Monday, May 17, 2010

Content Aware FAIL

CS5 has some wicked cool demo videos of their new use of the Content Aware algorithms. But how cool is it really? Well if you're not a fan of reading I will skip to the end, it is REALLY cool. However it has its limitations, it's not the end of retouching as we know it... not yet. Below are a couple of examples of one click retouches. One that worked and one that did not.

Content Aware fill is only able to work on the base layer (no Sample Current and Below or Sample All). Content Aware Fill is default when you make a selection and hit Delete. Content Aware Heal is a beefed up Spot Heal, which is able to Sample All Layers. This way you can use this tool along with the Stamp tool on a dedicated Spot Layer for non destructive retouching.

Also P.S. Mini Bridge isn't talked about as much, but this little panel is going to do wonders for your workflow when working composites with multiple source files.

Content Aware Fill (only works on base layer)
Select > Delete > Content Aware Fill

Content Aware Heal
New Layer > Spot Heal > Content Aware + Sample All Layers

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photoshop 20 years old

Notice the four developers, including the famous (or infamous) Russel Brown.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's all about workflow

The last post was about using a 50% gray layer to Dodge and Burn. Which is GREAT! Just never do it first, my bad. Every adjustment layer you make will effect how all the adjustments below it will ultimately change the base image. That being said here is my workflow 101. Some of these steps you may not know, but I will reference this in future posts.

Assess the image
Zoom to 100% and scan the whole image, making note of the adjustments that will be needed.

Retouching layer
I'll do a post on non-destructive retouching layers, suffice to say, now is when you would be doing that.

Global adjustments
Starting with luminosity & contrast then color & saturation
Contrast will effect how you see your color and saturation

Selective adjustments
Layer adjustments that are masked off, again, luminosity first then color.

So there you have it. If you stick to this guideline, as you build bigger and more complex image files, you won't be creating adjustment layers that counteract each other. That would be extra work and can cause noise and banding.

Good luck and happy pixel pushing
As always please comment if this was helpful or not, if there is something you need clarified or questions needing answers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Create depth and contrast with a Dodge and Burn Layer

Continuing from the last post "Sharpen and Shape". Now you should have an image that looks something like this:

A Smart Object base layer that has 2 Smart Filters, Sharpen + Shadow Highlight. Since this gives us a washed out, flat feel we will start by adjusting the contrast.

Today we will be using a Dodge and Burn layer.
To do this create a New Layer > Fill with 50% gray

With the gray layer selected go to your Layer Blending mode > change the mode to Overlay.

With the layer mode set to Overlay you will no longer see the gray over your image.

Now use the Brush Tool set it to Black or White with a 10% opacity. Select the Overlay layer and paint with the brush. Black will darken the area of the image you are painting over, White will brighten it.

As with all adjustments, universally go too far, then dial back the layer Opacity till you get a flattering effect.

Play with different brush hardness, opacity and size. To refine your brush's effect confine your brush to a selected area. This layer can also be effected by filters such as blur, sharpen, distort, etc.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sharpen and Shape

Over the next few posts I'll show how I went from A to Z in this image
I'm using CS3, so if you are using an earlier version of PS this won't work but there are work arounds. Like get upgraded!
Lets start with the sharpening.
Right click Background layer > Convert to Smart Object

With Smart Object selected
Image > Adjustments > Shadow
Make all the boxes the same, the higher the # the greater the effect. Be warned, too high and you will start to get a halo effect

With Smart Object still selected
Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen
Here I used 200% at 1.7 Radius

This will create a flat, sharp image, which we will need to ad contrast and color effects to next.

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