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Setting up a power workspace

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Setting up a power workspace

In this exercise, we're going to adjust the workspace so that your panels are in the same position as my panels and so that you have access to all the panels you'll need to successfully mask images inside Photoshop. We'll also adjust a couple of panel Preference settings so that your copy of Photoshop behaves just as mine is behaving. By the way, these preferences in my opinion help to limit your frustration with the program. So I'm starting off with the workspace that's known as Essentials.

Setting up a power workspace

In this exercise, we're going to adjust the workspace so that your panels are in the same position as my panels and so that you have access to all the panels you'll need to successfully mask images inside Photoshop. We'll also adjust a couple of panel Preference settings so that your copy of Photoshop behaves just as mine is behaving. By the way, these preferences in my opinion help to limit your frustration with the program. So I'm starting off with the workspace that's known as Essentials.

If you want to make sure that we're starting from exactly the same place, then you can right-click on Essentials, and choose Reset Essentials. That'll go ahead and display the panels as you see in here. I'm going to double-click to the right of the word Styles up here in the top-right corner in order to collapse my Color panel. Then I'll double-click to the right of the word Paths in order to expand my Layers panel. The reason I have to do this is because I'm working in a low-resolution environment here, that is, my screen is small and the only reason we do that is so the videos fit nicely on your much larger screen. All right! Now, we're going to bring up a few additional panels by going to the Window menu and first choosing the Actions command.

That'll go ahead and display this little Actions icon here in this column list on the right-hand side of the larger panel. Next, go up to the Window menu and choose the Info command. As long as you have Info open like so, what I'd like you to do is click on this little plus sign. Notice it here next to X and Y, click on it, and change your unit of measure from either Inches or Centimeters or Millimeters depending on where you live to Pixels. Pixels is by far the best unit of measure when working inside of the pixel-based Photoshop. All right! Now, I'd like you to go back to the Window menu and choose Brush, and that way you've got all of your Brush options ready and waiting for you.

Then go back to the Window menu again, and choose Character, and that'll give you access to both the Character and Paragraph panels which are important for formatting type. Then, go up to the Window menu, and choose layer Comps. We're going to be taking advantage of layer Comps quite often throughout this series. By the way, layer Comps allow you to save states of your image basically; which layers are turned on, the Opacity and the Blend modes of layers and so forth. I go ahead and bring up the tool Presets panel as well which you'll see down here.

If you own Photoshop Extended, just the Extended version, you'll also see this little 3D icon, which is just fine. All right! Now, I'm going to move things around slightly by dragging the tool Presets icon up into this next step up, so it's immediately below layer Comps. I'm going to grab Notes which I never use. You may, but I don't. Drag it into the middle of the window like so, and then I'll close it by clicking on the little close x right there, and then I'm going to grab my Navigator panel which is toward the top of the list, above the little Histogram icon, go ahead, and drag it down below tool Presets like so, and drop it into place.

You might also want to increase the width of your panels a little bit just so you can better see what you're doing. Now, what I recommend you do is save out this workspace by clicking on this little Double-arrow icon up here at the top of the screen and then choose New Workspace and then go ahead and name your workspace One-on-One, so named after my One-on-One video courses, and click the Save button. Now, in my case, I've already created a One-on-One, I'll just go ahead and save over it, doesn't harm anything. You'll see One-on-One listed up here are at the top of the screen.

Now, if you don't see all the workspaces you want to, you can drag this little bar back and forth like so and that'll reveal other workspaces that are available to you. I'm just going to go ahead and tuck it down so I'm seeing One-On-One, Essentials, and Design. If you ever want to switch back to the original Essentials, then you just go ahead and click on Essentials. If that doesn't do it for you, then you right-click and choose Reset Essentials, and that'll reset the workspace; now you might think, oh! No, I got rid of the work I just got done doing. Not true.

All I have to do now is click on One-On- One and that'll reinstate the workspace that we just created. A couple of other changes that I recommend here; inside the Adjustments panel with the Adjustments panel open, and if you don't see it, you can go to the Window menu and choose Adjustments. I recommend you go to the Flyout menu icon, go ahead and click on it, and then turn off this command. By default, this command has a check mark in front of it; Add Mask by Default. You do not want masks by default for your adjustment layers.

They just end up getting in the way. You can always add them later, it's no problem. So go ahead and turn that command off. Let's drop down to Layers panel, click its Flyout menu icon, and choose panel Options. Go ahead and set the Thumbnail Size to the biggest one, so click on this big thumbnail right there in order to make it active and that way you can get a big preview of every layer inside of your image. I also recommend you turn off this check box, the one that says Use Default Masks on Fill layers, turn it off, Expand New Effects, go ahead and leave that one turned on, and then Add "copy" to Copied layers and Groups, turn that one off.

That way, you'll have fewer problems with your layer names. Then, go ahead and click OK. Now, switch to the Channels panel which is right next door. Right-click in an empty portion of that panel and choose Large as I've done, so you get large previews inside your Channels panel, very important, then switch over to Paths and do the same thing, right-click, and choose Large. That's it! Now, you and I are totally on the same page. I'm going to go ahead and click on the Layers panel to make it active. I'm going to double-click to the right of the word Masks to go ahead and collapse the Adjustments panel.

Then, I'll double-click to the right of the word Styles to expand my Color panel and this is how I'll be working throughout this course. With those few steps accomplished, I now set you free to enjoy the more exciting and creative movies in the following chapters.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 29594 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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