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Masking blond hair

From: Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

Video: Masking blond hair

All right, it is time for the second project in this chapter. This time around we are going to mask the woman you see before you on screen. This image is called Woman with flame.jpg. It is found inside of the 16 Tough Stuff folder and it comes to us from Photographer, Andre Barack (ph) of iStockPhoto. And this image presents us with three challenges, count them, three here. And the first challenge is that we have a warm subject against the warm background and we have a very warm subject indeed. Though she has actually sort of pink skin tones with these reddish shadows, some red eye make up on, she has got red straps on her shoulders, she has got pink lips, she has got, kind of, this yellowish platinum hair and the only part of her that is the least bit cool is her irises but that is not going to help us out in this case, because she is set against this screaming red background. So we don't have the complementary colors to work with that we have in the case of examples from previous chapters. So that is challenge number one.

Masking blond hair

All right, it is time for the second project in this chapter. This time around we are going to mask the woman you see before you on screen. This image is called Woman with flame.jpg. It is found inside of the 16 Tough Stuff folder and it comes to us from Photographer, Andre Barack (ph) of iStockPhoto. And this image presents us with three challenges, count them, three here. And the first challenge is that we have a warm subject against the warm background and we have a very warm subject indeed. Though she has actually sort of pink skin tones with these reddish shadows, some red eye make up on, she has got red straps on her shoulders, she has got pink lips, she has got, kind of, this yellowish platinum hair and the only part of her that is the least bit cool is her irises but that is not going to help us out in this case, because she is set against this screaming red background. So we don't have the complementary colors to work with that we have in the case of examples from previous chapters. So that is challenge number one.

Challenge number two is that she has blonde hair, and as I mentioned she is, kind of, a platinum blonde and we saw in previous examples how when you are working with dark haired people especially if their hair is very dark. You can multiply their hair into a new background. So your might expect with a light-haired person you could go ahead and screen the hair but that does not work because it gives you something of a glowing effect. It is very unnatural. It is kind of a fiery effect. And speaking of fire you may have noticed this flame right here, and that is challenge number three and we are going to mask that flame and posited it against a different background and it's going to look absolutely amazing. I guarantee it.

So those are our three challenges that lie in wait for us. I should say just by a way of little FYI here. That I feature this exact same image inside of a masking example in my book Photoshop CS3 One on One and for those of you who have seen that example and even worked through it. I want you to know that we are not going to be doing exactly the same thing. We are going to be compositing this Woman against a different background for a one thing. Also in a book, I do some of the steps for you so I have some stuff prepared for you in advance. In this example, I have nothing prepared for you in advance. So are going to do all the work yourself and then finally we are going to take advantage of the few different techniques as we move through this image; so familiar image, different stuff in lying in wait for you.

All right, so let's start things of by creating the base alpha channel, shall we. And, of course, in order to do that we need to take a look at the channels that we already have inside of this image. So Ctrl+1 for red; a very, very bright channel here, that's Command+1 on the Mac. Ctrl+2 or Command+2 for the Green channel; Lots of contrast going on, very nice channel. And Ctrl+3 or Command+3 for the Blue channel less contrast than the Green channel and if you take a look here. We have some very good shoulder detail inside of this channel but we are loosing some of the hair; some of the finer threads of hair have gone away inside of this channel. And the flame is extremely weak.

Let's go back to the Red channel for a moment. Here you can see the flame is very, very strong inside of this channel and we have these tiny little hairs all over the place inside this channel, very nice. Also good shoulder detail, a lot of banding in the background that's a bad thing and, of course, a very bright background especially in this region on the left side of the head that's going to be difficult to mask, all right. Let's go to the Green channel for a moment. It is really good. I mean we have some nice little hair is going on, not quite as much as in the red channel. The flame is a little weaker but it is still very evident. Nice shoulder detail, you'll have some problems with the dress dropping off there. So we are going to have to work on that and we also have a low level of contrast going on, on the left side of the head. So, again, it's going to take some work to get this area right.

All right, so here is what we are going to do. We are going to establish a base alpha channel by blending the Red and Green channels together with the Calculations command. In fact we are going to add them together as you will see. So I am going to click off the selection to deselect it. Let's just go ahead and reinstate the RGB composite image by pressing Ctrl+~ or Command+~ on the Mac. And I am going to press the F key to enter the full-screen mode so that I can move over a little so I have room for the Calculations dialog box. Now let's go to the Image menu and choose the Calculations command. And I will go ahead and move the dialog box down a little bit. Source one and Source two should both be set to Woman with flame.jpg. Layers, both of the layer options should be set to background. The first channel should be set to Red, the second channel should be set to Green. Both of the Invert check boxes are turned off, my friends; and let's go ahead and change the blend mode from screen which is pretty good actually to add, which will work better for our purposes.

And then that is too hot, as you can see the highlights are way too hot, we need to darken up the image a little by taking the offset value down to -70. Now if I felt like the shoulders were too harsh, the transitions and the shoulders were too harsh then I could go ahead and increase the scale value in order to soften that information but I actually like this quite a bit. And I think this is going to work out very nicely for us. So, let's go ahead and click OK in order to create the new alpha channel and let's move the image over here so that we can bring back the palettes. I am going to switch over to the Channels palette.

Let's rename that new alpha channel. R+G and we will also say -70 right there and that will tell us that we have- 70 offset value. I should enter the Add mode as well. So we have R+B, add -70. And, of course, the only thing that can be -70 is the offset values. So that is a great name; it will remind me of exactly how I got this channel in the first place. That is our base alpha channel. We are going to modify it to make it work better. We are going to create two iterations of this channel using the Levels Command starting in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

190 video lessons · 26372 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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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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