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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
In this exercise, we're going to visit the remaining Contrast modes that is Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light and Hard Mix. Now, I was saying that Overlay through Hard Light, they all apply different variations on the Multiply and Screen mode. So there are different multipliers going on inside of each one of these equations, but they're based on Multiple and Screens. So you're multiplying the darkest details, screening the lightest details, that changes once we move over to Vivid Light. So Vivid Light is assigning color burn to the darkest details and color dodge to the lightest details and as a result, not surprisingly, I don't think if we understand how color burn and color dodge work, we are getting a more translucent effect for one thing, so were not getting quite as much opacity as we got out of hard mix and we're also expanding the contrast of the effect and we're seeing these overly saturated color values as well.
Now, if you want to rein in the colors and potentially enhance the effect further, you can switch to the next mode in the list which is Linear Light and Linear Light goes ahead and applies linear burn to the darkest details and linear dodge to the lightest details. Now this isn't a really great mode in my opinion, it's a little over the top at times, but you might want to visit it when you're perusing the contrast modes. So the big three, in my opinion, are Shift+Alt+O or Shift+Option+O for Overlay, Shift+Alt+H or Shift+Option+H for Hard Light and then Shift+Alt+J or Shift+Option+J on a Mac for Linear Light, and notice that we do get a extremely dramatic effect.
So, if overlay through Hard Light use combinations of the Multiply and Screen modes and Vivid Light and Linear Light use combinations of the burn and dodge modes. What do you think Pin Light does, it uses a combination of darken and lighten. So basically the idea is and this isn't much of a mode, of course, anything based on darken and lighten, you can bet, is going to rather failed to fire the imagination, but what it does is it just keeps those darkest colors that are darker than the darkest colors underlying and it just keep those the lightest colors that are lighter than the lightest colors underlying them, and that happens on a channel by channel basis, if any of that made sense.
So, let's go ahead and see what those channels look like, I'll switch over to the Channels panel and notice here in the Red channel, that we have an awful lot of cloud, showing up in her dress and these rays of sunlight in her hair and so forth and then in a Green channel, that starts to drop off, we're not seeing the clouds and her dress, but we are seeing the clouds appear in her hair and then once we get to the Blue channel, we're really losing a lot of the rays of sunlight in her hair, but we are bringing back some of the clouds inside of her dress and neck line and so on. So, that all merges to form this peculiar effect right there in the RGB Composite and then finally, there is the least impressive Blend mode of them all, hands down and that is this next guy, Hard Mix and Hard Mix goes ahead and applies a Contrast mode and then it boils it down to either black or white, in each one of the color channels.
So if you switch over to the Channels panel, you'll see that we have exclusively black-and-white pixels inside the model. Same with the Green channel, it's just their distribution is different and then same with the Blue channel, we have very few white pixels but they're only black-and-white and then when they're mixed together inside of the RGB image, we get not only black-and-white but we also get the primary colors in-between, so we get red, green and blue and cyan, magenta and yellow. However that it, just those eight colors, nothing more, so it's not an effect, you're going to go running to very often. However, I will show you way to modify the results of this effect that are pretty interesting, but that's part of a larger topic, so just put a pin in that one for now.
Anyway, another thing I want to show you, I'm going to go ahead and switch back to Hard Light because that was my favorite mode where this particular layer is concerned. Let me show you something else you can do with the Contrast modes, any time you have a lot of gray inside of a layer, you can then turn around and mix that layer with the underlying layers subject to a Contrast mode. So you may recall back during our discussion of sharpening, in the advanced portion of the series, when I showed you how to do a high patch sharpening effect, we then turned around and applied either overlay or Hard Light or Linear Light, in order to bring that sharpening into the image.
So, I'll show you another variation that you can apply here. I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E or Command+Shift+Option+E on the Mac. So mash your fist E in order create a merged version of all the visible layers and I'll go ahead and call this new layer merged and then I'll go up to the Filter menu and I'll choose Stylize and I'll choose Emboss. And then these are the settings that I'm going to apply, a negative 90 degree Angle, a Height of 2 pixels and an Amount of 500%, so we are maxing out the Amount value and you end up getting this predominantly gray version of the image.
I'll go ahead and click OK to accept that modification, then I'll go up to the Image menu, I'll choose Adjustments and to get rid of the few colors or arts, so we only have Luminous Levels, I'll go ahead and choose Desaturate because those Luminous Levels that we do have that Emboss produces are pretty aberrant, so I'll choose Desaturate that gets rid of them and now we have exclusively Luminous Levels to work with. Now, any of the Contrast modes from Overlay all the way down, they're going to go ahead and drop out those gray, so they become transparent and then of course the lightest colors are going to lighten, the darkest colors are going to darken.
I'll go and switch to Overlay for starters here, so we can see what that looks like. So this is without the layer and this is with that layer and then let's step through the others here, this would be Soft Light which is going to be a much more subtle effect and I'm pressing Shift+Plus incidentally to advance through these, this would be Hard Light which delivers way too much black-and-white for my taste, where this effect is concerned, it ends up looking kind of ratty and we get this weird shaft of black through her chin, that's no good, it also happens incidentally if I switch ahead to Linear Light.
So we get a more exaggerated version of the Hard Light effect and then if I switch over to Pin Light, they were left with very little in the way of dark and light details because basically the content of this layer is neither dark enough nor light enough to carry much weight, where pin light is concerned. But the mode that really works great and you can imagine it's not hard mix, the mode that works really great is Vivid Light for this effect and so I'll go ahead and press Shift+Alt+V or Shift+Option+V on the Mac in order to assign Vivid Light. This is what the composition looks like without that layer, this is what it looks like with that layer and notice, how much detail we get inside of the hair.
So, a variety of different effects you can achieve using the Contrast modes, just remember you're going to darken the darkest details, lighten the lightest details and the everything that's gray, is going to go away.
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