fresco. All I'm really concerned about is how the current layer interacts with the frame that directly surrounds it.
So let's go ahead and choose Frame from the Use option. And let's put the frame in front because that's where it really is, it's really stacked in front of this face layer right here, and let's change the opacity value now to 100% so that we see the two layers interacting with each other in very much the same way that they interact with each other outside in Photoshop. We're not seeing the drop shadow but otherwise it looks pretty darn good. So that's one way to change your view settings here inside the Liquify dialog box.
The other thing you can do is turn on the Show Mesh option right here. And what that does is it turns on this grid, see this little light gray grid, I will go ahead and zoom in on the image so that we can see it even closer. And the grid by default is rectilinear, meaning that it's made up of exactly vertical and horizontal lines. But as soon as you start warping the image or otherwise modifying it, you create sort of roundness inside of the Mesh and you drag the Mesh outward. And it's just helpful for tracking how your distortion is being measured mathematically inside the Liquify dialog box.
So you can turn it on or off to your pleasure, it's up to you. But it's just a way of tracking what's going on. What I typically do is turn it on and then raise this Mesh size so that I am seeing fewer Mesh lines, so that they are not interfering with my view of the image. You can also change the Mesh color if you like, so you can change it to some bright color like yellow, if you prefer. I generally like to keep it gray. Alright, so those are your view settings, you've got Show Backdrop and you've have got Show Mesh available to you so that you can see the image in context, and you can measure the results of your modifications.
In the next exercise, we will see how you can reconstruct an image either incrementally or entirely in order to get rid of undesirable distortions like the ones that we are seeing right here.
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