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The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.
In this movie, I'll show you how to hand-paint the mask to create the final selection. And you know what? Rather than switching back and forth between the selection outline and the Quick Mask mode, we might as well edit our last channel directly. So I'm going to go a head and click on Levels enhancement, which is the most recent version of this selection, and there's some obvious stuff that I can paint away here. I'll go ahead and press the B key to switch to the Brush tool, and I'll press the D key in order to establish my default colors; that is, white as the foreground color, and black as the background color.
And I'm still working with that hard-edged brush. I'll go and press right bracket key a couple times to make it bigger, and then I'll paint away this line, and I'll click here in order to get rid of some of this stuff. You're often better of clicking, instead of paintin,g by the way, because if you start painting along an edge, it's very possible you'll do this number, and ruin the edge. Anyway, I'll press Control+Z, or Command+Z on a Mac, and paint over here in some of these regions that are more obvious from this far away. And then I'm going to zoom in on this region around the eye, and I'm going to reduce the size of my brush by pressing left bracket key, and click along the bottom of the eye, like so, then paint away some of the other garbage that I see around and about.
And I want to click along these details, paint right up to here, click, and then click on this junk. All right, let's go ahead and zoom out a little bit. Here's the detail that I can paint away. Obviously this edge along the bottom of the nose needs to get lost, so I'll start by clicking there, and then I'll click here, and Shift+Click along this bad edge, and you just want to make sure that you keep your brush away from the good edge. And the Shift+Clicking, by the way, of course, establishes a straight line between the click and Shift+Click points. All right, I'll go ahead and paint that garbage, paint away this is well, and I'm just going to have to kind of sail along here.
I'm just tossing the image with the Hand tool. This looks like it needs to leave, so I'll Shift+Click around here, taking care to stay away from the edge when I'm doing the Shift+Clicking. And maybe click right at that location, click here, Shift+Click here maybe; this is a little dangerous what I am doing, but it'll probably work out okay. And when in doubt, just click next to an edge. And we will clean up some of these other edges in just a moment, when we view both the image and the mask at the same time. I'm going to press the X key to switch my foreground color to black, and click right at that location, reduce the size of my brush, and click here, because we've got some stray pixels outside of what should be the deselected region of the image.
I'll increase the size of my brush; press the X key to switch the foreground color back to white, and paint that stuff away. And then I'll go ahead and continue down the dinosaurs' back, paint this stuff away, this needs to go; this stuff needs to go as well. So it's a lot of hand editing. There's other techniques that are available to you, but for this specific image, giving the mask some meticulous attention is the best way to go. I'll press the X key to switch to my foreground color to black, and paint that out of there, press X again to switch to foreground color to white.
You get the idea, but it must be done, so I am going to continue here. We've got some bad stuff out here in the background, so I'll reduce my brush size, press the X key to switch back to black, click these guys out of the way, press the X key to switch to white, paint that guy out of the way as well. Looks like we have some garbage that needs to be cleaned up right along this edge, and at this point we're all the way down in the bottom right corner of the image looking at the dinosaur's spine. I'll a press X key, and click these details away, and then click inside of this region as well.
All right, so looks like we're doing a pretty good job, but I need to now display the image to see if the edges are where they are supposed to be. So I'll press the Tilde key in order to bring back those edges. You don't need to worry about these little details; notice there is going to be some color fringing at some point, but we will take care of those problems using a couple of automated techniques when we modify the layer mask. However, this area is the problem we need to deal with right now. So I'll increase the size of my brush, my foreground color is black, which means I'm painting in transparency in this Quick Mask display here.
So even though we're not in a Quick Mask mode, Photoshop calls this the Quick Mask display. All right, so I've now made my way to the top of the dinosaur's head. I'll paint away this stuff right there, and I need to paint away some of this garbage at the top of the brow. And so I'll just click, and maybe occasionally Shift+Click as well, in order to add some straight lines. I'm just trying to do the best job I can in the least amount of time. It does get to be a little painful, but you know, put on some music, listen to the radio; whatever.
It's Zen, don't you know? All right, so I'll go ahead and paint this stuff. I think I painted too far out there, so I will press X key and paint that back in. And then let's just make our way down to the animal's snout. We do have some edge fringing once again, but we'll take care of that later. This is actually looking pretty darn good, so I'll press Control+0, or Command+0 on a Mac, to zoom all the way out, so I can take in my entire image, and then I'll press the Tilde key in order to view the mask on its own. All right, so we're done painting. I'll press M key to switch back to the Rectangle Marquee tool, just to make sure that I don't accidentally paint inside the image.
And this is no longer the Levels enhancement; this is now the final mask. So I'll double-click on the name of this channel, and change it to final mask, like so, and then I'll switch to the RGB image. And that, friends, is how you modify an alpha channel directly, while taking advantage of the Quick Mask display. In the next movie, we'll select the dinosaur, and add it to the layered composition.
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