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Fixing mistakes before they get too big

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Fixing mistakes before they get too big

I've said my progress as Dodge & Subtract.psd found inside the 26 masking folder. Notice that this time the file is a native PSD document, because it contains multiple layers. Now I've made a little bit of a mistake where this channel is concerned so far and I'm leaving the mistake in, because fixing the mistake provides us with an important lesson where masking is concerned. As you work along, you want to check your work against the original image to see how your mask is faring, because any mistake you make can get amplified as you develop the Alpha channel and part of the reason is because you're working in a less forgiving environment.

Fixing mistakes before they get too big

I've said my progress as Dodge & Subtract.psd found inside the 26 masking folder. Notice that this time the file is a native PSD document, because it contains multiple layers. Now I've made a little bit of a mistake where this channel is concerned so far and I'm leaving the mistake in, because fixing the mistake provides us with an important lesson where masking is concerned. As you work along, you want to check your work against the original image to see how your mask is faring, because any mistake you make can get amplified as you develop the Alpha channel and part of the reason is because you're working in a less forgiving environment.

Bear in mind that when you're creating an Alpha channel you have no layers at your disposal. Everything's a flat destructive modification. So you have to take a little bit of extra care. Now in my case the mistake is that the hair is entirely white. Notice that the entire region inside of the hair has no detail whatsoever except for the face. But the fact of the matter is I don't need the face, because it's going to be falling entirely inside the mask. In fact, I could take my Lasso tool and draw a circle around her face and press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete because the foreground color is white that fills the selection with white and I could just get rid of that area.

I don't need it. What I need is some of the detail inside of the hair which I'm entirely lacking at this point. So you know what, I'm going to go ahead and throw that channel away. It's a bad channel. We can re-create it very easily in just a moment. So I'll drag it to the trash can and then I'm going to switchover to Layers panel and I'm going to turn off the Dodged layer for a moment and notice these regions of background that are showing through the hair. There is one area and there is another right there and then there is these areas around her face. None of those were showing up in our Alpha channel and that's because I neglected to dodge them on that Dodged layer.

So let's go ahead and solve that problem. I'll turn on the Dodged layer to make it active. I'll click in the image to deselect it and then I'll press the O key to switch over to the Dodge tool once again. Increase the size of my cursor and paint inside of those areas of hair that need to be lightened up such as this one right there. Then way down there next to the shoulder I want to brighten this region up as well without overly brightening the hair details above it and in fact if I go a little too far remember that you can reverse the behavior of the Dodge tool by pressing and holding the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac.

So if I Alt+Drag over this region like so then I'll burn it back into place. So that we're darkening the areas that should be hairs. Now I'll increase the size of my brush and paint on the left-hand side of the face. Don't worry if you end up brightening the heck out of the face. That doesn't even matter. We'll come back to making sure that this area is delineated properly in a subsequent exercise. For now we can just let the face get over exposed. And then I might paint up above inside of the hair some more, because it's dawning on me that I left a little bit of darkness around some of those hairs that is not going to serve me all that well in the future.

It's not a deal breaker, but I might as well as long as I'm here get rid of some of this darkness and I'll paint away over here little bit as well. This guy is the trickiest area right along this hair. So I'm trying to paint on either side of it without painting over it, because after all I want to bolster that hair as much as I can. So you know what, I'll reduce the size of my cursor a little bit and I'll Alt+Drag along this hair to darken it up and then I'll paint next to it a few more times possibly in order to further lighten the background. I might as well click a few times in these hairs and at some point you have to stop.

That's my problem as I just feel like I ought to just sit here and work forever on these details. But this is looking pretty good for me. So I shall stop. What the heck! Now then it's time to re-create the Alpha channel that is after I click a few more times. Here we go! I'll go up to the Image menu choose the Calculations command and with any luck I'll see the same settings I applied before. That is all my channel information will remain intact. I still have both layers set to Dodged. That's good. The first channel is Blue, the second channel is Red with Invert turned on.

Subtract is my blend mode and my Offset value is 255. Now I could take this Offset value down a couple of clicks. I might press Shift+Down Arrow couple of times in order to darken the details up ever so slightly so that we get this affect here. So the Offset is now to 235, fair enough. I'll click OK, in order to accept that change. Go to the Channels panel so that you can see my new Alpha channel, double-click on its name and rename it subtract 235 (dodged), like so, so that I know where it came from, once again very important.

I'm now ready to develop the channel in earnest. Usually, my first change is to apply a pass to the Levels command just so that I'm increasing the contrast of the image to a halfway decent extent. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+L or Cmd+L on the Mac which is a keyboard shortcut for levels. Bear in mind we have to apply a static adjustment, that is, we can't use an adjustment layer, because there are no layers in the world of Alpha channels. What you do then with levels is you go ahead and decrease the white point value and increase the black point values so that you're adding contrast to the image.

However, in our case it looks like I am gumming up the works pretty well. So I'll go ahead and Alt+ Click on that Reset button. When you press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac Cancel changes to Reset and that'll re-establish my original settings there. Another way work is to grab these eye droppers. So if you select the white eye dropper and then click in an area that should be white in the image, it's going to make it white, but looks like this whole area here is already white because I didn't change the white point value at all. So let's instead grab the black eye dropper and I'll click in an area that should be black, like for example let's say I want go ahead and make this area right there black.

I'll click and that raises my black point value as you can see to 26, but I also lose that fragile hair that I had just a moment ago. So that's no good. Well, I'll click someplace else in the background like right about there let's say. That was already black. That resets my black point value to 0. It does bring back the hair, but I haven't done anything. Black is 0, White is to 255. So I've accomplished nothing inside this dialog box whatsoever, except to see that applying levels is not going to do me any good. So I'll click on the Cancel button.

So what do I do? How do I better distinguish the foreground elements from the background? Well, you can paint in contrast here inside Photoshop using a combination of the Brush tool and the Overlay blend mode, and I'll show you how that works in the next exercise.

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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 · 43829 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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