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Finessing the final composition

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Finessing the final composition

I say my new composition as Model against sky.psd found inside the 26 masking folder, and as you may recall I went ahead and assigned the final mask channel as a layer mask to this Model layer and I composited her against this vivid cloudy blue sky. Now the effect doesn't look half bad I have to say, but half bad is not the same as all the way good and we do have a few problems here. For example, if I go ahead and zoom in on some of these details, you can see this grey fringing, which is not really my favorite effect here, that's surrounding each one of the hairs and that's because we are seeing that fringing is a function of the former background of the image showing through.

Finessing the final composition

I say my new composition as Model against sky.psd found inside the 26 masking folder, and as you may recall I went ahead and assigned the final mask channel as a layer mask to this Model layer and I composited her against this vivid cloudy blue sky. Now the effect doesn't look half bad I have to say, but half bad is not the same as all the way good and we do have a few problems here. For example, if I go ahead and zoom in on some of these details, you can see this grey fringing, which is not really my favorite effect here, that's surrounding each one of the hairs and that's because we are seeing that fringing is a function of the former background of the image showing through.

So we did select a little bit of that former background and you might think ooh, we need to work on the mask, something's wrong with it. Well that's not true. No matter what you do you are always going to get color fringing along with the mask. That's just the way it is because the foreground is informed by its background. That's true of every single photograph. So unless we had captured her against the blue background in the first place and then brought her into a new blue background, then the fringing isn't going to match. Now it happens to look even worse over here on the left-hand side where we have these very tiny delicate hairs, what do we do about it? Well now we bring into play our compositional skills and specifically we are going to apply a few blend modes.

So I am going to start things off by zooming out from the image at first just so that we can take in more of it at a time. I am going to change the zoom ratio to 40% because that happens to fit on-screen for me, then I will go over to the blend mode option here in the Layers panel and I will change it from Normal to Multiply. Now I am specifically using Multiply because this is a dark-haired person and what we want is for the dark hair to darken up the background colors here so that they mix together. If she were a light haired person, specifically a blond, then we would probably go with something like Screen, if we have a variety of different hair colors going on, light and dark, then you might have to drop down to one of these contrast modes such as Overlay or Hard Light or what have you.

Anyway I am going to apply Multiply, the darken will give us a very unfortunate effect. All right now that looks pretty good except we have some obvious problems. First of all the hair wouldn't get this dark. It wouldn't just turn inky against this background, and then secondly she wouldn't disappear to this extent either, now she looks like she's tattooed against the sky so that's wrong, what we need to do is apply a second blend mode. Well you can't combine multiple blend modes on a single layer so what you have to do is create a duplicate of the layer and try a different blend mode on it.

So I will press the Escape key in order to deactivate my blend mode there and I will press Ctrl+Alt+J or Cmd+Option+J on a Mac to jump a copy of the layer and I am going to call this one Luminosity because that is the blend mode we are going to use this time around, I will click OK and I will change that mode from Multiply to Luminosity like so and we get this effect. Just look at the hair for right now, don't pay attention to her body because that is obviously a problem. I am going to go ahead and zoom in on these hairs and notice now that that grey fringing is gone and it's replaced by whatever color Photoshop finds inside of the background layer, so in other words, we are integrating the new background in to that fringing which is exactly the way it ought to be.

All right but we do have the fairly obvious problem, I think, of her skin colors going awry here, and they are in sort of good shape right there in the cheek, everything looks okay. And the reason for that is we have a little bit of cloud coverage that's allowing the Multiply layer to burn in the original colors. Otherwise however the skin looks just plain wrong. Now if you want a special effect like this, by all means you can go ahead and accept it. However what I would had like to do is bring in that mask that we created a couple of exercises ago, the one that's just masking the flesh and the dress.

So I am going to switch back to my Alpha channels abound.psd file. I haven't saved an updated version of this file by the way, so you will have to have to been working along with me. I am going to right-click on that layer mask right there and I am going to choose Delete Layer Mask, and that will go ahead and get rid of the mask, you can also drag it down to the Trash can icon but if you do that, here's my problem with working that way, you will get this error message so you drag it to the trash can and then Photoshop comes up and says, hey do you want to apply this mask or delete it, and the Wrong button is highlighted, you should never apply a layer mask in this method because that will just get rid of those transparent pixels, you do not want to do that.

You would want to click on the Delete button in order to delete the layer mask because after all, all of our masks are backed up here inside the Channels panel. All right this time I am going to load the flesh & dress mask by Ctrl+clicking on this thumbnail or Cmd+clicking on it on the Mac and then I will switch back to the Layers panel with the Model layer selected once again. I will click on the Add layer mask icon and there is the effect. Now it doesn't look all that good. Normally, people don't have all kinds of holes inside of their hair for example. We are not concerned about that because we already have the hair mapped out pretty nicely.

What we are concerned about is the flesh and the dress. So this should work quite well. I am going to take advantage of that same compositing trick where I Alt+drag or Option+drag the layer onto the little page icon, release, up comes the Duplicate Layer dialog box. I will switch my document from Alpha channels abound to Model against sky.psd. Click OK, I remain inside of this composition only to switch over to the other one and there it is with the new layer in place, a new Model layer, and you can see how great the final effect looks, thanks to the repetition of this one layer subject to different blend modes and different layer masks as well.

Now there is just one issue that I have, I could work inside the hair for a little while actually if I wanted to get the colors exactly right, although I'm pretty darn happy with what I am seeing. The problem is right there in the neck, do you see that little bit of blue that's showing up there, we need to paint that away so with this top Model layer active, and you know what, I am going to go ahead and change the bottom Model layer to Multiply since it has a special blend mode assigned. Now I will go back to the Model layer, which I could call Normal if I wanted to, just so I can keep track of what modes are assigned where.

All right, and now I will click in the layer mask to make it active, very important, because we are about to paint inside of that layer mask, and I will get my brush tool this time around and I want to work with a soft brush, so I am going to press Shift+Left Bracket four times in a row just to make sure the hardness value goes down to zero, and white is my foreground color, so I am going to be painting in white. The mode is set to normal, the opacity is 100% and I am going to paint in this soft brush stroke here. Now you may say Hey Deke, you just told us a couple of exercises ago or something that you are not supposed to use the brush tool along with the normal mode and a soft brush.

In that case, you would want to use a hard brush, right, that's what you said, and that's true when you are working inside of an Alpha channel, when you're trying to get the Alpha channel exactly right, but here we are inside of a layer mask and we are just trying to make this particular composition look good, why then in that case a soft brush is entirely acceptable. All right then I am going to reduce the size of my brush a little more and paint like so along these hairs just so that I get rid of some of that blue in the central portion of the hair like so, and then I will zoom back out, take in the effect, decide what I think. As I said, you can introduce some more hairs in some other locations if you want to, totally up to you how you decide to work there.

But this is for all intents and purposes the final version of the effect, I am going to go ahead and press Shift+F to fill the screen with the image and there you see, friends, the power of masking fully revealed before you, here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

192 video lessons · 44196 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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