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Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

Editing character outlines as paths


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Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: Editing character outlines as paths

All right, the only thing that we have left is the text layers. That's the only thing that remains to be created inside of this composition, which is why I have gone ahead and named this updated version of the file, All but the text.psd. It's found inside of 15_Paths_Folder, but of course. Let's bring back the layers palette, and you can see that actually the text layers are actually ready and waiting for you. I mentioned to you at the onset that you might get some font warnings if you don't have the right fonts available to your system, and those fonts, those correct fonts for this document are Adobe Garamond Pro, and Nueva Standard. They are installed automatically with the full Creative Suite 3, with all incarnations I believe.
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  1. 2h 13m
    1. The Odyssey Continues
      2m 39s
    2. Mapping one image onto another
      7m 12s
    3. Making a custom contrast mode
      7m 10s
    4. Luminance blending
      8m 40s
    5. Forcing the visibility of underlying layers
      4m 4s
    6. Adjusting the appearance of clipped layers
      4m 34s
    7. Selecting a Blend If channel
      6m 12s
    8. Enhancing highlights by hiding them
      5m 9s
    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 39s
    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 35s
    17. Matching colors
      9m 13s
    18. Building transitional blended layers
      6m 33s
    19. Restoring normal colors
      6m 50s
  2. 2h 33m
    1. Layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
      1m 20s
    2. Rotating and stretching
      7m 54s
    3. A jet of motion blur
      9m 18s
    4. Keyboard tricks
      5m 4s
    5. Merging sky and landscape
      6m 3s
    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 1s
    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 45s
    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 16s
    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 27m
    1. The corrective power of masking
      1m 6s
    2. The amazing luminance mask
      7m 22s
    3. Brightening and neutralizing the eyes
      8m 22s
    4. Adjusting a nondestructive composition
      5m 52s
    5. Creating a corrective mask
      6m 4s
    6. Averaging away irregular flesh tones
      3m 52s
    7. Modifying specific colors
      7m 46s
    8. Initiating the color mask
      6m 0s
    9. Refining the color mask
      6m 40s
    10. Adjusting the edges around fabric
      7m 56s
    11. Perfecting hair
      9m 35s
    12. Sharpening with a High Pass layer
      10m 12s
    13. The also-amazing density mask
      4m 48s
    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 46s
    21. Applying the edge mask
      6m 2s
    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 49s
    3. Meet the Channel Mixer
      8m 26s
    4. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 10s
    5. Creating a professional-level sepia tone
      5m 36s
    6. Employing the Black & White command
      8m 1s
    7. Extreme channel mixing
      4m 50s
    8. The infrared photography effect
      6m 43s
    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 44s
    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 39s
    16. The simple (but wrong) approach to red-eye correction
      6m 39s
    17. Channel-mixing red pupils
      9m 18s
    18. The expert approach to red-eye correction
      5m 20s
    19. Fixing problem coronas (pupil edges)
      8m 9s
    20. Making pupils match
      4m 8s
  5. 2h 33m
    1. Chops are dead; long live maskops
      1m 37s
    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 22s
    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 33s
    11. The Add mode in action
      7m 51s
    12. The Subtract mode in action
      8m 25s
    13. Comparing two channels with Difference
      5m 24s
    14. Enhancing the contrast with Curves
      9m 11s
    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 1s
    19. Painting away the face and chin
      4m 53s
    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 35s
    2. The big paths project overview
      6m 51s
    3. How to make a path
      8m 25s
    4. Corner points and freeform polygons
      8m 6s
    5. Editing paths with the arrow tools
      5m 2s
    6. Adding and deleting endpoints
      5m 15s
    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
      6m 0s
    12. Combining paths in a vector mask
      7m 55s
    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 10s
    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 17s
    7. Roughing in an object mask
      6m 49s
    8. Drawing missing details with the Lasso tool
      4m 7s
    9. Combining flesh and object masks
      3m 53s
    10. Amplifying the cast shadow
      4m 10s
    11. Selectively choking edges
      3m 58s
    12. Power duplication in Photoshop
      7m 9s
    13. Masking blond hair
      5m 48s
    14. Using Levels to mask iterations
      3m 14s
    15. Drawing an iteration boundary
      4m 55s
    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 29s
    19. Pulling from another file with Apply Image
      4m 52s
    20. Blending clipped layers independently
      5m 43s
    21. Building the flame mask
      9m 22s
    22. Amplifying the flame
      3m 53s
    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 25s
    30. Coloring in the outlines
      8m 31s
    31. Mastering Calculations
      7m 29s
    32. Subtracting and merging the beak
      11m 6s
  8. 1h 33m
    1. The meaning of bit depth (and why you care)
      2m 50s
    2. Scanning line art in 8-bit and 16-bit
      5m 9s
    3. Measuring the 16-bit difference
      8m 9s
    4. Correcting 8-bit images in the 16-bit space
      9m 31s
    5. Opening a raw image directly in 16-bit
      6m 13s
    6. Editing in Camera Raw, opening in 16-bit
      8m 22s
    7. 16-Bit/channel vs. 32-bit/channel (HDR)
      8m 18s
    8. Working with auto-bracketed photographs
      5m 6s
    9. Using the Merge to HDR command
      6m 0s
    10. Adjusting the HDR preview
      6m 0s
    11. Building a 32-bit sky mask
      6m 29s
    12. Properly exposing land and sky
      4m 25s
    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 32s
    5. Using a two-channel displacement map
      6m 28s
    6. Creating a rustic edge effect
      8m 21s
    7. Distorting and shading with a DMap
      6m 34s
    8. Moonlight reflecting off water
      8m 48s
    9. Mapping the reflection onto the water
      7m 7s
    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 5s
    14. Making a repeating watermark pattern
      9m 22s
    15. 3D embossing with Lighting Effects
      10m 48s
    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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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
Subjects:
Design Photography Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Editing character outlines as paths

All right, the only thing that we have left is the text layers. That's the only thing that remains to be created inside of this composition, which is why I have gone ahead and named this updated version of the file, All but the text.psd. It's found inside of 15_Paths_Folder, but of course. Let's bring back the layers palette, and you can see that actually the text layers are actually ready and waiting for you. I mentioned to you at the onset that you might get some font warnings if you don't have the right fonts available to your system, and those fonts, those correct fonts for this document are Adobe Garamond Pro, and Nueva Standard. They are installed automatically with the full Creative Suite 3, with all incarnations I believe.

However, if you buy Photoshop independently, or you've an education version, you might not have those fonts available to you, and you might have to switch for other fonts. Anyway, I am going to go ahead and turn on those font layers. One is called the Woman from a'Queous, and the other is called Tammy Peluso and Alexandra Alexis. And you can see that this time around I actually spelt Tammy Peluso's name correctly. In the very first exercise I'd spelled her wrong. Even though in the sample file, it's spelled right there. The magic of Magicry. All right, so anyway, what I want to do, you may recall, go back to the version of the document that's built for us in advance, the Fish face.psd document. And you can see that I went ahead and changed the little descender that's coming off the Q, and I also changed the apostrophe a little bit, just because I wanted slightly different treatment there, just the designer thing.

What that meant was, I needed to convert the letters to shape outlines, to Vector based shape outlines, so that they would remain crisp and editable, and then I modified them using the Pen tool. But of course, and the custom Shape tool, as you will see. So why don't we do the same? Those of you who have a designer bent, who are interested in this kind of stuff, let's go ahead and zoom into the a'Que area of the image And I want you to select the woman from a'Queous layer, strictly from the Baracuda layer, and then I want you to go on to the Layer menu, and choose Type, and choose Convert to Shape. That's one way to go. By the way, if you want a different way to get there, that's a little simpler kind of. You have to Ctrl+Click out here in an empty portion of the type layer, because if you Ctrl+Click on the T, you get fewer options, notice that.

If you want a simpler method, although it's a little peculiar, you have to right-click on an empty portion of that Type layer. You can't right-click on the T, because if you do, you get fewer options available to you. You have to right-click on an empty area, and choose Convert to Shape. So that's another way to work. Either way it's going to go ahead and convert the text from editable text to path outlines. If you prefer that you didn't lose the editability of your text, because we just got rid of it, then what you would want to do is, go ahead and duplicate the layer before you convert it, and then of course hide the original version by turning off its eyeball, so you can keep it for later.

But anyway we have gone ahead and converted the editable text to high resolution vector based outlines here. And we are going to edit them, and here's what I want you to do. Go ahead and grab the White Arrow tool, and click on these points right there. Actually, you can marquee them, if you want to, notice that. Then we will press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to delete them, because we want to draw in a new little curly Q down here. And I am not sure I will draw it exactly the same way I did before, but here is how I made it. I went ahead and grabbed the Pen tool now, and you can drag from this endpoint. Notice we have an endpoint here, and an endpoint there. So drag from this endpoint like so, and then I dragged like this in order to make it a little curly Q back and forth, so that we have a little back and forth action, and I am going to Ctrl+Drag it or Command+Drag it over a little bit like so, to move it's location a bit.

Then I am going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on that point, in order to sever the control handle, so we convert the smooth point into a corner point. And then I am going to click here in order to add another corner point. I am going to drag from it like so, in order to convert the corner point to a cusp point and I am going to drag like that from this point right there, in order to add the other control handle that's needed in order to complete that little curly Q right there.

And notice, just for the sake -- I am going to do that again, just so that you notice what happened. I went ahead and dragged away from the segment that I am drawing. That's the weirdest I think to get used to, is you are drawing the segment that's 180 degrees away from your cursor. So I am not even dragging a control handle anymore. I am dragging in a imaginary control handle that's controlling the opposite control handle. So we are in some very peculiar territory, but very familiar territory for Illustrator users. This is the way it's been since the dawn of time. And since sort of the middle ages for Photoshop. So now I am going to go back to the White Arrow tool, I am going to click on this path, and I am going to move it around a little bit.

How about that apostrophe people? How do we go about creating that custom apostrophe? The first thing I want you to do with the White Arrow tool is Alt+Click or Option+Click on the path outline on the outline of that apostrophe in order to select the entire thing. So that's an Alt+Click on a PC and Option+Click on a Mac with the White Arrow tool this time, we are not doing it with the Pen tool, so we are not cleaving off any control handles. What we are doing is, we are selecting the entire sub path at a time, and then press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of that preexisting, that default Viva Standard apostrophe.

Now I am going to grab the custom Shape tool. This is a little weird one I think. I am going to grab the custom Shape tool, and I am going to switch the shape from Waves to Campfire, and Campfire is way down here. This little guy. Click on it, and this assumes of course that you loaded all of the custom shapes into Photoshop. Now let's hide that list, and let's draw a campfire like so. And I am going to press the Shift key as I drag with this tool, and I am pressing the Spacebar to move it into a better location there. I am going to release the Spacebar, and reduce the size of the campfire a little bit, move it over a still more, and there we have it. There is our new campfire.

Now I neglected to add it to the existing shapes, and that was a mistake, I think. So let's go ahead and undo that maneuver there. Make sure your paths are selected as they are, and let's go up to the Options bar here and instead of having instead of having it say, what's it set to right now? It's set to Create New Shape Layer. Let's switch it to this guy, add to shape area. That's the one we want. Now draw the campfire again. And we could have cut it from that layer, moved it to the other one, but this is perhaps the better way to work. I want to show you that things can go wrong, and how to write them. Then the easiest way, what we need to do is get rid of all the campfire, except for this little guy right there, this shape.

Now what I am going to do, is I am going to go Alt+Click, Shift+Alt+Click on each of the sub paths. So I am going to start things off by Alt clicking on one of the sticks here, one of these pieces of wood. That would be an Option+Click on the Mac. Then Shift+Alt+Click, Shift+Alt+Click, Shift+Alt+Click, Shift+Alt+Click, Shift+Alt+Click, and Shift+Alt+Click, and be careful make sure you don't get the a or the Q, but you've got to Shift+Alt+Click on every single one of these sub paths, that would be Shift+Option+Click on the Mac. Every one of them except for this guy right here, and then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to get rid of them. And we are left with this. This is awesome. We've made custom character shapes using the Pen tool, and the White Arrow tool here inside of the Photoshop.

So I am going to go ahead and click on that vector mask thumbnail in order to turn it off, and then I am going to Shift+Tab away my palette to zoom out slightly so that we can take in the entire image. This is the final composition people. Thanks to the amazing power of the Pen tool, and all of its various buddies, the vector masking, and the White Arrow tool and the Black Arrow tool, of course, here in side of Photoshop. Why don't we go ahead and tab away the palettes, fill the screen with the image and zoom in here? And this is the final version of the composition. I hope you are looking at something similar on your screen.

Nicely done. This isn't exactly Pen tool mastery, I wouldn't say, but it set you on your way, and hopefully you will feel inclined to experiment a little more, and mastering it the old fashion way by gaining experience real hard one experience with the tools here inside Photoshop.

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