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Photoshop Tricks, Part 1

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.)

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By: Sams Publishing
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 41
August 25, 2004
  1. · Photoshop Tricks, Part 1
  2. · Trick 2: Creating an Image Out of Text
  3. · Trick 3: Borrowing an Image's Color Palette
  4. · Posterized Piper
  5. · Trick 4: Removing Fringing from Leaves
  6. · Touching up the Image
  7. · More Touch Ups
  8. · Other Selection Techniques

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Photoshop Tricks, Part 1 - Other Selection Techniques
(Page 8 of 8 )

I'd like to share one or two other moves with you because, although the image looks a lot more natural now, some things can help it along even further.

Let's work while we talk, okay?

Completing the Binding of Treetops and Sky
  1. There are bound to be areas within the trees—not just the treetops—that have a blah sky in them, and if you remove these areas, the replacement sky can poke through. With the Rectangular Marquee tool, drag an area where really offensive blah sky shows through, as shown in Figure 24.19. Choose Select, Color Range, and see whether you can pick at a blah sky area with the Eyedropper tool. When you're satisfied with the Fuzziness (I used a setting of 54), click on OK and return to the scene.


Figure 24.19 -- Select the tiniest of flaws in the trees.

  1. Pick a very neutral shade of green (R:115, G:131, B:96 is good), and then press Alt(Opt)+Delete (Backspace) and then Ctrl(Command)+D to deselect the marquee selection. Now, all those blah sky holes are filled with foliage.

  2. You will need to load the selection again; Ctrl(Command)+click Layer 0 on the Layers palette. Now, keep painting, but when you come to some twigs and some purple foliage in the image, sample those colors and paint with them. Remember, use short strokes and sample often (see Figure 24.20). Set the Brush Mode on the Options bar to Normal if you need to alternate colors often to achieve a more natural effect.

  3. As mentioned in step 3, working from left to right, you will eventually hit some purple foliage; it was probably the outdoor lighting because plants don't usually grow to 40 feet tall. But respect what the camera has provided, and sample new colors and paint away (see Figure 24.21).


Figure 24.20 -- The painting goes quicker if you hum to yourself, "99 bottles of beer on the wall; 99 bottles of beer...."


Figure 24.21 -- Sample often, and keep the strokes short. Do I sound like a broken record? (A record was an analog music archiving device before the CD.)

  1. Finally, with the Magic Wand tool, with Contiguous unchecked and Tolerance set to about 16, click in a blah sky area that is peeking through the trees. Doing this will drag out all the blah sky pixels because non-contiguous means "doesn't have to be neighboring to," so the whole image layer gets the treatment. Choose Select, Modify, Expand, and expand by 2 pixels. Press Ctrl(Command)+Alt(Opt)+D to feather the selections by 2 pixels. Then, very carefully choose a bland green that will work in all selection areas, and press Alt(Opt)+Delete (Backspace) to fill the selections. Press Ctrl(Command)+D to deselect (see Figure 24.22).


Figure 24.22 -- Plug up the last of the ugly holes with pleasing green, and you are finished!

You're home free, and the picture looks terrific!

As you can see in Figure 24.23, everything at Henderson's Mill looks both pretty and plausible. And it's all because you've learned five different techniques for eliminating the fringing between original sky and treetops. We are a little concerned, however, about how the bumble bee landed in this figure.


Figure 24.23 -- Hey, if you wanted a "dry" book, I have plenty upstairs from college calculus.

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.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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