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Erasing with a layer mask

From: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics

Video: Erasing with a layer mask

Now that we have enlarged the hand, we need to blend it in with its background and I could just get rid of this stuff that's outside the hand by erasing in a way using the Eraser tool right here. So if you click on the Eraser tool maybe make the cursor little bigger by pressing the right bracket key and then just paint away the offending pixels here around the outside of the hand then of course you are going to make those pixels invisible and you are just going to leave the hand behind. The problem with working this way is this is a permanent pixel level alternation and that means in the future if you decide that your transitions look wonky and you want to fix them you don't have a lot of options available to you.

Erasing with a layer mask

Now that we have enlarged the hand, we need to blend it in with its background and I could just get rid of this stuff that's outside the hand by erasing in a way using the Eraser tool right here. So if you click on the Eraser tool maybe make the cursor little bigger by pressing the right bracket key and then just paint away the offending pixels here around the outside of the hand then of course you are going to make those pixels invisible and you are just going to leave the hand behind. The problem with working this way is this is a permanent pixel level alternation and that means in the future if you decide that your transitions look wonky and you want to fix them you don't have a lot of options available to you.

So you are much better off, the more flexible route is to create a layer mask and that's what I am going to do, I am going to press Ctrl Z or Command Z to undo that Eraser tool modification then I am going to go down to the bottom of the Layers palette say this Add Layer Mask icon and I am going to click on it in order to add a new white layer mask because for starters I want to be able to see all of the hand. And now I am going to erase it away by painting black into the layer mask using the standard paint brush tool right here. So go ahead and get the brush tool.

Let's make that tool much larger actually something about 60 pixels works out pretty nicely I think. Make sure that black is your foreground color, if it's not then you would want to press the D key and then press the X key. So D key gets you your default colors and then X switches them so that you have black as your foreground color and I also want my brush to be a little harder. Right now it has a hardness of 0% by default. In order to make it harder than that, I will go ahead and press the Escape key. I am going to press Shift right bracket twice in a row so now I have a pretty hard brush going and now I can paint away notice that I am painting away by masking away the portions of the hand that I don't want, the portions of the hand layer that is to say that I don't want.

Now I am going to zoom in a little more closely here and reduce the size of my brush cursor. Now I have got kind of a straight-line going at this point along the index finger so I am going to click here and then I am going to Shift Click here in order to connect that click point and the shift click with a straight-line and then I am going to carefully paint around this knuckle like so and then I am going to paint this junk away over in this area to get rid of it. We may have some other stuff that needs to be painted away. Oops I need to paint over the thumb as well to get rid of that.

And what's beautiful about this technique about layer masking in general is note if you go too far, if you like paint into the fingers a little bit like you sort of scrape off the end of the finger like I did just there then you can paint it back in by pressing the X key to switch white to your foreground color and then just click on the finger in order to paint white into it and you will paint that finger back into place there. So it's nice to have this kind of flexibility. That's a degree of flexibility obviously that you would not have were you working with the Eraser tool.

Alright I am going to press the X key again in order to switch black to my foreground color and I am going to paint along the bottom of the hand just a little bit. Oh scraped off a knuckle that's okay, actually I am going to go ahead and gouge down into here because we have a 90 degree angle that's difficult to represent with the soft brush and now press the X key in order to switch my foreground color to white and I will paint that finger back in like so. And you can see that we are exposing a little bit of the finger underneath the little hand from underneath there. We will go back to it and paint that back into place in just a moment.

But first I want to make sure that I have got my existing layer mass the way that I want to, it looks pretty good. Now go ahead and grab your Move tool because notice one of the primary issues here is that this arrow. Saint Sebastian is holding an arrow because I believe he was pierced with one, I believe that's how he died and so he is holding this arrow and the arrow shaft goes into his hand here but then we are seeing it go between his index finger and his thumb at this location so that's a little out of whack.

So what I want you to do is I want you to grab the Move tool and then drag that hand over until you are starting to expose regions of the background finger there because we don't want the fingers, the original fingers to show up. So just go ahead and drag it over to the left a little bit using the Move tool and notice that both layer and mask move together because of that little chain icon, see that tiny chain icon between the thumbnails inside the Layers palette, that allows you to move the two with each other. If you decide you want to move one or the other independently, you just click on the chain icon to turn it off and that chain indicates a link.

Anyway I will click again in order to turn the link back on and then finally I might need to modify the layer mass just a little more. I will press the X key in order to paint back in some of this hand layer here in order to cover up some of the details that I don't want to see showing through from the hand in the background. So everything looks pretty good except that I actually have a little of a double sleeve going on over here in the lower left hand corner of the image, you can see it right there. I am going to actually press the F key to switch to the Full Screen mode so I can move this guy around.

Alright so you can see how I have a double sleeve. I am going to press the X key in order to make sure that the foreground color's black once again and then I am going to paint that excess sleeve away. And if you want to make sure that you have gotten rid of everything on the outskirts on the parameter of this layer so that you have some smooth transitions really set up and you are not missing anything then you would Alt Click or Option Click on the layer mask thumbnail in order to see the mask by itself and now you can see oops there is some area there that you should click, there is that area you know I should probably just trim this stuff up to make sure that I am not allowing anything to show through that I really don't want to show through.

Alright once I have done that then I would Alt or Option Click on the layer mass thumbnail again and everything looks actually pretty darn good. Alright so that's the enlarged version of the hand don't worry if you have a little bit of edge going on at the very, very bottom of the image. That is going to get covered up by the frame as I said before. So this is St. Sebastian with his larger more manly hand thanks to the Spherize function of course that allowed me to enlarge the hand in the first place and layer masking of which I cannot say enough positive things teal wonderful feature that you should take advantage of all the time inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics
Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics

129 video lessons · 39074 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1h 15m
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics
      2m 5s
    2. Selecting glass and water
      5m 23s
    3. Establishing a base layer
      4m 0s
    4. The Color Range command
      6m 45s
    5. Selecting sparkles
      3m 19s
    6. Setting sparkles to Screen
      4m 19s
    7. Selecting and compositing hair
      2m 59s
    8. When Color Range falls short
      7m 25s
    9. Selecting a base channel
      4m 25s
    10. Enhancing the channel's contrast
      4m 4s
    11. Dodging the highlights
      5m 55s
    12. Putting the mask in play
      3m 20s
    13. Reducing the edge fringes
      4m 21s
    14. Adding a layer mask
      4m 53s
    15. Creating a gradient quick mask
      5m 26s
    16. Blurring the layer mask
      5m 51s
    17. And that's just the beginning...
      1m 15s
  2. 1h 13m
    1. Edge-enhancement parlor tricks
      1m 30s
    2. The subterfuge of sharpness
      3m 14s
    3. The single-shot sharpness
      3m 47s
    4. Unsharp Mask
      5m 17s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      4m 31s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 14s
    7. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 25s
    8. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      6m 0s
    9. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      6m 23s
    10. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 4s
    11. Leave More Accurate off!
      2m 29s
    12. Turn More Accurate on
      2m 58s
    13. The Advanced options
      5m 17s
    14. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 18s
    15. Accounting for camera shake
      6m 0s
  3. 1h 24m
    1. Why the heck would you blur?
      1m 20s
    2. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      7m 16s
    3. The Linear Box Blur
      2m 58s
    4. Median and its badly named progeny
      6m 3s
    5. Surface Blur and the rest
      5m 36s
    6. The Motion Blur filter
      3m 2s
    7. The Radial Blur variations: Spin and Zoom
      5m 55s
    8. The Captain Kirk-in-love effect
      6m 50s
    9. Averaging skin tones
      6m 2s
    10. Addressing the stubborn patches
      6m 0s
    11. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      4m 8s
    12. Blurring surface details
      7m 2s
    13. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      7m 52s
    14. Reducing digital noise
      8m 22s
    15. Smoothing out JPEG artifacts
      6m 1s
  4. 45m 28s
    1. Behold, the layered composition
      1m 13s
    2. The Layers palette
      5m 8s
    3. Enlarging the hand
      4m 40s
    4. Erasing with a layer mask
      6m 28s
    5. Moving a layer
      4m 3s
    6. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      4m 42s
    7. Hair and stacking order
      6m 12s
    8. Adding a frame and expanding the canvas
      6m 2s
    9. Adding a vignette
      7m 0s
  5. 42m 27s
    1. Organization: It sounds dull, but it rocks
      1m 8s
    2. The terrible battle
      3m 3s
    3. Assembling the base composition
      5m 46s
    4. Adding adjustment layers
      4m 55s
    5. Creating a layer group
      2m 24s
    6. Grouping selected layers
      3m 13s
    7. Making the TV lines
      4m 17s
    8. Introducing layer comps
      5m 52s
    9. Saving your own layer comps
      6m 40s
    10. Final footnotes
      5m 9s
  6. 1h 23m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 4s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 44s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 35s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      5m 38s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      5m 52s
    7. The darkening modes
      6m 12s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with the Fill value
      3m 53s
    9. Saving a blended state
      2m 54s
    10. The lightening modes
      4m 55s
    11. The contrast modes
      7m 13s
    12. The comparative modes
      7m 25s
    13. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 2s
    14. The brush-only modes
      8m 11s
    15. Blending groups
      7m 10s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. At this point, there is a great shift...
      59s
    2. Messing with the masters
      2m 28s
    3. Scaling a layer to fit a composition
      6m 39s
    4. Merging clock face and cardinal
      2m 2s
    5. Rotating the minute hand
      7m 42s
    6. Replaying the last transformation
      3m 50s
    7. Second hand and shadows
      5m 0s
    8. Series duplication
      3m 23s
    9. Skews and perspective-style distortions
      6m 43s
    10. The envelope-style Warp function
      7m 32s
    11. Introducing the Liquify command
      5m 9s
    12. Adjusting the brush settings
      4m 2s
    13. Viewing layers and the mesh
      4m 18s
    14. Incrementally undoing undesirable effects
      4m 5s
    15. Twirl, pucker, and bloat
      2m 2s
    16. Push, mirror, and turbulence
      4m 37s
    17. Protecting regions with a mask
      3m 41s
    18. Applying a digital facelift
      10m 53s
    19. Saving and loading mesh settings
      2m 31s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Planes and perspective
      1m 7s
    2. The Blue Gallery
      2m 47s
    3. Introducing Vanishing Point 2.0
      5m 30s
    4. Drawing out perpendicular planes
      6m 54s
    5. Exporting the gridlines to a layer
      4m 45s
    6. Cloning an image from one plane to another
      7m 58s
    7. Blending the image into its new home
      6m 31s
    8. Healing away the sockets
      7m 48s
    9. Importing a new image
      6m 20s
    10. Masking and shading the image
      7m 27s
    11. Flat in, perspective out
      5m 57s
    12. Adding perspective type
      4m 50s
    13. Swinging planes to custom angles
      6m 2s
    14. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      4m 35s
  9. 1h 15m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
      54s
    2. Creating an independent text layer
      6m 39s
    3. Editing vector-based text
      6m 38s
    4. Working with area text
      6m 15s
    5. Resizing the text frame
      6m 4s
    6. Obscure but important formatting options
      7m 25s
    7. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      9m 38s
    8. Adding a ghostly cast shadow
      6m 19s
    9. Backlighting the text
      2m 48s
    10. Creating type on a path
      7m 37s
    11. Pasting text along the bottom of a circle
      3m 50s
    12. Flip and baseline shift
      3m 15s
    13. Warping text
      3m 58s
    14. Scaling the warped text to taste
      4m 18s
  10. 1m 11s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 11s

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