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Masking low-contrast details

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Masking low-contrast details

I've saved my progress as smooth arms.psd, found inside the 26_masking folder, and in this exercise, we are going to go ahead and select the dress, and we are going to do so using our tool of last recourse. Basically, everything else has failed so far. So we are going to fallback on the Quick Selection tool. Now I'm not a big fan of the tool, however I have high hopes for it where the dress is concerned, and I'm going to go ahead and switch over to the RGB version of the image, which is showing me that hyper-saturated layer right now. And the reason I think the Quick Selection tool might work pretty well here, is because we're trying to select this fairly lumpy shape right here, this dress form, and the Quick Selection tool of course excels at lumpiness.

Masking low-contrast details

I've saved my progress as smooth arms.psd, found inside the 26_masking folder, and in this exercise, we are going to go ahead and select the dress, and we are going to do so using our tool of last recourse. Basically, everything else has failed so far. So we are going to fallback on the Quick Selection tool. Now I'm not a big fan of the tool, however I have high hopes for it where the dress is concerned, and I'm going to go ahead and switch over to the RGB version of the image, which is showing me that hyper-saturated layer right now. And the reason I think the Quick Selection tool might work pretty well here, is because we're trying to select this fairly lumpy shape right here, this dress form, and the Quick Selection tool of course excels at lumpiness.

And the other thing to bear in mind is that it's actually good at seeing edges, and this constitutes a pretty dramatic edge between the right-side of the dress and the background beside it as well as the light left-side of the dress, and the background behind it. The only area in which we are going to get into trouble is this little area of the underarm here. That's kind of hard to select, but we'll see how it goes. Anyway, I'm going to zoom in tight here and I am going to switch from the Magic Wand tool to the Quick Selection tool, and then I will drag down the right half of the woman's body, and that works beautifully.

Bang! We have that area selected, super-duper. All right, let's try the left half. It's going to go little more slowly I think, but I'll drag up, and what you need to make sure you do is stay tight to the left side of the body, so you don't too dramatically expand the selection outline, because you don't want it to go up into her face and into the hair and so on. The Quick Selection tool by the way cannot select hair. You can sort of eek the selection into the hair using the Refine Edge command, but that's a horrible way to work in my opinion. Anyway, I've gone ahead and expanded the selection into many portions of the dress.

The one area I have not selected so far is right here under the arm. So I'm going to drag again and you may recall the Quick Selection tool automatically adds to the selection outline, and I get this effect here, which is less than smooth, so let's try to smooth it out just a little bit by dragging again in this area. Now, if you end up getting this number where the Quick Selection tool expands underneath the arm, like so, then just go ahead and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag in that area in order to deselect that region. With any luck, after, you know, maybe three or four or five drags, you'll get the entire dress selected.

Now it's not well selected. You don't want to rely on a selection outline drawn with the Quick Selection tool without doing something to it, you have to refine it, because otherwise you are going to have very choppy edges that, at the very least, are going to be out of keeping with the rest of your excellently rendered mask. But also of course, it's going to look terrible. So here is what I would like you to do. Go up to the Select menu and choose the Refine Edge command or press Ctrl+Alt+R, Cmd+Option+R on the Mac, and you can see what a lumpy nightmare this selection is.

This tool, man, it could be so much better than it is. But fortunately, we have the Refine Edge options, which are quite powerful. So I am going to take that smooth value up to 20 this time around, because we need a heaping helping of smoothing, where this image is concerned. Look at that lumpiness, over there on the left-hand side of the dress. It's actually going to work out just fine but that's what I meant about the Quick Selection tool excelling at lumpiness. It does a terrific job at that. Now I am going to take the Shift Edge option down. So I am going to take that value down not quite to -100 I don't think, maybe to negative like 55, let's try this, let's try -75 why don't we.

That actually looks pretty darn good. And that will take care of that. I don't think we need to do anything else. There is no reason to do any edge detection because we don't have any filigree details that we are trying to grow into, we just want a crisp, smooth selection outline that looks organic to fabric, which I think this one does. All right, I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification, then we'll switch over to the hair & arms channel, and currently white is my background color so I am going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to fill the selection with white.

All right, we are almost there. I will go ahead and grab my Lasso tool, click in the image in order to deselect it. I am going to Alt+Click around this region, like so. Up into the shoulders and down into the neckline and make sure that you do not select this little detail, this little bit of background above the shoulder, that should remain deselected. There is however a little bit of gook right there for me. So I will go ahead and Shift+Drag around it to select it as well and then I will press the Backspace key to get rid of all that garbage, and then finally, let's go ahead and zoom in here on this detail.

Notice that we have some rounding at the bottom of the dress. So I am going to switchover to the Smudge tool once again, and reduce the size of my Cursor by pressing the Left Bracket key a few times and drag down right there and then drag down on the left side of the dress as well. And if there is anything else that bugs you why then you can work on it, you can press the Tilde key so that you can see the dress as you make modifications to it. Certainly there is some lack of accuracy here and there. For example this location right there, the selection outline ought to go out a little bit to contain those edges of the belt, but really, honestly, I'm not convinced that it's worth the effort.

So I am just going to leave it alone, because otherwise if I did start smearing that portion of the mask, it's going to get soft. So, I could visit that area using the Liquify command and that's a thing. The Warp tool inside of the Liquify dialog box, that allows you to move areas around, areas of your Alpha Channel for example, without introducing softness, but you'd be working a little bit blind inside that dialog box as well. All right, so that's it gang. We've done, I think, a swell job of creating a mask. Let's go ahead and check out what the mask looks like by itself by pressing the Tilde key once again, and there is the hair & arms channel, you know what, I really think I ought to call it something like Final mask because that's what it is.

And this is what it looks like by the way, I'll go ahead and zoom out so that we can see the mask in all of its glory here. In the next exercise, we'll apply the mask to our image and we'll bring it into a new background.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

192 video lessons · 43682 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 30s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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