Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Laying down a base layer mask

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Laying down a base layer mask

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.

Laying down a base layer mask

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

124 video lessons · 20118 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 30m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 19s
    2. Loading the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 5s
    3. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    4. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    5. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    6. The interface and performance settings
      5m 31s
    7. Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
      7m 0s
  2. 47m 0s
    1. Smart Objects
      1m 36s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      3m 6s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 11s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 20s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Styling and blending Smart Objects
      2m 44s
    12. Editing originals; updating clones
      3m 41s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 51s
  3. 29m 59s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      4m 39s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  4. 49m 10s
    1. Using Curves
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Winning Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors and smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 57s
  5. 1h 31m
    1. Camera Raw
      2m 11s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      8m 1s
    3. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    4. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 8s
    5. Working with archival images
      7m 54s
    6. The Spot Removal and Graduated Filter tools
      6m 4s
    7. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 23s
    8. Tone Curves (and why you don't need them)
      5m 57s
    9. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 17s
    10. Applying manual lens corrections
      5m 14s
    11. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 49s
    12. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      6m 36s
    13. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    14. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    15. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  6. 32m 30s
    1. Duotones
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Noise vs. Details
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 35s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Brushing away blur and sharpening
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  8. 44m 30s
    1. Blur Gallery
      1m 36s
    2. Creating depth-of-field effects in post
      5m 29s
    3. Modifying your Field Blur settings
      4m 57s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      6m 15s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      7m 29s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 59s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 35s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 18s
  9. 1h 34m
    1. Blend Modes
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  10. 44m 20s
    1. Color Range
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  11. 59m 43s
    1. Refine Edges
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
  12. 1h 18m
    1. The Pen tool
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 57s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 36s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 21s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.