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The Masks panel's bad options

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: The Masks panel's bad options

In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to these three buttons down here at the bottom of the Masks panel. Now I already showed you how Color Range behaves when you start with a blank layer mask, however, it behaves quite differently when the layer Mask is already filled in. Now I should warn you that this exercise is something of a cautionary tale; the summary of the exercise would be don't use these three buttons, because they don't really help you out that much and one of them can be dangerous. It can actually crash the program. But I'll go ahead and show them to you and you can decide. I've saved my changes as Bouncy midtones.psd, found inside the 09_layer_masks folder.

The Masks panel's bad options

In this exercise, I'm going to introduce you to these three buttons down here at the bottom of the Masks panel. Now I already showed you how Color Range behaves when you start with a blank layer mask, however, it behaves quite differently when the layer Mask is already filled in. Now I should warn you that this exercise is something of a cautionary tale; the summary of the exercise would be don't use these three buttons, because they don't really help you out that much and one of them can be dangerous. It can actually crash the program. But I'll go ahead and show them to you and you can decide. I've saved my changes as Bouncy midtones.psd, found inside the 09_layer_masks folder.

If you want to work along with me, make sure the Masks panel is up on screen. Go ahead and click on the layer Mask thumbnail for the midtones adjustment layer. We'll start off with the Invert button, because it's the simplest. All it does is invert the layer mask. So anything that was previously revealed becomes concealed, anything that was previously concealed becomes revealed. So it's just like pressing Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac. So I suppose it's handy, although we already have a handy keyboard shortcut. However, it's worth noting that inverting either a mask or any other form of channel inside of Photoshop is a nondestructive modification.

In other words, if I click the Invert button again, I restore my exact original mask. Now, the Mask Edge button up here at the top that's the same as the Refine mask command. So the command goes by the name Refine mask when applied to a layer mask and it goes by the name, Refine Edge when applied to a selection outline. Here we lose the word Refine and we get Mask Edge instead. And I'm sure why that is, but it goes ahead and brings up the Refine Mask dialog box which behaves just the same as it always does.

Now we saw this dialog box in action plenty of times back in Chapter 7. So I'm going to go ahead and cancel out of this dialog box. The one I want you to be aware of is Color Range. So as we've seen, great command for generating selection outlines, also a very helpful command for filling in a blank layer mask, but when you're working with an existing layer mask, it's kind of a puzzler; it's a little bit of a head-scratcher. To give you some perspective as to what's going on, I'm going to click on the Background layer to make it active here, and then I'm going to draw a selection outline using the Rectangular Marquee tool and now I'll go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command.

And notice that my Fuzziness value is still cranked up to 100. Let's say, I click in this fellow's forehead. Notice that I'm zoomed in on the mask and that's because Color Range can only see inside the existing selection outline. As soon as you click OK, it goes ahead and finds the intersection of its selection, the one it's just generated along with that original selection. So we're selecting inside the confines of that original Rectangular Marquee. Well, that's the same way it works when you start with an existing layer mask.

I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+ D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image, and then I'll click on the layer Mask for the midtones adjustment layer and I'll click on the Color Range button in order to bring up the Color Range command, and then if I click on, say, his forehead and then click on the OK button, then what I've done is I've revealed an area inside of the original reveal. So in other words, I built up the area that's concealed inside the layer Mask. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to Alt+click or Option+click on that layer Mask thumbnail in order to make it active.

If I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, you can see the original layer mask was much lighter; if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z again, you can see that that's second application of Color Range went ahead and intersected with the original mask and darkened up everything. So you're constantly selecting inside of the layer mask if you work this way. I'm not sure that I find that to be of any practical benefit, and, by the way, here's the warning. I was telling you that this button can crash things.

If you're viewing the layer Mask by itself and you click on Color Range, very, very strong chance that you'll crash the program. Known bug, by the way, so don't do it. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and Alt+ click or Option+click on that layer Mask to reveal the image once again. Now you may ask, okay, how do I get around this, because let's say what I want to do is I want to choose the Color Range command, choosing the Color Range command will do the same thing. It will essentially mess up the existing layer mask assuming a layer mask is selected.

So if what you really want to do is generate a selection outline for your next operation. Then make sure that no layer mask is active. Click on, for example, the thumbnail for this Adjustment layer. The Masks panel will tell you, No mask selected, so you can't click on the Color Range button, which is actually good thing where Color Range is concerned, because now you can go up to the Select menu, choose the Color Range command, define your selection as desired, and then go ahead and click OK and you will generate once again a selection outline, which is a lot more predictable way of working in my opinion.

So where Color Range is concerned, either apply it to a blank layer mask from the Masks panel, if you like, or click off the layer mask and go ahead and choose the Color Range command from the Select menu. All right! I'm going to click on the layer Mask thumbnail to once again line up the options inside the Masks panel. In the next exercise, I'll explain the good options inside of this panel, which are Density and Feather.

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This video is part of

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

128 video lessons · 29311 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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