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.)
Photoshop Tricks, Part 1 - More Touch Ups (Page 7 of 8 )
Mating the New Sky to the Treetops
Regardless of how thoroughly you think you painted the treetops, when you put in a lusher, darker sky—drat—the fringes of the treetops pop up again. You haven't created this image yet, but look at Figure 24.17 to see what I'm talking about. No problem, though. Here's a little secret to go along with this trick. Remember how you load an antialiased selection? You can paint the edges of the selection in RGB mode twice or even three times, and you will see that you are encroaching farther and farther out of the selection marquee. Why? Because repeated applications around an antialiased border will eventually prevail, and because the brush tips, too, are antialiased.
Figure 24.17 -- Aha! Aha! You painted perfectly, but not enough times to mate the treetops with the sky.
Let's put the new sky into the image and then start working on this pestilence that's called image fringing:
New Sky; New Problems
Now, Bouton goofed again, and the sky isn't large enough for a 9MB picture, but humor me and open the DramaticClouds.tif picture from the Examples\Chap24 folder on the companion CD.
With the DramaticClouds.tif in the foreground, drag the Background layer title on the Layers palette into the ParkWow.psd scene. Drag Layer 1 (the clouds layer) below Layer 0 (the park layer), or press Ctrl(Command)+[. Close the DramaticClouds.tif image without saving changes.
Layer 1 should still be the active layer. Press Ctrl(Command)+T to display the Free Transform box, and then drag the sky image by the corners until it's lower than the top of the trees and extends full left and right in the image window. Press Enter (Return) to apply the transformation. Man, oh, man, that fringing is an eyesore, isn't it?
Note -Using the Defringe command
Usually, you should resist the temptation to use the Layer, Matting, Defringe command. This command replaces edge pixels with pixel colors found within the selection.
More often than not, though, unless you're working with a 10MB+ image, the Defringe command will make a mess out of the edges of a selection. The result will look like a deckled-edge book.
Let's spring to action! Ctrl(Command)+click on the alpha channel you saved earlier to load the selection of the trees. If the sky is selected instead of the trees, press Ctrl(Command)+Shift+I to invert the selection. Press Ctrl(Command)+H to hide the selection. The Brush tool should still be active with a 21-pixel soft round brush size. Ease back on the Opacity to 74% on the Options bar for the Brush tool to give you a chance to mess with different colors before an area becomes 100% painted.
Keep the Mode at Darken. Get into this rhythm: Alt(Opt)+click with the Eyedropper tool close to where you want to paint. Release Alt(Opt), and then make short strokes from the trees into the sky. Naturally, your strokes will end because the selection marquee is still active, but check out Figure 24.18. Even though the image is in grayscale, you can still see that the trees blend neatly into the sky area, and that's at 200% zoom level viewing. Imagine how subtle your artistry will be at 1:1 viewing.
Figure 24.18 -- Keep sampling and resampling, and then make short strokes toward the edge of the selection (okay, where you think the edge is!).
Do all the retouching you can do around the treetops, and then keel over. Press Ctrl(Command)+S; keep the file open.
This chapter is from Inside Photoshop CS, by Gary Bouton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.