The Absolute Power of Blend If

Lesson 6/10 - Blend If for Portrait Retouching


The Absolute Power of Blend If


Lesson Info

Blend If for Portrait Retouching

This is our little man, Matthew. He's our youngest. Yeah, he's got my wife's beautiful blue eyes. He just rips right through ya. But, those beautiful blue eyes can be even more beautiful if we use blend-if. (audience laughing) I love it. I feel like a blend-if salesman. So, if we zoom into those eyes there, now you know you can use these tools in Adobe Camera or on LightRoom too when you have your, you know, your local adjustment tools that you use on these things. But when you're in Photoshop and you're getting, you're, you know, you're grove going in Photoshop you don't wanna go into Adobe Camera, or the filter, and use the tools that are in there because it's easier to do that stuff. What we can do is we can go and we can pop on a curves adjustment layer. So when I do this, I tend to use whatever layer I'm gonna use first. So right now I'm using a curve. I'm gonna do that first. See what happens to the image globally. And then select where I want it to happen locally. So that's wher...

e we are gonna start combining things like opacity and blend modes and such like that. So, with this curve, I can make those eyes a little bit deeper by dropping down the darks within there. So if you're not familiar with how a curve works, it is my favorite tool. The quote's on the wall. Right here is your darkest dark areas. Right here are your mid-tone areas. And right here are going to be your highlight areas. So, if you move the curve down here, you're making your darks darker. Or your darks lighter. You're making your lights darker. Or your lights lighter. Now the cool thing about a curve is that when you put multiple points on there if you put a point here, here, and here you have your shadows segregated, your mid-tones segregated, and your highlights segregated. And the cool thing about that is like, you're in Adobe Camera, or you're in LightRoom, and you see shadows there, you move that shadow, what's it doing? Okay, it's making the shadow darker. Or it's making that shadow brighter. But what if I wanted to make the darkest dark areas in that shadow darker? Or the darkest dark areas in that shadow brighter while maintaining the mid-tones and the highlights? Can't do it. Is your mind blown yet. Boom. See, we're, we're even going beyond Blend-if. (audience laughing) This is the beyond section of Bed, Bath and Beyond. So, if we make that, if, I'll just do that right here. I'll just do that. So, if we make this darker, that's making all those dark areas darker. Now my blend mode is set to normal, which is gonna affect the luminosity, the reds, the greens, and the blues. So if you see color come with it and not just a darkening that's because that curve has not been told to do anything but affect the entire image globally. So we're getting into, we're getting into deep territory here. So I'll make those darks darker. Moke those highlights a little bit brighter. But more specifically, I'm trying to work on just the eyes. So, with this mask right here, I'm gonna press command or control I. And what that's gonna do it's gonna invert that mask so that nothing actually happened. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna use my brush. B for my brush tool. I'm gonna use my left bracket key to make the brush a little bit smaller. And d to default my colors back to white and black. And if I paint with white, his eyes are gonna start showing back up. And this is typically where people will stop, isn't it? Where they're like, oh, okay, I painted that mask in. We're good to go. Right? Awesome. Well, what if we only wanted that to affect the darkest areas of the eye and not the brightest areas of the eye? Because if you look at what we did with this curve we made that really dark, right? So if I double click inside this curve, and again, let's rename it. Eye mask. Ah little Matthew. And double click. Right here I want it to stay in those darkest areas of the eyes. But I want to protect it from the lightest areas of those eyes. So let's turn our color overlay on. Oh my gosh. (audience laughing) Scary little Matthew. No. He's gonna eat me. I'm gonna have nightmares about that. And he sleeps in the room next to mine. So, the really cool thing about this color overlay, which you're noticing right now, is what is it also showing us? It's showing us our mask. How cool is that. Like, we don't have to go into a quick mask. We don't have to do any of that stuff. We've got that color overlay right there that's gonna tell us exactly what this mask is affecting. So not only does the color overlay help you figure out what you're gonna do with Blend-if that color overlay also helps you see your mask. Which is really really important especially when we get into things like vignetting and stuff. So, with that on, I'm gonna go back to the blending options. And I'm gonna bring that highlight down. And look at that. The highlight areas of his eyes start to get protected. And the deepest portions of that start to get his eyes to look like my beautiful wife's. Look at that. Right there. If we press okay, and commit to that, turn that color overlay off, look at the difference there. Really boosted up the darkest area of that, I don't even know what that's called, is that the iris or something like that? Or, I don't know. I can never get the white part and the meaty part. Maybe I should when I'm doing tutorials like this. Know something about anatomy. But, the beautiful blue part looks even more beautifully blue. If I turn the effects off, that's with nothing happening at all in there. So now with this segregated, the things I can do with that eye are unbelievable. But because we also have, this is set to a curve right now right, if we go into that curve this is affecting the RGB, or the luminance of that curve. So here's where I can start adding some more blue to the eye. If I were to come into the RGB, change this to blue. If I bring this down, it's gonna make it more yellow. Here's where we need to start talking about complimentary colors and the idea of color theory. Color theory on a color wheel, I wish I had one right here, I always have one taped above my desk. If you don't have one, email me. I will send you mine. You can print it. Put it above your desk. I promise not to spam you. (laughing) A little business ploy there. So, with that, with color theory, whatever is on the opposite side of blue is going to be yellow. Color theory, opposite side of green is gonna be magenta. The opposite side of red is gonna be cyan. So, when we look at the curve, if I'm in the blue curve, if I bring it up, it's gonna make those eyes more blue. If I bring it down, it's gonna make them more yellow. So here's where you become like, the mixer of paint, almost like a painter. I'm gonna put a point right in the mid-tones. A point in the dark area. And a point in the light area. So now, look what I'm doing. I'm either removing blue from the darkest area of that blue eye or adding blue to the darkest area of that blue eye. You tell me any other tool that can do that for you. There isn't one. Because this is a curve. It works on the shadow areas, the mid-tone areas, or the highlight areas. So I can make the highlight areas of that darkest color of that blue more blue by bringing this up or more yellow by bringing it down. And the, the affects of this are really subtle, especially when we're talking about an eye here. But, it's those subtleties that will make your work flow. So if we look at the before and the after. There's the before. There's the after. Really deep, rich. And that's what we're looking for on the portraits, right? We want them nice, tack sharp, focus on the eyes. Not the nose. Which I tend to do because I'm a landscape artist, right? (audience laughing) So, because we have this on its own layer though, we still have all of those capabilities to do all of the things that we did in the last image where we could put another layer on top of here that's say a hue saturation adjustment layer. We can boost up the saturation quite a bit. Press alt or option. And steal all of the properties that are below that so now this HSL adjustment layer is stealing what's happening down here. Don't do the stuff over and over and over again. Use what you have available to you. You've already done all the work to get those eyes separated and get them really nice looking. Use whatever tools you want on top of that to boost up those eyes with the hue saturation or lightness or anything you wanna do at that point. Whether that's color grading, you've got unprecedented capabilities here. Where this also works out really well too, with portraits is let's say I were to make a curves adjustment layer and the highlight on his face might be a little bit too much for me, if it was. I could also, I could bring down the curves adjustment. I could double click on there. Put that color overlay on there. Go back to my blending options. And protect any shadowy areas. So now that curve is specific to the highlights, and only the highlights. Turn that color overlay off. Look at that. It's only affecting those highlight areas.

Class Description

Hidden deep within the Layers Styles panel is Blend if, one of the hidden gems of Photoshop®’s tools. Blend if sliders allow you to blend images together to achieve more natural, creative and impactful results. In this course, Blake Rudis will show you how to unleash the power of Blend if in a multitude of ways, from noise reduction to sharpening to color grading. By the end, you’ll realize there’s almost nothing you can’t do with this multifaceted feature.