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Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode

In this movie, we will evaluate the selection that we created in the previous one, and then we'll refine it inside the Quick Mask mode. So, assuming that you went ahead and saved your selection as an alpha Channel, make sure you are seeing the Channels panel onscreen, and then click on that alpha channel, which I called base selection, and you will see your selection outline represented as a mask. So anywhere you see a white pixel, that's a 100% selected pixel. Anywhere where you see a black pixel, that pixel is 0% selected, and any shade of gray is some degree of selection in between.

Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode

In this movie, we will evaluate the selection that we created in the previous one, and then we'll refine it inside the Quick Mask mode. So, assuming that you went ahead and saved your selection as an alpha Channel, make sure you are seeing the Channels panel onscreen, and then click on that alpha channel, which I called base selection, and you will see your selection outline represented as a mask. So anywhere you see a white pixel, that's a 100% selected pixel. Anywhere where you see a black pixel, that pixel is 0% selected, and any shade of gray is some degree of selection in between.

Now, you might ask, well, does that mean that a selection outline is resolution dependent, the way the image is? And the answer is yes. Each and every pixel has a selection value associated with it. Now, to put the mask in play, you need to convert it back to a selection outline, and you do that by pressing the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, and clicking on that alpha channel, and that goes ahead and selects each and every pixel based on it's Luminance, from black for deselection, to white for absolute selection.

Now you can switch back to the RGB image, and the marching ants remain intact. Now, just in case you have any concern about converting from a selection outline to an alpha channel, and then back to a selection outline, because after all, normally these kinds of things inside Photoshop are destructive modifications potentially; in this case, that's not so. The selection outline and the mask are exactly the same thing, because when you create a selection outline, Photoshop is calculating the selection as a mask in the background.

All right, now let's go ahead and move the selection into its final composition, and I'll do that the easy way by pressing Control+C, or Command+C on the Mac, to copy the dinosaur, then I'll switch over to my Planets file here, and I'll press Control+V, or Command+V on the Mac, in order to paste that selection as a new layer. So you can see if you switch over to the Layers panel, that indeed we do have a new layer at the top of this stack, which is great. Unfortunately, it's not a great layer. We have got all this bright green fringe around the edge of the skeleton, and then we are missing whole sections of skeleton up here along the bridge of the nose, and the top to the cheekbone, and then finally, we still have this darn line, and a bunch of junk over here on the left-hand side, and the bottom of the image as you can see here if I scroll down as well.

So we need to do some work. So press Control+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo the addition of that layer, and I will switch back to my selected dinosaur, and now let's make some modifications to the selection in the Quick Mask mode. You can you get to the Quick Mask mode by clicking on this icon toward the bottom of the toolbox, or you can press the Q key. So the icon takes you in, the icon takes you back out; pressing the Q key takes you in and out as well. Now, when you first enter the Quick Mask mode, you are going to see the mask represented as what's know as a rubylith overlay, and then everything about the image that's selected will appear normally.

Well, the problem with the ruby overlay for our purposes is that our image already contains a lot of warm colors. So if we are going to get any work done here, we need to change that overlay color, and you can do that in one of two ways. You can double-click on the Quick Mask mode icon here at the bottom of the toolbox, but if you do that, you will end up exiting the Quick Mask mode, which is a pain in the neck. I am going to show you an alternate way to work. Switch over to the Channels panel, and you'll see Quick Mask represented as a temporary alpha channel.

Double-click on its thumbnail to bring up the Quick Mask Options dialog box, then click on the color, and let's choose a Hue value that's complementary to what we have so far. I recommend 180 degrees, which is Cyan, and then click OK, and you can change the Opacity level as well, but I think 50% is fine. Then click OK, and now we can really see what we were doing. So anything that's lighting up bright blue here is masked, or deselected, and anything that's looking like normal dinosaur skeleton is unmasked, or selected.

All right, now let's go ahead and paint away some obviously bad details. I am going to switch to my Brush tool, which I can get by pressing the B key, and then I will right-click inside the image window, and I am going to raise the Size value, let's say, to 30 pixels maybe. I definitely want the Hardness to be 100%, and then I will press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, to hide that panel. Now, you may think that you need to paint in blue, or transparency, and somehow those would appear as colors at the bottom of the toolbox. Instead, you paint with black and white.

When you paint with white, which is currently my foreground color, you paint in selection, meaning that you paint transparency into this Quick Mask overlay. I don't want that, so I will press Contrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that change. If I press the X key, so my foreground color is black, and I start painting in the image, you can see I am now painting in the mask. That is to say, I am painting in the Quick Mask overlay. All right, so I will press Control+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that change as well. Here is what I want to do.

I want to paint a straight line along this crease, or whatever it is right here, in order to mask it away. So I will click on one side of the line, right next to the skeleton, like so, and then I will press the Shift key, and click right under the jaw in order to paint a straight line between those two points, and then I will click at this location above the jaw, and I will press Control+0, or Command+0 on the Mac, to zoom out just a little bit, and I will press the Shift key, and click over here on the far left side of the image.

All right. Finally, we want to get rid of some of this garbage along the left-hand side, and at the bottom of the mask as well. So go ahead and select the Lasso tool, which you can get by pressing the L key, and press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac. Keep that key down, and just go ahead and surround the image, like so, and then come back in from the pasteboard around like this, and click your way around the nose of the dinosaur, and up to about here, and then, when you are done, release the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and Photoshop will go ahead and generate the polygonal selection outline.

And now, because black is my foreground color, I will press Alt+Backspace, or Option+Delete on the Mac, in order to fill the selection in with that Quick Mask overlay. And now I will press Control+D, or Command+ D on the Mac, to deselect the image. And now, if you like, you can convert the temporary mask back to a selection outline by pressing the Q key in order to exit the Quick Mask mode. And just so we can keep track of our work here, I am going to save off another alpha channel by dropping down to the Save selection as channel icon, and Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on it, and then I will call this selection QM refinement, and click OK, and now we have managed to, once again, back up our work. And that's how you go about loading an alpha channel as a selection outline, and then refining that selection in the Quick Mask mode.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

124 video lessons · 19350 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 30m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 19s
    2. Loading the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 5s
    3. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    4. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    5. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    6. The interface and performance settings
      5m 31s
    7. Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
      7m 0s
  2. 47m 0s
    1. Smart Objects
      1m 36s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      3m 6s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 11s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 20s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Styling and blending Smart Objects
      2m 44s
    12. Editing originals; updating clones
      3m 41s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 51s
  3. 29m 59s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      4m 39s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  4. 49m 10s
    1. Using Curves
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Winning Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors and smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 57s
  5. 1h 31m
    1. Camera Raw
      2m 11s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      8m 1s
    3. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    4. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 8s
    5. Working with archival images
      7m 54s
    6. The Spot Removal and Graduated Filter tools
      6m 4s
    7. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 23s
    8. Tone Curves (and why you don't need them)
      5m 57s
    9. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 17s
    10. Applying manual lens corrections
      5m 14s
    11. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 49s
    12. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      6m 36s
    13. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    14. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    15. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  6. 32m 30s
    1. Duotones
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Noise vs. Details
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 35s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Brushing away blur and sharpening
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  8. 44m 30s
    1. Blur Gallery
      1m 36s
    2. Creating depth-of-field effects in post
      5m 29s
    3. Modifying your Field Blur settings
      4m 57s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      6m 15s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      7m 29s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 59s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 35s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 18s
  9. 1h 34m
    1. Blend Modes
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  10. 44m 20s
    1. Color Range
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  11. 59m 43s
    1. Refine Edges
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
  12. 1h 18m
    1. The Pen tool
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 57s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 36s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 21s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

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