Filters and Smart Objects

Lesson 8/21 - Gradient Maps & Motion Blur for Photographs


Filters and Smart Objects


Lesson Info

Gradient Maps & Motion Blur for Photographs

Go. Gradient map for coloring. Yeah, if a-- Let me talk about this for a second. I'm gonna talk about two different things real quickly. First of all, the emotion. Look for the little texture that we have going here. Do you see it's pixeling? Let me zoom in a minute, so you can see this. It's got some grain to it and I thought, "Well, that's probably not right, that's just blurred." I know out there in the universe there are lots of actions and plug-ins that will give you guys this kind of ambient look. I found this plug-in's really buggy, and I'd rather just have a digital file that I can put in, rather than relying on a plug-in that, when Photoshop upgrades, it won't work. You have Lightroom actions, presets, that you can get to do this, and that's cool. Presets are fine and cool, but what happens with pre-sets I find is, where's your control? Someone else wrote it. Someone else made it, and then if you don't understand the architecture of how it's done, when the upgrade comes, and...

it doesn't work, or your system crashed, or you can't find it, or gremlins have hit your machine, you're buggered, and in this way, you can actually control it yourself. That's why I'm kind of a big fan of the make sure system. Like that, I know you can get a lot of presets that will colorize your images, but rather than buying something that's pre-made, why don't you learn things like Gradient Map that you can do on your own, and you can control it. What I've got here, it's just a adjustment layer, called gradient map. I wanna be super 100% clear, this is not a gradient. It is a gradient map. On that gradient map, it will load whatever gradient you have going on. I'm gonna click on the icon for that gradient. What you'll see is all these color houses. What I did on this particular file-- I'm gonna cancel that just for a second. You can't see it affecting the image because the eyeball is off. I'm gonna turn the eyeball on that layer. Now you can see it. Click on the color bar. When I click on the color bar, what you're gonna see is I've got cools in my shadows. I've got warms in my mid tones, and warms in my quarter tones. As you move these color houses, you'll see it affects different parts of the image. Can you see that? I know it's very subtle. It's actually darkening and colorizing the quarter tones. I can take the mid tone house, click on the color, and say, "Oh, do I like that warm orange, "or do I want it green? "Or do I want it yellow?" Preview's live for you right there? Yep. Oh, little purple. Wow. Purple's the color of the year, I believe. Maybe, I don't know. It could be the color of the year. Anyway, so again this is color grading, using a color gradient. It's very, very flexible. It is on the mode called Color. As I said, we're kinda talking about blend modes in this section here. If I put it on Normal, it'll look slightly different. If I put it on Normal, it's gonna look slightly different. The reason it's only slightly different is twofold. One, it's on a black and white image. And two, the opacity is down to 25. That's Normal. On the opacity 100, this is color, on the opacity 100. Again, the change is kinda slight, but it's because it's on a black and white image. On a color image, the change will be huge. Cool? Excellent. Could I do a couple, two, real quick, motion blurs? Please. Just to show them the power's on blur? Absolutely, but we have this whole blur section coming up, so it's perfect. Right one. Blur, blur is blur. Back to this motion blur. I told you that the old style motion blur, what you got was pretty much one direction. It was gangs of fun. Those little kid and little babies, once you throw a motion blur on them, they're just cuter, get cuter, the littler they go. If you can get a little kid in a stroller or a little walker and put a motion blur on them, just great, man. You can charge 50 bucks all day for those. What was troubling was you could only get straight lines. With this blur on path, now you can get the swing set. It gets a curvature, so that motion blur, if you had a girl on a swing, and you threw a straight motion blur on it, it wouldn't look super realistic. With this new blur on paths, you can take that path, beziate, get a curve to it that would mimic the arc of the girl, the track she would actually travel. Makes it a little more realistic. I dig this very much. It's awesome. It's really a powerful tool. I did wanna reiterate once again that the blur gallery, which is fantastic, and we have a graphic that we'll give you. It comes in the handout. You've got field blur, tilt-shift, iris blur, path blur. You can do them all on the same image. Don't, just don't. Bad. Have some self control. Do one, 'cause you're gonna find it's buggy. Don't you think? If you ask too much of it, it'll buck back. Yeah, and I'm gonna-- Let's be honest about this. I've been doing Photoshop a really long time. It has taken me a long time to get into this. I find this a little overwhelming. There's a lot of choices. So, proceed with caution, but go ahead and try. Just because you can, doesn't mean you oughta. Just because you can, doesn't mean you oughta. That is very, very, very good, very good advice. But please experiment with it. I think the images that Simon's got going on with these kids, are a perfect example of trying it out. It can be buggy. You know, we have talked about this before. I know a lot of people wanna go really quick. Being fast is, "Oh, give me the quick keys, "give me the this." I personally have this philosophy. It's about get good and then you will get fast. Specifically in this type of arena and these filters, don't try to be fast. You don't need to be fast. Get good, have some skills, and then you will get fast.

Class Description

Learn how filters and smart objects can enhance your images when you incorporate them into your retouching workflow. Make adjustments to your file without overwriting your original image. Professional high-end retoucher Lisa Carney will show you the many tools within filters and how to use them to improve and speed up your post-processing workflow. You’ll learn about:

  • Transforming edit functions
  • Camera Raw Techniques
  • Understanding Liquify
  • Blur and distort techniques
  • Adding textures and stylized looks
  • Incorporating third party plugins into Photoshop® like Alien Skin Software and Nik

Gain more control over your portraits or product retouching by understanding and incorporating filters and smart objects.


Pat Saizan

This is one of the best courses I have taken on Creative Live. Just amazing. This is geared towards intermediate to advanced Photoshop users. So happy to see an advanced class!! Very happy to see Alien Skin being used as a part of this course. Highly recommend this course.

a Creativelive Student

I can't say enough about this class. I am looking forward to watching this again and applying all I have learned at my leisure. Lisa Carney is am amazing instructor and I loved Simon as well, they did an awesome job! Just the handouts alone are well worth the price of the class. Thanks for another class filled with excellent content and lots of laughter. I own all of her classes and will certainly purchase any other's she instructs. Way to go Lisa! Well done and Exceptional!

Jeph DeLorme

Great class presented in a way that keeps your attention. This class is packed full of fun ideas with a ton of great take-aways for your 'bag of tricks! I would recommend this class 100%!