Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video The special brushes of the B&W module, part of Up and Running with Perfect Photo Suite 8.
Now I'm going to use the image that we worked on in the previous lesson, and show you some of the really interesting brushes that are available to you. Now what I did in the previous lesson was two simple adjustments. I simply pulled the green down, so we have a nice dark background. And what I do with the tone curve is I added a little bit of luminance in the highlights and pulled down the shadows a little bit so I have this nice s-curve which is giving me the look that I want. Let's explore what we can do with some of these brushes to take this image to the next level.
There's five brushes that you can work with, and if you look at the left side of my screen, let's go down the list and see what they are, and I'll show you how they work. You have a brightness brush, a contrast brush, a detail brush, targeted brightness, and selective color. Now, let's go through each of these brushes, one at a time. If I want to work with the luminance values, I can go over the brightness brush, and they all have keyboard shortcuts. In this case, it's O. And if I brush over any part of this image, it's going to lighten it up.
So I can use the left and right bracket keys to make my brush bigger or smaller. And as we learned earlier, I can also hold down the Shift key and make this brush softer or harder. And once I have it the way I want, I can simply brush over the area, and it's going to effect the luminance values, or bring out some of the detail by making this brighter. Now, this was very subtle, and I do recommend working with subtlety, and this is how you control it. If you go up to the top bar, you can see, there's my size and my feather, but what's more important is the amount.
I have mine set to 20. So, I can slowly brush in the luminance. But if I move this all the way over to a hundred and started painting, you'll see a much more dramatic response as I lighten the area. And as you can see, you can easily overdo this, and I've lost all detail in her skin tone. So if I've messed things up in this way, I can do one of two things. I can simply hit undo, or I can switch it from a lighten mode to a darken mode. So, if you're used to working in a darkroom or in Photoshop, this is the same as dodging and burning.
Again, as you see, 100% is like trying to paint a fine line with a paint roller. Let me go ahead and reset my brightness. And now, I can start all over again. One of the brushes that I feel goes hand in hand with lighten or darken is the contrast brush, and as you can see, it has the same sliders that we had before, and you can choose whether you want to add more contrast or less contrast. So, if I go over here and make my brush nice and big, if I wanted to add more contrast to an area.
And I'm going to zoom in by hitting the Command plus key so you can actually see the effect. Holding down the space bar I can reposition this, and we're seeing just our model's face. And if I start painting in more contrast, I can subtly modify the way the image looks. Now again, I always keep this low because if it's not enough contrast to start with, just paint it over again and again. Now let's move down the list to the detail brush, and this is really useful when dealing with skin tone. So in this case, and I'm going to zoom in just a little bit more, and we're going to work with the eyes and the area under the eyes.
So if I wanted to, and I wanted the eyes to really pop, I could go ahead and paint in more detail. Now, in this case, I'm going to click on the word, Amount. I'll move it over here to say, maybe 60. And I can paint in more detail on her eyes. And this way, they really pop. But on the flip side, sometimes you don't want all that detail on the skin. You want a little bit of texture, but maybe not as much as there. So I can switch from more detail to less detail. The X key on your keyboard is a great keyboard shortcut that allows you to toggle between less and more, with all of these brushes.
And I'm simply going to paint in less detail, say, under the eyes and probably on the nose. And this gives me that smoother, more Hollywood look. As we continue down, the next brush that you'll be working with is our Targeted Brightness Brush. Now let me select this, and I'm going to go ahead and hit Cmd+0, to bring it full screen, and I'm going to move that slider that we pull down which was the green slider, and just bring it back to its default position. You can also hit the Reset button, and this will again bring you back to neutral.
Now what I like about this brush is I can select the area that I want to darken based upon color, and simply click on it, and I get a left and right arrow. If I move it to the left, it makes that area darker. If I move it to the right, it makes that area brighter based upon color. So here, instead of actually grabbing the slider if I don't know what color it is, I can go ahead and bring that part of the image down. Now, if I wanted to brighten another part of the image, say I didn't want the lips to be as deep, I could click on the lips and move that to the right.
And you'll notice that it's not only affecting the lips, because there's a lot of red there, but it's also affecting the skin tone. So I need to be a little more careful. Now you have a lot of colors in your image and you're not quite sure if it's a red or a yellow or maybe it's a combination of the two, this is a great brush to work with to pull up or pull down a specific color range. Now we don't have a lot of colors here. For instance, if I clicked on, say, the black area, I've got a warning box that says, oh there's not a lot of saturation in the original image, try another area because black is black and there's not a lot of colors to work with.
One of my favorite brushes is the Selective Color Brush. And it allows me to bring color in, into one specific area. So, if I wanted her eyes to have color or her lips to have color, this is the brush that I would use. I'm going to switch to the Zoom tool and lasso just her face so we can focus on those areas. Now I'm going to select the selective color brush, and now if I paint over her eyes, it slowly brings the color back in. Now I do want to point out that if you take a look at the upper left hand side, it says paint out.
And you're thinking, wait a second, I'm painting color in. Well, the way you have to look at that is you're painting out the black and white, and if I hit the x where it says paint in, I'm painting in black and white. So, now I've brought some color into the eyes. And I think subtlety is the anser here. I want to make sure that they both match. I'm going to go down and now choose the lips. And as I go over I can paint the lips. And the nice thing here is if you have the perfect brush selected it's' going to look at the contrast between the lips and her face, and it's only going to grab the lips if you are careful.
Now if these lips are too bright I can go ahead hit X key, I now have the paint in. And I probably would have done this with a little less opacity. And that way, I just want them subtly red. Not really strong red and I'm good to go. Let me hit Cmd+0, bring it full screen and take a look at this image. I kind of like what I've done here. I think the lips need to be a little more subtle. If I want to reset the lips completely to black and white, I'll simply go back and switch my opacity to 100% and paint back in the black and white.
This is an introductory course produced by RHED Pixel to help both beginner and seasoned photographers quickly realize the benefits of Perfect Photo Suite 8. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- What is Perfect Photo Suite 8?
- What's the right version for you?
- Installing the software
- Importing media into the Layers module
- Making quick fixes with the Enhance module
- Adjusting skin tone in the Portrait module
- Applying effects presets
- Creating masks
- Resizing images
- Integrating Photo Perfect Suite with Lightroom, Photoshop, and Aperture