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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, 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 CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
All right, I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far, just in case you for some reason want to catch up with me and match my changes. Go over here to Load Mesh button. Click on it. You'll find this file called Phase1.msh. I'm breaking this project into phases, just to make it easier to follow. I'm going to cancel out, because we're already seeing the effect of Phase1 here. Even better, go ahead and work along on your own and if you see fit, go ahead and save a few incremental mesh files. It's a really good idea, especially in the case of this image, because this is a pretty complicated project.
All right, I want you to see something where the fabric is concerned. Notice if you zoom in on the pants, we have the sort of flat pattern going on here. That's extremely unforgiving. That is going to give away so much about what you've done inside the image, because we've got lines that are wrapping horizontally and vertically around the contours of this woman's leg. If we get it wrong, if we just kind of do one of these numbers, it's going to imply that we've got a dent in the leg.
Where in the world did that come from? What's wrong with her? So you're going to have to pay an awful lot of attention to these patterned regions right here. So I went ahead, and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. What I'd suggest, the best tool to use frankly is the Warp tool. Just make very small tiny changes like so, in order to line up those details. So I'm working at a 200%, but we do want some nice volumetric contouring here. We want this horizontally patterning in particular to describe the actual outlines of her thigh. This is wrong.
Look at that. Why did she have a dent like that right there in her knee? She shouldn't. So I'll go ahead and drag that upward. So you can spend an awful lot of time on details like this. You should. You should keep an eye out for them. That way, you can always decide, well, you know what, I'm not going to worry about this detail. But if you don't even notice it's there, which is even more typical when you're working inside this dialog box. You'll end up just not being able to track everything that's going on. So when you're applying big huge modifications, you just have to keep an eye out for this, because somebody is going to see it later, and go, what is that about? What happened here? It's a real giveaway.
Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and mush these details a little bit, try to get some fairly straight lines out of these vertical details here. Maybe drag her knee over a little bit. I guess it makes sense that the fabric sort of lifts right there at that location. But we don't want a bunch of sort of curvy stuff going on here. We don't want the pattern to just wiggle back and forth, randomly. Another place where we don't want random wiggly variations is along the edge of her arm. Notice how her arm kind of bulges out here.
Of course, your results are going to be different if you're working along on your own there. But notice, in my case, that it bulges out and then it comes back in and it bulges out again and then it comes in. It makes for sort of a wiggly flesh effect. That just can't be good. We want to trim that up. Make it nice and even. Here is the way to do it. When you're working along edges like this, it doesn't work so good in the patterns, but works awfully nice out here on the big edges. Grab your Pucker tool. We're going to be working with the Pucker tool quite a bit in this exercise.
Grab that Pucker tool. What I'd like you to do is reduce the size of your cursor quite a bit. Then click at the top of the details. So imagine we want to go ahead, and taper this entire edge. Trim it up. Then you click at the top of that edge, and then move down here and Shift+Click at the bottom of the edge. Notice how that just goes ahead and straightens that line quite nicely. Then we get a nice firm arm. So this implies that we have some tone going on. This is before. That looks like sort of random flab.
This is after, nice and trim. She spent a few weeks at the gym now. All right, let's go ahead and zoom out here. Check out what's going on in the other side. Might as well. I do this with arms all the time. Actually, it's a great arm technique. It's also very good for legs. We don't have that kind of leg detail though. We don't have legs set against the white background; instead, what we have is these legs set against this fabric background. So we're going to have to be careful. They're all sort of right next to each other. So I'm going to add a little bit of definition to these legs by trimming the ankles slightly. So we have some additional contrast, which I think will lend some visual interest to this image.
Contrast between the ankles and the calves. But if I increase the heck out of the size of this cursor like so, and I start pinching away. Notice in addition, this is of course a bad effect here, a little bit of an exaggeration. But if I trim the heck out of the ankle, this right-hand ankle, I'm also stretching the left-hand ankle, because my brush is just too darn big. So I'm not going to be able to apply big modifications at a time where this portion of the image is concerned. I'll have to work more incrementally, more patiently.
Go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+ Z on the Mac to undo that change. Then I'll reduce the size of my cursor and just click a little bit, like so. And in order to do a decent job with this, because you don't want stretch marks here inside the pantyhose either. This pantyhose material is really going to give away our modifications, because it has a fishnet pattern, so you're going to have to be careful. So what I'd recommend is you just carefully click throughout the image. It's probably going to take 20 or 30 clicks to get a halfway descent result. We're not going to be able to take advantage of that painting along the side technique to smooth out our modifications, to trim the legs the way we trim the arms.
So you're just going to have to be very careful. The reason we can't take advantage of that technique is because we'll end up very likely stretching this background fabric in a way that will be patently obvious to somebody who is viewing our image. Now that was bad. Go ahead and undo that modification. I do not want to pucker that part of the calf. Give us that effect right there. That looks horrible. So just undo. If you end up getting a bad effect, just undo it. All right, now I'm going to start to work on this left-hand ankle. I'm probably going to trim it a little less.
It doesn't need quite as much trimming. It was a little slimmer in the first place and it's facing forward, so it probably would benefit from looking a little thicker. Anyway, end up getting this effect more or less when I'm done here. If you feel like bringing the fabric down onto the knees, you can also trim that using the Pucker tool, like so. Then finally, you'd switch back to something like the Warp tool and drag down. When I say something like the Warp tool, I mean exactly the Warp tool. It is by far the most flexible of the tools. It is that tool that you need for finessing details.
All right, this takes us pretty well into the modifications that I want to apply. We're doing a halfway decent job. I need to do some additional work on the arms before I'm done here. But the big problem at this point is this head, the sort of loping head that she has here. We want to go ahead and straighten it out. That's going to require a little bit of masking. I'll show you how to create such a mask in the next exercise.
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