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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals is the introductory installment of Deke McClelland's four-part series on making photorealistic compositions in Photoshop. The course shows how to make selections, refine the selections with masks, and then combine them in new ways, using layer effects, blend modes, and other techniques to create a single seamless piece of artwork. Deke introduces the Channels panel and the alpha channel, the key to masking and transparency in Photoshop; reviews the selection tools, including the Color Range tool , Quick Mask mode, and the Refine Edge command; and shows how to blend masked images so they interact naturally.
All right we're going to start off with a few setup videos. I'll try to make this as quick and painless as possible, but these tweaks that we're about to make based on my experience allow you work inside Photoshop with as little frustration as possible. We're going to start off by loading my custom dekeKeys keyboard shortcut, which will help you access the most common functions inside Photoshop from the keyboard. What you want to do is locate the dekeKeys1on1.kys file; this is available as a free download to anyone who is a member of the lynda.com Online Training Library.
You'll presumably find this file inside of a dekeKeys folder or if you're a premium member then you go to your exercise_files folder and then go to the 00_setup subfolder. Once you've found dekeKeys1on1.kys I want you to right-click on that file and go ahead and choose Open with and then choose Adobe Photoshop CS what have you and that will go ahead in either launch Photoshop if it's not already running or switch to Photoshop if it is. Now in my case the program was running in the background, so here I am.
It doesn't look like anything has happened, but actually you have loaded the shortcuts file. To confirm that go up to the Edit menu and choose the Keyboard Shortcuts command and then notice the Set option. If you've never changed your keyboard shortcuts before it'll read Photoshop Defaults and then in parentheses modified. If you have created your own shortcuts you'll see the name of those shortcuts but you'll still see the word modified next to it. Now that tells you something has happened, but to confirm that you have my shortcuts loaded go ahead and twirl- open the File menu right there, and by twirl-open I mean you click on that little twirly triangle and then scroll down the list until you come to the Place command and you should see a shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+Alt+D under Windows or Command+Shift+Option+D on the Mac.
Now you'll notice that I'm reading the Modifier keys in the opposite order they're listed that is Ctrl first, Shift second, and Alt third, and that's because that's the industry standard. So I'm just speaking the way everybody speaks Adobe runs it backward, I just wanted you to know why that's happening. The next step is to go ahead and save out your shortcuts by clicking on this little floppy disk icon and that'll bring up a save dialog box, you don't want to change the location of this file. So the keyboard shortcuts folder is where you want to be and then go ahead and rename this file dekeKeys or what have you.
Totally up to you what you call it, click Save, and then you'll see that name listed in the said option go ahead and click OK and you're on your way. You may wonder what in the world these keyboard shortcuts are. If so then what you can do is go ahead and switch over here back to that folder and you'll see these HTML files one is called dekeKeys1on1 Windows and one is called dekeKeys1on1 Mac. I happened to be working on Windows so I'll go ahead and open the Windows version of the file and that happens to open the file in Firefox in this machine, you'll see a complete list of all the keyboard shortcuts.
Those that appear in black are the default shortcuts, the ones that I've left alone, by the way,. When you come to a red keyboard shortcut like the one for the Place command that is a keyboard shortcut that's exclusively associated with dekeKeys. Now the once that I find to be the most useful and I'll be mentioning all these shortcuts as we move through the series, but the ones that I find to be the most useful are these guys down here. Notice you can press Ctrl+Shift+L to create a levels adjustment layer or Ctrl+Shift+M to create a curves adjustment layer, Ctrl+Shift+U for Hue/Saturation and Ctrl+ Shift+B for Black & White.
Which I find to be the most common of the adjustment layers. So again you just press those keys, you create an adjustment layer as opposed to a static color adjustment. All right, so that's how you load my custom keyboard shortcuts. In the next exercise we'll talk about color settings.
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