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Masking multiple layers at one time

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Masking multiple layers at one time

In this exercise, we're going to get rid of that gas at the top of the glasses, and we're going to do so by combining the light glass layers into a group and then assigning a layer mask to that group. I've saved my progress as Gassy glasses.psd found inside the 09_layer_masks folder. If I were to turn off both the screen and soft light layers, you can see that the gas goes entirely away, because the part of the image that's responsible for that gassy effect is actually the white that's showing through from the background and the white is dropping out entirely because we've assigned the Multiply mode to this layer.

Masking multiple layers at one time

In this exercise, we're going to get rid of that gas at the top of the glasses, and we're going to do so by combining the light glass layers into a group and then assigning a layer mask to that group. I've saved my progress as Gassy glasses.psd found inside the 09_layer_masks folder. If I were to turn off both the screen and soft light layers, you can see that the gas goes entirely away, because the part of the image that's responsible for that gassy effect is actually the white that's showing through from the background and the white is dropping out entirely because we've assigned the Multiply mode to this layer.

If I turn on the screen layer, why then the gas comes back with a vengeance, that's no good. So I'll go ahead and turn it off. If I turn on the soft light layer, it's not nearly as bad, but I don't want that strange brightness at the top of the glass, no matter what. These glasses need to look transparent so that we're seeing through to the sunset background. So we need to take both of these bright layers right here and combine them into a single group. So click on the screen layer, Shift+ click on the soft light layer so both of them are selected. Then go up to Layers panel flyout menu and choose New Group from layers, and I'll go ahead and call this group bright layers because these are the bright versions of the champagne glasses.

Now Photoshop goes ahead and collapses a group, by default. Go ahead and click on the triangle to twirl that group open, so that we can keep track of what we're doing. Now the next thing I want you to do is with the group selected, the folder item that is, drop down to the Add layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel and click on it and that adds a blank white layer mask. All right! I now want you to select the Gradient tool which you can get by pressing the G key, and then I recommend just so that you and I are totally on the same page, go up to the Options bar, click on that Gradient icon and choose Reset tool.

In that way, you'll set things up so that we're creating a white to black gradient assuming that white and black are your foreground and background colors respectively. If they aren't, go ahead and tap the D key. Now notice these three little bubbles right here on the left-hand side of this right-hand glass. I want you to drag from the bottom of the third bubble upward. Press the Shift key as you do so, so that you're creating an absolutely vertical gradient. And you want to move your cursor till it's more or less in line with the end of the bubbles in the left-hand glass.

So right about here will do, and notice that that entirely eliminates that gas inside of the glasses because we've created a white to black gradient mask that's affecting both of those layers inside the group. Now the wonderful thing about this is it's such a flexible solution. If I don't like this gradient, I could redraw it like so, I'll draw a much taller gradient this time around, and that means that I can affect one mask without affecting what are essentially the sub-masks inside the group. So each and every mask is independent because it's assigned to an independent layer, so I'm applying strictly nondestructive modifications. All right! That's not what I want though.

I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. Also, here is another thing you can do. If you click the Chain icon between the folder and the layer Mask, then the layer Mask becomes independent of the layers themselves, and you can now Ctrl+drag or Command+drag it inside of the Image window to move it independently of those layers; all sorts of things that you can do now that you have independent mask working together with one another. I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification.

Now let's say, we want to go ahead and reinstate some of the highlights along the edges of the glasses and I'm going to do that by switching back to my Brush tool right here. So if your Pencil tool is selected, go ahead and click and hold on it and choose the Brush tool. Then right-click inside the Image window, notice that my Size value is set to 200 pixels, my Hardness is 0%. Those are both important, by the way,. Then make sure that your Foreground color is white once again and that your layer mask that is your group mask is selected and I want you to paint upward along the inside edge of both of these glasses like so in order to reestablish these highlights. All right! Now I think this looks pretty good, but the problem is after singing the praises of this nondestructive approach that I've been able to achieve, thanks to the fact I'm using multiple masks, I just applied a destructive modification to the group mask.

So if you Alt+click or Option+click on it, you can see that we've got the gradient with these two kind of blobby fingers sticking up into it. Well, what if I decide I want to change the nature of the highlights or what if I decide I want to adjust the gradient? Well, I can't anymore without redrawing things, because they're fused together. I'll go ahead and Alt+click or Option+ click again to bring back the RGB version of the image and sure enough, on further reflection, I look at those highlights and I think, they could be better, and in fact, in the final version of the composition, which is called The perfect evening.psd, they look way better.

We have so much more credible high impact highlight, and I was only able to achieve that by foregoing that group mask. You can see I went ahead and turned it off, and applying a knockout layer instead and I'll be showing you how that works in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 29227 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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