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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.)

Author Info:
By: Sams Publishing
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 21
August 18, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  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 - Adding New Landscaping Elements
(Page 8 of 10 )

The next exercise will add some more elements to spruce up the walkway. After you've worked so hard on the climbing vines, the next exercise should seem like a snap. So let's get started.

Improving the Landscape

  1. On the Layers palette, click on the Vines layer set title to make it the active layer. Open the walkway.psd file from the Examples\Chap13 folder on the companion CD. You might know the routine by now. Position both documents so that you can easily view them in your workspace. Use the Move tool to drag the walkway from the walkway.psd window into the 219Burnet.psd document window. Position the walkway in front of the steps. That was pretty easy, wasn't it? Close the walkway.psd file without saving any changes. The walkway layer should now appear above the Vines layer set title in the Layers palette. If it doesn't, drag it to the top of the stack, or press Ctrl(Command)+] (right bracket key) until it's at the top of the list.

  2. Let's just fine-tune this new walkway a touch. Click on Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Click on the eye icon to the left of the walkway layer title to temporarily turn the visibility off for this layer so that you can easily view the bottom step area. Choose the Polygonal Lasso tool, and click along the bottom edges of the steps and brick area to make a selection of the bottom step area similar to the one shown in Figure 13.19. You're simply trying to include a section of the bottom step outline, so it isn't important how far up the selection goes (in height).

Bouton

Figure 13.19

Add a layer mask to the walkway layer, turn off the visibility to the walkway layer, and make a selection of the bottom step and brick area.

  1. Click on the eye icon to the left of the walkway layer to turn the visibility back on. The layer mask thumbnail should be active (see Figure 13.20). Black should be the foreground color; if not, press D for the default colors. Press Alt(Opt)+Delete (Backspace) to fill the selection with black on the layer mask to reveal the base of the steps on the walkway.

Bouton

Figure 13.20

Use a layer mask to fine-tune the place where the edges of the steps meet with the edge of the walkway.

  1. Open the picket_planter.psd file from the Examples\Chap13 folder on the companion CD. Drag the picket fence element into the 219Burnet.psd document window. Close the picket_planter.psd file without saving changes.

  2. The Picket-fence layer should be the active layer in your 219Burnet.psd document. Press Ctrl(Command)+T to access the Transform tool. On the Options bar, click the Maintain aspect ratio icon (it looks like a chain link, as shown in Figure 13.21). Then, on the Options bar, type 35% for the Width and press Enter(Return). The Height should automatically adjust to 35% as well. Press Enter(Return) again to commit the changes and exit the Transform tool.

Bouton

Figure 13.21

Shrink the picket fence element down to size. The fence should be large enough to cover snow areas near the shrubs.

  1. Press V to switch to the Move tool. Position the Picket-fence layer so that it is below the shrubs and close to the walkway area (it is acceptable to leave a slight space between the fence and walkway because we will be adding a shrub later to this area to hide the snow in this corner area). Press Ctrl(Command)+J to duplicate the layer. Hold down the Shift key, and move the fence copy toward the right horizontally until it lines up near the end of the first Picket-fence layer (it works well to overlap the fence ends slightly; you can use the wood slabs as a guide to piece them together when overlapping). Holding the Shift key constrains any movement perfectly horizontal in this particular situation. Repeat this process until you have six copies of this layer, making the fence long enough to place below the shrubs in the front yard, as shown in Figure 13.22.

Bouton

Figure 13.22

Duplicate the fence layer as needed to create a longer fence—as one of the new components for the front yard landscaping makeover.

  1. On the Layers palette, click on the column to the left of the Picket-fence layer titles to link the layers to the top active layer, as shown in Figure 13.22. Press Ctrl(Command)+E to merge linked layers. Double-click on the layer title, and rename this layer Picket-fence flowers. Press Enter(Return) to commit the new name to the layer.

  2. Open the grass.psd file from the Examples\Chap13 folder on the companion CD. Drag the Grass layer from the grass.psd document into the 219Burnet.psd document window. Use the Move tool to position the Grass layer below the picket fence. The goal is to have the grass overlap the bottom area of the picket fence and also meet up to the walkway edge as well.


Insider - Don't be concerned if some of the elements, such as the walkway and grass, do not extend all the way to the bottom edge of the document. You will fix this problem later in the chapter with some appropriate cropping.


  1. Press Ctrl(Command)+S to save your work. Keep the 219Burnet.psd file and Photoshop open for the next exercise.

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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