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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you a couple of blend modes that are not found inside the Layers palette. Even though they are applicable to layers, you have to apply a them using a painting tool or the Fill command under the Edit menu. You may recall these guys from our blend mode keys document. I'm going to switch to that document. This is the Blend mode keys.psd document that's found inside the 15 Blend Modes folder. And if you scroll to the bottom of the document, it mentions the brush-only modes, which are Behind and Clear, these guys right there.
Airbrush is not a blend mode, it's just an option that happens to have a keyboard shortcut assigned to it. But Behind and Clear are authentic blend modes, at least they're treated as blend modes inside the program. They work a little differently than the blend modes we've seen so far, though. Alright, so I'll switch back to the Sky & statute.psd image and I'm going to go ahead Alt+click or Option+click on the eyeball in front of the Statue layer, so that we're seeing the layer by itself without any other layers going on inside the document, and I'm going to press Shift+0 in order to raise the Fill value to 100%, so that we're seeing the image by itself.
Notice that we're seeing a normal version of the image, even though it's set to the Luminosity mode, because there's no other layers to interact with it. It just shows us the normal version of the image, which can be handy for experimentation as it turns out, and that's what we'll be doing. I want you now to grab this tool right here, the Brush tool, which you can also get by pressing the B key if you want, and I'm going to increase the size of my Brush pretty significantly here. Something along the lines of a 100-pixel Brush will do nicely. And it's a soft Brush as well, the Hardness value is set to 0% right now.
And I'm going to switch my foreground color to 255 red and 0 green and 0 blue, so that I have a solid red Brush going on. Now currently the mode is set to Normal. Notice that we have all the blend modes available to us, every single one of those 25 blend modes that are available inside the Layers palette are also available to us when we are using the Brush tool, plus two more. We also have Behind and Clear in the top section of the Blend Mode pop-up menu. So I'm going to just go ahead and press the Escape key a couple of times so that blend mode option is no longer active and I'm going to paint, just so that we can see the results of the Normal mode. That is normal painting for you, nothing special going on. I'll press Ctrl+Z to undo that brush stroke. Now I'm going to press Shift+Plus in order to advance to the next blend mode, which is Dissolve. Notice because I have a Brush tool active, I don't change the blend mode associated with the layer, I change the blend mode that's associated with the Brush instead.
And if I paint in the Dissolve mode, you can see that I get this dithered edge to my brush, so that I get sort of a weird pixilated spraypaint effect. Kind of nifty, might find a use for it. I don't tend to work this way, but you know, there it is. I'm going to press Ctrl+Z to undo that brush stroke once again, and then I'm going to press Shift+Plus to advance to the Behind mode. Now what the Behind mode does is it allows you to paint strictly behind an image. And wait one second, I'm actually going to back up just as a sideline here. I'm going to back up to the Normal mode once again by pressing Shift+Minus a couple of times.
If you want to paint exclusively inside the confines of a layer, you may recall you can do that by turning on this first Lock option, the one that locks the transparent pixels. So I'll go ahead and click on that option, and now were I to paint inside the layer, I would only paint inside the layer. I'm always painting inside the lines. Compare that to the Behind mode. So I'll go ahead and undo that modification, I'll turn off Lock. It's very important that you unlock the transparent pixels for this next step to work. And then I'm going to switch from the Normal mode to the Behind mode.
And now if I paint, I paint only outside of the layer. So the Behind mode, the Behind blend mode, is the exact opposite of locking the transparent pixels. Those two options, even though they are exact opposites of each other, are expressed in very different ways inside of the program. So anyway, the Behind mode allows me to paint exclusively inside of the transparent portions of the image. And were I now to switch to a different color, like I'll switch to sort of a dark green here, and paint again, I would paint exclusively behind not only the face, but also the red brush strokes that I added a moment ago. Finally, we've got the Clear mode available to us. I'll go ahead and choose that mode from the menu.
The Clear mode strictly turns the the paintbrush into an eraser. So notice now that I'm erasing away colors. That's what the Clear mode does. Not really anything super special, and not super unusual either, cause if you want that behavior you could just switch to the Eraser tool as well. But that's what the Clear mode does. Alright, I'm going to go ahead and undo those last few modifications, so I'll restore the original version of my layer by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Z, or Cmd+Option+Z on a Mac.
Three times in a row in my case. Then I'm going to press Shift+Alt+N, or Shift+Option+N, in order to switch back to the Normal mode. I want to show you the same modes applied from the Fill command. So I'll select a region using the Marquee tool, I'm going to go ahead and select a region of the image. I want to make sure that my rectangular marquee goes inside of the image as well as outside of the image, that is to say inside the layer and outside the layer. And I'm going to restore red as my foreground color.
Then I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Fill command. And notice once again that we have blend modes available to us. Make sure, by the way, that Use is set to Foreground Color. Then notice that we have blend modes and opacity settings available to us, and I've got my big list of blend modes, including those modes that are available to us when using the Brush tool, Behind and Clear. Now as things stand right now, I'm not seeing Lighter Color or Darker Color. Who knows if that's going to change in the final released version of Photoshop CS3, but in my beta version those blend modes are missing. Alright, I'm going to try the Behind mode right here, and I'll clicked OK, and notice I just fill the region behind the face. I don't fill into the face at all.
Alright, so I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z once again to undo that modification. I'm going to choose the Fill command once more so that you can see the effects of the Clear blend mode, but I'll do it in a different way. I'm going to do it from the keyboard. The keyboard shortcut for the Fill command is Shift+Backspace, believe it or not, an undocumented- it doesn't appear in the Edit menu- an undocumented keyboard shortcut for Fill. And that's Shift+Delete on the Macintosh side of things. I'm going to switch the mode from Behind to Clear, and then I'm going to click OK and sure enough, I used the selection in order to cut a hole. Now I could have done that just as easily by- I'll go ahead and undo that modification- I could have done that just as easily by pressing the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac, but there it is, there's the Clear mode. I just want you to know every single mode that's available to you inside of Photoshop.
Go ahead and restore the original version of the layer. I want you to make sure that it's not all messed up on the pixel level. But you don't have to restore the Fill Opacity value and all the other layers because, if you went ahead and saved the layer comp in a previous exercise, you can just restore that layer comp by going to the Layer Comps palette and clicking in front of Almost done. Again, that's if you've been working along meticulously with me here. Then you will restore every single ingredient of that composition. Now, it's important that you don't have any pixel-level modifications, that is to say your brushstrokes should be undone, and your Fill effects should be undone as well, because Layer Comps only tracks parametric modifications, that is blend mode modifications, Opacity settings, Fill settings, and so on inside of the image. In the next exercise, we're going to finish off this composition by bringing in a little bit of text.
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