Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
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Protecting areas with masks


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Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: Protecting areas with masks

All right, so we have seen this amazing demonstration of Content-Aware-Scaling that was just breath taking and then in the next exercise, we found out that actually a few of the details didn't hold up too well. Some things turned out great but then other things didn't. And those things that didn't are critical enough that we don't want this image to go out the door. So how do we do a better job? How do we protect our image so it doesn't get all messed up? Well, there's two approaches that you can take. One is you can mask the details that you want to protect, and then the Content-Aware Scale command will do its best to go ahead and respect those masked areas. And then in the next exercise, I'll show you a better approach that requires less work. I've got open among these other images, this guy right here, Bay with mask.psd, found inside the 29_new_tech folder, and I'm going to Shift+Tab back up my palettes.
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  1. 21m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
      51s
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 34s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 35s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 46s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
      58s
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 8s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 55s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 55s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 33s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
      46s
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 42s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 52s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 39s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 43s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
      42s
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 51s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 52s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
13h 7m Advanced May 29, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Defining the essentials of masking
  • Resizing images with content-aware scaling
  • Adjusting perspective with Vanishing Point
  • Applying Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Using the Auto-Align tool to build composite images
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Protecting areas with masks

All right, so we have seen this amazing demonstration of Content-Aware-Scaling that was just breath taking and then in the next exercise, we found out that actually a few of the details didn't hold up too well. Some things turned out great but then other things didn't. And those things that didn't are critical enough that we don't want this image to go out the door. So how do we do a better job? How do we protect our image so it doesn't get all messed up? Well, there's two approaches that you can take. One is you can mask the details that you want to protect, and then the Content-Aware Scale command will do its best to go ahead and respect those masked areas. And then in the next exercise, I'll show you a better approach that requires less work. I've got open among these other images, this guy right here, Bay with mask.psd, found inside the 29_new_tech folder, and I'm going to Shift+Tab back up my palettes.

So, you can see here in the Layers palette that I've gone ahead and converted the image to an independent layer. So, I've done some of that upfront work. I've gone ahead and given myself 2000 pixels of canvas, so I have some room to stretch the image. I've also created a bunch of alpha channels as you'll see here. So if you go to the Channels palette, there is this dock mask channel. I spent a long time on this mask, making it really, really close to perfect. So, I spent about, I'd say 15-20 minutes, making it a really accurate mask and we'll see what a waste of time that was, and then I turned around because that didn't worked worth beans and you'll see that in just a moment. And I created this blocks mask that took me about 12 seconds and all it's doing is roughly protecting, if I turned on the RGB image at the same time, it's roughly protecting the dock and the birds, bless them, and this post right there and I'm giving Photoshop some room in between.

Now, you might at this point, say, "Well, Deke, I bet the reason you're mask didn't work is you got it backwards buddy." I'll turn off RGB for a moment, so we can see what I'm talking about. Black conceals, right, and white reveals. "So, you're telling Photoshop to go ahead and stretch this area and protect this area. That's your problem." Just to demonstrate that even though that's great reasoning on your part, it doesn't happen to be true. I went ahead and created invert1 and invert2, so you can see how they fail even worse. All right, so let's go back up to RGB. Basically Content-Aware Scale is set to -- for whatever reason, I don't know why they chose this approach -- but it's set up to change the black area, the area that's covered with black and to protect the area that's covered in white, inside of any given alpha channel.

Anyway, let's go to RGB and make sure that the layer is active, which it is. Okay great. Let's go back to the Channels palette though, so we can keep an eye on our alpha channels down here and now I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and I'm going to choose Content-Aware Scale, bless it, and I'm going into make the image less tall, like so, and then I'm going to start peeling the image apart here. That is I'm going to start dragging the right handle over to the right until the point that I see things start falling apart and that happens pretty quickly. You can see that we've got a jag right here, where this support is concerned.

Let's go ahead and zoom in a little bit, and you may notice when you zoom in that the preview turns off and has to regenerate. Don't worry about that. That's just a way Content-Aware Scale works. All right, so let's say that I want to go ahead and protect it. Well the first thing I'm going to do is try out what makes more sense, which is these invert masks right here, so let's go with invert1. You notice -- I'm sorry, Protect, there is this Protect pop-up menu right here. So it will either not protect the image if it's set to None, or you can choose one of your alpha channels. You can't choose one of the Color channels, just so you know. Let's try the really accurate invert1 and notice that that just went ahead and decimated the dock.

So the first thing to go is the dock. I'll show you, I'll go ahead and zoom out here. So you can see. I'll make the image taller and notice, even when image is at full height, it's damaging the dock for all it's worth. Because I've told that this actually go for the dock. The dock is the only thing that I want you to modify because the dock is black, because that's the way Content-Aware Scale works. So if I start making it less tall, you can see there goes the dock, just plunging into the lake. Things are even worse if I change it to invert2.

It really goes in there and gives the dock a solid pounding. Actually it's not worse... I thought it would be worse. I was just predicting, what the heck?! This is what happens, if I make it even less tall. I believe, we just, yeah -- we just - there it this. We just completely get rid of everything but the lake. By the time we make the image about this tall. Isn't that interesting? So the bottom part of the image gets pretty much cropped away. We do have a little bit of weird action over here in a lower right corner, but you know, whatever. But for all intents and purposes, we've lost everything. All right, so let's make things slightly taller here and let's switch to one of the masks that makes a little more sense. Actually, just for a moment, just for the sake of comparison, now that I'm done making merry over invert1 and invert2, I'll switch things back to None, so we can see what no mask whatsoever looks like. Looks a lot better than anything we've come up with so far.

Then let's compare that to dock mask, which is my really hyper accurate mask, right? And I'll wait for it for a moment, you have to give it time to work and actually, if you zoom in there, you'll see it's actually in worse shape. Wait for the preview to update there, there we are and this post is falling apart in a way that we haven't seen it fall apart before. Before it just had a little bit of a jag coming out of it. Now it's kind of leaning over this way like it's in some kind of crazy pixelated windstorm, and this post is falling apart. It didn't have any problems last time. Now it's a mess and we have some weird, just kind of strange little pixel patterns that are showing up too. If I go ahead and stretch the image to full width, things get very bad indeed.

The side of the dock starts leaning right there and falling apart and these thing's going to heck, it looks as bad as it ever did and some of the Xs now have more wobbles in them than they ever did. So basically what we have is fifteen minutes of my life that I spent on that dock mask and now I'm telling you about it. So we are wasting everybody's time, and it actually made the image that much worse. All right, so what about blocks? Well, blocks is going to work better, I'm here to tell you. Up front, I want you to know that simple big chunky masks actually work better than highly detailed ones, where this command is concerned.

So let's go ahead and switch over to docks and sometimes by the way, you can have luck if you build in a little bit of softening, but we just really didn't have room for it. But this is blocks. This is a function of having chosen the blocks alpha channel right there. So, we don't have nearly as many wobbles inside of our Xs, although they're still pretty evident, but for some reason this guy decided to fall apart. I mean really badly. And then we have this weird lean in the dock right there. It's just an absolute mess and in fact, I'll go so far as to say, I think you are going to agree readily here, that no mask whatsoever actually worked much, much better. So that of course leaves us scratching our head wondering well, how in the world do we protect this darn thing? This Protect feature here just really doesn't work and that's pretty much been my experience. I've tried this out with several different images. I have a demo actually in my New Features series where it works okay. But my real world experience has been that it doesn't hold up very well at all. So, what do we do? Well I'll show you a really simple and really great approach that holds up pretty nicely in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery .


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Q: My Polygon tool is locked into a very small size. I can use the Transform tool to increase it's size once drawn, but I must have something set that will not allow me to freely draw it like I can the other shapes. What could be causing this problem?
A: This could be caused by a value associated with the Radius option of the tool. Click the down-pointing arrowhead to the right (a few tool icons over) from the Polygon tool in the options bar at the top of the screen. This brings up pop-up panel. If the Radius option has a number value, select that value and press Delete or Backspace to clear it out. That should fix the problem.
 
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