Creating "Rainbows" with Photoshop Channels | Vincent Knaus | Skillshare

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Creating "Rainbows" with Photoshop Channels

teacher avatar Vincent Knaus, Create Every Day!

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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

6 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Welcome To Creating Rainbows

    • 2. What You Will Need

    • 3. Making The Photos

    • 4. Processing The Egg Photos

    • 5. Other Things To Watch For

    • 6. Thanks For Taking This Class

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to create 'rainbows' using Channels in Photoshop. Don't worry if you have never used Channels in Photoshop. For that matter, not to worry if you have never even heard about Channels in Photoshop. To be honest, the way we will be using Channels is as easy to use as Layers in Photoshop. This is not only a class about using Photoshop Channels, but it is also about visualizing the different ways your photos will look when assembled in Photoshop. The hardest part of this class will be creating the images to use in Photoshop. You will see how to use this technique using three different subjects. This may sound intimidating, but it's actually relatively easy. Once you learn the basic technique, everything else is a variation on that theme. I hope to see you in class.

Meet Your Teacher

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Vincent Knaus

Create Every Day!


I'm a freelance photographer living in the UK. I have worked on a variety of projects from textbooks to annual reports. Since June 2020 I have been working on my food photography skills taking classes here at Skillshare and elsewhere. I love what I do and I have been doing it for long enough to know I will never do anything else! I like working on location with a mix of natural and artificial light as well as in the studio using a variety of different light sources. I have been helping others improve their photography skills since 1982 when I lived in Belgium. I like teaching photography almost as much as making photos.

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1. Welcome To Creating Rainbows: if you're like me, you like to play around with light. You also like to play around with photo shop in this class will do both. Hi, I'm Vincent canals. Welcome to my skill share class on creating rainbows in Photoshopped channels. What we're gonna do here is play around with light a little bit. We're gonna move a light around when we're making photos. We're gonna take three separate photos. Where can combine them in Photoshopped channels? Do you make a rainbow of colors that wouldn't have been there any other way. We're gonna play with light by moving the lights around. We're gonna make shadows, different places. We're just gonna have fun. All of this is gonna be on the table top. It's gonna be really easy. Once we get into photo shop, we're gonna take our basic photos. We're gonna have three of them. Three of the same subject where we just move the light, not the subject. Then we're gonna combine things in the photo shop, and that's where it gets really interesting because you're gonna end up with three photos with a wide variety of colors. It all depends on where they mix and will do all of this in photo shop channels. 2. What You Will Need: What will you need for this project? I used a wooden egg that you confined most art supply stores, a small teacup with Matt glazing, a small glass jug that would create speculum highlights and an 11 by 14 sheet of white art paper for the background for lighting. I used two old desk lamps from the basement that we weren't using anymore. I just put a new light bulb in, Um, and I was ready to go need enough table space so that you can move a lamp around so that you can make shadows that will fall in different directions. Okay, so let's talk about camera equipment for a minute. One thing that is absolutely essential is a tripod need to hold the camera in the same position for three exposures. You can use your smartphone, a DSLR appointing shoot or a GoPro. I'll even show you some photos that I did with a GoPro. So camera equipment doesn't matter as much as being able to keep the camera in the exact same position for three different exposures 3. Making The Photos: Okay, This is our basic set. So what we have here is our lamp, our background on our subject, which starting off with is gonna be the egg start off with the egg because it's not gonna have any shine to it. There's not a whole lot of sheen. It's not glossy. So when I moved things around to get the shadows in exactly the same position I want I don't have to worry at all about speculator highlights. We're going to see that later when we do the next two subjects the teacup and the little glass jug. So move the light around, play around with it, play with those shadows. What you're looking for is to create some nice, dark shadows. So you get the really intense color that you want in your final photos. Move the light around yet it right where you want it for the shadows. Make your photos. You're gonna make three different photos. When you're making these three different photos, make sure that you have locked your focus. You don't want to try and refocus in between because it's gonna throw the whole registration off for these. So you're gonna focus once Lockett make your three photos, and that's all there is to it. Now we're gonna move on to the tika. So for the teacup, I switched to the different lamp. I wanted to make sure that I could get some light straight overhead. I wanted to try something a little bit different. Where had the shadow pooling right under the cup. Also, with this one. Want to make sure that I don't get too many? Speculate highlights. It has a nice matt surface on it, so it's not gonna get too bright, but I want to make sure I manage those highlights. I really don't want too many of them in my photograph. Ah, fewer fine. But I don't want to get too many, because all of a sudden you will be seeing the whole bunch of hot spots that you really don't care to see. It's really a compromise between nice shadows and highlights. Shadows are more important. One of the neat things about some of the highlights is they will go a solid color, depending upon which one of the channels is dominant. When you're processing your photos, you may get a bright blue, a bright red or a bright green one. It's always interesting to see how they come out. Once you have mixed the different channels in your new images. Now we're gonna move on to the little glass jug. Notice the shadow. It's no longer a full shadow. It's translucent. It's taking up the color of the job. This is something that's going to affect the colors when we get into processing our image. Just keep this in mind. This is another thing. Beside the speculator highlights what you're seeing now, just like in the mat teacup. Any of those speculum highlights that you keep in your image, they will show up as bright spots of solid color. Eliminating as many of them as you can is always best. It gets a little fiddly because you have to move the light around, back and forth and check through the lens and everything. Sometimes you're not quite arm's length to the table. I was shooting with a 105 macro lens, so I was a little farther away. When you're moving the light around, some of those reflections go away. Some of them come back. Pay attention to those look at those because they will end up as solid bars of color When you finally finish processing your image, Now that we've made all the photos we need, we're off to do the processing. 4. Processing The Egg Photos: Okay, here we are in light room. We're looking at our three photos, and you might notice that they're a little dark. There's not a whole lot of weights. We have a lot of Gray's inn here, which is exactly what we want. We also have white balance problems. We have some color tones in their those air. Not a problem. Basically what I did, I shot this with aperture priority. And I didn't do any correction. A spar of the exposure. And I also used auto white balance. Not a problem. We're gonna correct some of this in photo shop, but right now we want to see these greys because this is what will bring up the color. So we're selecting our three photos. We're going to head into photo shop. Once we have all three photos selected. We're going to right click, go up to edit in on edit in photo shop, CC 2017 photos will load. It's transferring everything from light room into Photoshopped as a PSD file. Now that we have each photo loaded. Okay, we're gonna go up and we're gonna look at the history. Graham. There's no white tones. It's on Lee tones on the darker part of the image, which is really what we want. Because we had the white tones up there, we wouldn't have any detail. We wouldn't have some nice color coming in where we'll get it. Eventually, we like the shadows that shadows air, going to produce a lot of color. But we also want to have some tone in the highlights. Every photo and photo shop is brought into the layers palette. You see the background and the layers palette. Now what we're looking for is a channels palette right next to it. When we click there, we see the RGB composite, the red green and the blue channels. Every photo is made up of RGB. So that's where we're gonna play. We're gonna goto our first image. We're going to select the Red Channel. We're gonna move to our second image. We're gonna select the Green Channel. We moved to our third image and we're going to select the Blue Channel. What makes it really nice here is once you select those channels you get to see in the image tab what channel you have selected. Our next step is creating a whole new image. So that we can copy some of these channels into that. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna select all and then we're gonna copy, and then we're gonna hit new image, which is command or control end. We get the new document screen on. What we're gonna want to do here is check out a couple things. First off, we are going to want to rename this, and I'm gonna name this egg one because we're gonna have three different photos. I'm gonna check everything, and it's gonna be the same as what we copy before. So all I have to do here is change from grayscale to rgb color Now, because we copied to the clipboard, it's giving us the exact same dimensions and resolution. All we have to do is click create. We have that new image pop up and here's everything right here. RGB You can see the three color channels or empty and creating an a white background. So what we're gonna do now is go to our Red Channel. We're gonna make sure it's selected, we're gonna copy it. And now we're going to go to the Red Channel in our new image and paste the Red Channel from one image into that channel. Now we're gonna do the same for the green Select copy. Go into our egg image and paste into the Green Channel. Third and last channel. We need to transfer. We're going to go over to the Blue Channel, select all copy, and then we're gonna go up into our eg one and we're gonna paste into the blue Channel. Now you can see up in the composite. You already see what you're in. It's gonna look like so we just click the eyeball So everything is turned on And there's all our colors. There's all our colors of the rainbow created from where the shadows are and all those things that we were talking about earlier. So what you want to do now is to go in and figure out exactly what you want. Everything looks a little flat to me here. So I'm gonna go back into layers. I'm gonna go into an exposure adjustment layer and I'm gonna play around with the light. So if I brighten it up a little bit, you can see how brightening that up everything gets a little more saturated. If you shut the light down. Everything gets gray and not so nice looking. So you have total control over here because of the way we made these photographs because they were gray. So if we didn't make him with that grey in it, we wouldn't have this kind of control. So now what we're gonna do is make a second image. We're gonna go ahead and just do the same that we did before. We're gonna go and we're gonna click new. So the new document dialog comes up, we're gonna check that everything's the same. We're gonna make sure it's rgb color, and then we're gonna make sure that we go and name this egg too. Okay, Sometimes you get a little excited and you go right in to create. It's best to give him the name now, so you don't have to worry about it confusing you in the future. So switch over to channels. You've got your empty channels again. Now you're gonna click on your original images, and you're gonna change all those channels so that they go down one so that you're not copying the exact same one into the vaccine position. That would give you the same photo you just created. So you're gonna want them All difference of this time were to start, and we're gonna go ahead and copy and paste read the blue and the Green Channel into the specific places we need to to create a whole new image And what's gonna happen because we're changing the way these mix, we're gonna have a completely new image. It's a little bit strange, but that's the way it works because the colors come up because of the way these shadows interact. And now you can see a completely different image. So we're gonna go back into layers and we're gonna brighten this one up a little bit. We go into the exposure, uh, adjustment layer, and we moved the adjustment a little bit and you can see how the red is really starting to block up. Um, if you go too far, it's going to just block up. So it's just a red mass of nothing. When you go really, really dark, you get the detail. But what you want to do here is find a nice in between where you don't have so hot a red that you're losing detail. So by now. You should be old. How did this commander control end to bring up the new document Dialog box renamed to eggs three change from grayscale toe RGB and click create. You've got your image. Open up the channels palette. You now have to change what's going on with your channels. So you want to bring every one of them down one again. So you don't want to paste the old information into the exact same place. Now that you've got everything set up, go ahead and start doing your copy and pasting. You're gonna copy into the necessary channels that you want. And again, we're gonna make a completely new image because of the way these tones in those black and white channel images interact. So once you get everything in here, you'll see on your, um, composite image at the top that you've made a completely new image and this one looks fairly flat. We've got to do a little bit of changing, just like all the rest. But we like having this control. So brighten up your exposure a little bit and see what happened. See, now you have the same problem with the red and you see what happens when you go really far . You're actually going everything toe white, but we're gonna bring that back and we're gonna try and tone down that read a little bit. I like the intensity of the other colors, but the red is still a little bit hot. So what I'm gonna do is close out of that adjustment layer and I'm gonna bring up a hue saturation adjustment layer. And instead of having it a master, I'm gonna go to reds because I only want to adjust the Reds. So I'm gonna play around with the saturation in the Reds and you're going to see what's happening to the other colors and how they change along with this specific red. So taking down the saturation or taking down the luminous it's gonna be a little bit of both. So we're gonna take some of that out, and we're just gonna look and see what happens when we get the detail we want. That's where we're going to stop. You can play around with the colors. You can play around with any of these colors. You can play around your yellows, your blues, your magenta science, all of that in this adjustment layer. So once you have it, you're good to go 5. Other Things To Watch For: here we are in photo shop with our little teacup. We've got the three different images. You can see the difference in the shadows and then we've got our processed photos where we have all the colors. You can see some of the highlights. I was talking about how they turned the bright colors and you can see the differences in the way these photos have processed and come out with different colors of the rainbow in different places. You can see in the channels what photos we use as far as where the highlights and the shadows when, and we can also see from where the shadows are, which photo we actually use. So if we get things a little mixed up, we can actually go in and trade out different channels to correct any mistakes we've might have made while we were assembling these. So you can always look for the shadows. You can look for different, look at the different photos and you can see which ones are missing. You can fill in the ones that you need to get the other shadows where they should be, and you could do all sorts of correcting if you didn't get it right. OK, moving on to the glass jug. Here's the speculative highlights that we're talking about. So clicking through, you can see where the speculum highlights. Change the colors you're gonna notice right here where they come in. Um, they're easy to take care of on some of the other ones here. You're not gonna be able to correct them too much. They're in different layers of the glass. It's always best to go in and correct them while you're shooting. Then you can get them as little as possible. Um, it's kind of interesting sometimes how they come up, but you're gonna watch where all of these little spots come out because it's gonna be bright color. And it's not gonna be very easy to go in and do any retouching toe where you can remove these. So get them out in the shooting and your life will be a whole lot easier 6. Thanks For Taking This Class: thank you for taking my class creating rainbows with Photoshopped channels. I hope you had fun and I hope you learned a little bit. Now please go out, make some photos, process them, put them together in photo shop and show everybody what you've done. This is a lot of fun and this could be used on a wide variety of subjects, not just tabletop. We'll get to some of those in future classes. Thanks again.