How Do I Do That In Photoshop?

How Do I Do That In Photoshop?
Scott Kelby
Rocky Nook, 288 pages, $39.95

How Do I Create a Lens Flare Effect?

Add a new blank layer by clicking on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Press D to set your Foreground color to black, then press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill this layer with black. Next, go under the Filter menu, under Render, and choose Lens Flare. When the dialog appears (seen above left), you can mess around with the settings if you like, but the default settings are probably the best. So, at this point, just click OK and it applies a lens flare to the black layer. Now, to get that lens flare to blend into your image, go to the top of the Layers panel and change this black layer’s blend mode from Normal to Screen, and the lens flare becomes part of your image. You can reposition your lens flare using the Move tool (V), but depending on how you reposition it, you might see a hard edge along one or more sides. If that happens, click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (it’s the third one from the left), get the Brush tool (B), choose a large soft-edged brush from the Brush Picker up in the Options Bar, and then paint in black over the hard edge to blend it.

How Do I Create a Spotlight Effect?

There are two ways to do this, and the one I use most often is this: Go under the Filter menu and choose Camera Raw Filter. Click on the last tool in the toolbar at the top—that’s the Radial Filter (J). In the Radial Filter panel on the right side of the window, click on the – (minus sign) button to the left of the Exposure slider four times. This resets all the other sliders to zero, but lowers (darkens) the Exposure to –2.00. At the bottom of the panel, make sure Effect is set to Outside, and then click-and-drag the Radial Filter over the part of the image you want to have a spotlight effect added to. As you drag, it creates an oval shape, and because you chose Outside for where the effect is applied, everything outside that oval is darkened by 2 stops (–2.00), and it creates that spotlight effect. To resize the oval, click-and-drag any of the little control handles on the top, bottom, or sides of it. To rotate it, move your cursor just outside its border, and it changes into a double-headed arrow. Now, you can just click-and-drag up/down to rotate it. The other method for creating a spotlight effect is to open an image, then go under the Filter menu, under Render, and choose Lighting Effects. This adds a spotlight effect, but the default one is pretty bad. I recommend going up to the Presets pop-up menu (in the left side of the Options Bar), and choosing Flashlight. Once it appears over your image, you can click-and-drag the spotlight where you want it. To change the size, click-and-drag the outside circle. To change the brightness (intensity) of it, click-and-drag around the white part of the inside circle.

How Do I Create a Soft-Focus Background Look?

Go under the Filter menu, under Blur Gallery, and choose Iris Blur. When you do this, it creates a large oval in the center of your image with a slight blurring outside the oval. To resize the oval, click-and-drag on the edge of it. To move it, click on the pin in the center and drag it where you’d like it. To rotate it, move your cursor near one of the control points on the oval, and it changes into a double-headed arrow. Now, you can just click-and-drag up/down to rotate it. You can increase the amount of blur by going to the Blur Tools panel (which now appears on the right side of your screen) and dragging the Blur slider to the right (or just click on the white part of the ring around the pin and drag). This is kind of designed to emulate the soft-focus, shallow depth-of-field from shooting a telephoto lens with a wide aperture (creating a bokeh effect when you have bright areas in the background). Because of that, in the Effects panel (which also appears on the right), you can control the brightest out-of-focus areas, as well as the color of the bokeh and range of light where it appears. Drag the Light Bokeh slider to the right a bit, and you’ll instantly see how it affects the bright areas in the blurred background area. I normally don’t mess with these sliders, but it’s nice to know they’re there…ya know…just in case.

How Do I Create a Tilt-Shift (“Tiny Town”) Effect?

Go under the Filter menu, under Blur Gallery, and choose Tilt-Shift. This brings up the Blur Tools panel on the right side of the screen, and you’ll see four horizontal lines appear over your image. The area inside of the two solid lines in the middle is sharp, the two dotted lines on either side are transition areas where it blends from sharp to very blurry, and everything outside those dotted lines is very blurry. The area inside these lines is where the effect is most visible, but for this effect to work, honestly, it really depends on the type of image. The images that seem to work best (and make the scene look most like a toy model) are those that were taken from a high vantage point, looking down into a town or scene. With that type of image, it usually looks really good. You can increase the intensity of the effect by going to the Blur Tools panel and dragging the Blur slider to the right (or just click on the white part of the ring around the pin in the center and drag). You can rotate the lines by moving your cursor near a control point on one of the solid lines, and your cursor will change into a double-headed arrow. Now, just click-and-drag to rotate. To move them, click on the pin and drag it where you’d like it. To expand the transition area (the area that goes from sharp to blurry), just click directly on the lines and drag in/out.

How Do I Get a Dreamy-Focus Look?

There are a number of different ways to do this, but I’ll tell you what I do: In the Layers panel, duplicate the Background layer by clicking-and-dragging it onto the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the panel (it’s the second one from the right). Then, go under the Filter menu, under Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. When the filter dialog appears, enter 20 pixels, then click OK. Now, go back to the Layers panel and, near the top right, lower the Opacity amount to 20%. This gives you that soft-focus effect without making your image look too blurry.

How Do I Create a Desaturated-Skin Look?

There are a number of different ways to do this, and one way is to first duplicate the Background layer by clicking-and-dragging it onto the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (it’s the second one from the right). Then, go under the Filter menu and choose Camera Raw Filter. In the Basic panel, simply drag the Vibrance slider to the left until the skin looks desaturated. This actually desaturates the color from the entire layer, but that’s why we created this duplicate layer before applying the Camera Raw filter. Click OK, and now we can add a layer mask to this layer and just paint the desaturated look over the subject’s skin. So, click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (it’s the third one from the left), then press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to Invert this mask, filling it with black. This hides your desaturated layer behind a black mask. Press X to set your Foreground color to white, get the Brush tool (B) and choose a soft-edged brush from the Brush Picker up in the Options Bar, then paint over your subject’s skin, and it now has the desaturated look.

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