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Adding a layer mask

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Adding a layer mask

One of our conventions here at lynda.com is that we go ahead and save out progress files as we move through a project. That way, if you run into a stumbling block, you can just close one file and open another, which is why I've saved my progress as First liquification.psd. However, if you're working successfully inside of your own file, absolutely stick with it. Now you may recall, so far we've jumped the image to a new layer, applied the Liquify filter. We're going to do that exact same thing again, that is to say I'm going to click on the Background layer.

Adding a layer mask

One of our conventions here at lynda.com is that we go ahead and save out progress files as we move through a project. That way, if you run into a stumbling block, you can just close one file and open another, which is why I've saved my progress as First liquification.psd. However, if you're working successfully inside of your own file, absolutely stick with it. Now you may recall, so far we've jumped the image to a new layer, applied the Liquify filter. We're going to do that exact same thing again, that is to say I'm going to click on the Background layer.

I'm going to jump into a new layer in order to make yet another duplicate. And I'm going to apply a different incarnation of the Liquify filter with the intention of moving this portion of her brow over her eye, because that's something I can't do. I can't make one portion of her face cover another portion inside the Liquefy filter by itself. So I need two layers to pull that off. And if we switch to the completed version of the image, you can see what I mean. Notice that her brow right there at the bridge of her nose is covering this portion of her eye, the very beginning of her eye. All right.

So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to click on the Background layer to make it active. And this time instead of pressing Ctrl+ J or Command+J on the Mac, I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac. Now if it seems like I'm throwing a bunch of keyboard shortcuts at you, I am. And of course, we are going to explore them in much more detail in later exercises, but here's what happens. If you add Alt or Option to the mix, so I'll press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac, I not only jump the layer, but I'm giving the opportunity to name it here inside the New Layer dialog box.

So Alt or Option frequently forces the display of a dialog box or forces a dialog box that normally comes up onscreen to remain hidden. So I'm going to go ahead and name this layer brow & nose and then I'm going to click OK. So now I've created it and named it in one step. Next, I need to move brow & nose above liquify eyes, because that brow has to cover that eye. And I'm going to do that just by dragging the layer above liquify eyes to the point that I can see a thick line right there, a thick horizontal line, between liquify eyes and face shadow.

So just like this there, then I drop it into place. And now the original image is in front. Now I'm going to go up to the Filter menu. I'm going to choose the Liquify command to bring up the Liquify window. Notice I don't see my previous modification this time around. I just see the image laid before me in its original condition. That's because Liquify does not remember your changes from one session to another, which is why it's such a good idea to save your mesh before you click OK. Anyway, I'll stress that when we take a look at Liquify in a future chapter.

But right now, I'm going to click on Load Mesh to load one that I've saved in advance, which is Avatar girl nose.msh. Once again, click Open. And this is a distortion that was based on the previous distortion. So I just started where I left off, and made some more modifications. Mostly, move this bridge of the nose over here. You can see I just squish in this eye, but once we get done erasing this layer will erase down to the unsquished eye in the Background. It'll work out great.

So I'll click OK in order to accept this modification. Now you can see, here's the brow & nose layer that I just created. Now I'll turn it off, so you can see the liquify eyes layer below. So that's what I need to do is erase through brow & nose to that liquified eye in the background. I'm going to do that by erasing this area right here. And I could use the Eraser tool, which is a great tool, insofar as it goes, it allows you to erase pixels, you can apply a soft brush, you can apply a hard brush whatever, it is you want to do.

However, you do permanently erase those pixels. Now you can always undo your modifications. If you want to, you could back step up to 20 steps inside of Photoshop, by default. However, what if you erase your way through a layer, and then you close the image and save your changes, and then later, you open the image back up, and you look at the image, and you wish you could retrieve those erased pixels? Well, you can't. And that's what's known as a destructive modification. So the Eraser tool basically destroys portions of the image, whereas if you take advantage of what's called a layer mask, then you can temporarily burrow a hole through one layer down to another.

And what we're going to do is we're going to create the layer mask, and then we're going to modify it. And here's how it works. Make sure that brow & nose layer that you just created is selected, then drop down to the bottom of the Layers palette, and see that icon right there, Add layer mask. Now if I click on it, I'm going to create a white layer mask. That doesn't do anything to the image whatsoever. Notice the image looks just the same as it did a moment ago. White inside of a layer mask represents opacity, black represents transparency.

That means you can paint an image away using black, and then you can paint it back in using white, which means that the original pixels, which are right there, never go away. But what I want to do is I want to fill this mask with black, so we're starting with the layer transparent, and then we'll paint it in with white. And I'm going to do that by pressing Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo the creation of that layer mask. Then I'm going to drop down to this icon right there, Add layer mask, and I'm going to press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and I'm going to click on it.

And by virtue of the fact you Alt- or Option-clicked, you fill this layer mask with black that represents transparency. And so we've wiped out the contents of the layer. Now of course, the layer is still there. All we need to do is paint it in using white. And that's something that we're going to do in the very next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

195 video lessons · 73808 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 39m 52s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
      1m 49s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 8s
  2. 53m 36s
    1. There is nothing you can't do
      2m 1s
    2. The power of Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Duplicating a layer
      4m 49s
    4. Liquifying an image
      4m 43s
    5. Adding a layer mask
      5m 54s
    6. Loading an alpha channel
      7m 42s
    7. Selecting with Color Range
      4m 10s
    8. Making a Hue/Saturation layer
      2m 53s
    9. Luminance blending
      7m 21s
    10. Mask density
      5m 9s
    11. Making a knockout layer
      4m 11s
  3. 51m 23s
    1. The best way to work
      41s
    2. Setting General preferences
      5m 33s
    3. Changing the pasteboard color
      5m 41s
    4. File handling, performance, and units
      7m 25s
    5. Touring the Photoshop interface
      11m 5s
    6. Creating and saving a workspace
      7m 21s
    7. Changing settings and updating the workspace
      6m 4s
    8. Resetting the preferences
      7m 33s
  4. 2h 46m
    1. The amazing Adobe Bridge
      1m 17s
    2. Making a new image
      5m 11s
    3. Opening an image
      7m 7s
    4. Opening and closing multiple images
      5m 24s
    5. Opening a problem image
      4m 23s
    6. Adding file information
      8m 37s
    7. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      7m 37s
    8. A whirlwind tour of Bridge
      7m 21s
    9. Adjusting the interface and thumbnails
      8m 18s
    10. Using the full-screen preview
      8m 5s
    11. Rotating images on their sides
      5m 38s
    12. Assigning star ratings and labels
      8m 40s
    13. Filtering thumbnails in the Contents panel
      9m 13s
    14. Moving, copying, and deleting files
      6m 34s
    15. Creating and assigning keywords
      6m 38s
    16. Searches and collections
      7m 3s
    17. Batch-exporting JPEG files
      8m 57s
    18. Batch-renaming
      7m 15s
    19. String substitution and regular expressions
      8m 50s
    20. Grouping images into stacks
      7m 21s
    21. Comparing images in Review mode
      5m 58s
    22. Playing images in a slideshow
      4m 49s
    23. Customizing and saving the workspace
      7m 17s
    24. Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
      8m 36s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Learning to swim inside an image
      37s
    2. The tabbed-window interface
      5m 19s
    3. Arranging image windows
      4m 26s
    4. Common ways to zoom
      5m 31s
    5. New zoom tricks in Photoshop CS5
      4m 24s
    6. Hidden old-school zoom tricks
      4m 34s
    7. Scrolling and panning images
      4m 8s
    8. Viewing the image at print size
      6m 42s
    9. The Navigator and "bird's-eye" scrolling
      2m 56s
    10. Nudging the screen from the keyboard
      2m 39s
    11. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 41s
    12. The Rotate View tool
      3m 36s
    13. Cycling between screen modes
      6m 17s
    14. Using the numerical zoom value
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Imaging fundamentals
      58s
    2. What is image size?
      7m 45s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 0s
    4. Selecting an interpolation option
      4m 56s
    5. Upsampling versus "real" pixels
      5m 22s
    6. The penalty of pixels
      5m 35s
    7. Print size and resolution
      7m 26s
    8. Downsampling for print
      6m 39s
    9. Downsampling for email
      7m 28s
    10. Options for upsampling
      8m 13s
    11. Better ways to make a big image
      6m 1s
  7. 44m 43s
    1. Frame wide, crop tight
      1m 2s
    2. Using the Crop tool
      8m 8s
    3. Fixing out-of-canvas wedges
      5m 31s
    4. Crop tool presets
      6m 53s
    5. Previewing the crop angle
      4m 24s
    6. The Crop command
      4m 47s
    7. Straightening with the Ruler tool
      4m 18s
    8. Cropping without clipping
      5m 1s
    9. Perspective cropping
      4m 39s
  8. 1h 41m
    1. Making drab colors look better
      1m 20s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      4m 10s
    3. Adjusting numerical values
      4m 26s
    4. Introducing adjustment layers
      5m 17s
    5. Editing adjustment layers
      2m 51s
    6. Saving adjustment layers
      4m 35s
    7. Adding a quick layer mask
      4m 23s
    8. Introducing the Histogram
      4m 34s
    9. Working with the Histogram panel
      6m 27s
    10. Using Color Balance
      7m 18s
    11. Introducing the Variations command
      4m 51s
    12. Luminance and saturation controls
      3m 54s
    13. Fading a static adjustment
      3m 21s
    14. How hue and saturation work
      4m 28s
    15. Rotating hues and adjusting saturation
      6m 4s
    16. Creating a quick and dirty sepia tone
      4m 42s
    17. Adjusting hues selectively
      5m 32s
    18. The Target Adjustment tool
      4m 24s
    19. Photoshop CS5 Target Adjustment enhancements
      53s
    20. Adjusting the color of clothing
      8m 44s
    21. Enhancing a low-saturation image
      4m 23s
    22. Refining saturation with Vibrance
      5m 1s
  9. 1h 57m
    1. Photoshop versus the real world
      1m 21s
    2. Meet the selection tools
      10m 26s
    3. Marking the center of an image
      4m 9s
    4. Drawing a geometric selection outline
      4m 45s
    5. Blurring a selection outline with Feather
      6m 8s
    6. Copy and paste versus drag and drop
      5m 31s
    7. Creating a graduated selection
      4m 29s
    8. Aligning one image with another
      4m 45s
    9. Accessing the Move tool on the fly
      3m 34s
    10. Invert and Match Colors
      5m 4s
    11. Matching colors selectively
      3m 52s
    12. Feathering and filling a selection
      5m 14s
    13. Dressing up a composition with effects
      5m 34s
    14. The incredible image rotation trick
      2m 18s
    15. The Magic Wand tool
      4m 12s
    16. Tolerance and other options
      7m 7s
    17. Grow, Similar, and Inverse
      5m 39s
    18. Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso
      7m 27s
    19. Evaluating a selection in Quick Mask
      8m 52s
    20. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    21. Placing an image with a layer mask
      3m 23s
    22. Eliminating edge fringing
      7m 43s
  10. 1h 58m
    1. Brushing to correct
      56s
    2. How brushing works
      4m 52s
    3. Working with spacing
      7m 32s
    4. Changing size and hardness
      7m 45s
    5. The heads-up Color Picker
      7m 17s
    6. Flipping a mirror image
      3m 33s
    7. Setting the source for the History brush
      3m 42s
    8. Brightening details with the Dodge tool
      7m 49s
    9. Darkening details with the Burn tool
      3m 5s
    10. The Sponge tool
      4m 29s
    11. Backing off edits
      8m 4s
    12. Patching eye bags
      8m 57s
    13. Evening out flesh tones
      7m 23s
    14. Smoothing away whiskers
      7m 41s
    15. Reducing shadow noise
      7m 0s
    16. How healing works
      4m 40s
    17. The enhanced Spot Healing brush
      4m 52s
    18. Using the better Healing brush
      4m 23s
    19. Introducing the Clone Source panel
      3m 49s
    20. Cloning from one layer to another
      5m 30s
    21. Working with multiple sources
      4m 44s
  11. 1h 23m
    1. The layered composition
      1m 0s
    2. Making a new background layer
      6m 58s
    3. Working with "big layers"
      6m 24s
    4. Move, Duplicate, and Scale
      4m 11s
    5. Transforming a copy and repeat
      5m 15s
    6. Stacking order and eyedropping a layer
      5m 15s
    7. Adjusting multiple layers at once
      4m 22s
    8. Switching between layers
      4m 56s
    9. Making a digital star field
      5m 9s
    10. Blend mode and clipping mask
      4m 50s
    11. Dragging and dropping from your desktop
      4m 38s
    12. Black + Lens Flare = glow
      6m 16s
    13. Locking transparency
      5m 42s
    14. Adding gradient layers
      8m 12s
    15. Stacking an adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    16. Adding shadow and stroke
      6m 9s
  12. 1h 17m
    1. Outputting from Photoshop and Bridge
      1m 32s
    2. Printing an RGB composite
      5m 31s
    3. Customizing the subjective print file
      3m 15s
    4. Gauging print size
      5m 35s
    5. Scale, position, and page orientation
      5m 6s
    6. Three important printing curiosities
      4m 41s
    7. Introducing the Output options
      5m 34s
    8. Establishing a bleed
      5m 52s
    9. Using the Color Management options
      7m 21s
    10. Generating a PDF contact sheet
      6m 18s
    11. Creating a contact sheet template
      6m 8s
    12. Saving and opening a PDF contact sheet
      4m 18s
    13. Introducing the Web Gallery
      7m 53s
    14. Exporting and editing an HTML site
      3m 58s
    15. The Airtight Photocard site
      4m 56s
  13. 1h 9m
    1. Rules of the web
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing web graphics
      6m 59s
    3. A first look at Save for Web
      5m 47s
    4. Scaling a layered image versus a flat one
      7m 30s
    5. Incremental downsampling
      3m 1s
    6. Adding text, bar, and stroke
      4m 24s
    7. Assigning copyright and metadata
      6m 21s
    8. Comparing GIF, JPEG, and PNG
      4m 59s
    9. Determining the perfect JPEG settings
      6m 31s
    10. Saving metadata
      3m 52s
    11. Working with an unprofiled RGB image
      4m 35s
    12. Downsampling graphic art
      4m 49s
    13. Saving a GIF graphic
      6m 1s
    14. Antiquated GIF versus the better PNG
      4m 6s
  14. 1m 37s
    1. Until next time
      1m 37s

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