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Deke's Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey

323 Masking mountains away from sky


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Deke's Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: 323 Masking mountains away from sky

In this movie, I'll show you how to create that mask that I use to The green channel's going to show us a lot of detail, You want to set both channels, both the Source 1 And now let's say we want to get rid
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  1. 27m 43s
    1. 334 Straightening and “uncropping” a photo
      16m 17s
    2. 335 Restoring a missing photograph detail
      11m 26s
  2. 10h 11m
    1. 282 Ringing in the New Year with dynamic effects in Illustrator
      12m 59s
    2. 283 Dynamically transforming fills and strokes
      13m 41s
    3. 284 Tracing an avatar from a photograph in Photoshop
      12m 24s
    4. 285 Drawing a vector-based avatar in Illustrator
      19m 44s
    5. 286 Coloring and shading your avatar
      16m 0s
    6. 287 Exporting an illustration as a universally supported PNG file
      10m 54s
    7. 288 Upsampling a layered composition with great results
      13m 43s
    8. 289 Rebuilding a pattern at a higher resolution
      7m 29s
    9. 290 Painting happy little trees
      13m 46s
    10. 291 Shading and lighting the happy forest
      15m 15s
    11. 292 Enlarging a low-res photograph in Photoshop
      12m 20s
    12. 293 Enlarging a photo by tracing it in Illustrator
      13m 10s
    13. 294 Mastering Exposure in Camera Raw
      11m 40s
    14. 295 Super smooth and unflinchingly sharp
      10m 46s
    15. 296 Deleting an inadvertent photo bomber
      8m 13s
    16. 297 Correcting a distorted panorama
      17m 23s
    17. 298 Rebuilding bad stitching in a panorama
      14m 53s
    18. 299 Nondestructive dodge and burn
      8m 54s
    19. 300 Blending a shadow into any background
      8m 37s
    20. 301 Saving a PNG image with a translucent shadow
      8m 45s
    21. 302 Cleaning up a smart phone photo
      11m 17s
    22. 303 Using Photoshop 1.0
      5m 45s
    23. 304 Creating your own Chinese seal (or chop)
      26m 4s
    24. 305 Simulating hand lettering with art brushes
      20m 8s
    25. 306 Adding texture to your hand stamp
      3m 34s
    26. 307 Creating a black chop on red paper
      5m 55s
    27. 308 Auto-hiding iconic panels in Photoshop
      3m 44s
    28. 309 Creating a custom toolbox in Illustrator CC
      4m 21s
    29. 310 Creating the perfect passport photo
      20m 18s
    30. 311 Retouching your passport photo
      13m 38s
    31. 312 Turning a photo into a giant mural
      13m 11s
    32. 313 Enhancing the reality of your mural
      11m 8s
    33. 314 Creating a 3D bump map
      12m 7s
    34. 315 UV overlay and 3D bump paint
      14m 4s
    35. 316 Using Lens Flare for good (not evil)
      10m 48s
    36. 317 Using the Perspective Crop tool
      9m 29s
    37. 318 Reducing real-world camera shake
      10m 4s
    38. 319 Reducing glare in a photograph
      15m 25s
    39. 320 Restoring repeating details
      13m 43s
    40. 321 Integrating a detail captured with a phone
      9m 6s
    41. 322 Blending two exposures of a single scene
      12m 25s
    42. 323 Masking mountains away from sky
      14m 22s
    43. 324 Creating a photographic caricature in Photoshop
      10m 7s
    44. 325 Exaggerating facial features with Liquify
      12m 48s
    45. 326 Masking a caricature against a new background
      11m 20s
    46. 327 Shading and sharpening a caricature
      10m 6s
    47. 328 Drawing a Möbius strip in Illustrator
      12m 21s
    48. 329 Shading the Möbius strip with gradients
      9m 0s
    49. 330 Adding twisting edges to the Möbius strip
      8m 9s
    50. 331 Creating an impossible Penrose triangle
      10m 37s
    51. 332 Shading the cubes in your Penrose triangle
      8m 15s
    52. 333 Selectively converting a photo to black & white
      7m 53s
  3. 17h 21m
    1. 185 Creating a custom 2013 calendar in Illustrator
      11m 44s
    2. 186 Adding dates to a calendar using tables
      9m 50s
    3. 187 Branding your calendar with a field of logos
      10m 54s
    4. 188 Crafting an Infinity symbol to match a specific font
      12m 6s
    5. 189 Op art experiment 1a: Inflated checkers
      10m 49s
    6. 190 Op art experiment 1b: Rounded windows
      6m 39s
    7. 191 Building a universal ISOTYPE man with strokes
      15m 6s
    8. 192 Building a universal ISOTYPE woman with strokes
      11m 7s
    9. 193 Drawing an ISOTYPE couple in love
      12m 55s
    10. 194 Creating a Warhol-style silkscreen effect
      14m 43s
    11. 195 Creating a series of Warhol-style variations
      10m 43s
    12. 196 Adding Warhol-style background variations
      8m 20s
    13. 197 Creating opaque colored shadows
      5m 20s
    14. 198 Assembling multiple variations into a single comp
      5m 9s
    15. 199 Creating a pattern of unique inset circles
      9m 55s
    16. 200 Changing a static blended color scheme
      7m 16s
    17. 201 Op art experiment 2a: Undulating pattern
      20m 26s
    18. 202 Op art experiment 2b: Concentric rings
      9m 43s
    19. 203 Developing a dramatic castle in Camera Raw
      13m 21s
    20. 204 Artificially coloring a photo in Camera Raw
      9m 38s
    21. 205 Creating an antique photo effect in Camera Raw
      7m 53s
    22. 206 Adding a weathered old-photo frame effect
      12m 0s
    23. 207 Drawing an Angry Birds-like character
      16m 59s
    24. 208 Stroking an entire layer in Illustrator
      9m 21s
    25. 209 Drawing a classic snarling cartoon face
      11m 10s
    26. 210 Drawing a radiant, cheerful cartoon background
      18m 29s
    27. 211 Stroking any kind of type in Illustrator
      5m 0s
    28. 212 Creating synthetic water droplets
      9m 29s
    29. 213 Simulating liquid reflections with effect
      5m 19s
    30. 214 Simulating liquid refractions with a dmap
      5m 30s
    31. 215 Creating an eye-catching splatter effect
      9m 8s
    32. 216 Defringing purples and greens in Camera Raw 7
      10m 4s
    33. 217 Making a danger sign more dangerous
      15m 9s
    34. 218 Using texture and depth to add realism
      10m 22s
    35. 219 Precisely aligning artwork to the bleed
      7m 16s
    36. 220 Creating and importing a tracing template
      6m 50s
    37. 221 Drawing a distinctive 2D video game character
      18m 52s
    38. 222 Adding features to the face of a 2D character
      14m 3s
    39. 223 Creating a vivid aura around an entire character
      7m 25s
    40. 224 Adding variable-width strokes in Illustrator
      11m 23s
    41. 225 Animating bird wings with Puppet Warp
      12m 15s
    42. 226 Animating text by onion skinning in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    43. 227 Creating an animated movie in Photoshop
      9m 15s
    44. 228 Exporting an animation to QuickTime and GIF
      5m 44s
    45. 229 Correcting an underwater photograph
      10m 30s
    46. 230 Making a photo razor-sharp and porcelain-smooth
      7m 17s
    47. 231 Reducing noise in a high-ISO shot with Camera Raw
      8m 33s
    48. 232 Creating highly reflective sunglasses
      10m 43s
    49. 233 Adding drama to an outdoor portrait shot
      6m 35s
    50. 234 Creating volumetric forms with shape layers
      15m 52s
    51. 235 Creating a bloodshot eye effect
      7m 11s
    52. 236 Shading an image with shapes and layer masks
      13m 2s
    53. 237 Creating fabric textures with pattern layers
      7m 27s
    54. 238 Colorize any layer with Color Overlay
      3m 23s
    55. 239 Turning a portrait into a dot drawing
      7m 40s
    56. 240 Creating a full-color dot drawing
      3m 29s
    57. 241 Drawing an orthogonal cube with the line tool
      7m 9s
    58. 242 Creating a cube of differently colored cubes
      9m 27s
    59. 243 Recreating the Creative Cloud Logo in Illustrator
      16m 18s
    60. 244 Creating a psychedelic fabric texture
      9m 7s
    61. 245 Turning psychedelic fabric into rock letters
      5m 23s
    62. 246 Creating a more finely rendered dot drawing
      8m 29s
    63. 247 Converting from RGB to CMYK via Multichannel
      12m 31s
    64. 248 Creating printer-safe CMYK shadows
      6m 48s
    65. 249 Creating bright, golden motion trails
      12m 32s
    66. 250 Creating schematic art with grid
      12m 41s
    67. 251 Drawing precisely aligned arrowhead
      12m 8s
    68. 252 Adding arrowheads around a closed path
      6m 1s
    69. 253 Drawing the Pen tool without touching the Pen tool
      17m 13s
    70. 254 Merging frames for the best possible UAV photo
      16m 40s
    71. 255 Retouching details in an aerial landscape
      12m 13s
    72. 256 Editing a video and adding transitions in Photoshop
      10m 57s
    73. 257 Importing the quadcopter crash sequences
      9m 4s
    74. 258 Color correcting a video and adding a soundtrack
      8m 56s
    75. 259 Adding precisely timed titles to your video
      11m 43s
    76. 260 Hand-painting an image with a Wacom Cintiq
      13m 11s
    77. 261 Blending the final false-color artwork
      8m 41s
    78. 262 Creating a honeycomb pattern in Illustrator
      12m 50s
    79. 263 Building up strokes to create 3D honeycomb
      9m 8s
    80. 264 Turning yourself into a zombie
      14m 0s
    81. 265 Enhancing an ambience environment for the undead
      9m 26s
    82. 266 Creating dripping, gooey ghost letters
      16m 43s
    83. 267 Turning type into gooey green slime
      11m 19s
    84. 268 Creating heavy metal type (updated for Photoshop CS6 and CC)
      12m 27s
    85. 269 Cleaning up a crummy product shot
      11m 3s
    86. 270 Scaling and rotating photographic objects
      10m 10s
    87. 271 Tracing a line drawing with uniform strokes
      11m 18s
    88. 272 Coloring line art using Live Paint Bucket
      18m 22s
    89. 273 Creating a pigture using shapes and letters
      18m 7s
    90. 274 Integrating a cartoon into a photograph
      7m 27s
    91. 275 Converting a photo into a Lichtenstein drawing
      16m 8s
    92. 276 Adding bring Ben-Day dots and a talk balloon
      15m 31s
    93. 277 Painting an eye using a custom brush
      11m 31s
    94. 278 Painting and smoothing straight-sided brushstrokes
      12m 0s
    95. 279 Simulating pressure with path outlines
      6m 3s
    96. 280 Developing a 32-bit HDR image in Camera Raw
      14m 42s
    97. 281 Converting from 32-bit to the more flexible 8-bit mode
      11m 15s
  4. 14h 31m
    1. 091 Removing people from a photo
      10m 44s
    2. 092 Masking people back into a photo
      10m 58s
    3. 093 Hand-painting a mask
      10m 5s
    4. 094 Masking a real-life shadow
      10m 40s
    5. 095 Turning a photo into line art
      7m 44s
    6. 096 Adding a crosshatch shading pattern
      6m 46s
    7. 097 Creating type that inverts anything behind it
      5m 32s
    8. 098 Creating auto-inverting line art
      5m 7s
    9. 099 Creating movie poster credits
      8m 10s
    10. 100 Creating a dual-focus hybrid image
      6m 24s
    11. 101 Adding text to a hybrid composition
      7m 24s
    12. 102 Drawing with the reshape tool
      10m 39s
    13. 103 Hand-drawing a really great letter
      10m 6s
    14. 104 Creating a vanity frame
      5m 28s
    15. 105 Adding a frame to a photograph
      5m 3s
    16. 106 Drawing a highly graphic explosion with Illustrator
      10m 3s
    17. 107 Drawing a Ninja Turtle nose
      10m 22s
    18. 108 Mapping a dog face onto a duck
      8m 20s
    19. 109 Putting a tongue on a duck
      7m 6s
    20. 110 Making synthetic lightning in Photoshop
      11m 3s
    21. 111 Creating a driving rain effect in Photoshop
      4m 57s
    22. 112 Designing a railroad track
      12m 18s
    23. 113 Bending the railroad track around curves
      7m 46s
    24. 114 Creating a Star Wars hologram effect
      9m 23s
    25. 115 Creating leafy letters
      6m 12s
    26. 116 Creating topiary type
      6m 22s
    27. 117 Creating type in grass
      9m 0s
    28. 118 Rendering type in smoke
      7m 30s
    29. 119 Rendering type in brushed metal
      9m 57s
    30. 120 Adding brushed copper effect
      4m 14s
    31. 121 Reflecting type in water
      10m 57s
    32. 122 Reflecting water back into type
      11m 14s
    33. 123 Joining type to a circle
      7m 14s
    34. 124 Making flared type on a circle
      7m 17s
    35. 125 Making a person emerge from water
      5m 32s
    36. 126 Creating progressive water ripples
      10m 17s
    37. 127 Creating an upside-down face effect
      10m 17s
    38. 128 Achieving silky smooth skin with retouching
      6m 33s
    39. 129 Pearly white teeth
      7m 28s
    40. 130 Head-shrinking
      8m 26s
    41. 131 Getting a big head
      5m 11s
    42. 132 Adding a photographic texture to vector type
      4m 28s
    43. 133 Adding strokes in back of photo type
      5m 9s
    44. 134 Adding a border to an image in Illustrator
      4m 17s
    45. 135 Two ways to crop in Illustrator
      7m 29s
    46. 136 Inventing a 3D temple with a depth map
      10m 0s
    47. 137 Drawing a 3D object with Curves
      11m 41s
    48. 138 Creating a superhero shield in Illustrator
      16m 28s
    49. 139 Turning Illustrator paths into Photoshop shapes
      11m 42s
    50. 140 Creating a photorealistic superhero shield
      12m 39s
    51. 141 Pimping your ride in Photoshop
      9m 59s
    52. 142 Masking and blackening a car
      10m 20s
    53. 143 Drawing a multi-part vector mask
      12m 46s
    54. 144 Masking and painting a shadow
      8m 26s
    55. 145 Integrating blades of grass into tires
      5m 34s
    56. 146 Making a (ridiculously) dramatic sky
      6m 2s
    57. 147 Adding flame stripes to a car
      8m 23s
    58. 148 Creating interlocking octagons in Illustrator
      7m 44s
    59. 149 Hand-coloring line art
      13m 9s
    60. 150 Creating a custom wave pattern
      9m 56s
    61. 151 Simulating a screen print
      8m 30s
    62. 152 Drawing a perfect linear spiral in Illustrator
      9m 42s
    63. 153 Drawing a spiraling nautilus shell
      11m 4s
    64. 154 Designing a hex pattern in Illustrator CS6
      11m 10s
    65. 155 Making a hex pattern in Illustrator CS5 and earlier
      7m 4s
    66. 156 Creating a Facebook cover in Photoshop
      9m 25s
    67. 157 Matching a profile picture to your cover
      6m 37s
    68. 158 Cloning yourself in Photoshop
      11m 16s
    69. 159 Lighting the clone party
      8m 29s
    70. 160 Hand-carving letters into wood
      8m 0s
    71. 161 Creating a Spirograph-like pattern
      7m 34s
    72. 162 Tracing scalloped gear teeth around a circle
      4m 55s
    73. 163 Applying custom carve and shadow styles to type
      8m 50s
    74. 164 Turning a pencil sketch into digital ink
      12m 55s
    75. 165 Adding a graph-paper background
      13m 42s
    76. 166 Creating a continuous single-line Spirograph
      13m 2s
    77. 167 Scaling circles into complex patterns
      7m 15s
    78. 168 Creating a money-like design
      8m 43s
    79. 169 Attack of the killer pumpkin
      14m 49s
    80. 170 Simulating a glowing Jack-o-lantern
      12m 24s
    81. 171 The headless stranger in the mist
      12m 25s
    82. 172 Creating 3D punched letters
      13m 29s
    83. 173 Designing a double-wave line pattern
      11m 2s
    84. 174 Assembling a seamless pattern brush
      9m 53s
    85. 175 Creating a hand turkey in Photoshop
      18m 42s
    86. 176 Creating a depth-of-field cast shadow
      7m 29s
    87. 177 Creating a lustrous round jewel
      13m 56s
    88. 178 Cutting and brushing light on a gem
      8m 30s
    89. 179 Creating a shiny button with inset text
      11m 5s
    90. 180 Creating a jaunty six-sided star
      15m 1s
    91. 181 Interweaving star shapes and adding gradients
      8m 28s
    92. 182 Casting shadows between interwoven shapes
      9m 12s
    93. 183 Creating a Hobbit-like text effect
      15m 6s
    94. 184 Enhancing a landscape photo in Camera Raw 7
      9m 16s
  5. 13h 11m
    1. 001 Creating ice type
      8m 39s
    2. 002 Branding type on a texture
      7m 6s
    3. 003 Creating an image-branding machine
      7m 13s
    4. 004 Capturing effects with layer comps
      7m 35s
    5. 005 Rendering type in gold
      8m 9s
    6. 006 Creating a hammered metal background
      5m 48s
    7. 007 Creating heavy metal type
      8m 13s
    8. 008 Creating a molten letter effect
      6m 43s
    9. 009 Setting type on fire
      11m 20s
    10. 010 Using an anti-edge mask
      7m 20s
    11. 011 Blending textures onto a face
      9m 28s
    12. 012 Rendering a face as a cave painting
      7m 34s
    13. 013 Creating a reflection in shattered glass
      8m 32s
    14. 014 Creating a face in a tree
      11m 20s
    15. 015 Building a synthetic star field
      8m 21s
    16. 016 Making 3D type with Repoussé
      10m 14s
    17. 017 Casting 3D shadows and reflections
      9m 35s
    18. 018 Adjusting 3D light sources
      10m 51s
    19. 019 Masking highlights and shadows
      6m 27s
    20. 020 Masking glass
      10m 39s
    21. 021 High key high contrast
      8m 33s
    22. 022 Simulating sub-pixel rendering
      10m 58s
    23. 023 Fixing chromatic aberrations in Photoshop
      9m 41s
    24. 024 Fixing chromatic aberrations in Camera Raw
      8m 51s
    25. 025 Correcting red-eye like a pro
      11m 56s
    26. 026 Turning a photo into an ink drawing
      10m 42s
    27. 027 Turning a photo into a pencil sketch
      8m 43s
    28. 028 Creating a seamlessly repeating pattern
      10m 56s
    29. 029 Repairing seams in a repeating pattern
      10m 47s
    30. 030 Creating a 3D pie chart
      11m 9s
    31. 031 Splitting and modifying 3D meshes
      11m 52s
    32. 032 Using the Ground Plane Shadow Catcher
      6m 58s
    33. 033 Creating a talk show-style curtain
      7m 57s
    34. 034 Assembling a flawless panorama
      10m 5s
    35. 035 Removing people with image stacks
      11m 44s
    36. 036 Creative stacking with Maximum and Range
      11m 44s
    37. 037 Creating synthetic wood grain
      9m 23s
    38. 038 Making slats of uniquely textured wood
      10m 52s
    39. 039 Kerning within a single character
      10m 31s
    40. 040 Creating a raised bevel effect
      11m 49s
    41. 041 Putting wings on a horse
      10m 41s
    42. 042 Creating a classic heart in Illustrator
      7m 15s
    43. 043 Glossing up a heart in Photoshop
      8m 42s
    44. 044 Shooting and assembling a stereoscopic photo
      8m 15s
    45. 045 Extending 3D beyond the screen plane
      6m 13s
    46. 046 Adding stereo 3D text and shapes
      9m 9s
    47. 047 Tilting text and shapes toward the viewer
      8m 13s
    48. 048 Creating a shooting star in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    49. 049 Using blends to draw path outlines
      8m 8s
    50. 050 Inventing custom starbursts
      7m 33s
    51. 051 Making a fictional creature
      12m 5s
    52. 052 Transforming a creature into a monster
      6m 14s
    53. 053 Capturing a monster in motion
      11m 45s
    54. 054 Changing the color of a car
      7m 12s
    55. 055 Painting a colorful car black
      8m 16s
    56. 056 Coloring the stripes on a zebra
      10m 47s
    57. 057 Drawing trendy swirls in Illustrator
      10m 59s
    58. 058 Creating variable-width and brushed swirls
      10m 46s
    59. 059 Drawing trendy ornaments in Illustrator
      8m 49s
    60. 060 Designing a magically updating pattern
      8m 40s
    61. 061 Automatically collapsing a selection
      7m 43s
    62. 062 Adding a magnifying glass into a design
      7m 5s
    63. 063 Healing one eye onto another
      7m 15s
    64. 064 Creating a giant command key
      9m 15s
    65. 065 Drawing common symbols part 1
      6m 29s
    66. 066 Drawing common symbols part 2
      9m 26s
    67. 067 Filtering images with Camera Raw
      7m 52s
    68. 068 Creating a vivid HDR effect
      5m 29s
    69. 069 Creating an ambigram in Illustrator
      10m 45s
    70. 070 Making a two-word ambigram
      7m 47s
    71. 071 Drawing a Halloween scareflake
      10m 45s
    72. 072 Creating true clones in Illustrator
      11m 7s
    73. 073 Taking your scareflakes into Photoshop
      7m 20s
    74. 074 Making a faux HDR image in Lab
      8m 38s
    75. 075 Turning a guy into a zombie
      7m 3s
    76. 076 Miniaturizing the world in Photoshop
      6m 45s
    77. 077 Creating a synthetic rainbow
      8m 53s
    78. 078 Casting an artificial shadow from a layer
      7m 2s
    79. 079 Rendering a portrait in type
      8m 58s
    80. 080 Rendering a portrait in tile patterns
      7m 43s
    81. 081 Rotating a pattern layer in Photoshop
      4m 16s
    82. 082 Tracing an image with path outlines
      7m 50s
    83. 083 Turning path outlines into a vector mask
      6m 0s
    84. 084 Drawing rays of light in Photoshop
      5m 40s
    85. 085 Drawing concentric glow rings
      7m 24s
    86. 086 Designing an Indiana Jones-style logo
      8m 50s
    87. 087 Achieving mitered corners in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    88. 088 Masking with Blunt Instruments in Photoshop
      11m 8s
    89. 089 Creating a stained-glass ornament
      8m 26s
    90. 090 Designing a stained-glass window
      10m 23s

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Deke's Techniques
55h 43m Intermediate Jan 11, 2011 Updated Jul 22, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.

Subjects:
Design Raw Processing Design Techniques
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

323 Masking mountains away from sky

In this movie, I'll show you how to create that mask that I use to distinguish the mountains from the sky in order to create this final two exposure composition. I'd like to tell you that this is a completely automated process, that there's nothing to it. But it actually requires a fair amount of manual labor. And that's because if you zoom on in to the image, you can see that it's easy to distinguish the trees from the sky, as well as the rocks. The problem is these little patches of snow, which are every bit as bright and neutral as the clouds up here in the sky.

So, we are going to have to engage in some actual work here. The first step is to go ahead and select the brighter layer, which is the brighter of the two exposures. And then, armed with the rectangular marquee tool, up here at the top of the tool box, right-click inside the image window and choose Duplicate Layer, and go ahead and set document to New. And then I'm going to name this guy, New Mountain Mask, like so. Just so we can tell it apart from the other one. And I'll click OK, and we end up with this image right here.

Alright, now we don't need the existing layer mask, so I'll go ahead and right click on the layer mask thumbnail and choose Delete Layer Mask here inside the layer's panel. And then I'm going to flatten the image by going up to the Layer menu and choosing the Flatten Image command, which will leave us with a single background. Alright, now what you want to do is check out your channels. Just give 'em a look here inside the Channels panel. So I'll go ahead and switch over to that panel and then I'll click on the red channel. That's no good because the mountains are too greyish, and we've got this big black and white region of sky.

The green channel's going to show us a lot of detail, but it's really not what we're looking for for this effect. What we want is the blue channel, because it's going to do the best job of separating the blue sky from the non-blue landscape. Thing is though, notice that the blue channel starts off too bright. So what we're going to do is switch back to the RGB image, and then go up to the Image menu and choose the Calculations command. You want to set both channels, both the Source 1 channel and the Source 2 channel right here to blue.

And the layer doesn't matter because there aren't any. We just have the background. And we're working inside the same source image, New Mountain Mask right there. You want the blend mode to be set to multiply. That's going to work out great. And an opacity of 100% will work as well. Make sure the Invert check boxes are off, and then click OK. And you'll now see that you have a new channel called Alpha 1. Let's go ahead and name it Mountains, for now. Alright, next we want to increase the contrast between the sky and the mountains.

And we're going to do that the simplest way possible, by going up to the Image menu, choosing Adjustments, and choosing the Levels command. You'll have to experiment with these values to decide what works for you. But for this image, we want the black point to be 100. That gives us some nice black mountains. And we want the white point value to be 150, which gives us some nice bright sky along with a ton of bright little patches of snow, which are a big pain in the neck by the way. We're going to leave the gamma value alone. So leave that set to 1.00.

Click OK, and that pretty much exhausts most of the automation associated with this mask. Now the next thing that I want you to do, in order to get rid of these dark patches of sky up here, what I'd like you to do is select of all tools the magic wand. That's going to work out brilliantly for us because, this tool if nothing else, does a great job of separating white or black from everything else. So I'll go ahead and select the magic wand tool. These options are set wrong, however, for what we want.

Go ahead and set the tolerance to 0. And then, turn off the Anti-alias check box. Leave Contiguous turned on. Sample All Layers doesn't matter. Now, click in a white portion of the sky. And what that does is, it goes ahead and selects all of the white pixels. The pixels that are absolutely white. And it leaves the cloud pixels here. These dark sky or cloud regions. It leaves them de-selected. We want the opposite, so go up to the Select menu and choose Inverse in order to select those cloud regions.

It just helps us see where they are because they're not always absolutely identifiable. And then you want to switch to the brush tool. Then right-click inside the image window, let's crank the size value up to something like 100. And you want to take the harness value up to 100%, that's very important. And then press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, in order to accept that change. And now you want to press the D key, in order to invoke the default colors so that white is the foreground color. That's the default when you're editing a mask in Photoshop.

Alright now I might make my brush a little bigger by pressing the right bracket key a few times there, and I'll brush inside of the selected sort of sky cloud regions, whatever they are. And we'll go ahead and brush down into there. You don't want to brush down into the mountain because you'll end up painting inside of it, which of course we don't want. So I'll go ahead and undo that brush stroke, and I'll paint inside those marching ants right there. Let's check if there's anything over here on the right-hand side. Doesn't look like there is. There might be a little something right there. Alright, and then, we've got some stuff right in this region.

We just want that sky to be as clean as possible. Once you think you've painted in every single one of these patches of marching ants, then press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on the Mac, in order to deselect the image. Switch back to the wand, and click inside the image again and you should see no marching ant action inside of that sky. I see just a little bit. And so I'm going to try it again. I'll go up to the Select menu and choose Inverse, so that these little areas are selected here. I'll press the B key to switch to the brush tool, I'll press the left bracket key in order to reduce the size of the brush.

I'll paint right there, and there. This is the biggest sort of blotch right there. And there's something up in this region as well. And then you can knock yourself out as much as you want elsewhere along the mountains. You don't have to get things perfect, by the way. because after all, there's so much detail along the ridge of these mountains that I don't think there's anybody who's going to question the authenticity of the final composition. Alright, now I'll press Ctrl+D, or Cmd+D on a Mac, in order to deselect the image. And now, is where things get really super fun, by which I mean super duper painful.

We've gotta paint inside the mountain, is basically what I'm saying. And so I'm going to press the X key so that my foreground color is black. And I'm going to reduce the size of my brush. And then I'm going to paint. And you can see that I'm zoomed on in here. I'm zoomed to 66.7%. Now I'm at 100%, so that I can really see what I'm doing. And progress is going to be slow. I have probably made it about a twentieth the way across the image. And that, I bet, is a wild exaggeration. Now, if you're at all concerned about whether these are actually little patches of snow or whether they're holes in the trees.

Then you can click on the RGB image to view it by itself, and it's anybody's guess what these things are. I'm guessing that they're not little arches, that they're actually patches of snow. So I'll go ahead and click in the Mountains channel again, and then I'll paint these guys in. Now, if you want to make faster progress, and I imagine most of you, unless you're like a tree sloth or something like that, you're going to probably start getting impatient with this process very quickly. There's no speedy way to get through this, but you might want to try the Polygonal Lasso tool.

So I'll go ahead an select that guy. And then what I can do is just kind of click, like so, around these regions. And this is the worst of it by the way, this middle section of the mountains here is just excruciating. But go ahead if you want. You know, you can select it, or you can watch me do it, which I imagine is about the most stiflingly boring thing on the face of the planet. But I promised I would show you how to do this, and so I want to make good of course. Now, if, if at any point you just get too sick and tired of this process to continue, what's great about the polygonal lasso tool, notice that it doesn't auto scroll.

So if I get to the side over there, the side of the image. And I move beyond it, then I can auto scroll which is a really great thing because otherwise, you know, I'd have to zoom out and then I wouldn't be able to get any clarity as to what's going on here. And so forth. Alright, let's say you want to actually have something get done, and you know you don't want to leave the computer and have your toddler come over and you know, click unnecessarily and ruin for things for you. Why then, what you want to do is just kind of, zoom out. So you can press Ctrl+minus, or Cmd+minus on a Mac, in order to zoom out while you're working.

And then just go ahead and circle your way around into the pasteboard here. And then find where you started, which for me is right there. And then go ahead and complete the selection. Black is my foreground color, so I can fill this selection by pressing Alt+Backspace, or Option+Delete on the Mac. And then, if you want to get this stuff down here, why then I would press the M key to switch to the rectangular marquee tool, and just go ahead and make a big huge rectangular marquee. Now this should give you a sense of satisfaction, if you go and drag all the way up to above this thing right there, do you see that? Because that's part of the mountains right there, it's a rock.

I'll go ahead and switch back to the Mountains channel now. And I'll press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill that incredibly huge area with black. So that's good, I was able to achieve that pretty quickly, which is nice. And then, it's up to you how you proceed. I'm going to press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on a Mac in order to deselect the image. And I'm going to press the B key to switch back to the brush tool, because I'm just basically sick and tired of using the lasso tool. And then, I'll just, sort of, click inside these areas. You really want to click, as opposed to drag because, any time you start dragging when you're masking, it gets kind of dangerous because, let's say you drag a really long distance, like I've done here.

And then, all of a sudden, you drag out of the mountains. I'm not going to do it, because I don't want that burden, but then that means you have to undo the entire brushstrokes. So, easy does it. You just want little short brushstrokes when you're doing this kind of work, because we're working without a net. Meaning, we're not doing overlay painting, for example, which is a really common masking technique, which is where you paint with the brush tool set to the overlay blend mode. And that's not going to do us any good in this case, which is why we're not doing it. So we're just doing everyday, average, normal painting because this isn't creative at all.

This is like trying to get the edge of a wall painted. I hope this demonstrates to you that there are times where masking cannot be super duper automated. There's lots of times in fact, where you just have to do some hand painting in order to get things done properly. And you know, we could have drawn a path with the pen tool around these regions as well, if you like to work with a pen. But it really isn't going to do us any good. It doesn't seem to me. Which is why I decided to go with the polygonal lasso tool, and the brush.

That thing right there is called devil's thumb, just in case you were curious, because it does look like a thumb. Alright, now I'll go and paint this stuff away, and, wasn't it great that we had a point of interest there for just a moment? And this is the mask, by golly. I finished it. That was probably, maybe, what six minutes of painting? So not so bad. Now, let's say that you want to separate this image out as an independent grayscale image, the way I did with this MountainMask.tiff file right there. Well, first thing I gotta do is invert the image.

So let's switch back to my Mountains channel and go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments and choose the Invert command. And now let's say we want to get rid of the image, because it's served it's purpose. Right? We only needed it to create the initial base channel. And then, of course, we needed to check in on it once in a while to see what's background and what's foreground. Now that we're done with it, switch back the Mountains channel. Go out to the Image menu, choose Mode and choose Grayscale. And Photoshop's going to warn you, hey I'm going to throw away all of the other channels, including the image itself.

But of course, that's exactly what we want, so go ahead and click OK, and you're left with a single gray channel and nothing more. No layers, either. We just have a grayscale image. And then you would ostensibly save this as a TIFF image, with LZW compression. That's going to be your best bet for a mask like this. Because with LZW, lossless compression by the way, big regions of white and big regions of black end up compressing down to nothing. They really compress well. Then, we would go back to our composition. Let's say I was developing it, and of course I just want to test things to make sure that this mask works.

I'll go ahead and right-click on the layer mask associated with the brighter layer. And I'll choose Delete Layer Mask to get rid of it. And now let's load the one we just created, by going up to the Select menu and choosing Load Selection. And then I will change the document to New Mountain Mask. That abbreviated version there. Channel Gray, that's the only channel we've got. Invert is turned off, and then click OK. And now, drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Channels panel and click on it, and you will go ahead and mask the bright foreground from the dark background, the dark sky, that is to say.

And of course then I went in with the gradient tool. You saw this in a previous movie but I'll just do it really quick again. And I added a black to transparent gradient, very important there, to the top of the sky. So I drag down like that, and I'm pressing the Shift key as I do, in order to darken the sky a little bit. And then I'm shift dragging upward to darken the foreground of the path as well. And then I'm pressing the F key a couple of times. And now, I am pressing Ctrl+plus, or Cmd+plus on a Mac, in order to zoom in on that image.

And that friends, is how you mask any cloud range, from any sky you may have, no matter how much snow is sitting on top of those mountains, here inside Photoshop.

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