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

Combining arb maps with paths


Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Combining arb maps with paths

All right, so here we are looking at the top portion of the bird that we selected in the previous exercise by duplicating the Blue channel, applying a couple of arbitrary maps to different sections of the top of the head using the Marquee tool and the Curves command, and then just using the Dodge and Burn tools in order to fix the area in between, and make it hunky-dory. So that we have a nice transition along the top of the head. By the way, I am working inside of a catchup document called Selected head.tif, that's found inside of the 16_tough_stuff folder. We can compare the mask, so far, to the bird by turning on the eyeball for the bird or pressing the Tilde key, of course. Everything looks pretty darn good. I have to say, I think we have done a pretty outstanding job of selecting this region of the bird.
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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

Combining arb maps with paths

All right, so here we are looking at the top portion of the bird that we selected in the previous exercise by duplicating the Blue channel, applying a couple of arbitrary maps to different sections of the top of the head using the Marquee tool and the Curves command, and then just using the Dodge and Burn tools in order to fix the area in between, and make it hunky-dory. So that we have a nice transition along the top of the head. By the way, I am working inside of a catchup document called Selected head.tif, that's found inside of the 16_tough_stuff folder. We can compare the mask, so far, to the bird by turning on the eyeball for the bird or pressing the Tilde key, of course. Everything looks pretty darn good. I have to say, I think we have done a pretty outstanding job of selecting this region of the bird.

Some of the red stuff is getting cropped out a little bit but that's okay. I don't really find that to be much of a problem, frankly. So let's go ahead and turn the bird off again and focus on this region. So you should have the mask channel selected, of course, I am going to Shift+Tab away my palettes, and I am going to zoom in to the 100% view size. So that I can exactly select the region of the bird, that I want to select. So I am using my Rectangular Marquee tool, I am selecting exactly along this top edge, notice that, and I am going to grab this region here because I want to make sure that we don't have any seam at this location or as little of the seam as possible. Then I am going to Shift+Drag down like this.

Notice, where I am Shift+Dragging through this seam right there, notice how the beak, sort of, cuts at that point. So I am aligning my Marquee with that location, the right side of my Marquee and dragging over to include the hook of the beak right there, but I don't want to select down into the feathers. Then I might just go ahead and grab that area too. We got an unfortunate auto-scroll there but I just wanted to make sure that I am selecting far enough into the beak, so that I have a lot of room to modify things with the Dodge and Burn tools, if need be.

Now then I am going to zoom out to 50%, I am going to press Ctrl+M or Command+M on the Mac, drag along the entire top. This is stuff that you would figure out, of course, by using the eye dropper, and watching the bouncing ball, and seeing where it lands, but for now I am just going to, sort of, breeze through these settings. Drag all the way across the top to set everything in this section to white and then come down here to the bottom and start at an Input of 72, watch the Input value, start at 72, and drag down and over to actually 108, was what I wanted. So I went too far. So I will go to the top here, make sure the Input value is set to 109, and drag over to the right. This is what I get, so we went from 72 over to 108, to be set to black, everything else to white.

Click Smooth, just once, actually is all we want this time around, for this beak. It's not super successful because again the beak, it doesn't really lend itself to an arbitrary map, this is what it comes down to, but this is about as good as we are going to get. If you want to load my preset, you can go over here to the Preset options, choose Load Preset, and go in to the Macaw arb maps folder, which is inside the 16_tough_stuff folder, switch Files of type over to Map Settings, down here at the bottom. I wish this dialog box wouldn't be so big under Windows Vista all the time, but that's Windows Vista for you and it always likes to give you a big hunking Open dialog box, it takes up the entire screen, no matter what you did last time, but I digress. I love it!! I am going to go ahead and select Forward bill.amp and I am going to click Load in order to load that. You can see it's exactly the same thing, as I showed you before. I am starting to accumulate a lot of presets though, that's kind of nice. Not necessarily, the kind of presets that I am going to be coming back to over and over again, but still I could, I could try them out later on other things, if I wanted to; and click OK in order to apply that modification.

Now then, let's try this area down here, Ctrl+Shift+I, Command+Shift+I on the Mac in order to find the inversion of the selection, that is, reverse the selection using the Inverse command. Then I will Shift+Alt+Drag, thank you for the auto-scroll, Shift+Alt+Drag; that was sarcasm by the way. Shift+Alt+Drag or Shift+Option+Drag around this region of the image, in order to get this kind of backward double Utah, sort of, selection thing; or you could think of it as, I don't know what? Oklahoma on it's side and, sort of, the wrong direction, I suppose. No, that would be the right direction. Yeah. that's where the pen handle is.

All right, but this isn't a geography lesson, this is the selection that we want to use here and you can see how it does trace the area that we want to modify. I don't really care about this area back here; we will just be getting rid of it. Let's go ahead and try out another arbitrary map, Ctrl+M or Command+M on the Mac, and this time around, I am going to create a selection that looks like this. I am going to go over to 53 at the top, here. When I am telling you these settings at 53 Input, so look at the lower left corner of the dialog box, you see the Input value is 53. Then I am going for this guy down here and I am going for 54 now, 54, all the way over to the right, like so. Click the Smooth button. I might click the Smooth button a couple of times, not really sure at this point, it looks like we get a big flare over here to the left of the bird.

If you want to load that preset, you can go to the Load Preset option right there, you can change Files of type to Map Settings. You can go ahead and load this guy right here, Bottom feathers and click the Load button. Apparently, I only click the Smooth button once, in order to create the setting, that's fine. I will go ahead and click OK in order to apply that. Now I am none too happy with either of these modifications, I have to say. The bill is not really working for me too well and this area of feathers, man; it's going to be tough to deal with those. I mean, I could give it a shot and I would do that actually by bringing back up my Channels palette. I would press the Tilde key, so that I can see the bird in the background, while I work on it. I think, I am going to go ahead and change my mask color to a standard ruby lithe overlay here by clicking on the color. I double-clicked on the mask, by the way.

I am going to switch the color to red, click OK, and let's take the Opacity value down to 50%, click OK again. So that we might be able to see things a little better than before. I am now just going to get the Lasso tool actually and just, kind of, Alt+Click along here and see if I can just say, "Well, okay, this area is inside and this area is inside as well" and I am just, kind of, doing a vague selection. I am trying to stay inside of the feathers of the bird, I am just trying to give myself some guidance and see, how well the mask is doing, in general.

Then I will go ahead and Alt+ Click over here, this is, of course, Option+Clicking on the Mac and release. So get that gargantuan area, let's fill it with white by pressing Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete, de-select, press the Tilde key in order to hide the bird, so that we can just focus on the feathers and see if they ended up rendering out okay and they are---- whatever, kind of bad, kind of good. Let's go ahead and get rid of this region of bird right there, just so that we feel like we are making some, sort of, progress. Once again, I have managed to change my foreground color. So I am going to press the D in order to switch to the default colors and press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill that region with white. Let's go ahead and zoom in on the bird's bill and that is such a mess that I feel like----We can work on it, we can try to make it work, if you wanted to; and by we, I mean, you can try to make it work, if you want to; I am not.

The route I am going to take and the route I suggest you take as well, is to go to the Paths palette, grab Bill outline, go ahead and select it, and let's Ctrl+Click on it or Command+Click on the thumbnail in order to load it as a selection outline. I will switch back to the Channels palette because we are done with that. Let's go ahead and press Alt+Backspace to fill the area inside of the bill with white; that's Option+Delete on the Mac. Then I am going to press Ctrl+Shift+I or Command+Shift+I on the Mac in order to reverse the selection. I am going to get my Lasso tool. I am going to press the Shift and Alt keys; that's Shift and Option on the Mac. I am going to drag around here very carefully, like this, and then I am going to come back in carefully, right there. All right, and what I am trying to do is make sure I am selecting the right portion of the background there. Let's Alt+Drag around here to get rid of that; that would be an Option+Drag on the Mac.

So I have selected just this region, I am going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to fill that with black. Then we would go ahead and select this garbage over here and Backspace or Delete it away; select this garbage right there, Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete that away. We are really trying to follow this specific technique all the way through, just so that we can actually select this bird here. I am going to grab this little region there as well, after zooming in on it, and this region here too, and Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete it away as well. Let's get rid of that stuff too.

All right, so just really trying to select this bird to the best of my ability. The one thing that I don't feel like I have selected properly, is this region down here, I think, it's a complete disaster, frankly. That's why, I have got one more arbitrary map exercise in which we are going to grab some information from a different channel, bring it on in, make it work, bring the bird home. Join me, if you will.

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