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Using the new channel icons

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Using the new channel icons

In this exercise, I'll show you a couple of additional ways to save selections as alpha channels inside Photoshop, both of which I find to be more convenient than choosing the Save Selection command. I'm still working along inside the image called toolman.jpg. I have not saved a catch-up file for you this time around, the reason being that you and I are going to save this image along with its alpha channels in the very next exercise. Now that we've selected the goggles, the next trick is to select the areas that will represent the rays coming out of those goggles.

Using the new channel icons

In this exercise, I'll show you a couple of additional ways to save selections as alpha channels inside Photoshop, both of which I find to be more convenient than choosing the Save Selection command. I'm still working along inside the image called toolman.jpg. I have not saved a catch-up file for you this time around, the reason being that you and I are going to save this image along with its alpha channels in the very next exercise. Now that we've selected the goggles, the next trick is to select the areas that will represent the rays coming out of those goggles.

So we'll start things off, once again with the Quick Selection tool. Go ahead and drag inside that first goggle like so, and I'm also going to zoom in, so I can better see what I'm doing here. And next, I'll switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool, which you can get by pressing the M key, and then go ahead and press the Shift key. What I recommend you do is align your cursor with the bottom of the animated selection outline like so, and then drag upward. And because you have the Shift key down, you are adding to the existing selection outline.

Now you want to make sure that the top of your new selection is aligning as closely as possible with the top of the goggle selection. And I'm going to go ahead and drag my cursor out to about here. Ultimately, we want the selection to extend all the way to the right side of the image. But if I invoke an Auto-Scroll, then I'm not going to be able to see the goggles anymore, and that will prevent me from properly aligning the selection outline. All right! That looks pretty good to me. I'll go ahead and release in order to finish off the selection. Now let's save this selection as an alpha channel by dropping down to the bottom of the Channels panel, and you'll see this icon that says, Save selection as channel.

If you click on it, then you'll create a new untitled alpha channel. If you want to name the alpha channel as you create it, then press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on that Save selection as channel icon. I'm going to name this channel front and then click OK in order to add a new alpha channel to the list. Now I'll click on front in order to select it and then press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. All right! Now let's check out the quality of the selection here by zooming in on it. Again, it's very ratty in that area that was created with the Quick Selection tool.

It's very smooth in that area created with the Rectangular Marquee tool. But it does look like it extends perhaps a little farther upward than it should, because we have this little bit of a stair step there. So I'm going to select this region like so along the top and then slowly let this Auto-Scroll happen, so I go ahead and grab the entire top of the selection. And then I'll go ahead and press the D key in order to instate the default colors, which are white for the foreground color and black for the background color. So the opposite they usually are when you're working inside of an alpha channel.

Then press Ctrl+Backspace, or Command+ Delete on the Mac in order to fill that selection with the background color, which is black. All right! Now I'll scroll back over to the left side of the image. We have a little bit of junk down here at the bottom. I'll select that area; press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete again in order to fill it with black. Now I'll click to deselect the image, and then I'll go up to the Filter menu and choose that very first command, Median, or you can just press Ctrl+F, Command+F on the Mac to smooth things out. Now, I'll go ahead and zoom out a little bit here.

Note that that goes ahead and smoothes both sides of the selection. So we end up rounding off the corners of the rectangular marquee. That's not actually a problem for our next maneuver here. What I want you to do is select this region like so, once again, using the Rectangular Marquee tool. So watch out for this area that's rounded around the goggles. You don't want to select that. You want to make sure the left edge of your selection outline goes through a straight-sided portion of the mask. And then press all the modifier keys, that is, Ctrl+Shift+Alt on the PC or Command+Shift+Option on the Mac, and go ahead and drag this selection all the way over to the right, so you no longer see those rounded corners. And that's it.

That goes ahead and extends the selection, that's exactly what we want now. Let's return to the RGB image by clicking on RGB at the top of the Channels panel and rerun those steps on the rear goggle. So I'll go ahead and grab the Quick Selection tool, drag inside the goggle, like so. Then grab the Rectangular Marquee tool, go ahead and zoom in, so I can better see what I'm doing. And once again, I'll Shift+Drag from the bottom of the goggle to the top like so, and release, in order to create that selection outline. Now let's see what we've managed to accomplish by converting the selection to a mask.

Now the technique I just showed you, that is clicking on that Save selection this channel icon, that is by far the best way, in my opinion to generate an alpha channel. However, you can also do so, I just want you to see, you can just go ahead and click on this Create new channel icon, or if you want to name the channel as you create it, you can Alt+Click on that little page icon to bring up the New Channel dialog box. That's an Option+Click on the Mac, and then we'll go ahead and call this channel rear and click OK. Now the reason I'm showing you this is sometimes I accidentally click on this button and I end up with this effect here, where I have a new alpha channel, it's named, it's ready to go, but Photoshop did not convert my selection to a mask. Well, that's okay.

Because you have the selection, all you have to do, assuming you've got the default colors, white for foreground and black for background, you just press Alt+Backspace, or on the Mac, Option+ Delete to fill that selection with white. Then go ahead and click off the selection and that is just as good, by the way, as any of the other techniques I've showed you. All right! I'm going to go ahead and zoom on in to my selection, so I can check out those just terrible edges right there. I also have a little bit of a hump at the top, but I'm not going to worry about that. I'm just going to smooth things out by going to the Filter menu and choosing that first command, Median, or I could press Ctrl+F, Command+F on the Mac.

Zoom out a couple of clicks here so that we can see the far right side of the canvas, select this region like so, so that I'm selecting through a straight-sided section, and then Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Drag or Command+Shift+Option+Drag on the Mac. And I have to drag that selection a couple of times in order to duplicate it all the way over to the right side of my canvas. All right! That's exactly what we were looking for. So go ahead and switch back to the RGB image by scrolling up the list and clicking on it, or if you prefer, you can press Ctrl+2, or Command+2 on the Mac. We now have an RGB image that also contains three alpha channels.

We need to save it to disk, and I'll show you how that process works in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

128 video lessons · 30186 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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