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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
So how do we take this fancy mask of ours and use it to convey the image with all of her hair into a different background. Well I will show you, I am going to go ahead and zoom out from the image so that we can see most of it on screen. As a general rule of thumb, before you can use a mask, you have to convert it to a Selection Outline. So I am going to go ahead and click on the RGB version of the image, click on the RGB Composite, so that we can see the full color image. And then I am going to load my mask as a selection, now you may recall, I showed you how to load an alpha channel that is load a saved selection by going up to the select menu and choosing the Load Selection command.
And we could do that here too, I could choose Load Selection and I could say that I want to work with the My Mask channel right here and then load it as a new selection outline. But I am going to cancel that because I want to show you another way to work that I think is much easier. Go ahead and just scroll down to My Mask, so that you can see it here at the bottom of the channel's pallet and then I want you to press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac. Notice when I have the Ctrl or Command key down, my cursor when positioned over the mask thumbnail looks like a pointing finger with a little dotted square next to it.
Alright so if you Ctrl click or Command Click on that thumbnail, you will load the channel as a Selection Outline just like so. We have the selection loaded, we are ready to use it. I am going to go ahead and press Shift+F in order to return to the multi-window mode here. And I am going to zoom out from the face in a dark image a little bit, so I can take in both it and the desert backdrop image. If you don't have desertbackdrop.jpeg open, go ahead and open it from the 10 masking folder by the way. I am going to Shift+Tab away my pallet, so I have a little more room to work on screen here.
And now I am going to go back to faceinthedark.tif, I have a Selection tool active, which is the Lasso tool, so I need to in order to get to the move tool I need to press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac. Notice that I will get a little arrowhead with some scissors next to it as long as I have that Ctrl or Command key down. I will now drag the face like so, drag that selected face, press and hold the Shift key and release the mouse button in order to register her into place inside of this desert background.
Alright now press the F key once again so that we are just viewing the woman against the desert background. I would go so far as to say this is pretty darn amazing, our mask has served us very well. If you zoom in you can see that we have some very nice soft subtle transitions between foreground and background, especially in some of this hair detail up here at the top of the image. The only problem is this, we are getting some dark halos around our hairs and that's not something that I want to see quite frankly.
That is not a function of having a bad mask, we have got a great mask, those dark edges are a function of having brought the image in from a different background. And so what we have got to do now is we have got to take advantage of a few compositing tricks in order to make those dark edges go away and I will introduce you to those compositing tricks in the next exercise.
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