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Learn how to work with vibrance and saturation sliders in Camera Raw 4.0.
Tags:adobe,adobe photoshop cs3,camera raw 4.0,images,saturation,total training,tutorial,vibrance
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So we've gone through how to adjust the main portions of an image, such as White Balance and Exposure and things like that. But a couple of things we haven't talked about are the Vibrance and Saturation Sliders down here on the bottom right-hand corner of the Camera Raw interface.
In order to better show you what these things do, I am actually going to open up a new series of files. So I am going to go ahead here, and click Done, and go back into the Adobe Bridge and navigate to Brent.dng and also Flags.CR2. Now, once I have these images selected, I am going to go ahead and use Ctrl+R on the PC, Command+R on the Mac to bring up the Camera Raw dialog box.
Once I am inside Camera Raw, I am going to go ahead and jump to Flags.CR2 by selecting it on the left-hand filmstrip. Now, I am going to come down here, and we are going to start taking a look at the Vibrance and the Saturation Sliders. This Vibrance Slider is actually a new feature to Photoshop CS3's Camera Raw plug-in, and what it allows you to do, is it allows you to bump-up the colors in a particular image, while not effecting those colors that are already super-saturated.
So in essence, what you would be doing is saturating the unsaturated colors and leaving the colors that already look good alone. This is especially handy, when you are editing photos that have people in them, because it helps you to maintain the skin tone color without totally blowing it out and making it look all orange and distorted. So let's go ahead and start messing around with the Vibrance Slider here, and what we are going to do is just take that and start punching it up a little bit.
Now, once I do that, you should see that most of the colors in here are going to start to brighten up a bit. Now, I can show you before and after by using the P key on my keyboard again. So here is before and here is after. You notice that we are getting a deeper saturation, that all of these blues that were a little light before, yet we are maintaining a good bit of the original reds that we had in these flags.
Now, I am going to go ahead and show you now if I reset the Vibrance to its original setting and then conversely play with the Saturation setting, you'll see that once I start doing that, I actually affect all of the colors inside of here, and it's really starting to look kind of cartoonish and really losing that essence of realism that we are trying to portray here in this image.
So I am going to show you here, here is before and after. You see we are really super-saturating those reds as well as saturating the blues. Now, we want to saturate the blues, but we do not want to oversaturate these reds because it's really starting to look a little bit fake.
So we are going to reset that back to zero(0), and we are going to also take a look at how this affects skin tone. So I am going to jump now to Brent.dng, and we'll start to see exactly how these Sliders effect images with people in them, and how good vibrances for skin tones as opposed to saturation, which is good for overall color adjustments.
So what we are going to do now, is I am going to start pumping-up the Vibrance Slider here. When I do that, you'll notice that I am getting a deeper saturation down here in the grass of the image, yet his face is maintaining its overall tone. That's really good. That's exactly what we want, because I wanted to bump-up this saturation of these areas behind him, but I wanted to maintain his even flesh tones.
Now, if I go ahead and reset that back, and start to increase the overall saturation, you'll see that automatically his skin starts to take on this ugly orange tint. So if I keep pushing it up, and then even go to the extreme of all the way over to the right, you'll notice that, yes I have increased the saturation of the grass, and the sky does look a little bit more blue. But, we now have this ugly orange cast to his face, one of which we cannot recover from.
So if I go ahead and set that back, and then push up the Vibrance Slider, you notice, I can push it all the way up to 100, and yes I have done the exact same thing as I did before with the Saturation Slider, but this time I have maintained all of those great tones on the face. So as just a rule of thumb, saturation, great for overall color adjustments, great for bumping-up the entire color spectrum of an image, not so much for just doing selective.
If you only want to do selective color saturating inside of Camera Raw, only use the Vibrance Slider. That way, you can always maintain your even flesh tones and never have to worry about making people look orange and really distorted.