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Creating a selection-based composite

From: Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

Video: Creating a selection-based composite

Producing a composite image involves creating a Layer Mask for one or more of your Image Layers, where white on that Layer Mask causes portions of the image to be revealed. And black on the Layer Mask causes potions of the image to be blocked. For example, with this image I could block the pixels in the sky in order to reveal the pixels in the sky below, in this case a cloudy sky. And since we're using black and white to determine which areas of this image are visible versus which areas of the clouds below will show through, you might assume that you'll only be able to use a tool like the Brush tool to paint with black or white on the Layer Mask.

Creating a selection-based composite

Producing a composite image involves creating a Layer Mask for one or more of your Image Layers, where white on that Layer Mask causes portions of the image to be revealed. And black on the Layer Mask causes potions of the image to be blocked. For example, with this image I could block the pixels in the sky in order to reveal the pixels in the sky below, in this case a cloudy sky. And since we're using black and white to determine which areas of this image are visible versus which areas of the clouds below will show through, you might assume that you'll only be able to use a tool like the Brush tool to paint with black or white on the Layer Mask.

But you can actually use a selection as the basis of a Layer Mask as well. Let me show you how it works. I'm going to start off by creating a selection of the building here. But actually it's going to be much easier to create a selection of the sky. So I'll start there and then invert my selection. I'll choose the Quick Selection tool from the toolbox. And then click and drag throughout the sky in order to sample portions of the sky and create a selection. I have a small portion of the building that's also selected so I'll hold the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Macintosh.

And then paint over the areas of the building that are included in the selection, but should not be. That looks to be pretty good. Obviously, if I were really trying to produce a perfect composite, I would Zoom in and check very carefully. Although I can also clean up the layer mask later if needed. But again, I wanted to select the building, not the sky, so I'll go ahead and invert that selection. I'll do that by choosing Select Inverse from the menu and now I have the building selected. So all I need to do in order to mask out the sky, so that the only building is visible on this layer. And therefore the cloudy sky of the image layer below will show through. I just need to add a layer mask.

Because I have an active selection in my image, when I add a Layer Mask for my Building Layer, that Layer Mask will automatically reflect the shape of the selection. So now that I have that selection active for my building, and my Building Layer is active on the Layers panel, I'll go down to the bottom of the Layers panel and click on the Add Layer Mask button. The circle inside of a square icon. And when I do so, I have my composite. So the selected area is now white on my Layer Mask, and the deselected area is black on my Layer Mask.

So the sky in my Building Layer has been blocked, allowing the underlying sky to show through, whereas the building is revealed. So I can see the building, but nothing else, for this particular layer, and that allows whatever else is underneath, in this case a cloudy sky, to show through.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop
Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

51 video lessons · 10371 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 27s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
  2. 46m 26s
    1. Selections, alpha channels, and layer masks, oh my!
      5m 48s
    2. Anti-aliasing and selections
      6m 6s
    3. The case for not feathering selections
      6m 50s
    4. Adding, subtracting, and intersecting
      7m 31s
    5. Inverting a selection
      3m 4s
    6. Mixing and matching selection tools
      2m 32s
    7. Using Deselect and Reselect
      3m 47s
    8. Temporarily hiding a selection
      2m 7s
    9. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    10. Using the cursor for selections
      2m 27s
  3. 51m 42s
    1. The Rectangular Marquee tool
      8m 24s
    2. The Elliptical Marquee tool
      6m 2s
    3. The Lasso tool
      4m 55s
    4. The Polygonal Lasso tool
      6m 27s
    5. The Magnetic Lasso tool
      10m 9s
    6. The Quick Selection tool
      5m 33s
    7. The Magic Wand tool
      10m 12s
  4. 38m 38s
    1. Selecting the border of an existing selection
      1m 50s
    2. The Color Range command
      7m 19s
    3. Focusing a Color Range selection
      2m 55s
    4. Selecting faces with Color Range
      2m 31s
    5. The Pen tool
      5m 40s
    6. Selecting by luminosity
      3m 39s
    7. Selecting from a channel
      6m 13s
    8. Transforming a selection
      4m 4s
    9. Quick Mask mode
      4m 27s
  5. 50m 46s
    1. Combining layers into a single document
      1m 49s
    2. Layering images manually
      1m 55s
    3. Assembling a panorama automatically
      3m 1s
    4. Advanced blending
      4m 0s
    5. Painting to hide and reveal
      3m 24s
    6. Creating a selection-based composite
      2m 43s
    7. Select, then paint
      3m 28s
    8. Advanced mask cleanup
      6m 18s
    9. Creating an edge-fade effect
      2m 23s
    10. Using a filter to add an artistic edge
      3m 6s
    11. Using a brush effect to add an artistic edge
      5m 30s
    12. Transforming a masked object
      1m 51s
    13. Unlinking image and mask
      2m 53s
    14. Matching composite images
      2m 17s
    15. Adding layer effects with masks
      2m 21s
    16. Reviewing layer masks
      3m 47s
  6. 28m 58s
    1. Painting in an adjustment
      3m 20s
    2. Shades of gray
      3m 14s
    3. Using the Gradient tool
      4m 4s
    4. Adjusting a selected area
      1m 42s
    5. Creating a vignette effect with masking
      2m 13s
    6. Using a layer group
      3m 34s
    7. Working with multiple masks
      4m 5s
    8. Refining an adjustment mask
      6m 46s

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