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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
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A few great uses for the contrast modes


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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: A few great uses for the contrast modes

In this movie, I'm going to share a few really great tips and tricks for using the contrast modes, both to increase the contrast of an image, and to reduce the contrast of an image. Let's say you want to increase the contrast for effect, as in the case of this image here. I'll go ahead and merge the contents of all the visible layers onto a new layer by pressing Control+Shift+Alt+E, or Command+ Shift+Option+E on the Mac. And then I'll go ahead and rename this layer grayness, because I'm going to turn it into a grayscale version of itself by going up to the Image menu, choosing Adjustments, and then choosing Desaturate, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Control+Shift+Alt+U, or Command+Shift+Option+U on the Mac.
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  1. 30m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 19s
    2. Loading the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 5s
    3. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    4. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    5. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    6. The interface and performance settings
      5m 31s
    7. Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
      7m 0s
  2. 47m 0s
    1. Smart Objects
      1m 36s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      3m 6s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 11s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 20s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Styling and blending Smart Objects
      2m 44s
    12. Editing originals; updating clones
      3m 41s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 51s
  3. 29m 59s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      4m 39s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  4. 49m 10s
    1. Using Curves
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Winning Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors and smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 57s
  5. 1h 31m
    1. Camera Raw
      2m 11s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      8m 1s
    3. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    4. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 8s
    5. Working with archival images
      7m 54s
    6. The Spot Removal and Graduated Filter tools
      6m 4s
    7. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 23s
    8. Tone Curves (and why you don't need them)
      5m 57s
    9. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 17s
    10. Applying manual lens corrections
      5m 14s
    11. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 49s
    12. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      6m 36s
    13. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    14. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    15. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  6. 32m 30s
    1. Duotones
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Noise vs. Details
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 35s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Brushing away blur and sharpening
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  8. 44m 30s
    1. Blur Gallery
      1m 36s
    2. Creating depth-of-field effects in post
      5m 29s
    3. Modifying your Field Blur settings
      4m 57s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      6m 15s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      7m 29s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 59s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 35s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 18s
  9. 1h 34m
    1. Blend Modes
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  10. 44m 20s
    1. Color Range
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  11. 59m 43s
    1. Refine Edges
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
  12. 1h 18m
    1. The Pen tool
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 57s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 36s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 21s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 8m Advanced Sep 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
  • Placing and blending Smart Objects in a scene
  • Transforming and warping vector objects
  • Correcting for lens distortion
  • Mitigating halos and enhancing contrast with Shadows/Highlights
  • Adding and editing points on a curve
  • Editing multiple images in Camera Raw
  • Creating a pro-quality sepia tone or quadtone
  • Colorizing with blend modes and opacity
  • Reducing and smoothing over noise
  • Creating depth-of-field effects with blur
  • Selecting with Color Range and Quick Mask
  • Perfecting a mask with Refine Edge
  • Drawing paths with the Pen tool
  • Converting path outlines to vector masks
Subjects:
Design Raw Processing
Software:
Photoshop Camera Raw
Author:
Deke McClelland

A few great uses for the contrast modes

In this movie, I'm going to share a few really great tips and tricks for using the contrast modes, both to increase the contrast of an image, and to reduce the contrast of an image. Let's say you want to increase the contrast for effect, as in the case of this image here. I'll go ahead and merge the contents of all the visible layers onto a new layer by pressing Control+Shift+Alt+E, or Command+ Shift+Option+E on the Mac. And then I'll go ahead and rename this layer grayness, because I'm going to turn it into a grayscale version of itself by going up to the Image menu, choosing Adjustments, and then choosing Desaturate, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Control+Shift+Alt+U, or Command+Shift+Option+U on the Mac.

Then you want to go ahead and try out the Overlay and Hard Light blend modes. So assuming one of my Selection tools is active, I'll press Shift+Alt+O, or Shift+Option+O on the Mac, in order to apply the Overlay mode, and then I'll press Shift+Alt+H, or Shift+Option+H on the Mac, in order to apply the Hard Light mode. And so, just to give you a sense of the difference here, this is the image without that grayness layer; this is the image with that grayness layer, adding contrast, without heightening the saturation of the colors. Now, it may look as if we're blowing highlights inside the model's hair, but this actually isn't the case.

And you can test it for yourself by dropping down to the black/white icon, and choosing the Levels command. And then if I press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and drag the black slider triangle, you can see that nothing is clipped inside the image right now. And then if I press the Alt or Option key, and click and hold on the white slider triangle, I can see that there is a little clipping in the Red channel, in the model's hair right there at that white spot, but not very much actually, and we have to drag this White point down to a value of about 250 before I see anything in the way of clipping that would concern me.

So I'll go ahead and press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac, in order to get rid of that Levels layer. So the idea is this: because Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light are based on Multiply, and Screen, then you're not going to add any clipping to the image that you didn't already have in the first place. All right. Now I'll switch over to this image here. Let's say you want to increase the contrast of an image for the sake of correcting that image. Well, you can go with the technique I just showed you; that is, creating a grayscale version of the image, or you can work with an adjustment layer, which is going to give you more control.

So press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, click the black/white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Vibrance, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Control+Shift+V, or Command+Shift+V on the Mac, and I'll go ahead and call this layer grayness as well. And then I'll crank the Saturation value down to -100. And again, you could experiment with the Overlay mode if you want to. I'm going to go direct for Hard Light here in order to achieve this effect. Now, we've got some great contrast; however, we don't have all the saturation we need. So I'll once again click inside the Saturation value here in the Properties panel, and then I'll incrementally raise it by pressing Shift+up arrow until I get a level of saturation that I like.

And for me that happens at a Saturation value of -20%. So despite the fact that we're actually leaching saturation from the image using this Vibrance adjustment layer, the Hard Light mode is increasing the contrast to the extent that we get more saturation, not less. And once again, just to give you a sense of what we've accomplished here, this is the before version of the image; not only very washed out, but some weird wandering colors in the midtones there; and this is the after version, with much better color throughout. All right.

Now let's say you want to take the contrast out of an image. So here is this high contrast barn that we took a look at back in Chapter 26. Now, the Curves adjustment layer is still your best bet for correcting the contrast of your image, but let's say you just don't have the time. You want to get, say, half the work done in about a tenth of the time. Well, then you drop down to the black/white icon, and choose Invert in order to add an Invert adjustment layer. Now, there are no options for this layer. so I'll just go ahead and close the Properties panel. And then the next step is to press Shift+Alt+O, or Shift+Option+O on the Mac, in order to apply the Overlay mode.

So it's just a two step operation; create an Invert adjustment layer, apply the Overlay adjustment mode, and you're done. Now, again, this effect doesn't measure up to what we did back in Chapter 26, but I also spent less than a minute just now showing you how to do it. All right! I'm going to switch to my final image here. Now, by now you know that you can use a High Pass adjustment layer to add sharpness to an image. What if you want to add smoothness? Well, here is a technique you might want to try out. I'll go ahead and create a copy of this layer by pressing Control+Alt+J, or Command+Option+J on the Mac, and I'll call this layer high pass.

And then I'll go up to the Filter menu, and I'll choose Other, and then I'll choose High Pass, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Shift+F10. And I'm going to set the Radius of this image to about 10 pixels. And the idea is, I want of fill in the creases on this gentleman's face, and I estimate that they're about 10-20 pixels thick, so this should fill it in. And then click OK in order to accept that effect. Now I want to convert this layer to grayscale, so I'll go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and choose Desaturate.

And then finally, I'll press Shift+Alt+O, or Shift+Option+O on the Mac, in order to apply the Overlay mode. Now if I turn the layer off, and then back on, you can see that we're adding sharpness, so we're actually emphasizing the details in his face. If you want to do the opposite, then with that high pass layer selected, just press Control+I, or Command+I on the Mac, in order to invert it, and you can see that those details pretty near disappear. Now, we don't want to go that far with the effect, so I'll press the 5 key in order to back it off, so that we get this effect here.

And then, so we don't have these sort of unnatural transitions here, I'm going to apply a little bit of Gaussian Blur by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Blur, and then choosing Gaussian Blur. And I decided to go with a Radius value of 2. And it's not a big difference, by the way. If you turn off the Preview checkbox, and then turn it back on; I'll go ahead and zoom in actually another click, so we can hopefully see some kind of difference here. So this is before the Gaussian Blur. You can see that we don't have much detail at all. We just have a bunch of color transitions.

And then if I turn Preview back on, we restore some of that detail, which is ironic, because we're blurring the layer. Anyway, I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change, and then I'll go ahead and zoom back out here. Now then, let's say I want to lighten up the side of his face just a little bit. Well, you can create a kind of dodge effect using the Overlay mode. I'll press Control+Shift+N, or Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and call this layer dodge; click OK. Go ahead and grab the Brush tool. I'll right-click inside the image window to show you that my Hardness value is set to 0%, so we've got a soft brush, and I'm going to reduce the size of my brush a little bit.

Then I'm going to press the X key, so that White is my foreground color, and I'll just paint inside these areas a little bit, just to give you a sense of how this works. Then I'll press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool, and I'll switch the mode from Normal to Soft Light. That ends up blending that lightness into the image. Of course, we've gone too far, so I'll press the Escape key, so that the blend mode pop-up menu is no longer active, and I'll press the 2 key to reduce the Opacity value to 20%. So this is the appearance of the image without that layer, and this is the appearance of the image with that layer.

So it's just a quick and dirty dodge effect. If you wanted to burn instead, you would paint with black. Okay, finally a couple more corrections. I'll press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, click the black/white icon at the bottom of the panel, choose Vibrance, and I'll go ahead and call this grayness once again. And the idea is I want to add some more contrast back to this image, because we got rid of some of the contrast with that high pass layer. So I'll take the Saturation value down to -100%. I'll set the blend mode this time to Soft Light, and then I'll crank the Saturation value back up to -70%, and then I'll hide the Properties panel.

So this is what the image looked like without that layer; this is how it looks now. And finally, I think he's looking a little bit too reddish at this point, so I'm going to click on the background in order to make it active. And then I'll press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, click the black/white icon and choose Hue/Saturation, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Control+Shift+U, or Command+Shift+U on the Mac, and I'll call this orangeness, and click OK. And then I'll go ahead and select the Target Adjustment tool, and I'll press the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, and click and drag to the right a little bit. And I actually want to take that Hue value up to +5, just for the Reds, as you can see.

And so now I'll go ahead and hide the Properties panel. And just to give you a sense of what we were able to accomplish where this image is concerned, I'll press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and click on the eye in front of the Background. This is the original version of the image, and this is the enhanced version of the image, thanks to a combination of both contrast reductions, and enhancements, applied with the help of the Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light blend modes.

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