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WEB DEVELOPMENT

Adobe Photoshop - Retouching Images
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-02-02

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    SEARCH DEV MECHANIC

    TOOLS YOU CAN USE

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    Adobe Photoshop - Retouching Images
    by GTS Learning

    Retouching Generally

    To remove dust marks and scratches
    • From the Filter menu's Noise sub-menu, select Dust and Scratches...

    The Dust and Scratches dialogue box is displayed.

    • Click on a dusty or scratched area of the image in document window

    The area will then show automatically in the dialogue box window.

    • Click on + or - to enlarge or reduce the preview image
    • Drag the Threshold slider to the left until it reads zero
    • Drag the Radius slider left or right until the defect disappears. Keep to the smallest radius possible
    • Increase the Threshold to the highest amount possible without re-displaying the defects
    • Click OK

    Blurring/Sharpening an Image Area

    To blur/sharpen part of an image

    • Select the Blur or Sharpen tool

    If the focus tool you wish to use is not displayed in the Tool palette, from the Focus Tools Options palette pop-up menu select the other tool.

    • From the Focus Tools Options palette pop-up menu, select a tonal range
    • Click-drag

    Blur will progressively soften an area. Sharpen will give more definition to an area.

    Tips: The tendency is to over-apply the focus tools so always select an appropriately-sized brush in the Brushes palette and set a low pressure, such as 20, in the Focus Tools Options palette.

    From the Display and Cursor Preferences dialogue box, select Brush Size to see the editing area of the brush you have selected.

    Lightening/Darkening an Image Area

    To dodge and 'print-in' part of an image

    • Select the Dodge or Burn tool


    The Dodge Tool

    If the toning tool you wish to use is not displayed in the Tool palette, in the Toning Tools Options palette pop-up menu, select the other tool.

    • Click-drag

    Dodge will progressively lighten an area. Burn will progressively darken an area.

    Tips: The tendency is to over-apply the toning tools so always select an appropriately-sized brush in the Brushes palette and set a low exposure, such as 20, in the Toning Tools Options palette.

    From the Display and Cursor Preferences dialogue box, select Brush Size to see the editing area of the brush you have selected.

    Altering the Saturation an Image

    Sometimes areas within an image lack sufficient colour (are under-saturated) or have too much colour (are over-saturated).

    Over-saturation is not necessarily a problem for images restricted to being displayed on screen. However it may be a problem if an image is to be printed because over-saturated areas won't reproduce accurately. This is because printing devices have a different gamut (range of colours) from monitor screens.

    Under-saturation is usually a subjective consideration, whatever the media concerned.

    To help you identify over-saturated areas, exclamation marks appear after the CMYK values in the Info palette when you pass the cursor over such areas. Additionally, a gamut alert triangle appears in both the Colour palette and Colour Picker if you select an over-saturated foreground or background colour.

    Over-saturated areas within images are also identified as grey pixels within the Gamut Warning mode. Over-saturated (out-of-gamut) colours can be brought within gamut by using the Sponge tool. This method allows you to alter the saturation locally on images where colour accuracy is of paramount importance.

    Alternatively you can let Photoshop automatically bring colours into gamut for you when you change the mode of an image from RGB to CMYK. See Preparing Images for Print.

    Note: Saturation is the extent to which colours are dulled or greyed. When you adjust the colour control on your television, you are effectively adjusting colour saturation.

    Continued...

    Altering Saturation Locally

    When you use the Sponge tool, it is best to have two document windows open, each in a different mode.


    The Sponge Tool

    To display out-of-gamut colours (window 1)

    • From the View menu, select Gamut Warning

    Out-of-gamut colours will show as grey.

    To open a second document window (window 2)

    • From the Window menu, select New View
    • From the View menu, select CMYK Preview

    The preview simulates how the RGB image will look in CMYK.

    The correct calibration and separation settings in the Printing Inks Setup and Separation Setup dialogue boxes must be in place for the above preview to be accurate.

    To tile the document windows

    Size and position both windows so they can be viewed together

    To work with the Sponge tool in the window 1

    • Select the Sponge tool
    • From the Toning Tools Brushes palette, select a large, soft edged brush
    • From the Toning Tools Options palette, select Desaturate and 20-30% pressure
    • Click-drag over offending areas

    Colours is progressively desaturated, removing the grey tinted areas as the colours fall into gamut.

    • View window 2 to check that you are not under saturating the image too much
    • From the View menu, select Gamut Warning to untick this command
    • Close window 2

    Tip: From the Display and Cursor Preferences dialogue box, select Brush Size to see the editing area the brush you have selected.

    Erasing Parts of an Image

    To erase pixels within an image

    • Select the Eraser tool
    • Click-drag

    Erased areas expose the current background colour.

    Tip: Use the Eraser as an alternative to the Paint, Pencil and Airbrush tools. From the Eraser Tool Options palette Mode pop-up menu, select an option and paint with the current background colour.

    To smudge an image area

    • Select the Smudge tool
    • Click-drag

    The tool will smudge an area by pushing image colour in the direction of the drag.

    Retouching an Image Area by Cloning

    Sometimes you will wish to remove defects within an image, such as litter on a pavement or a mark on a person's face, without leaving any evidence of your retouching.

    Whilst it would be possible for you to use the paint tools for this type of work, results often tend to look artificial as they lay down flat colours. Fortunately the right textures can be achieved through a cloning process.

    The tool which performs this task is the Rubber Stamp.

    • Select the Rubber Stamp tool



    The Rubber Stamp Tool

    • From the Rubber Stamp Tool Options palette, select Clone (non-aligned)
    • Find an area of the image you wish to sample
    • Hold down Alt and click the centre of the area
    • Click-drag over the defect

    A cross hair will appear over the previously sampled area to assist in the retouching process.

    Note: The non-aligned clone enables you to work repeatedly with the tool, regardless of how many times you take your finger off the button.

    Continued...

    Retouching Colour Logotypes

    Although logotype designs may differ radically, they usually have several properties in common: designs are hard-edged, colours are flat (matching Pantone or CMYK specifications) and backgrounds are white or transparent.

    These properties are often degraded in scans and they need to be re-established by retouching and tonal and colour adjustment.

    If transparency is important, this can be achieved in a number of ways, depending on the final medium.For multimedia images, it is achieved by using ink effect controls within authoring programs, such as within Macromedia Director and Allegiant SuperCard.

    For images destined for web pages, it is achieved by using special programs or when saving in special file formats.

    For printed images, it is achieved through the use of clipping paths, although redrawing a logotype from scratch using a draw program, such as Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia FreeHand may be a better route to take. See section Creating Cut-outs.

    Note: Only line images (Bitmap images in Photoshop) saved in EPS format can have transparent whites without the use of a clipping path.

    Retouching Steps

    The following steps are presented as a general guide to retouching only. Step-by-step instructions on how you use the Adjust controls, filters and tools are covered elsewhere in this book.

    To remove halftone screen

    Skip this step if a dotted pattern is not present.

    • Apply the Despeckle filter to remove any traces of halftone screen

    To improve tonal values

    Complete these two steps for all logotypes with white backgrounds.

    • Make the background white by setting the highlight point within the Levels control
    • Adjust tonal contrast to match the original using the Levels control

    To remove individual pixels

    • Use the Pencil or Paint Brush tool set at a small brush size to paint over individual pixels with the appropriate Current Foreground colour
    • Use the Eraser tool to erase individual pixels with the appropriate Current Background colour

    To replace both tones and colours (option 1)

    • Select the Magic Wand tool and set it to a low tolerance value with Anti-Aliased checked
    • Using the tool, select individual coloured areas

    The selection border should nearly reach the edges of the existing coloured shape. If it does not, reset the tolerance and reselect the area, repeating until the selection border is correct.

    • Set the Current Background colour to the correct Pantone or CMYK reference
    • Fill the selection

    The fill should spread out to cover the existing colour fully. It will have a slightly vignetted edge.

    To retain tones and replacing colours (option 2)

    • From the Image menu's Adjust sub-menu, select Desaturate

    This removes all traces of colour but keeps the tones.

    • Select the Magic Wand tool and set it to a low tolerance value with Anti-Aliased unchecked
    • Select individual tonal areas using the tool

    The selection border should reach the edges of the existing tonal shape. If it does not, reset the tolerance and reselect the area, repeating until the selection border is correct.

    • Set the Current Background colour to the correct Pantone or CMYK reference
    • Fill the selection with the mode set to colour

    The fill will colour the existing tone.

    To reduce the resolution

    • Save the image and make a copy under a different name
    • Reduce the resolution of the image to the correct final resolution. The drop in resolution will further tidy up edge detail.

    Undoing Retouching Work

    You can correct mistakes in a number of ways in Photoshop.

    To undo a minor action

    • From the Edit menu, select Undo...

    Photoshop can only undo the last action by this means.

    To erase back to saved

    You can use the Eraser to paint parts of an image back to a saved file on disk.

    • Select the Eraser tool
    • Hold down Alt (or in the Eraser Tool Options palette check Erase to Saved)
    • Click-drag

    To undo a series of actions

    You can undo a series of actions by reverting to the saved file on disk. It is important to save in a tactical way, anticipating the use of this command, if you use this method.

    • From the File menu, select Revert

    An alert box saying 'Revert to a previously saved version of "..." ?' is displayed.

    • Click Revert to revert to saved. Click Cancel if you do not wish to revert

    You can use the Rubber Stamp tool to paint parts of an image back to a saved file on disk or back to a stage saved as a Snapshot.

    To use the first process, it is important to save in a tactical way as in the case of Revert to Saved.

    To use the second process, you need to take a Snapshot in advance at a definite stage in your work.

    To paint back to saved

    • Select the Rubber Stamp tool
    • From the Rubber Stamp Tool Options palette, select From Saved
    • Click-drag over the image

    To paint back to a Snapshot

    • From the Edit menu, select Take Snapshot

    A record is taken of the whole image.

    • Work on the image
    • Select the Rubber Stamp tool
    • From the Rubber Stamp Tool Options palette, select From Snapshot
    • Click-drag over parts of the image on which you worked


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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