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Making it better with Refine Edge

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Making it better with Refine Edge

In this movie, we'll take the base selection outline that we created in the previous movie and we'll make it more accurate using a command known as Refine Edge. You will have had to follow along with the previous movie to make this one work. Notice up here in the Options Bar, when any selection tool is active, you'll see a button called Refine Edge. You can click on that button to bring up the Refine Edge dialog box, or if for some reason you don't see it, you can go to the Select menu and choose Refine Edge.

Making it better with Refine Edge

In this movie, we'll take the base selection outline that we created in the previous movie and we'll make it more accurate using a command known as Refine Edge. You will have had to follow along with the previous movie to make this one work. Notice up here in the Options Bar, when any selection tool is active, you'll see a button called Refine Edge. You can click on that button to bring up the Refine Edge dialog box, or if for some reason you don't see it, you can go to the Select menu and choose Refine Edge.

And that brings up the Refine Edge dialog box. I'm going to scoot the tree over a little bit so I can see it better. By default, you see the selected region against the white background, but you can change that by clicking on this View option and switching to some other background such as On Black, which is going to work best for us. Then go ahead and click off that pop-up menu to hide it. This is a fairly complex dialog box; a lot of stuff going on, we're not going to review every option at this point, we will in a future course, but for now, we're going to take advantage of the most powerful feature inside this dialog box, which is this Edge Detection Radius option.

And the idea behind Edge Detection is we're asking the Refine Edge command to trace around the edge of the selection outline and make it better inside of a specific radius. And when I say radius, imagine that we're thickening up a stroke that's going around the selection and that's' the area in which Photoshop will reevaluate. So if I crank up this Radius value to something like 50, we're telling Photoshop to reevaluate a lot of this edge. That's obviously too much because even though we're doing a great job of softening the selection around the leaves, we're bringing back some sky inside the tree and that's not what we want.

So I'm going to take this Radius value down to a mere five and press the Tab key. That still leaves us with some tree and if you want to get a sense for what Radius has done by itself, you can turn on the Show Original check box, that's like turning a preview off. And so this is what the tree look like before, this is what it looks like now. We do have softer more organic edges. However, we have an awful lot of sky showing through which is why I'm going to shift the edge of the selection inward. So this Shift Edge function allows you to either contract or expand the selection.

If you drag to the left, you're going to contract, if you drag to the right, you're going to expand. So I want to take this value down to about -25%, it works pretty darn well. But it's not perfect by any means, as you can see here, but it's going to work great for our rays of light. Having made these changes, so set the Radius value to five, the Shift Edge value to -25 and then click OK to modify that selection outline. Now let's apply the selection as a layer mask.

I'll go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+ Click on the eye in front of Background in order to turn all the layers back on. And then I'll click in the rays layer to make it active and I'll drop down to this icon at the bottom of the panel, which says Add layer mask. If I were to click on it, I'd mask the rays of light inside the tree which is exactly the opposite of what I want. So I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+ Z on the Mac to undo that change. Then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on that Add Layer Mask icon again, and that goes ahead and masks away the selected region and gives me the exact effect I'm looking for.

One more change we need to make to this mask. I'm going to zoom back out by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac. We need to mask the moon away inside of the rays as well. So I'm going to load the moon layer as the selection outline and you do that by hovering your cursor over the thumbnail for the layer. Notice that appears as a hand with the pointing finger, and now you press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and you'll get a little Marquee next to that cursor, and you click. So Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on the thumbnail for the moon layer, loads it up as the selection outline.

The layer mask is still selected as you can see here inside the Layers panel. Make sure that your foreground color is set to black down here at the bottom of the toolbox. If it's not do this, press the D key in order to establish your default colors, which will be white as the foreground color, and then press the X key to swap them. And now black is your foreground color. Press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac in order to fill that portion of the layer mask with black, which goes ahead and masks away the rays inside the moon.

Then you can press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. All right, now we have some beautifully masked rays thanks to a combination of the Refine Edge command along with a layer mask. In the next movie, we'll better integrate the rays and the moon into the scene.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

100 video lessons · 57672 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 19m 15s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 27s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      4m 7s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      4m 9s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      2m 45s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      1m 16s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      2m 32s
    7. Closing one image and Closing All
      1m 59s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      4m 27s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      4m 29s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Adjusting a few screen prefs
      4m 16s
  3. 45m 58s
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      3m 3s
    3. The Image Size command
      3m 27s
    4. Common resolution standards
      3m 20s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      4m 36s
    6. Changing the print size
      6m 16s
    7. Downsampling for print
      4m 12s
    8. Downsampling for email
      3m 11s
    9. The interpolation settings
      5m 22s
    10. Downsampling advice
      4m 36s
    11. Upsampling advice
      6m 10s
  4. 53m 17s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      2m 58s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 19s
    1. The art of saving
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      6m 0s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 38s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 41s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 19m 36s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      3m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      3m 1s
    4. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    5. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    6. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 42m 6s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      3m 19s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 5s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color cast in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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