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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
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Selection outline in, layer mask out


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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Selection outline in, layer mask out

In this exercise I will show you how we can make quick use of modifying a really good selection outline using the Refine Edge command. I'll also show you how you can use Refine Edge to confer the selection outline into a layer mask. I am working inside a file called Guy with mask.psd found inside the 07 Refine folder. The reason I've created this file is that I've gone ahead and saved my selection as an Alpha channel called face mask here inside the Channels panel. If you're working along with me, I'd like you to do that too. So go ahead and drop down to the Save selection as channel icon and click on it.
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  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
11h 35m Intermediate Nov 04, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals is the introductory installment of Deke McClelland's four-part series on making photorealistic compositions in Photoshop. The course shows how to make selections, refine the selections with masks, and then combine them in new ways, using layer effects, blend modes, and other techniques to create a single seamless piece of artwork. Deke introduces the Channels panel and the alpha channel, the key to masking and transparency in Photoshop; reviews the selection tools, including the Color Range tool , Quick Mask mode, and the Refine Edge command; and shows how to blend masked images so they interact naturally.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a workspace
  • Working with the seven key selection tools
  • Using the Color Range command
  • Automating masking
  • Matching a scene with Smart Filters
  • Choosing the ideal base channel
  • Converting a channel to a mask
  • Painting with the Overlay and Soft Light modes
  • Using History to regain a lost mask
  • Working with the Calculations command
  • Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
  • Masking and compositing light
  • Masking with black and white
  • Working with path outlines
  • Combining pixel and vector masks
  • Creating and feathering a vector mask
Subjects:
Design Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Selection outline in, layer mask out

In this exercise I will show you how we can make quick use of modifying a really good selection outline using the Refine Edge command. I'll also show you how you can use Refine Edge to confer the selection outline into a layer mask. I am working inside a file called Guy with mask.psd found inside the 07 Refine folder. The reason I've created this file is that I've gone ahead and saved my selection as an Alpha channel called face mask here inside the Channels panel. If you're working along with me, I'd like you to do that too. So go ahead and drop down to the Save selection as channel icon and click on it.

The reason is, because we actually need to adjust the selection, before we visit Refine Edge. Notice this area behind the guy's neck. That's actually part of the background. So we need to deselect it. Then you might figure, well, we should have done that while we were in the Color Range command. The problem is that this is such a dark region. You may recall that we were actually selecting the background. And the background over here on the left-hand side is quite light. If we had tried to add this dark area to the selection, then we would have integrated portions of his hair and his beard and his eyebrows and so forth.

That would've made for a big mess. So we are better off making a second approach. Go ahead and press Ctrl+D or Command +D on a Mac to deselect the image. Then press the D key in order to reinstate the default colors, which are black for the foreground and white for the background, and go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command. That way Color Range is basing the selection on black and this area behind his neck is pretty darn dark. Now we don't want to select too many dark regions. So let's take the Fuzziness value down to 20.

That will help us out tremendously. Then I want you to Shift+Drag all over the place inside of this area behind his neck, just Shift+Drag up and down Shift+Drag to the edge and so forth. We want to make sure that we are integrating as many colors as possible. Notice I went ahead and Shift+ Dragged three separate times. With these settings in place, go ahead and click OK in order to create that selection. Let's drop down once again to the Save selection this channel icon and Alt+Click or Option+Click on it, to bring up the New Channel dialog box.

I will call this channel neck and click OK. You can press Ctrl+D now or Command+D on a Mac to deselect the image, and you'll notice your new channel down here at the bottom of the panel. Go ahead and drag it up below face mask, so the two are right in a row. You will see that I've created a few other alpha channels in advance for you. We will come back to them later. Go ahead and click on the neck channel in order to select it. Using the Rectanglar Marquee go ahead and marquee this large left portion of the image, like so. Then I'm going to Shift+Drag around his beard, Shift+Drag down here in the lower right corner, Shift+Drag up in this region to select the top of his hair, and then Shift+Drag around the sideburns.

I might as well enclose this area as well. With this large region selected, make sure that your background color is black. If it's not, press the D key to make it so. Then press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+ Delete on the Mac to fill that large selection with black. Let's check our work, press Ctrl+D, Command+ D on a Mac in order to deselect the image. Select the Magic Wand tool, make sure that the Tolerance value is set to 0 and Anti-alias is turned off. Then click inside the black region. Mine is nice and clean, so that's good.

Now I am going to zoom in over here in this neck region that I selected and go ahead and click on it in order to make sure that it's completely selected as well. And I didn't select all the way to the edge. So I have some slight problems here. I'll go ahead and grab my Rectangular Marquee tool and I'll Shift+Drag around this region, like so. That looks like I got everything. I am pretty far zoomed in, so I should be able to see all the marching ants. Press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on a Mac to fill that region with white. Press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on a Mac to center my image.

Then I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+ D on the Mac to deselect the image. Now let's load the face mask and subtract the neck from it. Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on face mask and then Ctrl+Alt+Click or Command+Option+Click on the neck channel in order to subtract that small area. Now let's switch back to the RGB image and I'll also switch back to the Layers panel. Now I could convert this selection into a layer mask and I'll go ahead and do it, so you can see what that looks like. I'll click on the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of Layers panel.

You can see that we have a pretty good selection. Here is the problem though. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on some regions. Notice that we have some pretty rough stuff going on in the bottom of the forward portion of his hair and then if we scroll down into his beard, also very rough, and down here along your shoulder we have some rough details as well. That's all stuff that ought to be nice and soft, because those are blurry details. The focus is dropping off along the edge of his face. We can make those details nice and soft using Refine Edge.

All right, I am going to press Ctrl +0, Command+0 on a Mac once again. I'm also going to undo the creation of that layer mask by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac. Now you could just go ahead and modify the layer mask using the Refine Mask command. The only reason I'm not doing that is so I can show you yet another trick. So I am going to work with the selection outline and I'll go up to the Select menu and choose Refine Edge, or you can press Ctrl+Alt+R or Command+Option+R on a Mac. That brings up the Refine Edge dialog box of course. Let's go ahead and change the view from On White to On Black, which you also get just by pressing the B key.

Instead of painting inside the image window, I am just going to take advantage of the automated edge detection values. I am going to take that Radius value up to 50 pixels and turn on the Smart Radius check box and now notice how we have soft edges. Now they may not be perfect everywhere. For example, right along this area of the beard I'm not too happy with things and I could go ahead and increase the size of my brush cursor and paint around that area to see if things get better. In my opinion they actually got a little bit worse, but this is a much better selection outline.

Now I was telling you that you can return a layer mask if you want to, by default, you're going to output to a selection outline. If you want to make it a layer mask instead, go ahead and click this down pointing arrowhead and choose layer mask like so, then click OK, and Photoshop goes ahead and automatically generates a layer mask for this layer. All right. Now I want to take care of that little weird spot inside of his beard. So I am going to zoom in there, and I am going to click of a layer mask thumbnail here inside of the Layers panel. I'll go ahead and grab the Smudge tool.

I've got a big soft brush, my Strength value is set to 50%, now I am just going to go ahead, and smudge in and out here, until I get something that looks a little better. And this is looking pretty darn good to me. Now if you still have a problem with things, it's not all you want it to be, then you could in this case, because we have the soft focus, you could switch over to the Brush tool, go ahead and reduce the size of your cursor by pressing left bracket key. I am going to right-click inside the image window and I am going to take the Hardness down to 50% and press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac.

My foreground color is set to white. So I am just going to click in a few of these problems spots like so, in order to add a little bit of soft beard back into the picture. This is actually looking pretty darn good to me. Press Ctrl+0, Command+0 on the Mac, center my zoom. That is our progress so far. That's all of the work we need where Refine Edge is concerned in terms of compositing this guy against a new background. In the next exercise, we are going to apply a handful of Smart Filters in order to get the foreground and background in agreement with each other.

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