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The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.
Over the course of this project, we're going to take this guy with this up-swooped hairdo, and we're going to mask him against this completely different background in order to create this final composition, in which, as you can see, the hair has survived quite nicely, and I've gone ahead and recolored his glasses, and his shirt, and his suit to better match this new environment. So we'll start off inside this image, and in this movie, we're going to go ahead and establish a base layer mask using the most capable of the automated selection tools, which is the Color Range command. Notice that the side view layer is selected here in the Layers panel.
That's the photographic image, which comes to us from the Fotolia Image Library, about which you can learn more, and get special deals at fotolia.com/deke. I am going to go up to the Select menu, and choose Color Range. If you loaded dekeKeys, you've got that keyboard shortcut, Control+Shift+Alt+G, or Command+Shift+Option+G on the Mac. Because black is my foreground color, the Color Range command is using black as my key color for the selection. That's not what I want, so I'll go ahead and click in the background here. And notice what we're seeing inside of the mask preview -- I'll go ahead and change my Selection Preview from None to Grayscale, so we can see what's going on -- and notice that even though the photographic image is selected there inside the Layers panel, and that text layer is not selected at all, the Color Range command is seeing the composite image, which is always what it does.
So regardless of which layer is selected, Color Range sees all layers that are visible. So I'm going to cancel out of here, and then turn off that text layer, which is actually text converted to a shape layer, so that we can focus on the image by itself. Now go back to the Select menu, and choose the Color Range command once again, and you notice that when I clicked with the eyedropper, I went ahead and changed the foreground color to this light beige, so the Color Range command is now building the selection around that color. I am going to Shift+Drag inside of the background in order to select a larger portion of it.
Now, if I switch Selection Preview back to Grayscale, so that I can see a big version of the mask, you'll notice that we're leaking the selection into the face, which is not what I want to do. So I'm going to reduce that Fuzziness value by clicking inside of it, and then pressing Shift+down arrow three times, in fact, assuming that we started with the default Fuzziness value of 40, in order to reduce that Fuzziness value to 10. Now, that's going to give us a very sharp edge selection, but we'll be able to mitigate that harshness using Refine Edge in the very next movie. So I am going to Shift+Click inside this little detail there to select it, and this looks like we've selected more or less as much of the background as we want to. If we go any farther out into the perimeter -- for example, if I Shift+Click out here -- we'd run the risk of selecting more colors inside the model's face.
So I'll press Control+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, in order to undo that change. And once you get a selection that looks more or less like the one you see here inside the video, then go ahead and turn on the Invert checkbox, so that we're selecting the model, and not the background, and then click OK in order to generate that selection outline. Now let's go ahead and apply the selection as a layer mask. I've already converted the photograph to an independent layer, so all I need to do is drop down to the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of Layers panel, and click on it. All right, now let's modify that layer mask; make it at least roughly accurate, by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on the layer mask thumbnail here inside the Layers panel, so that we can view the layer mask independently of the image.
And then I'll press Control+0, or Command+0 on the Mac, to zoom out so that I can see all the way to the edges. And as you can see here, I've got the Rectangular Marquee tool selected, but because the shape of the selection in the background is more or less elliptical, I am going to press Shift+M to switch to the Elliptical Marquee tool, and then I think I'll zoom out a click here, and I'll go ahead and select, like so, around the model, and I am using the spacebar to adjust the position of the ellipse. Notice that I've completely contained the guy inside the ellipse.
Now I'll go up to the Select menu, and choose the Inverse command, or press Control+Shift+I, Command+Shift+I on the Mac, to select the area outside that ellipse. And in my case, the background color is black; if it isn't that way for you, just go ahead and tap the D key, and then press Control+Backspace or Command+Delete to fill that area with black. All right, now I'll press Control+D, or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image, and I'll go ahead and zoom in as well. I need to do some additional clean up, so I'll switch to the Brush tool, which you can get by pressing the B key. Right-click inside the image, and just make sure your Hardness value is cranked up to 100%.
All right, now I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac to dismiss that panel, and I'll increase the size of my cursor a little bit by pressing the right bracket key, and oops! Painting with the wrong color here, so I'll press Control+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, and press the X key to make the foreground color black, and then I'll go ahead and paint in some of this garbage that still remains here in the background. I may have some over here as well, so I'll just go ahead and paint around to make sure it's gone. And if you want to test your background, what you can do is you can switch from the Quick Selection tool to the Magic Wand tool.
Then press the Enter key in order to highlight the Tolerance value, change it to 0, and turn off Anti-alias, and then go ahead and click in the background to see the good stuff versus the bad stuff. So in my case, I can see that I've got all of the black pixels selected, and I have a smattering of very dark gray pixels in front of the guy's face. So you know what? I'll just press Control+D, Command+D on the Mac, to deselect the image, and I'll press Control+L, or Command+L on the Mac, to bring up the Levels dialog box. And I am going to crank this black point value pretty high. Let's say I take it up to 110, for example, in order to hopefully wipe all that stuff out, and then I'll click OK.
And now I'll try clicking again, and sure enough, that took care of that problem. That gives us an even more jagged selection outline. Again, that's totally okay, because Refine Edge will take care of that problem. I'll press Control+D, or Command+D on the Mac, to deselect the image, and I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit. Press the B key to switch back to the Brush tool, press the left bracket key to reduce the size of the brush, and paint away some of this area here. Press the X key to switch the foreground color to white and paint away that garbage inside of his face.
Now, this is still pretty rough, as you can see here. I've got all kinds of stray pixels all over the place. Press the X key in order to switch the foreground color to black, and paint this little area away. But I'm thinking for now that this is more or less going to take care of it for me, although I am going to increase the size of my brush, press the X key, and paint this stuff away along the rear side of the model's body. Again, take care not to paint right against an edge, or you can mess up the selection. All right, that looks pretty good to me. This will serve as a base layer mask.
I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on that layer mask thumbnail again in order to see the masked version of the photograph. And now that we've set up a base layer mask -- and it could just as easily, by the way, be a base selection outline -- We're ready to perfect that mask using the Refine Edge command, which I'll introduce you to in the very next movie.
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