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Painting to hide and reveal

From: Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

Video: Painting to hide and reveal

One of the key concepts to understand when it comes to layer masking, is that black will block while white will reveal. And when you're creating a composite image that means you're blocking or revealing certain pixels within the image, so that you're revealing other pixels. So for example, I might block certain pixels from this egret image in order to reveal the cloudy background below. And of course, since we're using black and white to determine which pixels are visible, it only stands to reason that we can use the Brush tool to put those black and white pixels in place. Of course, first I need a layer mask, so I'll click on the thumbnail for the layer that I want to mask.

Painting to hide and reveal

One of the key concepts to understand when it comes to layer masking, is that black will block while white will reveal. And when you're creating a composite image that means you're blocking or revealing certain pixels within the image, so that you're revealing other pixels. So for example, I might block certain pixels from this egret image in order to reveal the cloudy background below. And of course, since we're using black and white to determine which pixels are visible, it only stands to reason that we can use the Brush tool to put those black and white pixels in place. Of course, first I need a layer mask, so I'll click on the thumbnail for the layer that I want to mask.

In this case, the Egret layer or the upper layer in the stack. And then I'll click on the Add Layer Mask button, the circle inside of a square icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. And that will add a white mask, meaning that all of the pixels in this layer are currently being revealed. But we can change that very easily by painting on that mask. I'll make sure that the mask itself is active, so that I'm painting on the mask, not on the image. You can see that the mask is active, because there are prop corners around the edges, but I can also simply click on that thumbnail just to make sure that it really is the active item here, so that I'm painting on that layer mask. Then I'll choose the Brush tool from the Toolbox, and I'll press the letter D on the keyboard to get the default values of black and white. And since I'm working on a layer mask, that will be white for my foreground color and black for my background color.

I can then adjust my Brush settings, so I'll adjust the Hardness of the brush for example, perhaps taking this down to around about 50% value. The optimal value will depend in large part on the size of the brush that I'm going to use, but we'll be able to adjust the setting here in a moment. I'll also make sure that the mode is set to Normal and that the Opacity is set to 100%, and then, I can move my mouse over the image and adjust the Brush Size as needed. The left square bracket key will reduce the brush size and the right square bracket key will increase the brush size. And then I'll press X on the keyboard to set the foreground color to black so that I can block some pixels.

And at that point, I can simply paint within the image. Once again, I am painting on the layer mask not on the image itself, and so, the black that I'm adding to that layer mask is causing pixels on this layer to be blocked. They're no longer visible and so we can effectively see through this layer down to the layer below, which happens to be my cloudy sky. And so, I can continue painting as needed in order to block portions of the image. In this case, that would involve painting throughout the sky so that I block the sky from my Egret photo, revealing the cloudy sky down below.

If I were to make a mistake, of course it's relatively easy to fix. For example, let's say that I was painting and I cut off part of the beak here. I can simply press the letter X to switch my foreground and background colors so that white is now my foreground color, and then I can paint over that beak area to reveal the beak once again. And then press X to switch the foreground color to black, and go back and correct my painting or clean up that result. Now, obviously, I have a bit more work to do here to get a perfect result, but you can see that the process is relatively straightforward.

I can paint with black to block pixels from the current layer or with white to reveal pixels until I have a perfect composite.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop
Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

51 video lessons · 11278 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 27s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
  2. 46m 26s
    1. Selections, alpha channels, and layer masks, oh my!
      5m 48s
    2. Anti-aliasing and selections
      6m 6s
    3. The case for not feathering selections
      6m 50s
    4. Adding, subtracting, and intersecting
      7m 31s
    5. Inverting a selection
      3m 4s
    6. Mixing and matching selection tools
      2m 32s
    7. Using Deselect and Reselect
      3m 47s
    8. Temporarily hiding a selection
      2m 7s
    9. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    10. Using the cursor for selections
      2m 27s
  3. 51m 42s
    1. The Rectangular Marquee tool
      8m 24s
    2. The Elliptical Marquee tool
      6m 2s
    3. The Lasso tool
      4m 55s
    4. The Polygonal Lasso tool
      6m 27s
    5. The Magnetic Lasso tool
      10m 9s
    6. The Quick Selection tool
      5m 33s
    7. The Magic Wand tool
      10m 12s
  4. 38m 38s
    1. Selecting the border of an existing selection
      1m 50s
    2. The Color Range command
      7m 19s
    3. Focusing a Color Range selection
      2m 55s
    4. Selecting faces with Color Range
      2m 31s
    5. The Pen tool
      5m 40s
    6. Selecting by luminosity
      3m 39s
    7. Selecting from a channel
      6m 13s
    8. Transforming a selection
      4m 4s
    9. Quick Mask mode
      4m 27s
  5. 50m 46s
    1. Combining layers into a single document
      1m 49s
    2. Layering images manually
      1m 55s
    3. Assembling a panorama automatically
      3m 1s
    4. Advanced blending
      4m 0s
    5. Painting to hide and reveal
      3m 24s
    6. Creating a selection-based composite
      2m 43s
    7. Select, then paint
      3m 28s
    8. Advanced mask cleanup
      6m 18s
    9. Creating an edge-fade effect
      2m 23s
    10. Using a filter to add an artistic edge
      3m 6s
    11. Using a brush effect to add an artistic edge
      5m 30s
    12. Transforming a masked object
      1m 51s
    13. Unlinking image and mask
      2m 53s
    14. Matching composite images
      2m 17s
    15. Adding layer effects with masks
      2m 21s
    16. Reviewing layer masks
      3m 47s
  6. 28m 58s
    1. Painting in an adjustment
      3m 20s
    2. Shades of gray
      3m 14s
    3. Using the Gradient tool
      4m 4s
    4. Adjusting a selected area
      1m 42s
    5. Creating a vignette effect with masking
      2m 13s
    6. Using a layer group
      3m 34s
    7. Working with multiple masks
      4m 5s
    8. Refining an adjustment mask
      6m 46s

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