Photoshop Training

Editing using Photoshop

Editing in photoshop

Coupled with processing your images in Bridge/ACR, the next step is editing using photoshop. When you have finished processing in bridge click the open image button.

When the image opens in photoshop it does so on a background locked layer. Before doing any editing you must make a duplicate of the background layer. Once you have done this delete the original background layer. As a result, this helps preserve the original image.

Screenshot of background image Editing using photoshop
Screenshot of background image and duplicated image Editing using photoshop

Level Adjustment Layer

Screenshot of copy background image and levels layer Editing using photoshop

In the first place, my first task in editing using photoshop is to add a levels adjustment layer.

Screenshot of levels layer Editing using photoshop
Screenshot of levels layer adjusting left point Editing using photoshop
Screenshot of levels layer adjusting mid point Editing using photoshop

In this case, the adjustments made by moving the left and right triangles under the histogram. For this reason, move both of the triangles only to where the histogram starts to climb on the graph. By the same token, for accurate measurement hold the option/alt key and move the triangle. In addition, as you start to see something in the image you have gone far enough. Then move the middle triangle to a setting of 1.2, you will notice that the image lightens.

Curves Adjustment Layer

In addition, the curves layer is a graph that defines the image through contrast.

In this case, the histogram shows the brightness of every pixel in the image.  Consequently, it’s an indication of the image’s tonal range.

Screenshot of background copy, levels layer and curves layer
Screenshot of properties curves layer  Editing using photoshop

In this case, those pixels on the left are the dark and on the right the light.

Screenshot of properties curves layer showing adjustment line

In the first place, looking at the chart you have a straight line running from bottom left to top right. For this reason, adjustments made by moving the straight line.

Screenshot of properties curves layer with down and up adjustment Editing using photoshop
Screenshot of properties curves layer with up and down adjustment

This image demonstrates how the image’s lightened when moving the points like this image.

Screenshot of properties curves layer with down and up adjustment original Editing using photoshop

My preferred way to adjust is by moving the line either up or down. As a matter of fact, normally two places on the line require moving in order to form an S curve. Consequently, moving the curve adjusts contrast in the mid-tones. 

Screenshot of properties curves layer showing S curve

Equally important, when dragging the line take care, you want to create a shallow S-curve.

Further Editing using photoshop

Once you have the image adjusted through levels and curves you can then merge the visible layers into one. Now you can perform further editing of the image as required.

Furthermore, if this blog’s raised questions about the process, please feel free to contact Martin.

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Cutting out with Studio Magic 1

Cutting out with Studio Magic 1

Cutting out with Studio Magic 1 enables you to cut subjects from a photograph with reasonable ease. Studio Magic 1 is a software plugin for Photoshop available from Layer Cakes Elements

Studio Magic 1 enables you to cut subjects from a photograph with reasonable ease.

Couple on a green background


Preparing the image to cut the subjects out.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I have prepared a short video. In this case, I am using a couple on a green background. In the first place, the task is to remove the subjects from the green background. To begin with I am using the magic wand tool set at a tolerance of 30. In like manner, select the green background by clicking all around the green. As a matter of fact, to make this easier you may want to go to the select tab, scroll down to similar and click. On the positive side, this picks up any other green that’s not highlighted.

As can be seen you may find that you have selected some of the subject as well. In that case, if you use the lasso tool to circle the stray unwanted area you can remove them.

With this in mind, go to select scroll tab and scroll down to inverse and click. As soon as you do this the subjects will have marching ants around them only.

Studio Magic 1 preparing to cut the subjects out

At this point use the studio magic 1 plug-in.  In this case, select the cut-out tab and make sure the promask button is ticked.  As soon as you have done this click the detailed cut-out button.

The select and mask process is similar to this. Use the refine edge brush tool to go around the hair and any areas that the green background is showing through. When you have done this just push the OK button. As a result, the subjects will now be on a grey background.

You need to ensure that all the green has been removed, zoom into the image and check.

At the same time to make life easier double click in the layers the grey thumbnail. With the colour palette displayed to change the grey to white and click OK. Generally speaking, the white makes the image easier to work on.

New background

In the meantime, I have already selected a new background of a bar from Layer Cake Elements Virtual Studio Pak. In this case, copy, highlight the white layer in your composited image and paste. You can now see above the white layer a new layer with the bar in.

In addition, change the bar layer into a smart object by right-clicking on the layer. You can now see that there is a cross on the image.

As a result, you can now stretch the image to fit without distorting the pixels. Once stretched you have your image.

Adding a shadow

To make it a little more realistic you may need to add a shadow. Studio Magic 1 can easily help you with that too.

Ensure you are on the top layer and click the layer mask. Open studio magic 1 plugin and click the shadow caster tab, next click the Create New Shadow tab. You can preview the shadows using the preview tab and select which one suits your need.  When you have selected the shadow you will have to adjust the settings to get the height, intensity, slant and softness to your liking.

You now have your image. That has to be easier than judging the settings in Photoshop. Don’t forget to save the image.

Couple on a bar bg

Cutting out with Studio Magic 1 could not be more simpler.

Like to know more then Contact Martin

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