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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.
Obviously, I've had a fair amount of fun with this file since you last saw it. It's now called Levitating lotus.psd, found inside the 23_distort folder. I brought the guy's arms back up, because I thought they looked just terrible behind his back. But I've stretched the heck out of his legs, so if you sort of track what's going on here, we start off with this right-hand foot, and we wind all the way in back, and then we go up and forward into his pelvis, and then around to the right, and all the way over to the left, in a single stacking order direction.
So in other words, starting with this right-hand foot here, we're constantly moving forward as I trace my way over to the left-hand foot. Now, imagine that instead of doing that, instead of that continuous stacking order forward, we were to wind the legs into a pretzel shape, so that portions of the layer were both in back of and in front of each other. Now, that's something you can do using Puppet Warp that you cannot otherwise do inside of Photoshop. Normally, one layer is either stacked in back of, or In front of another layer.
You don't have that interplay between the pixels that you can achieve here using the Puppet Warp command. So let me show you how that works. I've got the jumpist layer active here in the Layers panel, and I'll drop down here to my Smart Filters item, and double-click on Puppet Warp, to once again enter the Puppet Warp mode. You can see that I've set a ton of pins along these legs, and it's not always evident what pin goes with what portion of a leg. For example, if I click this pin right here, I'd have to actually drag it to see who it belongs to.
In this case, it belongs to the rear thigh right there. Let's say I want to bring it to front. Well, what you might expect to be able to do is Shift+click on a few points, so that you're selecting multiple pins at a time here, and then change your Pin Depth order. However, when you have multiple pins selected, the Pin Depth items are dimmed. So you can only change Pin Depth one pin at a time. Total pain in the neck. I see no excuse for this, but that is the way it's organized.
So I'm going to go ahead and select this guy right there. I'll press the Right Bracket key a few times to move it forward, so about three times in a row there. Then I'll click this guy, and move him forward, let's say, three or four or five or six times in a row, seven, eight, what have you, whatever it takes in order to get that guy all the way forward. If he's still not far enough forward, we could go ahead and select this pin right there and press the Left Bracket key in order to move it backward. So some combination of selecting pins and pressing either Right Bracket key, in this case, or Left Bracket to move them forward or backward should ultimately work.
If you end up with a slight problem, like this right there, notice that this little bit of the calf is showing up in the thigh area right there, this little sliver of pixels, and if that's not what you're looking for, if you want to tidy that up, you should be able to get rid of it, should be able to go ahead and select this pin, for example, and press the Left Bracket key, and that worked. That went ahead and took care of the problem. However, you may end up running into bigger problems than that. You can just sit there and hammer at the Left Bracket key or the Right Bracket key in order to move things continuously backward or forward, and you're not going to ultimately achieve the effect you want.
You're still going to see some little weird wedge of one element or other showing through. If that happens, what I recommend you do is delete a pin. So press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, click on that pin to delete it, set a pin in the new location, and see if that doesn't work out better for you. So in other words, sometimes you just run into irreconcilable problems. So I'm going to go ahead and Zoom back out here, so that I can take in more of the guy at a time. Then I will select this pin and move it forward a little bit.
I'm pressing the Right Bracket key to move it forward, but that was too far, because not only did it move this section forward, but it also moved this section in front of the calf, and that's just no good. So I'll press the Left Bracket key to send it back again. Let's try this pin instead, and I'll press the Right Bracket key a few times to move it forward, and that does a great job of moving this portion of the foot forward. However, again, we've got this weird problem back here. So let's go ahead and select this pin and press Right Bracket to move it forward, and that looks pretty good to me.
It looks like we have an awfully nice pretzel. So in other words, this portion of the calf is in front, then it goes in the back of the other calf, then it comes back in front, as we loop around the thigh. We come through the pelvis, in back of that previous calf, as we saw before. The left-hand calf comes forward, and then it goes in back of the left-hand thigh. That's pretty amazing! Again, you can't otherwise do that inside of Photoshop, and I don't even know of a way to do that inside of something like Illustrator, where you can make a single object simultaneously in front of and in back of another object, or the same object, in this case.
Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and Zoom out a little, let's less 80%, where this screen is concerned. Then I decided to apply my modification by pressing the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. So that looks splendid to me. This is before, by the way, just press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac, and then this is after. Thanks to that pretzel-ing ability of the Puppet Warp command! Then I went ahead and added a Color Overlay Effect. You can see that I have a few effects that I've created in advance, Color Overlay and Outer Glow. So I turned on Color Overlay, and then with the jumpist layer active, I changed its Blend mode from Normal to Hard Light, in order to get this effect.
Then finally, I turned on Outer Glow in order to finish off this particular composition. So there you have it, an amazing glowing guy, bear in mind that we started with this guy just jumping against this background. This started off as a flat image file, and we've built it into something altogether unusual, I believe, thanks to the amazing, single layer, element interlocking ability of Puppet Warp.
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