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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Any conversation about the essentials of masking would not be complete without talking about Quick Mask and that's what we are going to do in this movie. I have a couple of images here. quick_mask_tips.jpg, click on that and on a Mac Command-click, on a PC Ctrl-click on quick_mask.psd and then right-click and choose Open. That will open both of those files inside of Photoshop. Press F to get a Full Screen View mode. And that first image that I have here has a couple of tips for us that will be handy when we are working with Quick Mask. First what is Quick Mask? Well Quick Mask is as it sounds, a quick way to generate a mask which essentially is a selection. So, one of the shortcut keys you need to know is Q. That's a shortcut that will allow you to enter and exit Quick Mask, D is a shortcut key we have already talked about it, but we really need this one here to get your color picker to the default Black and White and then X is a shortcut key to flip your background and foreground colors.
All right let's close this one. Command+W on a Mac/Ctrl+W on a PC. Double-click your Zoom tool, take this frog image to 100%. All right, what I'm going to do here is press the Q key to enter into Quick Mask mode. Now, when I do that you also notice that this icon has changed its appearance, so that is a Quick Mask icon. Next I'll grab the Brush tool. What I'm going to do is my make brush nice and small, I'll go ahead and press the Left Bracket key and then I'm going to paint over the eye of the frog. Now when I paint over the eye, my painting is going to show up in red. It's this Red Rubylith overlay. Now this particular selection that I'm creating is not going to be prefect, but that's fine because I'll be able to modify this in a number of different ways. Now I'll go ahead and press the Q key again. Well what exactly happened? What happened was a selection was created based on where I painted. Now currently the selection is actually inward or it's backwards.
I'm going to leave it backwards, because this is what happened to you quite often and then I want to show you how you can quickly flip the selection. All right the next thing that we want to do is we are going to navigate to our Adjustments panel and in our Adjustments panel we are going to go to the Hue Saturation Adjustment here and I'm interested in shifting the color of the eyes of the frog. Now when I do that and I change this, I notice I'm not changing the color of the eyes; I'm changing the color of the frog. Again my mask is inverted. So, how can I correct that? Well back to the Mask panel. All I need to do is simply click on the Invert button or make sure the mask is targeted as it is here, Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC. That will then invert that mask. Okay, well let's go back to the Adjustments panel. Now that we are back in the Adjustments panel here I can go through those different colors and try to find a color that's interesting.
In this case I'll go to this color red. Now here I have the ability to look at my before and after and say, okay that's kind of interesting. I can also choose Colorize with Hue Saturation. Now Colorize is kind of an interesting option. What it's going to do is it's going to show a little bit more of the detail rather than having the color sit on top of the pixels; the color is blending into the pixels. Now when I do that I see I like the color; it's kind of interesting except I have a problem right here, right? Because my mask isn't very good. Well the nice thing about using an Adjustment Layer right after you create a Quick Mask is it actually created a mask from the Quick Mask.
So again the Quick Mask was just a way to create a selection, we then built a mask off of that selection. So, here is the mask right here. All I need to do now is zoom in a little bit, Command+ Plus on a Mac/Ctrl++ on a PC. Make sure I'm painting with white; in this case I'll go ahead and paint with white down here. Now whenever you are working with masking what happens is a lot of times you make a mistake. Oh, I added some white to this area of the image that doesn't look good. We will press the X key to then paint with Black and what you can do now is by painting with Black you can clean all these up or conceal that color change.
And then whenever you are cleaning your edges what happens is you make another mistake. We will hit the X key again and then you can go back and fix the rest of the mask this way. All right, well so far so good, we have a nice little mask there. The eyes have definitely changed color and they look pretty nice and the color change looks realistic. Let's take a look at how we can reuse this mask. Well one technique that you can use is to click and drag this to the New Layer icon. Well now that I have this on the New Layer icon I'm going to make sure the mask is targeted, go to my Mask panel and click Invert.
That will then invert this mask. So, it's now affecting everything, but the eyes. Then I'll go to the Adjustments panel and I'll do that by clicking on the icon for this particular adjustment which is Hue Saturation, and now just to illustrate I'm going to go ahead and desaturate and now I need to zoom out a bit, so we can see what's happening here. When I go ahead and desaturate and here we can see that what I have happening is desaturation of the entire image except for the eyes. I'm going to turn off the visibility of this underlying adjustment and I'm going to do that in order to really zero in on the image here. Now I'll zoom in -- one of things that I notice when I zoom in is that I have a little bit of a spill over on my mask, so I need to correct that. So, I need to correct that.
So I'll click on this Adjustment Layer here and you know what I'm going to do right? I'm going to paint with White, so I need to make sure I have white in my foreground color and I'm going to do that by pressing D or X. I'm just going to make sure I can remove all of this green color because some of the original skin color of the frog was coming through. Okay, that looks pretty good. Now I'm going to turn on the underlying layer, turn those eyes blue, zoom out a little bit so we can see what we have and so far so good. One of the things that I'm trying to illustrate here is how you can use Quick Mask to quickly make a selection, but you always lose that Quick Mask. It's gone forever unless you create a mask out of it. Now you can create a mask either by creating an Adjustment Layer or clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon, but then once you have that mask a lot of times what you are going to need to do is to modify or refine it and then once you refined it, it always a good idea to think about how else could I use this mask, what else could I do here, how else could I get creative with this and of course you can continually modify this and continually make changes. In this case I'll just go ahead and make a different change, turn Colorize off. In this case I'm just going to shift the colors a little bit, so they are little bit more green and here we can see before and after.
Rather than a yellow frog now he is super green and I'll then desaturate it just to a touch there because that was little bit too strong. So again if Quick Mask is new to you I recommend that you start using Quick Mask as a way to create really nice selections, but make sure you always create a real mask out of initial Quick Mask.
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