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Dropping out a white background

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Dropping out a white background

I've saved my changes as Grayscale bulb.tif, found inside the 28_blending folder. I use TIF because I figured by now enough damage has been done with JPEG compression, we don't need to apply anymore. Incidentally, in order to create this horrible, brutal version of this light bulb, I've saved the JPEG image with a Quality setting of 2. So, it was way, way down there. This is not your standard routine everyday average JPEG image, not that you would save anyway. Now we're going to take this image and we're going to introduce it into this composition, and it's going to look absolutely like a million bucks.

Dropping out a white background

I've saved my changes as Grayscale bulb.tif, found inside the 28_blending folder. I use TIF because I figured by now enough damage has been done with JPEG compression, we don't need to apply anymore. Incidentally, in order to create this horrible, brutal version of this light bulb, I've saved the JPEG image with a Quality setting of 2. So, it was way, way down there. This is not your standard routine everyday average JPEG image, not that you would save anyway. Now we're going to take this image and we're going to introduce it into this composition, and it's going to look absolutely like a million bucks.

It's going to blend seamlessly, as you're about to see. Now, I'm looking at that version of Opposite effects.psd that was saved along with the Darken layer Comp. So you can go ahead and click in front of Darken if you want to in order to get the same effect I have. Also, click on the couple bright layer right there to make it active, so that when we introduce the light bulb into the image, it doesn't get sandwiched in the middle of this clipping group. All right, I'm going to switch back to Grayscale bulb.tif. I'm going to zoom out and I still have my Lasso tool selected.

So, I'm going to draw a Polygonal Lasso around the light bulb, like so. This will just help when we go to transform the light bulb in the place. So, I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click around in this sort of rotated rectangular fashion here, around the edges of the light bulb. Ultimately, I'll select what you see. Then once I've created the four corners, I can release the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac in order to complete the selection. If the light bulb isn't exactly centered inside the selection, you can drag the selection outline around like so, or you can nudge it into place as well using the arrow keys.

Anyway, once you have it more or less selected, press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and drag that guy to the Title tab for Opposite effects.psd, then drag your cursor back into the Image window and drop. We don't need to perform a Shift+Drop or anything like that. Doesn't it look right at home? Doesn't it look like absolutely every bit as good as the rest of the artwork? Of course, it doesn't, but it will end up looking pretty darn good by the time we're done. Now, I so often see folks approach a project like this by thinking that they need to select the white region and delete it, for example, or they need to mask it away.

Well, imagine, we were to use something like the Magic Wand tool. I just want to demonstrate what a tragic approach this would be. I'll get the Magic Wand tool and I'll reinstate my default settings, which would be a Tolerance of 32, and Anti-alias turned on. I could have also just right-clicked on this down-pointing arrowhead and chose Reset tool, like so. Then I'll click in the white region, and I'm thinking, yeah, that did a pretty good job, of course. That did a terrible job, because it just bled into the light bulb like crazy I tell you. Here, let's do the sensible thing and say, I know my background is absolutely white.

So, I'm going to set the Tolerance to zero. I'll leave Anti-alias turned on though, because I want to have moderately smooth edges. So, I'll try this again. I'll press Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Then I'll click in the background again. That looks good, looks like I got it. I'll press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to delete the white area, press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image, and then zoom in and check out those edges. That's somewhat the fault of the Magic Wand tool, but it's mostly the fault of the JPEG compression artifacts.

It's the artifacts that are causing this degree of roughness. All right, so obviously, that's not what we want, nor is it the least bit necessary. We do not need to delete the white. So, I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+Z a few times, Command+Option+Z to reinstate that white, and I'm going to switch away from the Magic Wand tool by pressing the M key just so I'm not tempted even to use it. Instead, we're going to apply a blend mode. Now, you may recall in my discussion of Screen and Multiply, I was saying when you apply Screen, you get a continuous lightening effect, and only one color is treated as transparent, and that is black.

By contrast, when you're applying the opposite Multiply mode, you're getting a continuous darkening effect, and only one color is treated as transparent, and that is white. So just by virtue of the fact that we apply the Multiply mode here, we are dropping out the whites automatically, and this is going to work for scanned artwork, this is going to work for line art, this is going to work for your logos that you're bringing in, it's going to work for all kinds of things. Now, I'm going to go ahead and rename this layer lightbulb, that's something I have to do manually, but otherwise it's pretty automatic.

Now I figure we should go ahead and rotate and scale the light bulb into place. So I'm going to scroll up a little bit just so that I'm certain where the top of the image is. With the lightbulb layer active, I'll go to the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform command, or I could press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. We still have a pretty gargantuan transformation boundary even though we more or less crop this image. But I'm going to go ahead and drag outside of the transform boundary in order to rotate the light bulb. I'll Shift+Alt+Drag or Shift+Option+Drag one of the corner handles here in order to scale the light bulb with respect to its center, and then drag it up, like so.

If I thought the light bulb was listing a little to the right, which it seems to be, then I could press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and lift one of those corners like so, so that I apply a little bit of a perspective distortion, and then I'll drag this guy down into place. He's still little big because the sharpie lines are protruding into the model's heads right there. So, I will Shift+Alt+Drag or Shift+Option+Drag a little more to reduce the size of the bulb, maybe straightening just ever so slightly, and use the arrow keys to nudge it into place. When I'm done, I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac to accept the transformation.

All right, so that's the basics of how we get the scanned artwork into place, but it still doesn't exactly match. It looks too monotone, and it doesn't look fully integrated into the artwork, even though, if we zoom in, thanks to that transformation and thanks to the Blend mode, our compression artifacts are much lessened, but we can do better than this and we can do better while keeping it parametric and simple. And I'll show you what I mean in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

192 video lessons · 43828 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 30s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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