Bring Out The Details With Tone Mapping In Adobe Photoshop | David Miller | Skillshare

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Bring Out The Details With Tone Mapping In Adobe Photoshop

teacher avatar David Miller, Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Tone Mapping Intro

    • 2. Installing HDR EFX Pro

    • 3. Tone Mapping Interface

    • 4. Layer Mixing

    • 5. Tone Mapping A Portrait 1

    • 6. Tone Mapping A Portrait 2

    • 7. Tone Mapping Cleanup

    • 8. Project

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About This Class

In this class we'll be using a free Photoshop plugin from Nik Software to enhance the detail and sharpness of our photos.  It's similar to HDR imaging, but this particular process- called Tone Mapping- only utilizes one exposed image instead of a series of exposures, making it more useful for scenes involving motion and people.  

Here's the link to Nik Software and their free downloads!

Meet Your Teacher

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David Miller

Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio


I'm David, a multimedia artist in Phoenix, and my studio is Primordial Creative.  


I have always been interested in the visual arts from an early age- drawing, painting, and clay- but around my high school years I became interested in photography for the social aspect of involving other people, the adventure inherent in seeking out pictures, and the presentation of reality that wasn't limited by my drawing skills.


One thing in my work that has stayed consistent over the decades since then is I have an equal interest in the reality of the lens next to the fictions we can create in drawing, painting, animation, graphic design, and sound design.  As cameras have incorporated video and audio features, and as Adobe's Creative Cloud all... See full profile

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1. Tone Mapping Intro: Hi, I'm David Miller, a multimedia artist in Phoenix, Arizona. Today, we're going to go over how you can make the detail in your photos pop using Adobe Photoshopped, a process called tone mapping and a plug in called HDR FX. Pro tone mapping is related to HDR photography and that it blends areas of exposure within your photograph to bring clarity and detail to your range of tones. Within the image where tone mapping differs from HDR is you only need a single image to work with rather than a Siris of images. There are a few dues and dose to this method, and it's easy to over process an image and make it look unreal or strange. So I'll spend some time on how to realistically blend your image enhancements. We'll be working with the free software plug in called HDR FX Pro from Nik Software, and I've included a link to that free download in the class description. With that out of the way, let's get started 2. Installing HDR EFX Pro: So Step one is to get HDR FX Pro. It's part of the Knick collection. It used to cost a lot of money to get all these plug ins, but Google bought them and made them free. I'm going to post the link in the skill share description. HDR FX Pro Now HDR photography, If you don't know, involves multiple exposures that you combine into one and it picks the what it considers the best parts of the images and blends them together. It looks kind of like a painting, cause the highlights aren't super bright and the shadow areas aren't super dark. But we're going to use a function called tone mapping. Once you've installed the software, you'll have to reopen photo shop to have it show up for. 3. Tone Mapping Interface: the W photo shop has a native HDR and tone mapping function. I'm not a big fan of it. It's under image and adjustments. Onda. It doesn't have as many choices. It doesn't lie to save the presets, and I don't think it doesn't really good job. To be honest, you're more than welcome to use this if you are satisfied with results. But since Nick Software is free, we're going to use HDR FX pro of HDR FX Pro and the other Nicks software installed in your computer. You'll find it under Filter Nick collection, and then you're going to get this little flooding window. HDR FX Pro. When you get into the interface, it looks very similar to Adobe Light Room, and you're gonna have much like light room. You're developed filters on the left and then your sliders on the right that allow for some fine tuning. The images that work best are the ones that are in focus from front to back. So if you're aware of how to set the manual settings on your camera, that would be F 11 F 16 F 22 on your aperture. If you don't know how to do the manual settings in your camera. If you photograph in bright sunlight in general, you're going to get images that are sharp, front to back. And if you shoot indoors, you'll get something that's in focus in one area and out of focus in another. The reason why I recommend using something that's focused front to back, which this particular leaf images not is because when you're doing sharpening effects, it looks weird to have something that's blurry yet sharp. It's a ah, conflict of interests as faras, the aesthetic goes. So I'm gonna play with some of the filters here, and you can definitely jacket up really high to get something that looks sharp but hyper real and unrealistic. You'll also see that there's some flaws that show up in my image. That's because there was dust on my sensor or my lens and ended up in the photo. I wouldn't notice that until I turned up the clarity, the sharpness Using this Ah, lot of these filters are going to make your picture look less saturated and more grungy and dingy. I'm OK with having something that looks a little over processing, being getting because we're going to duplicate layers and mix it with the original image to get something that's satisfying and looks like it could be found in reality. 4. Layer Mixing: So for our mixing, I am going to select the whole canvas. That could be controller command A. I am going to copy it. Controller Command, See? And then I'm going to use history to go backwards and get to my original image. So your history window. If you don't see it, go ahead to window. Find history. Click it There it is back up to when it's open. And now I'm going to paste my tone mapped layer on top that is Controller Command V. And at this point I'm going to mess with the capacities because I don't have any life forms . And this I don't have any human skin. I'm OK with the entire image being tone mapped and then mixed with the original one. In our next lesson, will work with a portrait and blend only certain areas. Overtone mapped image together. You have a few blending tools. One is the opacity, and the other is the blend mode and good blending moments to look at for this project might be multiply overlay or soft light capacity. I figure about 50% on the tone mapped layer looks good. It looks naturalistic when you're over 50% when you're over 60% that's when it really seems hyper real. And my personal philosophy is things that look over process that look hyper real. These are kind of cool to look at today, but they will be the first thing that you threw out of your portfolio or that you look at and say, uh, what was I thinking when time has passed? And, uh, I know a lot of people feel that way about their instagram filters. They filter rated their photos and not six months. One year later, they look tacky, and they sure wish that they had some naturalistic looking images of their family members or themselves or whatever it was they were taking pictures of at the time. 5. Tone Mapping A Portrait 1: okay. I wanted to show you how you can use tone mapping on a portrait, because one of the things that people do wrong is they apply the effect to the entire picture regardless of what's actually in the photo. So you can see we have a model. Here we get a close. She has a few skin flaws, nothing that it would be difficult for me to fix in photo shop. And she has what most people have that gets retouched out, which is little lines on the side of the face, couple bumps and a little bit of our eye socket own there. When we run tone mapping on our image, it's going to enhance the detail on all the textures of the background or hair. It's gonna intense all the detail on her skin, and that's something we want to avoid. So let's check out, uh, what we get some really unrealistic looking environments. I'm gonna look away for the model for a second and look at the background because this is the drama that I want to enhance the most. The background and the detail in her hair really dig in the black and white, get up a bit Home exposure. I can see what I'm doing. All right. That might be warm headed, black and white. Artistic. Great on the background. Horrible on the person. I'm going to go ahead and hit, OK, and then I'll show you how we're gonna clean up our individual. 6. Tone Mapping A Portrait 2: okay, as you can see it at it. A good 10 20 years to her face sky like super dramatic. One thing I want to point out when you use tone mapping is that if you have any spots such as this or this on your sensor or your lens that show up in the print, they're also going to be enhanced. So really keep an eye out for any mistakes that happened in camera because they're only going to be exacerbated. So I am going to select all which is control a or under select this command A on your Mac. I'm going to copy, which is Controller Command. See, going to go back to my history, which is hiding underneath my nick tools palette. I'm gonna go back to the original, then I'll haste on when I just copied, which is at it paste or commander control of the So now I have in my layers palette a little bit of that. A little bit of that. Next, I'm going to convert this image to black and white, so when I blend the two, it isn't a matter of half color, half black and white. I want this to be a fully black and white image. And my rationale for that is there's nothing in the photograph that demands color. It's all about drama. It's all about emotion, and her outfit is black. Her hair is dark, her makeup is dark. There's really no reason to leave this as a color image, unless that was completely my style from start to finish, which my style is not. Image black and white. I usually go for a high contrast red filter because it looks really good with people and skies. Okay, and step one, I am going to erase out the sections of her skin Eraser tool hardness down to zero because I wanted to have a nice feathered edge. Sighs something like this. Something maybe like a 18 or 1/4 the size of whatever it is you're racing. So I'm affecting the HDR layer and I'll go ahead, entitle it tone, mapping layer. I apologize for saying hdr layer slip of the tongue. Okay, solo out this layer so I can see a little better when I'm doing whether skin life okay, Not a perfect blend, but the tone mapping layer is still set to 100%. Take it down lower now It blends pretty well, but we lost a lot of our drama. So I'm going to keep this down here 47%. I'm going to duplicate the layer the tone mapping layer through dropping it into this little turning page. Then I'm going to erase out my person even more. 7. Tone Mapping Cleanup: now, every image you work with is going to be a little bit different. So just because I duplicated the tone mapping layer and I have a layer now that IHS pretty much purely sky doesn't mean that might that would work specifically for your image. But you get these, ah, things figured out, the more you do it. Different areas of the print require different touches. That's what Ansel Adams used to do and many other dark room photographers. They would do a process called dodging and burning, where they would focus exposure on areas they wanted to create drama on. And they would block exposure on areas in the dark room that they wanted to keep lighter. I'm going to do the same thing here, but my method of dodging and burning is not using the dodging burning tools down here. Rather, I painted black onto its own layer, where I want to emphasize drama like so set, the blending motus, soft light and just opacity as needed. Paint white onto the layer where I want things brighter. So just going at the top of the model, we'll see how that looks, stuff like, let's see what we started with. So that's her pure black and white with the black, with the white added with the tone mapping sky with tone mapping on her clothes. Mostly like it. I'm gonna pull this down a little bit, and I'm going to flatten the layers. So they're all one thing, and now it's just a simple matter of cleanup using my healing brush tools. So this is the spot healing brush. I think those are the major flaws if that one didn't clean up too well, so I'm going to switch to the regular healing brush, hold alls pain over what needs to be painted over, do a quick cleanup on her skin and looks pretty good. There's some background clutter that needs to be cropped out, the house and this fence and nothing to the picture. And I'm going Teoh, do it quick auto levels just to see what it looks like. Our auto contrast. Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I don't. In this case, I think it looks too bright, but it does seem a little flat color show. I'm going to at a brightness contrast layer. I just wanted to be a little more punchy. Okay, I think I am happy with this. As is more girl less sky. That portion of the sky was kind of, uh, less dramatic than this area anyways. So there we go. A retouched individual 10. A little retouching here. Some of this is makeup in some of this is skin hard to tell someone. Retouch it all. Okay, there we have it Are tone mapped model against guy. There we have it. Our tone mapped model against this guy. 8. Project: Now it's time for your project. Simply posted tone mapped image alongside the original on the Skill shirt product page and let us know if it's a process you'll think you'll continue to use or even if it's not for you. I personally find adds a lot of popped my fashion and travel photography, which is expected to have some production value to it. And it doesn't work so well for my more really life situations. So I hope you enjoyed the class. And if you're interested in learning more about Photoshopped, other adobe programs or art in general, I highly encourage you to check out the other tutorials I offer on my skill share channel. Thanks for watching.