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Finessing masks, accepting imperfections

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Finessing masks, accepting imperfections

I've saved my six-layer composition as Auto-blended trophies.psd. In this exercise, we're going to finesse the contents of just two of the layer masks, just for the top two layers in the stack. And we're not going to get too lost inside of this composition, because we're really just trying to help out the Auto-Blend feature. We just want to finesse the areas of focus that need the most attention, but you have to bear in mind, even though we turned off that option for blending the tone and color across the various layers, this is still a very tenuous composition, because each and every layer mask is exactly aligned with the other ones.

Finessing masks, accepting imperfections

I've saved my six-layer composition as Auto-blended trophies.psd. In this exercise, we're going to finesse the contents of just two of the layer masks, just for the top two layers in the stack. And we're not going to get too lost inside of this composition, because we're really just trying to help out the Auto-Blend feature. We just want to finesse the areas of focus that need the most attention, but you have to bear in mind, even though we turned off that option for blending the tone and color across the various layers, this is still a very tenuous composition, because each and every layer mask is exactly aligned with the other ones.

In other words, there is only one pixel at any given location that's opaque. The other pixels, going all the way down the stack, are transparent. And so what that means is we can paint in additional areas of opacity by painting in white inside of a layer mask, but we cannot paint black. If you do, you'll drill all the way down the stack and reveal a hole. Now of course, you can figure out which of the layers needs to support that hole, and you can paint it in, but between you and me, you're going to drive yourself nuts.

So those of you who consider yourselves to be perfectionists, where this specific effect is concerned, you're going to have to just sort of shed that, because there are going to be problems inside the composition once it's done. It's ultimately a pretty darn good, automated effect. For example, consider this. I'll go ahead and Shift+Click on this layer mask that's associated with the top layer in the stack, and bear in mind, the way I've arrange these. The top layer features the focus in the forward objects; the rear layer features focus for the rear objects. And that just how I happen to orient those images inside of the Bridge.

So if I Shift+Click on the layer mask to turn it off for the top layer in the stack, you can see that Hermes is well in focus, but everybody else is out of focus. When I Shift+Click to turn the layer mask back on, everybody appears to be in focus when we're zoomed out from the image, but as soon as we start zooming in, we start to see issues. For example, look around Hermes's wing right there. You can see that certain portions of the wing that should be in focus are little bit out of focus. More to the point though, Auto-Blend has seen fit to go ahead and reveal portions of this Seven awards-1.jpg layer, the forward layer that feature out of focus elements of the wall in the background.

Well, if I try to edit that, I'm in trouble. I'll go ahead and click on that layer mask thumbnail to make it active, there inside the Layers panel, and I'll press the B key to select my Brush tool. And here's the settings that I'm going with: a Size value of 125 pixels and a Hardness, actually this guy should be about 75%, where there about, and I'll press the Enter key a couple times here on the PC or the Return key a couple times on the Mac. Black happens to be my foreground color. Now if I paint to reveal the layers below, watch what happens. There are no layers below.

In other words there are, of course, layers below, but they are masked away. So then I would have to go back and figure out exactly which mask to paint into place at this location. Again, it's going to get very gnarly, very quickly, and I recommend that you avoid those kinds of points. In other words, ignore them. Before relying on Auto-Blend, we have to be reliant upon what Auto-Blend came up with. However, that's said, there are certain areas that we can fix. For example, down here in the lower-right region of the composition, there's this area of low focused table that's been revealed.

Well, bear in mind that the table is in the foreground, right here with the Hermes award, so it's going to be in focus in this top layer. If I can paint in focus, that's great. So when you're trying to adjust for the results of Auto-Blend Layers, while you can paint white into any given layer mask, you cannot get away with painting black without making your life miserable. All right, so I'm going to press the D key in order bring up the default layer mask colors, which means that now white is my foreground color. And I'm going to paint in the focus in the bottom-right corner of this image.

I'll also go ahead and paint in the focus along the base and along this little template, this label on the award. And then I'll scroll over to this location, paint in some more focus. We have all kinds of low focus going on in this region, so I'll increase the size of my brush by pressing the Right Bracket key a few times, and then I'll paint this area in. Now, I've got this weird thing going right here, where I have this edge being out of focus, and this edge as well. Well the second edge, the one that's over toward the left, is not in focus inside this front layer.

The first edge, that is the one on the right -hand side, that is in focus in this layer. So I'll go ahead and reduce the size of my cursor by pressing Left Bracket key a few times, and I'll paint that in. Notice it does not do me any good to paint that edge in. That doesn't work at all. I'll go ahead and undo that maneuver, in fact. And this little bit of low focus right there is not in focus inside any of the layers. In other words, we're seeing the contents of the top layer. If I turn it off for a moment, you'll see that there is no edge at that location in the other layers, meaning I'm going to have to crop it away.

All right, so I'll turn that layer back on, so that we can see it. Then I'll switch to the next layer down and click on its layer mask thumbnail, for Seven awards-2.jpg. This is the layer that features the Ava Platinum Award, for what that's worth, in focus, and I'll go ahead and paint in those highlights right there. And it also features Jacob, shooting the scene, and you can see that there are some jagged edges around him. I'll go ahead and paint him back in, so those jagged edges go away. I'll paint in the highlights inside the body as well.

I'm not going to be able to do anything with this area of low focus in the background, right outside of the woman's torso here, and that's about all I'm going to be able to do, where the masking is concerned. Everybody else is in pretty sharp focus. We can see the text. We can see what the awards are. That's going to have to be good enough, and actually it's pretty darn great. It's just that it's not exactly perfect. All right, the final step is to crop the image. So I'll grab my Crop tool, and then I'll drag around, let's say about this area right here, maybe bring over the left-hand edge just a little bit, bring the top edge up, so we're exposing the entire palm or whatever that is in the background, and then I'll go up to the Options Bar, and make sure Cropped Area is set to Hide, and I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to invoke that crop, and this is the final version of the composition, thanks to the impressive, although slightly imperfect power of Auto-Blend Layers.

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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 · 44113 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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