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Applying a layer mask to create a reflection

From: Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools

Video: Applying a layer mask to create a reflection

Layer masks become very useful for certain special effects, like for instance right here I am going to zoom in on this LG sign here that's reflected on this side of the building. So I am going to go in here real close, and as we see the reflection and as we study real reflections, you would notice that the lighter the tones of reflection the more visible they will be in the glass that's reflecting them, and the darker areas will be a little more transparent. They won't be as strong in the reflections so that you can see through them a little better. And again, we also have these other areas that need to cover this.

Applying a layer mask to create a reflection

Layer masks become very useful for certain special effects, like for instance right here I am going to zoom in on this LG sign here that's reflected on this side of the building. So I am going to go in here real close, and as we see the reflection and as we study real reflections, you would notice that the lighter the tones of reflection the more visible they will be in the glass that's reflecting them, and the darker areas will be a little more transparent. They won't be as strong in the reflections so that you can see through them a little better. And again, we also have these other areas that need to cover this.

Now I could have spent a lot of time and just created each panel individually, but that takes too much time. It's much easier to do it by using things like layer masks. Let's look at how this was created. I've got here a file in which I've added a couple layers. This background layer is just a pattern, the inside of the building you might say. Here are the window frames. These are the frames in front of our building and so on. And this is the item that's being reflected inside of those. So what I want to do now is I want to create this and make it look more like a reflection.

So what I am going to do is right off the bat I am going to bring down the opacity a little bit, just such so that it becomes this little hint of a visual in the glass. But I only want to see it in the glass; I don't want to see it through these parts over here. So what I am going to do is I am going to assign it a mask. Now I can do it from down here, or I can come up here and say Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All or Hide All. I am going to say Reveal All, which is going to give me a white mask. Now that I have the mask selected--and it is selected there, the layer is selected here and the mask is selected--I am going to turn this layer, the one that has the separations of the glass, into a selection by Command+Clicking on it. There we go.

Now that we have it selected, I am going to the mask. I am in the mask. I have black for my foreground color. So I am going to fill the mask with black through that area. So I am going to say using the foreground color, do it. Now we see that right off the bat the reflection looks like it's in the glass. Now this red dot is much darker than the blue. So in that particular case I want to do something different. So what I am going to do is I am going to use my Magic Wand tool and select from that layer, the red dot.

Now that I have that dot selected, I am going to go back to the mask, right, and in the mask I am going to go in there and fill that area with grays, enough of a gray so that it's going to hide this, just partially exposing more of the scene behind it, so that you can see more of it. Because of that red being so dark, you wouldn't see as brightening the reflection. So I am going to go in there and fill that with a gray. So we'll go in there, and we'll pick a gray. So I'll pick like about a medium gray like that, and now this is going to be partially exposed, because that right now is going to be turned into a gray, but we can fix that later.

So I am going to go in there and just fill that with that gray, and now we can see that we have just seen a little hint of that. If that's a little too much, we might want to go in there and darken it a little bit. So I can go in there and pick a darker gray or a lighter gray. I want to expose more of it, so I'll just pick a lighter gray, and I'll expose that. Now we're seeing more of the background showing through and less of the other tone. Turn these guys back into a selection and fill that area back with black again, and there we can see that when we deselect it, we've seen a reflection that's just exposing more of this area through the red than through this area.

When we look at just the mask by Option+Clicking on the mask, we see that the area of the circle is a gray, the area that we want to fully expose is a white, and the area we want to completely hide is black. So you see that our mask has different tones in it for different levels of visibility of the contents of that layer against its background to make it look like it is a true reflection.

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This video is part of

Image for Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools
Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools

61 video lessons · 8795 viewers

Bert Monroy
Author

 
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  1. 6m 34s
    1. Welcome to the tools used to create "Times Square"
      57s
    2. What is "Times Square?"
      5m 37s
  2. 1h 32m
    1. Using a Cintiq to control the brushes in Photoshop
      3m 33s
    2. Making the chain brush
      8m 49s
    3. Making the single loop chain
      6m 55s
    4. Creating a brush to make furry text
      8m 13s
    5. Creating the look of stitching on cloth
      5m 46s
    6. Creating a rough brushstroke look for the Tarzan sign
      3m 3s
    7. Creating a crochet look brush
      5m 32s
    8. Creating dirt and grime
      6m 16s
    9. Using brushes to create trees in Central Park
      6m 41s
    10. Using a brush to create the look of embroidery
      3m 3s
    11. Creating the stars on the wall of the Toys"R"Us image
      6m 24s
    12. Creating a fabric design
      3m 43s
    13. Creating the look of brick
      4m 27s
    14. Weathering bricks
      8m 23s
    15. Creating light bulbs
      6m 14s
    16. Creating the effect of a fading brushstroke
      5m 36s
  3. 15m 42s
    1. Creating a paper towel
      8m 5s
    2. Creating denim
      3m 25s
    3. Creating asphalt
      4m 12s
  4. 21m 3s
    1. Layer groups
      7m 59s
    2. Making the lights in the Toys"R"Us image
      3m 12s
    3. Understanding the layers in lights
      5m 20s
    4. Creating blinds with a 3D postcard applied to layers
      4m 32s
  5. 32m 55s
    1. Creating a bottle
      8m 50s
    2. Creating an iPhone case
      3m 35s
    3. Creating the iPhone icons
      3m 34s
    4. Creating a ladder
      6m 8s
    5. Creating the effect used on the Bubba Gump sign
      5m 7s
    6. Creating realistic glasses
      5m 41s
  6. 1h 56m
    1. Creating a fabric texture
      9m 46s
    2. Creating Julianne's pants
      9m 28s
    3. Creating a checkerboard pattern on a bottle cap
      6m 16s
    4. Creating a wood texture
      8m 26s
    5. Creating concrete and marble
      3m 14s
    6. Creating a brick pattern
      7m 12s
    7. Creating ribbed metal
      5m 40s
    8. Creating ribbing on T-shirts
      11m 18s
    9. Creating a lime
      8m 29s
    10. Creating leather
      2m 33s
    11. Creating rough animal skin
      4m 0s
    12. Creating a grill on a car
      6m 4s
    13. Creating a car light
      6m 2s
    14. Creating the windshield
      10m 39s
    15. Creating a metal screen
      4m 14s
    16. Creating a quilted metal effect
      3m 18s
    17. Creating wafer quilting
      4m 41s
    18. Creating a pattern on the wall
      5m 16s
  7. 6m 57s
    1. Making the clipping group used on the manga billboard
      6m 57s
  8. 10m 36s
    1. Applying a layer mask to create a reflection
      3m 53s
    2. Linking masks
      1m 35s
    3. Applying layer masks and layer styles to create a chain link in a necklace
      5m 8s
  9. 52m 35s
    1. Explaining channels
      4m 0s
    2. Creating a license plate with channels
      6m 47s
    3. Creating shadows on the cables
      5m 50s
    4. Explaining channel calculations
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding calculations in channels
      4m 32s
    6. Creating a manhole cover with channels
      15m 31s
    7. Creating wiring on lights with channels and calculations
      12m 9s
  10. 29s
    1. Parting words
      29s

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