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Viewing a quick mask by itself

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Viewing a quick mask by itself

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to modify a selection in a Quick Mask mode and view the mask independently of the RGB image, which can help to remove some of the ambiguity, so you know exactly what you're doing. So I'm still working on this image called Duckbill in tent.tif and I'm working on this imperfect selection right there and I've gone ahead and made some modifications. Mostly, I just painted away this scene, here inside the Quick Mask mode. Now if I want to see whether I really got rid of that scene or not, then here's what you do, you go over to the Channels palette, make sure it's up on screen.

Viewing a quick mask by itself

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to modify a selection in a Quick Mask mode and view the mask independently of the RGB image, which can help to remove some of the ambiguity, so you know exactly what you're doing. So I'm still working on this image called Duckbill in tent.tif and I'm working on this imperfect selection right there and I've gone ahead and made some modifications. Mostly, I just painted away this scene, here inside the Quick Mask mode. Now if I want to see whether I really got rid of that scene or not, then here's what you do, you go over to the Channels palette, make sure it's up on screen.

And you can switch bounce very easily in the Quick Mask mode. It's not a limiting mode, the way the Free Transform mode is or the way the Crop mode is. You can do anything you want inside this mode. It's really great. But what I would like you to do is go to the Channels palette and then turn off the eyeball in front of RGB. And just like that, as soon as the RGB image goes away, you get rid of that color overly and you just see the image by itself because what you're really working on is a black and white mask not a sort of color overly mask, nothing like that going on.

All right, so now we see that the line is gone from the image where we have a lot of other problems that we need to reconcile. And the first thing that I need to do, and this is a really standard masking technique that I'm about to share with you, is you want to go ahead and increase the Contrast of this mask. Because if you look carefully, you're going to see that you have some light gray areas inside of the dinosaur and then you have some dark gray flags outside of the dinosaur and you need to get rid of those light grays and those dark grays. We want some nice whites inside the dinosaur and some pure blacks outside the dinosaur.

And you can do that, using a good friend of ours, go to the Image menu, choose Adjustments and choose Levels. On rare occasions you need to resort to Curves, but generally speaking Levels is your guy. Go ahead and press Ctrl+ L, Command+ L on a Mac. Now right away you may go, hey Deke, why are you applying a static adjustment? Why don't we apply an Adjustment layer, those are so much better? Well, you can't. So layers can have channels associated with them, and layers can also have layer masks associated with them, but masks and channels cannot have layers inside of them. So you cannot pile layers onto an independent channel. In other words you have to apply static adjustments, just like way back in old days.

So when you are masking inside a Photoshop you are essentially performing Photoshop 2.0 modifications, and it really is that way. I mean that's one of the wonders of masking, is even though it's a really super wickedly powerful tool that's available to you inside Photoshop, really a group of tools, it hasn't changed very much in more than a decade. All right, so here we are inside of Levels. I'm going to go ahead and increase this black point value until we've got the black point all the way over to the right of this hump of shadow colors. And another set I'm even including this tiny bit of shadow colors right there. And as a result I'm changing that black point value to 60. So any pixel with the luminance level of 60 or darker becomes black. So we're clipping a lot of colors. You want to clip colors when you're working inside of a mask. That's a desirable thing. So masking is not like continuous tone image editing in that regard.

And then I'm going to go ahead and take this 255 value, the white point value here, and I'm going to reduce it. I'm going to press Shift+Down arrow and I'm going to take it down 60, just as I took the black point value up 60, until I reduce that value to 195. Now this isn't the kind of thing you need to do on a regular basis. You don't need to increase the black point value and decrease the white point value by the same amount. It just happens to just work out pretty nicely for this image. So, I'm saying any pixel with luminance level of 195 or lighter now becomes white and as a result we have some nice black background colors and some nice white foreground colors. Click OK.

Now at this point you can see that we're closer to our goal but we still have some schnills here and there that we need to get rid of. So I'm going to increase the size of my brush, my foreground color is white, so that's a dreamy wonderful thing, and I'll just paint these away and it's pretty easy painting. You are not painting all the edges. You are just painting near the edges, as you can see. Just get rid of that stuff that obviously needs to go. Now I've painted too far. So I'll go ahead and undo that modification. Try again. Paint this area away. It's usually better to paint too little instead of too much in a single paint stroke, in that way, if you have to undo you haven't undone a ton of stuff. So I'm just painting away this garbage here and painting away like this garbage, so let's go in for the kill here, going a little smaller with the brush or that is to say, and go ahead and paint in these details. I can paint in this right here and then I'm going to increase the size of my brush again, press the X key to paint with black and let's paint this garbage away right there.

So you need to spend a little bit of time making sure that the perimeter of your image is in good shape, so don't be zoomed in too far at the end here. Now let's go ahead and turn the RGB image back on to make sure that we got everything that we wanted to get and it's looking pretty darn good, I might zoom in a little bit here to the top of the snout to make sure I got everything I wanted, and it looks like I didn't quite get everything I wanted. So I'll reduce the size of my brush, press the X key to make sure that foreground color is white. And then I'll click, Shift- click, Shift-click, that kind of thing in order to paint in straight segments like so. And I just want to sure I'm getting as much as I can get.

Now as a general rule of thumb I'll tell you, you want to under select instead of over select because if you select too much of the edges, if you go too far out, then you're going to end up with some halos and some other weird edge artifacting, and you don't want that. If you go ahead and choke your selection in a little bit and if you select too little of the image then you are going to eliminate some of those color halos. This looks pretty darn good. I want to tell you one more thing, here's a little tip and trick from me to you by the way of a keyboard shortcut that you should know about. If you want to hide the RGB image on the fly, you press the tilde key and that is the key that's' just above the tab key and below the Escape key, and to the left of the 1 key on an American keyboard, press tilde again to view both image and mask at the same time. I'm noticing that I have a little bit of garbage right there, let's go ahead and paint that in to make sure we get in.

You know we have some ruddy edges up here that you might want to paint in the place, totally up to you, how far you want to go with this, how exact you want to be. This looks pretty swell. Tell you what we're going to do. In the next exercise we're going to exit the Quick Mask mode, we're going to take this dinosaur composited against the different background and see how it looks.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

147 video lessons · 27693 viewers

Deke McClelland

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  1. 21m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 34s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 23m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 33s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 34s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 45s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 7s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 54s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 54s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 32s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 41s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 51s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 38s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 42s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 50s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 51s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

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