Deke's Techniques 498: Correcting Shadows with Dehaze

Deke's Techniques 498: Correcting Shadows with Dehaze

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shares a way to use  the (relatively) new Dehaze filter in Camera Raw/Lightroom for fixing uneven shadows a family portrait.

My guess is that most people think of the Dehaze filter primarily for, well, removing hazy light from landscapes as Deke initially demonstrates in the video. But it turns out that Dehaze can be efficiently useful for quickly balancing out the inevitable shadow issues in a group shot.

Before Dehazing shadows

It's not that unreasonable or uncommon for the shadows in a group portrait to vary throughout the portrait. Fone thing, it would be boring for everyone to have their head at exactly the same angle with respect to the light source(s). And, you know, each person casts their own unique shadow. By applying Dehaze, in one move of a slider, Deke balances out the shadows and makes this notable improvement:

After dehazing shadows

Personal aside: I've noticed that Dehaze is a great first strategy for underwater photos. Check out the difference between a Dehaze 0 and 100 on this sea star I found lolling about in a mucked-over discarded container in the Lembeh Strait.

A sea star before and after Dehazing in Camera Raw

Deke's Techniques, clearing the haze in your images and your mind! Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 496: Turn off the Creative Cloud Start Screens

Deke's Techniques 496: Turn off the Creative Cloud Start Screens

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke considers the new Start screen that pops up in Creative Cloud applications when you have no other file open. He then, almost immediately, considers how to turn it off.

I can imagine that (like many other features added by Adobe in order to be helpful) this screen which displays your recently (sort of) opened files, will in fact, be helpful to some---whilst remaining helpfully irritating to others.

One reason might be that it doesn't actually always work, such as when you've moved a file since you last "recently" used it, in which case nothing happens (and you end up right back where you started if it had never been there.) We've all seen mysteries appear in our "possibly recently used file" list, and this is just a graphical representation of that ever-moving inscrutable target, after all.

My guess is that you can find the checkbox (Preferences > General) that lets you turn this screen off by yourself (you're trained dekeOlytes, after all). But this video will also show you why (or why not) you might want to.

Setting your Start screen preferences in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques, providing relief from unintentionally painful irritation every week. Beep when done, my friends.

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Deke's Techniques 495: Turn off Live Rectangle Widgets in Illustrator CC

Deke's Techniques 495: Turn off Live Rectangle Widgets in Illustrator CC

In this week's free Deke's Techniques movie, Deke examines the new Live Rectangle feature in Adobe Illustrator CC 2015. And after doing so, he sets about figuring out how to turn most of it off.

Thing is, while many "live" dynamic features in Illustrator are quite useful, this one can easily lure you into altering your current rectangle when you're really just trying to draw a new one.

Hiding the bounding box doesn't help. Here is my artist's rendering of all the widgetry that's involved in a "live" rectangle.A very busy rectangle, with all of the shape widgets in your face.

So, check out the movie to see a) how it works, and b) how to make it stop.

For those of you who are too frustrated to wait, here's the icon you want to search for in the Control Panel. (You'll find it somewhere near the word Shape.)Hide the shape widgets in Adobe Illustrator CC 2015If you're a member of Lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he (more favorably) reviews some other Live Shapes, namely ellipses and polygons. Not a member? You can get 10 free days to check it out by signing up at lynda.com/deke. During that time you can watch anything in the entire library, including the entire oeuvre of Monsieur Deke lui-même (as well as all the oeuvres of les autres industry experts).

Deke's Techniques, dedicated to keeping you sane every week. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 493: War of the Worlds, The Sun Attacks (Using Blend Modes in Photoshop)

Deke's Techniques 493: War of the Worlds, The Sun Attacks (Using Blend Modes in Photoshop)

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke shows you how to use blend modes, cloud filters, and luminance exclusion sliders to basically portray the sun attacking the earth. It's Photoshop Extreme Global Warming, people.

(Hmmm. Last week, San Francisco was attacked a sinister, but awesome looking, dinosaur, now this? I think the 2016 US Presidential election might be interfering with Deke's optimism about the world. Oh, well, at least when Deke goes dark, it's always bright and colorful.)

So, the orb that attacks the word here is basically our own sun:

The sun, preparing to attack the earth with killer lightning in Photoshop

And the killer rays it emits are actually this spectacular but-not-yet-deadly-solar-powered lightening:

Ordinary lightning, about to be made lethal by the Sun and Photshop blend modes

 

By applying several (and by that, I mean at least nine) rounds of the Difference Clouds filter, then using the Linear Light blend mode (in concert with the luminance exclusion sliders in the Layer Effects dialog box), this happens:

Sun using deadly lightening (and Photoshop Blend modes) to attack earth

It always zaps my mind when Deke uses those sliders under the "Blend If" option. Especially when he uses the Alt/Option key to break the arrows apart. But if ever I was to begin to understand how to use this advanced luminosity control, this video might be it.

If you're a member of Lynda.com, or you take advantage of the free 10-day trial by going to lynda.com/deke), there's an exclusive movie this week in which Deke shows you how to make killer attacking clouds using nothing but blend modes (and that If Then command.)

When clouds attack, courtesy of Photoshop blend modes

If you want to understand Blend Modes on a deeper level, you should check out Chapter 23, "Blend Modes," in the recently updated Photoshop CC 2015 One-on-One: Advanced course. (If you checked it out before the holiday break, there are new chapters to be enjoyed, including this Blend Modes deep dive.)

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Deke's Techniques 492: Helping Your 3D Dinosaur Escape to the Big City

Deke's Techniques 492: Helping Your 3D Dinosaur Escape to the Big City

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke takes our PixelSquid 3D dinosaur out of the "natural" environment we created for him last week, and gives him a night on the town in San Francisco.

During which, for compositional reasons, Deke changes the direction of the Golden Gate bridge, which, in real life might cause some major traffic headaches as well as making it very hard to find Sausalito.

So sure, those San Franciscans familiar with the Bay Area in real life might take exception with Deke's casual repositioning of the Pacific Ocean---but in  dekeLife, there's a dinosaur on the loose, so dekeAnciscans have bigger problems than geographic chaos.

3D Dinosaur from Pixel Squid placed to run wild in San Francisco

Ultimately, giving our dino dude a night out in The City is primarily a matter of changing the color details for the new environment--by adjusting the existing layers from last week's project. So, gone are the greens and yellows of his previously primordial landscape, replaced by the appropriately orange and purples of a nighttime metro skyline.

Additionally, the depth-of-field effect that Deke created last week (once again facilitated by the the built-in masking layers provided by PixelSquid) can be repurposed as well, with a few minor adjustments to the blur filter and layer mask.

Deke's Techniques, making sure even dinosaurs get a glamorous night out once in a while. Read more » 

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