Adding Drama to your Images


Adobe® Photoshop CC®: Power Editing for Designers


Lesson Info

Adding Drama to your Images

So I'm gonna open this car file just here and I'm gonna clear, actually I'm gonna duplicate this particular layer, Command + J, Control + J, and I'm gonna clear the layer effects that I've got going on here. So if I right-click that and then choose Clear the Smart Filters from there, because that's the clue as to where this goes here. OK, so what I'm going to do is at work, this is another Camera Raw filter thing to start with here. So the thing that we need to do here, if I turn on the underlying layer, is we need to change the color of the car, the customer has asked us to make it a particular, or to make it red, not necessarily a particular red here, but a red car, make it look a bit more sporty for this ad, and also, because it's still you get a little bit of an illusion, because of some of the stuff that's worked on in the reflection there, but otherwise it looks very, very still. And that's a CGI rendered background in there. In fact, this is quite likely the whole thing's actual...

ly CGI rendered. Another thing from Adobe Stock here, this already licensed here. So I'm just gonna turn off the layer underneath and let's get the Camera Raw filter in, so Shift + Command + A, Shift + Control + A, to get to that. And the first thing we'll deal with is shifting that color. So bunch of different tabs across the top here. Let's take a little walk through some of these. So you see if I click here we've got Tone Curves, we've got Sharpening here, we've got HSL Adjustments, which we'll be coming back to in a minute, because that's where we're working, we've got Split Toning, which is a great way to introduce some super, super effects to your images, and then we've got a load of camera stuff there and some effects, those things are useful just there, but lots of camera stuffs, and then our settings, which we've saved already. In fact, if I just go over Dark and Gloomy, wow, that's quite dramatic if we do that. Here, let's go for Spooky nighttime. In fact, there we are, job done, right, see you later, bye. (laughs) So we've got those presets. You can see the power of those things. So we're gonna go to the HSL Adjustments and out of the three tabs we've got there, Hue, of course, the kind of name or the range on the color wheel of the color. Saturation, how much of the color is present. And Luminance, the brightness. Very rarely do you actually need to change that particular thing. We might change it a little bit in here. But this is orange, this car, just in case you can't tell, it is orange. And here I've got a slider that deals with Oranges. Now on the color wheel itself, which hopefully you're familiar with, it starts at red at zero degrees and 360, and makes its way around the digital color wheel, through all of the different other hues, until it ends up back at red again. So it goes from red, through orange, to yellow, to greens, to aquas or towards cyan in the middle there, which is the exact opposite of red. Through to the blues, to the purples, to magentas, and then you can see on the right hand side there back to red. Now another tip with Camera Raw, if I just zoom in on this region just for the moment, Camera Raw filter rather, and indeed Camera Raw itself, is stapler accident finger, there you go, that's the thing I like to call stapler accident finger. Not the official name for that particular interface component. But the idea is here is that you don't have to click on the slider to operate it. This tells me that if I mouse down and drag in the directions indicated there, so left to right, then it will change the values. Look, if I push over to the right you can see that orange getting really super, super hot in there now, to the point where it's actually starting to kind of peak in a few places and look a bit painterly. Another advantage with the Camera Raw sliders is if you double-click on any slider it resets it back to normal. So you don't have to try and drag it and park it back on zero. So my Oranges I want to push more towards red, so if I bring that over to the side, look at that, that's becoming more red just there. So I'm just gonna push that. If I go too much further you can see, just look carefully in the regions around the highlight. I'm just gonna hover over them with the magnifying glass here, the Zoom Tool. Magnifying glass, what century do I come from? The zoom lens there, look at that. Can you see there's a really hard edge that's apparent just there. I've just zoomed in on it for you to hopefully make it easier for you to see. Now that edge is actually there, but I'm accentuating it too much. Do you see if I push that back a bit then it disappears and the softness illusion is restored. So that's pretty much as far as I can go in terms of Hue shifting that. I can try and push Magentas, which is another component active in that color and even make the Yellows more orange. Look at that, if I push that can you see how they're kind of neutralized there. They were warm and hot in there. If I push them the other way now they're super, super hot. But they need to be just a little way over. If I come to Saturation now the Reds need to slightly more saturated. Again, this is very easy to overcook. And now if I push that forwards, like so, you can see how that works. OK, and if I just push the Magentas here more towards red again that is a component of that there and just warm those up. I might even increase the saturation on the Oranges slightly, maybe even drop that a bit. Sometimes, and this is a very, very tricky control, the Luminance will help. It'll make it, so this is like basically super, super brightness, and very rarely you need to do it. I'm just wondering if tuning that down ever so slightly towards dark, I think that's helping there, I think it's pretty good actually. Just make the Reds so much more so. There you go. How is that? Do you reckon that's red? I think that's red. There's a really wee, easy wee, there's any easy wee, if you are Scottish, to actually, of course, so you can take the easy wee to actually change the things in here. So there's any easy way to do it. If you tap P on the keyword, P toggles the preview, it does that in a few different areas inside of Photoshop, so orange and red. Orange and red. And there you go. And I could do a bunch of other things on top of that as well. I'm not using the Adjustment Brush in there and actually add it. I could introduce another layer if necessary. But let's just say for the purpose of this particular exercise that that's as far as we need to go. I don't wanna overcook it too much. I'm trying to just get the balance right for you on whatever screen that you're watching. Next is the thing of motion. Now sometimes, a good friend of mine actually is a photographer for Aston Martin and for Jaquar Land Rover, so he does all of these shots and sometimes he goes to these fantastic locations with Aston Martin and they'll find a nice curvy mountain road and they'll drive the Aston up there and either stop it or they'll continue to drive and (mumbling), it's Julian Calverley, he'll capture those things. But here's the thing, photography has got so good at working in light conditions that we're actually, we're capable of getting a sharp image with such a short exposure, especially with the kit he's got, he's got a 30,000 pound camera back on his main camera. But that it's so good that we sometimes lose the drama and the motion. And that's what's missing here in this shot. The color is one thing, but the dramatic effect, which you have to some degree in the sky there, the dramatic effect is actually the suggestion of motion. And that illusion you can tell just by looking at it that car's not really moving, because it has no motion in the wheels. I also do this, I do a lot of band stuff and musical performances, drummers in low light, capturing those now and they're frozen. The actual action and the drama from that shot is gone, so we need a way now to actually reintroduce that to make it more authentic and make it more believable and actually evoke what we're trying to do, 'cause that's the business we're in here. We're about eliciting some sort of emotion for some sort of commercial purpose, usually. We're not artists, we're not starving in a thing thinking about some topic. We're actually commercial people. Well, you may be, but that's, I'm not anyway. So what I'm gonna do is go to the Filter menu and the great thing is here just about all of this stuff now works on Smart Objects. And I'm gonna come down to the Blur Gallery and I'm going to add a Spin Blur. So if I choose that it switches out to the Blur Gallery workspace. And you see that quite a few things in Photoshop now are actually using task driven spaces really to optimize memory I think in there, to make sure that it's not loading resources that you don't need, and also to focus you on the job at hand. So I'm gonna get this widget, which appears automatically. You can see that as I move this across it's blurring things as I go. It's freaky, woo. And I'm gonna park it on the wheel, no pun intended with the parking thing there. Now I'm not actually parking it on the middle, I'm saying parking a lot, stop me, I'm gonna actually go slightly to the left of the hub of the wheel there, because I'm not looking at the wheel itself, I'm looking at the shape I want to get. And now I'm gonna move across to this edge. I'll get a curved arrow and I'm gonna bring this in and the ellipse that I'm creating here I kind of, I'm just rotating it around a shade as well, I kind of what to make that fit over the wheel like that. It's not quite there, it's also not very far away. And at these midpoint things that I'll make a change there, I want those to be quite tight there, so I'm gonna bring that in and rotate that around just a bit more. Might need to bring that down a shade. OK, there we go. I think that's around about where I wanna be here. Great thing is I can change this as many times as I want. So I now need to change the amount of blur. And you can either do that via the Blur widget that's here. If I drag that edge around you can actually see. Now that's way too much blur. It's moving, but not at warp nine or whatever other speed unit you think of for crazy, crazy speeds. I can change it there, like so, and it's really a blur angle that that's changing. This is not like using the Radial Blur filter in Photoshop. Completely different calculation here. Now if you can't use that widget then fortunately in the Blur Tools that you'll find on the right hand side inside the Blur Gallery you can actually change that using that slider, like so. So I'm just gonna drop that down I kind of think around about 10 degrees is pretty good there. That looks pretty good to me. At any time, by the way, I can also tap M on the keyboard to see the actual mask or I can if I'm not focused on an actual number. So let me just come along here and just click on the widget a second and tap M. Can you see the mask? Remember, white to reveal, black to conceal, so it's being hidden all around the rest of the image, just focused in that particular area just there. So I can change the Strobe Strength. These are all things that will change what you're actually seeing. I can change the number of Strobe Flashes. And if I increase the Strength here and the Flashes and also the Duration of those things you'll start to get a thing, think helicopter blades in a still image that you've seen. That's an effect of strobing in simple terms. If I move these things around you start, see that, seeing more than one spoke for all of those wheels. So there's lots of different components you can model in there to do that. All right, so I think it's fair to say I've got an illusion of successful movement there. Of course, I'd need to do another on the back wheel and that's simply add a pin there, like so, and then model that one as well. So bring that in away like so, bring that down, do that one just there and model that. It might need to be slightly different between the two axles possibly. You might want to change those around just a little bit. You might also want to just mask out a bit of that on the back there, 'cause it's gone about as narrow as that's gonna go. But one of the effects you've got when you do this is that color images have noise, that's a fact of life. Color images have noise inside of them. And when you do these kind of effects you're changing the noise, you're recalculating all the noise. And when you're blurring you're actually removing the noise. So you can see, if you did one of these things and it was on a big 48 sheet billboard poster, I'm assuming that's the same here as it is in the UK, the really, really big billboard posters, you can spot these things a mile off. Especially that, because they've got massive dots on them, the bigger the image, the bigger the dots get. And you can see, well hang on, that looks a bit odd. And you can tell that the effect has been applied. And the Photoshop team actually recognized that and what they did is they added this Noise tab here. Now all of the different blur types you can use at the top there have got an Effects tab, it's only available for Field, Iris, and Tilt Shift Blur, but you got this Motion Effects, which is only available for this one, and then you've got Noise, which I think is available for pretty much all of them. And this is where we can reintroduce a bit of that noise. And that may be that what you actually need to do here is to zoom in a bit, so you've got areas to compare against to kind of make sure that you're getting that Level amount right, and then you can bring up the noise here. This is another place, by the way, where we can use stapler accident finger. Technically it's 'cause I'm on the back widget there, so if I click on the front widget I be able to just change that. There you go. The grain amount, if I just push that up too far, can you see that? So it's gone all coffee shop background and that kind of thing. So I'm gonna drop that down just a bit. And so I just gonna be gentle, gently, gently with all of these things. Soft brush opacity, soft everything else. Then the size of the actual grain. All right, how rough the grain is, so its clumpiness factor here, Roughness. And if there's any color noise in there then you could put Color noise in as well. And change the Highlight priority there. All of those things will add up. And then you end up with a nice, convincing image. You gotta click OK at the top here. If you need the mask for working on later you can actually save the mask out to the channel. If you need a higher quality, slightly more computational time version there. You can preview, same as before. Then you can use those options at the top. If I hit OK, then go back out to the whole image I can very quickly show you what, so here there's still a little bit of that oval small blur, so what I'm gonna do with my Smart Filter there is click on that mask, get my brush, suitable size, just dial that one down with the bracket keys like so. Change with a bit of black just there, and just brush out that section. Nice and soft. You can sometimes soften these edges as well just there. And I think that's it. So if I turn off the Smart Filters here it was before, orange, not moving, here it is now, sporty red, whizzing along. Don't be intimidated by these things and invest the time in doing classes like this, invest the time in experimenting with the techniques, just don't think about the things like the 3D, don't think oh, it's 3D, I can't do that. You can. Pick something small for now. You've got access to all of this stuff and just play with it. And you're adding to what your set of strengths, makes you more well rounded as a designer to be able to do that, it makes you a more valuable proposition to a perspective employer or to a part of a team that you maybe already working in and possibly quite happy with. It just means that you're not, certainly with the 3D modeling and things like that, it means that you're not beholden to waiting for somebody else to provide you with that content. Even if you're only using it to comp together something that is just getting a concept across. They're all things to have there. So yeah, experiment with those things. Use the power of what the product does today rather than what it did 10 years ago.

Class Description

Are you really making the most of what Photoshop has to offer when editing and compositing your images? Instructor Tony Harmer thinks that maybe you're not—and challenges you to start thinking differently about the tool you think you know so well. In Adobe® Photoshop CC®: Power Editing for Designers Tony will demonstrate that you can work faster, introduce repeatable formulas and achieve amazing results in less time, with less effort.

In this class you’ll learn:

  • Newer, faster ways to achieve great results
  • Hidden tricks for faster work
  • Powerful effects with less layers

If you are spending way too much time in PS to get the results you are looking for Adobe® Photoshop CC®: Power Editing for Designers will speed up your efforts and enhance your creativity!


Michelle Mealing

I've only watched half of the class at this stage but am completely hooked. Tony uses some unique techniques that are going to make it into my arsenal. Thanks Tony. I can't wait to watch the rest.