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Blending image elements

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Blending image elements

In this exercise, we're going to add a Drop Shadow, we'll paint in a couple of other effects, and then we'll blend the nameplate with its photographic background. I've saved my progress as Gradient nameplate.psd and let's start things off by adding that Drop Shadow. With the nameplate layer selected, drop down to the fx icon at the bottom of the panel and choose Drop Shadow. Now by default, the color the Drop Shadow is black, which is really what you're looking for especially if you're trying to blend an image with an existing background. Your better approach is to go ahead and click on that Color Swatch to bring up the Color Picker dialog box and then lift a color from the background by clicking with the Eyedropper tool inside the image window.

Blending image elements

In this exercise, we're going to add a Drop Shadow, we'll paint in a couple of other effects, and then we'll blend the nameplate with its photographic background. I've saved my progress as Gradient nameplate.psd and let's start things off by adding that Drop Shadow. With the nameplate layer selected, drop down to the fx icon at the bottom of the panel and choose Drop Shadow. Now by default, the color the Drop Shadow is black, which is really what you're looking for especially if you're trying to blend an image with an existing background. Your better approach is to go ahead and click on that Color Swatch to bring up the Color Picker dialog box and then lift a color from the background by clicking with the Eyedropper tool inside the image window.

In my case, I ended up coming up with a Hue value of about 30 degrees, a Saturation of about 65%, and a Brightness of 15%. Another school of thought has it that your better option is to apply a complementary color is the Drop Shadow in which case you would add 180 degrees and come up with 210 degrees instead. Now you can go either way depending on your taste. But I'm going to stick with the color of the current scene by setting the Hue to 30 degrees. Then click OK. Next, I'll take the Opacity value up to 100%.

I'm going to leave the Angle set to 40 degrees which is the Global Light setting inherent in this document. And then I'll tab my way to the Distance value, leave it set to 5 pixels, Spread should be 0%, and I'll increase the Size value to 8 pixels, like so. Then click OK. So we just have a slight bit of a Drop Shadow. Now I want to mimic that shadow behind the boot. And I'm going to do so by painting in a shadow by hand. So I'll switch to the Brush tool, and then I'll right-click inside the image window, Size value of 50 pixels works fine, but I want to drop the Hardness value down to 0%.

And then I'm going to press the D key to reinstate the default colors and I'm going to dial-in that same color that we used for the Drop Shadow, which is a Hue of 30 degrees, a Saturation of 65%, and a Brightness of 15%. And now I'll go ahead and change the mode setting up here in the options bar from Normal to Multiply. Now I want you to note something about blend modes when applied as brushes, they only affect the existing pixels inside the layer. So I'm going to turn off that Lock option here in the Layers panel for just a moment and I'm also going to press the X key to switch my foreground color to white.

Now as you may know, we'll be discussing blend modes in way more detail in the future course, but you may know that the Multiply mode always results in shadows. So it drops out white and it burns in the darker colors. So as a result, if I were to paint inside the nameplate, I wouldn't paint anything because I'm trying to combine white with the Multiply mode which results in invisibility. However, if I paint outside of the nameplate, then I end up painting in a white brushstroke. It's like I have the mode option set to Behind or something like that.

And that's because blend modes, when assigned to brushes, only affect the opaque pixels inside that specific layer. You're not going to have the blend mode interact with other layers inside of your composition unless you change the mode inside the Layers panel. All right! Having said that, I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that brushstroke. And now I'll press the X key to restore that dark brown as my foreground color and I'm also going to take a moment to do this, I'm also going to lock down those transparent pixels once again so that I don't mess up my nameplate.

And I'll go ahead and click right about there in back of the boot and I'll Shift+Click on the ankle, and then I'll Shift+Click right about there on the side of the boot, Shift+ Click down below as well. Let's go ahead and click down here, Shift+Click and Shift+Click my way up. Notice this time I'm sticking a little tighter to the right side of the boot than I was on the left side. But that ends up creating a pretty attractive shadow. All right! Now let's add a big brushstroke, a big highlight right through the center of the nameplate. And I'll do that by zooming out a click, I'm going to right-click inside my image window, and take the size value up to 300 pixels and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to hide that panel.

And now I'm going to dial-in a color that I ultimately found inside the image. This is one of the colors in the model's dress, and that's a Hue value of 25 degrees, so a slightly red orange. I'll take the Saturation value up to 100% and the Brightness value up to 100% as well. And then I'm going to change the Blend mode to the lightest of the brightening blend modes which is Linear Dodge and I'm going to click right about there outside the image as you see, and then I'm going to Shift+Click beyond the lower left corner of the nameplate in order to create this interaction of golds along with the original gradient. All right! Finally, what we need to do is change the Blend mode that's assigned to the layer because the only way to create interaction between one layer and the layers below it is to adjust the Opacity and Blend modes here inside of the Layers panel.

So I'm going to go ahead and change the Blend mode in this case from Normal to one of the ultimate contrast modes inside of Photoshop, which is Hard Light. And that goes ahead and burns in those shadows, lightens up those highlights, and gives me the effect you see on screen. All right! Now notice here on the PC, the Blend mode gets stuck and so I can't use my keyboard shortcuts anymore. And the solution is to press the Escape key and then that Blend mode option is no longer active and I can press the M key in order to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool, for example,. Now that trick works very often.

If you find that Photoshop is unresponsive to keyboard shortcuts, the two things I do, because it happens on both the PC and the Mac, the two things I do are click inside Photoshop to make sure it's the active application and then press the Escape key. So try those two tricks in a row, then press the keyboard shortcut that you're hoping would work and it should work after that. All right! Now I'm going to zoom in just so that we can get a sense of what our nameplate looks like so far. Now between you and me, I think it looks great. However, let's say I have a client and they want to make a small modification and that modification ends up breaking everything. What do you do? I will show you in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 29218 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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