Class Introduction: Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw
And now we're gonna slide in to talking about retouching essentials. And I mention essentials because we'll have a different session that is on advanced retouching. But we need to start somewhere, so let's start with the essentials. Let's head over to Photoshop, and also to Bridge. And the first thing I'm going to talk about is the limited retouching we have available in Adobe Camera Raw. One of the things that Camera Raw is great for is if you ever have sensor dust specks. Where if I open an image, like here I'll double click on a Raw file and I can see this blurry, kind of blob, up near the top. They usually look like round, just shadowy objects. That's where a speck of dust has fallen on your camera sensor and it's usually in the same spot on each image. Well what's really nice when using Camera Raw is you could open multiple images, if you simply select multiple images and then choose open in Camera Raw, they would usually appear as thumbnails down the left side and then you could ...
choose select all over on the left side as well to select all of them. And if I retouch out a single sensor dust spot from one of the images, it would automatically apply the same change to all the other images that are selected. And therefore, if that sensor dust speck got added when you changed lenses, then you could take all the pictures you took after changing lenses, select them all, go in there and do one little retouch to get rid of a sensor dust speck and suddenly, you've removed it from all of those pictures. Now, I don't have images set up to demo that but I wanted to mention it because it's one of the big advantages of using Camera Raw here. But let's get into the limited retouching that we have here in Camera Raw because remember that everything that happens in Camera Raw, we had a separate session about Camera Raw, we described that it's saved in what's known as metadata. That means it's saved as only text. Just like your image includes the shutter speed, camera serial number and camera model something was shot with, well that's also how it stores any changes we make in Camera Raw. And so it's limited in what it can do, simply because that's how things are saved and you're limited on what you can save in text. So, here, I'm going to go in Camera Raw to the top of my screen where I have all the tools and there I'm going to find a paintbrush tool that has some blobs around it. That's the spot removal tool. And with that tool active, I can change my brush size over on the right side here and how soft the edge is on my brush below that. I can also change those settings using my keyboard. If I use the square looking bracket keys that are found right above the return or enter key on your keyboard, you can make the brush larger or make the brush smaller. And if you hold down the shift key when you do the same thing, you can change how soft the edge of the brush is. Now, when I'm getting rid of sensor dust specks, I usually use a hard edge brush and I get a brush that is just the littlest bit larger than the sensor dust speck. We need it to be large enough where the edge of the brush will be touching the surroundings and not making contact with the sensor dust spot. Then you click your mouse button and it's going to choose an area from the surroundings to copy from and then you'll end up seeing a red dash circle for the area you are retouching and a green dashed one to indicate where it chose to copy from. And so, I see one other sensor dust spot right here, I'll move my cursor on top of it and click. And you can see that it automatically chooses where you'd like to copy from. Well, on occasion, it will copy from an area that would be inappropriate. And so you can grab that green circle and drag it wherever you'd like. And so if it happened to copy a little bit of the balloon, and therefore you see some detail of the balloon there, you could manually move it or an alternative is if you go on your keyboard to the forward slash key, that's the one that's right next to the shift key. At least on a Mac keyboard, it also has the question mark on it. If you press that, it will force it to go to a different location to copy from. And you can press that as many times as you want, so if it messes up and copies from some detail that's inappropriate, just press that key enough times that it chooses from an appropriate area. When I'm getting rid of things like sensor dust spots, on the right side of my screen, there's a choice where I can choose between cloning and healing. And you should know that I usually use the setting called heal. We'll talk a lot about the difference between these two when we get into Photoshop but in general, cloning means just make a blatant copy from one area and put it somewhere else without doing any extra work to make sure that it matches that area. Healing, on the other hand, will copy from another area, but when it applies it, it makes sure that it matches, both the brightness and the color of whatever is right around the edge of where you applied it. And therefore, it's only healing that's going to make sure it matches both the brightness and color of the surroundings. If I ever set this to clone, that's when I need to be careful with the feathering setting that's here. Because if something doesn't precisely match the brightness or color of where I put it, I'm going to need it to blend in with the surroundings, otherwise I'll see an exact circle of where I've applied it. But as long as I leave it set to heal, I can work with a hard edge brush. Then, if I go below these sliders, you're going to find a choice called visualize spots. And turning that on will change the appearance of your picture to make it so it will be easier to find any sensor dust spots. But you will need to adjust the slider that's found here to get it so you can see them. Most of the time I have to have it near the high side and now I start to see little circles appearing in my image that don't look natural to the image. So I'll go to this one and just click. Another. That's where we had other sensor dust spots that I just hadn't noticed yet. And I see a few other hints of them here. Once I've gotten all of those done, I might adjust the visualize spots slider a little bit just to see if any others show up with a slightly lower setting. And there might be one hidden right there. And then I can turn off it's check box. And you see these overlays. If you want to see a clean version of your image without those little circles on your image, then there's a check box near the bottom called show overlay. And if I turn that off, you'll see it without those circles. If you turn it back on, then you'll see them and if you need to adjust any of them, you can click on it and only after clicking on it will you see it's source. And you can either hit that forward slash key to force it to pick a different area to copy from or you can manually drag to an appropriate location. So that's what I'm going to do for sensor dust specks. Now, let's click done and move on to a different image where we don't just have dust spots. Here's another raw file, if I double click on it, in this case we have a church in Iceland. I'm going to go to the same retouching tool at the top of my screen and I'll turn on first visualize spots. And I can see some smaller spots in this one. So I get a smaller brush, but one at least the tiniest bit larger than the spots because it needs to be touching the surroundings. Whatever is on the outer edge of that circle is what it's going to try to match when it comes to color and brightness. So first, I'll get rid of those sensor dust spots. Going for the small ones to begin with and then I'll change my brush size if I need to tackle some larger ones. And I did all of those with the setting called healing. Then I'll turn off the visualize spots check box and I'll zoom up on my picture. And I notice, and you can zoom up, by the way, on the lower left there is a little plus and minus or you can use standard keyboard shortcuts, same kind of ones you would use in Photoshop. But here, there's a little electrical box on the side of the building that I'd like to remove. And let's see if it can do an okay job with that. I will get a larger brush so I'm closer to the size of that. And instead of just clicking and letting go, what you can do is click and before you let go, drag to define an area. If you need one larger than your brush size. And that's useful if you don't need a big round spot. So then I let go and it's hard to tell if it did a good job or not because of the shapes that are drawn, so I'll turn off show overlay in the lower right and I can see it's off a little bit. So here I can see that the line is not continuous. I'll hit the forward slash key to force it to pick from a different spot, do that multiple times, and I notice it's just doing a terrible job, almost always here. And so that's when I would come over here and manually move this. So I'll turn on show overlay so I can see this a little better and then I just start repositioning this until the vertical line that's there looks more continuous. Then turn off show overlay and I think that's looking a little bit better. Then, on occasion, you'll need to switch to the choice called clone. The main time you'll need to do that is when something is bumping into the edge of another object and you don't want whatever change it is you're putting in to match the color of that object. For instance, if I want to get rid of this small little area. This thing, if I wanted to stop getting rid of it right where this white trim ends, well then I would be working right up to the edge of this bluer area. And unfortunately, it would start to try to blend in with the blue. So on occasion, you'll need to set this to clone when you don't need it to match. But in this case, I probably can still get rid of that if I just come in here and just stop right on the edge. It doesn't look quite right so I'll hit the slash key again and again and see if it gets an okay lineup. Right there's not too bad.