Adobe Photoshop Tutorial. Copyright Michael B. Karbo.

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    With Photoshop at work

    In part three of this booklet you will be working through a number of exercises, which function as examples of practical picture processing. On the way we repeat some of the techniques, tools, settings and dialog boxes etc. that have been reviewed before. But we also show a lot of new stuff!

    18. A retouching

    In this exercise you are going to repair an old tarnished foto. It needs to be retouched – a number of flaws have to be removed from the picture – and it has to be readied for printing.

    Retrieve a picture

    Of course the picture is on the home page for this booklet.

    1.   Start by reading the picture bath.jpg into Photoshop.

    2.   Select menu items File --> Save As… Choose the Photoshop format and save the picture as bath.psd; then it is ready to be worked on in the following exercises.

    Figure 37. A typical old family photo, which has been scanned and has many scratches. The picture has to be thoroughly worked on in Photoshop, before it can be printed.

    Clone Stamp Tool

    One of the most useful tools in picture processing programs is the so-called stamp (in Photoshop called Clone Stamp Tool), which we introduced on page 52.

    The stamp can clone from one picture area to another, and you can use that here. Look close at the picture of the boy in the bath, which you have on your screen – a close review shows clearly that the picture needs tender loving care. There are lots of small flaws in the picture, caused by dust, hair and scratches. They all need to be removed!

    1.   Select the clone stamp tool. Use the shortcut letter s or button number five in the left column of the tool box:



    3.   First the tool has to be adjusted in the settings line. In the Opacity setting you can determine how compact the cloning effect will be. The default value is 100%, which then covers completely. You can make more sensitive adjustments with lower values. Set the opacity to 80%:

    The Flow setting (to the right of Opacity) also lets you limit the power of the stamp tool. However, in practice there is not a great difference in the two kinds ”effect limiters”, so here we will just adjust the Opacity value.

    4.   Now you are ready to clone. You need to zoom in strongly; press Control++ (plus symbol) a few times until the enlargement is 300%, which is quite suitable for this picture.

    5.   You need to use a suitable brush size. Choose a soft brush in 9 pixels size.

    6.   We start by repairing the boy’s face. Move the picture segment with the mouse and the space bar, if the face is not within the visible area.

    7.   Now you see the boy’s head in a good enlargement. You need to choose a source point, which is from where you pick up picture data. Hold the Alt key down, then you see that the mouse cursor changes to a ”gun sight”. Click once somewhere above the dark spot slightly to the left of the boy’s eyebrow:

    8.   Now you have selected the source point. Then move the cursor to where the cloning has to start (by the dark spot), and paint with the mouse across the blemish.

    So let us clone …

    Be patient in the following. Try to remove the black blemish and all the scratches from the boy’s face using the stamp tool.

    1.   When you select a new source point, you need to find an area with similar light/shadow conditions as the one to be worked on.

    2.   During the task you will probably need to vary the brush size – you will surely need to reduce the brush size to fine-tune the details. Right click somewhere in the picture – that opens the brush dialog; drag in the slider and reduce the brush diameter to 3 px or enter the number in the field:

    3.   Close the brush dialog by clicking outside the picture (or press Enter), and use the small stamp.

    4.   When you clone, remember to change source point often. When you clone in areas with hair or similar features, you always have to work with the hair direction – and set the opacity to a low or medium value (between 25% and 50%).

    5.   You wil also neeed the History palette, so you can cancel unsuccesful clone operations:

    6.   When you have repaired a couple of areas that you are satisfied with, it is a good idea to save the image file before you continue the retouching.

    7.   Clear the scratches from the image and save the image file.

    More about the cloner

    Let us take a brief look at the stamp cloner’s options, which are seen on the settings line:

    The checkmark in the Aligned field causes the relationship between source and target points to remain constant with respect to distance and angle. That becomes significant when you release the mouse button along the way and start cloning somewhere else in the picture.

    If you remove the checkmark by Aligned, the source point remains constant. But you probably have to test that to understand its meaning.

    The item Use All Layers is only relevant in multiple layer pictures. When that item is checked, the cloner will gather colors from all (visible) layers. Without a checkmark there colors will only be gathered from the selected layer. But it is also possible to clone between two pictures – as long as they are both open in Photoshop.

    The Blur Tool

    When you are finished cloning, there can easily be a little too much color difference in some of the picture areas. That can be ”repaired” with the Blur Tool, which is quite good for camouflaging small irregularities.

    1.   Click on the Blur Tool in the tool box (or press r):

    2.   The blur tool also has a brush size. Choose a soft brush at 13 pixels size.

    3.   In the settings line you need to indicate the desired effect strength of the tool. Start with a medium strength:

    4.   Now try to paint with the blur tool, which can smooth color differences in the transition between different areas. Start by ”dabbing” in a few places to learn the effect.

    5.   Use the blur tool to smooth all the small irregularities, which you could not remove with the clone tool.

    6.   Save the picture again.

    Dress up the picture

    It is often part of a retouching task to paint missing details into the picture. Here the happy child might need a small flash of light in the right eye.

    1.   Select the brush tool (press b).

    2.   Choose a hard brush in size 3 px.

    3.   Choose white for foreground color (press d x, which first gives default black/white, and then reverses the two colors).

    4.   Zoom well in on the eye. Now place a single white dot in the right eye – a small thing with a great effect!

    Save the picture.

    Adjusting light intensity and contrast

    The child picture is slightly too dark and is lacking in contrast. We can easily change that.

    1.   Select menu items Image --> Adjustments --> Brightness/Contrast.

    2.   Now you can adjust both brightness and contrast from this small dialog box:

    3.   This dialog box has (like many others) a checkmark in the Preview field. This means that you immediately can see your changes in the picture as you make them. Try that: Enter the value 3 in both fields:

    4.   You increase both brightness and contrast – but only a little. Can you see that the picture gets a little lighter and brighter?

    5.   To study the effect of an adjustment you can click repeatedly in the Preview field while you keep an eye on the picture:

    6.   It is easy to see what the adjustment will mean in practice. Here is just a suggestion: In many dialog boxes you can cancel the adjustment by holding the Alt key down. Try that while you have the dialog box Brighness/Contrast on your screen:

    7.   Notice the Cancel button. It becomes renamed to Reset when you hold the Alt key down:

    8.   Click on Reset, since you are going to try to make this adjustment in a different way. Click on the OK button.

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