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The Quick Mask mode


Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

Video: The Quick Mask mode

All right gang! So here I'm working inside of the image called Duckbill in tent.tif over here in the Channels palette. In case you want to catch up with me, notice I have this selection outline that I created using the Color Range command here under the Select menu. And if you are just joining me and you want to load this selection outline on up, then go over to the Channels palette and what you do is you go down here to this guy called imperfect and you would press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and you would click on its thumbnail in order to load it up as a selection outline, and then you will have exactly the selection outline you see me using on screen here.
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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
    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
    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
    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
    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 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
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

The Quick Mask mode

All right gang! So here I'm working inside of the image called Duckbill in tent.tif over here in the Channels palette. In case you want to catch up with me, notice I have this selection outline that I created using the Color Range command here under the Select menu. And if you are just joining me and you want to load this selection outline on up, then go over to the Channels palette and what you do is you go down here to this guy called imperfect and you would press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and you would click on its thumbnail in order to load it up as a selection outline, and then you will have exactly the selection outline you see me using on screen here.

What I did is I went down here to the bottom of the Channels palette and I click on this icon and notice it says Save selection as channel. That tells me that I'll indeed save the selection outline as an alpha channel that's right ready to go. In case, you are wondering all about alpha channels and everything else that's going on with channels and masks, and you really want to learn everything about masking, I have the series that's part of the Online Training Library. Right now it's called Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks, but the beauty of it is 100% of it works the same way in the CS3 as it does in CS4. So it's all applicable to Photoshop CS4, but there have been some new things added to CS4, so I'll be showing you some of those as we look at masking here. But I do want you to know, it goes on for hours. There is just tons and tons of stuff to learn about masking.

I am going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac because we don't need to add that guy, he is already part of the image and you can save alpha channels, these extra channels here that contain masks along with the image in the TIFF file format. So TIFF and PSD, the layered native Photoshop document format will go ahead and accommodate masks. JPEG, no sir, you cannot save an alpha channel along with a JPEG image, just so you know. All right, so anyway, we got this selection outline going. It is imperfect, what do we do? Well, one of our options is to enter the Quick Mask mode and you can enter the Quick Mask mode by clicking on this little icon down here at the bottom of the toolbox or you can just press the Q key. So the Q key takes you into the Quick Mask mode, and the Q key takes you back out, or you can click this button right there to go in and back out.

I say we go in for a moment, and the grand thing about the Quick Mask mode is that it allows you to paint a selection outline. So you can edit a selection outline as a mask and all of a sudden basically the entire program, all of Photoshop, becomes a selection modification environment. So you can use any of these tools now; not just these guys, not just the selection tools up here, and not just the commands under the Select menu, but basically everything that's available to you inside the whole software. It's always its grayscale compatible then you can apply it to this mask.

So there's nothing particularly quick about the Quick Mask mode or easy about it either, it's just as tough as full-blown masking. It's just that it's temporary, so you can get in, you can get out, and I guess that's what so quick about it. Of course, you get in, you spend like a half-an-hour modifying the mask and then you get back out that very quick. But here, I'll show you some quick things to do in the Quick Mask mode. First of all, we have got an overlay color, which is red. So we are now seeing the mask in red. So in other words, the deselected areas have a red overlay and the selected areas have no overlay. So we are just seeing the normal colors on the image. And this is based on an old technology called rubylith, which was this acetate that had red stuff on it and you would cut up the red stuff and leave the acetate behind and you would peel out the areas that you cut with an X-Acto knife, for example. And then that would serve as your mask for a photographic image, when you are doing stat camera techniques and so on.

Because it was so popular, it's a very common technique. More than 20 years ago back when I was a lad, I used to actually do this stuff. It became a sort of defacto standard inside of Photoshop but you don't have to work with a rubylith. You can change it to a sapphire-lith for example, because we need to make this overlay blue. And why do we need to do that, because red on red, this is not going to do us any good, warm color against warm color does not serve our purposes. So here is what you do; you double-click on the Mask icon. Now the thing is if you are in the Quick Mask mode, and you double-click on the Quick Mask icon, it's going to take you out of the Quick Mask mode, which is crazy.

Then you have these options and you can adjust them to your heart's content. I'll show you in a moment. I'm going to cancel that. I'm going to go back into the Quick Mask mode. You go over to the Channels palette and you will see this new alpha channel called Quick Mask in itals to show you that it's something that Photoshop made and it also happens to be temporary on the fly mask. Double-click on it and you will stay inside the Quick Mask mode and we we're seeing the Quick Mask options. Go ahead and click on this Color Swatch. I want you to change the Hue value to 180, which is Cyan, and click OK. Leave the other values set as it is. So it's just H 180 click OK.

You can change the Opacity if you want to. I so wished you could preview the setting, try to figure out if it's going to what you wanted to be, but the only way to preview it is to click OK, which isn't really a preview; it's an application and there it is. So anyway, it works beautifully for us, this is good enough. Now then what do we do? Well, the thing to bear in mind with the Quick Mask is that it's still black and white; I mean you can see that right here inside the Channels palette. So the deselected area is black, the selected area is white. It's just that it previews differently. So we are seeing the black areas shown in cyan and we are seeing the white areas shown transparent just as raw image essentially, an un-colorized image.

So that means if we want to add to the deselected area we paint with black, and if you wanted to add to the selected area you paint with white. So for example, I'll go ahead and get my Paint Brush tool right there; I want you to do it too. Make sure that your brush is set to something along these lines, which is to say a Master Diameter of 20 pixels and a Hardness of 100%. The reason is you don't want to be slopping in fuzzy edges when you are masking. That's rarely a good idea. You want to be able to observe the natural edges in the image and paint inside of them.

Let's start painting and notice by the way, if I paint in black, my foreground color is set to black right there, then I'm painting in cyan like so, and these become deselected regions. So you can de-select in just all kinds of crazy patterns like this. And then when you go back out of the Quick Mask mode, sure enough, those areas are deselected. All right, I'm going to undo that modification by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac. Actually, I have to press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+Option+Z on the Mac a few times to get rid off all that garbage. Then if I switch my foreground or background color, so the foreground color is now white like this and I paint, then I'm painting in selection. So I can give them sort of a selected beard right there and then I switch out of Quick Mask mode and you can see now that now I have selected that region. All right, Ctrl+Alt+Z a couple of times, Command+Option+Z a couple of times on the Mac.

All right, here is what I want you to do that we want to get rid of this line. So let's go ahead and scroll all the way over to the left, so that I can see the far left side of the image and we are going to get rid of this straight line by doing this. Press the X key to make the foreground color black, and now I'll click right there, nice, and then I'll Shift-click right there, and I just deselected this line. Now you can still see it but it's now covered with the cyan overlay. Actually in the next exercise, I'll show you how you make sure that it is totally de-selected and then go up here and click on this side of the jaw, and then Shift-click right there in order to paint away that seam as well.

In the next exercise, we are going to make some further modifications by viewing the mask independently of the image, so that we can really hone in on exactly what we are doing. Stay tuned!

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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