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Shades of gray

From: Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

Video: Shades of gray

When you're working with a layer mask one of the key things to keep in mind is that black blocks and white reveals. And when we're working with a targeted adjustment in other words, a layer mask working with an adjustment layer, black is blocking the effect of that adjustment and white is revealing the effect. But we also, of course, have lots of shades of gray in between black and white. And we can use those shades of gray in conjuction with a layer mask as well. Let's take a look at a basic example here. I'll go ahead and add a new adjustment layer.

Shades of gray

When you're working with a layer mask one of the key things to keep in mind is that black blocks and white reveals. And when we're working with a targeted adjustment in other words, a layer mask working with an adjustment layer, black is blocking the effect of that adjustment and white is revealing the effect. But we also, of course, have lots of shades of gray in between black and white. And we can use those shades of gray in conjuction with a layer mask as well. Let's take a look at a basic example here. I'll go ahead and add a new adjustment layer.

I'll click on the Add Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. And I'll just add a levels adjustment in this case. And then I'll adjust the midtone slider over toward the right in order to apply a darkening effect. And I'm going to apply an exaggerated darkening effect just so that we can have a better sense of exactly what's going on when we utilize shades of gray. So with my adjustment layer created I'm actually going to invert my layer mask so that it is black instead of white. And so the adjustment is not visible anywhere in the image. I'll just choose the Masks tab on the Properties panel.

And then I'll scroll down so I can see the Invert button and I will click that button so that I've inverted my layer mask from white to black. Now I'll choose the Brush tool and I'll press the letter D on the keyboard to make sure the colors are set to their default values of black and white. And now I can paint into the image in order to reveal the adjustment. I'll adjust my brush size as needed with left and right square bracket keys and then if I paint with white I'm revealing that darkening adjustment and you can see I have a rather strong darkening in the image.

So, black is blocking the adjustment for most of the image and white is revealing the adjustment for this stripe. But I can also utilize shades of gray in order to have a partial effect. To change the color I'll go ahead and click on the foreground color swatch on the toolbox. That will bring up the color picker. And here I can choose the specific shade of gray I want. But how am I suppose to choose a particular shade. Well black blocks an adjustment and white reveals an adjustment. Black has a zero brightness and white has a 100% brightness. Which means by adjusting the brightness I can effectively determine. What percentage of that adjustment I want to have affective. So I'll change my brightness value the B value for HSB to a different value. Instead of 100 for a complete effect, I'll go ahead and type 75 and then click okay and now I'm painting with a shade of grey that is 75% white. And, so, if I paint it again, I'll have a little bit less of an effect. I'll go ahead and click on that color swatch again and change the brightness value to a 50% and then I'll paint once again and you can see. Even less of an effect.

So, by adjusting the brightness, the specific shade of gray that I'm painting with I can determine to what extent an adjustment is going to effect the image. So here, for example, you can see a 100% effect, a 75% effect and a 50% effect, but the key is that by using shades of gray rather than just black and white, I'm able to vary the effect of an adjustment In an image.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop
Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

51 video lessons · 11290 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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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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