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Keeping Up Appearances: Techniques for Retouching Images

Check out this chapter for tips on retouching images in Photoshop, improving color, adding new elements to an image or removing unwanted image elements. (From the book Inside Photoshop CS by Gary Bouton, Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442.)

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By: Sams Publishing
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August 18, 2004
  1. · Keeping Up Appearances: Techniques for Retouching Images
  2. · Rotate the Image
  3. · Improving Overall Color
  4. · Removing Unwanted Elements
  5. · Enhance Image Elements
  6. · Coloring the Shrubs and Vines
  7. · Adding New Elements
  8. · Adding New Landscaping Elements
  9. · Adding Ready-Made Elements
  10. · Adding Some Finishing Touches

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Keeping Up Appearances: Techniques for Retouching Images
(Page 1 of 10 )

BoutonI call this project "Keeping Up Appearances"...after all, it's often said that appearances are everything!

In this particular project, we will take a ho-hum, rather dreary-looking photograph of a beautiful old house and give it a Photoshop makeover.

Why? Well, just think of the possibilities. Perhaps a real estate agent has engaged your services to create images for sales brochures. Or maybe you are thinking of doing some home improvements of your own, and you are wondering what your house would look like with a new coat of paint. Or how about those new shutters or windows you have been admiring? Or maybe you have been thinking of doing some landscaping, and before investing in a major project such as this, you want to see how it would look. Whether you are doing work for a home renovator, a landscape artist, a real estate agent, or just for yourself, there are many reasons that you might want to go through an exercise such as this one.

Thanks to the power of Photoshop CS, all that you can imagine is possible! By following along with me, as we proceed through this makeover, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to tackle your own photo makeover project.

This particular assignment is written to a beginner's level so that anyone who is new to Photoshop CS can just jump right in. As we start out, I will explain, in some detail, the various tools that we will be using and how they work. If you want to join in but have more than beginner skills, just skip over these explanations and move right to the numbered steps. And, for more advanced users, do not hesitate to use your own ideas, techniques, and tools. In fact, I encourage you to think outside the box and create your own unique house makeover!

Making First Assessments for the Project

We are going to take the "before" image shown in Figure 13.1...


Figure 13.1 -The original, before image.

...and transform it into the image you see in Figure 13.2!


Figure 13.2 - The finished, virtual mansion!

Specifically, in this exercise, we will cover the following topics:

  • Straightening the photo

  • Improving overall color

  • Removing unwanted elements (and fixing some existing ones)

  • Enhancing the sky

  • Coloring the shrubs and vines

  • Adding new elements (and fixing a few others)

  • Adding some final finishing touches

Breaking our project down, taking it one step at a time, makes for a less daunting job, and that's what we do in the sections that follow.

If you are a new user to Photoshop, this project might, at first glance, look difficult and complicated. Well, I can assure you that it really is not! Don't be intimidated; just jump in and do it and, along the way, don't be afraid to make some mistakes. Trial-and-error is still my preferred method to learn new skills in Photoshop!

This chapter is from Inside Photoshop CS, by Gary Bouton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.

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