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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Masking and compositing light


From:

Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Masking and compositing light

In this exercise we are going to temper the effect and better integrate it with the scene using a combination of masking and compositing. Now the first thing about God lighting; if you've ever seen images of this sort of thing where the light is coming out of the cloud in these rays. It appears in the sky. So it's very much like a rainbow in that regard. So we need to mask away the ground in the background. We are going to do that by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on the eye in front of the background layer, so we can see the background by itself, then switch over to the Channels panel, check out the Channels once again.
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  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
11h 35m Intermediate Nov 04, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a workspace
  • Working with the seven key selection tools
  • Using the Color Range command
  • Automating masking
  • Matching a scene with Smart Filters
  • Choosing the ideal base channel
  • Converting a channel to a mask
  • Painting with the Overlay and Soft Light modes
  • Using History to regain a lost mask
  • Working with the Calculations command
  • Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
  • Masking and compositing light
  • Masking with black and white
  • Working with path outlines
  • Combining pixel and vector masks
  • Creating and feathering a vector mask
Subjects:
Design Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Masking and compositing light

In this exercise we are going to temper the effect and better integrate it with the scene using a combination of masking and compositing. Now the first thing about God lighting; if you've ever seen images of this sort of thing where the light is coming out of the cloud in these rays. It appears in the sky. So it's very much like a rainbow in that regard. So we need to mask away the ground in the background. We are going to do that by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on the eye in front of the background layer, so we can see the background by itself, then switch over to the Channels panel, check out the Channels once again.

In the Red channel we have a fairly darkish sky and we've got all sorts of middling shades going on inside the ground. In the Green channel, we've got a lot of detail. The ground is darker this time; the sky is lighter, but still not to the degree of contrast we are looking for. In the Blue channel the ground is very dark and the sky is very bright. Once again, this is very typical of the blue channel. The earth tends to be red and orange, as well as green, where foliage is concerned, but of course, the sky has lots of blue.

So let's go ahead and grab that Blue channel, make a copy of it by dragging it down and dropping it onto the little page icon at the bottom of the Channels panel. Then we will increase the contrast by pressing Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac and I'm going to take that black point value up to 240. Again, these are not magical values for any sky image. They just happen to work well for this one. And I'll take the white point value down to 200, and then I'll click OK. You can see that we've made the ground almost entirely black, while the sky is quite light by comparison.

Now I am going to go ahead and change the name of this channel to B, because I didn't invert it this time, and then 140/1/200. If you like you can go ahead and make a copy of the channel at this point by dragging it down and dropping it onto the page icon once again; and I'll call this one sky mask, because we are going to do a little bit of hand painting. I will zoom out so that we can take in more of the image at a time, switch over to the Brush tool, which you can get by pressing the B key, make sure that your foreground color is white as it is in my case, right-click inside the image window, and I am going to crank that Size value up once again to 1000 pixels, the Hardness should definitely be 0%.

Next, change the mode up here in the Options bar to Overlay, which you can do by pressing Shift+Alt+O or Shift+Option+O on the Mac, and then I want you to go ahead and paint over the sky and clouds, like so. Now notice that; that leaves some regions of the clouds dark and that's a good thing. We actually want that effect. So don't paint over those lower clouds the second time, one time is enough, but then you want to scribble over the top portion of the sky as many times as it takes in order to get that top area completely white.

If necessary, you can always press Shift+Alt+N or Shift+Option+N on a Mac to switch the Blend mode back to Normal and just go ahead and paint along the top of the sky, like so. So this is a pretty quick and dirty mask as you can see. I am going to press the M key to switch back to the Rectangle Marquee tool; I'll Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on that sky mask channel to convert it to a selection outline. Then I'll scroll up to the RGB image at the top of the Channels panel, switch back to the Layers panel, Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eye in front of the background layer in order to bring back all the other layers.

Make sure the rays' layer is active, as it is in my case, and then drop down to the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click on it, in order to produce this effect here. Now the effect is mitigated, but I would argue it's still fairly over the top. We need to drop out a few of the darkest colors in this layer using some advanced blending options. To get to them, go ahead and double- click in an empty portion of this layer below, for example, the word rays should do the trick, and that'll bring up the layer Style dialog box.

I want you to adjust the This layer slider. So we are going to grab the black slider triangle and crank it all the way up to 200, and that's going to make most of those rays completely disappear, and I am trying to get that value exactly to 200, just so that you and I are achieving more or less the same results. And your results will vary, by the way,. The reason your results are going to end up looking different than mine, is because the Clouds filter produces random effects every single time. Now I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag the left half of this black slider triangle all the way down to let's say about 125, and then click OK in order to accept that effect.

Now we are getting this pretty interesting effect I think. It's not all together naturalistic by any stretch of the imagination. We need to do a little more work on the layer mask. So click on the layer mask thumbnail to make it active, and then I want you to switch once again to the Brush tool, because we are just going to apply some hand brushing effects and reduce the size of the cursor until it's about yay big. I did that by pressing the left bracket key, by the way, several times in a row. Then press the X key in order to switch your foreground color to black and I want you to paint roughly over this cloud, because this thing about these sort of lighting effects, they typically emerge from in back of a cloud and then there is typically a little bit of dark edge surrounding the cloud as well.

I am going to paint over the top portion of this lower cloud, so it looks like the rays of light are coming out from the cloud down here as well. Then you might want to apply some other modifications. I am going to zoom out a click, increase the size my cursor quite a bit, and press the 3 key in order to reduce the Opacity to 30%, paint over this left region of this image like so, and then I'll press the 5 key to increase the Opacity of my brush to 50%, and I'll paint around here just a little bit here and there in order to clam down those rays directly around that little cloud, and zoom back in.

Now here's an interesting trick to keep in mind. I'm going to press M key to switch back to the Rectangle Marquee tool. Let's say you're not really that happy with your rays of light. They're not going out at the right angle or what have you. Why then, you can get an entirely different effect by double-clicking on the Clouds filter. So just go ahead and double-click on clouds here inside the Layers panel. Photoshop may give you an error message that you will only see the results of the Clouds filter and nothing more. But it doesn't matter. Just go ahead and click OK.

Then you're going to have to wait for a moment. This is a very computationally intensive process, because Photoshop has to recompute all eight of the Smart Filters, but you will end up achieving an entirely different effect. If you don't like it, then you can press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to undo and then just go ahead and double- click clouds and press the Enter key and Return key on the Mac again to make that alert message disappear and Photoshop will regenerate the effect once again. So I might give it a couple of double-clicks. I am going to try to get an effect that looks a little better here.

What I'm looking for is a more lights coming out in this area, right here around the bird. And that ends up looking pretty darn good, but obviously, you just want to sit there and play with it until you get an effect you like. That's still not exactly the effect I'm looking for. I want this bright burst of sunlight right here underneath the cloud, and we will achieve that effect and finish off the entire composition in the next and final exercise.

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