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

Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: Creating two windows into an image

If you were with me in the previous exercise, you may recall we went ahead and added an adjustment layer to this image from photograph Alex Nikada, and the idea behind this adjustment layer is that I wanted to make this Background a deeper, more intense blue, so that we have more contrast between the background, and the oranges of this model's skin, and hair, and so forth. We have managed to do that, although we have affected much of the interior of the model as well, and you can see right over here, what we have got is a Levels adjustment layer, that's modified by a layer mask that's been borrowed from the images own Blue Channel.
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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

Creating two windows into an image

If you were with me in the previous exercise, you may recall we went ahead and added an adjustment layer to this image from photograph Alex Nikada, and the idea behind this adjustment layer is that I wanted to make this Background a deeper, more intense blue, so that we have more contrast between the background, and the oranges of this model's skin, and hair, and so forth. We have managed to do that, although we have affected much of the interior of the model as well, and you can see right over here, what we have got is a Levels adjustment layer, that's modified by a layer mask that's been borrowed from the images own Blue Channel.

All right, so here I am working inside of an image called Partially masked.psd. You can go ahead and open it up as well, if you want to catch on up with me, it's found inside of the 11 layer masks folder. And I was to turn off the adjustment layer; you will see what the original image looks like. All right, I am going to turn the adjustment layer back on. Now if I would Alt+Click on the layer mask, or Option+Click on that layer mask on the Mac, I could view the layer mask independently. What we need to do, is we need to make the interior of the model where the layer mask is concerned entirely black, and we need to make the area behind the model entirely white. So we are going to have to apply a Levels adjustments in order to increase the contrast of this layer mask. So you can, yes, we are going to be using Levels inside of a Levels adjustment layer. Just happens to be the way things are. Now the big question though is, do I want to be looking at the layer mask as I am now, or do I want to be looking at the composite image as I modify the mask, and really honestly, I like to be looking at both, if I could, and I can.

Photoshop allows you to create multiple windows into a single image if you like, and this is one of those functions, it's been around inside Photoshop since day one. Not very many people know about it, but it's an extremely useful feature. So here is what we are going to do. With this image open, I want you to go up to the Window menu, choose Arrange, and choose this command right there, New Window for Partially masked .psd, and that will open a new window into the same image. Now I am going to press Shift+F to switch to the standard window mode, so that I can see multiple windows at a time, and the great thing about its function is that you can view the image at a different zoom ratio.

You can scroll to a different portion of the image. You can view a different channel, you can view a layer mask, you can view anything, really, differently, than the other image. So now I am going to go, so I can see both images at the same time, I am going to Shift+Tab away my palettes for a moment. Then I am going to go on to the Window menu, choose Arrange, and choose Tile Vertically, so that I can see these images side by side like so. Now I am going to switch to this window, and I am going to zoom in to the 100% view size, because I want to get a good look at the transitions inside of her hair. That's why I am the most concerned about where the composite image is concerned, and then where this image window is concerned, I am going to zoom into 50%, so I am going to take a wider view of this image, and going to Shift+Tab to view my palette. I am going to Alt or Option click on the layer mask thumbnail here, so that I can see the layer mask by itself.

Now I am going to Shift+Tab those palettes away. So you can see both images, it's telling as that we are working on the sky layer, and we are working inside of the layer mask, but in one case we are seeing the composite image, in the other case we are seeing the layer mask by itself, awesome! Now I want you to press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac to bring up the Levels command. Notice that it's telling us that we are working in Channel sky Mask. That is the layer mask, with the layer called sky. Now notice if I were to apply radical adjustments, like I am going to increase my black point dramatically, and decrease my white point dramatically. So that I am increasing the heck out of the contrast in the image, and you'll just have to ignore the hideous appearance of those teeth over there right now.

You'll see, not only do the teeth look bad in the composite image as well, isn't that nice, but worse, because we can get rid of the problems on the interior of the mask very easily. More unfortunate is these harsh edges that are tracing around the hair details. You can see that we have alternately dark blue edges followed by light edges. These light highlighted edges as well. So things are basically a mess where the hair is concerned, and that's because we have gone overboard with our Level adjustments. So let's go ahead and back things off a little bit. I am going to take the black point back to 20, and you can see that pretty much takes care of the problem here. We do have some slight dark blue edges going on, but nothing that concerns me at this point, and then I am going to let off of the white point adjustment too. I am going to take that up to 160. So I am still being pretty aggressive where the white point is concerned, but not very aggressive at all, where the black point is concerned.

Now click OK. Now we still have a lot of work to do on the interior of the model, and we are going to do that, using the Brush tool, so go ahead and click on the Brush tool icon on the toolbox, or press the B key, press Shift+Alt+O to switch to the overlay mode, that's shift Option+O on the Mac. Go ahead and get yourself a large soft brush, and make sure that foreground color is black, which it isn't for me, so I am going to press the X key, and then start painting inside of the image. Now you can be pretty indiscriminate as you paint inside the image if you want to, in most areas accept around the hair over here. I am just motioning, I am not painting right now, I am just showing you.

You don't want to paint over this area. Because if you do paint over, notice what happens. Then you get those horrible edges around the hair, inside composite image again. So I recommend that you just avoid that area. Don't even paint over at it all. Just go ahead and paint over everything else, where the model is concerned. Now she is going to end up with those horrible brown teeth right there. As I say that goes to the old adage, don't show the model the mask, because this is the kind of horrible results, the horrible skeletal results that you get as you are painting inside of a mask. Let's get rid of that, right now actually, before we go any further, by pressing the L key for lasso tool, and just sort of circling a pretty big range of the image right here like so, and then I am going to fill it with black by pressing Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete. Ah! That looks much better. Both inside of the layer mask and the composite image, fortunately.

Now I am going to deselect the image, and switch back to the Brush tool, and I deselected the image of course by pressing Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac, and I will switch back to the Brush tool, paint, paint, paint inside of the shoulder region. Paint, paint, paint over in this shoulder region as well, and the white should be actually in pretty good shape. You shouldn't have to do really much of anything where the whites are concerned. If you think that there might be some action going on in the whites, go grab that magic wand tool once again, change the Tolerance value to 0, turn Anti-alias off, so that you are only selecting one color inside the image, and then click in the background, and you should see this. You should basically select the entire background, because we made the entire thing white from the Levels command.

So life is good, you can now close this window. That's your second window into the image. So when you close it, Photoshop is not going to ask you if you want to save anything, because you still have the image open. You just close the second window into it. Now I am going to Shift+Tab my palettes backup on screen, I am going to return to the maximize screen mode by pressing the F key, and I am going to press Ctrl+D or Command+D to deselect the image, and that is our image so far folks. This is without that adjustment layer, this is with the adjustment layer. You can see that the adjustment layers are now limited to the sky, and only the sky. She is totally protected, but we still need to work on those teeth. They could be whiter and the highlights could be whiter as well, and they will be whiter after the next exercise.

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