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Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey

Making the flesh mask


From:

Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: Making the flesh mask

Now that we've created the difference mask using the Calculations command and we have enhanced the contrast using an arbitrary map that we've applied using the Curves command. We are ready to take this rough Mask this approximation of the mask, here, to turn it into a real mask that outlines all of the Flesh tones, so specifically the hand because we really don't have too much information to work with where the pen is concerned. So steps one and two are going to apply the Burn and Dodge tools in that order actually. And then we're going to apply the Gaussian Blur Filter and then we're going to turn around and apply Levels and that should give us the final Flesh mask here.
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  1. 2h 13m
    1. The Odyssey Continues
      2m 39s
    2. Mapping one image onto another
      7m 12s
    3. Making a custom contrast mode
      7m 10s
    4. Luminance blending
      8m 40s
    5. Forcing the visibility of underlying layers
      4m 4s
    6. Adjusting the appearance of clipped layers
      4m 34s
    7. Selecting a Blend If channel
      6m 12s
    8. Enhancing highlights by hiding them
      5m 9s
    9. Smart Object first, layer mask second
      7m 22s
    10. The Fill Opacity Eight
      4m 30s
    11. Blending Smart Filters
      7m 24s
    12. Cleaning up edges
      7m 39s
    13. More fun with luminance blending
      6m 22s
    14. A first peek at the Calculations command
      12m 11s
    15. Masking a softly focused model
      11m 46s
    16. Moving layers and masks between images
      7m 35s
    17. Matching colors
      9m 13s
    18. Building transitional blended layers
      6m 33s
    19. Restoring normal colors
      6m 50s
  2. 2h 33m
    1. Layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
      1m 20s
    2. Rotating and stretching
      7m 54s
    3. A jet of motion blur
      9m 18s
    4. Keyboard tricks
      5m 4s
    5. Merging sky and landscape
      6m 3s
    6. Masking an adjustment layer
      6m 37s
    7. Creating two windows into an image
      7m 42s
    8. Whitening teeth and adding other highlights
      3m 46s
    9. Mapping a texture onto an image
      4m 1s
    10. Isolating a texture with a layer mask
      6m 44s
    11. Welcome to the glass composition
      3m 18s
    12. Balancing shadows and highlights
      5m 51s
    13. Masking the glass
      7m 24s
    14. Masking the text
      9m 23s
    15. Adding and blending the goldfish
      8m 45s
    16. Assembling the perfect group photo
      5m 12s
    17. Aligning photographs automatically
      5m 26s
    18. Masking in each person's best shot
      5m 18s
    19. Masking densely packed people
      6m 17s
    20. Crafting the perfect final poster
      5m 16s
    21. From the improbable to the impossible
      1m 56s
    22. The fantastical "world of clones" effect
      10m 0s
    23. Upsampling and blurring a background
      8m 39s
    24. Adding a knockout mask
      8m 3s
    25. Choking edges with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      3m 46s
  3. 2h 27m
    1. The corrective power of masking
      1m 6s
    2. The amazing luminance mask
      7m 22s
    3. Brightening and neutralizing the eyes
      8m 22s
    4. Adjusting a nondestructive composition
      5m 52s
    5. Creating a corrective mask
      6m 4s
    6. Averaging away irregular flesh tones
      3m 52s
    7. Modifying specific colors
      7m 46s
    8. Initiating the color mask
      6m 0s
    9. Refining the color mask
      6m 40s
    10. Adjusting the edges around fabric
      7m 56s
    11. Perfecting hair
      9m 35s
    12. Sharpening with a High Pass layer
      10m 12s
    13. The also-amazing density mask
      4m 48s
    14. Adjusting the knockout depth
      8m 48s
    15. Fashioning a depth map
      6m 12s
    16. Invoking a depth mask from Lens Blur
      6m 38s
    17. The perfect depth-of-field effect
      6m 25s
    18. Sharpening an archival photograph
      7m 7s
    19. Creating an edge mask
      8m 29s
    20. Making a High Pass sandwich
      7m 46s
    21. Applying the edge mask
      6m 2s
    22. Customizing your sharpening effect
      4m 6s
  4. 2h 3m
    1. Channel Mixer, I am your father!
      1m 39s
    2. Three ways to gray
      7m 49s
    3. Meet the Channel Mixer
      8m 26s
    4. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 10s
    5. Creating a professional-level sepia tone
      5m 36s
    6. Employing the Black & White command
      8m 1s
    7. Extreme channel mixing
      4m 50s
    8. The infrared photography effect
      6m 43s
    9. Taking shadows to the brink of black
      3m 56s
    10. Elevating highlights, leeching saturation
      5m 58s
    11. Deepening a black-and-white sky
      5m 49s
    12. Infusing luminance levels with color
      5m 44s
    13. Creating an opposing colorization scheme
      4m 58s
    14. Bolstering contrast with the Green channel
      5m 37s
    15. A tiny improvement to a terrific technique
      7m 39s
    16. The simple (but wrong) approach to red-eye correction
      6m 39s
    17. Channel-mixing red pupils
      9m 18s
    18. The expert approach to red-eye correction
      5m 20s
    19. Fixing problem coronas (pupil edges)
      8m 9s
    20. Making pupils match
      4m 8s
  5. 2h 33m
    1. Chops are dead; long live maskops
      1m 37s
    2. The Calculations command
      8m 16s
    3. Blue Screen blending
      7m 40s
    4. Refining the Blue Screen mask
      5m 53s
    5. Brushing away color fringing
      7m 24s
    6. Locking the transparency of a layer
      6m 22s
    7. Nondestructive layer painting
      7m 36s
    8. How the Add blend mode works
      8m 40s
    9. How the Subtract blend mode works
      6m 43s
    10. Focus, noise, and other masking challenges
      5m 33s
    11. The Add mode in action
      7m 51s
    12. The Subtract mode in action
      8m 25s
    13. Comparing two channels with Difference
      5m 24s
    14. Enhancing the contrast with Curves
      9m 11s
    15. Gathering details with Apply Image
      9m 43s
    16. Dodge highlights, burn shadows
      6m 6s
    17. Dodge and Burn in action
      8m 24s
    18. Painting in the scalp
      10m 1s
    19. Painting away the face and chin
      4m 53s
    20. Compositing complementary images
      4m 13s
    21. Multiply, Minimum, Blur, and Apply Image
      6m 40s
    22. Crafting the final composition
      7m 7s
  6. 1h 57m
    1. Mark of the Pen tool
      1m 35s
    2. The big paths project overview
      6m 51s
    3. How to make a path
      8m 25s
    4. Corner points and freeform polygons
      8m 6s
    5. Editing paths with the arrow tools
      5m 2s
    6. Adding and deleting endpoints
      5m 15s
    7. Adding and deleting interior points
      6m 6s
    8. Converting a path to a selection
      3m 35s
    9. Converting a path to a mask
      6m 38s
    10. Smooth points and control handles
      8m 57s
    11. Making cusp points
      6m 0s
    12. Combining paths in a vector mask
      7m 55s
    13. Turning a path into a shape layer
      8m 57s
    14. Combining paths to make a layer mask
      7m 52s
    15. Mixing layer and vector masks
      10m 14s
    16. Editing character outlines as paths
      8m 39s
    17. Using the Convert Point tool
      7m 8s
  7. 3h 17m
    1. Where there's a will, there's a way
      1m 18s
    2. Masking natural cast shadows
      4m 10s
    3. Applying the cast show
      4m 2s
    4. Creating a difference mask
      3m 7s
    5. Applying an arbitrary map
      3m 50s
    6. Making the flesh mask
      7m 17s
    7. Roughing in an object mask
      6m 49s
    8. Drawing missing details with the Lasso tool
      4m 7s
    9. Combining flesh and object masks
      3m 53s
    10. Amplifying the cast shadow
      4m 10s
    11. Selectively choking edges
      3m 58s
    12. Power duplication in Photoshop
      7m 9s
    13. Masking blond hair
      5m 48s
    14. Using Levels to mask iterations
      3m 14s
    15. Drawing an iteration boundary
      4m 55s
    16. Merging the best of two Levels iterations
      4m 4s
    17. More fun with Dodge and Burn
      6m 14s
    18. Fixing edges with the Pen and Stamp tools
      7m 29s
    19. Pulling from another file with Apply Image
      4m 52s
    20. Blending clipped layers independently
      5m 43s
    21. Building the flame mask
      9m 22s
    22. Amplifying the flame
      3m 53s
    23. Masking an image against a busy background
      5m 15s
    24. The Freeform and Magnetic Pen tools
      6m 52s
    25. Masking with arbitrary maps
      9m 32s
    26. A more deliberate approach to arb maps
      10m 51s
    27. Combining arb maps with paths
      9m 28s
    28. Masking with the help of the History brush
      11m 38s
    29. Creating a High Pass mask
      7m 25s
    30. Coloring in the outlines
      8m 31s
    31. Mastering Calculations
      7m 29s
    32. Subtracting and merging the beak
      11m 6s
  8. 1h 33m
    1. The meaning of bit depth (and why you care)
      2m 50s
    2. Scanning line art in 8-bit and 16-bit
      5m 9s
    3. Measuring the 16-bit difference
      8m 9s
    4. Correcting 8-bit images in the 16-bit space
      9m 31s
    5. Opening a raw image directly in 16-bit
      6m 13s
    6. Editing in Camera Raw, opening in 16-bit
      8m 22s
    7. 16-Bit/channel vs. 32-bit/channel (HDR)
      8m 18s
    8. Working with auto-bracketed photographs
      5m 6s
    9. Using the Merge to HDR command
      6m 0s
    10. Adjusting the HDR preview
      6m 0s
    11. Building a 32-bit sky mask
      6m 29s
    12. Properly exposing land and sky
      4m 25s
    13. Modifying a layer mask in 32-bit
      4m 56s
    14. Converting to and correcting in 16-bit Lab
      12m 7s
  9. 2h 8m
    1. Photoshop flirts with the third dimension
      1m 13s
    2. The displacement map
      8m 24s
    3. Making custom waves
      7m 14s
    4. Creating a Gaussian distribution
      4m 32s
    5. Using a two-channel displacement map
      6m 28s
    6. Creating a rustic edge effect
      8m 21s
    7. Distorting and shading with a DMap
      6m 34s
    8. Moonlight reflecting off water
      8m 48s
    9. Mapping the reflection onto the water
      7m 7s
    10. Dipping the moon into the water
      6m 18s
    11. Turning flesh into stone
      7m 55s
    12. Wrapping the stone around the face
      7m 27s
    13. Softening a displacement map
      8m 5s
    14. Making a repeating watermark pattern
      9m 22s
    15. 3D embossing with Lighting Effects
      10m 48s
    16. The amazing credit card type effect
      6m 56s
    17. Lightening the credit card letters
      6m 16s
    18. Wrapping the background around the text
      6m 27s
  10. 1m 43s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 43s

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Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
20h 48m Advanced Nov 21, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The elusive alpha channel remains one of the most misunderstood yet powerful tools in Photoshop. Alpha channels are collections of luminance data that control the transparency of an image, and they inform just about every aspect of Photoshop. As he builds transitional blended layers, fashions a depth map, makes edge adjustments, and takes on extreme channel mixing, Omni Award-winning expert Deke McClelland teaches Photoshop users that where there's a will, there's a way. Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks: Advanced Techniques covers mapping texture on an image, turning flesh into stone, using vector masks, working with all different channels, creating a rustic edge effect, and much more. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Channels and Masks from the Exercise Files tab."

Topics include:
  • Distorting and shading with a DMap
  • Understanding bits and channels
  • Creating paths with the Pen tool
  • Using blend modes and the Dodge and Burn feature
  • Understanding channel mixing
  • Using layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
  • Applying Smart Filters
Subjects:
Design Photography Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Making the flesh mask

Now that we've created the difference mask using the Calculations command and we have enhanced the contrast using an arbitrary map that we've applied using the Curves command. We are ready to take this rough Mask this approximation of the mask, here, to turn it into a real mask that outlines all of the Flesh tones, so specifically the hand because we really don't have too much information to work with where the pen is concerned. So steps one and two are going to apply the Burn and Dodge tools in that order actually. And then we're going to apply the Gaussian Blur Filter and then we're going to turn around and apply Levels and that should give us the final Flesh mask here.

I am working inside of a catch-up document called Difference mask.psd. You can open it from the 16_Tough_Stuff folder if you want to and then switch to the Difference channel. I am going to go ahead make a copy of this channel and I am going to call it Flesh Mask since that's what it's going to be of course. And now let's set about enhancing this mask. I'll switch over to the Burn tool which is where I want to start, make sure that you have a fairly large cursor as I do here that it's nice and soft, that the exposure is set to 50% and the Range option is set to Shadows. And now I am going to go ahead and zoom it a little bit on these shadow details right there and I am going to paint them away.

It might take a few passes in order to get rid of all those little bits of garbage there and then I am going to paint down here at the base of the palm as well. And that should pretty much do it. There is not too much action out here in this region although you can just make sure by painting along. Actually we do have a little bit up toward the top. A little bit of lightness toward the top of the image that you might want to paint away. You don't need to worry too much about the pen nib by the way or any portion of the pen actually. All right, so I am just painting around in outside just to make sure that every thing has gone as it needs to be. All right, now let's switch over to the Dodge tool and I am going to do that just by pressing the O key because I have my keyboard shortcut set up to skip the Sponge tool there.

And once again, I have a large blurry cursor I have got Range set to Highlights this time, Exposure to 50% and I am going to paint away the palm, that hairy area of the palm, down there the whiskery area, don't you know. And you may find that it takes quite a few passes in order to get rid of all that stuff. Now it's not essential that you get rid of every single little bit of material there. And you can leave a few straight pixels behind if you want to. It's not really going to affect things too much. You could also paint over this area if you wanted to but it's not necessary.

Here's how we're going to take care of the pen. We're going to grab the Lasso tool not surprisingly. And I am going to go ahead and Alt+Click around this region. This would be Option+Clicking on the Mac in order to select this region of pen right there and then I am going to dig in very tight to this area and there is a little bit of sort of vertical area that I want to keep. And then I will eventually Alt+Click my way around. I still have the Alt key down of course, so the Option key on the Mac. And when I release Alt or Option I will generate the selection as I have done right there. I am going to press the D key in order to establish my default colors and then I will press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to fill that area with black.

All right, so that looks good. Now let's go ahead and deselect that previous selection then Alt+Click around this region of the pen, the shaft of the pen here and that's an Option+Click of course on the Mac. Notice that I went in from the knuckle a little bit. So I am cheating inward. I don't want to select too much information there. I would rather select too little at this point because we're going to be selecting the pen in a separate pass. And I'll go ahead and press Alt+ Backspace or Option+Delete to fill that area with white. Then I will deselect the area again. Deselect that portion of the image and I am going to Alt+Click like so around the top of the pen. That would be an Option+Click on the Mac in order to select the top region and then I'll fill it with black by pressing the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac.

Now you can see that this region is pretty junky and I am not worried about it at all, because that all falls inside of the pen which we will select later. All right, this looks good to me; the only problem at this point is that we have some rough and kind of rotten transitions. Now I was telling you in previous chapters that when you are trying to select a blurry area of an image, noise tends to be your friend because the noise is inherent in the blur that's captured by a digital camera. But in our case I want to cheat the mask in a little bit. So I am going to blur that noise away and then I am going to apply the Levels command in order to choke the mask inward.

So here is what we're going to do. I am going to actually go ahead and look at the RGB image at the same time by clicking on its eyeball there. Let's go ahead and change the color of the Flesh Mask, so that we can see it a little better by double-clicking on Flesh Mask. Then let's change its Hue value to 210, let's say and click OK. And a little bit more opacity would probably do well. And I'll click OK in order to accept that result. And we can see how the mask traces along the edges of the hand. It does a pretty good job but in places, it's a little iffy like you know little rough and weird looking up top here. So let's go ahead and apply the Gaussian Blur command. I am going to the Filter menu, I'll choose Blur and I'll choose Gaussian Blur and I am going to change the Radius value to 6 pixels. You can enter 6.0 if you like and then click OK.

Now we've got a nice soft edge that we can move back and forth using the Levels command like so. I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac to bring up Levels. And I'll go ahead and move the image over a little bit so that I can see how this edge transitions along the thumb and the finger. Let's go ahead and raise the black value to 80, in order to choke the edges inward and then let's expand the edges ever so slightly by taking the white value down to 215. So 80 for black, 215 for white leave Gamma set to 1.0 and then click OK in order to accept those new edges. And thanks, are looking pretty darn good folks.

This provides us with a little bit of soft edge, a little bit of highlight on top of the thumb and the forefinger and so on. And we also have a little bit of highlight on the underside of the third finger here. That's all good news, so let's go ahead and implement this mask, I want you to Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on the Alpha channel, then press the Tilde key in order to hide the RGB image and then press Ctrl+Tilde or Command+Tilde on the Mac in order to go to the RGB image. Switch over to the Layers palette here. Make sure that the hand layer is active and let's go ahead and assign this selection as a layer mask by clicking on the Add a layer mask icon down at the bottom of the Layers palette. And there we have it; we have managed to do a really great job actually of selecting the Flesh information in this hand. We haven't done such a hot job of selecting the pen yet, but that will come. So your image should look like this right here, it looks pretty darn good.

Still a few changes that we have to make. We will begin masking in the pen in the next exercise.

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