The Smart Brush tool and the Detail Smart Brush tool apply tonal and color adjustments to specific areas of a photo. Certain effects can also be applied using these tools. You simply pick a preset adjustment and apply the correction. Both tools automatically create adjustment layers. This feature offers you flexibility in working with your photos because the original image layer is not altered. You can go back and tweak the adjustments and no image information is discarded.
When you apply the Smart Brush tool, it makes a selection based on color and texture similarly. The adjustment is simultaneously applied to the selected area. You can adjust shadows, highlights, colors, and contrasts. Apply colors of the objects in your image, add textures, apply various photographic effects.
However you cannot change the settings of an effect because the layer with the effect is a pixel layer and not an adjustment layer.
Enhance dull and boring backgrounds.
Create a Satin effect for clothes/textiles in an image.
Add flowery patterns to dresses in an image.
Add designer patterns to walls or backgrounds in an image.
The Detail Smart Brush tool enables you to paint the adjustment to specific areas of the photo just like a painting tool. This tool helps adjust fine details with pattern and effect presets. Painting and applying the preset in small areas is more precise. Click an effect from the drop-down list and paint over the area to apply the effect. You can choose from a range of brushes. It has settings for brush size and shape in the options bar.
It also works like a Selection tool; you can click Refine Edge in the options bar to modify the selection’s shape and size. To remove an area from the selection, click the Remove area from Selection brush.
Both brush tools enable you to add to or subtract from the areas being adjusted. You can also have more than one adjustment preset applied to a photo. Each preset adjustment is applied to its own adjustment layer. You can tweak the settings for each correction separately.
When a correction is made, a pin appears where you first applied the adjustment. The pin provides a reference for the specific adjustment. A new pin appears when a different adjustment preset is applied. This feature makes it easier to modify a specific correction, especially if you apply different adjustments.
Choose an option from the pop-up panel menu to view different sets of adjustments. For more information on configuring the pop-up panel, see About presets.
- If you selected the Smart Brush tool, open the Brush Picker in the options bar and adjust the settings.
- To add the current adjustment to more areas of the photo, paint or drag in the image. If necessary, make sure Add To Selection is selected.
- To apply a different type of adjustment, select New Selection, select a preset from the pop-up panel, and then paint in the image.
- To smooth the edges of the selection, click Refine Edges in the options bar, adjust the settings in the dialog box, and then click OK. For more information, see Smoothing selection edges with anti-aliasing and feathering.
If you use a different tool from the toolbox and then return to the Smart Brush tool or Detail Smart Brush tool, the last adjustment you applied is active.
Photoshop Elements lets you apply many different preset adjustments using the Smart Brush tool and the Detail Smart Brush tool . You pick an adjustment from the preset pop-up panel in the options bar. Like all pop-up panels, the Smart Brush preset pop-up panel can be configured. Use the panel menu to display the adjustments as thumbnails or in a list. You can also drag the picker out of the options bar so it floats where you want it in the workspace.
Specific sets of adjustments or all adjustments can be viewed by choosing from a menu near the upper-left area of the panel. The adjustments range from tonal and corrections.
The Levels dialog box is a powerful tonal and color-adjustment tool. You can make levels adjustments in the entire image or a selected portion. (To access the dialog box, choose Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Levels.)
You can do any of the following with the Levels dialog box:
A. Channels to adjust color B. Shadow values C. Middle tones D. Highlight values
Set the shadow and highlight values to make sure that your image uses the full tonal range.
Adjust the brightness of the image’s middle tones without affecting the shadow and highlight values.
Fix a color cast by making grays neutral. You can also enhance an image by adding a slight color cast, for example, by adding a warming effect on a sunset.
Target shadow and highlight RGB values if you are preparing images for commercial printing.
When you work with Levels, you can work directly on the image pixels or through an adjustment layer. Adjustment layers give you flexibility in the following ways:
You can modify an adjustment at any time by double-clicking the adjustment layer to reopen the Levels dialog box.
You can reduce the effect of an adjustment by lowering the adjustment layer’s opacity in the Layers panel.
You can stack adjustment layers to make multiple adjustments without degrading the image because of too many successive adjustments.
You can use the adjustment layer’s layer mask to confine an adjustment to a portion of your image.
Brightens the dark areas of your photo and reveals more of the shadow detail that was captured in your image.
Darkens the light areas of your photo and reveals more of the highlight detail that was captured in your image. Pure white areas of your photo don’t have any detail and aren’t affected by this adjustment.
Adds or reduces the contrast of the middle tones. Use this slider if the image contrast doesn’t look right after you’ve adjusted shadows and highlights.
To reset the image to how it looked when you opened the dialog box, hold down Alt (Option in Mac OS) and click the Reset button.
- Set the shadow and highlight values by dragging the black and white Input Levels sliders (the left and right sliders directly under the histogram) to the edge of the first group of pixels on either end of the histogram. You can also enter values directly into the first and third Input Levels text boxes.
Press Alt (Option in Mac OS) and drag the Shadow slider to see which areas will be clipped to black (level 0). Press Alt (Option in Mac OS) and drag the Highlight slider to see which areas will be clipped to white (level 255). Colored areas show clipping in individual channels.
- To adjust the brightness of the middle tones without affecting the shadow and highlight values, drag the gray Input Levels (middle) slider. You can also enter values directly in the middle Input Levels text box. (A value of 1.0 represents the current unadjusted midtone value.) Click OK.
You can click Auto to move the Highlight and Shadow sliders automatically to the brightest and darkest points in each channel. This is the same as using the Auto Levels command and may cause a color shift in your image.
The Brightness/Contrast command is best used on selected portions of an image. Use this command to adjust the brightness of an entire image or to reduce contrast results in an image. The Levels and Shadow/Highlight commands are better choices for making tonal adjustments.
The Dodge tool and the Burn tool lighten or darken areas of the image. You can use the Dodge tool to bring out details in shadows and the Burn tool to bring out details in highlights.
Brushes pop‑up menu
Sets the brush tip. Click the arrow next to the brush sample, choose a brush category from the Brushes pop‑up menu, and then select a brush thumbnail.
Sets the image tonal range that the tool adjusts. Select Midtones to change the middle range of grays, Shadows to change the dark areas, and Highlights to change the light areas.
The Sponge tool saturates or desaturates areas of the image. You can use the Sponge tool to bring out or mute the color on an object or area.