# Subtracting and merging the beak

## Video: Subtracting and merging the beak

Here we go last exercise in this chapter, in which we are going to select the beak of the beast using yet another Calculation. But, this time, it's not going to be a simple difference mask and it's not going to be a simple screen function either that we are using to combine mask together. We need to do something more deliberate, something more crafty basically. So it's fitting that we are working inside of an image called Calculated bird.tif that's found inside of the 16 Tough Stuff folder. You may recall that this is a Macaw, and the Macaw has all sorts of different luminance levels going on in the different color channels, and this is red and this is green and this is blue. So they are very different looking channels, but something doesn't change very much from channel to channel that we need to select, and that' the beak. Notice the beak stays pretty much the same, it gets kind of darker from one channel to the next, but that's about it.

## Subtracting and merging the beak

Here we go last exercise in this chapter, in which we are going to select the beak of the beast using yet another Calculation. But, this time, it's not going to be a simple difference mask and it's not going to be a simple screen function either that we are using to combine mask together. We need to do something more deliberate, something more crafty basically. So it's fitting that we are working inside of an image called Calculated bird.tif that's found inside of the 16 Tough Stuff folder. You may recall that this is a Macaw, and the Macaw has all sorts of different luminance levels going on in the different color channels, and this is red and this is green and this is blue. So they are very different looking channels, but something doesn't change very much from channel to channel that we need to select, and that' the beak. Notice the beak stays pretty much the same, it gets kind of darker from one channel to the next, but that's about it.

So we are not going to be able to use a difference mask to find the difference between a couple of channels. Instead, what we are going to do is we are going to subtract one channel from another. Add and subtract come to the rescue for stuff like this. So I am going to press Ctrl+Tilde or Command+Tilde on the Mac to return to the RBG image. Then, I am going to go up to the Image menu and choose Calculations. This time around, I am going to try the green channel which has a high degree of contrast, and the blue channel which also has a high degree of contrast because red is pretty flat where this image is concerned. I am going to set the Blend mode to subtract, and I am going to look at it and go, Hmm! Well, for one thing, we have got a problem that the last time I applied you say is an Offset value of -20.

So let's go ahead and see if we can raise that a little bit. That's didn't really help. We just have this little sort of sliver sitting right there. So let's try inverting something. This is what you do. Try inverting the Green channel. No, that didn't really help. Turn off that invert. Let's try inverting the Blue channel. Yeah, that actually worked out pretty nicely, we get a high degree of contrast. Let's see if inverting green as well helps. No, it doesn't really, gives us a green area right there, but that's not good because we already have that selected from the previous exercise. So turn off Invert and now let's take the Offset value up to 50 in order to expand the brightness a little bit. Now, what I am going to do is I am going to click OK in order to accept this new channel here, and let's go ahead and call it Beak or something along those lines because it is the beak in progress. I want to dodge and burn a little bit. But, before I do, I need to perform something up in inversion.

Now, I have got the Lasso tool selected, and you notice that I have got Anti-alias turned off, so that I don't have to worry about the Anti-aliasing getting in my way here. So I will go ahead and select this region right here and you can see I am kind of doing my usual, not all that careful job of selecting this region. I have selected this top bill now. So that's an Alt+Click with the Lasso on a PC and Option+Click on the Mac, and the reason that we are selecting this particular beak and not the lower half of the beak is lower half of the beak, his bottom lip if you like, is light against a darkish background whereas the top half is dark against the lightish background.

So let's go ahead and invert it by pressing Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac, and that's not half bad, it's done a pretty good job of identifying that area. Now, having deselected it by clicking off of it or I guess I could have pressed Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac. I am going to go ahead and grab the Burn tool actually, because we have a lot more burning to do than dodging. But, you know what, before I go any further, what I should do is I should apply some Levels. So let's press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac, and I am going to set this Black point value to something like, something here looks pretty good at 100. I am going to take the White point value down to let's say about 180, and I am just trying to give you a sense of how I really work through these images.

I don't have some values setup in advance in my mind. I am just sort of testing them out and seeing how things look in the background. Then, I will click OK in order to accept that modification, and you know what, I should go at this with the Brush tool first. The standard Brush tool, notice that I have a hard edge brush, set to Normal. I will increase the size of the brush a little bit. White is my foreground color. I am just going to click there in order to get rid of that, and I might as well just sort of paint this area away in order to make it nice and bright beak, and I will go ahead and zoom-in a little bit and paint this area away as well. So as long as I have the Brush tool selected, I might as well paint what I can.

Next, I am going to ultimately dodge and burn, but I seem to be in love with painting for the moment. I seem to be I am auto pilot, is just if I can't control myself. My brain and my hand are doing two separate things. My hands win, so my brain just gets to tell my mouth what to narrate here. I sound like an insane person sometimes when I am doing this kind of stuff, but you try training while you are actually masking a macaw, and it's not so easy. All right, I am going to switch to the Burn tool, and now I am going to burn the shadows of course. So let's burn these guys down like so.

Now, I do have a problem which is that darn point of the beak persists, just absolutely insists really on being and we have long left that area so much, now once again, brain and hand not really working together. All right, so let's go back to at hand if you will, thank you. You would think that I am really doing this by the way, you would think that I am like narrating something I've recorded a long ago, but I am really working through this. I am just, not always working through it, effectively, look at this, look at me select things, and not even tell you what I am doing. I am going to go ahead and select this area right there, and move down like so.

What I want to do is invert it, because this black area should not be black, it should be white because it's inside the darn beak. So let's press Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac in order to run the inversion, and probably what I am going to have to do at this point is do a little building because I have got some sort of weak detail to work with here. So I am going to go ahead and grab my Brush tool. I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac in order to deselect that area. And I am going to press the X key in order to make the foreground color black, and I have got my Brush tool selected. I am going to go ahead and click here, and Shift+Click here, and work my way up the bill once again.

Now, this would be a pretty obvious application of that path. I had created earlier, you wold probably want to work with that once again. But this image doesn't contain that path, you would have to draw it yourself if you want to, or go to the image that does contain the path which is any of the other Macaws by the way, and copy and paste it into this image. So that would work as well. Press the X key in order to switch the background color, given what I am doing right now, and I am going to paint this stuff away. So it's all good. I mean whatever approach you take as long as it gets the job done, is going to work for you. Really actually, I could go ahead and switch over to like the Magnetic Lasso tool if I wanted to, or I could try my hand at using something like the new Quick selection tool would probably get me a halfway decent result.

But, as long as I am almost done with the beak at this point, I might as well just go ahead and finish it up using the Paint Brush. And let's go ahead and paint right there as well, and I am just imagining that's what this looks like, because I am masking this darn animal for the 100,000 time at this point. All right. Let's go ahead and paint this away. Now, the question becomes, assuming that I have got a good beak going at this point, and I feel like I have got some good beak, and I am going to by the way Alt+Click down here in order to get rid of this stuff and send it to black because I don't want to be troubled by this later. This should all be black of course, and I will just come down here and grab it.

What do I do, how do I merge this good beak? Press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete in order to fill that with black. How do I merge this good beak right here, this good beak info with this Alpha 1 info right there. I should actually call this one G+R Stuff because that's what it is. It's combination of Green stuff plus Red stuff, it's the G+R stuff. How do I combine the beak with it effectively? Well, once I get done messing around with the beak, once again hands on its own, got a mind of its own that is to say. Once I get done with that, then I probably go ahead and select this region sort of roughly like this. Go ahead and select around here using the Lasso tool, and so this is the area that I want to add to this image right there.

We have got channel G and R stuff, channel beak, Normal, 100%, mask inside of the selection, invert, and click OK, and we get this alpha channel right here which is looking pretty darn good. Now, I am not going to finish this up, as I said, we are not always going to finish these masks. I finish that very first one. So I think that's good enough because otherwise, I am going to go criminally insane trying to mask this entire image over and over for like the umpteenth time now. But again, my hand just is on Auto-pilot just for finishing the mask. That's just what I do. I just, once I get in masking mode, I just can't help myself. What you are going to do.

So there you have it, a bunch of different ways to approach a mask inside -- a very tough mask, inside of Photoshop. One of those ways is definitely going to work for you. So remember, when you have got a complicated foreground subject against a fussy background, against a busy background, remember your options which are to go out at using Arbitrary Maps, to go out at using the High Pass filter or to go out at the smartest way really possible here, which is to apply the Calculations command, multiple variations of the Calculations command here in Photoshop.

Show transcript

#### This video is part of

190 video lessons · 26343 viewers

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2h 13m
1. The Odyssey Continues
2m 39s
2. Mapping one image onto another
7m 12s
3. Making a custom contrast mode
7m 10s
4. Luminance blending
8m 40s
5. Forcing the visibility of underlying layers
4m 4s
6. Adjusting the appearance of clipped layers
4m 34s
7. Selecting a Blend If channel
6m 12s
8. Enhancing highlights by hiding them
5m 9s
9. Smart Object first, layer mask second
7m 22s
10. The Fill Opacity Eight
4m 30s
11. Blending Smart Filters
7m 24s
12. Cleaning up edges
7m 39s
13. More fun with luminance blending
6m 22s
14. A first peek at the Calculations command
12m 11s
15. Masking a softly focused model
11m 46s
16. Moving layers and masks between images
7m 35s
17. Matching colors
9m 13s
18. Building transitional blended layers
6m 33s
19. Restoring normal colors
6m 50s

2h 33m
1m 20s
2. Rotating and stretching
7m 54s
3. A jet of motion blur
9m 18s
4. Keyboard tricks
5m 4s
5. Merging sky and landscape
6m 3s
6m 37s
7. Creating two windows into an image
7m 42s
8. Whitening teeth and adding other highlights
3m 46s
9. Mapping a texture onto an image
4m 1s
10. Isolating a texture with a layer mask
6m 44s
11. Welcome to the glass composition
3m 18s
5m 51s
7m 24s
9m 23s
15. Adding and blending the goldfish
8m 45s
16. Assembling the perfect group photo
5m 12s
17. Aligning photographs automatically
5m 26s
18. Masking in each person's best shot
5m 18s
6m 17s
20. Crafting the perfect final poster
5m 16s
21. From the improbable to the impossible
1m 56s
22. The fantastical "world of clones" effect
10m 0s
23. Upsampling and blurring a background
8m 39s
8m 3s
25. Choking edges with Gaussian Blur and Levels
3m 46s

2h 27m
1. The corrective power of masking
1m 6s
7m 22s
3. Brightening and neutralizing the eyes
8m 22s
5m 52s
6m 4s
6. Averaging away irregular flesh tones
3m 52s
7. Modifying specific colors
7m 46s
6m 0s
6m 40s
10. Adjusting the edges around fabric
7m 56s
11. Perfecting hair
9m 35s
12. Sharpening with a High Pass layer
10m 12s
4m 48s
8m 48s
15. Fashioning a depth map
6m 12s
16. Invoking a depth mask from Lens Blur
6m 38s
17. The perfect depth-of-field effect
6m 25s
18. Sharpening an archival photograph
7m 7s
8m 29s
20. Making a High Pass sandwich
7m 46s
6m 2s
4m 6s
4. ### 13. Channel Mixing and Other Tricks

2h 3m
1. Channel Mixer, I am your father!
1m 39s
2. Three ways to gray
7m 49s
3. Meet the Channel Mixer
8m 26s
4. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
7m 10s
5. Creating a professional-level sepia tone
5m 36s
6. Employing the Black & White command
8m 1s
7. Extreme channel mixing
4m 50s
8. The infrared photography effect
6m 43s
9. Taking shadows to the brink of black
3m 56s
10. Elevating highlights, leeching saturation
5m 58s
11. Deepening a black-and-white sky
5m 49s
12. Infusing luminance levels with color
5m 44s
13. Creating an opposing colorization scheme
4m 58s
14. Bolstering contrast with the Green channel
5m 37s
15. A tiny improvement to a terrific technique
7m 39s
16. The simple (but wrong) approach to red-eye correction
6m 39s
17. Channel-mixing red pupils
9m 18s
18. The expert approach to red-eye correction
5m 20s
19. Fixing problem coronas (pupil edges)
8m 9s
20. Making pupils match
4m 8s
5. ### 14. Calculations (aka Channel Operations)

2h 33m
1m 37s
2. The Calculations command
8m 16s
3. Blue Screen blending
7m 40s
4. Refining the Blue Screen mask
5m 53s
5. Brushing away color fringing
7m 24s
6. Locking the transparency of a layer
6m 22s
7. Nondestructive layer painting
7m 36s
8. How the Add blend mode works
8m 40s
9. How the Subtract blend mode works
6m 43s
10. Focus, noise, and other masking challenges
5m 33s
11. The Add mode in action
7m 51s
12. The Subtract mode in action
8m 25s
13. Comparing two channels with Difference
5m 24s
14. Enhancing the contrast with Curves
9m 11s
15. Gathering details with Apply Image
9m 43s
6m 6s
17. Dodge and Burn in action
8m 24s
18. Painting in the scalp
10m 1s
19. Painting away the face and chin
4m 53s
20. Compositing complementary images
4m 13s
21. Multiply, Minimum, Blur, and Apply Image
6m 40s
22. Crafting the final composition
7m 7s
6. ### 15. The Pen Tool and the Paths Palette

1h 57m
1. Mark of the Pen tool
1m 35s
2. The big paths project overview
6m 51s
3. How to make a path
8m 25s
4. Corner points and freeform polygons
8m 6s
5. Editing paths with the arrow tools
5m 2s
5m 15s
7. Adding and deleting interior points
6m 6s
8. Converting a path to a selection
3m 35s
9. Converting a path to a mask
6m 38s
10. Smooth points and control handles
8m 57s
11. Making cusp points
6m 0s
12. Combining paths in a vector mask
7m 55s
13. Turning a path into a shape layer
8m 57s
14. Combining paths to make a layer mask
7m 52s
15. Mixing layer and vector masks
10m 14s
16. Editing character outlines as paths
8m 39s
17. Using the Convert Point tool
7m 8s
7. ### 16. Masking the Tough Stuff

3h 17m
1. Where there's a will, there's a way
1m 18s
4m 10s
3. Applying the cast show
4m 2s
3m 7s
5. Applying an arbitrary map
3m 50s
7m 17s
7. Roughing in an object mask
6m 49s
8. Drawing missing details with the Lasso tool
4m 7s
9. Combining flesh and object masks
3m 53s
4m 10s
11. Selectively choking edges
3m 58s
12. Power duplication in Photoshop
7m 9s
5m 48s
14. Using Levels to mask iterations
3m 14s
15. Drawing an iteration boundary
4m 55s
16. Merging the best of two Levels iterations
4m 4s
17. More fun with Dodge and Burn
6m 14s
18. Fixing edges with the Pen and Stamp tools
7m 29s
19. Pulling from another file with Apply Image
4m 52s
20. Blending clipped layers independently
5m 43s
9m 22s
22. Amplifying the flame
3m 53s
23. Masking an image against a busy background
5m 15s
24. The Freeform and Magnetic Pen tools
6m 52s
9m 32s
26. A more deliberate approach to arb maps
10m 51s
27. Combining arb maps with paths
9m 28s
28. Masking with the help of the History brush
11m 38s
29. Creating a High Pass mask
7m 25s
30. Coloring in the outlines
8m 31s
31. Mastering Calculations
7m 29s
32. Subtracting and merging the beak
11m 6s
8. ### 17. 16-Bit/Channel and HDR

1h 33m
1. The meaning of bit depth (and why you care)
2m 50s
2. Scanning line art in 8-bit and 16-bit
5m 9s
3. Measuring the 16-bit difference
8m 9s
4. Correcting 8-bit images in the 16-bit space
9m 31s
5. Opening a raw image directly in 16-bit
6m 13s
6. Editing in Camera Raw, opening in 16-bit
8m 22s
7. 16-Bit/channel vs. 32-bit/channel (HDR)
8m 18s
8. Working with auto-bracketed photographs
5m 6s
9. Using the Merge to HDR command
6m 0s
6m 0s
11. Building a 32-bit sky mask
6m 29s
12. Properly exposing land and sky
4m 25s
13. Modifying a layer mask in 32-bit
4m 56s
14. Converting to and correcting in 16-bit Lab
12m 7s
9. ### 18. DMaps and Lighting Effects

2h 8m
1. Photoshop flirts with the third dimension
1m 13s
2. The displacement map
8m 24s
3. Making custom waves
7m 14s
4. Creating a Gaussian distribution
4m 32s
5. Using a two-channel displacement map
6m 28s
6. Creating a rustic edge effect
8m 21s
7. Distorting and shading with a DMap
6m 34s
8. Moonlight reflecting off water
8m 48s
9. Mapping the reflection onto the water
7m 7s
10. Dipping the moon into the water
6m 18s
11. Turning flesh into stone
7m 55s
12. Wrapping the stone around the face
7m 27s
13. Softening a displacement map
8m 5s
14. Making a repeating watermark pattern
9m 22s
15. 3D embossing with Lighting Effects
10m 48s
16. The amazing credit card type effect
6m 56s
17. Lightening the credit card letters
6m 16s
18. Wrapping the background around the text
6m 27s

1m 43s
1. Goodbye
1m 43s

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