Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Photoshop CS3 Color Pop Tutorial

Hello Everyone,

In this tutorial i will explain how to boost your colors along with brightening your photo to give it the extra pizazz it needs. This tutorial was created for Photoshop cs3 so i don't know if you could use it in Photoshop Elements. It also works well if your working with portrait pictures but it can also be used for any other types of photo's to, all you have to do is skip the eye & skinning softening steps.

Here is my before and after


Okay now lets get to the tutorial.

Part 1: Skin Blemish Removal

1. With the photo that you plan on editing open your layers pallet up so you can see all of the layers that you are working with and then duplicate the layer by either dragging the background layer to the new layers icon or by simply pressing CTRL +J. Rename that layer you just duplicated to skin blemishes.

2. Next, make sure your skin blemish layer is selected and remove any unwanted blemishes from the skin. I usually use the healing brush and when that doesn't work i will use the patch tool.

Skin layer

3. Once you have completed removing any unwanted blemishes from the skin, merge the layers so all you have is just the background layer. To do this go to layer - merge layers

Step 2: Boosting Colors & Overall Brightness

In the next 6 steps you will be creating a series of adjustment layer's that will later need to be adjusted to fit the picture that your are editing.

1. Create a levels adjustment layer by clicking on what looks like a circle half black & white in the layers pallet window and select levels adjustment. Next, make sure that RGB is selected and adjust the levels to 0, 1.06, 255 and then click ok.

2. Next, create a color balance adjustment layer the same way you did before. In the Color balance window set your settings to 0,0,-13. Click ok.

3. Next, create a curves adjustment layer with the following 4 points on the RGB curve.

Point 1: 0, 0
Point 2: 65, 65
Point 3: 123, 130
Point 4: 255, 255

Note: The first number is the input and second number is the output

4. Create another curves adjustment layer with the following 3 points on the RGB curve.

Point 1: 9, 0
Point 2: 125, 131
Point 3: 255, 255

5. Next create an channel mixer adjustments layer with the following numbers

Output Red Channel: Red= 120 Green= -6 Blue= -6
Output Green Channel: Red= -6 Green= 120 Blue= -6
Output Blue Channel: Red= -6 Green= -6 Blue= 120

6. Now create a brightness and contrast layer using the following numbers

Brightness: 4 Contrast: 8

7. Ok, next we will need to group all of the adjustment layers that we just created in step 1-6 by selecting all of the adjustment layers and clicking ctrl g.

8. Now that we are finished creating and grouping the layer's we will need to adjust any of the adjustment layer's to what fits the photo you are working with. If you like it just how it is then forget the rest of this step. If you have found that your photo looks to bright now adjust the curves layers by bringing down the opacity or hiding the layer all together. If you need to adjust color adjust the color balance layer or the channel mixer layer.

9. Once you have finished that you will need to merge layers so you are back to your background copy.

Step 3: Eye Define & Skin Softening

Eye Define:

1. Duplicate background CTRL +J and set your blending mode to screen.

2. Next would will need to add a layer mask to the layer you are currently working on by holding down the alt key and selecting the add layer mask icon in the layers pallet. This will fill the layer mask with black which will mask out everything. You will then need to click on your paint brush and set the color to white and the opacity to about 40% and mask in around the color part of the eye. Once you have completed that you can adjust the opacity of that layer to your taste.

3. Next we need to murge layers and then duplicate the background layer. Here we need to add a the high pass filter at a radios of about 8 pixels. Once, that is done change the high pass layer blending mode to soft light and then add a layer mask by holding down the alt key and selecting the add layer mask icon in the layers pallet. Now go back and mask in all of the eye. This will sharpen your eye up a bit. If you need to you can adjust the layer's opacity to your taste. Once you have done that merge layers.

Skin Softening & more eye enhancment

For the next part of the tutorial you will need to download the wonderfull free coffeeshop powder room 2 action located here http://coffeeteaphotography.blogspot.com/2007/09/photoshop-elements-pse-actions-and.html she also has a lot of other free actions also.

4. Next, run the CoffeeShop PowderRoom 2 Action and use any of the layer that you want to make you photo look the way you want. I love the skin softening and also eye defining layer.

5. Once you have finished running the action make sure merge layers.

Step 4: Finishing touches

1. Next sharpen your photo by either 1 of 2 ways

- Highpass filter at 5pixels, on a duplicate layer and setting the blending mode to soft light

- Unsharpen Mask at 75, 1.0, 0

2. After sharpening if i need to I will then blur out the background so that my subject stands out.

3. Now to finish it off i will sometimes add a vignetting to my photo. There is a wonderful free action from the same place that you got the powderroom action which makes things alot easier.

Ok, i think i have explained it all. It you have any questions or sugestions then let me know.

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