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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right, we've managed to stitch together ten separate photographs using Photoshop CS4's absolutely awesome Photomerge command to create a seamless panorama. I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as SmartRGB panorama.psd, found inside the 28_auto_align folder. And in case you're wondering why it's called that smart, because we have a Smart Object with a Smart Filter assigned. RGB, because it is in the RGB mode, and we're going to change that right now. So what I would like you to do is press Shift+Tab, so that you bring up your right side palettes right here.
And I want you to see that we've got a Smart Object. That Smart Object contains ten different layers, and then we have a Smart Filter assigned as well. And you know what, I'm going to right click on that Filter Mask and choose Delete Filter Mask, just to get rid of the clutter. And you know what else we should do? Double click on the Blending icon right there, in order to bring up the Blending Options dialog box and let's change the mode from Normal to Luminosity, so that we're not bringing out any aberrant colors or we're bringing out as few aberrant colors as possible inside of our beautiful photograph here. And then I'll click OK.
All right, so now if we zoom out, the colors are just drabb and then these shadows have all this blue in them. I don't like that, I want neutral shadows, so what do we do? Well, we're going to have the best tools at our disposal. If we go ahead and switch over to Lab mode, we're going to have a lot more flexibility. So I'm going to go up here to the Image command, choose Mode, and choose Lab Color. Now because we're working with a layered document that contains a Smart Object, Photoshop is going to produce an alert message, get a little grumpy on us. It's going to say changing modes can affect the appearance of Smart Objects.
Well, yeah, sometimes. Some filters applied to Smart Objects may not be available after mode change. Well, yeah, if we applied to gallery effect filter or something like that, but we didn't. We applied Smart Sharpen, which works great. All the really good filters work great in the Lab mode. And we'd only have appearance problems if we had been using a really wacky blend mode, but we just used Luminosity, so that's fine. So should we rasterize? Heck, no, don't be doing that, don't rasterize. So click on the Don't Rasterize button and it will take a moment or two in order to perform the on the fly conversion to Lab. And you may hear people every once in a while talk about how the conversion of an image from RGB to Lab is a destructive modification. I'm here to tell you, it's hardly destructive and it ain't the least bit destructive the way we applied it, because our original image, by the way, even though our lager composition is Lab, if we were to double click the Alcatraz icon, then you'll see that it's still RGB.
So the original layers are still in RGB. In other words, we haven't permanently changed a single color inside of our composition. That is the definition of non-destructive, people. So anyway, those people are just haters. Don't listen to them. All right, so we got the Alcatraz layer selected. I'm going to go ahead and apply a Levels adjustment, so come over here to the Adjustments palette and Alt-click or Option-click on that Levels icon. And let's go ahead and call this snazzy color, because we're going to make the colors nice and snazzy, and click OK.
I'm going to press Alt+4 or Option+ 4 to switch over to the A channel, which our tint channel, wearing between green and pink. Some people say magenta, but it's not really magenta. And I'll press Shift+Up arrow three times in a row to raise that black point value to 30, so we're infusing the image with green, but it's more of a turquoise really. And then I'm going to click inside of this white point value and press Shift+Down arrow three times, same number, so we're balancing the image with an equal amount of the opposite color, the complementary color, which is pink in this case.
Now let's press Alt+5 or Option+5 on a Mac to switch over to the B channel. The white point value is active, so I'll press Shift+Down arrow three times in a row to infuse the image with yellow and suddenly the entire environment is jaundiced. We don't want that. So Shift +Tab your way over to the black point value. Press Shift+Up arrow three times in a row to balance the image with blue. So I want the grass to look nice and vibrant, even though it's Alcatraz. I think it should have some nice foliage, so I'm going to go ahead and tab over to the Gamma value and I'm going to press the Up arrow key five times to raise that value to 1.05. That's a little yellower than you might want to go, but that's exactly as yellow as I want to go. So up to you whatever other modifications you might want to make.
All right, now I want to hit the shadow details. And the easiest way to hit the Shadows is to go ahead and choose the Color Range command. We could lift shadows, if we wanted to, using a density mask. We've seen how that works. However, I'm here to tell you that Color Range is going to work better for these middling shadows right there, because the ultra dark shadows like these guys down here are in fine shape. It's just the light shadows, dark mid-tones that are in trouble. So let's go up to the Select menu and choose Color Range, or if you loaded Dekekeys, mash your fist and press O, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+O or Command+ Shift+Option+O on the Mac.
And then what I want you to do is click in that shadow in order to select it. And you know why it's doing what's it's doing? It's because I've got an adjustment layer selected, and it wants to go ahead and create an on the fly layer mask for this adjustment layer. That's not what I want. I'll just go ahead and click OK to make sure that is what's actually happening. No, it didn't happen. It just showed us a crazy preview. All right, let's try that again. I'll click off. That was weird. I'm going to go out to the Select menu, choose Color Range, Ctrl+Shift+Alt +O, Command+Shift+Option+O on the Mac. Oh, that's my problem. I'm a goof ball. I've got my selection preview set to White Matte. I want none. Aha I see. All right, Fuzziness is 70 though.
That works out beautifully. And then I did this because I wanted to make sure I had gotten the right shadows, which I had, all right then. I'll click OK, make sure Invert is turned off, Localized Color Clusters needs to be off. Click OK. We get this selection here. Now what I'm going to do is click this left pointing arrow ahead in the bottom right corner of the Adjustment palette and we're going to Alt-click or Option-click on the Levels adjustment once again. And this time I'm going to go ahead and call this one shadow neutralizer or something along those lines. And I'll click OK.
And we now have the shadow neutralizer layer modified by a layer mask. That's good. And the modifications that I want to apply this time. First of all I want to make my shadows darker. So I'm going to press Shift+Up arrow a couple of times, like so. And I'm going to leave the other values alone. I just want to adjust that guy right there, make those shadows nice and deep. And then, let's switch over to A and for A, since we want to reduce the saturation of the shadows, we want to modify the Output Levels, not the Input Levels. So go ahead and click inside Output Levels and take this first one up to 30, and then tab over, take this second one down 30, to 225. And then let's switch over here to B and I'll go ahead and change this Output Levels value, actually I'm going to take it to 235. And notice that there goes ahead and makes the shadows bluer. They were too blue in the first place so we really need to offset by increasing the value, so I'm going to press Shift+Up arrow a total of four times. And that gives us some nice neutral shadows right there. Excellent.
And then you know what? One more thing. I'm going to come back down to snazzy color and I'm going to click inside of the mid-tone for lightness there, and I'm going to press Shift+Down arrow just to deepen the scene a little bit, so I reduce the Gamma value to create deeper colors. And then I'm going to press Shift+F in order to hide those palettes and fill the screen with the image. And here's the final panorama, thanks to a combination of the enhanced Auto Align and Auto Blend features working hand in hand with Smart Objects, Smart Filters, non-destructive transformations, a non-destructive conversion to the Lab mode and the addition of a couple of adjustment layers here inside Photoshop CS4.
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