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Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

Reviewing layer masks


From:

Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Reviewing layer masks

Whenever you create a layer mask, it's important that that mask be as accurate as possible. In the context of a composite image for example, that means making sure that you're blocking or revealing just the right pixels to create the intended effect, and that means that you want to set some time reviewing that layer mask to make sure that everything is as accurate as possible. Let's take a look a couple techniques we can use for evaluating a layer mask. The first thing we can do is to hide or reveal the entire layer that is being affected by the mask.
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  1. 1m 27s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
  2. 46m 26s
    1. Selections, alpha channels, and layer masks, oh my!
      5m 48s
    2. Anti-aliasing and selections
      6m 6s
    3. The case for not feathering selections
      6m 50s
    4. Adding, subtracting, and intersecting
      7m 31s
    5. Inverting a selection
      3m 4s
    6. Mixing and matching selection tools
      2m 32s
    7. Using Deselect and Reselect
      3m 47s
    8. Temporarily hiding a selection
      2m 7s
    9. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    10. Using the cursor for selections
      2m 27s
  3. 51m 42s
    1. The Rectangular Marquee tool
      8m 24s
    2. The Elliptical Marquee tool
      6m 2s
    3. The Lasso tool
      4m 55s
    4. The Polygonal Lasso tool
      6m 27s
    5. The Magnetic Lasso tool
      10m 9s
    6. The Quick Selection tool
      5m 33s
    7. The Magic Wand tool
      10m 12s
  4. 38m 38s
    1. Selecting the border of an existing selection
      1m 50s
    2. The Color Range command
      7m 19s
    3. Focusing a Color Range selection
      2m 55s
    4. Selecting faces with Color Range
      2m 31s
    5. The Pen tool
      5m 40s
    6. Selecting by luminosity
      3m 39s
    7. Selecting from a channel
      6m 13s
    8. Transforming a selection
      4m 4s
    9. Quick Mask mode
      4m 27s
  5. 50m 46s
    1. Combining layers into a single document
      1m 49s
    2. Layering images manually
      1m 55s
    3. Assembling a panorama automatically
      3m 1s
    4. Advanced blending
      4m 0s
    5. Painting to hide and reveal
      3m 24s
    6. Creating a selection-based composite
      2m 43s
    7. Select, then paint
      3m 28s
    8. Advanced mask cleanup
      6m 18s
    9. Creating an edge-fade effect
      2m 23s
    10. Using a filter to add an artistic edge
      3m 6s
    11. Using a brush effect to add an artistic edge
      5m 30s
    12. Transforming a masked object
      1m 51s
    13. Unlinking image and mask
      2m 53s
    14. Matching composite images
      2m 17s
    15. Adding layer effects with masks
      2m 21s
    16. Reviewing layer masks
      3m 47s
  6. 28m 58s
    1. Painting in an adjustment
      3m 20s
    2. Shades of gray
      3m 14s
    3. Using the Gradient tool
      4m 4s
    4. Adjusting a selected area
      1m 42s
    5. Creating a vignette effect with masking
      2m 13s
    6. Using a layer group
      3m 34s
    7. Working with multiple masks
      4m 5s
    8. Refining an adjustment mask
      6m 46s

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Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop
3h 37m Beginner Jun 25, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Learn how to use selections and layer masks in Photoshop to create composite images and apply targeted adjustments. After covering the key concepts behind selections and exploring Photoshop's selection tools, Tim Grey delves into a variety of advanced techniques that will help you make accurate selections, create seamless composite images, and apply adjustments that do exactly what you want them to do.

Topics include:
  • Basic concepts
  • Selection tools
  • Advanced selection techniques
  • Creating composite images
  • Applying targeted adjustments
  • Creating a vignette effect with masking
Subjects:
Photography Masking + Compositing video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Reviewing layer masks

Whenever you create a layer mask, it's important that that mask be as accurate as possible. In the context of a composite image for example, that means making sure that you're blocking or revealing just the right pixels to create the intended effect, and that means that you want to set some time reviewing that layer mask to make sure that everything is as accurate as possible. Let's take a look a couple techniques we can use for evaluating a layer mask. The first thing we can do is to hide or reveal the entire layer that is being affected by the mask.

In this case for example, my clouds layer has been masked so that is only visible in the area of the sky for my background image layer. And so if I turn off the visibility for that layer I'll see the original image. By toggling back and forth--in other word clicking on the eye icon to hide this layer and then clicking on the empty box to reveal it again, you can probably get a pretty good sense of where things didn't go quite as planned. For example, you'll notice that as I toggle back and forth, portions of the branches in the tree are being cut off by the new layer.

And also, we can see pretty clearly that the blue sky through the tree is not changing. In other words the layer mask doesn't probably reflect that portion of the image. I also noticed that the top of the barn here is being cut off, and so that's another area that I'll need to clean up. So just by toggling layer off and then on again and reviewing various areas of the photo I'm able to get a pretty good sense of where my problem areas are. I can perform a similar task by disabling the layer mask temporarily. I'll hold the Shift key and then click on the thumbnail for the layer mask, and now the layer mask is no longer having an effect on the image so I see the clouds they are just covering up a portion of my photo.

So holding the Shift key, I can click and click on and off to disable and then reenable the layer mask. And in the process, once again, you'll get a sense of some of the changes within the image, and it can be helpful in terms of spotting mistakes. Finally, you can take a look at the actual layer mask. Of course we can see the layer mask right here on the Layers panel except it's a very small thumbnail. If I'd like to see the entire layer mask, I can hold the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Macintosh while clicking on the thumbnail for that layer mask and that will reveal the actual layer mask.

So for example, here I can see that things are a little bit crisp in that tree. There's some areas that are sort of a fuzzy gray down here, but for the most part things are just a little bit too abrupt I thin,k and we can see very clearly that there are no gaps in the tree, even though we were able to see sky behind the tree. I can also see some clutter here and there. I can evaluate the overall hardness of that edge. You'll notice here for example I have some fuzziness, and that actually just needs to be replaced so that I can see the top of that barn.

You also can see some white areas in the barn itself, and an area where we don't quite have a good corner. By looking at the actual mask, we're able to find some errors here and there and we can actually work to clean those up directly here within the mask. For example I could grab the Brush tool and then paint with black in these areas in order to fill them with black and therefore block those portions in the layer mask. When I want to see the full image again, I can hold the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Macintosh once again and click on the thumbnail for that layer mask to get back to the full image.

So with these various techniques, we were able to evaluate our results and more importantly, find our mistakes so that we can clean those up. And so, by utilizing these various techniques, we can evaluate that mask and find areas where it's less than ideal so we can improve upon it in order to create a great composite.

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