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Learning Adobe Photoshop CS4

By Greg Bowden

Chapter 16

Advanced Layer Uses

Guided Computer Tutorials www.gct.com.au

PUBLISHED BY GUIDED COMPUTER TUTORIALS PO Box 311 Belmont, Victoria, 3216, Australia www.gct.com.au © Greg Bowden This product is available in Single or Multi User versions. Single-user versions are for single student or teacher use at any particular time, just as a single text book would be used. If you intend to use the notes with multiple students the single user version should be upgraded to the multi-user version. Multi-user versions allow the school or institution to print as many copies as required, or to place the PDF files on the school network, intranet and staff laptops. A certificate of authentication is provided with multi-user versions. Bookmarks provide links to all headings and sub-headings, and individual chapters are provided.

First published 2009 ISBN: Module 1 1 921217 69 3 Module 2: 1 921217 70 7 Module 3 1 921217 71 5 PDF document on CD-ROM

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Chapter

Advanced Layer Uses

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Cameras do not always do justice to people. Photoshop provides a number of tools to help improve the appearance of faces in photographs. In this Chapter layers will be used to improve the skin tone of a face, highlight facial features and change the eye colour.

Loading the Image
1 2 Load Photoshop or close the current file and select OPEN from the FILE menu. Access the PScs4 SUPPORT FILES, open the CHAPTER 16 folder and open the file: Portrait

3 Press CTRL+0 or COMMAND+0 to set the view to FIT ON SCREEN so that the photo fills the screen.

4 5

Look closely at the image. The camera has made the skin a little shiny and uneven in places. Use SAVE AS from the FILE menu to save the image in your STORAGE folder as a PHOTOSHOP file under the file name: Enhanced Portrait

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Duplicating the Layer
There are times when a mask is not the best way to adjust a photo, particularly when the whole photo is to be adjusted. When changes are needed to be made to the original layer, a duplicate of the layer can be created so that major changes can be made to the copy without affecting the original image. 1 Move the pointer over the ORIGINAL layer label in the LAYERS panel and drag the label over the CREATE A NEW LAYER icon at the bottom of the panel.

2

A copy of the layer should be produced.

3 Change the name of the new layer to SOFTENED.

Blurring the Image
The duplicated layer will be blurred to give the skin a softer more even look. After this we will sharpen sections of the image such as the eyes, hair and teeth. 1 2 The SOFTENED layer should be selected. Display the FILTER menu at the top of the screen, highlight BLUR and select SURFACE BLUR.

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Advanced Layers Uses

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3 Set the RADIUS box to 8 pixels and the THRESHOLD to 10.

NOTE:

The PREVIEW frame can be used to scroll around the picture. With the mouse depressed the original image is displayed. When you release the mouse button the effect of the blur is shown.

4

Select OK and the tone of the skin should look softer and more even.

Adding a Mask to the Layer
Parts of the face such as the eyes don’t need to be blurred so a mask will be added to the duplicate layer. By doing this we can paint on the mask to display the original eyes, but leave the skin blurred. 1 In the LAYERS panel click on the PANEL MENU icon and select PANEL OPTIONS.

2 Check that the SMALL THUMBNAIL SIZE is selected and select OK.

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Learning Adobe Photoshop CS4

3 Click on the ADD LAYER MASK icon at the base of the LAYERS panel to add a mask to the SOFTENED layer.

Sharpening the Important Features
1 Select the BRUSH TOOL and set the BRUSH SIZE to about 10 pixels.

2 Paint over the eyes, eyebrows, hair, mouth, the base of the nose and the jaw line. Those parts of the image from the ORIGINAL layer will become visible, hence look a little brighter.

NOTE:

By blurring the image we have set the skin tones to look more consistent and then sharpened the import parts of the image.

3 Turn off the view of the SOFTENED layer to see the original image then turn the view back on.

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Advanced Layers Uses

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Merging Layers
Once you have made changes to a set of layers and you are happy with them they can be merged into one layer to reduced the number of layers present in a file. This process is called MERGING LAYERS. 1 Display the LAYER menu and select MERGE VISIBLE.

2 The layers should be combined into one layer called SOFTENED.

Creating a Duplicate Layer
As you start building changes to a file it is best to make a copy of the layer, make changes to the copy and, once you are happy with the changes, merge the copied layer with the original to create one layer. This process can be continued until the production is complete. If you do not like changes to a file the copied layer can always be deleted and a copy of the original layer remade.

1 Drag the SOFTENED layer over the CREATE A NEW LAYER icon at the base of the LAYERS panel.

2

A duplicate of the layer should be created.

NOTE:

You can also create a duplicate layer using the LAYER menu or the LAYER PANEL MENU icon.

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Learning Adobe Photoshop CS4

Enhancing the Eyes and Teeth
The whites of the eyes and the teeth can be made whiter and the eye colour changed.

A

Selecting the White Eye Area

The white area of the eyes will be enhanced in the copied layer then the layers merged to create one layer. 1 Zoom the screen to 500% and scroll to the eyes.

2 Select the LASSO TOOL and drag a selection around the left white section of the left eye.

NOTE:

If you are not happy with the selection press CTRL+D or COMMAND+D to deselect the area and try again.

3 Hold down the SHIFT key and lasso the small white inner area of the left eye.

4

We can feather the selection so that the adjustments are not too sharp. Display the SELECT menu, highlight MODIFY and select FEATHER.

5 As this is a small area and zoomed set the FEATHER RADIUS to 1 pixel and select OK.
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