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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.
It's tempting to dismiss a selection outline as a means to an end, a way of isolating an area, or moving an image element from one location to another. But in Photoshop selection outlines are full-fledged objects that could be moved, scaled, rotated, and otherwise modified independently of the image. For example, if you look closely you'll see selection outlines wandering your composition, just like the bands of marching ants that we sometimes imagine them to be.
Roaming around in free orbits, circling pixels, and scaring them. The pixels of course resisted. They would like to light torches and beat the marching ants into submission, but they can't, because the ants would eat them. I mention this merely to emphasize the autonomous power of selection outlines. I tell you they reign supreme. For proof watch the following movies.
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