Friday, November 5, 2010

Just Being Silly With Adobe Photoshop CS5 And Clipping Masks

Today’s image has to be considered one of the sillier things done lately at the gallery.  It started off with just flipping through a few folders of images looking for a specific shot.  I came across the folder with images of a carnival from back in the summer.  I was wondering how far I could push any of the shots and picked the full shot that became today’s image.  It wasn’t that much more than what you see, but enough to give me some ideas of what to do to keep my fingers nimble and go to places in Adobe Photoshop CS5 that I typically don’t wander into.  The shot wasn’t taken straight on as the image appears.  It was shot from “stage left”.  There are a couple of obvious visual cues that you probably can spot that explains step two.  The trickier part is what was step two.  With the shot taken from the left you can guess that there is an angular component to the image.  A little Free Transform (CRTL T) and a right click to bring up the options brings up (among others) Skew and Distort.  Guides were brought down from the top of the screen (with the Rulers turned on, just drag from the ruler down) to the left most top and bottom points of the left ironwork grills.  A little pushing and pulling resulted in a squared up walkway.  The left side was a little funky, so the right half of the scene was copied and put on a new Layer.  The Background Layer was then discarded.  The canvas area was doubled using Image/Canvas Size and a percentage value of 100% being added to the left.  The half with the image was selected using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and copied to its own Layer.  Switching to the Move Tool (V) and using the left Cursor Key with the Shift Key held down moved the copied image to the empty half of the Canvas.  Again using the Free Transform (CTRL T) the Flip Horizontal option reversed the copy to make it face the original.  A little nudging with the cursor keys completed the match of the two halves.  To follow the other silliness going on with today’s image, hit the “read more”.

Once the basic image was put together it was time to crank up the colors. Rather than bringing each color (Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Magenta) up to the point just before it went over the top and got somewhat neon, all colors were brought up to 100% Saturation using Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers. Rather than backing down from 100% I used the Masks that came with each Adjustment Layer and just eliminated anything that went to neon. That allowed for garish colors that went along nicely with the carnival theme of the image.

The open areas of the walkway appeared to be totally black. Ahha! Not so. Typically there’s lots of information hidden down in the depths of the shadow end of the tone curve. Using the Quick Selection Tool (w) each of the “windows” were selection and saved as an Alpha Channel. The Selection was deselected and a composite Layer was duplicated (CTRL J). The Alpha Channel was selected (CTRL click on the Channel Thumbnail) and a Layer Mask applied. The Blend Mode was changed to Screen and the windows area lightened. Hitting CTRL J about six times copied the Layer with the Blend Mode settings applied, lightening the “window area” a little more each time. The first Layer of that repetitive sequence and the last Layer of the sequence (using the Shift Key) selected the entire sequence. They were put into a Group (CTRL G) to save space in the Layer Panel and allow the entire sequence to be operated on at once. (Strictly a housekeeping detail.)

Just as an added goof a fellow driving a four wheel ATV was added to make it look like he was driving along the walkway. It was a way to play with the Quick Selection Tool (W) and the Refine Edge dialog box to get as clean a selection as possible. Once the selection was finished it was copied (CTRL C) and Pasted (CTRL V) into the carnival scene. The size was adjusted using Free Transform (CTRL T) with its Scaling option. The windows Alpha Channel was selected (CTRL click on the Channel Thumbnail) and a Layer Mask added. The image and the Mask were separated (ALT click on the chain icon between the image and the Mask) and the image of the rider moved around using the Move Tool (V) to a go spot.

The final two steps were sharpening and applying a vignette. It’s a goof. It’s being silly with CS5. It was better than playing solitaire.


黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Very good processing.. thanks for sharing, I will keep the technique when I get into Photoshop next time.