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Introducing color range

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Introducing color range

In these first few exercises, I'm going to introduce you to the topic of masking and then we are going to really get into it. We are going to roll up our sleeves and create some extremely accurate masks, my friends. So we'll start off and sort of old school, we'll be using the Color Range command, new and improved inside of Photoshop CS4. Then we'll turn our attention to the Quick Mask Mode, which is still a useful tool, although its contribution to the masking process has been somewhat minimized inside a Photoshop CS4. Thanks to the arrival of the masks palette, and we'll see all of that stuff over the course of these first few exercises.

Introducing color range

In these first few exercises, I'm going to introduce you to the topic of masking and then we are going to really get into it. We are going to roll up our sleeves and create some extremely accurate masks, my friends. So we'll start off and sort of old school, we'll be using the Color Range command, new and improved inside of Photoshop CS4. Then we'll turn our attention to the Quick Mask Mode, which is still a useful tool, although its contribution to the masking process has been somewhat minimized inside a Photoshop CS4. Thanks to the arrival of the masks palette, and we'll see all of that stuff over the course of these first few exercises.

I'd like you to open these two images here. One is called Duckbill in tent.tif and the other is called The planets.psd, which affords us the unusual view of the Earth as seen from the Earth, pretty interesting I think. We are going to go ahead and select this hadrosaur that you see right here before you, this duckbill, and we are going to move him into this other worldly environment right there. And he is going to become intensely scary, you may recall from the previous portion of this series, from Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Advanced, this hadrosaur character is none other than Emperor Scratch. So he is extremely scary guy.

Anyway, let's make him and the idea behind masking is that you are selecting the image; you are just creating a hyper accurate selection outline essentially, and you can use that hyper accurate selection to apply color modifications if you want to, to apply any sort of modifications to an image, to enhance an image or you can select a foreground image and move it into a different background and that sort of the pinnacle of masking which is the reason we are doing it, because that's where you can really see the flaws in your mask and of course, address those flaws.

All right, so how do we go about selecting this guy? Well it's tempting to whip out the Magic Wand tool or something along those lines. But don't. Because a much better approach-- let's go ahead and just select a different tool there so that we know we are not working with the Magic Wand-- is to choose the enhanced version of the Magic Wand inside of Photoshop, which is this command right here. Under the Select menu, it's the Color Range command. It's so incredibly useful that for those of you who went ahead and loaded Dekekeys, then you have a keyboard shortcut which is Ctrl+Shift+Alt+O or Command+Shift+Option+O on the Mac and this is truly Magic Wand 2.0 if you will because it works very much like the Magic Wand tool does, except it's just better.

We could select the hadrosaur, and I could just click inside of him in order to select various portions of the dinosaur skeleton here. But where I to do that, we'd only select a little bit here and there at a time because we've all sorts of highlights and shadows to content with, whereas our background is fairly homogeneous. So let's select the background and then switch the selection later to the foreground image instead. So in other words, we are just selecting the thing that's easiest to select. Now we are seeing this command here, which is a lot like the Magic Wand tool, and I'm not lying to you. Even though it doesn't look anything like the Magic Wand, notice that you have got this little eyedropper cursor that is your wand.

So if you click inside of the image, then you'll select that color that you clicked on and its neighbors and you can see that the selection is occurring here inside the Color Range dialog box. So notice that you have got a little preview of your selection represented as a black and white image, and if you are new to masking that can be a little bit sort of difficult to come into terms with. The whole notion that this is a selection tool is a little bit foreign because it doesn't look like one at all. You will notice that we have white right there, around the skeleton and then the skeleton itself is black and what that's telling you, the white regions are the selected areas and the black regions are the deselected areas and wherever you see, gray is partially selected. So light gray means it's pretty darn selected, dark gray means its pretty darn not selected, and 50% gray would mean its right in between.

And so the delightful thing is that you are creating the selection on the fly here inside of the Color Range dialog box and you haven't committed to the selection outline, until you actually click on the OK button. There it is the Color Range command under the Select menu, available to you anytime that you want to use it, night or day, brings up the Color Range dialog box which gives you access to the more powerful Magic Wand feature inside of Photoshop and we'll be learning more about this in the very next exercise.

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Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

147 video lessons · 27693 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 21m 17s
    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 34s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
      51s
    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 23m
    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 33s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 34s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 45s
    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
      58s
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 7s
    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 54s
    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 54s
    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 32s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
      46s
    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 41s
    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 51s
    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 38s
    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 42s
    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
      42s
    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 50s
    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 51s
    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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