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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 84 of 118

Helpful Practical Filters


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 84 of 118

Helpful Practical Filters


Lesson Info

Helpful Practical Filters

Let's go ahead and take a look at some more practical things. Those, I would say, are probably more of your creative effects, but let's take a look at some practical effects with filters. And more specifically, let's do noise reduction and sharpening. We're gonna do the same on this one image. So if I zoom in to this photograph, we can see that this is a relatively noisy image to start with right there. And I wanna fix up the noise on this. Noise reduction and sharpening are some of those things that, there's always the "When do you do them?" Do you do it first? Do you do it last? Do you noise reduction first and your sharpening last? I'm kind of a person who's like "You know what? I do it when I do it." There are people that avidly say "No, no, you can't sharpen that now, you've gotta sharpen that at the end." Well, maybe, but you can wherever it fits comfortably in your work flow is where you can do these things. If you're doing a lot of pixel-based things during your work flow, then...

yes, sharpening at the end is probably a good idea. If you're compositing and adding all these pixel-based layers on top of layers, you would do your sharpening at the very end of that whole stack. But if I'm just starting this off and I'm gonna be doing adjustment layers on top, adjustment layers don't technically care about the sharpness that's underneath because they're just calculation layers based on gradients, or gradient maps, or curves adjustment layers that aren't really gonna affect the sharpening of my image too much. So, I guess it just depends on your work flow and where you want to use them. For our sake, I'm just gonna do it right now at the very beginning of this work flow before we would move on. I'm gonna press Command or Ctrl + J on the background and I'm gonna start with noise reduction first. If we click on this, we'll just say "Noise Reduction." Go up to Filter, and go to Noise, and go to Reduce Noise. And you're gonna see something that looks totally different from Adobe Camera Raw. It's not the same engine. It's a different engine. You could, however, if you really like Adobe Camera Raw as a noise reduction engine, use that now instead of the Noise Reduction filter. There's nothing wrong with that. This is all just a matter of what you want to use in your work flow. Looking at this, there are two settings here, Basic and Advanced. You have your preset settings that you can create and then Remove JPEG Artifacting are your main tick boxes. Strength is gonna be how much of your sharpening are you doing and Reduce Color Noise is gonna be how much of that color noise gets reduced. As we've already talked about color noise when we talked about Adobe Camera Raw, if we boost up that color noise, if there is color noise in this image, it's gonna reduce that color noise. There's not a whole lot in this one. So, as we increase the Strength though, take a look at areas in the image that need noise reduction, like back here in this area. If I bring this strength up to something like 10, it's gonna be a lot of noise reduction happening really fast on the photograph and really hard. The one underneath it is called Preserve Details. If you move the Preserve Details up, it's going to try to preserve the detail areas within the image with that Strength setting that you have set. A strength of 10 is typically something that you're not gonna see too much, so I'm gonna drop the Strength down to something like seven and then bring down the Preserve Details a little bit here. What you'll find in here, also, is that there is, in the Advanced Settings, this would be just about it. I mean, it's pretty much that simple and it's pretty powerful when used in conjunction with Blend If and I'll show you that in a second but if you put Advanced on, this allows you to go into each individual channel within the image. So you have channels like your red channel, your green channel, and your blue channel. Typically, a lot of your noise is gonna exist in the blue channel. The blue channel just carries a lot of that data in with it. Green channel is typically gonna be more of your lighter, brighter areas, and then your red channel is kind of like a blend between the two of them. It just depends really, but typically, where I'm gonna find a lot of that noise is gonna be in the blue channel. So, I could go into the blue channel. It's gonna show you a black and white version of the image. If you bring up the strength on that, it's going to happen just in that channel, so essentially what it's doing is it's taking that channel that we have and we've showed you channels before, it's going into the channel of blue and blurring a little bit of that to make that noise reduction happen. In years past, noise reduction in Photoshop was not a very valid place to do it; it really wasn't. It was just that the engine that they had in there before would just blur the junk out of your photographs, and it didn't really look like it was reducing noise, it looked like it was just smudging your image and smearing your image a little bit. But now, it's awesome, so much so that I don't find myself ever leaving Photoshop. It has everything that I need, even now with the noise reduction being so great in both Adobe Camera Raw and the filter. So if I press okay here and commit to that, it might be a pretty heavy-handed noise reduction and that's okay because we still have all of our settings to use with that layer. It's its own layer, right? So we can use things like Opacity. We can use things like Fill. We can use things like Blend If and Blend If is definitely something that I do when I reduce my noise. Typically, noise reduction needs to be done on dark areas, right, because that's where a lot of our noise tends to live. So if I wanna protect my highlight and midtone areas from that noise reduction and allow that midtone and highlight area underneath my image to show through, if I double click on this Noise Reduction and I look at my Blend If settings, let's go ahead and turn on our Color Overlay to make this easier to see. I'll turn on Color Overlay, go back to Blend If, and move this down. Now, what that's telling me is "Hey, anything that's magenta right now, "that is where our noise reduction is happening." Everywhere else on this photograph, these areas that are showing through, no noise reduction is happening there. And that's ideally what I would like. I don't want noise reduction to be a global thing. I want noise reduction to be a local thing. So as we talk about noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw, on your raw file, the noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw is global. The sharpening is local. Here, we're making a very local noise reduction on just the areas that are dark, and not the areas that are light or midtone. And if I wanna clean that up a little bit, Alt or Option to split and feather that, and now we've got a really nice noise reduction that's pinpointed on our shadow areas. If you don't wanna see the magenta anymore 'cause we're done with our Blend If, just turn that off, press okay. Now if I zoom into this image, turn this layer on and off, especially right back in here, look at this area and then look at this area. Very little noise reduction is happening on here, and the only noise reduction that's happening on here is the noise reduction that needs to happen because this dark area matches the profile of that dark area. If I turn that back on, nice, smooth noise reduction there, that's something I can live with. I don't tend to be very heavy-handed with my noise reduction. I tend to be very delicate with it. I don't like going too far.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!