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Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
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Using layer masks


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Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

Video: Using layer masks

One of the new features in Elements 9. 0 that everyone is excited about is the ability to add a layer mask to a layer. layer masks have been available in Adobe Photoshop for a while now, but in Elements, until this version of the program, the only way to add a layer mask was through a convoluted workaround. Now, you can add a layer mask directly to a layer and use that layer mask to non-destructively hide and show different parts of the layer. To show you what a layer mask gives and how to use one, I have this gorgeous photograph of fall scenery in New Mexico by photographer John Lorenz.
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  1. 11m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      3m 47s
    3. Touring the workspaces
      5m 55s
  2. 54m 16s
    1. Working with catalogs
      5m 22s
    2. Importing and using the exercise files
      5m 13s
    3. Importing files from your computer
      7m 31s
    4. Importing photos from your camera
      8m 57s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      4m 44s
    6. Importing files from external drives/CDs/DVDs
      4m 44s
    7. Scanning photos
      6m 50s
    8. Dividing scanned photos
      5m 51s
    9. Importing from watch folders (Windows only)
      5m 4s
  3. 39m 10s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      6m 41s
    2. Viewing thumbnails
      6m 15s
    3. Rotating photos
      52s
    4. Renaming photos
      2m 55s
    5. Fixing photo dates
      2m 28s
    6. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 6s
    7. Stacking photos
      4m 22s
    8. Moving files
      2m 43s
    9. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 53s
    10. Using Help
      3m 55s
  4. 54m 22s
    1. Rating photos
      3m 58s
    2. Applying and organizing keyword tags
      7m 4s
    3. Searching by keyword tags
      3m 35s
    4. Tagging with People Recognition
      11m 3s
    5. Using Smart Tags
      5m 57s
    6. Creating albums
      4m 41s
    7. Creating Smart Albums
      6m 28s
    8. Searching by text
      5m 28s
    9. Using the Find menu
      4m 19s
    10. Using the Timeline
      1m 49s
  5. 30m 14s
    1. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 21s
    2. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      9m 20s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 56s
    4. Viewing by date
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping photos (Windows only)
      7m 19s
  6. 38m 36s
    1. Applying Photo Fix
      9m 0s
    2. The Quick Fix interface
      7m 9s
    3. The Quick Fix controls
      5m 22s
    4. Adjusting lighting in Quick Fix
      3m 46s
    5. Adjusting color in Quick Fix
      5m 39s
    6. Using the Touch Up tools in Quick Fix
      7m 40s
  7. 43m 43s
    1. Guided Edit basics
      8m 13s
    2. Making an Out of Bounds image
      10m 17s
    3. Perfecting a portrait
      7m 43s
    4. Adding realistic reflections
      5m 26s
    5. Applying a LOMO camera effect
      2m 0s
    6. Making pop art
      1m 31s
    7. Using Style Match
      8m 33s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Full Edit workspace overview
      6m 51s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 51s
    3. Using tools
      7m 40s
    4. Arranging panels
      5m 18s
    5. Setting preferences
      3m 41s
    6. Using Undo History
      6m 39s
    7. Zooming and navigating
      7m 4s
    8. Creating a blank file
      5m 19s
    9. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 9s
    10. Cropping and straightening photos
      7m 15s
    11. Recomposing photos
      8m 15s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 27s
    13. Saving and formats
      5m 46s
  9. 35m 4s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 17s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    3. Using layer masks
      7m 43s
    4. Using layer masks to combine images
      6m 27s
    5. Building composites
      8m 16s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Selection basics
      3m 22s
    2. Manual selection tools
      3m 19s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      7m 24s
    4. Refining selection edges
      3m 30s
    5. Saving selections
      3m 23s
  11. 1h 21m
    1. Color managing
      7m 14s
    2. Applying Shadow/Highlight adjustments
      2m 42s
    3. Using adjustment layers
      8m 24s
    4. Masking adjustment layers
      7m 38s
    5. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      6m 8s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 56s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 14s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 37s
    9. Reducing digital noise
      4m 7s
    10. Sharpening photos
      7m 32s
    11. Processing multiple files
      7m 59s
    12. Working with raw photos
      15m 57s
  12. 18m 34s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tools
      6m 16s
    2. Dodging and burning
      2m 29s
    3. Retouching blemishes
      4m 29s
    4. Content-aware healing
      2m 31s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      2m 49s
  13. 25m 53s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 36s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 34s
    3. Using layer styles
      7m 23s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 46s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 19s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
  14. 11m 25s
    1. Creating text
      7m 1s
    2. Editing text
      4m 24s
  15. 1h 25m
    1. Creating a photo collage
      8m 38s
    2. Fine-tuning a photo collage
      8m 3s
    3. Creating greeting cards
      8m 34s
    4. Creating photo calendars
      9m 28s
    5. Creating CD/DVD jackets and labels
      7m 43s
    6. Creating a photo book
      7m 44s
    7. Fine-tuning a photo book
      7m 11s
    8. Creating a slideshow (Windows only)
      8m 0s
    9. Fine-tuning a slideshow (Windows only)
      3m 23s
    10. Creating a flip book (Windows only)
      2m 47s
    11. End to end: Making a scrapbook page
      8m 15s
    12. End to end: Completing a scrapbook page
      5m 24s
  16. 49m 27s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 38s
    2. Contact sheets and picture packages (Windows only)
      6m 40s
    3. Sharing photos by email
      6m 38s
    4. Sharing photos by Photo Mail (Windows only)
      5m 8s
    5. Sharing to Flickr and Facebook
      4m 43s
    6. Saving images for the web
      6m 48s
    7. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      2m 55s
    8. Sharing online albums at Photoshop.com
      5m 4s
    9. Backing up
      2m 53s
  17. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
11h 20m Beginner Nov 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Downloading files from a digital camera
  • Importing photos into an Elements catalog
  • Applying keyword tags
  • Organizing photos into albums and Smart Albums
  • Automatically adjusting photos in Quick Fix
  • Walking through Guided Edit photo techniques
  • Understanding photo resizing and resolution
  • Cropping and straightening photos
  • Making and refining selections
  • Correcting photos in the Full Edit workspace
  • Applying image sharpening
  • Adding text and special effects
  • Creating photo projects, such as greeting cards and calendars
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop Elements Elements
Author:
Jan Kabili

Using layer masks

One of the new features in Elements 9. 0 that everyone is excited about is the ability to add a layer mask to a layer. layer masks have been available in Adobe Photoshop for a while now, but in Elements, until this version of the program, the only way to add a layer mask was through a convoluted workaround. Now, you can add a layer mask directly to a layer and use that layer mask to non-destructively hide and show different parts of the layer. To show you what a layer mask gives and how to use one, I have this gorgeous photograph of fall scenery in New Mexico by photographer John Lorenz.

If you look at the layers panel, you can see that, that photograph is one the top layer, the trees layer, and that I have another layer below which is currently hidden that's filled with orange. If I make the trees layer temporarily invisible by clicking its eye icon, you can see that orange layer below. I will make the trees layer visible again. Now what I would like to do is add a layer mask to the trees layer that will hide parts of the trees layer without actually deleting anything on the trees image itself.

To add a layer mask to the trees layer, I will first make sure the trees layer is selected in the layers panel, and then I will go down to the Add layer Mask icon, the icon that looks like a square with a circle in it at the bottom of the layers panel. I will click to add a white layer mask. And this thumbnail on the right side of the trees layer represents the layer mask. A layer mask is a grayscale element. In other words, it can be only white, black, or gray. Where our layer mask is white like this, it shows or reveals everything on the layer to which it's attached.

So with the layer mask white, we can still see everything that's on the trees layer here in the image. But where our layer mask is black, it hides the corresponding part of the image to which it's attached. So I am going to add some black paint to this layer mask to hide parts of the trees image and where those parts are hidden on the trees layer, we will be able to see down through the orange layer below. Before I add any paint, I want to make sure that I have the layer mask thumbnail selected in the layers panel.

I don't want to have the image thumbnail selected like this. When the layer mask thumbnail is selected, it has this thin black border around it. Then I will go over to the toolbar and I want to make sure that I have black as my foreground color. Since I have black as the background color, and white as the foreground color right now, I will click this double- pointed arrow right here and that will switch the two colors, so that black is in the foreground. Next, I will select the Brush tool here in the toolbar and I will move into the image and I am going to make a mark on the layer mask.

And remember I am painting on the layer mask. I am not painting with orange on the trees. You can see exactly where I've painted on the layer mask if you look at the layer mask thumbnail over here and where I have added that black paint to this layer mask, it is hiding the corresponding part of the trees and so in that area, we can see down through to the orange on the layer below. Now that's not very interesting. To make it look a little better, I can get a different kind of a brush. With the Brush tool still selected, I am going to go up to the Brush Picker and I will click the arrow to the right of the Brush Picker and then I will scroll down in the Brush Picker and I will select this brush that looks like a maple leaf and then I will click in the blank area of the options bar to close the Brush Picker.

I will move into the image and you can see that the brush-tip is in the shape of a maple leaf and this particular brush is what's called a scatter brush, it uses different sizes of this maple leaf pattern as the brush-tip. So I am just going to click and drag very slightly with this brush and as I do, I am adding black paint in the shape of maple leaves on the layer mask thumbnail, and wherever I have those maple leaf shapes, I am hiding the trees on the trees layer so we can see down through to the orange on the layer below.

Let's take a look at this layer mask. I can show you the layer mask in the document window by holding the Alt key on the PC or the Option key on the Mac and clicking right on that layer mask thumbnail. So here you can see where I have added black paint to the layer mask and these are all the places where I am hiding the trees on the trees layer, so we can see down through to the orange on the layer below. I will Alt or Option+click again on the layer mask thumbnail to bring back the image. So, one way to add black paint to a layer mask is to paint with black.

Another way to add black paint is to make a selection and fill the selection with black. To show you how to do that, I will go back to the toolbar and I am going to click on the Rectangular Marquee tool and from the flyout menu, I will choose the Elliptical Marquee tool. Before I make a selection with this tool, I am going to go up to its options bar, click in the Feather field, and I will type there 2 pixels, and that will make the edge of my selection feathered or a little bit soft, and then I will come into the image and I am going to start near the top-left of the image and drag towards the bottom right, creating an oval selection.

I am going to invert this selection, so everything is selected outside of that oval, by going up to the Select menu, and choosing Inverse. So now I have all of this frame area around the oval selected. And I am going to fill that frame with black on the layer mask. So I will double-check that the layer mask thumbnail is selected, and then I will go up to the Edit menu and choose Fill Selection. In the Use menu of the Fill layer dialog box, I will choose Black, and I will click OK and that fills this frame area with black on the layer mask, as you can see over here on the layer mask thumbnail.

To remove these dotted lines, the marching ants, I will go up to the Select menu and choose Deselect. So I am using black on the layer mask to hide this frame area of the trees and to hide other parts of the tree image in the shape of these leaves and wherever there is black on that mask, we can see down through to orange on the layer below. Well, you may be wondering why I didn't just delete these portions of the tree layer? And the answer is that using a layer mask gives me a lot more flexibility to change my mind. So if I now decide that I really don't want to be able to see down through these leaf shapes, I can switch from black paint to white paint over here in the toolbar.

I can get my Brush tool again and this time I will go back to the Brush Picker and I will scroll up and I am going to select just a regular soft brush. I will click in a blank area of the options bar to close the Brush Picker and now I am going to come in and paint with white over some of these areas where I had added black paint in the shape of leaves. And as I paint back onto the layer mask with white, I am revealing the trees on the layer to which that mask is attached. So, if you are looking for a way to remember, there is a little mantra that you will about layer mask which is that white on a mask reveals and black on a mask conceals.

And as a little extra point, if I paint with gray on a layer mask, I will partially conceal the content of the layer to which the mask is attached. So that gives you a sense of the great flexibility of layer masks. I can use a layer mask to non- destructively conceal or reveal parts of a layer and if I change my mind altogether and don't want that mask, I can always delete it without harming the underlying image. To delete this mask, I will click on the layer mask thumbnail in the layers panel and drag it down to the Trash can at the bottom right of the layers panel and release my mouse and in this warning, I will click Delete, and there is my original photograph of the trees unharmed.

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