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Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay

Over the course of this chapter, I'll be passing along a few additional masking tricks. We'll also cover a few fundamentals of compositing; we'll see what to do when things go wrong. In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to view a mask and an image at the same time so that you can get your bearings and decide what kind of modifications need to be made to the mask. I'm working inside of file called Wikked comp.psd and the idea here is we are building a magazine cover. You'll see that I've got this text elements group here inside the Layers panel and it contains an editable type layer set in Myriad Pro Bold Condensed which should've been automatically installed on your machine along with the Creative Suite.

Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay

Over the course of this chapter, I'll be passing along a few additional masking tricks. We'll also cover a few fundamentals of compositing; we'll see what to do when things go wrong. In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to view a mask and an image at the same time so that you can get your bearings and decide what kind of modifications need to be made to the mask. I'm working inside of file called Wikked comp.psd and the idea here is we are building a magazine cover. You'll see that I've got this text elements group here inside the Layers panel and it contains an editable type layer set in Myriad Pro Bold Condensed which should've been automatically installed on your machine along with the Creative Suite.

Then, the rest of the text I've gone ahead and converted to a shape layer. That way, the image remains scalable in case you want to make it larger or up sample the image, that kind of thing. In other words, the text will always remain smooth. I'll go ahead and twirl that group close and click on the background image again. Most of the magazine cover is done. The one outstanding item is the nameplate. I want to eventually create a nameplate down here at the bottom of the image that looks like this, that is, this bar filled with this colorful gradient. We have the magazine name cut out of that bar, and then I also have one of the model's boots coming in front of the bar, so we get an integration between the design, and the photographic background. All right! I'm going to switch back to the image at hand and I'll also switch over to the Channels panel.

So you can see down here at the bottom of the panel, I've got two alpha channels that I've created in advance for you. One is called nameplate; just drew a big rectangle with Rectangular Marquee tool, filled it with white, and then created some black text on top of it. Then, down here at the bottom, I've got this alpha channel called boot which represents my first attempt at selecting that red boot, and it's a pretty rough attempt as we'll see. I'm going to go ahead and scroll back up to the top of the list here, click on RGB. I am going to give you a sense of how I put that together. As we'll be discussing in a future chapter, Photoshop provides three automated selection tools; they include the Quick Selection tool and the Magic Wand, both available from the same flyout menu, neither of which worked worth beans where selecting this boot is concerned.

I'll just show you what I did with the Quick Selection tool, for example,. I went ahead and dragged inside the boot, and pretty darn quickly there, the selection outline jumped outside the boot, and ended up enclosing a fair amount of the background. Well, you can deselect with this tool as well by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and then dragging, like so. But, I found as I did so that I deselected way too much and really honestly if the Quick Selection tool isn't quick, what good is it? So I just went ahead, and pressed Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to give up on that.

The automated tool that ended up producing the best effects was the Magnetic Lasso tool. This is a fairly intricate tool to use. You actually have to set points and kind of move your cursor against the edge and it takes a few minutes in order to get the selection right and I've already got some problems there. We'll go ahead and back step backward. However, I'm not going to show you how to use the tool right now. Again, we'll be talking about all three in a future chapter. Just accept that I did indeed created this mask using the Magnetic Lasso tool. But, if we zoom-in on it, you can see that even though it took a few minutes to create the darn thing, it's pretty lumpy and bumpy, and a bunch of other words that have ump in them, and it's not all that representative of the boot itself. All right! So I know that just by looking at the mask but I don't really know how to fix the problems.

In other words, I could sit here and smooth things out, but would I be smoothing in the right directions? Would my modifications actually make sense where the overall composition is concerned? Well, you can't make those decisions unless you're seeing the composition and the alpha channel at the same time, and let me show you how you do that. It's pretty simple technique. You go ahead and scroll to the top of the panel and you click not on the RGB composite, but rather on the eyeball in front of RGB in order to view that mask as what's known as a Rubylith overlay.

So those of you who have been in the industry for a while may remember traditional Rubyliths. They were essentially acetate overlays, and you cut away this layer of pink plastic in order to reveal the imagery in the background. Now, the good news is that the Rubylith overlay allows you to modify the mask without harming the image because notice the image is not selected. We are just able to preview it while we're working and you can keep track of how your modifications work with the underlying image. So, for example, let's say I decide to switch to the Standard Lasso tool right there and I can identify this region as being altogether non-representative.

In other words, the boot is in shape anything like this down here in the lower-right region. So I could go ahead and select that area, and taking notice that my foreground color is white, I could press Alt+ Backspace or Option+Delete in order to fill that area with transparency. So the idea is that anything you make white inside the alpha channel previews as transparent when you're viewing the Rubylith overlay. Anything that you fill with black becomes part of the Rubylith, because after all individual channels don't accommodate color.

But, any shades of gray end up showing as soft transitions. All right! So that's the start. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. One more trick I want to pass along. You can switch back to the black and white view of the alpha channel by clicking on the eyeball once again in front of RGB. You also have the following keyboard shortcut. To turn the RGB preview back on, press the tilde key and this is the key to left of the 1 key, above the Tab key in the upper-left corner of the US keyboard.

To hide the RGB image, you press the Tilde key again. Just a little trick to bear in mind, one that I find terribly handy and you may find handy as well. All right! I'm going to go ahead and press the Tilde key again to bring back that red overlay and that's really the problem. We have a red overlay next to a red boot. Wouldn't it be great if you could change the color of the overlay? Turns out you can and it's a permanent modification to the image file, and I'll show you how that 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 · 30113 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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