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

Brushing away color fringing


Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: Brushing away color fringing

In this exercise, we are going to test out our Blue Screen mask by using it to select this woman and place her into a different background. If you are just joining me, you can open this image right here. It's called My name is Rosalie.tif, because according to the metadata, her name is Rosalie.tif and it's found inside the 14_Calculations folder. And there is also this other image I want you to open. It's this guy, Rays of light.jpg. It comes to us from Pphotographer Tammy Peluso, and the full image at the image library.
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  1. 2h 12m
    1. The Odyssey Continues
      2m 39s
    2. Mapping one image onto another
      7m 12s
    3. Making a custom contrast mode
      7m 9s
    4. Luminance blending
      8m 39s
    5. Forcing the visibility of underlying layers
      4m 3s
    6. Adjusting the appearance of clipped layers
      4m 33s
    7. Selecting a Blend If channel
      6m 11s
    8. Enhancing highlights by hiding them
      5m 8s
    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 38s
    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 34s
    17. Matching colors
      9m 12s
    18. Building transitional blended layers
      6m 33s
    19. Restoring normal colors
      6m 49s
  2. 2h 32m
    1. Layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
      1m 20s
    2. Rotating and stretching
      7m 54s
    3. A jet of motion blur
      9m 17s
    4. Keyboard tricks
      5m 4s
    5. Merging sky and landscape
      6m 2s
    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 0s
    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 44s
    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 15s
    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 26m
    1. The corrective power of masking
      1m 6s
    2. The amazing luminance mask
      7m 21s
    3. Brightening and neutralizing the eyes
      8m 21s
    4. Adjusting a nondestructive composition
      5m 52s
    5. Creating a corrective mask
      6m 3s
    6. Averaging away irregular flesh tones
      3m 52s
    7. Modifying specific colors
      7m 46s
    8. Initiating the color mask
      5m 59s
    9. Refining the color mask
      6m 39s
    10. Adjusting the edges around fabric
      7m 55s
    11. Perfecting hair
      9m 34s
    12. Sharpening with a High Pass layer
      10m 12s
    13. The also-amazing density mask
      4m 47s
    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 45s
    21. Applying the edge mask
      6m 1s
    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 48s
    3. Meet the Channel Mixer
      8m 26s
    4. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 9s
    5. Creating a professional-level sepia tone
      5m 36s
    6. Employing the Black & White command
      8m 0s
    7. Extreme channel mixing
      4m 50s
    8. The infrared photography effect
      6m 42s
    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 43s
    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 38s
    16. The simple (but wrong) approach to red-eye correction
      6m 39s
    17. Channel-mixing red pupils
      9m 17s
    18. The expert approach to red-eye correction
      5m 20s
    19. Fixing problem coronas (pupil edges)
      8m 8s
    20. Making pupils match
      4m 7s
  5. 2h 33m
    1. Chops are dead; long live maskops
      1m 36s
    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 21s
    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 32s
    11. The Add mode in action
      7m 51s
    12. The Subtract mode in action
      8m 24s
    13. Comparing two channels with Difference
      5m 23s
    14. Enhancing the contrast with Curves
      9m 10s
    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 0s
    19. Painting away the face and chin
      4m 52s
    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 34s
    2. The big paths project overview
      6m 51s
    3. How to make a path
      8m 24s
    4. Corner points and freeform polygons
      8m 6s
    5. Editing paths with the arrow tools
      5m 2s
    6. Adding and deleting endpoints
      5m 14s
    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
      5m 59s
    12. Combining paths in a vector mask
      7m 54s
    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 9s
    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 16s
    7. Roughing in an object mask
      6m 48s
    8. Drawing missing details with the Lasso tool
      4m 7s
    9. Combining flesh and object masks
      3m 52s
    10. Amplifying the cast shadow
      4m 10s
    11. Selectively choking edges
      3m 58s
    12. Power duplication in Photoshop
      7m 8s
    13. Masking blond hair
      5m 48s
    14. Using Levels to mask iterations
      3m 14s
    15. Drawing an iteration boundary
      4m 54s
    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 28s
    19. Pulling from another file with Apply Image
      4m 52s
    20. Blending clipped layers independently
      5m 42s
    21. Building the flame mask
      9m 21s
    22. Amplifying the flame
      3m 52s
    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 24s
    30. Coloring in the outlines
      8m 31s
    31. Mastering Calculations
      7m 28s
    32. Subtracting and merging the beak
      11m 5s
  8. 1h 33m
    1. The meaning of bit depth (and why you care)
      2m 49s
    2. Scanning line art in 8-bit and 16-bit
      5m 8s
    3. Measuring the 16-bit difference
      8m 8s
    4. Correcting 8-bit images in the 16-bit space
      9m 31s
    5. Opening a raw image directly in 16-bit
      6m 12s
    6. Editing in Camera Raw, opening in 16-bit
      8m 21s
    7. 16-Bit/channel vs. 32-bit/channel (HDR)
      8m 17s
    8. Working with auto-bracketed photographs
      5m 6s
    9. Using the Merge to HDR command
      5m 59s
    10. Adjusting the HDR preview
      6m 0s
    11. Building a 32-bit sky mask
      6m 29s
    12. Properly exposing land and sky
      4m 24s
    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 31s
    5. Using a two-channel displacement map
      6m 27s
    6. Creating a rustic edge effect
      8m 21s
    7. Distorting and shading with a DMap
      6m 33s
    8. Moonlight reflecting off water
      8m 48s
    9. Mapping the reflection onto the water
      7m 3s
    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 4s
    14. Making a repeating watermark pattern
      9m 21s
    15. 3D embossing with Lighting Effects
      10m 47s
    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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Watch the Online Video Course 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
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Brushing away color fringing

In this exercise, we are going to test out our Blue Screen mask by using it to select this woman and place her into a different background. If you are just joining me, you can open this image right here. It's called My name is Rosalie.tif, because according to the metadata, her name is Rosalie.tif and it's found inside the 14_Calculations folder. And there is also this other image I want you to open. It's this guy, Rays of light.jpg. It comes to us from Pphotographer Tammy Peluso, and the full image at the image library.

also features the Scuba diver and some other extraneous stuff. I just wanted those rays of light going into the sea, nothing else. So I cropped this image and I modified it a little better. I removed some noise and stuff. Anyway, let's go back to her. We are going to take her and we are going to place her into the other image as follows. Here is what I want you to do. First, let's go ahead and load our mask as the selection outline by Ctrl+Clicking on it here on the PC, or Command+Clicking on it on the Mac. You could also press Ctrl+Alt+4 or Command+Option+4, in order to load that selection outline if you like.

Now let's go to the Layers palette and I want you to double-click on the background in order to convert it to an independent layer and we will call it Model because she is, of course, a model citizen, go ahead and click OK, of the Netherlands, I assume. And we now have a floating layer of this woman, of Rosalie. Now let's go ahead and convert the selection outline to a layer mask by clicking on the layer mask icon down here at the bottom of the Layers palette. Now notice that my checkerboard pattern is blue. That's because I changed it a couple of chapters. Yours may be gray and white. It doesn't matter.

One checkerboard is as good as another. Now let's go ahead and move this layer along with its layer mask into the other image by going over to the Layers palette menu and choosing Duplicate layer and let's not call her model copy that's senseless. Let's move her though, into the image called Rays of light.jpg and that's all we need to do. Now click OK. Of course, nothing appears to have happened. That's because we are looking at the wrong image. So press Ctrl+Tab to move to the right image and there she is, against the rays of light. Now initially, it's going to look like this is the most golden mask you have ever created in your life, because it so very nicely matches the background.

We have kept the hair and the shoulders look great and this area underneath her arm looks great and so on and so on. But the reason everything is working to our advantage is because she was against the blue background before, and by the way this is a heck of a tip. This may sound obvious. But you are going to do yourself a huge favor if your new background matches your old background to a large extent. So in this case, this just happens to be the background I want. It just happens to match, color wise match the blues in the old background. That's a great thing. It works to my advantage.

I am going to have a lot less work. Now of course, you can always work that way but when you can, go for it. Anyway, this is a little bit misleading because she does have actually a lot of blue fringing going on inside of her hair. Let's go ahead and fix it, just for laughs here, just because we can. I am going to go ahead and bring back up my palettes and just so we can see how she doesn't really match any in all environments. Let's go ahead and click on the Background layer here and we are working inside the Rays of light.jpg file, and I am going to Alt or Option choose the Invert command from this Black/White menu.

Here is the Black/White icon at the bottom of the layers palette. And that brings up the New Layer dialog box. I am going to go ahead and call this layer, color invert and I am going to change the mode from Normal to Color. Now we will ensure that we are only inverting the colors inside of the layer below. Go ahead and click OK at this point and sure enough, you went ahead and inverted the colors, but you left the luminance levels alone. And now you can see, yes, she has got some blue stuff in her hair. That's for sure. Lots of different ways to correct, that we have seen several different ways now to correct for color fringing.

I am now going to show you kind of a brain dead technique. I actually, that's a brush technique. So it's extensively kind of the most manual technique of them all but it's also one of the easier ones to pull off frankly. It's the best technique for this particular image. I am going to go, grab the Brush tool from the tool box, of course and right now, it's set to the overlay mode because I was doing some overlay painting in an earlier exercise. But I am going to switch it to Color by pressing Shift+Alt+C or Shift+Option+C on the Mac. Then I am going to Option+Click in her hair to lift the color. When I have got the Option key down or after I am working on the PC, it's the Alt key here.

When I press the Alt or Option key, I get the Eyedropper when I am working with the Paint brush, of course. And I clicked to lift a Foreground color right there. Now, I have got a nice soft brush. Make sure, you do as well. So it should be as soft as it can be. And then just kind of paint on the outskirts of her head and you will see that you paint that blue away and you replace it with that orange color, that's slightly sort of aberrant color that you lifted from her hair. Now, it might not match every thread of hair. But it's going to look pretty darn good. Now, you are going to have to get it tighter down in this region here and if you Shift+Click on the mask, on this layer Mask icon here inside the Layers palette, you will see that you are replacing the blues inside of that background and everything is getting masked by the layer mask.

That's actually pretty cool that you can do that, I mean, I could go ahead and let's go ahead and increase the size of the cursor. I could go ahead and just replace the entire background with a different color if I want to so that she showing up against the brown background instead of a blue background, like so. Now the hair is the stuff that's the most obviously in need of recoloring around the edges. But the skin needs a little work as well. If you are going to do the skin which you might very well want to do, I would go ahead and Shift+Click on the Mask again to mask the image and that way you can see what the color fringing is.

And then I am going to Option or Alt+ Click inside of a Flush tone and there are different colors inside this Flush tone. So you have to be careful. There are basically some colors going along the top of her shoulder. But then I can work on the left side here very well. So you can have to lift the different color to go down to the left side, her right of course. I just love to tell you when it's the model's right instead of left. I don't know why I do that. And then lets lift some of color from her hair again and then we will lift some color from her shoulder. So the idea here is you will lift a lot of colors.

So when in doubt, keep lifting, keep grabbing new colors, and that will ensure that you get the most accurate match possible. And there it is. Now she matches this new sort of orangish background. The only thing is that I don't like the new orangish background. It was good for being able to tell where we had some bad edges. Oh! By the way, I have got some stuff going under her arm as well that I might want to correct. Very carefully, actually more carefully than that because that was terrible. Let's go and zoom in here, because I don't want to replace the colors in her dress.

So let's lift a color there by Alt+Clicking and then I will just paint down the arm like so. And if you feel like you paint too much at any given time, you can always use the History brush in order to restore the original colors inside of her arm and else where. All right. So that looks pretty good to me. And now, I would say, Gosh! I don't like that orange color in the background. I really want to restore the blues. The orange has done, it's piece. Let's go ahead and turn it off and now we have this final composition, which I think looks pretty awesome actually.

Let's go ahead and tab away the palettes and switch to the Full Screen mode. All right, so there we have it. Thanks largely to the Calculations command plus a little bit of levels, a little bit of Overlay painting, a little bit of Color painting here inside of this image. We have managed to establish a very credible and almost a down-right angelic composition.

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