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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.
All right, so here we are. We have gone ahead and brushed in a bunch of orange into this image and I've done it in the fairly sloppy fashion and I hope you have too. I hope you have gone ahead and painted over way too much inside of this image. Because that's what I instructed you to do and that's the way this is going to work best. In this next technique that I'm going to show you that's going to restore the fins and the sleeves and all the blue elements back to their original station is so great and so easy. It's a little mysterious in terms of tracking exactly what I'm talking about here, but it's a very easy wonderful successful technique as you will see.
So anyway if you just want to join me, I have gone ahead and save my progress so far as Blobby painting.psd. So called because I have just painted a bunch of blobs all over the place. I haven't done anything remotely resembling an exacting job in my brushing and I don't have to. Now I do want you to see something though. Notice that my cursor is a little Ghostbusters cursor. Even though I'm working on the right layer and everything, I can't brush in it and it's going to tell me, hey, you just clicked and you were trying to brush with the Brush tool right there and you can't do that. If you want to fill this layer you got to rasterize it first. Do you want to rasterize the fill? Do not say OK, do not do that, because that's going to change this from a dynamic solid fill layer to a standard pixel-based layer, so you'll just have a bunch of orange pixels. So just cancel out.
The problem is oh, okay, thank you much. Another error message just to really send it home. This time you are going to have to click OK. What in the world are they doing? Could not use the brush tool because the content of the layer is not directly editable. That's the one that they should have had before in my opinion. That tells you your problem. Actually, that's kind of nice. So they are just doing the job that I'm going to do right now. So you say Cancel and then you say OK. The problem is that the layer mask needs to be active. So you would have to click on the layer mask and then all as well. Because otherwise if you have the solid fill layer itself active, which you get by clicking on it, and this is slightly different behavior than it was in CS3.
I think it's actually better, but anyway, it does allow you to turn the layer mask off if you want to. Then you get the little Ghostbusters, no, can't do icon. Just wants you to notice that. It's actually not an icon; it's a cursor. I am going to turn off this layer so that we are returning to the original image right here. And when I say original of course, the underlying background layer, it's by no means original. We have done so much work to this image. If you want original, then you want this image there. That's the original image. All right, anyway I want to go ahead and turn that layer off, so I can access the blue fins and the blue elements in general. All right, and then you go to the Channels palette right here and take a look at the independent channels and notice we want to see a channel here in the channels palette, Red, Green or Blue. We want to see a channel in which the fins and the sleeve and the mask and all those elements are nice and bright and everything else is dark.
So it ain't the Red channel. Let's just focus on the fins, because they are the biggest blue elements. The fins are pretty much midtones everything around them is midtone. So that's not going to do us any good. Here in the Green channel, they are a little lighter than the background just so ever so slightly, but not always this area of core right here is lighter than the fins actually and then in the Blue channel, my goodness, they are bright. Look at that. We got nice bright fins. We got bright sleeves, we got a bright mask element right there. We got some bright bubbles, which is actually good because we don't want the bubbles going brown either or orange. We want the bubbles to stay blue.
So we are going to use this as a mask and we'll talk about masking in an upcoming chapter, an entire chapter on masking and I've got an entire series on masking here at the lynda.com Online Training Library. But in case you are not familiar with masking, you can turn any channel into a mask. So they are all found masks essentially. Just mask s lying dormant ready to work for you, if you want them to and to change this channel to a selection outline, you press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and you click on its thumbnail right there. Just Ctrl+Click or Command+ Click on it and that goes ahead and selects all the light elements.
So black gets deselected, white gets totally selected and everything in between gets partially selected. It is basically what it comes down to. So we are selecting the fins, and the tank and the sleeve and the bubbles and the mask plus you know some highlights in the corals. That's okay, because we can always brush those back. Now go back to the RGB image like so, go to the Layers palette, turn on the orange layer right there, so it's active again. Click in its layer mask and I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac so that we can see this change a little better. Because we won't have the animated selection outlines, marching ants there, distracting us with their marching around. And then I'm going to press, and this is important, just make it checked. Just check that your background color is black, which it is because we want to fill the selection with black.
Go ahead and press the Backspace key. That's all you have to do. Just Backspace or Delete on the Mac and that will fill that selection with black and notice the fins they are back, the sleeve is back, the goggles are back, the bubbles are back. Everybody is back. So this is before, Ctrl+Z, lots of you know sloppy floppy going on there. Command+Z on the Mac of course, and this is after, Ctrl+Z or Command+Z again. Nice looks really good. Now we did lose some orange in the coral here, because we lost the highlights. So what I suggest you do is press Ctrl+D or Command+D to deselect the image and then I'm going to go with a bigger brush by pressing the Right Bracket key a couple times.
Now stay fairly far away from the diver, because you don't want to go painting over the fins or the sleeve or anything else again. And then just paint back some orange here and there inside the coral, anything that you feel like you want to retrieve in the way of highlights, because there were some stuff over here too. Just stay away from the diver for now, actually forever. Just steer clear of him, because we have reinstated his good colors and we don't want to mess him up. Actually, another thing to steer clear of is these bubbles. I just accidentally painted over them and create some orange bubbles, we don't want that. So steer clear of the little micro bubbles up there. And there we have it. That is the effect. This is so great, because notice his bracelet right there actually varies in terms of its colors. So we have sort of a yellow bracelet and we have got an orange bracelet and we have got a bracelet and it just looks so terrifically realistic, and then we have this little note thing that he writes on this plastic. It's got white with yellow highlight and then it's got an orange trap, because I painted some orange on there.
Now one thing I would like to warm up the trunks a little bit. I think they are too cool right here. So what I'm going to do is reduce the size of my brush quite a bit and I'm going to paint over the trunks with white in order to make them warm trunks as you can see right here. And then I'm going to press the X key to make black my foreground color and I'm going to reduce the opacity of my brush to 50% and I'm going to do that just by pressing the 5 key and then I'll paint over those trunks again in order to make them more of a neutral color than they were before. Not quite warm, but they are not quite cool either. They are something in between.
And if I feel like I went a little too far with that, actually 50% might have been too high of a value. I'm going to go ahead and undo that modification. Press the 3 key for 30% and try again. And I'm thinking I like that better. That's good. Either way, it doesn't really matter. All right, so zoom out and take him in and he looks so glorious and so good and so awesome and we are going to finish this up. I just want to make the image look totally great. Just so that by the time we are done, we have blown ourselves away with our unbelievable ability to bring an image back from complete disaster.
We are going to crop it and we are going to sharpen it in just so it looks its very best and if you would like to do that as well, join me in the next exercise.
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