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What do you do with a sky that's dark and stormy, blown out, or just plain ordinary? You can spend hours trying to enhance it, or you can replace it in just a few simple steps. Chris Orwig shows you how in this Portrait Project. He'll show you how to make and refine a selection, mask out the sky, and insert a new, more dramatic sky—all in Adobe Photoshop. In order to make your replacement look natural, Chris spends the second half of the course showing how to improve the detail, color, and tone of your new composite.
In this movie, I want to highlight another advanced technique that we can use, which will help us to improve the edge detail that we have on our mask. And in order to begin to take a look at how we can use this technique, what I want to do is go back to the layer which we worked on previously, which was this one right here. And let's go ahead and click into the mask. And the reason why I want to go back here is because I want to practice this technique on this layer, then we'll apply what we learned to our top-most layer.
The underlined layer here is the one which still has a bit of that color fringing and a little bit of the edge glow as well. Let's go back to the same spot that we went before, which was the surfboard fin. To do that, grab the Zoom tool, and then click a few times to zoom in really close to this so that we can begin to identify the problem area. When we get up close with this image, as we saw before, we saw some color fringing. We also have a bit of this glow around the outer part of the image.
Well, what I want to do is get rid of that. And I only want to get rid of it in this specific area. You know, the previous technique corrected the entire mask. Yet, what about the situations where you have kind of a persistent problem in one area, and you only want to fix it there. Well, what you do is you click into the mask, then next, choose a selection tool. Perhaps like, the lasso tool. Here, you can tap the L key to select that tool or click on it. You want to choose a feather amount just to soften the edge.
I'll bring this down to about 2 pixels. And then next, make a lasso selection around the area that you want to work on, around those edges that you want to deal with. In this case, this part of the image, because I want to correct the edge issue that we have around the fin of the surfboard. Well, once you've made your selection, with a little bit of a feather or soft edge, the next thing we're going to do is use an old school technique which involves using the Filter > Other > Minimum.
So we need to make sure that we're targeting the mask because we'll apply this filter to the mask, not the image. So again, make sure you're clicking into that layer mask. Then navigate to the Filter pulldown menu and here, choose Other, and then Minimum. What this will do is it will minimize the white area on the mask in this area. In other words, it will just trim off that edge. Let me show you how this works. Here we choose Filter > Other > Minimum. This will open up the Minimum dialog. If I increase the radius even just a few pixels, you can see that what's happening is it's dramatically cutting into the space in this part of the image.
Here it obviously doesn't look good, but it does illustrate the point of how this slide or how these controls work. Rather than a radius of 10, we want something more like 1. And if we click on the Preview checkbox, you should see here's our before, and here's the after. It's really taking care of that edge issue, yet it's only taking care of it inside of the selected area. And that's the beauty of this technique is it allows you to target a certain area of your photograph. And this is really helpful when you have those situations where that area of the mask, or that area of the edge, needs just a little bit more cleanup work or a little bit more touch up work.
Alright, to apply this, click OK. Then last but not least, you choose Select and then Deselect. Alright, well now that we saw how we can do that with our old layer here, let's turn the visibility of that layer off, and then turn this one on. Next, I'm going to zoom out a little bit, so I can see a bit more of the picture. I'm going to zoom out to about, right around here, maybe a little bit closer. Well, one of the things that I notice on the top layer is I still have a little bit of an edge glow on this part of the surfboard.
To clean that up, we'll target the mask. We'll go ahead and use our lasso tool. I think about a 2, and maybe a little bit higher feather amount. And I'm going to go ahead and lasso up a selection. And because we're just working on the mask, it doesn't really matter if our selection is that precise. Because what this will do is just say, limit the filter to the area which I've selected. Let me zoom in so we can see that area here. It looks like this edge is pretty good over here. But I got a little bit to close to the hair.
So hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt on Windows to subtract from the selection, or you can hold down the Shift key if you need to add to the selection. So either hold down Option or Alt to subtract, Shift, click and drag in order to add. And all that you want to do is just make sure that you're bringing this right to the edge but not past that, because you don't want it to affect other areas of the image. Alright. The next step, you know it, right, you go to Filter, then you choose Other, and then select filter which is titled Minimum.
This will allow us to trim off a little bit of that edge glow that we have there. Click OK to apply that, and then choose Select and Deselect, and you can evaluate and see the results. Here I've zoomed in a little bit too close, so I need to zoom out a little bit to see if that looks better. And you know what? I think it does. And perhaps more important is you've picked up a really valuable technique, which will help you to improve your edge detail when you have situations where you need to target a specific area, like we needed to do here with this photograph.
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