Fuzziness

The problem with hiding and forcing colors with the slider bars is that you achieve some pretty harsh color transitions. Both Figures 13-19 and 13-20 bear witness to this fact. Talk about your jagged edges! Luckily, you can soften the color transitions by abandoning and forcing pixels gradually over a fuzziness range, which works much like the Fuzziness value in the Color range dialog box, leaving some pixels opaque and tapering others off into transparency.

To taper the opacity of pixels in either the active layer or the underlying image, Alt-drag one of the triangles in the appropriate slider bar. The triangle splits into two halves, and the corresponding value above the slider bar splits into two values separated by a slash, as demonstrated in Figure 13-21.

Alt-drag

Figure 13-21: Alt-drag a slider triangle to split it in half. You can then specify a range across which brightness values fade into transparency.

Alt-drag

Figure 13-21: Alt-drag a slider triangle to split it in half. You can then specify a range across which brightness values fade into transparency.

The left triangle half represents the beginning of the fuzziness range — that is, the brightness values at which the pixels begin to fade into or away from view. The right half represents the end of the range — that is, the point at which the pixels are fully visible or invisible.

Figure 13-22 shows some fuzziness applied to the This Layer slider. Here are the specifics:

♦ In the top example, I set the blend mode to Multiply. I left the first This Layer triangle set to 0. I Alt-dragged the second triangle to split it. And I moved the left half of the split triangle to 55 and the right half to 128. The result is a grad ual drop off. All pixels with brightness values of 0 to 55 are opaque, the pixels become gradually more translucent from 56 to 127, and pixels brighter than 128 are transparent.

4 Next, I duplicated my layer and switched the blend mode to Screen. After splitting the first slider triangle with an Alt-drag, I set one half of the triangle to 128 and the other to 220. I dragged both halves of the second This Layer triangle back to 255. The darkest pixels are transparent, they fade into view from 129 to 219, and they become opaque from 220 on up. As shown in the bottom example in Figure 13-22, the result is a perfect blending of Multiply and Screen, with the sunset showing through in the gray areas.

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Photoshop Secrets

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