For a humorous approach to touching up images in Photoshop, check out Gary Bouton's tips and tricks. He covers how to use Photoshop to firm up your subject's neckline with painless nipping and tucking, how to create images from text, how to work with an image's color palette using practical techniques and more. (From Inside Photoshop CS, Sams, ISBN: 0672326442.)
Hey, by now you've probably noticed that every chapter has a project, several techniques are outlined to accomplish a grand goal, and the chapter is about 26 pages long. Well, right now might be a good time to break stride and concentrate on little gems of techniques that don't belong to a specific assignment.
And yes, this chapter could have been called "11 Photoshop Tricks" or "9.7 Photoshop Tricks," but 10 seemed like a comfortable number, that's all! (Editor's Note: This chapter is being featured on the site in two parts, with this article covering Photoshop tricks 1 through 4.)
Before we begin, I have a confession to make: Yessss, I used programs other than Photoshop (gasp) to create some of the tricks in this chapter. Not to worry—you'll get the gist of a trick or an effect without spending an extra dime. Perhaps you'll be so awestruck by program X or Y that you'll actually want to buy it, and if that's the case, make sure you recommend where you found the trick (hint: in this book) to a friend or twelve.
Trick 1: Getting Rid of a Wattle
First of all, it might be useful to define wattle. This term, which my wife learned from my mother-in-law, describes slack flesh that descends from one's chin to the neck. In Figure 24.1, you can see what I mean. If you're a Hollywood actor or somehow sneaked to the front of the gene pool (or if you're under 20), you probably have a connection between your jawline and your neck that can be described by a T-square—a perfect (don't you hate 'em?) 90-degree angle. For the rest of us, we have to be content with the image at the right. Let's send a distress call to Photoshop post haste!
The technique to follow is applied to a front view of a person with a wattle. Here's how it's done:
Firming Up a Jawline
Open the Wattle.tif image from the Examples\Chap24 folder on the companion CD.
Press Q to enter Quick Mask mode. Choose the Brush tool and a soft round brush (a 21-pixel brush may work well in this instance). Paint over the area identified in Figure 24.2 with the Quick Mask tint.
Press Q to switch back to Standard Editing mode. Depending on your Quick Mask settings, you may see a selection around the border edges of the document. If this is the case, press Ctrl(Command)+Shift+I to invert the selection. Press Ctrl(Command)+Alt(Opt)+D and choose a Feather radius of 3 (pixels). Click on OK.
Right-click (Macintosh: hold Ctrl and click) over the thumbnail icon on the Layers palette, and choose Layer via Copy. The copied area is on the current editing layer.
Figure 24.1 --Waxing wistful about wattles.
Figure 24.2 --This is the area where the wattle exists.
Press Ctrl(Command)+L to go to the Levels command. Visibly darken the layer; for this assignment, adjust the black slider to the right until the Input Levels reading is around 36, and then adjust the midpoint slider also toward the right until the Input Levels reading is around 0.93. Click on OK to apply the tone change (see Figure 24.3).
Figure 24.3 -- The result—a less noticeable wattle.
Blur the layer a little. Choose Filter, Blur, and then Blur.
Press Ctrl(Command)+S. Save the image to your hard disk if you like. Or better still, get out a picture of your own now that features a wattle and un-wattle it.
Neat, huh? You ain't seen nuthin' yet....
This chapter is from Inside Photoshop CS, by Gary Bouton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.