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Introducing the Multichannel mode

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Introducing the Multichannel mode

In this exercise, we're going to take a look at the No Color Multichannel mode. Now the Multichannel mode is really designed to house masks. So imagine you have four or five masks that you've created, you want to offload them to a file independent from the original image for whatever reason, then Multichannel would be the mode to use, because you're not forcing Photoshop to create some sort of interaction between the channels and deliver a composite color image. However, I'm going to show you this really cool use for Multichannel, how we can achieve an interesting effect and that way you'll get a sense of how Multichannel works as well as experiencing a new technique.

Introducing the Multichannel mode

In this exercise, we're going to take a look at the No Color Multichannel mode. Now the Multichannel mode is really designed to house masks. So imagine you have four or five masks that you've created, you want to offload them to a file independent from the original image for whatever reason, then Multichannel would be the mode to use, because you're not forcing Photoshop to create some sort of interaction between the channels and deliver a composite color image. However, I'm going to show you this really cool use for Multichannel, how we can achieve an interesting effect and that way you'll get a sense of how Multichannel works as well as experiencing a new technique.

One, between you and me you're not going to find out anywhere else, but it's a really nice effect. We're going to start off with this file called Baseline toucan.psd. It's the same composition, but without the swatches and the labels, and we're going to change it into this file Alternative toucan.psd. And I suppose this is the kind of the effect you could try to pull off using adjustment layers inside of Photoshop, but I know of no other way than what I'm about to show you to get a result this different from the original in which the details are still in great shape.

All right, so I'm going to switch back to that Baseline toucan.psd file and I'm going to right-click on the Background image here inside the Layers panel and choose Duplicate layer. And then I'll change the Document option from Baseline toucan to New and I'll click OK and that creates a new flat version of the image. Notice that we have a Background image and that's it here inside the Layers panel. All right, now I'm going to switch over to the Channels panel and I want to be able to see my channels and color once again, so I'll press Ctrl+K, or Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box then click on Interface and turn on Show Channels in Color and click OK.

And you can see we've got a Red channel, a Green channel, and a Blue channel in color. And I remind you, by the way, where the Red channel is concerned, for example, the darkest color is black and the brightest color is red which is exactly the opposite of cyan, which is the color complement to red. The whole purpose of cyan ink, by the way, is to absorb Red light and reflect back Green and Blue. And whereas cyan channel is concern the darkest color is cyan and the brightest color is white. I mentioned that because you're about to see that transformation.

When you go up to the Image menu choose mode and then choose Multichannel. Now Photoshop is going to ask you if you want to flatten the layers because you have to flatten the image to take it to the Multichannel mode. In our case our image is already flat so I'll go ahead and click OK. And now notice what happens, basically the image gets wrecked, because Photoshop takes those red, green, and blue channels and redefines them as Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. However, it doesn't perform any conversion, so in other words not a single pixel in this image has been harmed.

However, this red channel looks quite a bit different now, because as I was saying, the darkest color has been remapped to cyan here in the Color Channel view and the brightest color has been remapped to white, but that's really the only difference. However, when you turn on these various channels the image just looks terrible and that's because for one thing we didn't convert the colors which is necessary if you're going to go from RGB to CMYK successfully. And we didn't generate a black channel which you need as well and the image is not being color managed. And we'll see what that looks like in a moment, but first we need to generate a black channel.

And we're going to do that by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Calculations command. Now this is a command that turns out to be very useful for high-level masking which is why we'll be using it time and time again in my future masking courses, but for now I just want you to go ahead and choose the command. I'm going to go ahead and move this dialog box over, change the first Channel option to Cyan which is the way it should be set by default, then change the second Channel option to Magenta and then change that Blending option from Multiply to Screen, and here is what's happening.

We're using the Calculations command to blend two channels with each other to create a new channel subject to a blend mode. So we're using the Cyan channel to brighten the contents of the Magenta channel and we end up getting this great black channel right here. I'll go ahead and click OK in order to create that channel unfortunately it comes in as another cyan channel that Photoshop is decided is a Spot Color, but we can resolve that by double-clicking on the channels thumbnail to bring up the Spot Channel Options dialog box, and then I'll click on that cyan Color Swatch to bring up the Color Picker, and watch what happens when I change the ingredients of this color.

I'll change the C value which is Cyan to 0, and then I'll change the K value and I want you to watch what happens to the name setting up here. I'll change that K value to 100 and Photoshop automatically renames the channel Black which is absolutely ideal. Then I'll go ahead and click OK and I'll click OK again and now we have ourselves a Black channel. And if you go ahead and drag up the eye column here in order to turn on all the eyeballs you'll see what that full- color image looks like, more or less, which is to say still quite tedious.

So I'd like you to switch to the Cyan channel and if necessary go ahead and press the D key in order to switch to the default colors. So Black is the foreground color and White is the background color and then press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac to fill the Cyan channel with white, and now we have a much better mix of colors. Again, it's the kind of thing you could try to attempt using the likes of adjustment layers. I just don't think you get there without causing the image more harm than good. However, we're still working inside of a multichannel image which means Photoshop don't know what to do with it, it can't print it properly, there is really no good way to put it to use until you convert it back to RGB which is actually a bit of an arduous journey which is why I'm going to show you how it works in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 29187 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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