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I have saved my progress as Masked eyes.psd. And so far we've done a terrific job of copying and scaling these irises and masking them inside the eyes. However, it all looks pretty painful at this point. And we don't want it to look like she has got these strange shells in her eyes. We want the real Na'vi eyes, these beautiful, glowing, all-knowing peaceful eyes of the wonderfully superior Na'vi people. I'll switch back here, to the Masked eyes image.
What we're going to do is build up a series of layers, all of which are very simple to create, but they blend together to create more volumetric eyes that look like they are more at home and more at peace inside the creature. So I am going to scroll down my layers and I am going to turn on the blue group here, so that we have a better sense of where we're going. Then I'll scroll back up so that we can see these layers inside of the eye layers folder. And I am going to turn on this layer right here, overlays, and I am going to click on it to make it active. Now, could not be a sloppier layer as you can see, could not have been easier to create either.
I just went up to the Layers panel menu. I choose the New layer command or pressed Ctrl+Shift and Command+Shift down on the Mac. Called it whatever it was I wanted to call it and then painted it on it. And I painted on this layer using the Brush tool. So I'll go ahead and select the Brush tool. Notice I have already made my foreground color white, you can see that I am painting in white here. I have got a very soft brush at work, so it's pretty big, size of a 150 pixels, Hardness of 0%. The specific settings don't matter that much, I probably changed them half a dozen times as I was working.
I might have painted it at 100% Opacity, sometimes, other times I reduce the Opacity value. You see that Opacity value right there in the Options bar. You can reduce it to anything you like, and you can do that, by the way, from the keyboard when it's not active, just by pressing a number key. So if I pressed 5, I'd get 50% Opacity. Paint away at this low Opacity value. And then, to create these holes, I just painted with the Eraser tool, which you get by pressing the E key. Now, in an earlier Avatar exercise I was telling you, don't erase pixels because that's a destructive modification, you want to use a layer mask instead, which is true, unless you just have a trash layer, like this one.
Because you can always paint things back in if you want to any old time. So it's not like you need to go to all the discipline of layer masking a layer that looks like this. But notice, I can go ahead and enlarge my cursor. So I'll change that size value to something like 50, whatever. Reduce the Hardness down to 0%, and then paint away in order to erase portions of this layer. Then what I did? And this is a more critical thing that makes this layer work for us. I changed the Blend mode from Normal to Overlay. When you paint with white on an overlay layer, you end up getting an effect that's a lot like dodging, with the Dodge tool.
It's not the same thing, but it's very similar. And so we end up creating a layer of brightening, as you can see here. So this is without that layer, this is with that layer. Now, you may say, hey Deke! This layer looks terrible buddy, because you've got this big stripe down this poor Na'vi's nose now, and we've got this white powder puff on the bridge of the nose. What's going on? Well, we want to isolate our changes to just inside of the iris, and you do that by creating what's called a Clipping Mask. So currently, the overlays layer is active.
I am now going to go up to the layer menu and I am going to choose Create Clipping Mask, or I could try out that keyboard shortcut cut, Ctrl+Alt+G, Command+Option+G. And that will go ahead, as you can see here, it will indent that overlays layer, we have got a little arrow to show that. We are only seeing the contents of the overlays layer inside of the masked eyeballs, inside of the new irises layer. Outside, we are not seeing anything, so everything matches perfectly. Now I am going to turn on the Pupil Eliminator, and the Pupil Eliminator does just what it sounds like it does.
It's there just to eliminate those pupils right there. I just wanted to downplay them a little bit. And all I did, this is just terrible work, quite frankly. It just shows you what kind of murder you can get away with inside of Photoshop. I grab the Brush tool, I set it to white. I dabbed at the pupils a couple of times using different kinds of brushes, as you can see here, with a very low Opacity value; I think I was at something like 20% Opacity or something along those lines. And then all I do, I am not even going to change the Blend mode on this guy, I am just going to go ahead and add it to the Clipping Mask.
And I can do that, not only by choosing that command from the layer menu that we saw a moment ago, Create Clipping Mask, I can also, if I like, I can press and hold the Alt Key or the Option key, and I can click on this horizontal line. And notice what happens, if I Alt+Click here on a PC or Option+Click on a Mac, it goes ahead and indents Pupil Eliminator along with overlays and puts it inside of the irises. Now, it's not a perfect match, you can see that I am not absolutely perfectly getting rid of the irises. This is without that layer, this is with that layer.
But it does a pretty good job of downplaying, sort of diffusing those pupils, as well as getting rid of this weird, sort of melanomic spot that's on the iris down here. At least, that's the way it looks now that I have increased the size of the darn thing. All right, we need to add shadows to the iris, and that's done also, quite effectively, as you can see, by a blob of a layer. I am going to go ahead and turn it on and it looks like this, I just painted with green. Why did I paint with green? Complimentary color to the orange that's going on inside the irises currently, that way we are going to get a nicely mixed shadow, but we need to change the Blend mode.
And I am going to change that Blend mode by going up to the Blend mode popup menu here and choosing Multiply , like so. And that will burn in those shadows into those irises, and of course into the flesh at this point. All right! Now, I am going to turn on more shadows, and you might say, hey Deke! Don't you want to clip that? Yes, I do. We'll come back to it in a moment. I am going to turn on More Shadows, go ahead and click on it to make it active. Actually, let's turn off Shadows for a second, so that you can see, this is a low Opacity layer of that same green.
And when I say low Opacity, I mean I painted it with a low Opacity value, using the Brush tool once again. And I am going to change the Blend mode associated with that layer to Multiply as well, so that we are burning that one in. All right! Now I am going to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool, just so that I have my cross cursor. And I am going to turn on both of these layers, and I am going to select them both by clicking on one, Shift+clicking on the other. You can add more than one layer to a Clipping Mask at a time by selecting them and then going up to the layer menu and choosing that command, Create Clipping Mask, and that's going to add those guys to the mix.
Now, there is one more Clip layer that I want to add to the stack. You can see though that things are going pretty good at this point in time, not perfect, but they are looking pretty darn good. We'll refine things using some layer effects in a future exercise, but for now, I just want to lighten up the eyes, and I am going to do that by clicking on More Shadows to make it active. I am going to bring up my Adjustments panel, which you can also get by pressing the F10 key, if you loaded dekeKeys. And I am going to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on the second button on the top row, which is the Levels button.
Brings up the New layer dialog box of course, since I Alt or Option clicked. And I'll call this new layer lighten. And then, I am going to turn on this check box, Use Previous layer to Create Clipping Mask. So that will add this Adjustment layer to the Clipping Mask stack. And I'll click OK in order to accept that New layer. You may recall I was telling you that Adjustment layers affect all layers below them by default. However, if you include them in a Clipping Mask, they only affect the layers insides that Clipping Mask. All right! I am going to go ahead and increase this first value, the black value, to 20, so anything with the luminance level of 20 or darker becomes black.
And then I'm going to tab over to the white value, so I press the Tab key twice, and I am going to press Shift+Down Arrow three times in a row, to reduce that value to 225. So I am saying anything with the luminance level of 225 or a lighter will become white. And now let's lighten up the Midtones here by pressing Shift+Tab in order to step back to that gamma value, that's that middle value right there. I'll press Shift+Up Arrow three times in a row in order to raise that value to 1.3, which is going to brighten the mid level colors inside the image.
And then I'll hide the Adjustments panel. And this is the difference this layer makes; this is before and this is after. So just brightens things up a little, but does a heck of a job of making these irises look more volumetric. I'll go ahead and turn off all of these Clipped layers. This is the way these irises looked at the beginning of the exercise and this is the way they look now, thanks to a little bit of painting on new layers and a little bit of work with Blend modes, specifically Overlay for the Dodging effect and Multiply for the Shadows, and then of course a Clipped Adjustment layer to brighten the whole thing.
We still have some work to do. We are going to apply some layer Effects in the very next exercise.
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