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Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
Illustration by John Hersey

The new automatic Levels adjustment


From:

Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

with Deke McClelland

Video: The new automatic Levels adjustment

In this movie, I'll show you how to automatically correct a photographic image using a Levels adjustment. Now as you may recall from our discussion of the auto adjustments back in chapter seven of the fundamentals course, you have three commands available to you under the Image menu : Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color. Don't really think that much of them. Don't use them on a regular basis. But there's also another one, which is the Auto button that's included with Brightness/ Contrast, and it does quite a good job. The Auto function that's included along with levels might be even better and is a unique animal.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 4s
  2. 29m 46s
    1. The best of Photoshop automation
      35s
    2. Introducing the Patch tool
      3m 43s
    3. Using Content-Aware Patch
      5m 42s
    4. Retouching with Content-Aware Patch
      2m 5s
    5. Using the Content-Aware Move tool
      3m 9s
    6. Using Content-Aware Extend
      2m 4s
    7. The Content-Aware Scale command
      6m 35s
    8. Scaling in multiple passes
      2m 22s
    9. Protecting skin tones
      3m 31s
  3. 32m 55s
    1. Editing the histogram
      1m 50s
    2. The new automatic Levels adjustment
      4m 33s
    3. Customizing a Levels adjustment
      4m 53s
    4. Understanding the Gamma value
      2m 7s
    5. Opening up the shadows
      2m 48s
    6. Previewing clipped pixels
      3m 40s
    7. Retouching with Output Levels
      4m 25s
    8. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      2m 19s
    9. Faking a gray card in post
      2m 51s
    10. Assigning shortcuts to adjustment layers
      3m 29s
  4. 57m 43s
    1. How sharpening works
      1m 38s
    2. Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter
      6m 56s
    3. Understanding the Radius value
      5m 20s
    4. Gauging the best sharpening settings
      5m 45s
    5. Addressing color artifacts and clipping
      5m 49s
    6. The Remove and Reduce Noise options
      4m 22s
    7. The Shadows/Highlights options
      7m 36s
    8. Correcting for camera shake
      6m 47s
    9. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      5m 45s
    10. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      4m 44s
    11. Painting in sharpness
      3m 1s
  5. 1h 9m
    1. Vector-based type
      1m 35s
    2. Creating and editing point text
      5m 58s
    3. Font and type style tricks
      7m 10s
    4. Type size and color tricks
      6m 42s
    5. Kerning and tracking characters
      8m 7s
    6. Creating and editing area text
      3m 50s
    7. Selecting and formatting paragraphs
      6m 36s
    8. Setting text inside a custom path
      5m 32s
    9. Creating text along a path
      6m 12s
    10. Adjusting baseline shift
      4m 45s
    11. Creating and stylizing a logo
      6m 49s
    12. Masking text into image elements
      6m 14s
  6. 57m 13s
    1. The other vector-based layer
      1m 39s
    2. Dotted borders and corner roundness
      8m 14s
    3. Drawing and aligning custom shapes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating your own repeatable custom shape
      5m 43s
    5. Selecting paths and isolating layers
      4m 11s
    6. Combining simple shapes to make complex ones
      5m 59s
    7. Cropping, adjusting, and merging shapes
      5m 50s
    8. Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle
      6m 22s
    9. Saving a resolution-independent PDF file
      6m 42s
    10. Turning a small image into a huge one
      8m 38s
  7. 1h 14m
    1. Depth, contour, and texture
      1m 28s
    2. Imparting depth with a layer effect
      9m 9s
    3. The power of the drop shadow
      7m 37s
    4. Modifying a layer and its effects
      6m 21s
    5. Saving custom default settings
      4m 12s
    6. Creating a custom contour
      8m 5s
    7. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      8m 8s
    8. Multiple effects and multiple layers
      7m 45s
    9. Global Light and rasterizing effects
      8m 5s
    10. Gloss and surface contour
      6m 4s
    11. Adding texture to Bevel and Emboss
      7m 21s
  8. 34m 48s
    1. Styles store settings
      1m 38s
    2. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      3m 41s
    3. Redefining a style and styling a word
      5m 38s
    4. Creating and styling a placeholder style
      5m 43s
    5. Applying and creating layer styles
      5m 45s
    6. Loading and customizing layer styles
      5m 42s
    7. Merging and saving layer styles
      6m 41s
  9. 56m 48s
    1. Meet the transformations
      1m 55s
    2. Transformations and Smart Objects
      5m 46s
    3. Adjusting the interpolation setting
      5m 10s
    4. Rotating a layer with Free Transform
      5m 22s
    5. Scale, duplicate, and repeat
      4m 30s
    6. Creating a synthetic star field
      5m 20s
    7. Warping a logo with Arc and Flag
      5m 34s
    8. Distort, perspective, and skew
      4m 15s
    9. Using transformations to draw and correct
      7m 0s
    10. Bolstering text with layer effects
      5m 43s
    11. Adding highlights with Lens Flare
      6m 13s
  10. 43m 36s
    1. Removing the weight that the camera adds
      1m 7s
    2. The Warp and Reconstruct tools
      6m 44s
    3. Brush size, hardness, and opacity
      4m 29s
    4. The Pucker, Bloat, Push, and Twirl tools
      7m 12s
    5. Saving and reapplying Liquify settings
      4m 9s
    6. Lifting and slimming details
      9m 42s
    7. Warping legs, arms, and fabric
      5m 33s
    8. Improving a model's posture
      4m 40s
  11. 58m 46s
    1. Shoot in color, convert to black and white
      1m 55s
    2. Three ways to grayscale
      5m 36s
    3. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 31s
    4. Simulating an infrared photograph
      6m 39s
    5. Creating a sienna-infused sepia tone
      5m 38s
    6. Creating a hyper-saturated image
      5m 26s
    7. Introducing the Black & White command
      3m 16s
    8. Customizing the Black & White settings
      4m 50s
    9. Black & White meets the Channel Mixer
      7m 29s
    10. Infusing an image with tint and color
      5m 9s
    11. Grayscale and Split Tone in Camera Raw
      5m 17s
  12. 41m 34s
    1. The many ways to print
      1m 41s
    2. Using the test document
      3m 18s
    3. Print, position, and size
      5m 57s
    4. Description and printing marks
      3m 3s
    5. Establishing a bleed
      3m 44s
    6. Getting reliable color
      5m 54s
    7. Special printing options
      5m 1s
    8. Previewing an image at print size
      4m 16s
    9. Creating contact sheets
      4m 49s
    10. Creating a multipage PDF
      3m 51s
  13. 31m 9s
    1. Making Internet imagery
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing Save for Web
      4m 39s
    3. Creating the perfect JPEG image
      5m 14s
    4. Creating a high-contrast GIF image
      6m 23s
    5. The two varieties of PNG
      3m 57s
    6. Downsampling for the web
      5m 59s
    7. Adding copyright and contact info
      3m 51s
  14. 1m 3s
    1. Until next time
      1m 3s

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Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
9h 51m Intermediate Aug 19, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop CC One-on-One is back, and this installment teaches you how to build on your basic knowledge and achieve next-level effects with this premiere image-editing program. Industry pro Deke McClelland shows you how to seamlessly move and patch areas of a photo with the Content-Aware toolset; stretch the brightness of a scene with automatic and custom Levels adjustments; create intricate designs with text and shapes; and morph an image with layer effects and transformations. Deke also shares his techniques for sharpening details, whether addressing noise and highlight/shadow clipping or camera shake, and converting a full-color image to black and white. The final chapters show you how to best print and save images for the web, making sure all your hard work pays off in the final output.

Topics include:
  • Performing automatic retouch, scaling, and more with the Content-Aware tools
  • Editing the histogram
  • Customizing a Levels adjustment
  • Making channel-by-channel Levels adjustments
  • Sharpening with the Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass filters
  • Working with vector-based type
  • Kerning and tracking characters
  • Creating text on a path
  • Drawing and customizing shapes
  • Creating depth, contour, and texture with layer effects
  • Liquifying an image
  • Simulating an infrared photo
  • Adjusting print position, size, and color
  • Creating the perfect JPEG image
  • Downsampling for the web
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

The new automatic Levels adjustment

In this movie, I'll show you how to automatically correct a photographic image using a Levels adjustment. Now as you may recall from our discussion of the auto adjustments back in chapter seven of the fundamentals course, you have three commands available to you under the Image menu : Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color. Don't really think that much of them. Don't use them on a regular basis. But there's also another one, which is the Auto button that's included with Brightness/ Contrast, and it does quite a good job. The Auto function that's included along with levels might be even better and is a unique animal.

Now, you can get to it in a couple of different ways. You can go to the Adjustment sub-menu and choose the Levels command, or you can press Ctrl+L, or Cmd+L on the Mac. But that's going to apply a static color adjustment, you're going to permanently modify the pixels in your image, and you're not going to be able to change your settings later. So, the better way to work is to drop down to the black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on it, and choose the levels command which is located directly under Brightness/Contrast. And that's going to bring up this wee version of the Properties panel.

I recommend you make it larger, by dragging the lower-left corner of the panel until the histogram reaches its maximum size. Now, the histogram is the central character included along with the Levels function. And as you may once again recall from chapter seven. The histogram is kind of bargraph of all the luminous levels inside the image, starting with black, over here on the far left side and ending with white on the far right side. It doesn't show the distribution of the colors or where they are located inside the image. It strictly shows their popularity.

So, in the case of our image, we have a few blacks and very dark colors Then we've got a whole lot of shadows which are the dark colors inside the image. And then we've got a ton of mid tones which are the middle colors. And finally, we don't have much of anything in the way of highlights. Now, one way to correct the luminance of the image is to click on this Auto button. And what it does is it applies an automatic correction to the composite image, as opposed to correcting the image on a channel by channel basis.

And it can serve as a great jumping off point for your own custom adjustments. So, what I recommend you do is go ahead and give it a click in any case, and notice how much better the luminance of that image looks. Alright. I'm going to go ahead and close the Properties panel. Because just for the sake of comparison, I want you to see how things look if we try the same thing with Brightness/Contrast. So, I'll go ahead and click on the background layer here to make it active. And then I'll right click inside the image window with my Rectangular Marquee tool, and choose Duplicate Layer.

Then I'll set the document to new and click OK, in order to create a new document here. Alright. I'll go ahead and zoom in, and I'll drop down to the bottom of the Layers panel. Click on the black icon and choose Brightness/Contrast this time around. And then once again back in the properties panel, I'll click on the Auto button. And notice that it takes a moment longer to apply. So, it must be a little more computationally intensive. However, it tends to produce a higher contrast effect as well. A little more garish in the case of this image. So, this is Auto Brightness/Contrast, compared with this being Auto Levels.

And just so you can see how it works inside of a different image, I'll go ahead and switch over to this one here. This is the uncorrected version of that portrait shot. Here's what she looks like subject to Auto Brightness/Contrast, and here's how she looks subject to Auto Levels. So, less of a dramatic difference this time around, but again, it's a little more of a nuance modification. Not quite as much contrast as what we got with automatic Brightness/Contrast. Alright. I'm going to switch back to this image for a moment, and I'll double-click on the thumbnail for my Levels adjustment to bring back up the Properties panel.

And I do want you to see just in case you want to know, if you want to get to any of the other auto functions. You can press the Alt key, or the Option key on a Mac, and click on auto, and that'll bring up your other automatic adjustment options. So for example, Enhance Monochromatic Contrast, you can see listed in that tool tip is the same as Auto Contrast, Enhance Per Channel Contrast is the same as Auto Tone. And then we've got Enhanced Dark and Light Colors which is the same as Auto Color. However, every single one of these applies its modifications on a channel by channel basis.

I recommend you steer clear, but I just want you to know they're there. You may find them helpful for some image that you run into one day. Alright, I'm going to go ahead and cancel out. In the next movie, I'll show you how we can customize this adjustment to get even better results.

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