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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I'm still working inside Tips from Sketchy.psd. The only difference is I've turned off the black layer and I've made sketchy active, because in this exercise, I'm going to go ahead and color sketchy, and I'm going to do that with the help of the new Heads-Up Display Color Picker inside of Photoshop CS5. But before I take advantage of that feature, I want to show you the more conventional way to specify color inside Photoshop. If you go to the Color panel which is available, if you go to the Window menu and choose Color, or you can press F6. The Color panel allows you to specify the dial in colors using one of four different models.
You can work with RGB sliders that is Red, Green, Blue. You can work with HSB which is Hue, Saturation, Brightness. That's what I prefer to do most of the time and I'll show you how that works in just a moment. CMYK; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, and then Lab which is Luminance along with two arbitrarily named color axes which are called a and b. All right! I'm going to leave things set to HSB right there which, by the way, is not the default setting; RGB is default. So you'll need to switch to HSB if you want to follow along with me. And I'm going to go ahead and specify Hue value of 20 degrees, let's say, and then I'm going to take the Saturation value up to something like 30% there, and I'll leave the Brightness value at 100, and then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that modification.
And I'm going to create a new layer below sketchy and I'm going to do it by clicking on the background layer and pressing Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and I'm just going to call this layer color and I'm going to click OK. In that way, I can paint below the lines and above the background layer without harming anything, and then I'll just go ahead and paint in sketchy's face as you can see here. Again, I am using my Wacom tablet which allows me to vary the pressure incidentally, in case you're not familiar with these. You can vary the pressure in order to switch from a big brush stroke to a small brush stroke on-the-fly actually which makes it really easy to paint into areas of an image without having to habitually modify your brush size on-the-fly using any of the techniques that we discussed in the previous exercise.
So, anyway, I want to go ahead and paint this guy in pretty good here, because I want to show you a few other techniques as we work through this example. All right! Now let's say I want to make the tongue red or something along those lines. Another way to change the foreground color is to click on the foreground color swatch here at the bottom of the toolbox, and that's going to bring up the Color Picker dialog box right here. And you can see our familiar color spaces albeit listed in a different order. We've got HSB, then RGB, then Lab and then CMYK. We also have, and this is very important to understand, the Heads-Up Display Color Picker.
We have this Hue Strip right here which is showing us all of the hues and you can drag up and down in order to change that core Hue value. And then this field is showing us both the Saturation values from low saturation over here on the left to high saturation on the right, along with the Brightness values dark at the bottom and very bright at the top. And that's assuming by the way that the H radio button is selected. You can switch things around if you want to. If I switch over to Saturation then we're going to see the Saturation values here in the slider, and we're going to see the Hue values from left to right, and Brightness values from bottom and the top here inside the field which I find to be just confusing, but you can switch to a bunch of different models here by changing the radio buttons inside this dialog box.
So beware, because if you accidentally select something like a, and you're looking at this and going what in the world is that about? Just remember, you can set things right again by clicking in front of H. That's another way to change the color, but here's the new function inside Photoshop CS5 and it's the keyboard shortcut that used to change the hardness of the brush back in CS4 and it was just introduced in CS4. So it's a little confusing that they are switching it now. Again, it's different on the Mac and the PC. So what you do here on the PC is you press the Shift and Alt keys and you right-click and hold in order to bring up this Heads-Up Color Display.
And notice once again, we've got the Hue Strip over here on the right-hand side so you'd select the core hue that you want to work with. Now, I want to paint his tongue so I'll make it red. And then you'd go over to the field after you select the hue. That's the way I recommend you use this. And then you go ahead and select the saturation back-and-forth here or the brightness up and down. All right! So, I'm going to go with a shade of red, actually I'll go ahead and darken it up just a little bit so it has kind of a darkish tongue, and then I might go ahead and paint inside of my cartoon.
Now, you Macintosh people are probably wondering what in the world would you press. It has nothing to do with the Shift or Alt keys. My friends, there is no Alt key and you do use the Option key incidentally, but you don't use the Shift key. So here's what you do instead, you Macintosh users, on the Mac, you press Command+Control+Option and you click, you don't have to right-click, and then you go ahead and select the Hue once again. So I recommend you start with the Hue slider and then move your cursor over into the field in order to determine the saturation as well as the brightness. All right! So again that's Command+Control+ Option click and hold on the Mac that's Shift+Alt+right-click and hold on the PC.
Now you can change the appearance of that Heads-Up Display Color Picker if you want. Press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box, and there it is Heads-Up Display Color Picker so HUD Color Picker, and switch it from Hue Strip to one of the other options. So you can go with the larger Hue Strip if you have a big monitor, obviously I don't. And you also have three variations on the Hue Wheel. I'm going to switch to the Medium Hue Wheel so you can see what that looks like. I'll click OK and then I'll once again here on the PC Shift+Alt+right-click that would be a Command+Control+ Option click and hold on the Mac.
Now notice that we still have the Saturation and Brightness field in the center of this Hue Wheel, but of course, the Hue is represented on a wheel but what I want you to notice is this is a slightly different wheel than I demonstrated to you back in Chapter 7. So we have red not over on the right- hand side but rather at the top of the wheel and then the color cycle around in a clockwise fashion instead of a counterclockwise fashion. So we go from red here at 0 degrees at top, we have yellow at 60 degrees, we have green at 120 degrees, we have cyan at 180 degrees, we have blue at 240 degrees, we have magenta at 300 degrees, and all the way back to red again at 0 degrees so a few different ways to work.
In my case you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to switch to white because I want to show you one more really groovy technique, check this out. Let's say I want to paint in these highlights in these eyes so I want to make them white, and I also want to make his teeth white. However, I don't want to have to be careful on the least. In fact, I'm not going to use my tablet; I'm going to use a mouse, and I'm going to stick with this big old cursor here. Check out this Mode option and we'll be discussing Blend modes and all kinds of details in the advanced portion of this series, but I'm going to change the Mode to Behind which allows me to paint behind the existing paint on the color layer.
And now watch, if I just sloppily paint in these areas, I'm painting behind the existing color and then I'll paint in the teeth as well, and I end up finishing off my graphic. Thanks to the amazing power of the plain old Brush tool here inside Photoshop.
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A: These days, it's easier to assign the workflow settings manually. In Photoshop, choose Edit > Color Settings. Then change the first RGB setting to Adobe RGB, and click OK.
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