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Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey

Adjusting the knockout depth


From:

Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: Adjusting the knockout depth

Now there is one more adjustment I want to make to this composition before we hang it up and move on to the next project. If you are just joining us you can catch up with me by opening this image called Density mask.psd. It's found inside the 12_specialty folder. Notice that in addition to sharpening the really great stuff inside this image, such as the eyes and the eyebrows and the nose and the mouth and the hair and so forth. We also have sharpened the effects of the color modification that we made to this image. So you can see this edge next to her hair, for example, at least inside my composition it's really coming out nicely. I will go ahead and zoom in there a little more so that we can see that edge up close and personal. So you can see that there is almost a razor sharp edge along this hair.
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  1. 2h 13m
    1. The Odyssey Continues
      2m 39s
    2. Mapping one image onto another
      7m 12s
    3. Making a custom contrast mode
      7m 10s
    4. Luminance blending
      8m 40s
    5. Forcing the visibility of underlying layers
      4m 4s
    6. Adjusting the appearance of clipped layers
      4m 34s
    7. Selecting a Blend If channel
      6m 12s
    8. Enhancing highlights by hiding them
      5m 9s
    9. Smart Object first, layer mask second
      7m 22s
    10. The Fill Opacity Eight
      4m 30s
    11. Blending Smart Filters
      7m 24s
    12. Cleaning up edges
      7m 39s
    13. More fun with luminance blending
      6m 22s
    14. A first peek at the Calculations command
      12m 11s
    15. Masking a softly focused model
      11m 46s
    16. Moving layers and masks between images
      7m 35s
    17. Matching colors
      9m 13s
    18. Building transitional blended layers
      6m 33s
    19. Restoring normal colors
      6m 50s
  2. 2h 33m
    1. Layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
      1m 20s
    2. Rotating and stretching
      7m 54s
    3. A jet of motion blur
      9m 18s
    4. Keyboard tricks
      5m 4s
    5. Merging sky and landscape
      6m 3s
    6. Masking an adjustment layer
      6m 37s
    7. Creating two windows into an image
      7m 42s
    8. Whitening teeth and adding other highlights
      3m 46s
    9. Mapping a texture onto an image
      4m 1s
    10. Isolating a texture with a layer mask
      6m 44s
    11. Welcome to the glass composition
      3m 18s
    12. Balancing shadows and highlights
      5m 51s
    13. Masking the glass
      7m 24s
    14. Masking the text
      9m 23s
    15. Adding and blending the goldfish
      8m 45s
    16. Assembling the perfect group photo
      5m 12s
    17. Aligning photographs automatically
      5m 26s
    18. Masking in each person's best shot
      5m 18s
    19. Masking densely packed people
      6m 17s
    20. Crafting the perfect final poster
      5m 16s
    21. From the improbable to the impossible
      1m 56s
    22. The fantastical "world of clones" effect
      10m 0s
    23. Upsampling and blurring a background
      8m 39s
    24. Adding a knockout mask
      8m 3s
    25. Choking edges with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      3m 46s
  3. 2h 27m
    1. The corrective power of masking
      1m 6s
    2. The amazing luminance mask
      7m 22s
    3. Brightening and neutralizing the eyes
      8m 22s
    4. Adjusting a nondestructive composition
      5m 52s
    5. Creating a corrective mask
      6m 4s
    6. Averaging away irregular flesh tones
      3m 52s
    7. Modifying specific colors
      7m 46s
    8. Initiating the color mask
      6m 0s
    9. Refining the color mask
      6m 40s
    10. Adjusting the edges around fabric
      7m 56s
    11. Perfecting hair
      9m 35s
    12. Sharpening with a High Pass layer
      10m 12s
    13. The also-amazing density mask
      4m 48s
    14. Adjusting the knockout depth
      8m 48s
    15. Fashioning a depth map
      6m 12s
    16. Invoking a depth mask from Lens Blur
      6m 38s
    17. The perfect depth-of-field effect
      6m 25s
    18. Sharpening an archival photograph
      7m 7s
    19. Creating an edge mask
      8m 29s
    20. Making a High Pass sandwich
      7m 46s
    21. Applying the edge mask
      6m 2s
    22. Customizing your sharpening effect
      4m 6s
  4. 2h 3m
    1. Channel Mixer, I am your father!
      1m 39s
    2. Three ways to gray
      7m 49s
    3. Meet the Channel Mixer
      8m 26s
    4. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 10s
    5. Creating a professional-level sepia tone
      5m 36s
    6. Employing the Black & White command
      8m 1s
    7. Extreme channel mixing
      4m 50s
    8. The infrared photography effect
      6m 43s
    9. Taking shadows to the brink of black
      3m 56s
    10. Elevating highlights, leeching saturation
      5m 58s
    11. Deepening a black-and-white sky
      5m 49s
    12. Infusing luminance levels with color
      5m 44s
    13. Creating an opposing colorization scheme
      4m 58s
    14. Bolstering contrast with the Green channel
      5m 37s
    15. A tiny improvement to a terrific technique
      7m 39s
    16. The simple (but wrong) approach to red-eye correction
      6m 39s
    17. Channel-mixing red pupils
      9m 18s
    18. The expert approach to red-eye correction
      5m 20s
    19. Fixing problem coronas (pupil edges)
      8m 9s
    20. Making pupils match
      4m 8s
  5. 2h 33m
    1. Chops are dead; long live maskops
      1m 37s
    2. The Calculations command
      8m 16s
    3. Blue Screen blending
      7m 40s
    4. Refining the Blue Screen mask
      5m 53s
    5. Brushing away color fringing
      7m 24s
    6. Locking the transparency of a layer
      6m 22s
    7. Nondestructive layer painting
      7m 36s
    8. How the Add blend mode works
      8m 40s
    9. How the Subtract blend mode works
      6m 43s
    10. Focus, noise, and other masking challenges
      5m 33s
    11. The Add mode in action
      7m 51s
    12. The Subtract mode in action
      8m 25s
    13. Comparing two channels with Difference
      5m 24s
    14. Enhancing the contrast with Curves
      9m 11s
    15. Gathering details with Apply Image
      9m 43s
    16. Dodge highlights, burn shadows
      6m 6s
    17. Dodge and Burn in action
      8m 24s
    18. Painting in the scalp
      10m 1s
    19. Painting away the face and chin
      4m 53s
    20. Compositing complementary images
      4m 13s
    21. Multiply, Minimum, Blur, and Apply Image
      6m 40s
    22. Crafting the final composition
      7m 7s
  6. 1h 57m
    1. Mark of the Pen tool
      1m 35s
    2. The big paths project overview
      6m 51s
    3. How to make a path
      8m 25s
    4. Corner points and freeform polygons
      8m 6s
    5. Editing paths with the arrow tools
      5m 2s
    6. Adding and deleting endpoints
      5m 15s
    7. Adding and deleting interior points
      6m 6s
    8. Converting a path to a selection
      3m 35s
    9. Converting a path to a mask
      6m 38s
    10. Smooth points and control handles
      8m 57s
    11. Making cusp points
      6m 0s
    12. Combining paths in a vector mask
      7m 55s
    13. Turning a path into a shape layer
      8m 57s
    14. Combining paths to make a layer mask
      7m 52s
    15. Mixing layer and vector masks
      10m 14s
    16. Editing character outlines as paths
      8m 39s
    17. Using the Convert Point tool
      7m 8s
  7. 3h 17m
    1. Where there's a will, there's a way
      1m 18s
    2. Masking natural cast shadows
      4m 10s
    3. Applying the cast show
      4m 2s
    4. Creating a difference mask
      3m 7s
    5. Applying an arbitrary map
      3m 50s
    6. Making the flesh mask
      7m 17s
    7. Roughing in an object mask
      6m 49s
    8. Drawing missing details with the Lasso tool
      4m 7s
    9. Combining flesh and object masks
      3m 53s
    10. Amplifying the cast shadow
      4m 10s
    11. Selectively choking edges
      3m 58s
    12. Power duplication in Photoshop
      7m 9s
    13. Masking blond hair
      5m 48s
    14. Using Levels to mask iterations
      3m 14s
    15. Drawing an iteration boundary
      4m 55s
    16. Merging the best of two Levels iterations
      4m 4s
    17. More fun with Dodge and Burn
      6m 14s
    18. Fixing edges with the Pen and Stamp tools
      7m 29s
    19. Pulling from another file with Apply Image
      4m 52s
    20. Blending clipped layers independently
      5m 43s
    21. Building the flame mask
      9m 22s
    22. Amplifying the flame
      3m 53s
    23. Masking an image against a busy background
      5m 15s
    24. The Freeform and Magnetic Pen tools
      6m 52s
    25. Masking with arbitrary maps
      9m 32s
    26. A more deliberate approach to arb maps
      10m 51s
    27. Combining arb maps with paths
      9m 28s
    28. Masking with the help of the History brush
      11m 38s
    29. Creating a High Pass mask
      7m 25s
    30. Coloring in the outlines
      8m 31s
    31. Mastering Calculations
      7m 29s
    32. Subtracting and merging the beak
      11m 6s
  8. 1h 33m
    1. The meaning of bit depth (and why you care)
      2m 50s
    2. Scanning line art in 8-bit and 16-bit
      5m 9s
    3. Measuring the 16-bit difference
      8m 9s
    4. Correcting 8-bit images in the 16-bit space
      9m 31s
    5. Opening a raw image directly in 16-bit
      6m 13s
    6. Editing in Camera Raw, opening in 16-bit
      8m 22s
    7. 16-Bit/channel vs. 32-bit/channel (HDR)
      8m 18s
    8. Working with auto-bracketed photographs
      5m 6s
    9. Using the Merge to HDR command
      6m 0s
    10. Adjusting the HDR preview
      6m 0s
    11. Building a 32-bit sky mask
      6m 29s
    12. Properly exposing land and sky
      4m 25s
    13. Modifying a layer mask in 32-bit
      4m 56s
    14. Converting to and correcting in 16-bit Lab
      12m 7s
  9. 2h 8m
    1. Photoshop flirts with the third dimension
      1m 13s
    2. The displacement map
      8m 24s
    3. Making custom waves
      7m 14s
    4. Creating a Gaussian distribution
      4m 32s
    5. Using a two-channel displacement map
      6m 28s
    6. Creating a rustic edge effect
      8m 21s
    7. Distorting and shading with a DMap
      6m 34s
    8. Moonlight reflecting off water
      8m 48s
    9. Mapping the reflection onto the water
      7m 7s
    10. Dipping the moon into the water
      6m 18s
    11. Turning flesh into stone
      7m 55s
    12. Wrapping the stone around the face
      7m 27s
    13. Softening a displacement map
      8m 5s
    14. Making a repeating watermark pattern
      9m 22s
    15. 3D embossing with Lighting Effects
      10m 48s
    16. The amazing credit card type effect
      6m 56s
    17. Lightening the credit card letters
      6m 16s
    18. Wrapping the background around the text
      6m 27s
  10. 1m 43s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 43s

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Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
20h 48m Advanced Nov 21, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The elusive alpha channel remains one of the most misunderstood yet powerful tools in Photoshop. Alpha channels are collections of luminance data that control the transparency of an image, and they inform just about every aspect of Photoshop. As he builds transitional blended layers, fashions a depth map, makes edge adjustments, and takes on extreme channel mixing, Omni Award-winning expert Deke McClelland teaches Photoshop users that where there's a will, there's a way. Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks: Advanced Techniques covers mapping texture on an image, turning flesh into stone, using vector masks, working with all different channels, creating a rustic edge effect, and much more. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Channels and Masks from the Exercise Files tab."

Topics include:
  • Distorting and shading with a DMap
  • Understanding bits and channels
  • Creating paths with the Pen tool
  • Using blend modes and the Dodge and Burn feature
  • Understanding channel mixing
  • Using layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
  • Applying Smart Filters
Subjects:
Design Photography Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Adjusting the knockout depth

Now there is one more adjustment I want to make to this composition before we hang it up and move on to the next project. If you are just joining us you can catch up with me by opening this image called Density mask.psd. It's found inside the 12_specialty folder. Notice that in addition to sharpening the really great stuff inside this image, such as the eyes and the eyebrows and the nose and the mouth and the hair and so forth. We also have sharpened the effects of the color modification that we made to this image. So you can see this edge next to her hair, for example, at least inside my composition it's really coming out nicely. I will go ahead and zoom in there a little more so that we can see that edge up close and personal. So you can see that there is almost a razor sharp edge along this hair.

Then it's something of a function of this horrible edge that I left behind inside of the layer mask. It's associated with the yellow layer and you can see that I did leave a bad edge there and sort of bad in this region as well. This is that jagged edge that was a leftover from having worked with the Lasso tool with the Anti-alias checkbox turned off, which was a good thing to do at that time, but it has left its mark here inside of the layer mask. Now that's not something I noticed before I applied this sharpen layer. So I am going to go ahead and Alt+Click on the layer mask thumbnail in order to revisit the RGB Composite view. Now you might say, well if that turns out to be a problem and notice we are sharpening the edges down here along the blouse and over here on this side, we have got a wicked sharp edge going there as well.

You might say, well if that's a problem, why don't you just go ahead and move the sharpen layer below yellow? Well, that doesn't really take care of the issue. If I do that, I will go ahead and move sharpen below yellow. You can still see that we have some sharpened edges going on and you will see those elsewhere inside the image, including these sharpen sort of noise details inside of her skin. So the better thing to do is to go ahead and knock out those areas of the sharpen layer that are causing its problems using a knockout layer, and I am going show you a new thing about the knockout layer that you can take advantage of. The difference between shallow and depth will become clear in just a moment.

So let's go ahead and pop that layer back to where it used to be. Put the sharpen layer back on top, which I did by pressing Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac. Now I am going to zoom out from the image until I am seeing the image at the 25% zoom ratio. Incidentally the good zoom ratios in order to judge sharpness inside of Photoshop are 25%, 50% and a 100%. Then anything bigger than a 100% is fine as well, but 33% and 66.7% and anything in between, 25, 50 and a 100 is bad, because Photoshop ends up just kind of glomming pixels together and creating jagged transitions where jagged transitions don't actually exist.

All right, go ahead and click on the sharpen layer to make it active. Press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac to make a new layer. Let's go ahead and call this new layer knockout, because it will be a knockout layer. Then click OK to accept that new transparent layer. Now we are going to surround her face and much away that we surrounded that glass back in the magazine cover example using a Radial Blur. So I want you to go ahead and select the Gradient tool and I want you to switch the foreground color to something aberrant, something really vivid so that we can see it very easily.

So I am going to bring up my Color palette like so, and I am going to change the Hue value to 210, which is cobalt, and I am going to raise the Saturation and Brightness values to a 100% a piece, so that we can really see this gradient. Now I will hide the Color palette once again. Make sure that the gradient goes from foreground to transparent as I have selected right there. Then you want the Radial Gradient, of course, so go ahead and click on the Radial Gradient icon there, and a Mode of Normal is just fine, leave it set to that, we want a 100% opacity. You want Reverse turned on. So we are drawing from transparent in the center to opaque on the outside. Now I want you to drag from the center of her face down like so to about here in order to create a Radial Gradient that surrounds her face, as we are seeing right there. That's great! Now we need to use the Opacity of this layer in order to knock out the layer immediately below, but no farther, which means that we need to constrain the knockout using a layer group. So here is what I want you to do. Click on knockout, Shift+Click on sharpen, so only the sharpen layer is going to be active. So these two are working together.

You go up to the Layer palette menu and you choose New Group from Layers, with those two layers selected, and we will call this a KO group, because that's the purpose it's going to serve. Then click OK in order to make that group and I am going to twirl it open so we can see its contents by clicking on the twirly triangle there. Now I am going to double-click on the knockout layer, in order to bring up the Blending Options dialog box and check this out just so that you have a sense of what's going on. I want you to change Knockout to Deep. And you may recall, changing the Knockout setting from the previous exercise, we saw that changing the Knockout settings by itself does nothing. We have to add a 0% Fill Opacity value to the mix.

But notice now, because we have Knockout set to Deep, that we are burrowing all the way down the layer stack back to the Background layer, thereby revealing her crimson blouse once again. We don't want to do that, we only want to burrow down to the bottom of the KO group here. So instead of having Knockout set to Deep, we are going to set it to Shallow and that's going to once again reveal the contents of the yellow layer. So we are just burrowing through the sharpen layer and that's it. Now I will go ahead and click OK. So once again, Knockout, Shallow, Fill Opacity 0%, click OK, and you can now see if we zoom in on the image to -- let's go ahead and zoom into the 100% zoom ratio.

You can see that we are no longer sharpening this lower region of the image. So this is what the effect looks like without that knockout layer. Let's go ahead and zoom in even farther here so that we can really take it in. I want to take in the side of this wacky hair as well. This is what things look like now with the knockout layer. So you can see that sharpened edge very clearly. This is what things look like with the knockout layer. Now we are burrowing through the sharpening effect. So we are in effect removing the sharpness from this region of the image which is a good thing, obviously. We don't want people to know that we have been here. Here is the unsharpened edge there on the left collar. This is what it looks like with the knockout layer which is good. This is what it looked like without the knockout layer, bad.

So I am going to turn the knockout layer back on. Now you might say gosh! I would like to not only sharpen her face, which we have done here, but I am going to zoom out to 25% so that we can see things accurately. But I would also like to sharpen her hand, because it's basically about the same focal distance. So it should be sharply focussed as well. It's a nice element of the photograph. It has got some rings and some other sort articulated details that might look nice if we were to sharpen it. So I am going to go ahead and erase a whole in the knockout layer in order to reveal the sharpening using the Eraser tool.

So go ahead and grab your Eraser tool from the toolbox and then I am going to go with a really big brush. So I am going to increase the size of the brush so it's bigger than the hand. Then I am going to press Shift+ [four times in a row] so that I have a soft edge brush. I am going to have to press the Right Bracket key a couple of more times, in order to make that brush bigger. Make sure that the Opacity is set to a 100%; Flow should be a 100% too. That way we are going to burrow through with a 100% erase. So we are going to completely erase this area by clicking on it.

So just click once and you will sharpen the hand, you will resharpen the hand. If you think you want to sharpen a few other details like the fingers, then reduce the size of the brush and paint over those fingers. Then finally, I am also going to paint inside of a few details of her face here. I am going to paint over her sunglasses in order to make sure those are sharpened. I am going to paint around her face just to make sure we are getting all of her face nice and sharp. Then I am going to click on that dandy line in order to sharpen it up as well. That's the final version of the image folks. You can see all the little holes I put in the knockout layer there. They are revealing, of course, the effects of the sharpen layer. I am going to tab away my palettes. I am going to fill the screen with the image and I am going to go ahead and zoom in to the 50% zoom ratio so that we can take in the sharpen version of her face and the dandy line and her hands a throughly professionally sharpened image, thanks to the power of a High Pass layer, of a Density Mask and a Knockout group here inside Photoshop.

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