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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals is the introductory installment of Deke McClelland's four-part series on making photorealistic compositions in Photoshop. The course shows how to make selections, refine the selections with masks, and then combine them in new ways, using layer effects, blend modes, and other techniques to create a single seamless piece of artwork. Deke introduces the Channels panel and the alpha channel, the key to masking and transparency in Photoshop; reviews the selection tools, including the Color Range tool , Quick Mask mode, and the Refine Edge command; and shows how to blend masked images so they interact naturally.
In this exercise, we are going to take our composition so far and we are really going to map him into that egg using a combination of shading and highlights as you see here. I have saved my progress as we have containment.psd, it's found inside the 05_combine folder and I am going to start things off by turning off my Man layer for just a moment and then turning on this eggness layer notice that it's that same egg mask this time filled with white and I have applied an Inner Shadow effect. We will take a look at that in just a moment but I am going to go ahead and drag this layer down so that it's underneath the Man layer and I am also going to reduce the Fill Opacity value to 10% which reduces the Opacity of the egg but leaves the inner shadow nice and strong.
So you can see the contribution of this layer now. If I turn it off, we have got a flatter looking egg, if I turn it back on, we have got this kind of volumetric shadow. Alright, now I will go ahead and turn the man layer back on, click on him to make him active and let's go ahead and change the Blend mode from Normal to Multiply and that way he's interacting with this background. He is too dark as you can see here, so let's go ahead and zoom in and what I would like you to do is paint in the teeth and the eyes a little bit and you don't have to be very accurate as you'll see, you can paint in him pretty roughly.
Go ahead and click on the eggness layer to make it active and them press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac and let's call this New layer highlights and click OK. Now I want you to just basically paint in the teeth by getting the Brush tool, which of course you can get by pressing the B key and I am going to reduce the Size of my brush a little bit. I will right-click so we can see about 80 % pixel is fine, the Hardness value is 0%. That's very important. Now I will press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. Go ahead and switch your Foreground color to White so that it probably meets pressing the D key and then the X key.
And now paint in the teeth, like so. So just go ahead and paint in the top teeth, don't paint him all the way up to the lips or the gums and then go ahead and paint in the bottom teeth a little bit like so as well. Next I am going to grab my Eraser tool which is just three tools down, you can get it by pressing the E key and I will right-click inside the Image window, so you can see I have set the Size value to 45 pixels and the Hardness to 0%. I believe by default the Eraser has a hardness of 100% so go ahead and take it down, and then I am going to paint away some of this action down here along the bottom lip and I am going to increase the size of my cursor a little bit and paint the molars a little bit darker, like so.
So we are just making static adjustments to these layer as you can see. I might paint along the top of the teeth as well. Now we need to brighten the eyes, and I am going to do that by creating an eye mask using the Elliptical Marquee, this one is really easy, by the way, so go ahead and grab the Elliptical Marquee tool, select along the top of this right-hand eye like so, go ahead and release press the Shift and Alt keys, or the Shift and Option keys on the Mac and then select along the bottom eyelid. Once you have got this eye shape selection, go ahead and press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill it with white.
Now let's go ahead and grab the other eye, it's very skinny as you can see here. Select along the top edge and then Shift+Alt+Drag or Shift+Option+Drag along the bottom edge and press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac to fill it with white. Now the right eye is way more intense. We need to erase it back a little bit. So get that Eraser tool once again. I am going to reduce the size of my cursor slightly and I am going to paint kind of along that bottom edge as you can see there. I am just painting the fuzziness of the brush along the bottom eyelid, and along the top, so the brush is mostly outside in the flesh area.
Alright this looks good. Now press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom out, actually I want to zoom in a little bit here because these eyes are still too darn dark in my opinion and I'm going to lighten things up in a couple of different ways. First of all, I am going to click on the Man layer to make it active and I want to duplicate this Inner Shadow effect, even though the shadow is currently dark it's assigned to the eggness layer we will turn it into a light highlight that's coming in from the other direction. So go ahead and Alt+Drag or Option+ Drag the fx icon and drop it onto the man layer and that'll create this additionally dark effect obviously not what we want so double-click on the inner shadow associated with the man layer and the first thing I want you to do is change that Blend mode from Linear Burn to Linear Dodge and that will go ahead and get us exactly the opposite effect.
You don't need to change the color. It's 50% gray and you don't need to change the Opacity; it's 50% as well. However, we do need to change the angle of the light. You need to do it, with Use Global Light turned off because otherwise you'll mess up the other shadow. So turn off the check box but first of all note the Angle value, its -25 degrees. All right, I will turnoff Use Global Light, I want this to come in from exactly the opposite angle so you take 180 and you subtract 25 and that gives you 155 degrees. All right, I am going to take the Distance value down to 25, and then I will tab to the Size value and take it down to 60 and we end up getting this hot effect over here on the upper left side of the egg.
All right, otherwise things are good; we have got a little bit of noise as you can see here. That Contour which is set, by the way, to Cone is responsible for the fact that we're seeing a light edge down here in the lower right region followed by the shadow followed by a light edge again. Over here we've got kind of a dark edge, then the highlight, and then more darkness. All right-click OK, just one more thing that I want to do. I want to brighten up the eyes just a little bit more, so I am going to press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac and I am going to call this one more highlights and then click OK.
And go ahead and grab your Brush tool and then right-click inside the Image window and take the Size value up to say 400 pixels, nothing subtle and then go ahead and click right there on the guy's right eye in order to create a bright highlight. Now I want you to press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity value to 50% up here in the Options bar and click again in order to create a translucent blob on his left eye. The next thing we need to do is convert these brush strokes into Dodge effects by changing the Blend mode that's assigned to the layer from Normal to Overlay and now and that will go ahead and give us this bright effect there.
So this is what the image looks like, without that layer, this is what it looks like with the layer. All right, I am going to switch back to my Marquee tool, again zoom out from the image, and then I will turn on my Text elements and that is the near final version of the image. Actually you know what, I'm looking at these highlights inside the eyes and the teeth and thinking they are little bit too hot. So I will drop down to the Highlights layer, with my Selection tool active, I will go ahead and press the 5 key in order to reduce the Opacity of that layer to 50% and we end up with this effect here.
Just one more thing to do, the screaming guy inside of an egg would not be complete without a few cracks and we are going to add those cracks in the next and final exercise.
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