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  • So there's a harsh, unwanted shadow right on your subject and you tried everything to

  • remove it, from Channels to Blend Modes to Blend If to Color Range, but nothing worked.

  • Well, this is the technique for you.

  • And there are two simple steps - Number 1 - Fix the brightness and Number 2 - Fix the

  • color.

  • And that's it.

  • So without any further ado, let's get started.

  • Back in the magical world of Photoshop and to download this photo and follow along, check

  • the links in the description.

  • So let's start with fixing the brightness.

  • But before we do anything, keep in mind we don't want to be distracted by the colors.

  • So let's take the colors away by using a Check layer.

  • So click on the Adjustment layer icon and then create a Solid Color Adjustment layer.

  • You might be thinking, 'Why am I not just decreasing the saturation and making it black

  • and white?'

  • Well, there's a reason for it.

  • If we choose any color, any color which has no color in it, in other words white, gray

  • or black, any like that, just hit OK and change the Blend Mode from Normal to Color.

  • Right now, the color has been taken away and you only see the brightness levels.

  • Why is this accurate and not decreasing the saturation?

  • Let me just demonstrate something.

  • So, if we simply create a Gradient, I've already shown this to you before in previous videos,

  • so, if you click on the Adjustment layer icon and then choose a Gradient, and let's choose

  • the Gradient of a rainbow, single click on in here, and we're going to choose something

  • like this.

  • So this is a rainbow.

  • Hit OK.

  • Now keep in mind, all of the colors here, if I just go to the color picker, have a look,

  • all of the colors have Brightness level of what?

  • 100.

  • So, technically they are at the same Brightness level, right?

  • And if you check Red - Brightness level - 100, right.

  • Same Brightness level, technically.

  • Now if you hit OK, hit OK again.

  • Now, if you simply create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer on top by clicking on the

  • Adjustment layer and choosing Hue/Saturation and taking the Saturation down, it will become

  • gray, because all of them were technically at the same Brightness level.

  • But there's a problem with that.

  • If you look at the human eye, human eye doesn't perceive things that way.

  • For a human eye, this blue is darker than this yellow.

  • For a human eye, this red is darker than this yellow.

  • So, instead of going that route which deals with light technically, I mean, logically,

  • it's right, but to human perception, if you just create a Solid Color Adjustment layer

  • like we just did at the top and change the Blend Mode to Color, it will be more accurate

  • in terms of human perception.

  • Let's turn it on and have a look.

  • As you can see, the blues are darker, right?

  • The reds are darker than the yellows, which makes more sense.

  • That is why it is more accurate to do it this way instead of just taking away the saturation.

  • So, this is a simple Luminosity Check layer.

  • Let's name this Luminosity Check.

  • Now, we need one more check layer.

  • To see the differences even more, let's create a Curves Adjustment Layer.

  • Click on the Adjustment layer icon and then choose Curves.

  • We want to make the shadows more darker to see more differences.

  • So with the Hand tool selected, just click and drag down the shadows.

  • Now we want these areas to be normal, click and drag them up.

  • This is just to see the differences better.

  • So these two are check layers, let's select both of them.

  • Select the first one, hold the Ctrl or Command, select the second one and then press Ctrl

  • or Command + G.

  • Now that the distractions are gone, we are ready to remove the shadows.

  • So select the Background layer and on top of that, we're going to create a Curves Adjustment

  • layer.

  • Click on the Adjustment layer icon and then choose Curves.

  • And we're going to name this Brighten or you can name this Dodge, if you want to sound

  • technical.

  • Let's zoom in.

  • All we got to do is to click a point in the middle, take it up just like that.

  • Now, select the Mask, press Ctrl or Command + I to invert the Mask.

  • Now, what is the concept of Mask?

  • White other areas which show up, Black are the areas which hide.

  • So right now, the complete Mask is black.

  • So the effect of Curves is showing nowhere.

  • As soon as we take a brush and paint white, the effect of Curves will begin to show in

  • that area.

  • Alright, so select the Mask and then just zoom in, take a Soft Brush.

  • So here at the top, Soft Round Brush, and with a low Flow, start painting on the shadow.

  • Now if you have a Wacom tablet, it will make the process extremely simple for you, because

  • then you can paint softer for less intensity on areas with lighter shadows and painter

  • harder for more intensity on areas with darker shadows.

  • So let me show you what I mean by that.

  • So you can set the Opacity or the Flow to Pen Pressure by going to Window and then Brush

  • Settings.

  • With the same brush selected, you can just check Transfer and inside of Transfer, we

  • don't want any Jitter, just decrease the Jitter, and we want to set the Opacity to Pen Pressure

  • and we also want to set the Flow to Pen Pressure as well.

  • Make sure you decrease the Minimum to 0%, and then you just paint softer.

  • See, at these areas the shadows are not very dark.

  • So we need to paint softer.

  • And for the dark areas, just paint harder.

  • That's it.

  • So you don't have to paint multiple times.

  • You can actually use the pressure of your hand to control how much shadows you want

  • to remove.

  • So if you're using a tablet like me, you can set the Flow to about 5- 10% and then, using

  • the pressure of your hand, control the intensity.

  • If you're not using a tablet, set the Flow from 1-2% and then paint more times in that

  • area to have more intensity.

  • Alright, so I'm going to set it to 5%.

  • 5% is fine for me, and then just start painting.

  • I'm going to speed up the process so that it doesn't get monotonous.

  • Just simply paint.

  • Now as you can see, we have finished brightening up the shadows using this Curves.

  • Let's have a look at the before and after.

  • So this is the before, actually, this is the after.

  • This is the before.

  • Shadow is all over her face, right?

  • And if I turn it on, have a look at it.

  • Such a dramatic difference.

  • But before we move on to Step Number 2, which is fixing the color, have a closer look.

  • There's still a little bit of shadow.

  • It is soft, as you can see right here.

  • How do we take care of that?

  • It's very simple.

  • All we got to do is to use Blend If.

  • Now, let me ask you one question, what is the common property of a shadow?

  • It is dark, right?

  • And we can limit brightening in the dark areas by using Blend If.

  • So let's create one more Curves Adjustment layer by clicking on the Adjustment layer

  • icon and then choose Curves.

  • Now we're going to brighten it.

  • Click a point in the middle and then take it up, just like this.

  • Now, to limit it just to the shadows which is a dark area, double click on the right

  • hand side of the layer.

  • This opens up the Layer Style dialog box.

  • Now inside of that, take the slider of the underlying layer from right to left.

  • We are taking away the brightening from the bright areas of the underlying layer or the

  • layer which is under it, which is the Subject layer.

  • Alright, so we're going to take it away.

  • As you can see, it's very harsh, so we need to break the slider.

  • Hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, click on the slider to break it apart and

  • take it to the extremes, we want it extremely soft.

  • Hit OK right there.

  • Now, we don't want that all over the image.

  • It's doing a great job, but, only on the face and the shadow areas.

  • Right.

  • So, what do we do now?

  • Mask it.

  • So click on the Mask, press Ctrl or Command + I to invert the Mask, take the brush, white

  • as the foreground color.

  • With a soft brush, you can also decrease the Flow if you want to to 20%, just start painting

  • on the soft shadow areas.

  • See how easily we are taking care of it.

  • That was not hard, right?

  • This area also has a little bit of shadow.

  • All right, now have a look, here's the before, here's the after.

  • Let's make it soft.

  • Now, let's remove the shadow under the eyebrows and the eyes.

  • So, we're going to paint right there.

  • Now, that looks interesting.

  • Let me show you the before and after.

  • Here's the before, here is the after.

  • Let's paint a little bit here.

  • Now, if you think it's too much, you can always do this - decrease the Opacity.

  • So let's control it accordingly.

  • We don't want it totally gone, probably somewhere about 92 would be great.

  • Now, we have come a long way, isn't it?

  • So, here's the before..let me show you without all of these..this is the before, this is

  • the after.

  • Fantastic, isn't it?

  • Time for us to move to Step Number 2 where we fix the color.

  • So, before we fix the color, we need to see the color.

  • So let's hide or remove the Check layer.

  • This Check layer, this group was just to take away the colors and make the shadows extreme

  • so they are more visible, hence, more easy to remove.

  • Now we don't need it, so we can actually turn it off or simply delete it.

  • If we zoom in, the color might not be consistent.

  • Have a look right here, the areas where we removed the shadows, this is the before this

  • is the after.

  • The color is a little off as compared to rest of the areas.

  • Here as well, the color would be a little off as you can see in this area.

  • Again, if we just zoom in into couple of areas like this, the color would be a little off.

  • This area as well, the color is off.

  • So how do we fix that?

  • Very simple.

  • Create a new layer.

  • Click on the New layer button and you can actually name this Color Fix, right.

  • And change the Blend Mode from Normal to Colour because we want to fix the color.

  • Just that.

  • Now take the Brush.

  • Make sure it is a soft brush.

  • You can always decrease the Flow if you want to, but I'm going to keep it, in this case,

  • about 40% and then all you gotta do is take a sample and paint, that's it.

  • Now, before you start painting, just make sure, click on the Eyedropper tool, just make

  • sure Sample - Current & Below or All Layers is selected, and 3 by 3 Average is fine, but,

  • I'm going to increase it to probably 5 by 5, so that it takes an average of 5 by 5 pixels.

  • So it creates a box of 5 by 5 and takes an average of all of those colors.

  • This prevents you from accidentally sampling a color which might not be the right representation.

  • Maybe you sampled a noise, you don't want to do that.

  • Right.

  • So take the brush back again and take a sample and just paint on the areas where you think

  • the colors are off.

  • Take a sample from an area nearby and just paint on that.

  • This is just to match the colors around.

  • So let me show you the before and after.

  • This is the before, this is the after, very minute difference.

  • I'm not sure if you can notice this or not.

  • You'll be able to notice this here, have a look, the colors are a little too saturated.

  • So we're going to take a sample from here and paint over that.

  • Look, here's the before, here's the after.

  • It took care of it.

  • Take a sample from here and paint over that.

  • That area is gone now.

  • All right, that was not the right color.

  • Sometimes you might have to sample from different places and try what fits the best.

  • I think that is a little too desaturated.

  • We're going to have to sample from a darker area, maybe something like this and try painting

  • here.

  • Yes, that works.

  • Still, let's decrease the Flow to 20% and let's try painting.

  • Alright, that kind of goes pretty nicely.

  • Let's have a look at the before and after if it fits nicely or not.

  • Here's the before, here's the after.

  • We took care of that.

  • Now let's have a look here.

  • Too much saturation.

  • We're going to take a sample and paint.

  • Taken care of, that is great.

  • Now here as well, see that patch right there?

  • Take a sample and paint.

  • No problem, we took care of that.

  • And now here, some extra saturation, take a sample and paint, take a sample from a dark

  • area and paint.

  • All right, here as well, we're going to take a sample from a nearby area and paint, just

  • dim it down a little bit, take a sample and paint.

  • Wherever you see too much saturation, just take a sample from a nearby area of the same

  • brightness level, which looks good.

  • And then paint.

  • Alright, that looks to be nice.

  • Let's have a look at the before and after.

  • Here's the before, here's the after.

  • Very minute difference.

  • I'm not really sure if you can see it.

  • If you look at these areas where the colors were off, here's the before.

  • Look, the color was too saturated right there, and turn it on, it fixes that.

  • Now check for any color irregularities here and there because when you remove the shadows,

  • you're going to see a lot of