Friday, August 24, 2012

Subtle and Not So Subtle Changes in Photoshop

Today's image has a little bit of everything.  Part of it is an HDR, but I didn't like the sky, so I switched it back to a non-HDR version.  There was an air conditioner in the upper left window, so I took it out.  There was scaffolding in front of the greenhouse and window to its left, so I took it out.  I pumped up some of the colors using Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop CS6.  It's a cropped pano rather than a multi-shot.  And it took a trip over to Nik Software's Color Efex Pro 4 just to play with it.  To find out the air conditioner was removed, hit the "Read More".

I was watching one of the Kelby Training shows the other day and the man himself (Scott Kelby) was giving a demo of how to get rid of unwanted objects in a shot.  Naturally, the easiest way would be to remove the offending object before taking the shot.  Scott was showing his technique on a large building (the Palace of Versailles I believe he said).  He was trying to get rid of some scaffolding (same as in today's image) by moving a very similar section of the building that was clear of the pipes and planks.  He kind of struggled with it.  The shot of the building was taken on somewhat of an angle, so it wasn't a one for one replacement.  He moved the "repair" section over and turned to the Free Transform Tool (CTRL T) to resize, skew and generally bend the patch to fit.  All the time I was watching I kept thinking "come on Scott, you know a better way to do that".  Ya know the no saying "I've forgotten more about (insert whatever here) than you'll ever learn".  I'd guess that was the case in Scott's lesson.  I know he knows how to use the Vanishing Point Filter.  (Filter/Vanishing Point)  I'm 99% sure I've seen him demonstrate it.  It's made for just the sort of thing he was trying to do.  I used it on today's image.

The two upper windows are the same size, on the same line.  It's just that the left one is further away than the right, giving the appearance of being smaller in the image.  The way you would use the Vanishing Point Filter is to draw a plane around whatever it is that you're looking at.  In the case of today's image it would be the pair of windows.  Upper left of the left window to upper right of the other.  Then click on the lower right edge of the righthand window.  At this point you'll see a triangle start to form.  Click back over to the lower left corner of the left window.  As you draw the plane the outline will be a dark blue.  When your plane is accurately defined a grid appears as a lighter blue.  From there, whatever you do, will automatically scale along the grid.  One example I once saw had a very long hallway.  A pillar defining the hall was copied and slid down creating a set of pillars trailing off, getting smaller and smaller.  It works great.  It works with several tools and uses the healing technology found in several Photoshop tools these days.  You can even have your grid turn multiple corners and maintain exact relationships.  Here's a good video lesson from Bert Monroy's old Pixel Perfect show featuring Deke McCelland demonstrating Vanishing Point.
I do think I might have wanted to do a better job at using the Vanishing Point Filter if I had planned the post before executing the image.  If I hadn't brought your attention to it you probably would have never noticed I was a little off on my cloning.  Watta ya gonna do?