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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 98 of 118

Matte and Cinematic Effects


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 98 of 118

Matte and Cinematic Effects


Lesson Info

Matte and Cinematic Effects

There is another type of effect that we can go for here that's kinda like a, an artistic matte effect and we see this a lot lately. It's the cinematic matte effect, or the cinematic approach to our photos. And it just gives it an overall kind of more moviesque, picturesque style to the photograph. And a cinematic effect can be achieved by using a curves adjustment layer, just using it in a more clever way and it can also be used, be made by using a selective color adjustment layer. Again stacking all these things up and thinking about how these cinematic matte effects can be used with things like black and white which we'll take in approach here in a second. So we'll go ahead and do this, we'll just grab a curves adjustment layer and with these cinematic effects what we're tryin' to do is we're tryin' to take all the darkest dark areas in the image and just lift them up a little bit just make them, make their profile a little less black and a little bit more on the gray side of things.

You see this in video all the time because video tends to be really contrasty, my couch videos that I do as I made reference to before if I'm wearing a dark shirt and I've got dark shadows in there the video looks really contrasty and gritty and I want it to feel more safe and more welcoming so I'll take those black areas and I'll just slightly lift them up a little bit. And we can do the same thing with a black and white image that might be a little too punchy, a little too hard edged just go ahead and lift those black areas up a little bit. So to do that we are literally going to lift the black area. As we said before with the curves, this is your dark area, this is your midtones, this is your highlights. These little handles at the bottom, you don't see me movin' those too much, but these little things at the bottom and the top can also be moved to pinch in your black and your white point. So when you are working with the curves adjustment layer if you move this curve over this way, you're basically telling all the midtone area in your histogram that this is the new white. If we were to turn this this way we're telling all of that information there in that midtone area from here all the way to here, this is the new black, this is your new starting point for black, forget about all this stuff and that's how we get all this nasty pits and pockets of black in the image. However if we take it the opposite direction we're now telling black to get a little bit more onto the midtones, now we're telling black that the new black is actually a middle gray. If we do the same thing with our lights, come over here to this side, we're telling our lights that the new white is now a middle gray. So instead of clipping in and saying that the new midtones are white, we're now telling the whites to become more gray, so you see how you can maneuver that around on the curve there. So if I wanted to lift my blacks to get that cinematic effect I would just come down here to these shadow areas and lift them up. If I wanted to protect what's going on to the rest of the image, 'cause now what's happening with the curve, it's going here, zunk, all the way up to here, so you can imagine all the pixels that are happening between this area of darkness all the way to this midtone are also getting lifted all the way up until very smallest nth degree of the highlights are also getting lifted. Well if we don't want that we just start to add some points. So I'll put a point here, I'll put a point here, and I'll put point here. And now what that allows me to do is it allows me to lift those black areas and look at how they just, it's more warm, it's more inviting, it's more comforting. Now this is a really big jolt, by lifting those blacks to that area, but it's an extreme so that you can actually see it it might be more difficult for you to see this than I see it on my machine. So if I were to turn that curve off that's the before and that's the after. We're not just restricted there either. We can go into the red channel and what if we wanted to add, while we lift those black areas, what if we wanted to add a little bit of red or a little bit of cyan to those areas? That's what the red curve is for. If I add a point here, I can restrict that from being affected, add a point here, restrict that from being affected, add a point here, restrict that from being affected, and these can all be added in to actions, keep that in mind, okay? And then if I move this over, I'm starting to add some cyan into that black area. If I move it up, I'm adding red into that black area, you see that? So not only are my blacks being lifted up now, my shadow area is being lifted up now, I'm also adding a nice just sheen of red on top of that as well. So let me go ahead and add blue, so I add a point here, here, here. If I lift this up, it's gonna make that a little bit more blue, if I bring it to the right, it's gonna make it a little bit more yellow which kinda gets me back to the original which I don't really want, I'll just bring it up to about here like that. So let's go ahead and open up this image and because this is a curves adjustment layer watch what I can do, I can just take this curve, press and hold shift, move it over onto this one, and now I've added that effect to that black and white effect, do you see that? So lifting up those black areas, adding a little bit of that red, adding a little bit of that blue area to the black and white conversion that we've created here. So we're gonna minimize that. There's another place that we can make this cinematic look, this cinematic matte style effect, and that's gonna be over here in selective color. The point is here is that you don't necessarily have to use that curve if you're not comfortable with it, you could also use selective color, because in this drop down up here, we see blacks right? If I increase the blacks, it's doing the same thing that that curve would do by pinching over the the little black handle into the midtones, if I bring it down this way, it's gonna reduce the amount of black that exists in the color black, so we bring it all the way over here, guess what, black turns white, might be not quite the effect that I wanna go for but. If we wanted to add color to it, I've got those colors right here, so if the curve is a little intimidating for you, just try the selective color, go into the black area, drop the black amount of black that's in there and then maybe add a little bit of blue or a little bit of yellow to it by using this handle, if I bring it down it's gonna add blue to those black areas, if I bring this up it's gonna add magenta to those black areas, bring this up it's gonna add more cyan to those black areas, and now I get something that's just a little bit more interesting, a little bit more artistic, has a little bit more of my flair to it. And because this also is in a selective color adjustment, if I were to go into something like the color yellows I could also adjust the color yellows at the same time while I'm doing that. I could also use it almost like a split tone too if I went into my whites, I could add some color to those white areas, increasing the amount of white that's in those white areas, and add some color to those white areas to kinda split tone that a little bit too to get that cinematic look or that cinematic effect. This is really powerful on portraits. If we were to take our test image, bring this up, drag this over onto here, see what's happening with all of our photos, look at the difference in that portrait down there, just by adding that cinematic effect, notice what it's doing just like in my couch videos, look at that, it's lifting up those darker areas here, it's allowing those shadows to still exist there but to exist in a less contrasty way, to allow my face to come out a little bit more. But then look at what's happening to all the rest of the image too, look at what's happening to the interior, look at what's happening to our highlights and our shadows, look at what's happening to the different colors that we have in our image as we add that effect. Turn it on, turn it off, turn it on, turn it off. It's making a really beautiful looking sunrise look up here, it's really nice. So then if I wanted, if I was working on a sunrise and I wanted to continue with that I could go into any one of these colors, just within that selective color, that one layer is doing so much and we haven't even done anything with blend modes, we haven't done anything with blend diff on that, we haven't done anything with the opacity of that, that's just using the selective color, that's just taking that color palette, mixin' those colors together and getting the effect that we want on our image.

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.

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!!!!

Sonya Messier

I'm been using Bridge, Adobe Raw and Photoshop for 12 years. I thought I knew those programs until I started to follow Blake and do this Photoshop CC Bootcamp. This course is AMAZING. I love the way Blake teach, brakes down concepts and tools... excellent teaching qualities! I'm half way in this course and I change all my workflow already. Much better results and better use of what Adobe offer me. This course is an investment! When I will be done, I will listen it again. Great job and congratulations on your success Blake!