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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
All right, here's that selection outline that we created in the previous exercise using a Color Range command. I'm still working inside the Lips.jpg image and in this exercise we are going to refine the selection using the original selection refinement function inside of Photoshop, which is a Quick Mask mode. So I'd like to direct your attention to the bottom of the toolbox here. Notice that in my case at least both foreground and background color are set to very similar colors and yours if you been working along with me, will be set to pretty much anything besides black and white at this point.
Why this is happening is because every time you click, or you Shift+click with the Eye Dropper tool when you're working inside the Color Range dialog box you change the foreground color. Every time you Alt+click on the PC or Option+click on a Mac you are changing the background color, and it appears that I went ahead and Shift+click and Alt+click on very similar colors inside this image. So if at any point you want to reset things, you can just press the D key in order to get your default colors. That's not going to change this selection one iota because it's already been defined at this point.
Right below the foreground and background colors is this guy, which allows you to enter and exit the Quick Mask mode. So if you click on it, you're going to convert this selection on the fly into a mask, and then if you click again to exit the Quick Mask mode then you will convert the mask back into a marching ant style selection outline. Now I have to tell you there is nothing particularly quick about the Quick Mask mode, Just like the Quick Selection tool, it's not really quickness that it's offering you; it's automation. It goes ahead and automatically converts the selection outline into a mask, and then you can make modifications to that mask, and then when you exit the Quickness mode, it's automatically converted right back into a selection outline.
By they way, you can also enter and exit the Quick Mask mode from the keyboard by pressing the Q key. So Q takes you in, Q takes you back out. When I go into the Quick Mask mode and there is no harm in entering and exiting the Quick Mask mode as many times as you want it. It doesn't hurt the selection outline at all. What we're seeing here is a Rubylith Overlay on the top of the image. So wherever we are seeing the Ruby that is the sort of pinkness on top of the image that represents the deselected portion of the image; wherever we see through to the original lips then we are seeing the selected portion of the image.
In this case it doesn't make a lot of sense because were seeing red on red so we really can't tell where the image is selected, and where it's deselected. I don't actually like working in this typical Quick Selection mode very often. The advantage is that you can see the mask and the image at the same time, but I find it to be pretty deceiving. Anyway, in order to either change the overlay color so it's not Ruby or to basically get rid of the image and just see the mask you need to go over here to the Channels panel and then notice that we have a temporary channel down at the bottom.
So you have got a Red, Green and Blue channels, just as we always do inside of an RGB image, and then we have got this Alpha channel. An Alpha channel is a channel that ultimately defines translucency inside of an image. It can also house a mask. So you can save selections to Alpha Channels they have no effect on the ultimate color of the image. So they are not like the Red, Green and Blue channels or the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black channels or any of those. They are independent channels that house either selection or translucency information.
In our case we have a temporary channel that's called Quick Mask here. Now if we want to change a Color Overlay you double-click on this thumbnail, brings up the Quick Mask Options dialog box you click on red. When I am working with any kind can of portrait image or anything that involves warm imagery then I usually change the Hue value to 210. That usually provides a nice contrast, and I leave the saturation Brightness values cranked up to their maximums 100% each. Click OK and you could raise the Opacity value if you want to notice one of the downsides of this option is that you can preview your settings.
So you got to click OK in order to see what kind of change you have made. Now we have essentially cobalt Overlay. So wherever we're seeing blue, the image is deselected where we are seeing through to the image where the mask is transparent, then the images selected. All right that's still no good I still can't make out what's going on here. So what I recommend you to do is turn off the RGB image, and you can do that by clicking on the eyeball in front of RGB right there, and then you'll just see the standard mask which is a lot less confusing.
Now I know it takes some getting used to, but as long as you remember luminance indicates selection. The brighter the pixel is the more selected it is the darker it is less selected it is. Now there is also a way to turn on and off the RGB image from the keyboard, and that's to press the Tilde key and if you press the Tilde key then you are going to show the RGB image again; at the same time we are looking at the mask. And if you press the Tilde key again you're going to hide the image. So remember that Tilde allows you to show and hide that image in case you want to be able to compare what you're doing inside of the Quick Mask mode to the full-color image itself.
All right so that's your introduction to the Quick Mask mode and in the next-exercise we are going to see how we can refine the selection as a mask.
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