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Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey

Upsampling and blurring a background


From:

Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: Upsampling and blurring a background

All right gang, welcome to the final project inside of this chapter. This time around we are going to take this image that I shot of Stonehenge last time I was in England, and we are going to add a more dramatic sky, which is like something we have done several times now adding a dramatic sky to a dramatic shot, so that the entire image conveys a high a degree of drama, for the druids after all. But we are going to do it in a different way, so that we learn a few new techniques. In this exercise we are going to go ahead and up sample the sky, so that it matches the size of Stonehenge, the size of its host image, and we are also going to mask the sky, so that it fits into the background. Then in the next exercise I am going to introduce you to a little thing called knockout masking, which is a really phenomenal technique inside of Photoshop, very flexible, you have to really see it to appreciate it. So stay tuned for that.
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  1. 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
  2. 2h 33m
    1. Layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
      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
    6. Masking an adjustment layer
      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
    12. Balancing shadows and highlights
      5m 51s
    13. Masking the glass
      7m 24s
    14. Masking the text
      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
    19. Masking densely packed people
      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
    24. Adding a knockout mask
      8m 3s
    25. Choking edges with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      3m 46s
  3. 2h 27m
    1. The corrective power of masking
      1m 6s
    2. The amazing luminance mask
      7m 22s
    3. Brightening and neutralizing the eyes
      8m 22s
    4. Adjusting a nondestructive composition
      5m 52s
    5. Creating a corrective mask
      6m 4s
    6. Averaging away irregular flesh tones
      3m 52s
    7. Modifying specific colors
      7m 46s
    8. Initiating the color mask
      6m 0s
    9. Refining the color mask
      6m 40s
    10. Adjusting the edges around fabric
      7m 56s
    11. Perfecting hair
      9m 35s
    12. Sharpening with a High Pass layer
      10m 12s
    13. The also-amazing density mask
      4m 48s
    14. Adjusting the knockout depth
      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
    19. Creating an edge mask
      8m 29s
    20. Making a High Pass sandwich
      7m 46s
    21. Applying the edge mask
      6m 2s
    22. Customizing your sharpening effect
      4m 6s
  4. 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. 2h 33m
    1. Chops are dead; long live maskops
      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
    16. Dodge highlights, burn shadows
      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. 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
    6. Adding and deleting endpoints
      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. 3h 17m
    1. Where there's a will, there's a way
      1m 18s
    2. Masking natural cast shadows
      4m 10s
    3. Applying the cast show
      4m 2s
    4. Creating a difference mask
      3m 7s
    5. Applying an arbitrary map
      3m 50s
    6. Making the flesh mask
      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
    10. Amplifying the cast shadow
      4m 10s
    11. Selectively choking edges
      3m 58s
    12. Power duplication in Photoshop
      7m 9s
    13. Masking blond hair
      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
    21. Building the flame mask
      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
    25. Masking with arbitrary maps
      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. 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
    10. Adjusting the HDR preview
      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. 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
  10. 1m 43s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 43s

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Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques
20h 48m Advanced Nov 21, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The elusive alpha channel remains one of the most misunderstood yet powerful tools in Photoshop. Alpha channels are collections of luminance data that control the transparency of an image, and they inform just about every aspect of Photoshop. As he builds transitional blended layers, fashions a depth map, makes edge adjustments, and takes on extreme channel mixing, Omni Award-winning expert Deke McClelland teaches Photoshop users that where there's a will, there's a way. Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks: Advanced Techniques covers mapping texture on an image, turning flesh into stone, using vector masks, working with all different channels, creating a rustic edge effect, and much more. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Channels and Masks from the Exercise Files tab."

Topics include:
  • Distorting and shading with a DMap
  • Understanding bits and channels
  • Creating paths with the Pen tool
  • Using blend modes and the Dodge and Burn feature
  • Understanding channel mixing
  • Using layer masks, clipping masks, and knockouts
  • Applying Smart Filters
Subjects:
Design Photography Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Upsampling and blurring a background

All right gang, welcome to the final project inside of this chapter. This time around we are going to take this image that I shot of Stonehenge last time I was in England, and we are going to add a more dramatic sky, which is like something we have done several times now adding a dramatic sky to a dramatic shot, so that the entire image conveys a high a degree of drama, for the druids after all. But we are going to do it in a different way, so that we learn a few new techniques. In this exercise we are going to go ahead and up sample the sky, so that it matches the size of Stonehenge, the size of its host image, and we are also going to mask the sky, so that it fits into the background. Then in the next exercise I am going to introduce you to a little thing called knockout masking, which is a really phenomenal technique inside of Photoshop, very flexible, you have to really see it to appreciate it. So stay tuned for that.

So here I am working inside of an image called Ancient doorway.psd found inside the 11 layer mask folder, and as I say, I shot the background image, but the sky comes to us from that artist who goes by the name Kataev, at iStockphoto.com we have already seen this sky a couple of times including inside of this chapter. Now I am going to increase its size, now normally I don't suggest you enlarge images inside of Photoshop. Like if I was just taking a flat image, and I wanted to print it, very, very large, I would just print it very, very large. Even if it had a low resolution, that's better than enlarging the image. So it has a high, but meaningless resolution.

However, in this case when you are trying to match one image to another, it's completely acceptable to up sample, especially given the fact that I will go ahead and turn off the sky layer for a moment. You can see that the trees in the background here are well out of focus; that means that the sky needs to be blurry too, and when you increase the size of something inside of Photoshop, you naturally blur it, that just happens, you introduce anti-aliasing. So that's actually going to work to our advantage this time around, because we want some blurriness. All right, so go ahead and click on the sky layer, turn it on, so it's active and visible. Then I want you to scale it by pressing Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac to enter the Free Transform mode, but first before you transform, first thing I want you to do, is convert the layer top a smart object. So click on Layers palette menu icon right there, and then choose Convert to Smart Object, or if you loaded my D key shortcut, you can press Ctrl+, or Command+, on the Mac and now you have got a smart object, that's all that takes.

Now let's go ahead and transform it, and because it's a smart object, we can transform multiple times non- destructively. So press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac, and then I am going to Shift+Alt+Drag this lower corner handle right there, that would be Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac, because the Shift key is down, I am constraining the proportions, and because the Alt or Option key is down, I am scaling out from the center of the sky image, and that's good. Now I am going to go ahead and release, and I appear to have scaled my image to a little bit more than 150%, both wide and tall.

So you want to scale it outside into the pasteboard region as you are seeing here, then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept the new size of the sky. Next I want to go ahead and mask the sky, so turn this guy later off for a moment, go to the background layer. Let's go over to the Channels palette, and notice that I have already created the sky mask for you in advance. Now if you are wondering how I did that, I could have approached in one or two ways, I could have either gone to the various channels here, inspected the channels that I have to work with, the Red channel, the Green channel, and the Blue channel because all of them have a high degree of contrast between the stones and the sky in the background.

The problem with the Blue channel which on face value seems to have the most contrast, is that it lacks contrast right there. So the stone and the sky are very similar colors, we would have a hard time creating a mask out of that transition. Whereas the Green channel and the Red channel have a lot more contrast in that area, especially the red channel. The problem is with these two channels that sometimes the rocks are darker than the sky, and another times the rocks are lighter than the sky. So how would we increase the contrast properly so that the rocks are uniformly darker than the sky in the mask for example? Well, we could take advantage of something called arbitrary map, which is something that you can apply form the Curves command, and we will take a look at arbitrary maps toward the end of this series. But for now there is an easier way to work where this image is concerned. I am going to go ahead and click on the RGB composite image, and I am going to go up to the Select menu, and choose the color range command.

And if I am painting this picture that the color range command comes to your rescue a lot when you are masking inside of Photoshop, then I am painting an accurate picture. I am very, very fond of this command, it's very useful, especially for selecting images that have smooth transitions, it's when you are selecting filigree details like hair and feathers and so on that it starts to break down. So go ahead and choose the color range command, brings up the color range dialog box of course, let's go ahead and switch the selection preview to none, so we can see the full color composite in the background. I am going to click in the sky in order to select it, and I am going to Shift+Drag around the sky,and Shift+Drag inside of the archery as well, and notice that the sky is turning black for me, that's because I still have my Invert check box, because the last thing I selected was that glass image, a few exercises ago. So I am going to go ahead and turn off Invert, so that we are selecting the sky, and not deselecting it, and I am going to reduce the Fuzziness value to something along the lines of this right there, 65 is actually going to work out pretty well.

Now I click OK,in order to accept this new selection. Let's go ahead and finish off the selection outline inside of a layer mask. So let's go to the sky layer, click on it to make it active, turn it on, so it's visible, and then I want you to click on the layer mask icon in order to add the layer mask to the sky layer. Now let's Alt+Click or Option+Click on that layer mask thumbnail in order to see the Layer mask inside of the image window, and I am just going to paint away all this garbage that's around the edges here using the Brush tool set to the Overlay Mode.

So I am going to go ahead and press Shift+Alt+O or Shift+Option +O after selecting the Brush tool. Make sure that your foreground color is set to black, as it is for me, then increase the size of your brush, and paint away, just paint to get rid of all of that garbage that is inside the black area of the image that ought to be black actually. And I am going to be pretty aggressive about painting these details away. Now if you get too aggressive, if you do this number where you start painting in some grays in the sky, then you need to switch back to white. So I'll press the X key to switch to white and paint that area away, and I might just paint a little white here and there inside of the sky just to make sure that it's nice and light, and then I have got this little detail right there, I am going to get rid of it just by selecting it with the Lasso tool, and black is now my background color, so I will just press the Backspace key or the Delete key to fill with black.

Now let's zoom out, I have got all this stuff going on towards the bottom of the image, it's well away from the sky region though, so I can just select this area using the Rectangular Marquee tool like so, and then press Backspace or Delete to get rid of it. And that's the Layer mask, that's all it takes, very easy to pull off. Alt+Click or Option+Click on that layer mask thumbnail once again to return to the RGB view. And I want the sky to be out of focus just as the trees are, because it doesn't make any sense that the trees would be out of focus, and then farther away still the sky is suddenly in focus.

So I am going to click on the Smart Object thumbnail right there, and I am going to go over to the Filter menu, I am going to choose Blur, and Gaussian Blur, and notice that Lens Blur is not available to us, so we are going to have to go with the Gaussian Blur. You can press Shift+F7 if you have loaded my D Key shortcuts, and I am going to change the Blur value to something along the lines of 6, and then press Tab and see how that looks, and I think that looks actually pretty darn good. So now I will click OK in order to accept the result, and that gets applied, because we are working with the Smart Object. Gaussian Blur is applied automatically as a Smart Filter, meaning that we can edit it, where you can double-click on the word Gaussian Blur there, and enter a different blur value if you think you went too far, for example.

So I will go ahead and take it down to 4. What the heck, this does actually look better. So now I will click OK in order to accept that modification. So that's step number one. We have got the sky now in the background, the problem is we have some bad edges if you were to zoom in on the sky, you would see that the trees have an unnaturally sharp sort of edge associated with them, and we are going to take care of that problem using as I say, a Knockout Mask in the next exercise.

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