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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
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Editing a layer mask


Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Editing a layer mask

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to edit a layer mask, thereby revealing more of the layer to which the layer mask is assigned. And what we are going to be revealing is the mountaintops that were sort of missing right here. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far to an image called Earth is round.psd. A little bit of a breaking news item for you. And if were to Shift+Click on this layer mask icon that's associated with Badlands, Badlands layer, I would turn the layer off for a moment. And you can see that the mountaintop actually sort of goes upward here, a little bit. It exceeds the boundaries of that layer mask, which is much lower. And actually quite exaggerates the curvature of the earth. I dare say. And what I'm going to do, and you are going to do it too if you are working along with me.
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  1. 22m 32s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Advanced
      1m 43s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 17s
    3. Resetting the function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      6m 4s
  2. 2h 43m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
    2. Low contrast, bad meter
      5m 57s
    3. Auto tone, contrast, and color
      8m 1s
    4. Cache levels and the Histogram palette
      7m 16s
    5. How the auto commands work
      10m 15s
    6. A first look at Levels
      6m 11s
    7. Target colors and clipping
      9m 6s
    8. Modifying input levels
      9m 44s
    9. Adjusting the gamma value
      7m 34s
    10. Previewing clipping
      7m 17s
    11. The futility of output levels
      4m 56s
    12. Channel-by-channel edits
      11m 54s
    13. When levels fail
      4m 34s
    14. A first look at Curves
      8m 46s
    15. Static Curves layer tricks
      7m 45s
    16. Dynamic Curves layer tricks
      7m 25s
    17. Correcting the composite image
      8m 30s
    18. Neutralizing a color cast
      6m 52s
    19. The Target Adjustment tool in Curves
      8m 29s
    20. Correcting an image in Lab
      10m 7s
    21. The Shadows/Highlights filter
      4m 18s
    22. Radius and tonal width
      8m 11s
  3. 1h 48m
    1. Edge-enhancement tricks
      1m 13s
    2. How sharpening works
      3m 48s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      4m 29s
    4. The Unsharp Mask filter
      7m 57s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      6m 25s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 47s
    7. Previewing how sharpening will print
      3m 37s
    8. Measuring and setting screen resolution
      6m 56s
    9. Tweaking the screen resolution
      4m 28s
    10. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 23s
    11. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      4m 23s
    12. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      5m 50s
    13. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 16s
    14. When to leave More Accurate off
      3m 48s
    15. When to turn More Accurate on
      4m 23s
    16. The advanced options
      7m 57s
    17. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 23s
    18. Accounting for camera shake
      7m 7s
    19. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      9m 8s
  4. 2h 16m
    1. Why would you blur?
      1m 8s
    2. Fading after an undo
      3m 27s
    3. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      5m 43s
    4. The linear Box Blur
      3m 6s
    5. Add Noise vs. Median
      4m 50s
    6. Despeckle vs. Dust & Scratches
      6m 31s
    7. Smart Blur vs. Surface Blur
      8m 13s
    8. The Motion Blur filter
      4m 33s
    9. Radial Blur's Spin and Zoom variations
      5m 48s
    10. Mixing filtered effects
      3m 56s
    11. The "Captain Kirk in Love" effect
      5m 4s
    12. Diffusing focus with Blur and Overlay
      8m 50s
    13. Simulating Vaseline and film grain
      8m 2s
    14. Filling a layer with a neutral color
      2m 55s
    15. Old-school contrast reduction
      3m 39s
    16. Three steps to diffused focus
      7m 36s
    17. Averaging skin tones
      9m 45s
    18. Addressing the stubborn patches
      5m 26s
    19. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      6m 1s
    20. Blurring surface details
      3m 2s
    21. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      8m 6s
    22. Reducing digital noise
      8m 47s
    23. Striking a smooth/sharpen compromise
      4m 36s
    24. Smoothing over JPEG artifacts
      7m 38s
  5. 2h 31m
    1. Independent layers of color adjustment
      1m 7s
    2. Undersea color channels
      4m 2s
    3. Inventing a Red channel with Lab
      8m 20s
    4. Mixing color channels
      6m 55s
    5. Making shadows with Levels
      7m 5s
    6. Applying small color adjustments
      6m 0s
    7. Further modifying Levels in Lab
      8m 50s
    8. Creating a dynamic fill layer
      4m 38s
    9. Brushing and blending color
      4m 42s
    10. Working with "found masks"
      7m 31s
    11. Saturation, sharpen, and crop
      8m 9s
    12. Mixing a monochromatic image
      7m 2s
    13. Masking an adjustment layer
      4m 45s
    14. Working with Opacity and blend modes
      3m 39s
    15. Adding a black-and-white adjustment
      5m 53s
    16. The Target Adjustment tool in black and white
      6m 12s
    17. Tinting a monochrome photo
      3m 19s
    18. Introducing Gradient Map
      4m 17s
    19. Adjusting both color and luminance
      5m 44s
    20. Infusing elements with different colors
      6m 22s
    21. Adjustment layers as creative tools
      4m 33s
    22. Inverting and brightening the background
      5m 14s
    23. Blurring live, editable type
      5m 43s
    24. Hue, saturation, and darkness
      6m 51s
    25. Filling type with a color adjustment
      3m 24s
    26. Using one adjustment to modify another
      3m 21s
    27. Breathing color into the title
      3m 38s
    28. The Hue/Saturation humanoid
      3m 44s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 23s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 16s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 46s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      6m 4s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      7m 8s
    7. Darken, Multiply, and the Burn modes
      6m 33s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with Fill
      4m 43s
    9. Saving a blended state
      4m 18s
    10. Lighten, Screen, and the Dodge modes
      8m 22s
    11. Linear Burn = Add minus white
      5m 31s
    12. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 52s
    13. Fill Opacity takes priority
      6m 19s
    14. Difference and exclusion
      5m 21s
    15. Using difference for golden highlights
      4m 2s
    16. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 8s
    17. The brush-only modes: Behind and Clear
      10m 31s
    18. Layer groups and the Pass Through mode
      8m 54s
  7. 1h 53m
    1. It's all about the presentation
    2. Moving a layer a specific number of pixels
      6m 59s
    3. Adding a pixel mask to a layer
      5m 48s
    4. Editing a layer mask
      7m 19s
    5. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      6m 19s
    6. Introducing the Advanced Blending options
      4m 45s
    7. Using the luminance blending sliders
      7m 26s
    8. Forcing through underlying luminance
      4m 32s
    9. Masking with a path outline
      5m 45s
    10. Refining a mask from the Masks palette
      7m 18s
    11. Creating and modifying a layer group
      3m 29s
    12. Establishing a knockout group
      5m 29s
    13. Fixing last-minute problems
      6m 23s
    14. Introducing layer comps
      6m 40s
    15. Exploring layered states
      6m 43s
    16. Deleting layers and updating comps
      6m 18s
    17. Saving a basic composition
      6m 21s
    18. Assigning and saving appearance attributes
      7m 15s
    19. Layer comps dos and don'ts
      7m 27s
  8. 1h 56m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
    2. Establishing default formatting attributes
      4m 5s
    3. Saving formatting attributes as a preset
      8m 5s
    4. Making a point text layer
      6m 18s
    5. Editing size and leading
      6m 44s
    6. Working with vector-based text
      6m 12s
    7. Formatting area text
      4m 16s
    8. Creating a layer of area text
      3m 20s
    9. Resizing the text frame
      4m 34s
    10. Changing the anti-aliasing setting
      3m 58s
    11. Obscure but important formatting options
      6m 31s
    12. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      8m 44s
    13. Creating a cast shadow
      6m 1s
    14. Blurred shadows and beveled text
      7m 16s
    15. Drawing a path outline
      4m 51s
    16. Creating type on a path
      6m 39s
    17. Flipping text across a circle
      3m 18s
    18. Vertical alignment with baseline shift
      4m 16s
    19. Warping text
      4m 57s
    20. Scaling your text to taste
      3m 33s
    21. Applying a custom warp
      6m 24s
    22. Creating an engraved text effect
      5m 11s
  9. 2h 17m
    1. Bending an image to fit your needs
    2. Creating a canvas texture
      6m 48s
    3. Masking objects against a white background
      5m 42s
    4. Scaling an image to fit a composition
      8m 9s
    5. Aligning one layer to fit another
      3m 51s
    6. Changing the Image Interpolation
      8m 10s
    7. Merging faces
      5m 32s
    8. Rotating the first clock hand
      7m 17s
    9. Adding hands and pasting styles
      6m 40s
    10. Series duplication in Photoshop
      4m 35s
    11. Masking objects against a black background
      6m 34s
    12. Skews and perspective distortions
      7m 57s
    13. Envelope-style warps
      9m 2s
    14. Old-school distortion filters
      8m 50s
    15. Introducing the Liquify filter
      4m 9s
    16. Reconstructing an image
      6m 55s
    17. Using the Warp tool
      5m 16s
    18. The Pucker and Bloat tools
      5m 53s
    19. Push, Turbulence, and Twirl
      6m 41s
    20. The Freeze and Thaw mask tools
      5m 45s
    21. Saving and loading a mesh file
      3m 59s
    22. Creating and applying a texture layer
      8m 30s
  10. 1h 28m
    1. Effects vs. styles
      1m 11s
    2. Of layer styles and masks
      4m 37s
    3. Everything about drop shadow
      8m 2s
    4. Adding a directional glow
      4m 39s
    5. Colorizing with Color Overlay
      5m 18s
    6. Stroke and fill opacity
      5m 48s
    7. Creating a multicolor Outer Glow
      9m 22s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 48s
    9. Contour and Texture
      4m 35s
    10. Simulating liquid reflections
      6m 28s
    11. Saving layer styles
      6m 18s
    12. Applying and appending styles
      4m 36s
    13. Saving and swapping style presets
      3m 16s
    14. The five effect helpers
      3m 47s
    15. Blending the effect before the layer
      5m 1s
    16. Colorizing a signature
      3m 30s
    17. Clipping an effect with a mask
      4m 5s
  11. 1h 50m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw in the Bridge
      5m 44s
    3. The Camera Raw 5 interface
      4m 39s
    4. Adjusting the white balance
      5m 0s
    5. Finessing and saving changes
      7m 55s
    6. Using the White Balance tool
      2m 43s
    7. Working with the Exposure controls
      7m 34s
    8. Straightening and cropping a raw image
      5m 53s
    9. Applying automatic exposure adjustments
      6m 6s
    10. Exposure warnings
      5m 44s
    11. Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation
      4m 47s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 33s
    13. Dodging with the Adjustment brush
      9m 24s
    14. Tone Curve adjustments
      6m 54s
    15. Using the Spot Removal tool
      2m 48s
    16. Removing noise and sharpening detail
      4m 5s
    17. Adjusting HSL values
      4m 18s
    18. Adjusting luminance, color by color
      4m 14s
    19. Black and white and split toning
      5m 16s
    20. Camera Raw tips and tricks
      7m 32s
    21. Correcting JPEG and TIFF images
      4m 42s
  12. 57s
    1. Until next time

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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
20h 57m Intermediate May 01, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Using blend modes, adjustment layers, and layer styles
  • Organizing a layered composition so it is fluid and editable
  • Creating and editing type in Photoshop
  • Using blur effectively
  • Using adjustment layers to add color
  • Combining layers into a clipping mask
  • Working with Camera Raw
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Editing a layer mask

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to edit a layer mask, thereby revealing more of the layer to which the layer mask is assigned. And what we are going to be revealing is the mountaintops that were sort of missing right here. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far to an image called Earth is round.psd. A little bit of a breaking news item for you. And if were to Shift+Click on this layer mask icon that's associated with Badlands, Badlands layer, I would turn the layer off for a moment. And you can see that the mountaintop actually sort of goes upward here, a little bit. It exceeds the boundaries of that layer mask, which is much lower. And actually quite exaggerates the curvature of the earth. I dare say. And what I'm going to do, and you are going to do it too if you are working along with me.

I am going to go ahead and paint into those mountains in the layer mask. So first thing I need to you do is click on the Layer Mask icon to make sure it's active. And another way to do this, you can switch back and forth between the layer mask and the layer from the keyboard, if you have a mine too. It's not the most memorable keyboard shortcut at our disposable, but you can see it right here inside the Channels palette. So if you go over to the Channels palette, you will see to switch back to the layer is Ctrl+2 or Command+2 on the Mac. And then the switch over to the layer mask is Ctrl+Backslash or Command+ Backslash on the Mac. So it's just an FYI.

Whether you ever end up taking advantage of that, I don't know. I find it just as easy just to click on these items here, but you can watch it happen now in a Layers palette, Ctrl+2 or Command+2 is going to switch you. Did you see that switch? I didn't click; it just happened because I pressed the keyboard shortcut and then watch. You can see me not clicking here, Ctrl+Backslash or Command+Backslash, to switch over to the layer mask. And Backslash on an American keyboard is the key that's also got the Bar key that's underneath the Backspace or Delete key. All right, so it's very important though that the layer mask is active, so that we are painting into the layer mask. Now get the Brush tool, and what I would like you to do is work with the small hard brush. So my Diameter is 40 pixels right now. Not too big, and I'm going to increase the Hardness value to 100%.

And then this is very important, to make sure that the foreground color is not black, but rather white, and you can do that by pressing the Deke key. Now it will get you the default colors for masking, which are white is foreground, black is background. And the reason that that's the default setting is because by default Adobe figures, you'll want to paint an Opacity, and you would want to erase away with Transparency of course. Anyway, I'm going to paint like this into the mountains. Now how do I know where to paint? Well, I don't. I don't really know what I'm doing. I guess that's not a good thing for a trainer to say to his trainees. I don't really know what I'm doing, those words should never come out of my mouth, but I don't really know what I'm doing, because I don't really know where the mountain range is. And you can see I'm making some sky appear up there. Now let's go ahead and zoom in on this image, why don't we? So we can see, notice that I'm going from a blurry edge of the world, but that's because, it's really far away to a more sharply focused mountain range.

Now optics doesn't really work that way, but it's going to work that way for us. This is a comic illustration after all, and we wanted to emphasize certain details over others. Now I'm going to decrease the size of my brush a little bit to something like 20 pixels, and I'm going to paint some more. So what I'm really saying is I'm just kind of feeling my way through this mountain range, and I'm making imaginative choice as I paint. Now if I end up exposing some sky, I'll show you what to do about that in just a moment. We'll come back to that in a race of the way. But actually let's increase the size of the brush by pressing the Right Bracket key and there and just painting this mountain range stuff right there. I just want to make sure we get this stuff established.

Now if you want to be able to see the mountain range as you painted in. So you want to see the mountain range as it appears on mask, so that you can see all of the mountains here. Then here's what you need to do, go ahead and Shift+Click once again on that layer mask to hide it like so. It's still active though, note that, so now you can see the mountains as they were before, and you can just go ahead and paint into them. So I'm painting into the mountains for like so. Now this is what I call blind layer masking, because you are not seeing what you are doing. You are just painting it, and it's like looking at the keyboard as you type, which is something I'm very comfortable with doing, because, I don't know how to touch type. But you can't see the letters up here, right? You are just seeing that you are typing the right keys. And that's what you are doing when you are blind masking. You are just kind of painting in here, and you are hoping for the best, and then when you get done, I'm done now. I just painted all over that area.

Now, I'll Shift+Click on this mask again, and that turns the mask back on, and I can see what I have done, and I have done at darn fine job. It worked out really actually very nicely. Gosh! I'm pretty pleased with the result there. So I was working blind, but it worked well, and then I can just filling this area I think, pretty nicely there. And oops, I exposed some sky, a little bit of sky right there. Okay, what you do in that case? Well, then you press the X key, and pressing the X key is going to swap your foreground and background color. It makes the foreground color black. And now I'll paint away that little sliverous sky. And if you paint away too much sky that's okay. You don't have to exactly follow the top of the mountains, because nobody is going to know where those mountaintops were. And as we'll see in our future exercise, we are going to actually come in and darken up the tops of those mountains, so nobody will be the wiser, it will look really, really great, I assure you.

And besides I'm riding on a dinosaur, so realism isn't necessarily what we are going for. Press the X key again to make the foreground color white, and then I'm going to paint in the tops a little bit, I want a little bit of that darkness at the top of the mountain range if I can keep it, which I can, because I just did. Excellent, all right, so there is that, just a couple of last techniques if you want to know about them. You can view the mask and the image at the same time by going over to the Channels palette. Notice that we were working on the mask, even though we are seeing the image. And that's indicated by the eyeballs. The eyeballs are showing that's what we were seeing. Blue area right here is showing us what's selected. It might be a different color for you.

If you want to view the mask at the same time, you click in this eyeball in the front of the Badlands mask like so. And then if you want to see just the mask and not the image, you turn of the eyeball for the RGB image. See how that works? All right, here's another way to work, I'll go ahead and reset things the way they were before. You can also take advantage of these top secret hidden keyboard shortcuts. If you press Backslash, not Ctrl+Backslash, just Backslash, then you see both the mask, that goes and turns the mask on, and the image right there, then if you want to hide the image you press the ~(tilde) key.

Tilde key, not 2, but Tilde, and Tilde is the key that's under the Escape key above the tab key, next to the one key on an American keyboard. And then if you want to bring the RGB image back, you press the Tilde again. And then if you want to hide the layer mask, you press Backslash again. So both Tilde and Backslash are what are known as toggles. Because they toggle the option on and off. So there is everything you ever wanted to know about editing a layer mask, at least where this particular image is concerned. I'm going to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool there. In the next exercise I'm going to show you how to work with clipping masks, how to clip one layer inside of another.

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