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Introducing the Masks palette


Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Introducing the Masks palette

Introducing the Masks palette provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
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  1. 21m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    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
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 34s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 35s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 46s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 8s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 55s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 55s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 33s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 42s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 52s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 39s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 43s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 51s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 52s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
Video Duration: 7m 45s13h 7m Advanced May 29, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

View Course Description

Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the Online Training Library®.

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

Topics include:
  • Defining the essentials of masking
  • Resizing images with content-aware scaling
  • Adjusting perspective with Vanishing Point
  • Applying Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Using the Auto-Align tool to build composite images
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Introducing the Masks palette

The new stuff is now, this is when things get terribly exciting for those of us who are new to Photoshop CS4, because we are going to see how to re-approach this very project the new and improved Photoshop CS4 way, which involves the Masks palette right there. So I've got these two images still open. The planets.psd and Duckbill in tent.tif. I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo the addition of the dinosaur. And then I'm going to switch over to Duckbill in tent like so.

And I'm going to press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the dinosaur. Then I want you to press and hold the Ctrl Key or the Command Key on the Mac, and let's do a drag and drop once again. We'll drag the dinosaur into planets.psd like so, come back into the image, press the Shift key and drop, and we cover up the entire composition with this new hadrosaur layer. Let's go ahead and zoom out a little bit here, so that we can take in more of the image at a time. I'm going to go ahead and rename this layer Duckbill, you can call it hadrosaur if you are in a scientific mood, and then press the Enter or Return Key in order to assign that modification.

Now what do we do? We don't want to completely delete those pixels the way we did before, we just want to mask them away. You go to your Masks palette, so make sure that it's up on screen, and if you can't find it go to the Window menu and choose this command right there, Masks, and I'll say something about, oh, I just made it go away, go darn it, go up to the Window menu and choose Masks once again, there it is. Now it's confusing. If you are new to masking inside of Photoshop, you might see the Masks palette and you think Ctrl Central for masking, right? Because after all everything you can do with layers is provided to you here inside the Layers palette, and everything you can do with channels is available to you here inside the Channels palette, and so on. So Masks must be the place for masking inside of Photoshop. That's just not true.

The Channels palette is actually your Ctrl Central from masking inside of Photoshop, your headquarters, if you will. Masks is just kind of a side palette, it's just a facilitator, just helps you out. It is just there, it's your pal; it will get you go on if you need it. What it's really looking for is a layer. You got to have a layer, and it wants you to have a layer mask associated with that layer. So we don't have that right now. Go ahead and make this little wider here, the palette that is. And so we have got to add a layer mask. You can either do that by going down to the bottom of the Layers palette, and clicking on the Add layer mask icon or right here inside the Mask palette you can click on this guy, which is Add Pixel Mask. So you can either had a pixel mask or a vector mask if you prefer, most of the time you are going to want to pixel mask because especially when you are doing this kind of thing.

If you add a vector mask, then you are going to have to draw an outline using the Pen tool. So our best bet is to go over here to a pixel mask. Also by the way the options inside the Mask palette are really designed more to work with pixel-based mask than they are with the vector based mask. Anyway click there to add the mask. We get this layer mask thumbnail here inside the Layers palette, and all of a sudden the Mask palette is happy, and it gives us access to all five of its options including right there Color Range. Now this will work the same. If you go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command, you'll get the same effect as clicking on the Color Range button. And in both cases we are not going to create a selection outline this time around. So I'll go ahead and click on the Color Range button, and notice the Color Range dialog box comes up with all of our last applied settings. So Localized Color Clusters is on, Invert is on, Fuzziness is set to 60, so why do we get such a different looking selection? Well, because the Color Range command is always working for the foreground color. When you first bring it up, it has one and only one base color and that would be whatever the foreground color is set up to. So in this case it's some weird green that apparently occurs very infrequently inside the image, which is why we have just a few blacks and the ton of whites, and that's because Invert is turned on. It makes more sense if we turn Invert off and then we can see that we are just selecting a little bit of the image. Thanks to the fact that those colors to the one set most closely resemble the screen.

I tell you what. Instead of going through all that nonsense with regenerating the selection, which is just a lot of busy work at this point, click on the Load button, click on the Localized duckbill. See aren't you glad that I went ahead and saved off these settings to save us time now? And they should make you think, hey, I wonder if when I'm working inside the Color Range dialog box, if I spend a fair amount of time in there, maybe I should click Save and save off my settings. Don't wonder; just do it. It's a great idea. My rule of thumb is if anything inside of Photoshop takes you more than five minutes, save it if you can. So save everything that you can from the program, because these are just dinky little files. Click on Load to load it on up, and you get your previous selection. It looks beautiful, except for some reason the Invert check-box state off. Turn it back on if you want to, or don't, let's leave it off, actually, so we are selecting the wrong thing, right? So if I click OK, then I masked away the dinosaur.

So notice I've got this black on white layer mask right here. We are working with the layer mask, black is the hole and white is the opaque pixels. So black becomes transparency, white is opaque, and as a result, the dinosaur is turned into a hole. Well, all we need to do is invert the layer mask. You can do that just by pressing this Invert button here inside the Mask palette, and then that gets you the result you would expect. Now we didn't do any of that Quick Mask stuff; that remains undone, because that was a separate operation as you may recall. So we need to go ahead and modify this mask right here in the Layers palette. To perform those sorts of Quick Mask modifications, what you need to do is you need to Alt-click or Option-click on the Layer Mask thumbnail here inside the Layers palette in order to view the mask independently of the image.

I did make it slightly different mask this time around as you can see. Notice that I have a lot of these gray areas here, and that's because I didn't do that last Alt-click or Option-click remember few exercises ago we did that. You know what I'm going to do? I'm just going to clear out this mask here by pressing Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac, and because the background color is white at this point, that just went ahead and made the entire mask white. Let's go ahead and Alt-click or Option- click again on this mask thumbnail, so that we are seeing the entire composition. And let's redo the Color Range right there by clicking on Color Range once again, loading the settings go ahead and load up Localized duckbill.atx, click Load and I'm going to go ahead and press the Alt Key or the Option Key on the Mac, and click inside of the dinosaur to remove some of those areas from the dinosaur selection. That's Alt-click or Option-click again. Let's see if we can do an even better job that's amazing.

Anyway, Shift-click then I could turn on the Invert check box right there, and then click OK in order to apply my modification. Now then, I have once again recreated that layer mask, the next thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to go up to the Image menu, I'm going to choose Adjustments and I'm going to choose Levels in order to increase the contrast of this mask and I'm going to enter the exact same values I have before. 60 for the black point value Tab, Tab, 195 for the white point value, click OK, and you can see that cleans up the mask quite a bit. It's pretty subtle but watch down in this region here, this is before we've got some additional garbage going down here, this is after, it's just cleaned up. I tell you what, let's Alt-click or Option-click in the mask, if you would by itself, this is before and now you can see what I was talking about. See all those dark gray stuff, albeit dark but it's still a mess, and this is after.

So that goes and makes that area totally transparent instead of semi murky translucent. Then we need to go ahead and paint inside of this mask in order to refine the selection, and because we get new and better feedback out of painting inside of layer mask than we do when painting inside the Quick Mask Mode, I'm going to save that technique for the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery .

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Q: My Polygon tool is locked into a very small size. I can use the Transform tool to increase it's size once drawn, but I must have something set that will not allow me to freely draw it like I can the other shapes. What could be causing this problem?
A: This could be caused by a value associated with the Radius option of the tool. Click the down-pointing arrowhead to the right (a few tool icons over) from the Polygon tool in the options bar at the top of the screen. This brings up pop-up panel. If the Radius option has a number value, select that value and press Delete or Backspace to clear it out. That should fix the problem.
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