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Alpha channels are collections of luminance data that control the transparency of images, and they influence just about everything in Photoshop. Coming to terms with alpha channels, also known as masks, is a surefire way to maximize results. Omni Award-winning Photoshop expert Deke McClelland leaves no pixel unturned as he explores Refine Edge, Color Range, the Channels palette, the Quick Mask mode, channel masking, blend modes, and more. After watching Photoshop CS3 Channel and Masks: The Essentials, even the most complex techniques will seem like child's play. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Channels and Masks from the Exercise Files tab."
Hi, I'm Deke McClelland, best-selling author of books and videos on computer graphics, digital imaging and electronic design. I'm here at the swank new lynda.com offices in Ventura, California, and I'd like to welcome you to my two-part intensive series on Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks. I love channels and masks for two reasons. First the permit you to merge different images into a seamless composition. For example, we've all seen advertisements that make our mouthes water, that make you really believe you are witnessing the most amazing, gotta-have-it product you have ever seen.
You know what you're seeing isn't entirely real or possibly not real at all but it makes a promise and the better the composition, the more credible, the more palpable, the more seductive the promise. Properly executed you buy into that promise hook, line and sinker. Well my willing fish, if it was a still graphic in a magazine or on a billboard, that bait you saw was likely 100% the results of channels and masks in Photoshop. If it was a TV ad, or involved some sort of motion then it was 49.99% the result of channels and masks in Photoshop.
That is to say, other programs were part of the process but Photoshop was still a big player. So rest assured the theory and execution conveyed in this ambitious, comprehensive, hands-on series will serve you well, no matter where your journey takes you. Second-- and remember there are two reasons I love channels and masks-- masking has yet to be successfully automated. Now that might seem like a weird reason, but think about it. If there's no automation, then companies need creative professionals to get the job done. Because it involves seeing photographs and other imagery in a way that people can see them but computers can't, masking relies on the pluck and talent of the compositor. By which I mean, not to put too fine a point on it, you.
And it's fun work too. As you're about to find out time and time again, no two jobs are the same. I'd like to start things off by walking you through a few key preference settings. Set your preferences according to my recommendations and you and I will be on the same page so that you can better follow along with my instructions throughout the training. Besides, these are some great preference settings in general, the kind that will make for a beautiful working relationship between you and Photoshop CS3. Let's get started.
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