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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.
Now, I've promised to show you the Black and White adjustment layer, I will, but I'm going to do that in the next exercise. I want to show you how you can modify the blend mode and Opacity that are associated within adjustment layer, which is yet another advantage to adjustment layers over static color modifications. If you apply a static color modification, such as, of course, good old Channel Mixer here that we have been working with, and then you decide you want to somehow mix it with the original version of the image, then after applying Channel Mixer you would need to immediately go to the Edit menu and choose the Fade command. Whereas, when working with an adjustment layer you can change the blend mode and Opacity any old time you look.
For example, let's say that we want to restore some of the color in this image, I could, having selected the rectangular Marquee tool, I can go ahead and press the 5 key to reduce the opacity of this layer on the fly to 50%, or let's go ahead and change it back to 100% by pressing the 0 key. You could change the blend mode to Luminosity right here, which would restore all of the color, but it would just keep the luminance that I have assigned using this Channel Mixer layer. So this is before and this is after. So it's brighter with the Channel Mixer layer here.
You can also try and enhance Contrast effect by going with Overlay, if you like. So this is the effect of applying Overlay of course, to this Monochrome layer. If you wanted to back it up something more subtle, then you would switch to Soft Light. Your other options are going to go over the top essentially. So Soft Light though ends up looking pretty nice, it's a nice effect right there. So this is without the layer, this is with it. So it's definitely making a contribution. And in case you are wondering what in the world these blend modes do? Like if I assign Difference, it's just ooo! that's spooky. And in case you are just going, well, I wouldn't know how to apply blend modes Deke , I don't know what any of these things do? I'll just try them out and be startled I guess at the changes that occurred. Well, good news, I'm going to tell you all about blend modes in the very next chapter. So stay tuned for that because they are lot of fun and you can accomplish all kinds of goals using them, all kinds of layer mixing effects, and just sort of practical stuff you can get accomplished.
Here's something that's not the least but practical. Let's go ahead and try out Linear Burn, and you get a spooky effect right here, check out those eyes are shinning through even though the rest of her skin is very dark. And if I wanted to make it even spookier and a little bit brighter, I would switch to the Background layer, and I'd squeeze in, and it just been in between, which is something we can do using adjustment layers that I could not do if this was a static modification. I could go up here to Curves for example, I'll go ahead and insert a Curves layers, I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on that little icon, so I can name it, and I'm going to name it spooky like so, and then I'll click OK. And I'm going to get my Target Adjustment tool that I love so dearly, that I showed you a few chapters back, and I'm going to drag up inside of her irises to brighten those irises, ooo, and then I'm going to drag down in her flesh to darken her flesh and sync it. So that she has this spooky wolf eyes, nice.
So I just want you to get a sense that there is a lot of opportunity available to you with these adjustment layers mixed in with the blend mode, so go ahead and try them out. And as I say in the next chapter, I'll explain more about blend modes, so you have a sense of how to use them and which ones you might try. For now I'm going to turn off the spooky layer, and I'm going to go ahead and restore this layer, I think to something like soft light. Soft light was my favorite effect so far, so we'll go ahead and keep that. That's with the Soft Light layer, that's without. Oh, it's so nice.
In the next exercise I'll truly show you how to mix a really great black and white image using a Black and White adjustment layer.
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