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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
Before we wrap up our conversation about masks in this chapter, here we're going to focus in on something which is kind of a hybrid of mask and selections together. It's called Quick Mask. Quick Mask allows you to paint in an area which you can then quickly convert to a selection. The first thing you want to do is press the D key on your keyboard. That will take your Color Picker to the Default black and white settings. You can do that again if you have a color there just by pressing that D key.
The next thing we need to do is we need to enter Quick Mask either by clicking on this icon here or by pressing the Q key. Once you're inside of Quick Mask, you'll want to use your brush. And with your brush, what you're going to do is simply paint. So here with this image, I want to paint over the frog's eyes because I want to select those eyes. So you can see that I'm just painting with my brush, and again, you can customize your brush in regards to its hardness or softness, and all the ways that we've talked about in one of our previous chapters.
Here, I'll press the Left Bracket key and just select this eye over here. What's happening is as I'm painting, we can see this red Rubylith overlay, where it's simulating that. That's showing me that that's the area that I'm targeting. Well, why does that matter? Well, why this matters is this allows us to create a selection that isn't created with one of these tools, but is rather created with our Brush tool. We can brush or paint in things in a way that we can't with those other tools.
Well, next we need to exit Quick Mask. To do that, press the Q key. Here, I'm going to zoom out a little bit. You can see that what I have is I have everything selected except the frog's eyes. So I could either go to the Select menu and choose Inverse, or I could do that later. Let me show you what I mean. Well, typically when you're working with Quick Select, what you're going to do is you're going to use this ability of painting into this adjustment, exiting Quick Mask, then you're going to create a mask which will actually last and be saved with your file.
One way to do that is to click on, say, an Adjustment Icon. Let's go ahead and click on Hue/Saturation. Now we've seen this before that this allows us to change elements in our photograph. So here what I can do is I can desaturate, and by doing that, I'm desaturating everything except for the eyes. If I wanted to invert that, well, just go to the Mask Icon on the Properties panel and then click Invert. Now you can see that everything is in color except for the eyes. Well, why might one want to do that? Well, you might want to that perhaps rather if you want to, say, change the color of the eyes with Colorize.
And by doing that, we could go ahead and click and change these values, and you can see how I can change the colors of the eyes. What's great about using Quick Mask is it allowed us to make these changes or to build the selection really quickly. We can then also use our other masking skills. We want to click in this layer and then with our Brush tool, we can go ahead and paint with white, say, by pressing the X key to flip those two. And I can then paint in some of these areas which I hadn't quite selected very well, because when you're using Quick Mask, you can't totally see how your mask is.
Now we can see it a little bit more clearly and we can use these controls in order to clean things up and to make this look just right. And by doing this, this gives us, well, a lot of flexibility, and it's just another way to start off the process. In other words, rather than starting with one of the traditional selection tools, we start off with the Brush and Quick Mask. Well, before we wrap things up here, I have this layer which includes a few tips which I want share with you. Remember that the Q key is the shortcut key to enter or to exit Quick Mask.
Remember, it's the D key which allows you to convert your Color Picker to those black and white colors, the default colors. And then when you need to alternate between those two for hand-painting in the mask, you can press the X key, and that allows you to switch or toggle between your foreground and background colors.
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