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Reverse Restoration

It seems that everyone has a new technique for repairing or restoring images. You can find a gazillion tutorials on the subject just about anywhere. But what about aging an image? It takes a special kind of twisted individual to destroy a perfectly good image. Try it out; it's very therapeutic.

Step ONE.
Open the image you wish to age (a classic Chevy in our example). Press the letter “d” to set your Foreground color to black and your Background color to white. Go under Image, and choose Canvas Size. When the Canvas Size dialog box appears, add at least 2 inches to both the Width and Height, and click OK.

© Brand X Pictures

Step TWO.
Choose the Rectangular Marquee tool from the Toolbox and make a selection slightly larger than the original image (see example). Press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to copy the selection onto its own layer (Layer 1).

Quick Tip: Creating new brushes

After creating a custom brush, you could add that brush to your Brush Presets by choosing New Brush Preset from the Brushes palette's pop-down menu—but there's a quicker way. Just click your cursor once in any open space within the Brushes palette and the Brush Name dialog box will appear. Simply name your custom brush and then click OK to add it to the palette.

Press Command-L (PC: Control-L) to bring up the Levels dialog box. Move the highlight Output Levels slider (the white slider in the lower right) toward the left until the Output Levels field on the right reads 240, and click OK.

Step FOUR.
Choose the Lasso tool from the Toolbox. Make a selection of the upper-left corner of the image like the one shown here. Press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to copy the selected area up onto its own layer (Layer 2).

Step FIVE.
Create a new layer (Layer 3) by clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Drag this new layer beneath the layer with the small photo chunk on it. With the new layer still highlighted, Command-click (PC: Control-click) on the photo chunk layer to make a selection. Press Command-Delete (PC: Control-Backspace) to fill the selection with the Background color (white). Click on the photo chunk layer, and press Command-E (PC: Control-E) to merge down. Press Command-D (PC: Control-D) to deselect.

Quick Tip: Saving your brushes

After you've created a custom brush and saved it as a Brush Preset by choosing New Brush Preset from the Brushes palette's pop-up menu, the next time you launch Photoshop, that brush will appear in the same position in your Brushes palette. However, if you reset your brushes to their factory defaults (by choosing Reset Brushes from the Brushes palette's drop-down menu), all of your custom brushes will be gone forever. If that's a concern to you, make sure you save your new set of brushes by going under the Brushes drop-down menu and choosing Save Brushes. What I do is delete all the other brushes by holding the Option key (PC: Alt key) and clicking once on each of them. Then, when I'm down to just the new brushes I've created, I choose Save Brushes from the Brushes palette's pop-up menu, name that brush set with a name I'll remember (such as Acme Co. logos), and save it in the Brushes folder, inside the Preset folder, inside my Photoshop folder. Whew!

Step SIX.
Click on the Add a Layer Style icon (the black circle with the "ƒ" in it) at the bottom of the Layers palette, and choose Bevel and Emboss. When the Layer Style dialog box appears, enter 115 for Size, set the Angle to 120°, and lower the Highlight Mode to 40%, and then click OK.

Go under the Filter menu and choose Liquify. To slightly bend the top portion of the image, use the Forward Warp tool (the top tool in the Toolbar) and adjust your Brush Size so that it's approximately the same width as the top of the photo chunk (see example). Click-and-drag from the top of the image toward the bottom (not too much). Now, use a smaller brush to bend in the left side of the image (see below right), and click OK.

Quick Tip: See your documents side by side

Since the beginning of Photoshop history (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) when you had one image open onscreen and you opened a second image, the way the images were displayed within your monitor was called cascading. What that meant was, when you opened an image, it would open in front of the existing image (as you've already experienced countless times). However, back in Photoshop 7, Adobe added a new document view that has been in page layout programs for years, and my guess is you're going to love it. It's called Tile and what it does is tile all your open documents one beside the other filling your monitor. Photographers should love this, because they can open up to 10 or 12 proofs and display them side-by-side on their monitor. Tile is found under the Window menu under Arrange. Open up three or four images then choose Tile and you'll see what all the fuss is about.

Click on Layer 1 (the duplicate photo layer) in the Layers palette to make it active. Choose the Eraser tool from the Toolbox, and remove the areas that extend out past the bends on the photo chunk layer (see example).

Step NINE.
Press Shift-O until you get the Burn tool. Choose a medium-sized, soft edged brush from the Brush Picker in the Options Bar and darken some of the corners and sides of the image (as shown).

Step TEN.
With the duplicate photo layer still active, use the Rectangular Marquee tool to make a selection over the top-left corner of the image (as shown far left). Press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to bring up Free Transform. Command-click (PC: Control-click) on the top left adjustment point, and move it slightly upward and to the right. Now, Command-click (PC: Control-click) on the top-right adjustment point, and move it down just a bit (see example).

Quick Tip: Brush size changes since Photoshop 7

Here's a tip about a feature that was added in Photoshop 7 that didn't make big headlines, but when you realize what it means, it's absolutely mondo- crazy big! The feature is the Master Diameter slider in the Brushes palette (found under the Window menu, choose Brushes). This enables you to change the size of a selected brush. I know that sounds like no big deal because you could always change the size of a brush, right? Well, not always. You see, previous versions of Photoshop let you change the size of round soft-edged and hard-edged brushes, but NOT the custom brushes. This meant that if Adobe created a cool custom brush at 25 pixels, that's the size it was stuck at. So, for high-res images, many of those smaller custom brushes were totally unusable because they were too small. Now, just pick any custom brush and make it the size you want it. Even if you create your own custom brush, it's totally scalable with the Master Diameter slider. Way, mondo-crazy cool!

Press Return (PC: Enter) to lock in the transformation, then press Command-D (PC: Control-D) to deselect. Click on the photo chunk layer (Layer 3) and press Command-E (PC: Control-E) to merge down. Now, press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to bring up the Free Transform bounding box. Rotate the image by moving your cursor outside of the bounding box (your cursor will turn into a double-sided arrow), and rotate as desired. Press Return (PC: Enter) to apply the transformation. Click on the Background layer and press Command-Delete (PC: Control-Backspace) to fill it with the Background color (white).

Click on the photo layer (Layer 1) to make it active. Now, click on the Add a Layer Style icon and choose Drop Shadow. Change the Size to 10, and click OK. Go under the Layer menu, under Layer Style, and choose Create Layer. When the warning dialog box appears, click OK. This will place the drop shadow on its own layer.

Click on Layer 1's Drop Shadow in the Layers palette. Go under the Filter menu, under Distort, and choose Shear. When the dialog box appears, click on the center of the vertical line in the grid to add a new adjustment point. Then, click-and-drag the top and bottom adjustment points toward the right (see example), and click OK. Lower the layer Opacity to 50%, and use the Move tool to drag the shadow to the right.

Quick Tip: Load those sets, baby!

Back in Photoshop 6, Adobe introduced loadable Presets (collections) of Brushes, Patterns, Shapes, etc. What was nice, rather than digging through dialog boxes to dig up sets buried in folders on your computer, you could load these presets right from the palette's drop-down menus. What was bad was the quality of those presets. They were, (and I'm being as kind as possible here) incredibly lame. Adobe fixed that in Photoshop 7 and included lots of usable shapes, patterns, brushes, and other presets, and Photoshop CS added even more.

Not only that, there are many more sets than in Photoshop 7. So if you haven't loaded some sets in a while, it's time to take another look.

Open a background image for your car photo (a map in our example). Use the Move tool to click-and-drag the new background into your original document. Drag this new background image to the bottom of the layer stack, just above the Background layer, in the Layers palette.

Press Command-Shift-U (PC: Control-Shift-U) to desaturate Layer 2. Click on Layer 1 and Desaturate this layer as well. Create a new layer (Layer 3), and move it to the top of the layer stack in the Layers palette. Click on the Foreground Color Swatch and choose a light cream color. Press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the new layer with the Foreground color. Change the Layer Blend Mode to Color to complete the effect.



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