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Turning a destructive edit into a layer

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Turning a destructive edit into a layer

At the end of the previous exercise I promised to show you how to create marquees of specific sizes, and I will do that, it's a very useful technique. But it dawns on me in the meantime that I've made a dreadful mistake. I've gone ahead and permanently modified the color of pixels here on the Background layer, which is such a rookie error, especially for somebody who has been using the program as long as I have. However, I want to show you a great trick for retaining your changes, popping them onto a new layer, without having to redo all that work. So if you've made that same mistake I did, if I led you down the garden path, then here's what you do.

Turning a destructive edit into a layer

At the end of the previous exercise I promised to show you how to create marquees of specific sizes, and I will do that, it's a very useful technique. But it dawns on me in the meantime that I've made a dreadful mistake. I've gone ahead and permanently modified the color of pixels here on the Background layer, which is such a rookie error, especially for somebody who has been using the program as long as I have. However, I want to show you a great trick for retaining your changes, popping them onto a new layer, without having to redo all that work. So if you've made that same mistake I did, if I led you down the garden path, then here's what you do.

You start by going up to the Window menu and choosing the History command, which brings up the History panel. I want you to go down to this last state, which in my case is called Deselect, because the last thing I did was deselect that circle, and I want you to click in front of it in order to set Deselect as the Source History State. Then, go up to the File menu and choose the Revert command or press F12, and Photoshop will go ahead and restore the original undamaged version of the frog. Of course, we lose our changes as well, but they are still waiting for us here in the Deselect state, in case we want to come back to them, and that's what we're going to do.

So leave Revert selected there in the History panel, and then I want you to go to the Layers panel, make sure the Background is selected, and press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac in order to jump the layer and name it at the same time, and I'm going to call this guy original frog. And then click OK to create that new layer, and now turn it off, so we can see what we're doing, and click in the Background layer once again. Then, go up to the Edit menu and choose the Fill command. Now, just so you're aware, in case you're wondering why I gave Stroke a keyboard shortcut but I didn't give one to Fill.

Fill already has a keyboard shortcut, it's just not listed there. It's Shift+Backspace on the PC or Shift+Delete on the Mac. And that brings up the Fill dialog box. Go ahead and change Use from Foreground Color or whatever it's set to, to History. Then, make sure that mode is set to Normal, Opacity is set to 100% in order to fill that Background layer with the history state. Now we have both the damaged and undamaged versions of this image. All right! Let's combine them together in order to separate out those lines, and you do so like this.

Go ahead and double-click on the Background layer in order to bring up the New layer dialog box, and let's call this one damaged layer, and I'll click OK. Now, we'll move damaged layer in front of original frog and turn the original frog on. Now let's find the differences between the damaged layer and the undamaged one by selecting damaged layer and changing the Blend mode from Normal to Difference. And that's going to go ahead and send all undamaged pixels to black, as you see here, and leave just the damaged pixels in color. All right! Now we want to go ahead and merge these two layers together onto a new layer, and you do that by first, if you're working along with me on the PC, you first press the Escape key so that Difference is no longer active, and then you press the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+ E or Command+Shift+Option+E on the Mac.

So you have to press mash your fist E, because there is no corresponding command for merging the visible layers onto a new one. And now let's call this one differences. Now, notice if you Zoom in here that the lines are not absolutely white, they're various shades of inverted frog colors. So we've got these purples at the top, blues at the bottom and so forth. Let's go ahead and make them as white as possible by switching over to the Channels panel. This is a really common masking trick, by the way,. Go ahead and click on the various Channels to find out which of them provides the lightest lines.

And what you'll find, again, if you're working along with me, is that the Blue Channel provides us with the brightness we need. Go ahead and grab that Blue Channel and drag it to the little Page icon at the bottom of the Channels panel in order to create a copy, and I'll go ahead and rename this new Alpha Channel lines, like so. Now let's brighten things up just a little bit more by going up to the Image menu, choosing Adjustments, and choosing the Levels command, or you can press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac. And I'm going to take this White slider Triangle to the left there.

Ultimately, I decided a White Point value of 128 will work out pretty well for me. That gives us some nice bright lines, click OK. Now we just need to load these white lines as a selection. By pressing the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and clicking on that Lines Channel. Now, switch back to RGB, go ahead and switch back to the Layers panel, turn off both difference and damaged layer, because we don't need them, and we need to create a New layer by pressing Ctrl+ Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and we'll go ahead and call this New layer lines, and then click OK.

Now we want to fill the selection with white; white is my background color, so I'll press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to fill that selection, and now you press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. Now, check it out. We've got the white lines restored to their own independent layer, and you can turn it off if you want to, turn it back on as well, and we've got the original frog completely undamaged. Now, if you want to, you can go ahead and grab damaged layer and differences and throw them away, because we don't need them anymore. Just go ahead and select those two layers and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac and we have miraculously taken a brain dead, destructive modification and turned it into a nondestructive layer, using what is essentially a compositing trick, the Difference mode to find the differences inside the image, and then masking those differences here inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

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

128 video lessons · 29213 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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