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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.
I have gone ahead and saved my changes so far in a file called Different head.psd, so called because I have applied the Difference mode to his head. And I have also added a layer comp that's called Different statue so that we can switch back and forth between the various incarnations of this layer composition. We are working from Different statue, well actually I should turn the Texture layer back on, shouldn't I? Yes, I should. And then we are going to take a look at these guys right here, the component layers which are Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity.
And I'll go ahead and escape out of that and turn on the Slight blue layer, which is so very ugly, and click on it. But even though it's so very ugly, it's going to serve our purposes so very, very well. All right, let's start as we ought to I think with the Color mode right here so that I can give you a sense of how these various modes down here at the bottom of the list work. Now they all require full color images in order to do their magic, so you can't use them in a Grayscale mode, for example, or inside of an independent channel. But of course you can use layers inside of an independent channel.
So I'm going to go and switch to Color and what it's doing, it's imagining the image in what's called the HSL color mode, not a mode that Photoshop supports anymore, it used to back in the old days you could actually switch to HSL as a color model as well as HSB which is slightly different mode but you can't do that anymore. But we still have the vestige of that color model here inside the Blend Mode pop menu. And what we are doing when you choose Color, you are keeping the color of the active layer and mixing it with the luminance information of the layers below. So if I were to turn off Slight blue, you can see that all it's doing now it's just the coloring agent. The luminance information is still just exactly the way it was before when we turned Slight blue back on. So we get something of a bluish effect, fair enough.
Now if I were to press Shift++ in order to advance to the Luminosity mode then I would keep the luminance information of Slight blue which is all gray by the way, there is just a medium gray luminance going on here. And we would keep the Color, the opposite of Luminosity being Color, we would keep the color of the underlying layers so we have some wavering colors here and there, not a pleasing effect. So what we would want to do here is press Shift+- to go back to Color. In that chart, I gave you a keyboard shortcut, I suggested you memorize the keyboard shortcuts for Color and Luminosity. For Color it's Shift+Alt+C or Shift+Option+C on the Mac. For Luminosity it's the last letter, Shift+Alt+Y or Shift+Option+Y on the Mac.
All right, so I'm going back to Color however, I'll just press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z to restore color there. If then you want to break Color into it's two components, you can choose either Hue or Saturation because after all if you remember the Hue/Saturation dialog box, it has that Hue, Saturation and Lightness slider, I believe it's what the last one is called. And Hue and Saturation together make up Color because Hue is all the colors in the rainbow at whatever saturation levels. And then Saturation determines whether those colors are sort of like a dim gray or whether they are vivid bright rainbow colors. And then Luminosity determines how light or dark they are.
So anyway, Color though is the function of both these guys working together, so let's peel them apart. If I choose Saturation then I'm keeping the saturation that's associated with Slight blue, which is not very high. There is not much saturation going on. And it's uniform throughout because it's just one color there. We are taking that saturation and we are mixing it with the luminance information and the hue information from the layers below. So, another mode that you are going to use it a lot but it is there in case you want to know about it. All right, then I'm going to press Shift +- in order to back up to the Hue mode.
And Hue keeps the core hue information from this layer, this Slight blue layer, which is this blue. It's kind of a cool shade of blue actually. Once you start bringing another saturation values and of course luminance information, so Hue works out extremely good. So just to compare Hue and Color because they are producing the most similar result, this is Shift+Alt+C or Shift+ Option+C for Color. Notice we get more of a muted blue, and Shift+Alt+U or Shift+ Option+U for Hue. And we get this effect right here. So I think this effect is the best effect of them all. But it gets better. Let me switch over to the Statue layer that's currently set to Difference, which is just too goofy I think for this composition.
So why don't we change it to Luminosity by pressing Shift+Alt+Y or Shift+Option+Y on the Mac and we get this intensely cool effect right there. And tell you what I like it so much, I'm going to save it off as a layer comp by going to Layer Comps palette, clicking on the little New Page icon and calling this guy Almost done because we are almost done with this composition, make sure Visibility and Appearance are turned on. We don't care about Position, we have not been changing the position of anything and we now have a new layer comp and I'll move it in between these two, just right before we are done because blend mode madness, this is the final version of the effect.
Even though, truth be told, we have made a few different choices along the way in creating this composition. For example, this is the final blend mode madness effect. Notice that I applied a completely different Contrast mode to the Texture layer, Overlay with an Opacity of 30%, very different as opposed to Almost done here which has of course Linear Light which is a more over to the top effect with a Fill value of 20%. So a much lower Opacity value ultimately but also a much more intense Contrast blend mode. And the Statue has a slightly different treatment and on and on and on.
All right so there we are, we have raised through every single one of the blend modes available to us here inside the Layers palette and we even got a sense of how add and subtract work off in the Calculations dialog box. The only ones that we haven't seen are the Brush Only modes and we are going to take a look at them in the very next exercise.
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