This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
(or, Photoshop in a hat ☺)
1. Basics: Layers
Photoshop is a layers based graphics program. What does that mean? It means that Photoshop gives you the ability to divide your artwork up into layers, so you can isolate what you do to an image. See the following image:
Table of Contents:
1. Basics…1 Layers Toolkit Filters Layer Modes Layer Masks 2. Improving Color…6 Color Balance Levels Curves 3. Retouching…8 Clone & Heal Smooth & Soften 4. Sharpen…12 Sharpen Unsharp Mask High Pass 5. Light…13 Screen/Multiply 6. Art & Experiment Red Eye Special Effects
See how each layer on the Layers Palette marks off a different part of a picture. The eye icon on the left of each layer makes the layers visible or invisible. Observe.
© 2004 George Chen.
All rights reserved. All lefts ignored. All images are copyright George Chen unless otherwise noted.
try to limit your usage of filters. it looks like the image on the right. you have a toolkit/toolbar for easy access to all your tools. Basics: Filters Filters are fun. the dark blue becomes invisible. but once you get the hang of them. When we get to modes you’ll be able to see ways in which you can blend your filtered layers to get better effects. Note how most of the tools have a small arrow at the bottom. Color on bottom (white) is background The rest of the menu you really don’t need to know. In Photoshop 7. you’ll be able to see how helpful they are. going left to right: Marquee Tool: Selection of items for deletion or moving Move Tool: Self explanatory Lasso Tool: Select a portion of an item to manipulate Magic Wand: Auto select a portion of an image with the same color Crop Tool: Self explanatory Exacto Knife: Cut shapes Heal Tool: Used with cloning tool Brush Tool: For painting Clone Tool: Clones portions of the image to place elsewhere History Brush: Reverses last action in certain parts of the image Eraser: Self explanatory Gradient Tool: Self explanatory Blur Tool: Self explanatory Dodge Tool: Lighten a certain area Path selection tool: Select paths drawn by the pen Text Tool: Self explanatory Pen Tool: Draw paths. We’ll be using filters later. 1. just experiment with them when you have free time. here are the tools and their functions. Layers may seem tedious at first. 1. etc. . Quickly. as well as playing with their transparency. fast ways to get exciting effects. Note that there are far too many filters for me to give you examples of each. and blend them into the image appropriately. curves. however. Therefore. Selecting that arrow will bring up more tools. We will only be using about 10 of these tools frequently. Polygon Tool: Draw vector shapes Notes Tool: Make notes Eyedropper: Selects color on an image Hand Tool: Move objects Zoom Tool: Self-explanatory Color selection: Color on top (blue) is foreground. novices often overuse them. especially in enhancing images.See how by making layer 5 invisible. Basics: Toolkit In Photoshop and all Adobe programs. so right now this will be a quick introduction.
and within each section. Once again. Often. Thus you can minimize the effect as needed. Basics: Modes Modes are ways in which layers can be placed on top of each other to create some pretty interesting effects. Warning. what can you do with layers modes? Here’s a sample: (credit: PhotoshopGuru) . some of these filters use up a lot of memory. Some filters create whole new images while others only modify the image that you are working on. these filters will have preview images so you can see the result before you apply the filter. There are several modes you can chose from.Now for the filters menu. Watch what you’re doing carefully. Note how the filters are divided into sections. The modes menu is found on the top of the layers palette (in this image it says ‘Normal’). a layer mode at full opacity provides too harsh of an image. Note: One of the best things to do with Modes is use them in combination with transparency (opacity). some of the most common ones are demonstrated below. 1. experiment with them to see what they can do. and save often. This means that they will slow the computer down and may sometimes freeze it. especially on large images. the filters are listed. Often. So.
Find your images: + = . the areas that are white or black will be the areas revealed. Example time: How is this accomplished? Step 1. gradients are used. Note that in the mask mode. Depending on what mode you pick (Reveal All or Hide All). a layer mask is a cover that specifically reveals only parts of an image. Basics: Layer Masks Layer Masks are very simple tools to master but can also be very effective.1. Most often. Essentially. you may only use grayscale. This is excellent when you want to fade two images together.
Apply Layer Mask Step 3.Step 2. . Apply Gradient It’s as simple as that.
channels separately have their own levels of how red green or blue a pixel is. you can see how the image has changed. The graph that is displayed when adjustment levels shows the number of pixels in the image relative to the level. You may want to use the image like this. there’s no need to retake the photo. But for the purposes of this exercise. the petals less red in color. instead. and Blue. let’s look at the color balance tool. 2. By simply altering the color values for Cyan. Green. Improving Color: Color Balance When a photo is shot. that the leaves are colored red. The leaves become clearer. The image on the right has too much red in it. With Photoshop.2. Improving Color: Levels Levels are Photoshop's method for stretching the contrast of an image. additionally the Red. Blue. try the techniques discussed later in this handbook. Adjusting levels can change higher saturation and more contrast. you can more accurately portray an image as in real life. but can make the picture incredibly dirty and unusable. sometimes the colors do not come out the way you wish. By balancing the color. Therefore. Green. use levels at a minimum. So much in fact. Levels are something that provides a quick fix for brightness and clarity in images. (See Section 5: Light) So what do levels do? Let’s take image one on the right . The RGB levels are a measure of how light or dark a pixel is. perhaps too much red and not enough blue.
A little speck of dust on the camera lens becomes highly visible. To it we’ll apply auto Levels. Moving it towards the low end will darken the image. Levels are good for small adjustments. In addition. Curves can enhance shadows with little influence on the highlights. If you need to use levels. If you overdo it you’ll get images like the image below. This is essentially what levels do. 2. making it unusable. Note that Jeff’s shirt becomes a pure white. do it manually. Remember. Bring up the levels menu (Image > Adjustments > Levels) By moving the sliders toward the peak. but also know that each time a curve is loaded you should probably play with it a bit to make sure it works for your image. the image becomes lighter.(yeah that’s Jeff). Note that curves can be saved if you find that a particular shape worked for you. the screen at the back of the auditorium was supposed to be crème colored. they take the brightest object in an image and make it white while adjusting all other parts to the same levels. Example time: See the image without a curve above (It’s Orly!) . Improving Images: Curves Curves are yet another way Photoshop allows the user to adjust light balance in an image. The result: There you can see the problems with levels. instead it’s blue. which automatically balances out the RGB levels in the image. making it very useful to perfect photos.
3. A negative curve. Experiment with curves. if you combine the use of curves. One way to remove distractions from the backgrounds of photos is the cloning and healing tools.By applying a positive curve. we can use the clone and heal tools to try and remove it. the image becomes lighter. but also note that these can also damage your photo like levels do. The clone tool. Correct. Therefore. Altering the curve can produce some very interesting effects. levels. First. or copy. However. would make the image darker. See image. The red coke cup detracts from the image’s focus of the student. so be sure to have plenty of practice. you can take almost any photo and make it useable. that is about the same color and lighting of the . and lightening techniques. However. is found on the toolkit. find an area to clone. Retouching: Clone/Heal One of the things that takes a good photo and makes it bad is an excess of distractions in the background. or rubber stamp tool. these tools can be difficult to master. then. Say we take this image to the right.
Select the healing brush from the toolkit (It looks like a bandage) and use the brush to paint over the small awkward area. like in this image. There will be a point where the person will look just plain fake. 3. start painting over the image. Thus. In this chapter you’ll learn how magazines make celebrities look their best without covering them with makeup. Now. Let’s take a casual school image: . Hold down the “ALT” key and select that area. if you look closely. That’s a good sign that it’s time to stop trying to retouch the image. Retouching: Smooth and Soften This chapter should be subtitled: how to give a digital makeover. the area we have cloned over looks rather rough. you must continuously “ALT + Click” to select areas and painting. Then. Done repeatedly. This is caused by the object getting in the way of your cloning path. This may be time consuming. this skill won’t be needed a lot in what we do. the object you are trying to remove seems to reappear. eyes. because. and mouth. Also. the shadow becomes more natural looking. but it’s good to know. This section is divided into subsections: skin. It takes a long time to do a good retouching job. your image will appear like the image on the left. you should be patient. But now it’s time to heal the image.area you’re trying to cover. Note that if you keep painting. but if done correctly. don’t overdo it. Note that in retouching.
etc. Create another layer on top and paint white in the areas where reflections (or the ‘sparkle’) would be. Zoom all the way out and look at the result. reduce the opacity of the layer to about 50-80%. hand. Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer. Go to Filter > Noise >Dust & Scratches. Play with the radius settings until the imperfections in the image start to disappear. do it over or play with the opacities. 2. So now. 4. 2. Create a new layer and select the color you want to use.) Tip: Use the feather brush for this. Say you wanted to change the eye’s color or enhance it. Paint in the area of the eye. Now. let’s move on to the lips. Set the layer to ‘Overlay’. 3. Now we’re done with the skin. so let’s move on to the eyes. . Note how everything has become blurry. eyes. Set your Layer Mode to Hue. Eyes: 1. We’re done with the eyes. zoom in to about 300% or so. let’s bring the details back out. mouth. one on top of the other. Don’t worry about the fact that the background also begins to appear blurry. 4. 3. Use the eraser tool to erase the areas where details should be showing (clothing. Now you have two copies of the picture. Adjust the brush size as needed. If you’re not satisfied. depending on how strong you want the skin retouching to be. To work most effectively with the eyes. Select ok.Skin: 1.
Makeovers don’t have to completely change the image. about 300%. A digital makeover. There you have it. . apply the same techniques and change the hair color and more! Next. The before is on the left half. let’s look at how to try and clean up a blurry image. Zoom in on the lips in the image. Now. if you really wanted to do something crazy. Set the layer to ‘Overlay’ or ‘Hard Light’ and set the opacity to around 1030%. 3. you shouldn’t need to fix the lips unless in extreme situations. 1. First.Lips: Now. and begin painting it on a new layer with a small feather brush. but here goes. Any more and the image looks fake. once again. 4. Find the proper color you want (try using the Eyedropper). Zoom out and look at the result. let’s take a look at the picture after the skin and eye retouch. just try to improve it. 2. after on the right half (the red line divides the two). Let’s do a before and after shot. Note how subtle the changes are.
To do this trick. Do not try to use it on fairly blurry images. This makes for the best quality picture you could create. duplicate the image (Layer > Duplicate Layer). 4. it will only screw up the image and leave a lot of artifacts (pockmarks). the sharpen tool is located under Filters > Sharpen > Sharpen. The maximum amount of times you should use the filter is about 2 to 3. 4. Sharpen: High Pass This technique is by far my favorite and the newest one that I’ve learned. Give the filtered layer a mode of ‘Overlay’ and you’ll be all set. Let’s use this image for the section: Now. which is found in the Filters Menu > Sharpen >Unsharp Mask. Sharpen: Unsharp Mask One technique for sharpening images is the Unsharp Mask Filter. .4. When you’re done with that. Let’s take a look at this in action. Sharpen: Sharpen Filter The sharpen filter is only good for small blurs. the highlights have been improved and the minimal blurring around the subject. By playing with the settings on its menu. you can slowly bring out the image. By using the filter to enhance the image on the right. it should look like the gray image. Now run the High Pass filter and adjust the layers so you see the bare outlines of the image. Using the sharpen filter too much will result in an image looking like this: Note how artifacts have appeared in the image. thus rendering it unusable. What’s great about this technique is that it can be applied to images that already seem sharpened to bring out the details even more.
Light: Screen/Multiply So in addition to using Levels and Curves. while multiply is for darkening images. To fix that. Duplicate the image layer 2. 1. In fact. I’ll present a small tutorial on removing red eye.Take this image of Julia. It should be a fairly gray tint with a hint of the eye color. These techniques is the same thing for both screen and multiply. I’ll just give one example. 6. simply erase the parts you don’t want on the layer with the High Pass. You’re done! To darken the image. it looks pretty clean and crisp. simply change the layer mode to ‘Multiply’ instead of ‘Screen. Lightening the Image: 1. The only problem is that some other details that we don’t want have also been pulled out. Take this image. But when we apply the High Overpass technique we can see the improvement in the details. and then provide a few links to get you started. Before the filter: After the filter: See how all the details have been pulled out of the image. Zoom into the eye of the image that has red eye. there are a few other ways to brighten an image without totally destroying it. . though screen is for lightening images. In this last section. Art and Experiment: Red Eye Removal By now. Create a new layer. Set duplicated layer to ‘Screen’ 3. 5. Already. Use the eyedropper to pick up a color from the iris of the eye. 2. it’s a bit too dark. you could probably use the picture right now. you should be able to accomplish the basics in Adobe Photoshop.
If that leaves the eye looking flat and hollow. Here are a few links to help you get started in special effects.net/tutorials. duplicate the saturation level and set it to ‘Hue’ 5. Be sure to paint with a feathered brush.php infinitexperiment : : http://gchen.com/tutorials. The final product should look something like the image on the left.tutorialized.com http://myjanee.com/tutorials/Photoshop/1 http://www.netfirms.home. Paint over the red part of the eye on the new layer.htm http://www.n-sane. the methods I have given you here are the methods that I have found best to work for me. Set the layer mode to ‘Saturation’ 4.com . being careful not to paint over the eyelids. 6. Extra tip: If you need to enhance the colors of the eye. go ahead and do so.3. See the ‘digital makeover’ section if you need to review.planetphotoshop. You may find a better way for yourself.insightbb. http://www. Photoshop allows you the flexibility to come up with so many ways to achieve the same result. In addition. Art and Experiment: Special Effects Virtually any photo trick you can imagine can be done with Adobe Photoshop.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.