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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 final exercise we are going to add these cracks across the surface of the egg as well as this guy's face. I have saved my progress as Let Me Out. psd, found inside the 05_combine folder. If you are working along with me, you also want to have open this file, it's called Stock cracks.psd, so-called because it's a stock image of cracks. All right, we are going to go ahead and duplicate it into the other image, by right-clicking anywhere inside the image window and then choosing the Duplicate layer command. Then change Document to Let Me Out or whatever the name of your composition is and click OK.
Now I'll switch back to the composition, and notice how the cracks are already kind of integrated into the scene here. That's because the various layers inside the text elements folder are themselves masked and as a result they are cut- away inside the contours of the egg. For now, just go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eyeball in front of the new stock cracks layer in order to turn all the other layers off. And next what I want you to do, with this layer selected, I want you to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform command or press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac then right-click inside the image and choose Rotate 180 degrees.
Now I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that change. So the idea is I want the egg to look like it's cracking from the bottom up. Now we are going to need to express these lines as an independent layer which means we need to use the cracks as a mask and you can do that by making the cracks white. So currently they are black, all you've got to do is press Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac in order to invert the layer. Then switch over to the Channels panel and Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on any of these first few items.
I am going to Ctrl+Click or Command+ Click on RGB and that will go ahead and select everything that's white and deselect everything that's black. Now in our case that ends up selecting too much. You can see that the selection is eking out into the transparent area of the image. So switch back to the Layers panel and I want you to press Ctrl+Shift+Alt or Command+Shift+Option on the Mac and then go ahead and click on the layer Mask for the man layer. So Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Click on that layer Mask, Command+Shift+Option+Click on the Mac and what that does is it finds the intersection of those white cracks and the white portion of the layer Mask.
All right, having done that you can go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eyeball in front of Stock cracks again in order to turn all the layers back on and then click on that eyeball to turn it off, that's the best way to work, by the way,. All right, I am going to scroll down the list here inside the Layers panel and click on the eggness layer in order to select it and now we are going to create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac and I am going to call this new layer cracks, and then I'll click OK. Now we need to fill this selection, which as you can see fits entirely inside the egg, we need to fill those cracks with a color.
And the color I came up with is a light shade of yellow, because I figured there is a mix of yolk and egg white going on in there. So I dialed in a Hue value of 60 degrees, a Saturation value of 25% and a Brightness value of 100%, and then I press Alt+Delete or Option+Backspace on the Mac to fill the selected region with that yellow. Now you can press Ctrl+D or Command+ D on the Mac to deselect the image. The last step is to blend these cracks. We're going to start off by adding an inner shadow.
So drop down to the fx icon and choose the Inner Shadow command. Again, I want it to go in the opposite direction as it is now. So turn off Use Global Light and change that Angle value to 155. I am going to go ahead and crank the Opacity up to 100%. The color is black by default, that's fine. But I am going to up the Blend mode from Multiply to the super darkening mode which is Linear Burn. And then I am going to take both the Distance and Size values down to 2 in order to create this effect. All right, click OK.
One final thing that I want to do I don't want this much of the yolk effect. It's way too bright and yellow. So I am going to take this Fill Opacity here inside the Layers panel and I'm going to reduce it to 20% and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. And then one last final modification, I am going to change the Blend mode up here in the upper left corner of the Layers panel from Normal to Linear Dodge and we'll end up with this effect here. And that's it folks. I am going to go ahead and press the F key a couple of times and zoom in on my image and that is the final version of the guy trapped in an egg.
Thanks to your ability to independently move, transform and warp, selection outlines and selected pixels here inside Photoshop.
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